Barbara Grüning

The representation of third places in the novels of eastern German authors

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: city, acknowledgment, Heimat, narrative literature, German Democratic Republic.

The novels of East German writers often offer the possibility to reflect upon the difficult sociocultural acknowledgment between East and West Germany after Reunification. While the official narratives symbolize the festive character of the inter-German «meeting», most of the East German novels make visible the friction points of this meeting by narrating the everyday life in the urban space. By showing the urban transformations in East Germany the novels highlight how East Germans need a place to feel acknowledged and to tell their own story. Furthermore, the novels allow the memories and imageries entangled in the urban context to emerge, thus offering a peculiar point of view with which to look at the question of a shared belonging. Indeed we can argue that the novels constitute a terrain of mediation and exploration where both East and West Germans can image new forms and places of sociability and togetherness.

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