Transcultural Memory and European Identity in Contemporary German-Jewish Migrant Literature [Hardback]

Jessica Ortner(Author); Jessica Ortner Nielsen(Author)

ISBN: 9781640140226 | Published by: Camden House | Series: Dialogue and Disjunction: Studies in Jewish German Literature, Culture & Thought | Volume: 8 | Year of Publication: 2022 | 270p, H9 x W6,
Status: Not Yet Published - Available for pre-order

Transcultural Memory and European Identity in Contemporary German-Jewish Migrant Literature


Preserving the memory of the Holocaust as a moral and ethical limit case is key to the European Union's attempt to construct a pan-European identity. But with the Eastern expansion of the EU, new member states have challenged theHolocaust's singularity, calling for the traumas of the Stalinist Gulag to be acknowledged much more explicitly. Thus even though Europe has been unified politically, it is divided by its diverging perceptions of the past.
Jessica Ortner argues that German-Jewish writers from Eastern Europe and the GDR who migrated to Germany as refugees during or after the Cold War have responded critically to the need to widen European cultural memory to include thetraumatic experiences of the East. The writers focused on include Katja Petrowskaja, Olga Grjasnowa, Lena Gorelik, Vladimir Vertlib, and Barbara Honigmann. A central focus of the book is the "traveling of memories" from Eastern Europe and the GDR to (Western) Germany and Austria. Introducing the term "literature of mnemonic migration," Ortner asserts that these authors' writings negotiate the mnemonic divide between East and West. They criticize the normative memory politics of both Germany and the Soviet Union and address not only the politically explosive question of how to remember both National Socialism and Communism but also the status of Jews in contemporary Germany.

Table of Contents

Introduction-Writing Against the Backdrop of European Memory Politics after 1989
Part I: Politics and Aesthetics of Memory-Overcoming the Mnemonic Division of Europe?
Chapter 1: Political Imaginations of Europe
Chapter 2: Artistic Narratives of Europe
Part II: Imaginations of Europe-Nazism and Stalinism Rethought
Chapter 3: Dislocation to an Intermediate Place-Vladimir Vertlib
Chapter 4: Family Memory as a Vessel of Amnesia-Katja Petrowskaja
Chapter 5: The East-West Division Through the Lens of the Divided Germany-Barbara Honigmann
Part III: Contesting Germany's Social Framework of Memory
Chapter 6: Traumatic Recollections-Olga Grjasnowa
Chapter 7: Dichotomy as a Principle of Mnemonic Migration-Lena Gorelik

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