The Past Is the Past. Question About Freedom (About Two Novels of Thomas Brussig and Lutz Seiler)

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Abstract. This article suggests that the period of the so-called post-postwar literature, which began in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall, at the beginning of the 21th century gradually came to its end. The term “past” used at the end of the 20th century not only to the times of Nazism, but also to the history of the German Democratic Republic, in the works of art of the beginning of the new century, is already specifically and selectively associated with the events of the past decades. The theme of the GDR, which was in many artistic and publicistic works (by P. Süskind, K. Dieckmann, K. Hein, G. Grass, J. Sparsсhuh, W. Engler, S. Leinemann, etc.), was still present during the 2000s, when W. Hilbig and U. Tellkamp became laureates of prestigious awards. However, a comparison of the thematically close novels “Heroes Like Us” by Th. Brussig (1995) and “Kruso” by L. Seiler (2014) allows us to see a change in the vector of author’s interests. If the work of Th. Brussig is closely related to the socio-psychological understanding of East German reality before 1989, then the phenomenon of freedom – internal and external, which is the artistic center of L. Seiler’s novel, is directly related to the philosophical quest of our time. This makes it possible to single out one of the key criteria for the construction of a new literary history of Germany.

Keywords: comprehension of the past, literature about the GDR, the situation of “turning”, Th. Brussig, L. Seiler, the latest German literature, the phenomenon of freedom, “Kruso”.

For Citation: Chugunov D.A. The Past Is the Past. Question About Freedom (About Two Novels of Thomas Brussig and Lutz Seiler), in Novoe Proshloe / The New Past. 2021 No 2. Pp. 56-64. DOI: 10.18522/2500-3224-2021-2-56-64.

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0) - Attribution-Non-Commercial License.

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