Beyond 1989: Re-reading German literature since 1945
With the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, four decades of separation seemed to have been brought to an end. In the literary arena as in many others, this seemed to be the surprising but ultimately logical end to the situation in which, after the extreme separation of the two Germanies' literatures during most of the period up to 1980, an increasing closeness could be observed during the 1980s, as relations between the two German states normalized. With the opening up of the East in the Autumn of 1989 claims were being made, on the one hand, that German literature had never, in fact, been divided, while others were proclaiming the end of East and West German literatures as they had existed, and the beginning of a new era. This volume examines these claims and other aspects of literary life in the two Germanies since 1945, with the hindsight born of unification in 1990, as well as looking at certain aspects of developments since the fall of the Wall, when, as on East German put it in 1996, rapprochement came to an end.