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Title: 'Was noch nicht sein kann, muß wenigstens immer im Werden bleiben' : the prose-writing of the 'second generation' of GDR women writers before, during and after the 'Wende'
Author: Alldred, Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0001 3415 1729
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis provides an analysis of the development of women's writing in East Germany prior to, during and following the collapse of the GDR, through a selection of important prose works published between the early 1980s and the middle 1990s. Seven authors, representative of the GDR's lesser-known 'second generation', form the focus of the study: Brigitte Burmeister, Helga Königsdorf, Helga Schubert, Helga Schütz, Brigitte Struzyk, Marion Titze and Rosemarie Zeplin. The thesis shows how the established functions of critical GDR women's writing of the period up to the 1980s - to assist the process to self-realisation and provide 'Lebenshilfe' for an unusually wide readership - became increasingly problematic during the turbulent period of upheaval under analysis, marked by the disillusionment of the 1980s with state socialism, the disorientation of the 'Wende' and the polarisation of opinion amongst ex-GDR intellectuals in the aftermath of German unification. Close analysis of the work of my chosen authors nevertheless reveals a widespread determination to continue fulfilling this socially important role while seeking to explore new means of creative self-expression, a complex approach which stands in clear contrast to the calls made after unification by some cultural commentators for literature to be elevated to a purely aesthetic art form. The methodology adopted takes the form of comparative textual analysis, aiming to identify distinctive narrative strategies and shifts in the moral and political perspective on the GDR in the creative work of my chosen authors at each stage of this socio-political transformation. Extensive use is made of the authors' public statements and essayistic writing, as well as of the available secondary literature. The findings of the author-interviews I carried out in 1996 are also fully integrated into the text of this thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: East German authors