The role of Albania and Kosovo in the 'South-Eastern Turn' in contemporary German language literature
Citation:FAGAN, CHLOE ANN, The role of Albania and Kosovo in the 'South-Eastern Turn' in contemporary German language literature, Trinity College Dublin.School of Lang, Lit. & Cultural Studies, 2020
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The so-called Eastern Turn in contemporary German-language literature references writers from Eastern Europe and former Yugoslavia who have settled in the German-speaking countries since the fall of Communism , as defined by Brigid Haines (2008: 136).1 Research on this Eastern Turn has failed to include authors with Albanian or Kosovar backgrounds writing in German, or texts which take Albanian and Kosovar issues and recent history as their primary focus. The primary objective of this thesis is then to address this gap and to expand this turn into a South-Eastern Turn which would include such Albanian and Kosovar migrant authors. I will begin by defining my understanding of Interkulturelle Literatur and then contextualize these Albanian and Kosovar texts within this. Using work on the migrant subject and migrant biography (Wiebke Sievers, Sandra Vlasta, Michael Bürger-Koftis, Irmgard Ackermann, Brigid Haines, and Hannes Schweiger) and on hybrid identities (Homi K. Bhabha), I will research migrant subject portrayals on these Albanian and Kosovar texts and their potential for going against stereotypical migrant representations and binary identity concepts. Following on from this, I will define my understanding of cultural trauma and then research how texts by different authors approach the traumas of the Communist dictatorship in Albania, the transitionary period following, and the Kosovo war. Ultimately, this thesis will analyse how these Albanian and Kosovar texts have contributed to our understanding of these events, as well as how they have contributed to the Eastern Turn thematically and aesthetically. 1 Haines, Brigid. The Eastern Turn in Contemporary German, Swiss and Austrian Literature . Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe. Volume 16, Issue 2 (2008): 135-49. The first content chapter will examine images of Albanian migrants in contemporary language literature, focusing on texts by Ilir Ferra ( Halber Atem (2008), Minus (2015)), and Andrea Grill (Tränenlachen (2008)), which criticize the position of migrants in Austrian society, and point to the limits of the discourse, as well exploring other possible intercultural identity configurations. The second chapter shifts this focus from the image of Albanian migrants to images of Albania in German-language literature in Andreas Izquierdo s König von Albanien (2008), Anila Wilms' Das albanische Öl (2012), and Terézia Mora s Das Ungeheuer (2012), and examines how such images are informed by a long tradition of Balkanist stereotypes relating to Albania. The third chapter treats the literary responses in German-language literature to the Albanian Communist regime. Ilir Ferra's Rauchschatten (2012, 2015), Jonila Godole's Der Kuss des Führers (2003) and Alida Hisku's Die Hofnärrin des Diktators (2009) demonstrate the lack of memory work done in Albania on this period and by writing at a remove from their countries of origin in their adopted homelands (Austria and Germany), aim to complicate the official narrative on this recent Albanian cultural trauma. The final chapter considers another cultural trauma that of the Kosovo war and how literary texts written in German respond to it. The chapter examines texts written by Germans and Austrians treating the Kosovo war (Böttcher s Y (2016), Norbert Gstrein's Das Handwerk des Tötens (2003)) as well as texts produced by other authors with a migration background (Anna Kim s Die gefrorene Zeit (2008), Jan Viktorija Kocman s Reigentänze (2001) and Ein Stück gebrannter Erde (2003), Senthuran Varatharajah s Vor der Zunahme der Zeichen (2016)). Cultural traumas are linked to the effects of the processes of social change and how they disrupt the individual s frame of reference; these texts demonstrate how the authors portray the attempt to understand individual identity in the aftermath of such an experience. Ultimately, this chapter seeks to explore how these texts contribute to our understanding of these events and processes. The conclusion then highlights the ongoing relevance and importance of such texts in treating these topics as well as offering potential further points of study in comparative literature, by contextualising the works examined in this thesis as part of Albanian and Kosovar (and Serbian) diaspora writing on the cultural traumas of the Hoxha Communist dictatorship and the legacy of the Kosovo war, respectively.
Author: FAGAN, CHLOE ANN
Publisher:Trinity College Dublin. School of Lang, Lit. & Cultural Studies. Discipline of German
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available