Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Christoph Hein : the concept and development of the role of the chronicler
Author: Rayner, Julian
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1997
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
The thesis is an examination of the concept of the chronicler and the nature of the chronicle as developed by the GDR author Christoph Hein from the theoretical writing of the philosopher Walter Benjamin. It examines the role of the chronicler as portrayed in Benjamin's essay "Der Erzahler", and his theses on history "Uber den Begriff der Geschichte", and the way in which this was adopted and developed by Hein as the basis of his understanding of the nature and role of the author in GDR society. The role of the author as chronicler is fundamental to the understanding of Hein's literary production. A full and detailed analysis of the author's theoretical development of the concept of the chronicler, and its application in his works of prose fiction during his time as a writer in the GDR, has hitherto not been undertaken. The first chapter aims to examine Hein's understanding of history and the role of the chronicler in the context of his own theoretical writing. It begins with his analysis of the nature of historical understanding and the writing of history as practised in the GDR presented in the essay "Die funfte Grundrechenart". An examination then follows of Benjamin's concept of the chronicle and its adoption and development by Hein, based on interviews and essays by the author. It concludes with Hein's critique of progress in history through the examination of the essay "Maelzel's Chess Player goes to Hollywood. Das Verschwinden des kiinstlerischen Produzenten im Zeitalter der technischen Reproduzierbarkeit", in the context of Benjamin's historical theses "Uber den Begriff der Geschichte". The following chapters examine the role of the chronicler and the nature of the chronicle as they are presented in the prose fiction which Hein produced as an author in the GDR. The novella 'Drachenblut', the novel 'Horns Ende', and the "Erzahlung" 'Der Tangospieler', as well as the collection of shorter prose fiction 'Nachtfahrt und fruher Morgen'. The main finding of this thesis is that Hein develops the concept of the chronicle from the theoretical writings of Walter Benjamin into an intellectual position as a GDR author, by which he defines not only his role as an author, but which he also uses as a model for the creation of his prose fiction. Through his literary writing, he criticises the historical understanding which prevailed in the GDR and the idea of progress in history. His works are literary contributions which aim to broaden the discussion of the problems of social life in the GDR and the position of the author in relation to the state.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available