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    Berlin - still a divided city? ideological dualism in post-Wende fiction

    Leal, Joanne (2003) Berlin - still a divided city? ideological dualism in post-Wende fiction. German as a Foreign Language 2003 (1), pp. 30-44. ISSN 1470-9570.

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    Abstract

    This article examines two post-Wende Berlin fictions, Peter Schneider’s Paarungen and Uwe Timm’s Johannisnacht, in order to explore what happens when two representative writers of the ’68 generation are confronted with a radically changed world, one in which the ideological certainties of the pre-Wende period no longer offer interpretative frameworks for the city experience and one in which there has been a substantial, if perhaps belated shift in the perception of what literature can or should be or do. It has been claimed that it is only after 1989 that German literature finally abandoned the notion that the writer could speak with a degree of political or moral authority and hence that it is only since the Wende that it has been able to enter a truly postmodern phase. By exploring the novels’ views of society and history and the relationship of literature to them, by considering whether the texts can be described as in any way self-consciously postmodern and by examining the image of Berlin they offer, this article attempts to problematize that assumption and to show that these works provide evidence of a reluctance to abandon the notion that the writer can say something authoritative about the world in which we live.

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