Abendland und Wirtschaftswunder. Zur kulturkritischen Physiognomie der westdeutschen Romanprosa zwischen 1945 und 1959

This study in the field of literature deals with seven novels of early Western German postwar-literature: Hermann Kasack, Die Stadt hinter dem Strom (1946); Ernst Kreuder, Die Unauffindbaren (1048); Hans Werner Richter, Die Geschlagenen (1949); Arno Schmidt, Schwarze Spiegel (1951); Wolfgang Koeppen, Tauben im Gras (1951), Das Treibhaus (1953); Heinrich Böll, Billard um halb zehn (1959). The general thesis says that in these representative texts the intellectual Gestalt of <Kulturkritik> holds a key position. Despite of the rhetorics of the <Stunde Null> (1945) and the self-understandig of the authors as left-wing progressives the novels cling to an intellectual tradition of pre-war Germany that is linked to the anti-dmocratic right-wing opponents of the so-called <Konservative Revolution>. The critique of the <mass> and the complimentary emphasis of the wirter / intellectual as a leading figure in society are anti-Western issues which are continually re-installed through the authors' concepts of history and their claim of intellectual superiority. Developing a broad concept of analysis combining tools from hermeneutics and the social sciences (<Sinnwissenschaft>), the study points out in neat interpretations how this persistent scheme from the tradition of cultural criticism is working in various layers of the texts. There are detailed readings of the modelling of society, space and characters (esp. female ones); the study takes an additional look on essayistic and poetological passages as well as on Gnostic aspects of the involved cultural criticism.

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