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n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Reisen in das innere Afrika
Christoph Martin Wieland und Volker Braun
Journeys into the 'inner Africa' : Christoph Martin Wieland and Volker Braun
This paper investigates the significance of the concept the 'inner Africa' in texts by Wieland and Braun. The 20th century author highlights the longing for warmth and openness symbolized by the African interior, but as is the case in Wieland's writing, Braun's poem also foregrounds the antithesis of colonization which destroyed the assumed purity of the native. Similarly socialist dictatorship under the GDR can be regarded as a process of colonization, treating its people as 'negroes'. In 'Transit Europa' Africans try to escape from their inner Africa, which has become oppressive and full of misery. It is shown that Braun's texts can be related to Wieland's works grounded in ethical reason as he had already identified Africa as a site for colonization and of the encounter with unconscious desires. Braun's ironic critique of power can thus be traced to Wieland's insights in the age of enlightenment.
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