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Talkin’’Bout My Generation :Memories of 1968 in Recent German Novels


  • Monika Shafi


This article examines the depiction of 1968 in the novel Rot (2001) by Uwe Timm, in the narrative Mein Jahrhundert (1999) by Günter Grass, and in the autobiographical novel Die Brücke vom goldenen Horn (1998) by Emine Sevgi Özdamar, asking to what extent the concept of generation, understood sociologically and symbolically, is useful in analysing West Germany's 1968 generation and its legacy. The three authors display not only contrasting generational, literary and political profiles, they also entertain a different relationship to German mainstream culture. It becomes clear that Özdamar's novel unsettles precisely this dichotomy between the German mainstream and a multicultural niche-discourse in its intense engagement with the 1968 movement in Germany and Europe. Her text therefore invites us to reconsider the value of the generational parameter in assessing the events of 1968.

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