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- Volume 37, Issue 1, 2009
Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Volume 37, Issue 1, 2009
Volume 37, Issue 1, 2009
Author Carlotta Von MaltzanSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37 (2009)More Less
Xenophobia in South Africa was brought into the limelight nationally and internationally during the aftermath of the violent attacks on residents from remote areas and from other African countries in May / June 2008. In response to these events, the topic chosen for the 24th conference of the Association for German Studies in Southern Africa in April 2009 was Notions of the Other in Language and Literature. This theme, while not new, calls us to critically situate scholarly endeavours in German Studies in an African context, within a dialogic exchange between African locations and along a South-North axis. Many of the contributions to this volume emanate from papers presented at that conference.
Fremdheit in der Aufklärungsphilosophie und die Folgen für Afrika
Anmerkungen zu einem verweigerten interkulturellen Transfer : teil 1 : Afrika schreibenAuthor Ibrahima DiopSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 9 –16 (2009)More Less
Otherness in enlightenment philosophy and consequences for Africa. An exploration of a thwarted intercultural transfer
This paper investigates the perception of otherness during enlightenment and in post-colonial Africa. The question of perception of the self and of the other is often discussed in German and Intercultural Studies. This paper however focuses on states of crisis in Africa and intends to shed light on repressed problems in dealing with otherness in order to find explanatory avenues for a theory on crisis and crisis resolution on the African continent.
»Afrika« und »der Norden«
Konzeptualisierungen und Verschränkungen zweier Regionen : teil 1 : Afrika schreibenSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 17 –32 (2009)More Less
»Africa« and the »North«. Conceptualisations and the interweaving of two regions
This paper outlines theoretical approaches that form the basis for an examination of the interdependencies between »Africa« and the »North«. While Scandinavian countries have never been colonial powers, they are perceived, and present themselves, as »humanitarian superpowers«, spending large amounts on development aid, mainly in Africa. The paper illustrates the connections between the two regions, using the examples of the representation of Scandinavian colonialism in the Congo in a recent Norwegian novel and of Africa in Swedish economic relations.
Postkoloniale Prosaliteratur zwischen Einfühlungs- und Rezeptionsästhetik
Zur (Erzähl-)Perspektive »der Anderen« bei Gerhard Seyfried, Dietmar Beetz und in Giselher W. Hoffmanns Die schweigenden Feuer (1994) : teil 1 : Afrika schreibenAuthor Bruno Arich-GerzSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 33 –44 (2009)More Less
Postcolonial prose literature between an aesthetics of empathy and reader response criticism. Narrative perspectives of the other in Gerhard Seyfried, Dietmar Beetz and in Giselher W. Hoffmann's Die schweigenden Feuer (1994)
Postcolonial critic Gayatri Spivak's ultimate refusal to speak on behalf of any subaltern subject, colonial or postcolonial, has its counterpart in Uwe Timm's assumption that narratives in German which deal with the colonial past in late 19th and early 20th century Africa should not be focalized through representatives of the formerly colonized cultures. Both assume a near inability to tune in to their worldview and argue that narratives which are focalized through the eyes of the »cultural Other« too often include a belated, if perhaps involuntary, superimposition of Eurocentric viewpoints and the ventilation of neo-colonial attitudes. By reference to Giselher W. Hoffmann's Die schweigenden Feuer, a novel that is narrated by a Herero protagonist, this essay takes a different stance. It claims that the effect of irritation and perplexity which a German reader-audience experiences when confronted with the Herero culture »as told from within« amounts to what reader response critic Wolfgang Iser calls a negation of accepted standards and norms, which in its turn harbours the possibility to reflect upon and question one's own (post-)coloniality-related set of assumptions.
