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- Volume 43, Issue 1, 2015
Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Volume 43, Issue 1, 2015
Volume 43, Issue 1, 2015
Source: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 7 –8 (2015)More Less
The 27th conference of the Association for German Studies in Southern Africa (SAGV) took place in Windhoek in April 2015. Because of the fact that many academics in German Studies were retrenched or departments closed due to the downsizing in the humanities at South African universities, especially in foreign languages, the majority of participants came from countries around the world such as Germany, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, the USA, Australia and Kenya, to name but a few. Despite the relatively small number of academics remaining in the field of German Studies in Southern Africa, our conferences have become decidedly attractive and gained an international profile over the last two decades, thereby demonstrating that our research is now also acknowledged elsewhere. The conference was devoted to the topic "Histories and Identity". Thereby we wanted to acknowledge that in 2015 several historical events need to be commemorated, both within the (South) African and international context. 100 years ago the First World War had already begun, 70 years ago saw the end of the Second World War and 25 years ago East and West Germany were united after more than 40 years of separation. And Namibia itself also had a reason to celebrate since 25 years ago the country finally gained its independence from South African administrative rule. All of these events have been reflected in literary text in one way or another and are taken into account within the fields of German and Cultural Studies, as well as in Language Studies or Linguistics as the contributions to this volume demonstrate of which some have emerged from this conference.
Author Stefan HermesSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 9 –27 (2015)More Less
"Why shouldn't one be black?" Blackness and whiteness in Michael Ende's Jim Knopf novels.
The paper recapitulates two closely linked media debates which recently concerned the German general public. These controversies were about acts of black face in popular TV shows and about the alleged censoring of youth books for the sake of political correctness : In both contexts, references to Michael Ende's still widely read Jim Knopf novels played an important role. Against this backdrop, it is shown how these works deal with the intricate relation between blackness and whiteness - and which narrative strategies they use to undermine common racist discourses. However, it cannot be overlooked that they aren't consistently successful in doing so; in fact, Ende's bestsellers tend to reinforce a number of colonialist stereotypes about Africa.
Author Heiko UllrichSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 28 –41 (2015)More Less
Sentimental Enlightenment. Christian Ludwig Willebrand's novel Geschichte eines Hottentotten (1773)
Until today little research has been undertaken on the writings of minor late Enlighten-ment author Christian Ludwig Willebrand (1750-1837), who according to Frederick Hale, wrote "the first German novel about South Africa" in 1773. While Hale highlights the sources which Willebrand uses for his novel - especially Olfert Dapper's UmbstĠndliche und Eigentliche Beschreibung von Afrika - the following article will concentrate on the influence that Christian Fürchtegott Gellert's adaptation of theâ?? Inkle and Yariko' motif both in his Fabeln und Erzählungen and in his Leben der schwedischen Gräfin von G*** had on the Geschichte eines Hottentotten. Willebrand presents the murder of one of his protagonists, Charles, at the hands of the Kochaker, a people living around Saldanha Bay, as the result of his excessively Enlightenment attitude, which repels his lover Duchala's people, while the other protagonist Kori's journey towards a happy ending stems from his ability to arouse feelings in the female figures of Willebrand's novel and to respond to them. Combining his father's Enlightenment principles and his mother Duchala's sensibility Kori becomes a prototype of (Willebrand's understanding of) Sentimentalism.
