Jewish-born Hilde Domin (1909-2006) returned to Germany in 1961 after more than twenty-three years of exile, spent in Italy, the UK, and the Dominican Republic. Ever since her first activities as a translator, poet and novelist, Domin criticized post-war Germany severely. Nevertheless, contrary to other exiled jewish-origin writers, Domin – who was defined as the 'Poetess of the return' by H.G. Gadamer – always proved to be ready to overcome and forgive, provided a systematic come-to-terms would take place in the newly-born Federal Republic of Germany. Despite Domin and G. Eich were discussing the most urgent political issues of their time (eg. the role of the new left, the Middl East Issue, the German “Süsterhenn law” (for putting artistic liberty under the control of a moral law), they had a thoroughly different idea of poetry and engagement. Whereas Domin would openly take sides, Eich’s lyric (including the Maulwürfe (1968)) never openly addressed a given, definite subject. It is no surprise thus that Eich always refused to interpret his own poems for the Domin-edited anthology Doppelinterpretationen (1965). The analysis of the discussion and the lyric work by Domin an Eich gives insight into the possible and actual role of poetry in contemporary society. Also with H. Böll Domin debated relevant political issues of the time, but without any focus on the literary work as such. Domin was very critical towards the establishment of post-war (Western) Germany, mostly as Böll was, but, again, she expected him to explicitly take the field. The different idea of the writer vis-à-vis of society and politics becomes well evident with an open letter Domin wrote to Böll in 1971, to which he replied severely, stating that he wanted not to have any public image, nor to be one, and that Germany needed no preceptors. Thus, the major difference between Domin and Böll was their view of the intellectual’s role in society. Contrary to Domin, Austrian exiled and London-based poet E. Fried was programmatically writing – according to Domin – political poems. Their different view, both of technical literary issues, and of the political content becomes evident in the discussion about Fried’s poems to be included in Domin’s lyric anthology Nachkrieg und Unfrieden (1970), in which they discuss many literature topics, including poems by Paul Celan meant for the anthology. The correspondence deals with the so-called Roma-Affäre, an episode of racism against the Roma-community, the Middle-East Issue and the related German and Western positions, the Vietnam war, clearyfying for instance the difference between poetry as such and the political poem. The study highlights Hilde Domin’s relevant contribution to the discourse of memory in post-war Western Germany.

"Hilde Domin e la scrittura dell’impegno - Gesellschaftskritik e questioni letterarie nei carteggi con Heinrich Böll, Günter Eich ed Erich Fried"

Bonosi, Lorenzo
2019

Abstract

Jewish-born Hilde Domin (1909-2006) returned to Germany in 1961 after more than twenty-three years of exile, spent in Italy, the UK, and the Dominican Republic. Ever since her first activities as a translator, poet and novelist, Domin criticized post-war Germany severely. Nevertheless, contrary to other exiled jewish-origin writers, Domin – who was defined as the 'Poetess of the return' by H.G. Gadamer – always proved to be ready to overcome and forgive, provided a systematic come-to-terms would take place in the newly-born Federal Republic of Germany. Despite Domin and G. Eich were discussing the most urgent political issues of their time (eg. the role of the new left, the Middl East Issue, the German “Süsterhenn law” (for putting artistic liberty under the control of a moral law), they had a thoroughly different idea of poetry and engagement. Whereas Domin would openly take sides, Eich’s lyric (including the Maulwürfe (1968)) never openly addressed a given, definite subject. It is no surprise thus that Eich always refused to interpret his own poems for the Domin-edited anthology Doppelinterpretationen (1965). The analysis of the discussion and the lyric work by Domin an Eich gives insight into the possible and actual role of poetry in contemporary society. Also with H. Böll Domin debated relevant political issues of the time, but without any focus on the literary work as such. Domin was very critical towards the establishment of post-war (Western) Germany, mostly as Böll was, but, again, she expected him to explicitly take the field. The different idea of the writer vis-à-vis of society and politics becomes well evident with an open letter Domin wrote to Böll in 1971, to which he replied severely, stating that he wanted not to have any public image, nor to be one, and that Germany needed no preceptors. Thus, the major difference between Domin and Böll was their view of the intellectual’s role in society. Contrary to Domin, Austrian exiled and London-based poet E. Fried was programmatically writing – according to Domin – political poems. Their different view, both of technical literary issues, and of the political content becomes evident in the discussion about Fried’s poems to be included in Domin’s lyric anthology Nachkrieg und Unfrieden (1970), in which they discuss many literature topics, including poems by Paul Celan meant for the anthology. The correspondence deals with the so-called Roma-Affäre, an episode of racism against the Roma-community, the Middle-East Issue and the related German and Western positions, the Vietnam war, clearyfying for instance the difference between poetry as such and the political poem. The study highlights Hilde Domin’s relevant contribution to the discourse of memory in post-war Western Germany.
Hilde Domin, correspondence,Erich Fried, Heinrich Böll, Erich Fried, post-war Germany, poetry, theory of lyric
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/994145
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