German Literature After 1945: A Creative Approach to Selected German, Austrian and Swiss Masterpieces

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The course gives a chronological survey of the most significant literary genres, issues and developments in German speaking countries from 1945 to the present. The two Nobel Prize winners, Günther Grass and Heinrich Böll, are only two of the fascinating authors discussed in this course. The course tries to provide a guide through the extraordinary literary landscape of the two Germanies, Austria’s and Switzerland’s between 1945 and the present. After a sketch of the historical situation (defeat of Nazi Germany, division of Germany into two countries, the time of the “economic miracle, student unrest in the 1960, the reunification in the 1990’s) we will deal with topics such as the Vergangenheitsbewältigung, the attempt to come to terms with the Nazi past, the politicization of literature in the 1960’s, and the return of a “new subjectivity” in the 1980’s. Finally the course will discuss the recent imaginative writing of the “post- unification” era.