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n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Fragmentierte Identität - fragmentierte Geschichte Der Apfel als Motiv in Herta Müllers Collagenband Vater telefoniert mit den Fliegen und sein intertextueller Bezug zu einigen ihrer Prosawerke
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.
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