Christa Wolf Long Fiction Analysis
In her interview with East German critic Hans Kaufmann (in 1974; reprinted in Lesen und Schreiben: Neue Sammlung), Christa Wolf used the term “subjective authenticity” to describe what she believes should be the methodology and the goal of contemporary prose writers: the intense involvement of the author’s self in the work, along with an absolutely straightforward presentation of reality, as much as this is possible—given the unavoidable subjectivity of the author. Such an approach to writing prohibits the establishment of distance between the author and the work, the reading public, and society as a whole. It implies that the process of writing is more important than the finished product and therefore prevents the commercialization of literature toward which modern marketing tends. For Wolf, the relationship of the author to the work becomes paradigmatic for the relationship between literary language on one hand and modern secular language on the other, and between the individual’s need for self-realization and the pressures for conformity in the technological age. By bridging the gap between author and work through subjective authenticity, Wolf asserts that an intensely reciprocal relationship between author and reader, reader and work is created. At the same time, the dangerous erosion of language in a technological and scientific age is diminished, and the alienation of the individual from society may be abated.
In her acceptance...
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