In: KulturPoetik 2014, Heft 1


Katrin Max


Über das Verschwinden der Utopie und den Missbrauch in der Geschichte. Individuelle Erfahrung und politisches Schicksal in Volker Brauns Unvollendete Geschichte und Christoph Heins Der fremde Freund




Based on two well-known texts of GDR literature, the article investigates the benefits of focusing on close reading while at the same time taking account of historical and cultural contexts. Both Volker Braun’s Unvollendete Geschichte and Christoph Hein’s Der fremde Freund address specific problems of the GDR in the 1970s and early 1980s by means of the individual conflicts of the protagonists, Karin and Claudia. While Volker Braun, writing about the adolescent generation, questions the realization of a socialist utopia and thus leaves the future uncertain and literally unfinished, Christoph Hein, using the example of Claudia, broaches the issue of dealing with the past. Thus former events can be reconstructed as the story of sexual abuse by Claudia’s uncle Gerhard. Here, the parallels between individual and political repression are particularly striking.