Wurzellos und zeitenthoben? Schweden als Transitraum und deutsche Heterotopie im Werk Antje Rávic Strubels

Translated title of the contribution: Rootless and time removed from? Sweden as a transit area and German Heterotopia factory Antje Rávic of Strubels

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

In Antje Rávic Strubel’s novels, Sweden frequently features as a transit space for her (East) German characters. Keenly aware of a specifically German tradition of cultural representation, which treats Scandinavia as an idealised alternative Heimat (homeland), Strubel portrays Sweden as a foreign yet familiar location, which appears to offer the German protagonists the potential for self-realisation and exploration of socially defined boundaries away from home. This vision of Sweden as a liberating transit space can be seen to correspond to Victor Turner’s concept of liminality, which places subjects temporarily outside of social constraints. In Sweden, Strubel’s displaced characters challenge the hegemonic restrictions of German bourgeois patriarchal society. However, this hopeful vision of Scandinavia as a free liminal space allowing permissive behaviour is rejected as the home country’s social restrictions are (re)asserted in the northern setting. Ultimately, Sweden emerges as an extension of German society, a “heterotopia” (Foucault) denying the characters a lasting escape from the limitations of their home country. This paper explores how Strubel’s novels appropriate and transform popular German perceptions of Sweden in order to express an independent vision, which acts as an intriguing commentary on both repressive structures within German society and on the country’s continuing colonialist attitude towards Scandinavia.
Translated title of the contributionRootless and time removed from? Sweden as a transit area and German Heterotopia factory Antje Rávic of Strubels
Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationTransiträume und transitorische Begegnungen in Literatur, Theater und Film
EditorsE.W.B. Hess-Lüttich, Sabine Egger, Withold Bonner
Place of PublicationFrankfurt (DE)
PublisherPeter Lang
Pages249
Number of pages262
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-63172602-0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameCross-Cultural Communication
PublisherPeter Lang

Bibliographical note

DOI 10.3726/b11320

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