Into the Groove

February 2015
6 black and white illustrations
282 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571139184
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, MUS029000, SOC022000

Into the Groove

Popular Music and Contemporary German Fiction

Andrew Wright Hurley

A new and wide-ranging view of the confluence, since the 1990s, of the fields of contemporary literature and popular music in Germany.

In Germany the decade beginning in the mid-1990s brought an unprecedented "confusion of the spheres" of literature and popular music. Popular musicians "crossed over" into the literary field, editors and writers called for contemporary German literature to become more like popular music, writers attempted to borrow structural aspects from music or paid new attention to popular music at the thematic level. Others sought to raise their profiles by means of performance models taken from the popular music field. This book sets out to make sense of this situation. It argues for more inclusive and detailed attention to what it calls "musico-centric fiction," for which it discerns intellectual precursors going back to the 1960s and also identifies examples written since the turn of the millennium, after the would-be death of "pop literature." In doing so, it focuses on fiction and paratextual interventions by authors including Peter Handke, Rolf Dieter Brinkmann, Rainald Goetz, Andreas Neumeister, Thomas Meinecke, Matthias Politycki, Frank Goosen, Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre, Thomas Brussig, Karen Duve, and Kerstin Grether.

Andrew Wright Hurley is Senior Lecturer in German and Cultural Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

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Table of Contents

Preludes and Returns: Popular Music, the '68 Generation, and the Literarization of the Jukebox
Enter the Double Agent: The German Popular Musician as Novelist
Techno-Lit: Electronica and Its Impacts on Fiction
Analogue is Better: Rock- and Pop-centric Literature
After the GDR's "Musical Niche Society"? Popular Music in the Literature of Thomas Brussig
The Gendering of Popular Music in the Novels of Karen Duve and Kerstin Grether
Conclusion: Out of the Groove?


Hurley displays the most thorough knowledge of his subject in all its complexities and equally of the large corpus of secondary literature. Furthermore, he combines his exemplary scholarship with a readable style. [.] Hurley is to be congratulated on a volume, which is suitable for all those interested in the subject. Even those already knowledgeable are likely to discover something new and worthwhile. Stuart Parkes, JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN STUDIES

[O]ffers a lucid and compelling account of the symbiotic relation between written literature and popular music [..] a complex and wide-ranging study. This reader is already finding references to Hurley's study in the footnotes of scholars and research students working on this topic. As such it will and should be seen as an important contribution to an increasingly important field. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES

[A] good introduction for English-speaking readers interested in the intersections between German literature and conceptualizations of "pop." . . . The book is well researched and successfully situates Popliteratur in the context of word-and-music studies. It is a serious study of a phenomenon that has not received enough attention, at least in English-language scholarship. Hurley firmly establishes fruitful connections between literary studies and popular music studies and provides a nuanced discussion of post-1960s and post-reunification national identity in Germany. MONATSHEFTE

Andrew Wright Hurley's Into the Groove provides a substantial and comprehensive account of the intersecting spheres of popular music and contemporary German literature. . . . The most interesting chapter describes attempts of several writers to transfer formal principles of electronic music to literary writing by, for example, writing as if using a mixing desk, "sampling" and manipulating textual material from the historical archive, or trying to render verbally minimal techno's repetitive, nonlinear, and non-teleological structure. . . . Hurley has compiled a wealth of primary and secondary literature on the subject, [yielding] a thorough, knowledgeable, detailed, well organized, and highly readable account of current German pop-musico-literary relations. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW [Karoline Johanna Baumann]

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