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Title: "Ruhe, jetzt spreche ich" : zur Reflexion engagierter Autorschaft in Elfriede Jelineks Todsündenzyklus
Author: Tuschling, Jeanine Katharina
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 7735
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2010
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Elfriede Jelinek is one of the few German-speaking contemporary authors who have attracted intense attention of both critics and scholars while being alive. After the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004 even more analyses on her works have been published. In spite of her apparent presence in the public realm, critics tend to read her works as "authorless" texts, in which the narrative voices merge and make it impossible to discern either personal or authorial voices. The author's concern with post-modern and poststructuralist theories such as Roland Barthes' have reinforced the tendency to marginalize the topic of authorship in Jelinek scholarship. This thesis aims to analyse authorial voices and motives in Jelinek's prose texts Lust, Gier and Neid and to contextualize them with the images of the author that were produced outside the texts, namely in the media and in literary criticism. I would thereby like to demonstrate that these figurations form an important connection between text and context and help provide an insight into central motifs of Jelinek's works. The abovementioned novels are suitable for such an analysis, as they help establish a line of development of the authorship motif throughout the three decades of Jelinek's literary production. Furthermore, this analysis closes an existing gap in research on Jelinek as there exists no study that compares the three novels. The novel Gier has so far mostly been ignored by research and there are very few studies on the online project Neid. Dealing with prose texts instead of plays has the advantage of being able to highlight the function of the narrative comment that has developed into an authorial voice over time. The purpose of this study is neither the revision of the existence of the criticism of the notions of the author or the subject within the texts nor shall it be to establish a biographical link between aesthetics and author. The idea is to show that Jelinek considers the relationship between life and literature, between author and public as essential mechanisms of power. These cannot just be annihilated through criticising them, or by declaring the author as irrelevant. Jelinek's reflections on authorship are based on a cultural critique that deals with the conceptualisation of bourgeois subjectivity and thereafter with the notion of the authorial discourse. Jelinek's authorial criticism draws on Foucault's theoretical writings on the social and historical genesis of the notion of authorship that he has coined in the term 'author-function'. Questioning the instance of the speaker, Jelinek simultaneously reflects on the conditions and strategies of authorization of who is speaking. Jelinek's literary self-reflections speak of an authorial self-understanding that could be seen as a derivative form of engaged writing stemming from a reading of Adorno's Negative Dialectics. Drawing on Adorno, Jelinek develops a negative aesthetics that influences her authorial concept. She does not aim to develop an aesthetics suggesting a positive form of seemingly free engaged writing, but a mise-en-scène of the paradoxical constitution of authorship in modern capitalism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick ; Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland ; Women in German Studies (Organization)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PT Germanic literature