Abstract zu Heft 13:

Hans Joachim Schädlich. Zwei Studien, ein Gespräch.

Von: Wolfgang Müller.

In its Materialien und Ergebnisse publications the Institut für kulturwissenschaftliche Deutschlandstudien (Institute for German Cultural Studies) has focused mostly on broad issues such as the civil rights movement in the GDR (Heft 1), the relationship of GDR-literature to GDR literary criticism (Heft 2), the status of intellectuals after unification and controversies related to German unification (Heft 4), and the attitude of young German writers towards German unification (Heft 11). Nevertheless, studies of pivotal individual writers have had their place in the overall program of the Institute. In Heft 3, Wilfried Grauert showcased his study of Volker Brauns writings in the eighties, in Heft 9, Hans Joachim Schröder analyzed writings of Maxie Wander and Sarah Kirsch, and in this issue of the Materialien and Ergebnisse, Wolfgang Müller explores Hans Joachim Schädlichs life and works in an extensive interview that he conducted with the writer in 1994, and in two articles he has written on Schädlich, one on Schädlichs poetic and political views, and the other one on Schädlichs ‚masterwork‘ (as Ruth Klüger put it) Schott.

While the interview juxtaposes Schädlichs biography with major political developments in the GDR such as the 1953 uprising, the expulsion of Wolf Biermann, the building and the fall of the Berlin Wall, and German unification, the first article explores his aesthetic positions and his views on currenct political events such as the debate about the Stasi and the fusion of the two German PEN Centers and the two Academies of Art. The second article attempts to shed light on Schädlichs Schott, one of the most interesting and difficult novels written in Germany after the second World War. It is the story of the hero Schott who explores the vestiges of the Nazi- and Stalinist dictatorships and the possibilities of freedom in a post-dictatorial society, themes which are essential to the overall research project of the Institute.