Good for teaching modernist prose, short prose as genre, ‘autofiction’, coterie writing, as well as Jewishness, queerness, play regarding gender around 1900...
Hardly non-canonical, but certainly an interesting example of a migrant female narrator in urban space (Berlin), and a text which offers rich opportunities for close reading and stylistic analysis. Although the ambiguity and fragmentary narrative are often challenging to students, the language itself (syntax, vocab) etc are fairly straightforward, so probably suitable for teaching to … Continue reading Müller, Herta. Reisende auf einem Bein (Fischer, 1989)
Hegemann's novel sparked a plagiarism controversy when a blogger revealed that she had lifted and adapted substantial sections of her novel from a writer blogging under the pseudonym Airen (published as the novel Strobo. (2009)). Hegemann explores issues of authenticity and originality, as well as the expectations placed on young, female authors. Set in and around … Continue reading Hegemann, Helene. Axolotl Roadkill (Ullstein, 2010)
Now a cult film, this updating of the Lola story takes place in and around the Turkish drag bars of Berlin. It explores stereotypes of masculinity and femininity, norms in German culture and in Berlin's Turkish diaspora, and questions of Germanness in contemporary and historical contexts. Could be taught alongside Lola rennt, an intertext which Ataman … Continue reading Ataman, Kutluğ (dir.). Lola und Bilidikid (Absolut Medien, 1999)
An ideal film for exploring questions of gender and queerness in contemporary German society. Protagonist Lukas, a trans man, falls for macho gay guy Fabio. Takes place in a residence for Zivildienstleistende and in Cologne's queer scene, with almost no straight characters. Explores the norms and prejudices that exist within the queer scene, the forces … Continue reading Bernardi, Sabine (dir.). Romeos (Peccadillo, 2010)