Postkoloniale Erzählverfahren im Ostafrika-Kapitel von Ilija Trojanows Der Weltensammler (2006) : teil 1 : Afrika schreibenSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 45 –65 (2009)More Less
Intertextual Afrikanissimo. Postcolonial narrative strategies in the East African chapter of Ilija Trojanow's Der Weltensammler (2006)
To rewrite colonial history from a postcolonial perspective is always a challenging enterprise. This is even more true in the case of German literature where, in contrast to other European literatures, the notion of the empire writes back does not apply. The problem of how to adequately remember a common past and represent the colonial other in a non-reductive, non-humiliating way therefore seems to be especially complex in the German context, as the example of Uwe Timm's Morenga (1978) in this essay illustrates. In contrast to Timm who deliberately avoided imagining the point of view of the other, Ilija Trojanow's recent novel Der Weltensammler (2006) makes excessive use of an aesthetics of empathy, thus realising what in accordance to Said's postcolonial reading practice might be called contrapuntal writing. In spite of their divergent politics of representation, these two outstanding postcolonial German texts surprisingly meet in a decisive aspect of form : both offer an aesthetic reflection of their representational dilemma. In the case of Morenga, this is achieved by Timm's use of magic realism (the narrating cattle), whereas Trojanow problematises his theoretically contested strategy of representation via intertextuality and takes back a great deal of his overbearing empathy by referring to anglophone East-African rewritings, namely Abdulrazak Gurnah's Paradise (1994) and Moyez G. Vassanji's The Gunny Sack (1989).
Reflexionen über Bedeutungsveränderungen im deutschen Kolonialroman am Beispiel von Paluch / Habecks Der Schrei der Hyänen (2004) : teil 1 : Afrika schreibenAuthor Roland SchmiedelSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 67 –79 (2009)More Less
Reflexions on semantic changes in the German colonial novel with reference to Paluch / Habeck's Der Schrei der Hyänen (2004)
Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance have become challenges for global society. In colonial times, it was all too common to use abusive, discriminatory terminology for people inhabiting the conquered colonies. Although colonial or imperial times have come to an end, these terms are still known and in some cases even used today. Drawing on the two examples of Kaffer and Neger, this paper investigates the extent to which semantic changes have occurred in the usage of these terms and to what extent these changes are reflected in contemporary novels with a colonial setting. The latter analysis will be undertaken by looking at one such novel.
Author Nadjib Irewole SadikouSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 81 –88 (2009)More Less
Hermeneutics of otherness in Wole Soyinka's Aké. The Years of Childhood
This article focuses on the question of the poetological methods postcolonial African literature uses in order to draw attention to the subject of otherness, specially referring to Aké. The Years of Childhood by Wole Soyinka, a Nigerian writer and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. In this autobiography Soyinka succeeds not only in communicating traditional African processes of education to the reader, Soyinka also involves the reader because he uses the concept of hybridity of Western and African culture. In addition, the author applies linguistic dialogism as well as a poetics of integration.
Komparatistische Untersuchung zur Symbolik des Menschenopfers am Beispiel einiger Märchen der Fon und der Brüder Grimm : teil 1 : Afrika schreibenAuthor Mensah Wekenon TokpontoSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 89 –106 (2009)More Less
A comparative analysis of the symbolism of human sacrifice in tales by the Fon and the brothers Grimm
This paper investigates an under-researched topic, namely the symbolism of human sacrifice within the context of oral literature through a comparative study of the reasons for and aims of sacrificial offerings. Through an analysis of selected German fairy tales and tales by the Fon it becomes apparent that this custom is not only present in the tales but also part of past religious systems of both the Fon and the German people. The paper also outlines some conclusions that can be drawn from this insight which might form the basis for future research on contemporary manifestations of human sacrifice.
Author Bernd FischerSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 107 –117 (2009)More Less
From moral philosophy to culture : Kant and Herder
On the one hand, Kant's transcendental moral philosophy cannot entirely escape a presupposed notion of moral sentiments. On the other hand, his emphasis on individual freedom remains a sine-qua-non for any notion of ethical universalizability and the political programme that follows from it. Herder's alternative amounts to a humanistic programme of culture studies. He explores a common humanity in the diverse evidence that a myriad of cultures have provided. In a reversal of Kant's ethical imperative, Herder zeros in on the particularity of a culture (rather than the individual human being) as an end in itself. The paper sets up the possibility of bridging Kant's individual ethics and constitutional politics with Herder's empathetic and anti-colonial culture studies.
