Academic journal article German Quarterly

Der Druck der Erfahrung treibt die Sprache in die Dichtung: Bildlichkeit in Texten Herta Muller

Academic journal article German Quarterly

Der Druck der Erfahrung treibt die Sprache in die Dichtung: Bildlichkeit in Texten Herta Muller

Article excerpt

Kohnen, Ralph, ed. Der Druck der Erfahrung treibt die Sprache in die Dichtung: Bildlichkeit in Teten Herta Muller. Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 1997. 183 pp. DM 65.00 paperback.

This collection of essays is the result of a colloquium on Herta Muller held at the Ruhr-- Universitat Bochum (1995/96). It addresses a variety of topics, motifs, and tropes and thus promises to provide some inspiration and insights for interested scholars, particularly, because Muller's work has-despite an increase of visibility-not yet received the attention it deserves in terms of scholarly publications. It is all the more disappointing that the essays in this collection, by and large, use Norbert Otto Ekes stimulating collection Die erfundene Wahrnehmung (1991) not to open up a critical dialogue but rather to confirm, revisit, and reiterate the themes and motifs discussed in Ekes volume.

This collection would undoubtedly have benefited from a more stringent, reflective, and decisive editorial process. If space constraints were at issue, a more selective choice of essays -grouped around certain topics-would have afforded some of the authors the opportunity to expand their papers and to deliver in-depth analyses rather than broad surveys. Also, it might have motivated some of the authors to engage in a dialogue with Miiller scholarship, including North American scholarship, rather than referring almost exclusively and affirmatively to Ekes book. As is, the collection contains twelve essays and an introduction on 183 pages. It accords one short essay each to Muller's collection of collages, her essays, her poetological reflections, and her major works of fiction, including Niederungen, Der Mensch ist ein gro,Ber Fasan auf der Welt, Barfussiger Februar, Reisende auf einem Bein, Der Fuchs war schon immer der Jager, Das Land am Nebentisch, and Herztier. …

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