by Thomas Fox
University of Michigan Press, 1993
Paper: 978-0-472-06514-1 | Cloth: 978-0-472-09514-8
Library of Congress Classification PT3723.F68 1993
Dewey Decimal Classification 838.914099431

Border Crossings is an accessible and comprehensive overview of the work of prose fiction writers in what was the German Democratic Republic. Thomas C. Fox introduces readers to the best and most important East German writers—among them Christa Wolf, Jurek Becker, Anna Seghers, Stefan Heym, and Franz Fühmann—restricting his study to work that is available in English translation so that readers who do not know German will be able to read for themselves the literature he discusses. During a period of forty years, writers in the German Democratic Republic struggled with increasing success to free themselves from a smothering and paternalistic governmental embrace, thus anticipating, and helping to constitute, the events of 1989. In its relentless interrogation of the status quo, in its persistent ability to create alternatives, and in its call for more openness, literature in East Germany served as an outlet for energies and ideas that might have been channeled, in the West, into politics, philosophy, or journalism. In addition to discussing the role that literature played in shaping historical events, Fox shows that it can be appreciated simply as literature, outside of its political contexts.

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