Namibiadeutschland in den 1980er Jahren - Ost- und westdeutsche Erzählungen uber den Schauplatz Südwestafrika : Jürgen Leskien und Dietmar Beetz (DDR), Immo Vogel und A. E. Johann (BRD)Author Bruno Arich GerzSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 42 –52 (2015)More Less
Namibia-Germany in the 1980s. East and West German narratives about Southwest-Africa
Dating back to the beginning of the armed struggle of the Namibian liberation movement, and culminating in the almost simultaneous achievement of national independence in the African country and the reunification of Germany, the "shared history" (pace Larissa Förster) of the two countries has from the mid-1960 until 1989/1990 actually been a threesome arrangement including Namibia, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the GDR. In essence, the relation(s) between the two Germanies and the actors involved in the Namibian theatre of liberation war were contradictory. While the communist East German state clearly championed the cause of Namibia's SWAPO and PLAN, the stance of the FRG, its élites, political decision makers and societal stakeholders was more ambivalent, ranging from diplomatic, humanitarian and other types of aid for the independence movement in Namibia to a repudiation of the movement's tenets and covert or overt support of the South African apartheid regime by conservative politicians and parts of the industry. A look at the 25 year-old chapter in Namibia-Germany's "shared history" therefore reveals a criss-cross pattern of changes (in the plural) of power. The two caesuras of 1989/1990 include the downfall of that respective societal/political system which had established connections with the respective prevailing societal/ political system in the other country, Namibia. Repercussions of these crosswise changes of power can up to the present day be identified in the field of German-language literature. This article highlights examples from prose fiction which had been produced immediately before 1989 in the two Germanies. The texts under discussion comprise the works by former GDR authors Jürgen Leskien and Dietmar Beetz, and West-German writers A.E. Johann and Immo Vogel.
Author Herbert UerlingsSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 53 –66 (2015)More Less
Postcolonialism without the colonised? Lukas Bärfuss' Hundert Tage (2008) and perpetration in a genocide.
Contemporary German postcolonial literature does not seem particularly interested in the perspectives of the colonized. On the surface, this indifference corresponds with Spivak's assumption that subalterns' cannot be represented and Timm's verdict that "empathy" is "an act of colonising". Post-colonialism without the colonised', however, is not an adequate answer to the question of how to deal with experiences of a different culture in literature. This article focusses on Lukas BĠrfuss' novel Hundert Tage (2008) and interrogates its perspective of a female perpetrator during the Rwandan Genocide.
Author Hans-Jochen SchiewerSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 67 –77 (2015)More Less
Places of identity, memory and suppression. Comments on Eckers' skull collection.
This article elaborates on the 2014 repatriation of unlawfully acquired Namibian skulls from the Freiburg anthropologic collection of Alexander Ecker. It is concerned with the broader scientific and societal implications of the treatment of human remains and argues that collections like that of Ecker can be transformed into lieus de mémoire as outlined by Pierre Nora. This transformation will enable contemporary keepers to satisfy modern moral and ethical requirements and open a new, transparent scientific debate on the collections' history.
Author Rolf AnnasSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 79 –89 (2015)More Less
The question of belonging. 150 years of German language and culture in South Africa
In the middle of the 19th century the first German groups of settlers came to South Africa, and, since 1858, German has been recognised as a school examination subject in the country. For approximately 150 years, German has existed as a subject at schools and later also at universities primarily for its cultural relevance. During the same time, German immigrants founded cultural and educational institutions which also focussed on maintaining a specific form of "Germanness." Using the term "Zuge-hörigkeit" (belonging) as a point of departure, this paper examines how German as a subject (German studies and German as a foreign language) as well as perceptions of German culture have changed within the context of socio-political developments in the country. Not only universities, but also German schools and Lutheran congregation faced new challenges after the end of the apartheid. This paper shows how, in the course of the time, different affiliations ("Zugehörigkeiten") influenced the development of German language and culture in South Africa.
Author Helene SteigerthalSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 90 –98 (2015)More Less
Since the implementation of English as the sole official language, a number of language attitude and usage studies have been conducted in Namibia. In the 1990s, Pütz revealed positive attitudes towards the English language; Afrikaans L1 speakers, however, mostly preferred their mother tongue, regarding it as more prestigious. All participants typically used English in formal and their home languages in informal situations. My empirical pilot studies (2010, 2013, 2015) showed nearly the same results as the pilot study by Buschfeld and Kautzsch (2014). They added an identity investigation, stating that most participants identify linguistically and culturally with their L1, not with English. The term 'identity' and its link to language will be analysed. Then, the contrasting notions of the German-speaking and the Afrikaans-speaking group will be examined. Moreover, the possibility of nation-building in a multilingual society, i.e. "unity in diversity", and the coexistence of multiple identities will be discussed.
