n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Initiation im Jugendbuch über Afrika
Herbert Kaufmanns (1956) als Kontrapunkt zu exotischen Abenteuererzählungen

Volume 42, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1273



The way German authors examine the colonial period in Africa changed after World War II. Since the late 1950's there have been attempts by German authors to portray Africa in a less exotic way. However, several studies have suggested that even though German authors do strive towards a more authentic portrayal of the colonial period, Africa and its historical context are often still reduced to an exotic backdrop, when, for example, literary motifs do not correspond with historical themes and geographical spaces. The impression is created that such novels or stories stand outside of time and space and that the historical and geographical context merely emphasize the distance between Africa and Europe. This paper discusses to what extent Herbert Kaufmann's story (1956) can be regarded as a counterpoint to the more exotic adventure story and how he uses 'initiation' as a motif to deconstruct the relationship between the colonised and the coloniser that is based on European supremacy.

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