Where Is My Place? Authors from the Former Yugoslavia in Contemporary German Literature Cover Image

Gde mi je mesto? Autori poreklom iz bivše Jugoslavije u savremenoj nemačkoj književnosti
Where Is My Place? Authors from the Former Yugoslavia in Contemporary German Literature

Author(s): Ivana D. Pajić, Mirjana Zarifović Grković
Subject(s): German Literature, Serbian Literature
Published by: Филозофски факултет, Универзитет у Београду
Keywords: Gastarbeiter; migrant and migration literature; contemporary German literature; German-speaking authors originally from the former Yugoslavia

Summary/Abstract: Until the first half of the twentieth century there were only a few representative authors with a migrant background who wrote in German. Since the 1950s and 60s this number has significantly increased. The terminological determinant of this literature has been debated for decades, as the crucial questions to be answered first are, in fact, what kind of literature it is and what place it should take in the German literary scene. This is evidenced by many names that are used or were used in the discourse on this literature, the most common of which are “gastarbeiter”, “migrant” and “migration” literature. The winner of the most prestigious German literary prize “Deutscher Buchpreis” for 2019 is Sasa Stanisic, an author originally from the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, who writes in German and is one of the best contemporary German-speaking writers. For this reason, this paper deals with the position of an under-researched group of authors originally from the former Yugoslavia in contemporary German literature from the period when that literature was still called “gastarbeiter”, until today, when it is considered equal to contemporary German literature and when there is no more need for special marginalizing terminological definitions, such as those mentioned above, nor literary awards intended for this literature alone, such as the “Adelbert-von-Chamisso-Preis” prize. The paper clarifies the terminological determinants of gastarbeiter, migrant, migration, hybrid and new world literature, by which some authors characterize this literature, and points out the reasons why the use of these terms is (un)justified. In addition, attention is drawn to representative authors who write in German, originating from the former Yugoslavia, in chronological order, as well as the awards for which some of them were nominated or have won, which testifies to the importance of these writers in the German speaking area and the equality with other German writers which they have achieved in recent years.

  • Issue Year: 15/2020
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 25-44
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Serbian
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