Übersetzung und Identität - Die sinnkohärente Übersetzung von Aniceti Kiterezas Roman Bwana Myombekere na Bibi Bugonoka ins DeutscheAuthor Shaban MayanyaSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 99 –112 (2015)More Less
The sense coherent translation of Aniceti Kitereza's novel Bwana Myombekere na Bibi Bugonoka into German
During the course of the so-called "Translational Turn", Translation Studies especially in the German speaking countries, have undergone a major transition from a purely philological approach to a more dynamic, cultural mode of translation. Henceforth, translation theory and practice has been largely viewed as an interaction between cultures resulting in the adaptation of a more interdisciplinary approach to the subject. A focal point has been the role played by identity and power especially in literary translation, which was one of the factors leading to Lawrence Venutis "Resistance Strategy" (Venuti 1995) in translation. It became quite clear that literary translation is instrumental in re-shaping identities of the source text at various levels. This article analyzes the manner in which identity has been (re)constructed in the German translation of Aniceti Kitereza's historical novel Bwana Myombekere na Bibi Bugonoka.
"Kartoffeln statt Döner!" - Zur Problematik kultureller Identität unter den Bedingungen der GlobalisierungAuthor Dieter FaulhaberSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 114 –129 (2015)More Less
Potatoes - not Döner! The problem of cultural identity within the context of globalisation
In the 18th century, Johann Gottfried Herder introduced the traditional concept of ex-clusive cultures. Ever since culture has been defined as the unifying element of a collective, disregarding any differences and as 'Volkskultur' (culture of a people) it was related to the homogenising concept of a nation. Lately the phenomenon of globalisation has led to the erosion of this once stable concept which used to vouch for identity. This process questions the underlying concept of culture altogether. By referring to current socio-political trends in Germany, this article illustrates how concepts of culture influence the perception of (cultural) reality and how they simultaneously determine the understanding and treatment of cultural identities.
"Einer wie Leutnant Wurche" - Anmerkungen zur literarischen Vermittlung von Opferkult und Krieg in Walter Flex' Der Wanderer zwischen beiden Welten (1916)Author Ingrid LaurienSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 130 –144 (2015)More Less
"Somebody like Lieutnant Wurche." Towards a cult of sacrifice and war in Walter Flex' Der Wanderer zwischen beiden Welten (1916)
As Arndt Weinrich states in his exhaustive study The Great War as Educationist (2012), it was not the First World War itself that led to a widespread brutalization of political confrontation during the Weimar Republic, to the victory of National Socialism and ultimatively to a new war. More than that, it was the "political instrumentalization" of the War by interested parties, mainly through the medium of popular books. One of these books - and the most best-selling of them all - was Der Wanderer zwischen beiden Welter by Walter Flex (1916). The book is, in the first place, an autobiographic account of the love and admiration that the narrator (the alter ego of the author) feels towards the young Lieutnant and war volunteer Ernst Wurche, painting him as an ideal "leader" of the "Wandervogel," the German Youth Movement of the early 20th century. When Lieutnant Wurche dies during an attack, the text also becomes a monument of mourning, and a kind of apotheosis of the dead soldier. However, what may be read, against the background of a "völkisch-deutschnationale" ideology, as a glorification of the sacrifice of the dead soldier for his "Volk," may also, without that context, be read as an account of traumatization by the surviving narrator. The book, with its neo-romantic descriptions of nature and its allusions to moral and aesthetic values of the Youth Movement, also appealed to young men (and women) outside the conservative 'Lager'. Its reception by extreme nationalistic and national-socialist forces turned Wanderer zwischen beiden Welten into a piece of propaganda for the preparation of another war. The text itself, however, is ambivalent and cannot hide its author's horrors towards death - the ultimate truth of war.
