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Echoes of Surrealism
Challenging Socialist Realism in East German Literature, 1945–1990
226 pages, 1 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-80073-068-7 $120.00/£89.00 Hb Published (May 2021)
eISBN 978-1-80073-069-4 eBook
“An interesting study of an under-researched aspect of GDR literature which demonstrates the diversity of its cultural and aesthetic traditions. This is the first time the impact of East German surrealism has been discussed as a cohesive subject.” • Jean E. Conacher, University of Limerick
For many artists and intellectuals in East Germany, daily life had an undeniably surreal aspect, from the numbing repetition of Communist Party jargon to the fear and paranoia engendered by the Stasi. Echoes of Surrealism surveys the ways in which a sense of the surreal infused literature and art across the lifespan of the GDR, focusing on individual authors, visual artists, directors, musicians, and other figures who have employed surrealist techniques in their work. It provides a new framework for understanding East German culture, exploring aesthetic practices that offered an alternative to rigid government policies and questioned and confronted the status quo.
Gerrit-Jan Berendse is Emeritus Professor of the School of Modern Languages at Cardiff University. His publications include Die Sächsische Dichterschule (1990), Grenz-Fallstudien (1999), Schreiben im Terrordom (2005), Vom Aushalten der Extreme (2011), and Baader-Meinhof Returns (2008), edited with Ingo Cornils.
Subject: Literary Studies History: 20th Century to Present
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