From revolt to terrorism. Political protest and poetic impulse after 1968
Fifty years after 1968, another upheaval year begins. The year 2018 invites not only because of the anniversary to a review but also to a stocktaking on the proportion of different cultural forms in both the social and literary processes after 1968 had. The motives and themes of the protest movement of 1968 were manifold: and above all led to criticism of the restoration, of capitalism and of the culture industry. As a result, 1968 and subsequent years were filled with the idea that the social, political and economic development of the Federal Republic of Germany was presumed wrong and needed to be corrected.
A correction was accordingly necessary by criticizing traditional bourgeois norms, turning to new values and role models from different spheres, paying special attention to minorities, upgrading feminist positions, developing pluralistic ways of thinking and living, and last but not least aestheticizing everyday life in culture and literature. Important texts are from Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno, Ernst Bloch, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, Alexander Mitscherlich and more. This course is held in English.
Literature after German-German reunification are those works which deal with the social and cultural, economic and social consequences of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. In this context, the controversial concept of a „Wendeliteratur“ quickly emerged. This term is a more feuilletonistic than literary-scientific term referring to literary forms that address the theme of the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification. The term is discussed both as a wishful thinking that exists above all in literary criticism, and as a serious demand on literary writers.
Writers in their books repeatedly make reunification a topic. Nevertheless, the label „Wenderoman“ reject many of them. However, the rejection of this term may also be due to the fact that today – three decades after – the events, a paradigm of literary criticism has been reversed. From the repeated demand for a turnaround novel, it has now become certain that there is an extensive spiral literature. It could even be argued that most German-language writers have approached the subject in one way or another, albeit often with continued skepticism about the label. These authors include for example Volker Braun, Günter Grass, Eugen Ruge, Uwe Tellkamp und Christa Wolf and more.