Diesseits und jenseits der Oder:Judith Hermanns literarische Auseinandersetzung mit Theodor Fontane in Sommerhaus, später


Judith Hermann's works have attracted considerable criticism for their supposedly slight portrayal of passively drifting characters and for their alleged failure to engage with the socio-political realities of contemporary life in the Berlin Republic. Only very recently have scholars paid attention to the hidden concern with memory expressed in her books, and have set out to examine their intertextual depth. This paper explores these previously neglected historical references in Summerhouse, later and analyses the book's intricate intertextual allusions with specific reference to Theodor Fontane's works. It examines how the tentative existence, which Hermann's characters experience, is the product of a hesitant and fruitless confrontation with questions of German history and nationhood. Using pervasive water imagery, Hermann shows present-day Germany as a continually contested territory with a fluid identity shaped by an abundance of conflicting narratives. In this context, the allusions to Fontane as a representative of the Wilhelminian period serve as references to a continuing German tradition of repression and marginalisation. At the same time, Hermann recognises Fontane's ambivalent political stance combining elements of social criticism with a general endorsement of social order. Ultimately, the seemingly indifferent attitude of Hermann's characters and the elegiac style used to portray them, emerge as a distancing mechanism that functions as a postmodern variant of Fontane's irony and is shaped by a similar sense of skepticism towards developments in German society and national history.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11061-012-9327-z
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 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: contemporary German literature,Effi Briest,gender studies,intertextuality,Judith Hermann,memory studies,national identity,Sommerhaus, später,Theodor Fontane,Linguistics and Language,Literature and Literary Theory
Publication ISSN: 1572-8668
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2024 07:10
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2013 12:21
Full Text Link: http://www.spri ... 245840lm551n38/
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2013-06-08
Published Online Date: 2012-09-16
Authors: Gremler, Claudia (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-5504-9205)



Version: Accepted Version

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