By Julian Preece (auth.)
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Additional info for Baader-Meinhof and the Novel: Narratives of the Nation / Fantasies of the Revolution, 1970–2010
One finding of my book is that as soon as terrorist actions have a bearing on memories of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, the contemporary Arab-Israeli conflict, or the Jewish presence in postwar Germany, German novelists do their best to pretend that they have not noticed. introduction / 9 However novelistic much of the history may be, not all episodes have found authors as readily as others. Hans-Joachim Klein, for instance, was a working-class member of the Revolutionary Cells whose mother survived Ravensbrück concentration camp, where she was sent for having a sexual relationship with a Jew.
He also shows glimpses of his romance with Ensslin, who left Vesper for Baader shortly after the birth of their son. The most compelling sections, which resonated with Vesper’s peers, are those about his aging father’s child-rearing methods. On the whole, however, the fascination of Vesper’s subject matter is not matched by his novel’s readability. The Trip has been a best-seller twice. 42 He shows too that Vesper was disingenuous in recalling his hostility to his father. Koenen gives rather more details of Vesper’s work with his father’s old Nazi networks, showing that his emotional entanglement with his father had ramifications that he failed to explore himself.
20 Both sides resembled more and more closely their adversaries’ negative image of them. Elias was right about tragedy, insofar as its purpose is to cleanse its audience of unwanted emotions, which are acted out for them by others. Many German Baader-Meinhof narratives have sources in classical literature, religion, or mythology. The 8 / baader-meinhof and the novel greatest mythologizer among the historians is Koenen, who presents the German Autumn as the Wagnerian climax to “the years of lead” ushered in by the Student Movement in 1967–68.
Baader-Meinhof and the Novel: Narratives of the Nation / Fantasies of the Revolution, 1970–2010 by Julian Preece (auth.)