This chapter examines the dialogue with the dead in Christoph Hein?s novels Horns Ende and In seiner frühen Kindheit ein Garten. Whereas the former revisits the story of a victim of political oppression in the GDR and implicitly calls for a revision of East German history, which would take such victims into account and challenge the official discourse of progress, the latter addresses the fate of an RAF terrorist killed by agents of the Federal German state. Both of these figures are portrayed as absolute seekers after justice and can be understood in the context of the author?s continuing reception of Heinrich von Kleist?s Michael Kohlhaas. Their example implicates the living in this same quest for justice, yet there are clear differences between the two texts. The openness of the ending of Horns Ende stands in marked contrast to that of In seiner frühen Kindheit ein Garten, which no longer holds out the possibility that a dialogue with the dead could be the catalyst for change.
|Title of host publication||Literatur im Krebsgang: Totenbeschwörung und Memoria in der deutschsprachigen Literatur nach 1989|
|Editors||Anke Gilleir, Arne De Winde|
|Place of Publication||Amsterdam|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|