The German Legacy in East Central Europe as Recorded in Recent German-Language Literature

The German Legacy in East Central Europe as Recorded in Recent German-Language Literature

Valentina Glajar


Camden House



The legacy of the 20th-c. German and Austrian political/cultural presence in East Central Europe, as shown in recent literature.
This study focuses on the complex legacy of the German and Austrian political and cultural presence in East Central Europe in the twentieth century. It contributes to the discussion of "German" identity in eastern Europe, and has important implications for German, Austrian, and East European studies. It addresses the specific situations of the former Habsburg regions of Bukovina (the Ukraine/Romania), Moravia (the Czech Republic), and Banat (Romania) as illustrated in contemporary literature by German-speaking authors, such as Herta Müller, Erica Pedretti, Gregor von Rezzori, and Edgar Hilsenrath. The works of these authors constitute contrastive historiographic narratives of the multiethnic regions of East-Central Europe under a series of oppressive regimes: first Austrian imperialism, and then German and Romanian fascism in Bukovina; National Socialism in Moravia, and Communism in Romania. Valentina Glajar investigates these narratives as representations of multicultural East Central Europe in German-language literature that show the political and ethnic tensions between Germans and local peoples that marked these regions throughout the 20th century, often with tragic consequences. The study thus expands and diversifies the understanding of German literature and challenges the concept of a homogeneous German identity reaching far beyond the borders of the German-speaking countries.
Valentina Glajar is assistant professor of German at Southwest Texas State University.

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February 2004
4 black and white illustrations
195 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571132567
Format: Hardback
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, LIT004110, LIT004240
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Table of Contents

After Empire: "Postcolonial" Bukovina in Gregor von Rezzori's Blumen im Schnee (1989)
Transnistria and the Bukovinian Holocaust in Edgar Hilsenrath's Die Abenteuer des Ruben Jablonski (1999)
Narrating History and Subjectivity: Vergangenheitsbewältigung in Erica Pedretti's Engste Heimat (1995)Engste Heimat (1995)
The Discourse of Discontent: Politics and Dictatorship in Herta Müller's Herztier (1994)
Works Cited


[The] study offers a fine balance of historical and literary analysis and helps to broaden our understanding of German-language minority literature. GERMAN QUARTERLY

[S]ophisticated and well written. This is interdisciplinary -- and intercultural -- scholarship on a high level. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

Glajar's monograph is well written and well researched. She combines the study of history, culture, and literature to give the reader new insights into the German language presence in East Central Europe. SOUTH ATLANTIC REVIEW

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