Edinburgh German Yearbook 11

Edinburgh German Yearbook 11

Love, Eros, and Desire in Contemporary German-Language Literature and Culture

Edited by Helmut Schmitz, Peter Davies

New essays exploring the resurgence of the theme of romantic relationships and love in German literature since around the turn of the millennium.

While sociologists have long agreed that the problems of modern and contemporary subjectivity crystallize in the issue of romantic relationships and love (e.g., Luhmann, Illouz, Beck, etc.), the theme of love, so crucial to the foundational text of modern German literature, Goethe's Werther, all but disappeared from German prose literature in the second half of the twentieth century. Yet over the past fifteen years German-language literature has witnessed an explosion of novels with "Liebe" in their titles as well as novels that centrally focus on intersubjective erotic and emotional relationships. A number of major contemporary writers (Treichel, Walser, Kermani, Ortheil, Maron, Zaimoglu, Genazino) have written Liebesromane or novels in which significant sociohistorical questions are refracted through the love relationships of their protagonists. German film likewise has increasingly thematized love relationships under postromantic conditions, e.g. in the films of the Berlin school. Simultaneously, the development of both feminist and LGBTQ politics over the past decades has exploded the heteronormative discourses of desire in a way that has both expanded and enriched the lovers' discourse, while recent developments of urban (hetero)sexuality have expanded the previously available models of expressing erotic relationships in ways that are reminiscent of the utopian ending of Goethe's first version of Stella. The present collection offers a wide-ranging set of essays on these developments.

Contributors: Esther K. Bauer, Sven Glawion, Silke Horstkotte, Sarra Kassem, Maria Roca Lizarazu, Helmut Schmitz, Angelika Vybiral.

Helmut Schmitz is Reader in German at the University of Warwick. Peter Davies is Professor and Head of German at the University of Edinburgh.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Love, Literature, (Post-)Modernity: On the Re-Emergence of Love in Contemporary German Literature - Helmut Schmitz
Not so Happily Ever After: Romantic Love in Novels by Alain Claude Sulze - Esther K. Bauer
Love as Literature: Hanns-Josef Ortheil's Die große Liebe - Helmut Schmitz
Healthy Socialists and Kinky Heroes: Carnivalesque Deconstruction of Heteronormativity in Thomas Brussig's Helden wie wir - Sven Glawion
Disembodied Love and Desire: Virtual Love in Daniel Glattauer's Gut gegen Nordwind - Angelika Vybiral
Thomas Mann in Furs: Remediations of Sadomasochism in Maxim Biller's Im Kopf von Bruno Schulz and Harlem Holocaust - Maria Roca Lizarazu
Precarious Subjects, Vulnerable Love: Thomas Melle's 3000 Euro, Feridun Zaimoglu's Isabel and Julia Wolf's Alles ist jetzt - Silke Horstkotte
Love as Anathema: Social Constraints and the Demise of Desire in Fatih Akin's Gegen die Wand - Sarra Kassem

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