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Edinburgh German Yearbook 1

Edinburgh German Yearbook 1: Cultural Exchange in German Literature

Eleoma Joshua
Robert Vilain
Copyright Date: 2007
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 250
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  • Book Info
    Edinburgh German Yearbook 1
    Book Description:

    The Edinburgh German Yearbook is devoted to German Studies in an international context. It publishes original English- and German-language contributions on a wide range of topics from scholars around the world. Each volumeis based on a single broad theme:

    eISBN: 978-1-57113-730-2
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)
    Eleoma Joshua

    Whilst the term “cultural transfer” is frequently met when discussing cultural transmission, that of “cultural exchange” is both underused and undertheorized. Lynne Tatlock and Matt Erlin view “cultural transfer” as intrinsically marked by a tension arising out of the power struggle for dominance between donor and recipient.¹ By identifying identity and nationality as a key cultural battlefield, they see the process of transfer as a competitive means of establishing intra-cultural relations, of breaking down homogeneity, and of constructing new and hybrid cultures.

    Cultural exchange is conceptually innovative as a transfer model because it implies the possibility of the flow or...

  4. Defining Cultural Exchange: Of Gender, the Power of Definition, and the Long Road Home
    (pp. 7-26)
    Susanne Kord

    In many ways, cultural exchange has already been defined as a symbol of modernity and postmodernity.¹ Where the term tends to occur most frequently is literature on globalization,² multiculturalism and diversity,³ identity and “otherness,”⁴ and in what I will call, for lack of a better term, the memory boom in scholarship from the 1980s to the present.⁵ In what follows, I would like to take a step back both from the term’s modernity and from the objective of “defining” it, despite my title. Instead, I would like to ask some fundamental questions about the nature of cultural exchange: What exactly...

  5. From Text to Body: The Changing Image of “Chinese Teachers” in Eighteenth-Century German Literature
    (pp. 27-44)
    Birgit Tautz

    The perception and representation of China in eighteenth-century German literature and philosophy is marked by a transformation that unfolded in parallel with a larger epistemic shift: in the course of the eighteenth century, the biblical text, hitherto the central point of reference in human thought and action, gave way to the body as an organizing principle. Since the last quarter of the eighteenth century, metaphors and images of human individuality and community have been molded on the physical, physiological, and psychological unity of human corporeality. Similarly, since then, representations of cultural alterity and cross-cultural contact have relied on images of...

  6. “Was findest Du darinne, das nicht mit der allerstrengsten Vernunft übereinkomme?”: Islam as Natural Theology in Lessing’s Writings and in the Enlightenment
    (pp. 45-62)
    Silvia Horsch

    In Friedrich Schlegel’s Philosophie der Geschichte of 1829 there is a remarkable notion about the Enlightenment and Islam. According to Schlegel, the origins of pure monotheism, which the prophet of Islam claims to have reestablished, are arguably not to be found with the patriarchs of the Old Testament, but in the philosophy of the eighteenth century, “besonders der ganz seichten und oberflächlichen”¹ Had this philosophy been earnest and consistent, it should have had the courage “den Mahomet wenn auch nicht als Propheten, doch wenigstens als den wahren Reformator der Menschheit und des Glaubens, den ersten Verkünder und großen Lehrer der...

  7. The Nordic Turn in German Literature
    (pp. 63-72)
    Gauti Kristmannsson

    The Nordic turn in many European literatures in the latter part of the eighteenth century may, as opposed to the stereotypical notion of Northern Europeans, be described as chaotic. If it is accepted that there was a Nordic turn at all, the question arises, of what kind? Was it Scandinavian, Celtic, Pan-German, nationalist, provincial, was it structural, system-based or discursive, was it indeed new? Perhaps a brief passage from a contemporary scholar helps throw some light on the problem:

    Lustig wäre es doch, wenn ein in Europa herumreisender Kineser, unter andern vermeintlichen Schätzen der Europäischen Litteratur, die er auf dem...

  8. Cultural Exchange in the Travel Writing of Friedrich Stolberg
    (pp. 73-88)
    Eleoma Joshua

    When constructing theories of “cultural exchange” in literature, we aim at exploring the ways in which intercultural experiences affect and influence individuals, and at identifying how a reaction to cultures is voiced. The term cultural exchange, as opposed to phrases like “cultural encounter” and “cultural influence,” is interesting for an interdisciplinary discussion of culture, because it has the added implicit dimension of reciprocity. While two-way exchanges are also a prerequisite for the concepts of “cultural hybridity” and “creolization,” terms which take their reference points from genetics and linguistics, cultural exchange, however, borrows its imagery from the world of trade and...

  9. Aneignung, Verpflanzung, Zirkulation: Johann Gottfried Herders Konzeption des interkulturellen Austauschs
    (pp. 89-108)
    Christian Moser

    Was unter „interkulturellem Austausch“ zu verstehen ist, hängt davon ab, wie man den Begriff „Kultur“ definiert. Die Vorstellung, daß zwischen den Kulturen Austauschbeziehungen existieren und daß dieser Austausch die Überschreitung von Grenzen erfordert, die durch Unterschiede in den Sprachen, Sitten und Mentalitäten markiert werden, beruht auf der Annahme, daß Kulturen distinkte, in sich geschlossene und stabile Gebilde darstellen. Diese Annahme ist in jüngerer Zeit jedoch verstärkt in Zweifel gezogen worden. Die im Zuge der Dekolonialisierung und der Globalisierung zu beobachtende Entstehung massiver Migrationsbewegungen und multikultureller Gesellschaften hat die Humanwissenschaften dazu veranlaßt, sich von der holistischen Auffassung des Kulturkonzepts zu verabschieden....

