Academic journal article German Quarterly

Moskauer Tagebücher. Wer Wir Sind Und Wer Wir Waren

Academic journal article German Quarterly

Moskauer Tagebücher. Wer Wir Sind Und Wer Wir Waren

Article excerpt

Wblf, Christa. Moskauer Tagebücher. Wer wir sind und wer wir waren. Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2014. 267 pp. euro22.95 (hardcover).

After August (2012), Ein Tag im Jahr im neuen Jahrhundert, 2001-2011 (2013), and Nachrufauf Lebende. Die Flucht (2014), Gerhard Wolf has now published a fourth volume of his late wife's previously unpublished texts. The title of this volume is potentially misleading insofar as Christa Wolfs notes about her trips to the Soviet Union (and by no means just to Moscow), including a substantial number of generous illustrations, amount to only 97 of the book's 267 pages, that is, they make up slightly over a third of the volume. Some of her visits are documented in some detail, others less so. Indeed, in the case of her trips to Moscow in 1973 and 1981, her notes amount to less than a page in each instance. Gerhard Wolf has contributed another 20 pages of background information. The remainder of the volume consists of various short, previously published texts by Wolf about colleagues she met during her stays in the Soviet Union, as weË as previously unpubhshed correspondence between Wolf and some of her (formerly) Soviet friends and coËeagues, especiaËy with Lew Kopelew and Efim Etkind. AËof this makes for engrossing reading, to be sure, but readers hoping for a whole new volume of previously unpubhshed texts by Christa Wolf might weË be disappointed.

The book's subtitle, Wer wir sind und wer wir waren, ingeniously captures both the subtle and incremental nature of changes in Wolfs attitude towards the Soviet Union (as weË as the GDR,), and the dialectical relationship in which this change stood to the fundamental continuity of most of her relationships to Soviet coËeagues and friends. Wolf clearly was a fiercely loyal friend. Given that Wolfs involvement with the Soviet Union did not begin until the 1950s (she first traveËed there inl957),itis hardly surprising that her perception of the Soviet Union was never characterized by any genuine exuberance. Indeed, during her first two trips in the late 1950s, there was no doubt in her mind that the pohtical situation in the GDR was preferable to, and altogether more promising than, the state of affairs in the Soviet Union. Thirty years later, needless to say, she found this consteËation entirely reversed. …

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