What happens when the world in which people have crafted identities for themselves and lived their lives suddenly disappears? How does a person -- or a nation -- confront such a shock? From 1990 to 1993, at an unparalleled moment in German history, Olaf Georg Klein interviewed almost a hundred fellow former East German citizens, probing their experiences of the sudden collapse of the German Democratic Republic, then crafting that material into twelve first-person narratives. The result is a literary account whose narrators include representatives from the cities and the countryside, from young and old, from the East German power elite and the resistance, as well as from those in position to be critical of both the GDR and united Germany. The book was a sensation in Germany upon its publication in 1994, and the translation will be of interest to students and scholars in history and political science, sociology, psychology, and literary studies. It includes an introduction and extensive annotations to assist the reader in understanding the East German and unified German contexts.
Olaf Georg Klein's novel Aftermath was published in translation by Northwestern University Press in 1999. Ann McGlashan is Associate Professor of German and Dwight D. Allman is Associate Professor of Political Science, both at Baylor University.
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 330 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
Klein saw his work as "a book of histories" of how individuals confront the past and present when their political "system" evaporates.... The interviewees' hopes and fears are poignantly illuminated by the virtually verbatim transcripts.... A valuable resource for students of history and political science. CHOICE
Most of us have an apparent idea of what the word "unification" means: two becoming one, or perhaps the formation of something new from two parts that fuse. By contrast, German unification in 1989-90 was, from a legal point of view, an asymmetrical process.. To West Germans everything remained the same; to East Germans suddenly everything was different: they were "trained GDR citizens without a GDR.". In [this book], twelve people rethink their childhood, career, and life in the GDR and afterwards. The oldest narrator was born in 1925, the youngest in 1974. None of them was a high-ranking representative of the GDR. Their stories answer many questions, particularly concerning their attitude toward ancien regime..Even if the finer points of language can only be noticed in the original, the sensitive translation by Ann McGlashan successfully performs the balancing act between preserving the original and providing a version accessible to English-speaking readers. H-NET