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Cultural memory, identity and representations of flight and expulsion

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TitleInfo (type = uniform)
Title
Cultural memory, identity and representations of flight and expulsion
Name (type = personal)
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Diers
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Kai Artur
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Kai Artur Diers
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author
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Fatima
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Advisory Committee
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Fatima Naqvi
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chair
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Martha
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Advisory Committee
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Martha Helfer
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internal member
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Levine
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Michael
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Advisory Committee
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Michael Levine
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internal member
Name (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Kosta
NamePart (type = given)
Barbara
Affiliation
Advisory Committee
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Barbara Kosta
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outside member
Name (type = corporate)
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Rutgers University
Role
RoleTerm (authority = RULIB)
degree grantor
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Graduate School - New Brunswick
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school
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Text
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theses
OriginInfo
DateCreated (qualifier = exact)
2007
DateOther (qualifier = exact); (type = degree)
2007
Language
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English
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electronic
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application/pdf
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Extent
v, 194 pages
Abstract (type = abstract)
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the topic of the expulsion of Germans after 1945 has received more attention in the wider public sphere, professional historical and in fictional writing than ever before. As a consequence, over the last years the field of German Studies has developed an enormous interest in this topic, which is part of the recent discourse of German victimhood during World War II. The issue of flight and expulsion is intimately related to the ongoing evolution and also construction of a German cultural identity through the creation of a 'usable past.'
This dissertation examines the interdependence of aesthetic representations of flight and expulsion with the development, emergence and constitution of cultural memory as well as the effect of this experience on individual identity and that of German society. The textual analysis of four fictional works is located at the intersection of history, sociology and literary studies. The genre Vertreibungsliteratur seems perfectly suited to elucidate the difficulties that German society has in finding a way to dissolve the rigid dichotomy of victim vs perpetrator without marginalizing or neglecting either side.
I address three main points in conjunction with the literary texts I discuss: first, the circumstances that led to the emergence of the--now widely rejected--notion of a 'taboo' surrounding the discourse on German victimhood. In the discussion of Günter Grass's Im Krebsgang (2002) it becomes evident that it is rather the problem of contextualization in a particular political climate that compelled Grass to nurture this popular view of a taboo that only he can break. Secondly, the analysis of Siegfried Lenz's Heimatmuseum (1978) suggests that this text can be read as an allegory to the evolution and character of a normative and constructed German cultural memory.
Thirdly, Arno Schmidt's Leviathan (1949) and Reinhard Jirgl's Die Unvollendeten (2003) reveal the advantage of modernist writing in terms of its potential to represent the devastating impact of trauma on identity.
Note (type = degree)
Ph.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 176-193).
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
German
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Grass, Günter, 1927- --Criticism and interpretation
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Lenz, Siegfried, 1926- --Criticism and interpretation
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Jirgl, Reinhard, 1953- --Criticism and interpretation
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Schmidt, Arno, 1917-1979--Criticism and interpretation
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Refugees
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Refugees--Eastern Europe
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TitleInfo
Title
Graduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Identifier (type = local)
rucore19991600001
Identifier (type = hdl)
http://hdl.rutgers.edu/1782.2/rucore10001600001.ETD.15815
Identifier
ETD_370
Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/T36M378S
Location
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NjNbRU
Subject (authority = lcsh/lcnaf)
Geographic
Germany
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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The author owns the copyright to this work.
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Open
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Name
Kai Diers
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Copyright holder
Affiliation
Rutgers University. Graduate School - New Brunswick
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Non-exclusive ETD license
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Author Agreement License
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I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
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