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n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Relativitätstheorien
Zum status von ,Wissen' in Christian Krachts Imperium
Theories of relativity. The status of knowledge in Christian Kracht's Imperium
The publication of Christian Kracht's novel Imperium in 2012 was followed by a heated debate on several discriminatory terms and descriptions, which are contained in the text. The key criteria for the moral evaluation of the novel seemed to be the narrator's moral position and the earnestness of his statements. Referring to contributions by Johannes Birgfeld and Frank Finlay, this paper argues that a different approach to the novel is required: From the very beginning of the text, the perceptions of its characters are exposed as subjective or simply wrong. The narrator also repeatedly accentuates the general subjectivity of perception. Not surprisingly, a deep reading of the novel reveals contradictions in the narrator's descriptions, whereby again all assumptions of the readership concerning the content of the novel turn out to be doubtable. The uncertainty of knowledge and the relativity of perception can be considered as central themes of Krachts Imperium.
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