Poets in the dictatorship

Critical potential is part of the nature of literature. Conflicts with repressive political systems are thus preordained. Writers who do not want to simply adapt, but also do not want to remain silent, must find strategies of artfully concealing speech.This already exists in tsarist Russia, when the fabulist Krylov agitates against repression with highly witty tricks, and later with Heine with his ironic attacks against restorative Germany. In the time of the National Socialist dictatorship, critical authors who remained in the country developed all kinds of ways of speaking covertly; likewise in the GDR, in whose late phase Christa Wolf, for example, found something like a camouflage language of suggested criticism while ostensibly remaining loyal to the line, but where even before that - especially after the expatriation of the singer-songwriter Wolf Biermann in 1976 - many of the most respected authors dared to protest and ultimately left the country in large numbers, thus contributing to the mood of hopelessness.In view of the boundless abundance of material (and also on the basis of personal impressions), the event will focus on the important authors Hans Joachim Schädlich and Günter Kunert, who left the GDR in 1977 and 1979, respectively, and have since published in the West.

Course director: Müller, Udo. The lecturer is a Germanist and Romance scholar; he was head of the grammar school department at the Freiburg regional council.

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