Beginning around the year 2000, a number of German writers and film‐makers began to send their protagonists into Eastern Europe and beyond. Part of a much larger trend towards the transnational in German‐language literature, this development continues the ‘Eastern Turn’ of the 1990s but reverses the direction of movement. In this article I analyse three recent texts by the Hungarian‐born writer Terézia Mora as part of this, by now, multi‐directional ‘Eastern Turn’: her novels Der einzige Mann auf dem Kontinent (2009) and Das Ungeheuer (2013), and her ‘Frankfurter Poetik‐Vorlesungen’, a collection of five lectures assembled under the title Nicht sterben (2014). The novels, both of which chronicle migration from Eastern Europe to Germany as well as travel in the opposite direction and feature German as well as immigrant characters, present an astute critique of contemporary neoliberal economic conditions and practices that have an effect on all the main characters, albeit in very different ways. The lectures give insights into Mora's creative process and the importance of her deep cultural and historical connections to Eastern Europe. They also illustrate Mora's move beyond her own experience of migration toward broader fictional contexts. Taken together, the three texts suggest that traditional views of a Western centre and Eastern peripheries need to be revised in favour of models mindful of multi‐directional movement and the economies that drive it, and capable of mapping the geographies that emerge as a consequence.
German Life and Letters – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018