Colloquia Germanica Stetinensia (Jan 2016)

Generativität der Autobiographie am Beispiel von Christa Wolfs „Kindheitsmuster“

  • Harro Müller-Michaels

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 25


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On the one hand autobiographies are written to make the narrators sure of their identity, on the other hand to transmit their acquired experiences to the next generation. This potential of literature is called generativity. Illustrated by Christa Wolf’s "Kindheitsmuster" it will be discussed to what extent the description of events in the childhood during the time of National Socialism and of the trip to Poland in 1971 is a reproduction of reality or invented fiction. By interpretation it will be proved that reconstruction of reality is as evident as the composition of a complex work of art. So we can describe Kindheitsmuster as autobiography of second order, which is offering general lessons and thought patterns by the means of an individual story. This potential creates generativity: a legacy for the coming generations.