Richard von Kühlmanns geheimes "S.A. Depot". - Deutsche "Kulturpropaganda", Südafrika und Deutsch-Südwestafrika im Ersten WeltkriegAuthor Pawel ZajasSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 154 –162 (2015)More Less
The secret "S.A. Depot" of Richard von Kühlmann. German cultural propaganda in South Africa and German South-West Africa during the World War I
On July 7th 1914, the British government requested general Louis Botha to take over the German radio transmitters in Lüderitz and Swakopmund. The German forces, unable to withhold the attack any longer, surrendered on July 9th 1915. The government in Berlin, realised that winning South-west Africa back, might prove impossible, regardless of the course of the war in Europe. By the same token, the future of the German diamond companies, united in a consortium called Diamantenregie since 1909, depended on the developing political constellation in the Union of South Africa. Since 1915, German authorities have launched a subtle diplomatic game aimed at winning the support of the South African elites and the public opinion of the country. The neutral Netherlands were the main stage of this long-term post-war policy. Due to the historical connections to South Africa, the Netherlands played an important role as a cultural and political mediator. Some members of the Dutch elites - writers, journalists, politicians - still held the pro-Boer and anti-English position when WWI broke out. This position encouraged the involvement of the Dutch elites in the German incentives regarding cultural propaganda. This paper offers insights into the so far unpublished correspondence of the main actors of the contemporary field of German propaganda. The main person under investigation is Johannes Visscher, a Dutch journalist and expert on South Africa. As editor of the journal Hollandsch Zuid-Afrika, published by Nederlandsch Zuid-Afrikaansche Vereniging (NZAV), Visscher was employed by the German diplomatic services in the years 1915-1918. As part of the activities financed by Reichskolonialamt, Visscher shaped the image of Germany in the South African press and the pro-German image of South Africa in the Dutch press.
"Meine unhaltbar widerspruchsvolle Stellung zum Kriege" - Käthe Kollwitz von Kriegsbefürwortung zu Kriegsgegnerschaft, 1914-1918Author Katharina Von HammersteinSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 165 –176 (2015)More Less
"My Indefensibly Ambivalent Position on the War." Käthe Kollwitz from Supporting to Opposing War, 1914-1918.
The war diaries of German artist Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) between 1914 and 1918 as well as her graphic art and sculptures against war (re)present - unlike traditionally male-connotated war discourse that tells life stories/history from the front - constructions of painful experience, mostly by women and children, at the home front. Christine Sylvester's political science concept of "war as experience [of] ordinary people" and Didier Fassin's anthropological approach to testimony on humanitarian crises provide the theoretical framework for this investigation at the intersection of textual diaries, visual arts, political activism and historical context. It analyzes issues of testimony on individual and collective war experience and of the role of diaries in the context of identity transformations in and after World War I.
"Beth, - das ist das Haus..." - Paul Celans Gedicht Hüttenfenster und die jüdische Identität nach der SchoahAuthor Pawel PisczatowskiSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 177 –186 (2015)More Less
Paul Celan's poem Hüttenfenster and Jewish identity after the Shoah.
This text is an attempt to discuss the issue of Jewish identity as it was rendered in Paul Celan's poem Hüttenfenster. The starting point is the meridian image, the central metaphor for Celan's poetics and the (non-)identity-related confessions, which also previously appeared in Celan's prose text Gespräch im Gebirg. A detailed analysis of the poem Hüttenfenster is conducted, including the poem's complex structure which combines images of the destroyed Jewish world, the star constellations of the southern hemisphere and the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, by means of which Celan wished to equip the lyrical language with a new capacity to commemorate the dead.
Author Rafal PokrywkaSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 187 –197 (2015)More Less
Five Reading Conventions of the Generational Novel
The topic is five ways of reading of the contemporary generational novel written in German. The starting point constitutes Jonathan Culler's proposal that the process of reading is controlled by reader's expectations, first of all in relation to the genre itself. Thus following reading conventions are created : referentiality, discourse of memory, figuration, relation to genre convention, irony/parody. Since the generational novel as an imprecise notion is applied for diverse purposes and denotes many different texts the question about the persuasive function of the used terms as well as about the influence of arbitrary ways of reading gains the more importance.
Author Stephan MuhrSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 200 –213 (2015)More Less
Tschick and Sand. Two complementary stories about identity
The novels Tschick (2010) and Sand (2011) by Wolfgang Herrndorf are based on two complementary models of narrative identity which are analyzed by their respective processing of contingency. While in Tschick a relatively conventional model of the genre of the adventure novel is reproduced in which the protagonist is seeking contingency in order to embrace it, the different story lines in Sand can be drawn together around a police commissioner (Polidorio alias Carl), who is suffering total amnesia and subsequently does not find his identity until his deadly end. It can only be reconstructed by the reader. By means of their complementary models of processing or failing to process contingency into identity and causality, both novels are closely interrelated. In this paper, firstly, the (literary) identity construction of the protagonist Maik Klingenberg in Tschick will be critically analyzed. Then, complementary aspects of these dynamics and motifs will be compared to Sand. This will lead to concluding considerations on the function of genre with regards to identity and contingency.
