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The Crime Writer as Historian: Representations of National Socialism and its Post-War Legacy in Kanon’s 'The Good German' and Frei’s 'Berlin' / Katharina Hall

Journal of European Studies, Volume: 42, Issue: 1, Pages: 50 - 67

Swansea University Author: Hall, Katharina

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Abstract

This article explores the cross-fertilization of Joseph Kanon’s The Good German (2001) and Pierre Frei’s Berlin (2003) with the historiography of Alltagsgeschichte, illustrating how the novels reflect, but also extend, the examination of everyday life under National Socialism through their depiction...

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Published in: Journal of European Studies
ISSN: 0047-2441 1740-2379
Published: Journal of European Studies 2012
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa11384
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spelling 2013-09-23T11:56:52Z v2 11384 2012-06-14 The Crime Writer as Historian: Representations of National Socialism and its Post-War Legacy in Kanon’s 'The Good German' and Frei’s 'Berlin' Katharina Hall Katharina Hall true false 9acff4a5cfcde0ceabdf912818024fea 4d37b2b22cb0db2bbaaa54f2187b00f5 LjlUXIVG+V2GZOQnejYx1xbHhpNGhK+ZEf+BVPcHSeI= 2012-06-14 CAAH This article explores the cross-fertilization of Joseph Kanon’s The Good German (2001) and Pierre Frei’s Berlin (2003) with the historiography of Alltagsgeschichte, illustrating how the novels reflect, but also extend, the examination of everyday life under National Socialism through their depiction of German suffering during defeat and Allied occupation. In the process, the texts instigate a controversial thematic turn whose possible implications, such as the marginalization of the memory of Jewish suffering, illuminate the ‘memory contests’ taking place at the beginning of the new millennium. The article also scrutinizes the tensions arising from the authors’ dual role as crime writer and historian, examining the opportunities crime fiction offers for probing the history and legacy of National Socialism, as well as the limits placed on authors’ historical representations by the conventions of the genre. These issues are explored through close readings of both texts and the analysis of over 150 Amazon readers’ responses, which illuminate the plurality of functions the texts have for readers and the capacity of crime fiction to provide valuable access to historical materials and debates. Journal article Journal of European Studies 42 1 50 67 Journal of European Studies 0047-2441 1740-2379 German literature, German crime fiction, American crime fiction, National Socialism, history, historiography, memory 0 0 2012 2012-01-01 10.1177/0047244111428846 http://jes.sagepub.com/content/42/1/50 College of Arts and Humanities College CAAH CAAH 2013-09-23T11:56:52Z 2012-06-14T15:38:35Z College of Arts and Humanities Languages, Translation and Communication Katharina Hall 1
title The Crime Writer as Historian: Representations of National Socialism and its Post-War Legacy in Kanon’s 'The Good German' and Frei’s 'Berlin'
spellingShingle The Crime Writer as Historian: Representations of National Socialism and its Post-War Legacy in Kanon’s 'The Good German' and Frei’s 'Berlin'
Hall, Katharina
title_short The Crime Writer as Historian: Representations of National Socialism and its Post-War Legacy in Kanon’s 'The Good German' and Frei’s 'Berlin'
title_full The Crime Writer as Historian: Representations of National Socialism and its Post-War Legacy in Kanon’s 'The Good German' and Frei’s 'Berlin'
title_fullStr The Crime Writer as Historian: Representations of National Socialism and its Post-War Legacy in Kanon’s 'The Good German' and Frei’s 'Berlin'
title_full_unstemmed The Crime Writer as Historian: Representations of National Socialism and its Post-War Legacy in Kanon’s 'The Good German' and Frei’s 'Berlin'
title_sort The Crime Writer as Historian: Representations of National Socialism and its Post-War Legacy in Kanon’s 'The Good German' and Frei’s 'Berlin'
author_id_str_mv 9acff4a5cfcde0ceabdf912818024fea
author_id_fullname_str_mv 9acff4a5cfcde0ceabdf912818024fea_***_Hall, Katharina
author Hall, Katharina
author2 Katharina Hall
format Journal article
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publishDate 2012
institution Swansea University
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1740-2379
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publisher Journal of European Studies
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url http://jes.sagepub.com/content/42/1/50
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description This article explores the cross-fertilization of Joseph Kanon’s The Good German (2001) and Pierre Frei’s Berlin (2003) with the historiography of Alltagsgeschichte, illustrating how the novels reflect, but also extend, the examination of everyday life under National Socialism through their depiction of German suffering during defeat and Allied occupation. In the process, the texts instigate a controversial thematic turn whose possible implications, such as the marginalization of the memory of Jewish suffering, illuminate the ‘memory contests’ taking place at the beginning of the new millennium. The article also scrutinizes the tensions arising from the authors’ dual role as crime writer and historian, examining the opportunities crime fiction offers for probing the history and legacy of National Socialism, as well as the limits placed on authors’ historical representations by the conventions of the genre. These issues are explored through close readings of both texts and the analysis of over 150 Amazon readers’ responses, which illuminate the plurality of functions the texts have for readers and the capacity of crime fiction to provide valuable access to historical materials and debates.
published_date 2012-01-01T12:01:58Z
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