In: KulturPoetik 2008, Heft 1


Jens Loescher


Kultur als Gedächtnis. Deutungskämpfe im literarischen Feld der Nachwende




In this article I wish to propose a structure for a field of literature in the 1990s. Drawing on Bourdieu’s theory, the notion of communicative or cultural memory/memories serves as a means to depict ›groups‹ or ›generations‹ of authors. Due to the dominance of the field of literary criticism, the dynamic in the field of literature almost comes to a halt. Although the major debates of the ›Berlin republic‹ are furnished by writers’ biographical or aesthetic ›material‹ (by Christa Wolf, Walser, Grass, Sebald), there are no strategies for making distinctions within the field of literature. There seems to be a need for a more cultural brand of Bourdieu’s ›struggles of interpretation‹; it is not symbolic capital but symbols of remembrance they focus on. Finally, my original interest seems to weave through the text like a thread: the way West German authors dealt with their East German counterparts, who found ›their‹ positions in the field occupied.