Phantom Images
The Figure of the Ghost in the Work of Christa Wolf and Irina Liebmann

Catherine Smale

Bithell Series of Dissertations 41

MHRA Texts and Dissertations 97

Modern Humanities Research Association and the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies

27 September 2013  •  196pp

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ContemporaryGermanFiction


Ghosts have made an unexpected reappearance in post-unification German literature. Catherine Smale reads this as symptomatic of writers’ attempts to renegotiate their personal and collective identity following the loss of the former East German state. Focusing on the recent work of Christa Wolf and Irina Liebmann, Smale outlines the ways in which these writers adopt notions of haunting in their engagement with the double legacy of National Socialism and the GDR.

The ghost has long been regarded as a vehicle for making manifest taboo or unauthorized memories. However, Smale goes further, demonstrating how the human subject is destabilized by the return of the phantom and is itself rendered insecure and spectral. Drawing on a wide range of theoretical references, from psychoanalytic notions of intergenerational phantoms to Derridean hauntology, Smale’s close reading of these texts highlights the particular challenge they pose to the familiar understanding of Vergangenheitsbewältigung.

Catherine Smale is Lecturer in German at King’s College London.

Contents:

i-iv
Front Matter
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v-vi
Table of Contents
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vii-viii
Acknowledgements
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ix-ix
Abbreviations
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x-x
List of Illustrations
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1-33
Introduction
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34-55
Chapter 1 Phantom Images: Christa Wolf’s Was Bleibt
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56-81
Chapter 2 ‘Abschied Von Phantomen’? Christa Wolf’s Leibhaftig
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82-111
Chapter 3 Spectral Images: Irina Liebmann’s Stille Mitte Von Berlin
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112-142
Chapter 4 ‘Lebendige Bilder’: Irina Liebmann’s in Berlin
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143-168
Chapter 5 A Haunting Legacy: Irina Liebmann’s Die Freien Frauen
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169-172
Conclusion
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173-185
Bibliography
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186-194
INDEX
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Bibliography entry:

Smale, Catherine, Phantom Images: The Figure of the Ghost in the Work of Christa Wolf and Irina Liebmann, Bithell Series of Dissertations, 41 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2013)

First footnote reference: 35 Catherine Smale, Phantom Images: The Figure of the Ghost in the Work of Christa Wolf and Irina Liebmann, Bithell Series of Dissertations, 41 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2013), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Smale, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Smale, Catherine. 2013. Phantom Images: The Figure of the Ghost in the Work of Christa Wolf and Irina Liebmann, Bithell Series of Dissertations, 41 (Cambridge: MHRA)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Smale 2013: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Smale 2013: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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