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MEMORY OF CHILD NARRATOR IN LITERARY WORK ABOUT TRAUMA OF FACSISM: HITLER, MY NEIGHBOUR BY EDGAR FEUCHTWANGER

Z. Stanislavova, A. Brestovicova
Friday 9 November 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

Usage of child’s perspective (including its sophisticated utilization of naivety) in the literature for adults is able to unmask deformed social experience and human characters in extraordinarily convincing way. The work of the German author Edgar Feuchtwanger - Hitler, My Neighbour - is ranked among this kind of proses. The author depicts collective trauma of humanity (racial genocide in the 20th century) by the means of the child’s optics. The authors of the study interpret two levels of factualism in this memorial prose. One level consists of analysis of procedures, by which Feuchtwanger reconstructs historical world, while the focus is on two narrative lines (quotations from Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf and memories of the narrator about politically motivated conversations of adults, newspaper reports, events) and their mutual dialogue. The second level of factualism is represented by reconstruction of the historical world as the part of the child narrator’s memory about the fate of the Jewish family at the time, when Hitler came to power in years 1929-1939. An alternation of those two ‘voices’ and two perspectives in Feuchtwanger’s prose reconstructs an image of Hitler and the process of increasing of his power and intensification of his anti-Semitism on the one hand, while on the other hand it depicts the fate of the Jews and the process of their awareness of the potential existential threat. Owing to the child narrator ‘historical world’ of the prose as a model of the past (the portrayal of gradual ascendance of fascism impact) acquired more significant experiential dimension and the message of memento.

Keywords: factualism, fictitious world, historical world, Hitler, holocaust, child perspective of narration


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