Trapped in the Land of Liberty: Monika Maron’s Animal Triste (1996)
Keywords:Monika Maron, Animal Triste, East Germany, USA, memory
AbstractMonika 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.
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