Herta Müller

Edited by Brigid Haines

Herta Müller

Edited by Brigid Haines

Distributed for University of Wales Press

157 pages | 8 3/10 x 5 1/2 | © 1998
Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9780708314845 Published December 1998 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

Herta Müller is one of the leading figures in the new generation of German writers. An ethnic German born in the Romanian Banat, she first came to prominence with her scathing yet poetic depiction of the anti-idyll of village life, Niederungen (1982).The literary texts and essays which followed catalogued the decline of the Romanian-German community and the degredations of daily life in Ceauescu’s Romania. Reflecting Müller’s move to West Berlin in 1987, the seminal novel Reisende auf einem Bein (1989) deals with the postmodern uncertainties of modern city life and casts a critical eye on contemporary German society. It was followed by further `autofictional’ texts exploring totalitarian rule and the `Angst’ it engenders. The Land of Green Plums, the English translation of the densely structured novel Herztier (1994), based on Müller’s experience of political repression in Romania, has recently achieved widespread international recognition though the award of the prestigious Dublin-IMPAC Prize.

The first book in English to be devoted exclusively to Herta Müller, this collection of essays is intended both as an introduction for the general reader and a resource for the specialist. It contains ten previously unpublished short texts by Müller, together with a revealing interview and a biographical outline. Six essays by British and German academics interpret key texts in detail and assess vital aspects of Müller’s entire oeuvre. The essays are complemented by the fullest bibliography on Müller published since 1991.

1. Im Haarknoten wohnt eine Dame. Zehn Texte Herta Müller
2. Herta Müller: Outline Biography Brigid Haines
3. Gespräch mit Herta Müller Brigid Haines und Margaret Littler
4. Remembered Things: The Representation of memory and Separation in Der Mensch ist ein großer Fasan auf der Welt David Midgley
5. Beyond Alienation: The City in the Novels of Herta Müller and Libuše Moníková Margaret Littler
6. Metapher, Metonymie und Moral. Herta Müllers HerztierRicarda Schmidt
7. ’Die Einzelheiten und das Ganze’: Herta Müller and Totalitarianism John J. White
8. Platz für die Moral? Herta Müller, ihre Texte und das poetische Moment Dagmar von Hoff
9. ’Leben wir im Detail’: Herta Müller’s Micro-Politics of Resistance Brigid Haines
10. Bibliography 1990-1998 Owen Evans
Review Quotes
The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies

“. . . continues the stimulating series of monographs on contemporary German writers . . . this volume will promote further interest in a challenging, yet fascinating, writer.” –The Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies


“ . . . a welcome addition to the Contemporary German Writers series . . . an excellent volume that fulfils its aim and that of the series by providing both an overview and high-quality material for the specialist.” –MLR

Journal of English and Germanic Philology

“. . . Brigid Haines’s collection of essays is the first book in English devoted to Muller’s work and is certainly to be welcomed by American and British scholars . . . In short, this collection of essays is the best study to date devoted to Muller’s oeuvre and is a valuable contribution not only to German studies, but also to the wider fields of culture studies, ethnic studies, and feminist studies.” –Journal of English and Germanic Philology

Deutsch: Lehren und Lernen

“. . . it is the first study of the writer in English and provides a well rounded and stimulating introduction for the new reader to this challenging author, as well as being a useful resource for those carrying out specialised research.” –Deutsch:Lehren und Lernen

Forum for Modern Language Studies

“An ethnic German born in the Romanian Banat, Herta Müller, who left Romania for West Berlin in 1987, is among the leading voices in contemporary German literature. This volume is both an excel- lent introduction to her work and a resource for the specialist reader. It contains ten previously unpublished poems by Müller and an interview in which the author reflects on some of her central themes, followed by six essays which give a broad-ranging insight into her work. Müller is obviously not concerned with fashionable themes or theoretical positions. More important to her are the development of a concept of morality as a tool of resistance, and of a narrative strategy which enables her to expose and subvert political repression. Her use of metaphor and metonymy, her insistent focus on detail, her use of memory and myth are dealt with as functions of her political and narrative strategies (Haines, von Hoff, Midgley, Schmidt, White). What enriches the reading of Müller’s texts in this volume are references to contemporaries from other cultures, including Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, and, most explicitly, Libuse Monikovii (Littler). Müller thus emerges as both a "local" and a thoroughly international voice.” –Forum for Modern Language Studies

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