Die Wirklichkeit und die Notwendigkeit des Balls
Zu einem Gedicht von Rainer Maria Rilke : teil 2 : allgemeine beitrageAuthor Peter HornSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 119 –129 (2009)More Less
The reality and necessity of the ball. Reflections on a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke
Rilke's Der Ball has often been seen as one of his most characteristic Dinggedichte. This contribution argues that it is not the thing, the ball, which is the subject of the poem, but movement, or even more precisely, the complex moving reality of Bergson, which knows no things, no nouns and no verbs. This places the poem into a context of thinking about reality which is as much influenced by the physics of molecular movement as by the linguistics of the representation of reality. As Heidegger has said about Rilke, however, the poet lives on a different mountain from the philosopher, and so Der Ball is a poem and not a theory, an attempt to formulate that unsayable which Wittgenstein has called Das Mystische.
»Vom Gegenwärtigen richtige Begriffe nehmen«
Deutsche Sprache als Medium der philosophisch-literarischen Aufklärung : teil 2 : allgemeine beitrageAuthor Frank HartmannSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 131 –139 (2009)More Less
»Taking adapt concepts from the contemporary«. German language as a medium of philosophic-literary enlightenment
»Taking adapt concepts from the contemporary« has been postulated by J. G. Hamann considering a mediation between the past and the present. In terms of concepts, the past was meant for Latin as the preliminary terminology in academic discourse. But the future was meant for a new type of discourse. Would the relation between language and thought change with the use of German? Philosophers at the time thought it would : as Kant and others before him decided to publish in German, this was opposed to contemporary potentates who preferred French. Sensitisation for the language in practice, that is German as opposed to Latin or French, accompanied the quest for enlightenment throughout the 18th Century. The ascendancy of German as a convention in academic discourse was revolutionary in terms of capturing public awareness.
Fremdheit und Kapitalismuskritik
Okkulte Ökonomien und das Ende des Subjekts in René Polleschs Prater-Saga (2005) : teil 2 : allgemeine beitrageAuthor Franziska SchoBlerSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 141 –150 (2009)More Less
Otherness and the critique of capitalism : Occult economies and the end of the subject in René Pollesch's Prater-Saga (2005)
The following study discusses otherness and the critique of capitalism in contemporary German theatre. René Pollesch's Prater Saga, referring to African video-productions, forms the point of departure for this investigation. Pollesch's »citational theatre« intentionally incorporates philosophical approaches to criticize the representational strategies of a male white western subject. The African videos referred to expose the limits of European concepts of subjectivity and reveal the opacity of capitalist globalisation processes. The foreign imagery of the videos not only creates counter-conceptions of Western definitions of the autonomous subject, but also points to the victims of global capitalism. Pollesch deploys Africa as a screen to present his idea of a »travelling subject« between European selfhood and exotic strangeness.
Death in Italy
Siegfried and Aschenbach in Wolfgang Koeppen and Thomas Mann : part 2 : contributions to German StudiesAuthor Rebecca DomingoSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 151 –158 (2009)More Less
A cultural tradition in which our protagonists can be situated is that of the so-called Grand Tour or Kavaliersreise, a tour through Italy and Southern Europe for not only writers and artists seeking inspiration, but for any young, wealthy person desirous of a well-rounded education. In terms of a specifically German interest in travel to Italy, Hachmeister (2002:2) cites the so-called Kavaliersreise as an approximate equivalent - initially young German nobility, later also Bürger, who would travel to Italy generally for purposes of sightseeing, networking, language acquisition, and exposure to life in courtly and other powerful circles.
