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Durham e-Theses
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The press reception of Austrian works of Vergangenheitsbewältigung

Firth, Catriona (2006) The press reception of Austrian works of Vergangenheitsbewältigung. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis explores the relationship between literature and historical memory in Austria through five case studies of literary press reception, examining the validity of common conceptions of Austrian Vergangenheitsbewättigung. The introduction provides an overview and explanation of the historico-political context of the thesis, considering cultural narratives on Vergangenheitsbewaltigung, the position of the Austrian press and its relationship with contemporary, socially critical literature. Chapters One and Two compare 'the press reception of Hans Lebert'ร Die Wolfshaut and Gerhard Fritsch's Fasching to the widely held view of a failed Vergangenheitsbewältigung in 1960ร Austria. Chapter Three considers the reception of Elfriede Jelinek's Die Ausgesperrten in the context of the Sozialpartnerschaft and the politics of memory associated with this period of forced political harmony. Chapter Four deals with the most extreme case, Thomas Bemhard's Heldenplatz, questioning the common assumption that the late 1980s marked a turning point in Austria's troubled relationship with its past. This is developed in Chapter Five, which examines the reception of Robert Schindel’s Gebürtig and considers the extent to which Austrian Vergangenheitsbewältigung can be viewed as a completed process. In the Conclusion the findings of the previous five chapters are brought together and compared with the grand cultural narrative on Austrian historical memory in a consideration of the validity of a linear conceptualisation of Vergangenheitsbewältigung.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2006
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:30

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