In the late 1990s, in the wake of German unification, multiculturalism, and globalization, a surge of historical novels about German colonialism in Africa and its previously neglected legacies hit the German literary scene. This development, accelerated by the centenary in 2004 of Germany's colonial war in South-West Africa, has continued to the present, making colonialism an established theme of literary memorialization alongside Germany's dominant memorythemes -- National Socialism and the Holocaust, the former GDR and its demise in the Wende, and, more recently, "1968."
This is the first comprehensive study of contemporary German literature's intense engagement withGerman colonialism and with Germany's wider involvement in European colonialism. Building on the author's decade of research and publication in the field, the book discusses some fifty novels by German, Swiss, and Austrian writers, among them Hans Christoph Buch, Alex Capus, Christof Hamann, Lukas Hartmann, Ilona Maria Hilliges, Giselher W. Hoffmann, Dieter Kuhn, Hermann Schulz, Gerhard Seyfried, Thomas von Steinaecker, Uwe Timm, Ilija Trojanow, and Stephan Wackwitz. Drawing on international postcolonial theory, the German tradition of cross-cultural literary studies, and on memory studies, the book brings the hitherto neglected German case to the international debate in postcolonial literary studies.
Dirk Goettsche is Professor of German at the University of Nottingham.
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of pages: 494
Weight: 860 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 34 mm
[Goettsche's] impressive study, in which he takes into account over fifty novels, pursues in a nearly encyclopedic manner the extent to which contemporary German literature reflects and represents the German colonial period in Africa. . . . [The book] represents an important contribution to German postcolonial studies, since it provides a richly detailed and informative overview of the content, themes, and formal aspects of the novels in question. MONATSHEFTE [M]agisterial . . . . Goettsche tackles his vast corpus of material with a re?ned and elaborate instrumentarium that differentiates clearly between inter-, trans-, and cross-culturality . . . . The study consolidates existing research in the most comprehensive way (plentiful contributions exist on the more intriguing works by the likes of Timm, Trojanow, Capus, Stangl, and others; almost none exist on the majority of the material). It thereby provides the touchstone for any future engagement with the subject-matter. Many of the novels discussed are also eminently teachable. * MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW *
[A]n important intervention in the steadily growing field of German postcolonial studies . . . . Goettsche's monumental work provides a wide-ranging and in-depth study of colonialism in German-language literature, supported by the inclusion of a wealth of secondary material in English and in German and historical overviews of the German presence in African colonies. . . . [O]f interest to anyone working in German studies but also to scholars of postcolonial literature more generally, since many of Goettsche's insights are equally applicable to a British or French context, and he raises important questions about appropriate ways of remembering Empire and the legacies of colonialism in contemporary Europe. * JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN STUDIES *
The study is almost encyclopedic in its review of the extensive corpus of texts, and provides a meticulous scholarly apparatus. . . . Goettsche's volume may be seen as a foundational text inaugurating the birth of a sub?eld of German literary studies. I look forward to seeing the results of the further productive efforts this study is sure to inspire. -- Nina Berman * COMPARATIVE LITERATURE STUDIES *
[C]ompulsory reading for all who concern themselves with contemporary literature and German colonial history. -- Sabine Wilke * GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW *