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Title: 'Ein training im ich-sagen' : personal authenticity in the prose work of Günter de Bruyn
Author: Evans, D.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1995
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Despite winning the prestigious Heinrich-Mann-Preis for Der Hohlweg (1963), Günter de Bruyn, the GDR author, considered the novel to be flawed; he had been constrained to force the projected autobiographical account of his wartime experiences into the uncongenial mould of a Socialist Realist Entwicklungsroman. Taking this novel as an initial point of reference, the present study charts the way in which a tension between private and public forces has shaped all his prose work. In particular, a marked discrepancy emerges between de Bruyn's stated reticence about writing openly about himself and a consistent recourse to what might be termed personal authenticity. The appearance of Zwischenbilanz (1992), the first volume of his memoirs, can be seen as the natural culmination of his career and represents a corrective to Der Hohlweg. The publications between these two works can be divided into two phases, each marking de Bruyn's development as a writer. Buridans Esel (1968) and Preisverleihung (1972), the novels comprising the first phase, are both relatively conformist, as de Bruyn sought his authentic literary voice. The novels of the next phase, Märkische Forschungen (1978) and Neue Herrlichkeit (1984), are much more critical works. This study will show Das Leben des Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (1975) to be pivotal in de Bruyn's career. Ostensibly a biography, it criticises aspects of GDR life, such as censorship, reflecting de Bruyn's greater confidence. In addition, the author's extensive research into Germany's cultural past, surveying subjective writing in specific, may be read as a rejection of Socialist Realism in favour of literature which paradoxically achieves universality through an intensely personal medium.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available