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Book Review

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In this brief monograph based on her dissertation, Leslie Morris sets out to achieve a series of aims: to contest the alleged divide between Bachmann's poetry and prose, to counter "the myth of her apolitical poetic voice" (10), to address the presence and absence of history in her poetry, and, finally, to consider how to read Bachmann's poetic ceuvre in light of historical developments in Germany and Austria in the 1980s and 1990s. In a sense, Morris is also trying to rehabilitate post-war aesthetic modemism from a reductive, binary mode of criticism that separates aesthetics and politics. Following in the tradition of Bachmann scholars such as Kurt Bartsch, Hans Holler, and Bemd Witte, Morris argues for historically grounded readings of Bachmann's poetry. What distinguishes Morris's analysis from those of her predecessors is her reading of the poems both as reflections of history and as a shaping or writing of history, a phenomenon she labels "poetic historiography" (17).

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Copyright © 2001State University of New York at Binghamton. This article first appeared in Modern Austrian Literature 34:3/4 (2001), 104-105.

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