Ästhetischer Radikalismus in der Posthistoire. Zum literarischen Bild der Geschichte in Reinhard Jirgls Hundsnächte

Simon Ward

Research output: Book/ReportScholarly Edition


This chapter constitutes a socio-semiotic investigation of the representation of three topoi - the ruin, the railway and the desert - in Reinhard Jirgl's novel Hundsnächte. The analysis highlights Jirgl's diagnosis of a 'posthistorical' society, which links back to the mood that dominated his earliest texts written in the GDR. Identifying some of the cultural determinants of Jirgl's 'posthistorical' literary aesthetic, such as Nietzsche, it shows how his post-unification engagement with the GDR past and the German present is to be read within a 'Zivilisationskritik' that is rooted in posthistorical analyses of society. The chapter concludes by historicising Jirgl's literary strategies through demonstrating affinities with the 'aesthetic radicalism' of Wolfgang Koeppen in his 'posthistorical' diagnosis of the state of the nascent Federal Republic in the 1950s.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

Publication series

NameGerman Monitor
ISSN (Print)0927-1910


Cite this