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Schreiben als Körperverletzung: Zur Anthropologie des Terrors in Bernward Vespers Die Reise

Berendse, Gerrit-Jan 2001. Schreiben als Körperverletzung: Zur Anthropologie des Terrors in Bernward Vespers Die Reise. Monatshefte 93 (3) , pp. 319-334.

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In the context of Germany's encounter with left-wing terrorism, the novel Die Reise (1977) by Bernward Vesper (1938-71) initiated a new discourse on politically motivated violence. The voyeuristic insights into the author's inner feelings while confronted with "verbal terrorism" and the juxtaposition of anger, fear, and aggression offers an alternative rhetoric within the dualistic framework in which the ideological debates of the so-called German Autumn took place. Die Reise is a study of the author's both hostile and tortured body, resulting not solely metaphorically in the author's death. This article critically examines Vesper's masochistic treatment of the body in conjunction with the one-dimensional representation of the terrorist's body as a demon in the West German media, and the preoccupation with corporeality and self-mutilation in the arts in the 1970s. Vesper's anthropology of terror finds its counterpart in the sadistic "politics of the body" (Michael Rutschky) which constructed the rationale for the violent actions of the first generation of the Red Army Faction.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature
Language other than English: German
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
ISSN: 0026-9271
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:50

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