Representing Terrorism: Aesthetic Reflection and Political Action in Contemporary German Novels (Goetz, Klein, Tellkamp)
Looney, Mark Einer
This study of the constellation of terrorism and literature focuses on how three recent German metafictional novels have used terrorism as a tool for their own self-reflection as literary texts. The creation of subjectivity in literature is examined in Rainald Goetz’ Kontrolliert, while Georg Klein’s Libidissi is treated with an emphasis on how the narrative process can repress undesirable realities and mediate violence. Finally, the problem of pathos and politics is examined in regards to terrorist characters in Uwe Tellkamp’s Der Eisvogel; it is shown that the novel’s collage-like form bears the strongest critic to the extreme ideologies expressed. While the dissertation does investigate interesting insights into terrorism offered by the novels, the main focus is on how and why terrorism plays an important roll in either the act of writing or as a means of examining that act; in these texts terrorism functions as either a metaphor for writing or as the opposite of writing and therefore as the element in the novel that delineates writing and its attendant values.