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This volume is a critical companion to the works of Herta Müller, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009. Müller (1953-) is a Romanian-German novelist, essayist and producer of collages whose work has been compared with that of W.G. Sebald and Franz Kafka. The Nobel Committee described her as a writer 'who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed'. In works such as Niederungen (Nadirs), Herztier (The Land of Green Plums), Reisende auf einem Bein (Traveling on One Leg), and Atemschaukel (The Hunger Angel), all written in German but translated worldwide, Müller addresses vital contemporary issues such as dictatorship, migration, memory, and the ongoing legacy of fascist and communist rule in Europe. Her works are written in a rich, poetic language which imbues them with great power and depth. They exceed national boundaries and have universal appeal; they speak to a global audience attuned to political oppression and its lasting effects.
This volume, containing contributions by an international team of scholars, introduces the work of one of Europe's foremost contemporary writers to a world audience. Individual chapters deal with Müller's major works and her volumes of collages. Other chapters explore her poetics and the Romanian background as well as themes, such as gender and life writing, running throughout her work, and her worldwide reception through the media and the medium of translation.
Brigid Haines is Reader in German at Swansea University. Her research focuses on gender and culture, and the 'eastern turn' in contemporary German literature. She is the author (with Margaret Littler) of Contemporary German Women's Writing: Changing the Subject, and of Dialogue and Narrative Designin the Works of Adalbert Stifter, and has edited books on Herta Müller and (with Lyn Marven) Libuse Monikova. Lyn Marven is Lecturer in German at the University of Liverpool. Her research focuses particularly on contemporary literature, and she is the author of Body and Narrative in Contemporary Literatures in German: Herta Muller, Libuse Monikova and Kerstin Hensel; she has also edited volumes on Libuse Monikova (with Brigid Haines), Cultural Impact (with Rebecca Braun) and Emerging Novelists (with Stuart Taberner).
Table of Contents
1. Introduction, Brigid Haines and Lyn Marven 2. Beyond Realism:Herta Muller's Poetics, Katrin Kohl 3. Beyond the Land of Green Plums: Romanian culture and language in Herta Muller's work, Alex Drace-Francis 4. The Presence of the Unresolved Recent Past: Herta Muller and the Securitate, Valentina Glajar 5. 'Stadt und Schadel', 'Reisende' and 'Verlorene': city, self and survival in Herta Muller's Reisende auf einem Bein, Moray McGowan 6. A Mutilated Fox Fur: Examining the Contexts of Imagery in Der Fuchs war damals schon der Jager, Beverly Eddy 7. 'Macht nichts, macht nichts, sagte ich mir, macht nichts': Herta Muller's Romanian Novels, Norbert Otto Eke 8. Return from the Archipelago: Herta Muller's Atemschaukel as soft memory, Brigid Haines 9. 'So fremd war das Gebilde': The Interaction between Visual and Verbal in Herta Muller's Prose and Collages, Lyn Marven 10. Gender and the Sexual Politics of Exchange in Herta Muller's Prose, Karin Bauer 11. Eastward bound: Herta Muller's international reception, Wiebke Sievers 12. Herta Muller in Translation, Jean Boase-Beier 13. Life and Literature: Autobiography, Referentiality and Intertextuality in Herta Muller's Work, Lyn Marven 14. Famously Literary? The Nobel Prize and Herta Muller's Authorial Body, Rebecca Braun