Around and After the “Wende”: Five Representative Poems
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The phenomenon of the German Wende of 1989 has elicited various responses, both literary and otherwise. Especially illuminating are those of the twoauthors Volker Braun and Hans Magnus Enzensberger, arguably the leading poetsin former East and West Germany, respectively. Braun’s “O Chicago!O Widerspruch!” and Enzensberger’s “Aufbruchsstimmung” concur inthat they voice criticism and serious doubts concerning German reunificationand what it entails, whereas the two writers differ markedly, with one exceptionperhaps, in their commitment to international, indeed global, problems andevents, as witness the remaining three poems. The discussion of these threetexts is supplemented by a brief look at the concomitant prose publicationsof Braun and Enzensberger; also, general questions of intertextuality andthe translatability thereof are discussed, if only in passing.
KeywordsProse Holy Ghost Scotch Whisky East German Condition Socialism Retreat
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