I’m just as German as Kafka: Contemporary authors and issues of inclusion in German literature

In 2005, the popular magazine Literaturen published a round-table discussion with Terézia Mora and several other authors described as “not quite German.” Unsurprisingly, these authors rejected the interviewer’s unfortunate description of their work as a “boutique of difference,” and instead demanded full inclusion in German literature. Mora – born in Hungary, but living in Berlin and writing in German since the early 90s, has won not only the Chamisso Prize (given to authors writing in German as a second language), but also all the major German literary prizes, including the German Book Prize in 2013. This lunch talk will examine the reception of Mora’s work, along with the themes of language and identity in her novels, to explore the complicated position of German authors coming from other first languages. As Germany redefines itself as a land of immigration, how has the reception and expectation around this literature changed in the last decade? What must still be done for the unqualified inclusion of this work in “German literature?”

Laura Bohn, Visiting Professor of German presents the final Faculty Lunch Talk of the semester on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 12:30 pm in President’s Dining Room. All are welcome.