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Critical Context

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 141

Personal experience is an element common to all Christa Wolf’s work before 1979. The autobiographical stories, told neither chronologically nor in a confessional manner, recall single significant events in the context of her generation’s destiny and the development of East Germany. Her critical examination of the position of women in a Communist state began with the publication of three short stories in the collection Unter den Linden: Drei unwahrscheinliche Geschichten (1974; under the linden: three improbable stories). The last of these is called a self-experiment and seems to mark the end of Wolf’s blatant use of her own experiences. No Place on Earth could be considered a turning point in the author’s development as a writer. In it, Wolf continues to take a strongly feminist position, yet she departs from the autobiographical tradition with which she was previously identified.

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