Article name Rethinking of the Legacy of the Second World War in Austrian Literature of the End of the 20th Century
Authors Kovtun N.V. Doctor of Philology, Professor,
Larina M.V. Master Student,
Bibliographic description
UDK 821.112.2
DOI 10.21209/1996-7853-2020-15-1-49-59
Article type
Annotation The article explores the process of rethinking the heritage of World War II in Austrian literature of the second half of the twentieth century. We show that this issue has become leading in the work of the group of Austrian playwrights “Schocktheater”, who wrote plays aimed at awakening the public, changing people’s views on social problems and outstanding authors, laureate of the Nobel Prize for Literature Elfrida Jelinek and novelist Christoph Ransmire. The paper provides an overview of the cultural and political events of the 1980s that influenced the choice of subjects and problems of texts of that time. On the example of novels by Chr. Ransmair “The Last World” and El. Jelinek “Wonderful, wonderful times”, we show how each of the authors in his own unique way embodies the realities of modern Austria, discussing the pressing problems of modernity (the legacy of Nazism and the attitude of different generations to it, the problem of “fathers and children” , a poet and a government, an art and a state as eternal and temporary ...). The main theme uniting the writers’ work is the theme of the Austrian “oblivion” of their own Nazi past, which leads to both global and personal catastrophes. Artists are trying to answer the key questions of our time – what is the reason for the stability of totalitarianism, the attractiveness of the ideas of violence, cruelty, covering the future of human civilization. The authors warn people who believe in their right to control the fate of other people at their own discretion. When a “man with an ax” is appointed a prophet, he destroys everything in his path that does not fit into his idea of what is due. A civilization that has advanced the principle of violence as one of the proofs of the significance of human destiny is doomed.
Key words Ch. Ransmayr “The Last world”, the Second World War, rethinking of the legacy, El. Jelinek “Wonderful, wonderful times”
Article information
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Full articleRethinking of the Legacy of the Second World War in Austrian Literature of the End of the 20th Century