CULTURE: LITERATURE. THE SECOND POSTWAR PERIOD
According to Themakeupexplorer, the division of Germany after 1945 led to the development of two separate literatures that spy on each other. The year zero saw the resumption of the middle generation crushed by Hitler and the first steps of the generation born in the 1920s, by W. Borchert, H. Böll, I. Bachmann, P. Celan, H. Eisenreich, HM Enzensberger, G Grass, P. Hacks, S. Lenz, M. Walser. With Gruppo 47 an attempt was made to reconstitute a literary society, with Gruppo 61 (of Dortmund) an association of workers’ writers similar to those of the German Democratic Republic. The experimentation, whose most brilliant representatives, in various fields, are the aforementioned Enzensberger, H. Heissenbüttel (1921-1996) and P. Weiss (1916-82), now turns against the myths of the “restoration” taking place in re-flourishing Federal Germany, against the attempt to cancel the horrors of Nazism with new conditioning and conventions (this is a tormenting subject of meditation for many writers), and against a ruthless analysis of language, its stratifications and the manipulations to which it is subjected by of power and the mass media. The opera especially, with Celan, Bachmann, G. Eich (1907-72), the N. Sachs (1891-1970), faced the “metalinguistic” both in alogical ways and in strictly intellectual ways; at the same time it was no longer conceived as a product of personal inspiration, but as a laboratory distillate (see Probleme der Lyrik by Benn, 1952), not necessarily understandable for the user. The prose has sought a renewal in the assumption of scientific-technical terminology and in resolving reality into suppositions that the reader must elaborate on his own: as succinct stimuli for this elaboration, the expressive forms of the short story must be considered (from the short story americana), of the radio drama, in which almost all the most famous names have tried their hand, from Böll to Bachmann, to S. Lenz. The novel recorded notable successes with Böll, HE Nossack (1901-77), A. Schmidt (1914-79), Frisch, Grass, Koeppen, M. Walser and, in East Germany, with the works of U. Johnson (1934 -84), M. Bieler (b.1934), H. Kant (b.1926), Christa Reinig (b.1926), Ulrich Plenzdorf (b.1934), as well as with the latest works by A. Seghers (1900- 83) and A. Zweig (1887-1968). In the East German theater, the names of E. Strittmatter (1912-94), H. Müller (1929-95) and P. Hacks (b.1928), of the Brechtian school, and in that of Federal Germany, in addition to the aforementioned Weiss, W. Hildesheimer (1916-91), suggestive representative and theorist of the theater of the absurd and, later, FX Kroetz (b.1946), RW Fassbinder (1946-82), M. Sperr (b.1944). After the end of the 1960s, the tendency to retreat into the private sphere manifests itself in East Germany above all in opera, whose greatest representatives are R. Kunze (b.1933) and S. Kirsch (b.1935), while the hope in a better society remains in G. Kunert (b. 1929) and in W. Biermann (b. 1936), worthy followers of B. Brecht, and in V. Braun (b. 1939), who is also an original theater author. The singular vein of J. Becker (b. 1932) and the good results of the neo-subjective R. Rasp (b. 1935) and G. Vesper (b. 1941) emerge in Western lyricism. However, Gruppo 61 still opposes the capitalist system and the aristocratic concept of art, which in 1970 founded a kind of community literary “workshop” in Cologne, linked to the world of workers. Reality is also accused, in the key of pop art, by a lyricist like RD Brinkmann (1940-75) and, from an ambiguous point of view of “romantic from the left”, by P. Rühmkorf (b. 1929), which revisits the great German lyric tradition with parodic intention.
CULTURE: LITERATURE. AFTER REUNIFICATION
With the transfer of the German capital to Berlin, cultural activities were concentrated in the Prussian metropolis, in a frenetic and in some ways euphoric climate of reconstruction and urban reorganization. The reflection on the reality of the two Germanys, on their mutual relations before 1989 and on the relations between East and West Germans, “Ossis” and “Wessis”, after that fateful year, still has a prominent character in the most diverse literary genres. Particularly vital and original is the production of writers who lived in the eastern area, which draws inspiration from often painful and traumatic personal experiences in the years of reunification. Among the most promising writers we remember Ulrich Woelk (1960), author of Rückspiel (1994); Lioba Happel (1957), former author of the lyric book Grüme Nachmittage (1989) and then switched to fiction with Ein Hut wie Saturn (1991); Barbara Köhler (b.1959), author of Deutsches Roulette (1991). The female team is remarkable, from J. Franc to G. Poppe, who creatively elaborates the themes of survival and self-affirmation in the harsh post-industrial society, of the crisis of human and couple relationships, in the era of post-feminism. A mostly critical analysis of the old GDR, as it appeared in the diaries, novels or theatrical works of the early nineties, has been replaced in the young authors by a more differentiated and therefore not only negative vision of the “comfortable dictatorship” close to the Wall, such as in the bestsellers by Th. Brussig. Also from the bequests recovered in the old GDR, works of considerable importance came to light, published posthumously at the end of the nineties. Among these deserve mention, for their literary value, but also for the effective reconstruction of the historical and environmental framework of Hitler and Communist Germany, above all the remarkable Diaries 1933-1959 of the distinguished Jewish Romanist Victor Klemperer (1881- 1960) and the fragment of the novel Franziska Linkerhand by the Magdeburg writer Brigitte Reimann (1933-73) . Other quality authors are Helga Schubert (1940), Günter de Bruyn, Stephan Hermlin (1915-97) and Stefan Heym (1913-2001). German history, seen in its dramatic aspects and also as a warning for future generations, the catastrophes of the century. XX, the removal of Nazism in the 1950s and 1960s and the recent slow reworking of the “past that does not pass” still remain at the center of the interest of the most representative authors, from Günther Grass (b. 1927) to Martin Walser (b. 1927)), from Christa Wolf (b.1929) to Monika Maron (1941), who favored the memorial and narrative genre. The new novels of the 21st century deal with issues related to the new reality of the unified country with a demystifying eye and postmodern style, the works of Jacob Arjouni (b.1964) concern youth and integration problems, those of Ingo Schulze ( b.1962), by WG Sebald (1944-2001) and U. Treichel, n. 1952 the trauma of the fall of the wall and the Nazi-fascist sins. Evocative are the Berlin-based detective stories by the Russo-German W. Kaminer (1967).