The Wounded Self: Writing Illness in Twenty-First-Century German Literature (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture #190) (Paperback)

The Wounded Self: Writing Illness in Twenty-First-Century German Literature (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture #190) By Nina Schmidt Cover Image
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Takes the recent wave of German autobiographical writing on illness and disability seriously as literature, demonstrating the value of a literary disability studies approach.


In the German-speaking world there has been a new wave - intensifying since 2007 - of autobiographically inspired writing on illness and disability, death and dying. Nina Schmidt's book takes this writing seriously as literature, examining how the authors of such personal narratives come to write of their experiences between the poles of clich and exceptionality. Identifying shortcomings in the approaches taken thus far to such texts, she makes suggestions as to how to better read their narratives from the stance of literary scholarship, then demonstrates the value of a literary disability studies approach to such writing with close readings of Charlotte Roche's Scho gebete(2011), Kathrin Schmidt's Du stirbst nicht (2009), Verena Stefan's Fremdschl fer (2007), and - in the final, comparative chapter - Christoph Schlingensief's So sch n wie hier kanns im Himmel gar nicht sein Tagebuch einer Krebserkrankung (2009) and Wolfgang Herrndorf's blog-cum-book Arbeit und Struktur (2010-13). Schmidt shows that authors dealing with illness and disability do so with an awareness of their precarious subject position in the public eye, a position they negotiate creatively. Writing the liminal experience of serious illness along the borders of genre, moving between fictional and autobiographical modes, they carve out spaces from which they speak up and share their personal stories in the realm of literature, to political ends.

Nina Schmidt is a postdoctoral researcher in the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies at the Freie Universit t Berlin.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781640141346
ISBN-10: 1640141340
Publisher: Camden House (NY)
Publication Date: June 14th, 2022
Pages: 246
Language: English
Series: Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture