Aesthetics of Violence in Uwe Timm's Rot and Friedrich Christian Delius's Mein Jahr als Mörder


  • I would like to thank Denison University's R. C. Good Fellowship for the time to research this article. I would also like to thank Eva Revesz for reading and commenting on earlier versions of this essay.


This essay examines how two novels written in the spirit of 1968 incorporate potential violent acts into narrative in ways that reflect the nonviolent principles of Autoren Edition and Hannah Arendt's ideas on the relation between violence and political action. The authors of these novels join art and terror by recounting purely fantasized acts of violence that become aesthetically reified in narrative form. This essay asserts that Timm's Rot and Delius's Mein Jahr als Mörder acknowledge the place of violence in the public realm of politics but displace it to the sphere of aesthetics and narrative in order to grant it a political legitimacy that it otherwise does not possess for peaceful social change.