Trapped in the Land of Liberty: Monika Maron’s Animal Triste (1996)

  • Susanne Rinner The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Keywords: Monika Maron, Animal Triste, East Germany, USA, memory

Abstract

Monika Maron’s Animal Triste (1996) was widely understood as a response to German unification. This reading of Maron’s critically acclaimed novel places the text in the context of the literary discourse of the so-called New World. The United States have long enticed the German literary imagination and have served as a screen for projections of (utopian) promises of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The narrator’s exploration of her freedom, symbolized in a trip to New York City, are juxtaposed with feelings of imprisonment, expressed through seemingly endless remembering. Maron’s novel connects with the tradition of German writing about love, another powerful trope of freedom and captivity, and resonates with other women’s writing about the U.S. after 1989.

Author Biography

Susanne Rinner, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Susanne Rinner is Associate Professor of German Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She studied at the Freie Universität Berlin and Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and received her Ph.D. from Georgetown University in Washington DC. With a focus on twentieth century and contemporary German literature, film and culture, her interdisciplinary research interests include memory studies and the transnational and transcultural relations between the US and Germany. Her first book, “1968 and the German Literary Imagination. Literary Representations and Debates of the Sixties after 1989” appeared with Berghahn Books in 2013. Currently, she is working on a book project entitled “The Radical Identity” which analyzes the often quite divergent representations of radical subjects and their construction and performance in various media. Dr. Rinner serves on the Executive Council of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), first as Vice President (2016-17), and then as President (2018-19).


References

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Published
2017-07-14
Section
Articles