Structuring Memory: Narrative Perspectives in German Autobiography

Rebecca Steltner

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Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject German Studies - Comparative Literature, grade: 65 (ca. 2+), University of Cambridge (Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages), course: German Autobiography, 24 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The Poetics of Memory and Fragment in Max Frisch’s Montauk and Peter Handke’s Wunschloses Unglück

Nägele warns of the dangers of proclaiming a general trend towards autobiographical fiction in the 60s and 70s and de Man even doubts the existence and status of the genre. Therefore, I want to aim at a simple comparative perspective and just look at the comments Max Frisch and Peter Handke make on memory (and so inevitably also on the self and our perception of self) in Montauk (1975) and Wunschloses Unglück (1974).

The extent to which these works really are autobiographical is irrelevant. It is not whether or not a text is autobiographical and what it tells us about the author’s life that is interesting. How one author fictionalises a personal event is also obviously impossible for criticism to analyse (and subconscious). What interests me is not how Montauk (M) and Wunschloses Unglück (WU) are two examples of the genre of autobiography but what they disclose about the processes of literary production in general and what this can reveal about our perception and reminiscence of experiences, and how it contributes to the ‘invention’ of the self.


GRIN Verlag




ca. 16

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