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Understanding Johannes Bobrowski

David Scrase

A critical introduction to the postwar writer heralded on both sides of the Iron Curtain

David Scrase elucidates the literary subtleties of one of the most prominent writers to live and work in the German Democratic Republic—Johannes Bobrowski (1917–1965). Despite the fact that Bobrowski won such prestigious accolades as the Heinrich Mann Prize and Charles Veillon Prize and held an important position in the literature of postwar Germany, very little scholarship has been published in English about his work. Scrase fills this gap by exploring the heralded writer's novels, poems, and short stories.

Contending that Bobrowski's writing can be understood by those who appreciate the disparate personal, geographical, religious, and historical factors that influenced Bobrowski during his childhood in East Prussia, Scrase reviews the region's history and profiles its diverse ethnic and religious communities. Then, through close readings of Bobrowski's poetry and fiction, Scrase exposes the writer's attempts to come to terms with Germany's destructive role in East Prussia and in other parts of eastern Europe.

David Scrase is professor of German. He has written on the nature poet Wilhelm Lehmann and has translated German fiction, poetry, and aphorisms into English.



book jacket for Understanding Johannes Bobrowski


6 x 9
160 pages
ISBN 978-1-57003-028-4
cloth, $39.95s
Understanding Modern European and Latin
American Literature


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