By Bettina Brandt, Valentina Glajar
Two languages—German and Romanian—inform the novels, essays, and college poetry of Nobel laureate Herta Müller. Describing her writing as “autofictional,” Müller depicts the consequences of violence, cruelty, and terror on her characters according to her personal studies in Communist Romania less than the repressive Nicolae Ceauşescu regime.
Herta Müller: Politics and Aesthetics explores Müller’s writings from assorted literary, cultural, and ancient views. half 1 gains Müller’s Nobel lecture, 5 new college poems, and an interview with Ernest Wichner, a German-Romanian writer who has traveled together with her and sheds mild on her writing. elements 2 and three, that includes essays through students from throughout Europe and the USA, handle the political and poetical points of Müller’s texts. individuals talk about lifestyles lower than the Romanian Communist dictatorship whereas additionally stressing key parts of Müller’s poetics, which can provide either self-conscious formal experimentation and political intervention.
One of the first books in English to completely study Müller’s writing, this quantity addresses audiences with an curiosity in dissident, exile, migration, experimental, and transnational literature.
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Extra info for Herta Müller : politics and aesthetics
Wichner, Bettina and I would like to thank you for agreeing to participate in this interview and for sharing your experiences with our readers. As German writers from Banat, Romania, you and Herta Müller seem to have had a similar trajectory. You come from the same region, grew up in traditional ethnic German households, left your birthplaces to get an education, and studied German language and literature at the University of Timişoara. Do you recall when your paths first crossed? What was your impression of Herta Müller at the time?
We can believe this, but not say it. Still, what can’t be said can be written. Because writing is a silent act, a labor from the head to the hand. The mouth is skipped over. I talked a great deal during the dictatorship, mostly because I decided not to blow the trumpet. Usually my talking led to excruciating consequences. But the writing began in silence, there on the stairs, where I had to come to terms with more than could be said. What was happening could no longer be expressed in speech. At most the external accompaniments, but not the totality of the events themselves.
The women’s handkerchiefs were smaller, and their edges were light blue, red, or green. The children’s handkerchiefs were the smallest: borderless white squares painted with flowers or animals. All three handkerchief types were divided into those for everyday use, in the front row, and those reserved for Sunday, in the back. On Sundays your handkerchief had to match the color of your clothes, even if it wasn’t visible. No other object in the house, including ourselves, was ever as important to us as the handkerchief.
Herta Müller : politics and aesthetics by Bettina Brandt, Valentina Glajar