The Germanic Mosaic: Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Society

By Carol Aisha Blackshire-Belay | Go to book overview

together as a cohesive unit expressing the Schamian psychopolitical agenda that includes notions of "fantasy" and "aesthetic of cleverness" in addition to goals of empowerment and social criticism. By blending the prescriptive and descriptive, the fairytale and realistic, Arabic as well as German traditions, Schami positions himself as a revolutionary storyteller and social critic, and while balancing political and aesthetic aims, creates a literature which becomes a living representation of his programs. These stories thus carry great implication for the academic world as well as for a more personal one. The relationship between Schami's agenda and Marxist thought should be clarified, as well as the role of female figures in his texts. Schami's tales need to be examined with reference to their audience whether child or adult, native or nonnative German speaker, with an eye toward their potential for translation into other languages. The use of these stories as an educational tool in the classroom should be investigated. The active discussion of these texts in a variety of spheres can only help to unlock their emancipatory and revolutionary potential. Perhaps most importantly, Schami's stories challenge the individual reader to an active reevaluation of prejudices and examination of long-held personal and societal beliefs on the roles of minority and majority groups. These texts encourage the reader to initiate a positive change, both on the personal and community levels, to overcome bigotry and psychopolitical passivity.


NOTES
1
Arlene Teraoka. "'Gastarbeiterliteratur': The Other Speaks Back", Cultural Ctitique 7 ( 1987): 77-101, 85. Other excellent discussions of this matter are found in Peter Seibert article "Zur 'Rettung der Zungen.' Auslfinderliteratur in ihren konzeptuellen Ansätzen", Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik 56 (14): 40-61 and Heidrun Suhr, "'Ausländerliteratur': Minority Literature in the Federal Republic of Germany", New German, Ctitique 46 ( Winter 1989): 71-103.
2
Ulrike Reeg, Schreiben in der Fremde ( Essen: Klartext, 1988). See also the following: Horst Hamm, Fremdegange, freigeschrieben: Eine Einführung in die deutschsprachige Gastarbeiterliteratur ( Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 1988); Harmut Heinze, Migrantenliteratur in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Bestandsaufnahme und Entwicklungstendenzen zu einer multikulturellen Literatursynthese ( Berlin: Express Edition, 1986); Heike Schierloh , Das alles für ein Stück Brot: Migrantenliteratur als Objektivierung des Gastarbeiterdaseins ( Frankfurt: Lang, 1984).
3
Literary works include Andere Märchen ( 1978), Das Schaf im Wolfpelz ( 1982), Luki -die Abenteuer eines kleinen Vogels ( 1983), Das letzte Wort der Wanderratte ( 1984), Der erste Ritt durchs Nadelohr ( 1985), Der Fliegenmelker ( 1985), Weshalb darf Babs wieder lachen ( 1985), Bobo und Susu ( 1986), EineHand voller Sterne

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