  10. “Wandeln an der Grenze”: Trapper und andere hybride Charaktere in der deutschsprachigen Amerikaliteratur des 19. Jahrhunderts
    (pp. 109-125)
    Daniela Krämer

    Der amerikanische Historiker Frederick Jackson Turner hob 1893 in seinem Vortrag „The Significance of the Frontier in American History“ hervor, daß dem Begriff der „Grenze“ die grundlegende symbolische Bedeutung von „meeting point of savagery and civilization“ inhärent war.¹ Zu dieser Zeit hatten die alten Helden wie Trapper, Pioniere, Jäger, und Siedler ihre Bedeutung im amerikanischen Leben schon verloren, da die „Frontier“ im Jahr 1890 von den USA offiziell für aufgehoben erklärt wurde.² Dennoch spielen hier diese ausgedienten Helden eine zentrale Rolle, beschäftigten sie doch die Fantasie vieler Amerikareisender des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts, besonders die von Autoren, die eine zeitlang in Amerika...

  11. “Sprechen wir wie in Texas”: American Influence and the Idea of America in the Weimar Republic
    (pp. 126-141)
    Jon Hughes

    In the decade or so following the First World War the United States of America exercised both economic and cultural influence upon Germany, and in the process became one of the enduring subjects of debate in Weimar culture. The words “Amerika” and “Amerikanismus,” the term most commonly used to describe the uncritical reception and duplication of what were seen as American attitudes, became ciphers for anxieties that reveal many of the fault lines within German culture during the 1920s. The resultant reflection upon this phenomenon, conducted in countless articles and books and visible equally in literary and cinematic products of...

  12. “Deutschland lebt an der Nahtstelle, an der Bruchstelle”: The Utopia of Cultural Blending in Wolfgang Koeppen’s Tauben im Gras
    (pp. 142-158)
    Thomas Martinec

    Concluding a passage in which he recalls his reading of Joyce’s Ulysses in 1926, Wolfgang Koeppen powerfully conveys the deep impact the novel was to leave on him: “Bei uns tut man gern so, als ob mit jedem Debütanten die Literatur neu beginnen müsse. Es gibt eine Tradition! Aber sie ist anders, als unsere Traditionalisten sie sich vorstellen. Die neue Tradition ist international!”¹ Given Koeppen’s emphasis on the internationality of literary tradition it is no surprise that his most famous novel, Tauben im Gras, features influences from various national directions thus forming a skillfully woven web of intertextuality.² Alongside Joyce’s...

  13. Colonial Legacies and Cross-Cultural Experience: The African Voice in Contemporary German Literature
    (pp. 159-175)
    Dirk Göttsche

    Since the late 1970s, the multicultural diversification of German society in the postcolonial age of global migration is reflected in the rise of cross-cultural or minority literatures in German, which make an increasing contribution to cultural exchange in German literature by voicing and reflecting on cross-cultural experience from the perspective of migrants and their descendents. Even if one doubts whether there really is a “Turkish turn in contemporary German literature,”¹ these new literary developments clearly illustrate how ethnic minorities raise their voice to participate in German culture and literature, and how cross-cultural writing challenges traditional notions of “Nationalliteratur” by diversifying...

  14. Anatolian Childhoods: Becoming Woman in Özdamar’s Das Leben ist eine Karawanserei and Zaimoğlu’s Leyla
    (pp. 176-190)
    Margaret Littler

    It would be possible to read Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s Das Leben ist eine Karawanserei and Feridun Zaimoğlu’s Leyla, both set in 1950s and ’60s Turkey, as contributions to a process of much-needed cultural exchange, informing their German readers about the pre-history of Turkish labor migration to Germany. It could even be seen as a sign of crisis in Turkish-German integration that over a decade after Özdamar’s prize-winning debut novel, younger writers such as Selim Özdoğan and Feridun Zaimoğlu are “returning” to the world of their parents’ generation, setting novels of childhood in remote Anatolian locations.¹ Is this a renewed assertion...

  15. “Kanacke her, Almanci hin. […] Ich war ein Kreuzberger”: Berlin in Contemporary Turkish-German Literature
    (pp. 191-207)
    Lyn Marven

    Berlin is widely acknowledged as the city with the largest population of Turks outside Turkey. Turks and Turkishness are a visible and integral part of the new capital, with the district of Kreuzberg in particular often described as “little Istanbul.” Despite this urban visibility, Turkish-German authors are much less prominent in treatments of Berlin as the “capital of the German literary imagination”: an often unwitting nationalistic bias excludes non-Germans from discourses on the metropolis.¹ This article argues for the inclusion of Turkish-German writers within Berlin literature, focusing particularly on authors whose œuvre centers on the city: Aras Ören, Emine Sevgi...