"Life writing," a genre classification increasingly accepted among scholars of literature and other disciplines, encompasses not just autobiography and biography, but also memoirs, diaries, letters, and interviews. Whether produced as events unfolded or long after the event, all forms of life writing are attempts by individuals to make sense of their experiences. In many such texts, the authors reassess their lives against the background of a broader public debate about the past. This book of essays examines German life writing after major turning points in twentieth-century German history: the First World War, the Nazi era, the postwar division of Germany, and the collapse of socialism and German unification. The volume is distinctive because it combines an overview of academic approaches to the study of life writing with a set of German-language case studies. In this respect it goes further than existing studies, which often present life-writing material without indicating how it might fit into our broader understanding of a particular culture or historical period. Contributors: Rebecca Braun, Magnus Brechtken, Holger Brohm, Birgit Dahlke, Pauline Eyre, Mary Fulbrook, Ute Hirsekorn, Sara Jones, J. J. Long, Anne Peiter, Joanne Sayner, Dennis Tate, Roger Woods. Birgit Dahlke is Professor of German Literature at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany; Dennis Tate is Emeritus Professor of German Studies at the University of Bath, UK; Roger Woods is Professor of German and a Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, UK.
Subjects: Language & Literature, History
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