'Wer schreibt, kann nicht töten': Writing and Life in Reinhard Jirgl’s Abtrünning: Roman aus der nervösen Zeit

D J Clarke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Reinhard Jirgl’s Abtrünnig: Roman aus der nervösen Zeit is an aesthetically complex text which explores the function of autobiographical self-reflection through fictional means. Its protagonist and narrator tells the story of his own frustration and failure, a story which appears inevitably to end in violence. However, the structure of the text, which incorporates various Internet-style ‘links’, ultimately offers the reader two possibilities: to circle endlessly within the novel in the hope that the narrator’s story might somehow be read in such a way as to produce a more positive outcome; or, like the narrator himself, to step outside of the story, liberating themselves from a world which ultimately cannot be redeemed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Self in Transition: East German Autobiographical Writing Before and After Unification
Subtitle of host publication Essays in Honour of Dennis Tate
EditorsDavid Clarke, Axel Goodbody
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, Holland
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print) 9789042035935
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameGerman Monitor


  • German literature
  • life-writing
  • Reinhard Jirgl

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