Jurek Becker : Schreiben zwischen Sozialismus und Judentum : eine Interpretation der Holocaust-Texte im Kontext / by Thomas K. Jung
Includes bibliographical references and filmography (p. 366-383)
This dissertation consists of three parts. The first part presents the background to the politics of antifascism and the aesthetic and ideological program of socialist realism. I discuss the conditions for the restoration of Jewish culture in East Germany (GDR) under the ideological influence of propagated antifascism contradicted by a latent anti-Semitism. This will situate the German-Jewish author and script-writer Jurek Becker within a socio-historical framework and the context of Jewish (non)identity and realistic writing in post-war East Germany. In the second, central part, I analyze Becker's prose writings on the Jewish theme--Jakob der Lugner, Boxer, Bronsteins Kinder, as well as the short story "Die Mauer." These texts and their film adaptations reflect the irreconcilable conflict between the author's assumed German socialist identity and his increasing interest in his Jewish origins. In writing about this conflict, Becker projects his suppressed Jewishness onto his fictional characters. Additional texts (essays, interviews, and articles) provide evidence for Becker's explicit probing of questions of Jewish self-identity. The third part, which is integrated into the analysis of the prose texts, examines Becker's film adaptations and the structural interconnections between the two media. In particular, by comparing the script versions of Jakob der Lugner from 1963, 1965, and 1974 with the 1969 novel I demonstrate the transposition of a "filmic" perspective into a fictional prose text and vice versa. By deploying psychoanalytical, text-analytical and socio-historiographical approaches, I show that in writing these texts and in adapting them to film, the author attempted to reconstruct and visualize situations and conflicts that reflect upon his own problematic identity. Especially now, in the light of new German nationalism and open anti-Semitism of the nineties, the position of Jurek Becker has shifted from a rejection of this Jewish tradition--as irrelevant both to his life and his work--to an increasingly explicit curiosity about and fascination with the Jewish issue. I understand Becker's artistic statements about the Holocaust and its effects on individuals as an attempt to reconstruct his lost memories and Jewish identity and to bear witness to the trauma of survival.
Record last modified: 2018-05-29 16:28:00
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