Von der Umkehr der Zeitachse in den Raum - Identitätskonstruktionen in kontrafaktischen Darstellungen der GegenwartsliteraturAuthor Eva-Maria SiegelSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 214 –223 (2015)More Less
The reversal of time into space. Constructions of identity in counterfactual representations of contemporary literature
The article shows a change in the review of recent contemporary literature, especially of narrative genres. In addition to the cultural modeling of time, specific spatial configurations are an issue, too. Its precursors are located in colonial literature in 1900 and refer to a progressive internal differentiation of identity features. For the survey of this contention the following novels have been used : Gustav Frenssen : Peter Moors Fahrt nach Südwest (1906), Wilhelm Muster : Der Tod kommt ohne Trommel (1980), Philip K. Dick : Das Orakel vom Berge (1962), Thorsten Becker : Schönes Deutschland (1996) und Marcus Hammerschmidt : PolyPlay (2002).
Fragmentierte Identität - fragmentierte Geschichte Der Apfel als Motiv in Herta Müllers Collagenband Vater telefoniert mit den Fliegen und sein intertextueller Bezug zu einigen ihrer ProsawerkeAuthor Angelika WeberSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 224 –235 (2015)More Less
Fragmented history - fragmented identity. The apple as motif in Herta Müller's book of collages Vater telefoniert mit den Fliegen and its intertextual reference to some of her prose works.
In Herta Müller's book of collages Vater telefoniert mit den Fliegen, a number of themes can be identified. Stretching from the animal and plant world through seasons and snow to human beings like father and mother, policeman, soldier and security officer, these themes keep reappearing. Those themes Herta Müller is renowned for in the literary expression as a way of coming to terms with the trauma she experienced in socialist Rumania have to do with murder and death, interrogations and imprisonment, corruption and spying, lies and betrayal, fear, escape and leaving the country. All of these themes occur in one way or the other in her prose as well. Because the collages are constructed as fragmentations of words and letters, they are often cryptic and appear mysterious. This paper examines whether intertextual reference may contribute to deciphering their content and therefore lead to a better understanding. The motif of the apple, which also features in the book Mein Vaterland war ein Apfelkern, will be used representatively to show intertextual references between four collages and selected works of prose. The collage texts are also investigated on a lexical and syntactical level, as well as stylistically to show which linguistic and aesthetical means Herta Müller uses to affect the reader.
Author Isabel Dos SantosSource: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 236 –244 (2015)More Less
"A kind of presence of mind from a different place." Regarding Felicitas Hoppe's passion
In the context of what is intended to define or represent contemporary literature, Hoppe has developed firm views: not literature which arises in the present, but the one that has significance for the present, qualifies as literature of the present day. Terms such as timelessness and literature of the past belong as much to the vocabulary of Hoppe's definition of the present as do presence of mind and time shifts. Hoppe enjoys playing with the concepts of time, history and literature periods, moulding and shifting these according to her own understanding. Often she delves into a Romanticism that must be viewed in an extended sense of "romantic". Also the aspect of intertextuality has been noted by many critics and is even addressed by Hoppe herself. To what extent Hoppe draws from the Romantic Period and - despite the rejection of any poetological stipulations - even allows herself to cultivate a romantic longing which is clearly rooted in the period, shall be the focus of this article.
Source: Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa 43, pp 245 –258 (2015)More Less
Felicitas Hoppe, geb. 1960 in Hameln, hat Romane, Erzählungen und Kinderbücher ver-öffentlicht. Neben vielen anderen Auszeichnungen wurde ihr 2012 der Georg-Büchner-Preis verliehen, unter anderem für ihren 2012 erschienenen autobiografischen Roman Hoppe, der um Fragen der Identitätsfindung kreist. Auf Einladung des Goethe-Instituts Johannesburg bereiste sie im September 2014 zwei Wochen lang Südafrika und hielt Lesungen am Goethe-Institut, an Universitäten und Schulen in Johannesburg, Pretoria und in der Kapprovinz. In Kapstadt nahm sie als einzige deutschsprachige Schriftstellerin auch am Open Book Festival teil.