After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Eastern and Western Germany were reunited. The people from both sides could more conveniently communicate and exchange thoughts and ideas. Thus, Contemporary German Literature stepped into a new era which changed the “national culture based writing” into “global writing”. The transnational German-language writers played an important role in this development.
To find out how and why transnational German-language writers influence contemporary German literature, I began to look up books by transnational writers. The first book I read was Nachtschwimmen im Rhein (Chinese version) by Lingyuan Luo, a Chinese-born writer now living in Germany. In her book, there are five love stories about relationships of girls from China with local German. She used the unique foreigner’s view to illustrate the relationship with local Germans and the feeling of foreigners. For example, one chapter in this book is talking about a German male show his love to a Chinese girl in his own way. The culture difference between Chinese and German is standing up through this story. This unique style of writing and special foreigner experience in German led her to be bestowed the highest honor in Germany for a foreign-born writer: the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize. After reading this book, I got some understanding of why transnational German-language writers have great influences on contemporary German literature and how they affect German culture.
The knowledge I got from that book coupled with my passion for reading literature led me to explore the deep influences of transnational German-language writers in Contemporary German Literature. Specifically, I will focus on how these transnational German-language writers use their special foreign experiences to build up new structures of German culture identity, and how they are changing the "national" writing" to "global” writing in Contemporary German Literature process. When I arrive in Berlin, I will experience the feelings that the transnational writers feel and achieve a better understanding of transnational literature and culture identity.
1.Tawada, Yoko. Where Europe Begins. New Directions Publishing Corporation, 2002. Print.
2.Luo, Lingyuan. Nachtschwimmen im Rhein. Erzählungen. München 2008 (Chinese version)
3.Franzè, Federica, “The poetics of return: imagining home in German transnational narratives” Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations (1975): n pag. Web. 22 May 2011