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Book Review

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As I read through the selections in Ingeborg Bachmann and Christa Wolf: Selected Prose and Drama I was reminded of the many associations and connections between the two writers that I had found so profound during my graduate school years. While works by Bachmann and Wolf have been translated and are available in English, this is the first volume to juxtapose their writings with the express purpose of highlighting the parallels between them. The editor's introduction seeks to situate the oeuvres of both authors in historical and political context and offers justification for placing the two together in one volume. Arguing that Bachmann and Wolf are «the two most important women writers of postwar German literature» (vii), Herminghouse notes that the generation, gender and experiences of fascism they share give rise to productive points of comparison between their lives and works. By outlining what she perceives to be the primary links between the two writers, i.e., a common interest in the problems and potential of language; the evolution of feminist perspectives; political engagement; working through the past; and an emphasis on human freedom, Herminghouse establishes a framework for the reader that is particularly helpful to those unfamiliar with contemporary German literature.

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Copyright © 2000 University of Kentucky. This article first appeared in Colloquia Germanica 33:3 (2000), 313-315.

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Apr 20 2016
Apr 20 2016