Review Article

Die Wende als Witz, Komische Darstellungen eines historischen Umbruchs

W. Gabler
Literator | Vol 18, No 3 | a568 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v18i3.568 | © 1997 W. Gabler | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 1997 | Published: 30 April 1997

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Abstract

Wit in the literary representation of a historical transition
The author of this article has observed a growing interest in texts presenting the political change in East Germany (GDR) as a comical event. During the last few years the interest in this kind of text has intensified - among literary critics as well as among ordinary readers of texts. In his analysis of the literary texts the author commences with Sigmund Freud’s theory of wit, which he further elaborates in its social-psychological aspects and adapts to modern principles in the analysis of literary texts. The author shows that the wit in two recent novels - Helden wie wir (1995) by Thomas Brussig and Der Zimmerspringbrunnen (1995) by Jens Sparschuh - is based on unconsciously repressed or isolated feelings of mourning over the lost object, the GDR. These feelings are seen as the major reason for the different or contradictory public reception of both novels.

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