But somehow it was only television: West German Narratives of the fall of the Wall in recent novels and their screen adaptations


East Germans have long been criticised for harbouring a feeling of Ostalgie, a nostalgia for their old, Socialist state, but only recently has it become apparent that many west Germans obviously experience a similar sense of loss and longing for a seemingly simpler time before reunification. The texts that express these feelings tend to focus on the fall of the Wall as the pivotal point of change in German post-war history. Typically the characters in these books deny the significance and impact of this major political event and strive to reduce its importance, at best to a minor television moment. This attitude can be observed in the novels liegen lernen and Herr Lehmann and in their film adaptations. Despite having been accused of indulging a feeling of Westalgie, a closer analysis reveals that they are in fact deliberately provocative and challenge eastern and western stereotypes. In addition the films find ways to transport the books’ ironic narrative to the screen, and they also reinforce the authors’ implicitly critical attitude towards their characters’ political apathy by portraying the fall of the Wall in ways different to the books. The films react to the provocation voiced in the novels and function like an intertextual commentary as they integrate the opening of the border into a meaningful context for the protagonists and restore it to its historic importance.

Divisions: ?? 3980600Jl ??
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Language Research at Aston (CLaRA)
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
Additional Information: Copyright of Rodopi
Uncontrolled Keywords: East Germans,ostalgie,nostalgia,socialist state,West Germans,reunification,German,post-war history,television,Herr Lehmann,film
Publication ISSN: 0304-6257
Last Modified: 22 May 2024 07:08
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2010 11:24
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Related URLs: http://www.inge ... 000001/art00019 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2007
Authors: Gremler, Claudia (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-5504-9205)



Version: Accepted Version

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