prominently mounted in the set, as well as popular music. In The Duel, alongside
Castorf ’s preferred rock songs (including Neil Young and Jimi Hendrix), we heard
some Austrian chansons and Eastern European classical music.
Both Ostermeier and Castorf are committed to the legacy of Germanpolitical theatre in the Brechtian tradition. Ostermeier studied in the directing class of
Manfred Karge, and Heiner Müller’s work was formative for Castorf. Both consider
a distinct theatral realism as a vital force to safeguard at least some political efficacy
of theatre art against the
Intercultural exchanges and the redefinition of identity in Hugo Hamilton’s Disguise and Hand in the Fire
Carmen Zamorano Llena
fighting on the Russian front at the
end of the Second World War, is made to promise that she will never tell anybody about the replacement of her dead son, not even her husband, a promise
that she maintains against all odds. Gregor’s chance discovery of this event in his
young adulthood makes him question his sense of identity, as it had been given
to him, and forces him to reconstruct it on half-suspected truths.
The Germanpolitical philosopher Jürgen Habermas argues that individual
identity and collective identity cannot be equated, but that they exist in a
thus not unreasonable to regard all the members of
Plebeians ’ fictional Berliner Ensemble as figures
comparable to Grass, who worked for Willy Brandt’s West German
Social Democratic Party and commented actively on Germanpolitics.
Viewing the play in this light, Grass appears to be negotiating with the
past not simply to criticize Brecht’s personal artistic judgement
nor to single out the
Medea and the poetics of fratricide in early modern English literature
Jonathan R. Lyon, Princely Brothers and
Sisters: The Sibling Bond in GermanPolitics,
1100–1250 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press,
2013), pp. 3, 6.
Richard Robinson, The Rewarde of
Wickednesse (London: William Williamson, 1574), sig.
it did not set the standard. This was done by
the German All Quiet on the Western Front.’16
The novelty of nothing new
While the ten-year distance from the war should not be conceived
as a gap, it was a significant milestone. Erich Maria Remarque’s Im
Westen Nichts Neues, perhaps the most famous First World War
novel, was first serialised in the original German on the tenth anniversary of the Armistice and was a major success.17 Eschatological
and sometimes merely scatological, Remarque’s novel was attacked
by the Germanpolitical left for not going far enough, and
and published in the English
edition 1929, included as an appendix in The Seeds of Revolt, 379–92, commentary
Lubkemann Allen, EccentriCities.indd 285
Eccentric narrative consciousness
their early formation as writers involves similar moves in similarly
structured cultural sites.
Both were formed by progressive European ideas circulating in their
capitals at similarly critical historical moments. Both read English,
French and Germanpolitical philosophy and literature. They found
literary models in Swift, Sterne, Dickens, Sand