Identity construction in contemporary German literature – Stephan Wackwitz’s Ein unsichtbares Land and Andrea Paluch & Robert Habeck’s Der Schrei der Hyänen
Prinsloo, Pieter W.
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This thesis analyzes how identity develops within narratively constructed worlds by examining different processes of identity formation in generational narratives Ein unsichtbares Land by Stephan Wackwitz (2003) and Der Schrei der Hyänen by Andrea Paluch and Robert Habeck (2004). The thesis employs a cultural memory perspective with a particular emphasis on the perception of the reader, with the aid of identity and Generationenroman theory. By gaining an understanding of the cultural memory, individual characters in the fictional or semi-fictional primary texts are able to distinguish between those who belong to a group, and those who do not. The frictions between group identities and the ability to distinguish between groups enables the individual to form new concepts of the self; the texts also show how difference can function as a source of negativity that isolates it from change and new identity formation.