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Narrating Dementia in Contemporary German Novels
Tsai, Monika Leipelt
dementia;German novel;Arno Geiger;Tilman Jens
|Issue Date:||2021-06-08 15:15:40 (UTC+8)|
|Abstract:||近年來，越來越多的德語小說在德國、奧地利、和瑞士蓬勃發展，而這類型的家庭小 說稱之為「養老院小說1」。這類小說聚焦於老年癡呆，還有嚴重的精神、智力上的退 化。通常，一場對父親或母親的道別就這樣慢慢開始。例如在2009 年，蒂爾曼延出版了 Demenz. Abschied von meinem Vater (老人癡呆，向父親道別2)。2011 年阿諾蓋格出版了小 說Der alte König in seinem Exil (老國王的放逐3)，2014 年羅斯維塔侉福利出版了Neun Monate. Über das Sterben meiner Mutter (關於母親之死的九個月4)。阿諾蓋格所著的小說之 重要性已經廣泛的被德國5及台灣6的學者所認同。 老年癡呆的議題已經變得非常重要，不僅僅是對於年長者及其家人，還有顯示在這 社會上的問題：得到老年癡呆的人們已經越來越多。老年癡呆可算是橫跨於生命和死亡的 過渡期。這開啟了一些話題，尤其是以下的問題：失去自主、記憶、聯繫、自律等是如何 在小說中被敘述？這些敘述中又有哪些異同之處？我們能夠如何理解老年癡呆？何種描敘 老年癡呆的主題或語言形式被使用於自傳和小說？人與人之間的瓦解如何被描述於新類型 的小說？我將試著探索這些在世代與時間之間重要的問題。 |
In recent years, more and more contemporary German language novels emerged in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, that seem to belong to a new form of domestic novel and could be called ‘nursing home novels’ (“Pflegeheimromane”)7. This genre is concerned about the topic of dementia and the many issues that this severe decline in mental ability raises. Often, the topic of a slow and problematic farewell to a parent is thereby processed. For example, among others, in 2009, Tilman Jens released Demenz. Abschied von meinem Vater (‘Dementia. Farewell to my father’).8 In 2011, Arno Geiger issued his novel Der alte König in seinem Exil (‘The old king in his exile’)9, and in 2014, Roswitha Quadflieg’s novel Neun Monate. Über das Sterben meiner Mutter (‘Nine month. About the dying of my mother’)10, was published. The importance of Arno Geiger’s novel has already been acknowledged by distinguished scholars abroad, in Germany11, and in Taiwan as well12. The issue of dementia is a very important one, not just for the elderly themselves and their families, but also in general for the modern society since an ever increasing high number of dementia is recorded. In their transgression from life to death elderly with dementia are situated between the worlds. In this regard this opens up, inter alia, the following questions: How is the position of loss of autonomy, loss of memory, of bonds, and of self-control, described in those novels, and what similarities and differences can be found? (How/What) Can we know of dementia? Which thematic and linguistic-stylistic forms are used between autobiography and fiction to illustrate the problem of dementia disease? And how is the disintegration of interpersonal relationships narrated in this new novel genre? I will try to explore these important questions between the borders of generations and time. 3. Please outline the expected impact on social, economic and academic development after the implementation of this project. (maximum 150 characters) My project will inquire questions that are fundamental for human identity construction, e.g., in particular concerning the negotiation for identity of the elderly in case of the loss of memory and recollection. The narration of dementia produces an in-between of madness and knowledge that is excluded from the dominating society with its so-called Western logos. Getting old does not necessarily mean that someone has to forget. However, memory is something that is not fixed but always changes in time. Novels with narrations of dementia can showcase the many issues that are related with the question of loss. This new literary genre opens up a new field in German Studies that will be crucial in the future since the human population in modern times is getting older than former generations, and the problems that arise from this constellation have already a big impact on many societies (e.g., in Japan and Germany).
|Relation:||科技部, MOST105-2410-H004-100, 10508-10607|
|Appears in Collections:||[歐洲語文學系] 國科會研究計畫|
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