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Literature and Linguistics (Vol. 1 No. 2); Literature and Violence (Vol. 3 Nos. 1-2)

Women, Consumption and Popular Culture (Vol. 4 No. 1); Life, Community, and Ethics (Vol. 4. No. 2)

The Making of Barbarians in Western Literature (Vol. 5 No. 1); Chaos and Fear in Contemporary British Literature (Vol. 5 No. 2)

Taiwan Cinema before Taiwan New Wave Cinema (Vol. 6 No. 1); Catastrophe and Cultural Imaginaries (Vol. 6 No. 2)

Affective Perspectives from East Asia (Vol. 9 No. 2); Longing and Belonging (Vol. 10 No. 2, produced in collaboration with the European Network for Comparative Literary Studies)

Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations, 1776 to the Present (Vol. 11 No. 2). 


The four novels, which this research will analyze, come from four different writers who grew up under the communist dictatorship. All of these writers had long-term bitter experience with the dictatorship, whether they were staying in their mother countries or after they had left home to settle in the former West Germany. The main thread running through the novels is all held in the hands of the female first person narrators. Because all of the narrators consider themselves victims of the dictatorial system, they always emanate their victim mentality from the victim perspectives when examining the past and the present.

Both novels, the one of Christa Wolf’s Was bleibt, and that of Herta Müller’s Heute wär ich mir lieber nicht begegnet, demonstrate the everyday life of the communist dictatorship. They do not just describe the repetitious and individual surveillance of thoughts, but also the psychosomatic disorder as its result. Furthermore, both novels also expose the daily observation practice, and the deep-seated fear of the individuals living under this political system. On the contrary, Monika Maron’s Stille Zeile sechs and Kerstin Hensel’s Tanz am Kanal concentrate mainly on the processes as to how the dictatorial regime attempts to control the individuals by using collective education, political ideologies, and nationwide surveillance in order to distort their sense of identity, and how they eventually manifest their opposition to the regime and try to change their life.

KEYWORDS: Dictatorship, Remembrances, History, Trauma, Secret Police 

摘 要

本文所探討的四部德語小說,分別出自四位成長於共產 極權體制的作家之手。四位作家不論在共產時期是否離開祖 國,移民西德,都對極權世界有長年的切身體認。四部小說 皆以第一人稱的女敘述者貫穿全文,她們都自認為是極權體 制的受害者,懷抱受害心態,採取受害視角,來回穿梭於過 去與現在之間。

沃爾敷(Christa Wolf)的《所剩為何》(Was bleibt)與 米勒(Herta Müller)的《但願我今日沒遇見自己》(Heute wär ich mir lieber nicht begegnet)分別敘述共產極權的日常生活 樣態,勾勒全面生活化、個體化的思想箝制與身心戕害,以 及個體深處其間的日常觀察與內在惶恐。而馬容(Monika Maron)的《清靜排樓六號》(Stille Zeile sechs)與鞎瑟(Kerstin Hensel)的《水道渠畔之舞》(Tanz am Kanal)則將敘述焦點 集聚於極權體制利用集體教化、政治意識形態與全面監控系 統,宰制個體存在,以致扭曲個體自我認同,終而引起敘述 者反彈而試圖扭轉命運的歷程。