The Child's View of the Third Reich in German Literature: The Eye Among the Blind (Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs)

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9780199245659: The Child's View of the Third Reich in German Literature: The Eye Among the Blind (Oxford Modern Languages and Literature Monographs)
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This book examines the ways in which German authors have used the child's perspective to present the Third Reich. It considers how children at this time were brought up and educated to accept unquestioningly National Socialist ideology, and thus questions the possibility of a traditional naive perspective on these events. Authors as diverse as Gunter Grass, Siegfried Lenz, and Christa Wolf, together with many less well-known writers, have all used this perspective, and this raises the question as to why it is such a popular means of confronting the enormity of the Third Reich. This study asks whether this perspective is an evasive strategy, a means of gaining new insights into the period, or a means of discovering a new language which had not been tainted by Nazism. This raises and addresses issues central to a post-war aesthetic in German writing.

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Review:

... a crucial study of a major topic - the role of young people in the imaginative writing dealing with the Third Reich ... The study's first two chapters, along with its excellent introduction, which comprise two-thirds of the body of the text, are path-breaking and most important in their discussion of such major authors as Christa Wolf and Günter Grass and such neglected ones as Gert Hofmann and Anna Gmeyner. (MODERNISM/modernity)

The seriousness of Pinfold's study cannot be denied: the breadth of the terrain covered, the soundness of its scholarly apparatus with cogent quotations in the original German, sans translation, copious and detailed footnotes, and a most helpful and up-to-date bibliography spanning twenty pages. (MODERNISM/modernity)

What makes this study so enjoyable is its breadth of scope, reflected not just in the number of works studied, but also in the depth of analysis, the awareness of the role of the child in German literary tradition, and the extensive use of comparison with works of French and English literature ... Pinfold's outstanding book deserves a wide readership. (Modern Language Review)

About the Author:

Debbie Pinfold is Lecturer in German, Brasenose and Merton Colleges, Oxford

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