Historical Dictionary of Postwar German Literature (Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts)

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9780810859654: Historical Dictionary of Postwar German Literature (Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts)

Some authors strongly criticized attempts to rebuild a German literary culture in the aftermath of World War II, while others actively committed themselves to "dealing with the German past." There are writers in Austria and Switzerland that find other contradictions of contemporary life troubling, while some find them funny or even worth celebrating. German postwar literature has, in the minds of some observers, developed a kind of split personality. In view of the traumatic monstrosities of the previous century that development may seem logical to some.

The Historical Dictionary of Postwar German Literature is devoted to modern literature produced in the German language, whether from Germany, Austria, Switzerland or writers using German in other countries. This volume covers an extensive period of time, beginning in 1945 at what was called "zero hour" for German literature and proceeds into the 21st century, concluding in 2008. This is done through a list of acronyms and abbreviations, a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries on writers, such as Nobel Prize-winners Heinrich Böll, Günter Grass, Elias Canetti, Elfriede Jelinek, and W. G. Sebald. There are also entries on individual works, genres, movements, literary styles, and forms.

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About the Author:

William Grange is a cultural historian who has received several awards for his scholarship and teaching. He is Hixson-Lied Professor of Theatre and Film at the University of Nebraska.

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This reference work addresses the literary output in German since the events of World War II and the Holocaust, presenting the responses of poets, playwrights, and novelists not only to those events but also to postwar realities such as national guilt, a divided Germany, and then reunification. The majority of entries treat authors, and they are variably and unevenly part biography, part bibliography, and part interpretive essay. Writers well known in German as well as in translation (e.g., Heinrich Böll, Günter Grass, Thomas Mann) are presented along with authors perhaps less well known outside the German-speaking world. Other entries introduce selected plays and novels; describe literary genres such as Father literature, in which the wartime activities of parents are examined; or provide brief postwar histories, including literary developments, of the countries of the four German literatures (Austria, Federal Republic of Germany, German Democratic Republic, and German-speaking Switzerland). Reference works such as the Oxford Companion to German Literature (3d ed., 1997), Companion to Twentieth-Century German Literature (2d ed., 1997), and the Encyclopedia of German Literature (2000), though not limited to the postwar period, include substantial coverage of postwar writers and concepts such as Historikerstreit. The strength, therefore, of this work lies in its introduction of authors not included in these other reference sources. These introductions are often too brief or lacking in some useful information, however. The entry for Julia Franck, for example, discusses one novel (Die Mittagsfrau) in some detail, neglects to provide the title for the English translation (Blind Side of the Heart), and mentions that Franck wrote other novels but does not give any of the titles. Nevertheless, the Historical Dictionary of Postwar German Literature is recommended for academic libraries supporting programs in German language, literature, and culture as well as libraries with collections of postwar German literature. --Christopher McConnell

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Book Description Scarecrow Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Historical Dictionary of Postwar German Literature is devoted to one of the most intriguing bodies of modern literature, that produced in the German language, whether from Germany, Austria, Switzerland or writers using German in other countries. The linguistic consanguinity of these locales notwithstanding, there are considerable variations in literary tenor and approach within each of them. This volume covers an extensive period of time, beginning in 1945 at what was called zero hour for German literature and proceeds through the remainder of the 20th century, concluding in 2008. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780810859654

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