Autobiography by Women in German

(Peter Lang, 2001)

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Editors:

Mererid Puw Davies, Beth Linklater, Gisela Shaw

Synopsis:

This varied and challenging collection of contributions written in German or English surveys a wide range of literature in German from a new perspective, namely, that of autobiographical writing by women. In sixteen detailed analyses by an international team of scholars the volume explores theories of autobiographical writing and the heterogeneous ways in which texts by women from the Middle Ages onwards have used autobiographical material. The book addresses theoretical issues and thematic complexes as well as uncovering obscured texts and genres, providing both comparative and individual readings of texts as diverse as the spiritual writings of medieval nuns, diaries of the early modern period and holocaust memoirs. The book exposes and re-explores received ideas about women and the practice of autobiographical writing and, in doing so, redefines the terms of current debates in the field of autobiography. Beyond that field, it will appeal to those interested in the broader issues of writing by women, German literature and literary theory.

Contents:


Michaela Holdenried Autobiographik von Frauen - eine eigene Geschichte? Anmerkungen zum Forschungsstand
Ben Morgan The Spiritual Autobiographies of Visionary Nuns and their Dominican Confessors in Fourteenth-Century Germany
Charlotte Woodford 'Wir haben nicht gewist / was wir vor angst und schrecken thun sollen: Autobiographical Writings by Two Nuns from the Thirty Years' War
Helga Meise 'Wahr ich den gantzen Nachmittag betrübt': Trauer und Melancholie in der Diaristik von Frauen in der Frühen Neuzeit
Eva Kormann Ich, Welt, und Gott: Heterologe Subjektivitätsformen in Autobiographien von Frauen des 17. Jahrhunderts. Zur historischen Varianz von Autobiographie und Subjektivität
Angelika Linke Sich das Leben erschreiben. Zur sprachlichen Rolleninszenierung bürgerlicher Frauen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts im Medium des Tagebuchs
Christina Ujma Das Leben als Reise. Fanny Lewalds autobiografische Reiseberichte
Andrea Capovilla Written on Water? Re-reading the Autobiographies of Gina Kaus and Vicki Baum
Christiane Schönfeld Confessional Narrative / Fragmented Identity. Emmy Hennings' Das Brandmal. Ein Tagebuch
Helmut Peitsch Die Erinnerung an die faschistische Judenverfolgung in den autobiographischen Texten von Frauen 1945-1949
Birgit Dahlke Tagebuch des Überlebens: Vergewaltigungen 1945 in ost- und westdeutschen Autobiographien?
Gisela Shaw 'Keine Chance, mich auf Distanz zu halten': Ruth Rehmann, the Reluctant Autobiographer
Maja Razboynikova-Frateva Der autobiographische Effekt des biographischen Erzählens: zwei Frauen im Spiegel des Textes
Karen Leeder 'Vom Unbehagen in der Einheit': Autobiographical Writing by Women since 1989
Andrea Reiter 'Ich wollte, es wäre ein Roman'. Ruth Klüger's Feminist Survival Report
Georgina Paul 'Life-Writing': Reading the Work of Anne Duden through Virginia Woolf's A Sketch of the Past


Summary of contents:

The volume offers sixteen analyses of theories of autobiography and of a wide range of autobiographical writings by women; contributions come in German or English; an international team of women scholars explore texts ranging from spiritual writings by medieval nuns, to diaries of the early modern period and to holocaust memoirs; received ideas about women and the practice of autobiographical writing are exposed and re-explored; the volume should be of interest to anyone interested in the broader issues of writing by women, in German literature and in literary theory.

Short biographical sketches of editors:

Mererid Puw Davies (b. 1970) studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, and Hamburg University. She held a Prize Fellowship at Magdalen College, Oxford, before becoming Lecturer in German at University College, London. Her D.Phil. thesis explored the history of the tale of 'Bluebeard'. She has published on fairy tale, myth, and history in German literature.

Beth Linklater (b. 1967) studied German at Leeds, Lancaster and Halle and wrote her Ph.D. thesis on sexuality in East German literature. She is a Lecturer in German at the University of Wales Swansea and has published on East German literature and society and on women's writing.

Gisela Shaw (b. 1937) studied philosophy, and English, American and German literature at the Universities of Mainz, Bonn and Bath and as a Fulbright scholar in the USA. Her Dr. phil. was on Kantian philosophy and her M.Phil. on GDR literature. From 1967 she has lived and worked in the UK, from 1996 as Professor of German Studies at the University of the West of England, Bristol. She has published widely on, inter alia, contemporary German (esp. East German) literature.