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Time, pain and myth in Ingeborg Bachmann's “Das Buch Franza” and Anne Duden's “Übergang”

Shanmuganathan, Vasuki (2009)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis examines time, pain and myth in Ingeborg Bachmann's Das Buch Franza (1978) and Anne Duden's Übergang (1982) to elucidate tensions between gender and nationalism. Bachmann (1926-1973) and Duden (1942- ) reflect a keen awareness of feminist theoretical and textual developments to provide an escape from pain through myth. I suggest the texts reveal that the female subject is linked to the silenced witnessing of a National Socialist past and therefore any productive discussions require a return to this historical site. However, Bachmann and Duden approach this claim differently. Chapter One proposes that Das Buch Franza and Übergang engage with modern German history as part of a time construct, which fails to capture the silences. Historic accounts exclude certain voices and therefore contradict what constitutes collective memory. Chapter Two illustrates how traumatic memories resurface violently in the body. As a result, the female protagonists question their transient existences within patriarchy and time. Pain unsettles boundaries and enables movement between past and present. Chapter Three proposes a reconciliation of the transient female subject in mythology. Alternative narrative strategies are established through Christian and Egyptian imageries and utilized to reinterpret violence, vocalize silenced women and offer a theoretical position in myth/"home".

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Dodd, W. J., William J.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Gender Studies
Keywords:Time, pain, myth, gender, national socialism, memory, silence, nomadism, body, violence
Subjects:PT Germanic literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:472
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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