Transcultural Memory and European Identity in Contemporary German-Jewish Migrant Literature
Title Details

298 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

Series: Dialogue and Disjunction: Studies in Jewish German Literature, Culture & Thought

Series Vol. Number: 10

Imprint: Camden House

Transcultural Memory and European Identity in Contemporary German-Jewish Migrant Literature

by Jessica Ortner

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
Examines how German-Jewish writers from Eastern Europe who migrated to Germany during or after the Cold War have widened European cultural memory to include the traumas of the Gulag.

Preserving the memory of the Holocaust as a moral and ethical limit case is key to the European Union's attempt to construct a pan-European identity. But with the Eastern expansion of the EU, new member states have challenged the Holocaust's singularity, calling for the traumas of the Stalinist Gulag to be acknowledged much more explicitly. Thus even though Europe has been unified politically, it is divided by its diverging perceptions of the past.
Jessica Ortner argues that German-Jewish writers from Eastern Europe and the GDR who migrated to Germany as refugees during or after the Cold War have responded critically to the need to widen European cultural memory to include the traumatic experiences of the East. The writers focused on include Katja Petrowskaja, Olga Grjasnowa, Lena Gorelik, Vladimir Vertlib, and Barbara Honigmann. A central focus of the book is the "traveling of memories" from Eastern Europe and the GDR to (Western) Germany and Austria. Introducing the term "literature of mnemonic migration," Ortner asserts that these authors' writings negotiate the mnemonic divide between East and West. They criticize the normative memory politics of both Germany and the Soviet Union and address not only the politically explosive question of how to remember both National Socialism and Communism but also the status of Jews in contemporary Germany.
Introduction: Writing Against the Backdrop of European Memory Politics after 1989

Part I. Contextualizing Literature of Mnemonic Migration: Political and Aesthetic Settings
1: Politics and Memory: Overcoming the Mnemonic Division of Europe?
2: Setting the Scene: Aesthetic Representations of Europe

Part II. Imaginations of Europe-Nazism and Stalinism Rethought
3: Redefining the Jewish Past: Vladimir Vertlib
4: Family Memory as a Vessel of Amnesia: Katja Petrowskaja
5: The East-West Division through the Lens of the Divided Germany: Barbara Honigmann

Part III. Contesting Germany's Social Framework of Memory
6: Traumatic Recollections: Olga Grjasnowa
7: Dichotomy as a Principle of Mnemonic Migration: Lena Gorelik

Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

JESSICA ORTNER is Associate Professor in the Department of English, Germanic, and Romance Studies at the University of Copenhagen.

"Scholars of contemporary German and German Jewish literature will find Ortner's Transcultural Memory more than useful for its framing of the contribution of writers from the former Soviet Union (and GDR) to current debates on German (and more generally Western) memory culture. More than this, however, its close readings will open up new ways of seeing key texts in the emerging canon of contemporary German Jewish literature." MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW
"Meticulously researched and elegantly written... Ortner's Transcultural Memory and European Identity in Contemporary German-Jewish Migrant Literature is a masterfully written and accessible study that sheds light on a topical issue within Germany's and the EU's memory discourse as they undergo a significant temporal and geopolitical shift." GERMAN QUARTERLY

Hardcover

9781640140226

July 2022

Buy

$110.00 / £95.00

Shipping Options

Buy Ships within 2 business days

Buy

Purchasing options are not available in this country.

Ebook (EPDF)

9781787448254

July 2022

Buy

£24.99 / $29.95

Ebook (EPUB)

9781800101784

July 2022

Buy

£24.99 / $29.95

Title Details

298 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

Series: Dialogue and Disjunction: Studies in Jewish German Literature, Culture & Thought

Series Vol. Number: 10

Imprint: Camden House