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Humanities 2017, 6(4), 96; doi:10.3390/h6040096

Negotiating Proximity and Distance to Holocaust Memory through Narrativity and Photography in Monika Maron’s Pawels Briefe (Pavel’s Letters) (1999)

Department of Modern Languages, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677, USA
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 3 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Holocaust in Literature and Film)
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Abstract

Germany’s unification in 1989 triggered a public and literary confrontation with WWII, the Holocaust and the East-West German past. The years following the “Wende” of 1989/90 witnessed an increase in autobiographical family novels that explore how historical events of the twentieth century impacted upon individual and family pasts and continue to do so. Monika Maron, in claiming Pawels Briefe (Pavel’s Letters) (1999) as a family story/history, rather than novel, raises questions about the ethics of intertwinement between autobiographical memory and family memory, specifically postmemory. By analyzing narrative and photographic engagement, I argue that Maron resists over-identification by engendering critical distance between family memory and autobiographical memory that are both situated in a particular moment of German national memory. View Full-Text
Keywords: memory; postmemory; unification; post-1989; GDR memory; Holocaust memory; family novels; generation; autobiography memory; postmemory; unification; post-1989; GDR memory; Holocaust memory; family novels; generation; autobiography
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hansen, L. Negotiating Proximity and Distance to Holocaust Memory through Narrativity and Photography in Monika Maron’s Pawels Briefe (Pavel’s Letters) (1999). Humanities 2017, 6, 96.

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