n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Tschick und Sand - Zwei komplementäre Geschichten über Identität

Volume 43, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1273



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.

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