Tod in Italien. Siegfried und Aschenbach bei Wolfgang Koeppen und Thomas Mann
Auf den ersten Blick hätte man sich vorstellen können, Thomas Manns Der Tod in Venedig und Wolfgang Koeppens Der Tod in Rom seien Teile einer Serie über den tödlichen Reiz Bella Italias für deutsche Schriftsteller des frühen bis mittleren 20. Jahrhunderts. Man kann Ähnlichkeiten feststellen bezüglich der Auswirkungen Italiens auf die Protagonisten der Romane; trotzdem scheinen Mann und Koeppen grundverschiedener Meinung zu sein was Kunst, ihre Rolle in der Gesellschaft und ihre Wirkungen auf Einzelpersonen betrifft. In diesem Artikel werden vor dem Hintergrund der italienischen Kulisse (Venedig und Rom) einige intertextuelle Ähnlichkeiten und Unterschiede besprochen. Von besonderem Interesse ist die Wandlung der Mannschen bürgerlichen Künstlerfiguren, die in Koeppens Roman dekonstruiert werden, um die Nachkriegsrealität angemessen darzustellen.
Schreiben und Erinnerung, Freundschaft und Fremdheit in Uwe Timms Der Freund und der Fremde (2005) : teil 2 : allgemeine beitrageAuthor Simplice AgossaviSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 159 –169 (2009)More Less
Writing and reminiscence, friendship and otherness in Uwe Timm's Der Freund und der Fremde (2005)
Uwe Timm's novel Der Freund und der Fremde is fundamentally a story on friendship but also a narration of reminiscence. The text also focuses on the issue of writing which is the essence of the friendship between the narrator and his friend Benno Ohnesorg. Unfortunately the sudden death of this friend puts an end to their life projects. At the same time the novel gives a characterization of cultural otherness through the narrator who lives in Paris where he experiences another way of life and perception. This paper suggests that one way to approach Der Freund und der Fremde is to read it as a book of reminiscence and friendship. Besides, it can be seen as a reflexion on the art of writing.
Auslaufmodell oder Umdenken?
Kritische Anmerkungen zum Umgang mit Migrantenliteratur am Beispiel von Feridun Zaimoglus Roman Liebesbrand (2008) : teil 2 : allgemeine beitrageAuthor Hannelore Van RyneveldSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 171 –181 (2009)More Less
Dated model or a need to rethink? Critical reflections on reading migrant literature with reference to Feridun Zaimoglu's novel Liebesbrand (2008)
A review of Feridun Zaimoglu's most recent novel Liebesbrand (2008) forms the starting point of a critical reflection on the status quo of the literary reception of migrant literature in Germany and the challenges it appears to face. Does the particular label migrant literature still apply or has it reached its sell-by date? This question refers to a recent comment made by Zaimoglu that migrant literature is a dead duck. (»Migrationsliteratur ist ein toter Kadaver«)
Zwischenspiele der Filmgeschichte. Zur Rezeption des Kinos der Weimarer Republik in Südafrika 1928-1933, Michael Eckardt : buchbesprechungenAuthor Rolf AnnasSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 183 –184 (2009)More Less
Wer sich für deutsche Spielfilme und die Programmgeschichte des südafrikanischen Kinos interessiert, findet darüber viel Wissenswertes in diesem Buch von Michael Eckardt, und zwar zeigt er auf, wie - in welchem gesellschaftlichen, wirtschaftlichen und sprachpolitischen Kontext - das südafrikanische Kinopublikum Ende der zwanziger bzw. Anfang der dreißiger Jahre deutsche Filme im eigenen Land sehen und beurteilen konnte. Er kommt zu dem Ergebnis, dass die südafrikanische Kinogeschichte bereits Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts begann und der deutsche Film aus der Weimarer Republik auch außerhalb Europas von Presse und Publikum geschätzt wurde.
Source: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 37, pp 184 –187 (2009)More Less
»Neue Archivisten« nannte Moritz Baßler die Popliteraten der 1990er Jahre, die sich - dem seit den 60ern an deutsche Literatur gestellten politischen Anspruch bewusst verweigernd - auf die Beschreibung von Oberfläch(lichkeit)en kaprizierten und in ihren Texten eine Welt der Labels und Markenartikel entwarfen. Der Schweizer Autor Christian Kracht gilt mit seinem stilbildenden Debütroman als eine der zentralen Gestalten dieses sicher nicht ganz zu Unrecht als neokonservativ eingestuften »Pop II« (Diederichsen 1999:272).