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Title: "Ein Schluck Erde". (Gemeinschafts-) Utopie und Dystopie im Werk von Heinrich Böll
Authors: Serra, Valentina
Keywords: Heinrich BöllUtopiaDystopia
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Valentina Serra, ""Ein Schluck Erde". (Gemeinschafts-) Utopie und Dystopie im Werk von Heinrich Böll", in "Prospero. Rivista di letterature e culture straniere 22 (2017)", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2017, pp. 113-137
An extensive secondary literature on the literary work of Heinrich Böll has rightly emphasized the weight and role of this engaged writer in the period stretching from the Second World War to the 1980s. Böll’s work has traditionally been examined in the light of his realistic writing style and the critical representation of the present, which made him famous as the “critical conscience” and militant author of the Federal Republic of Germany. In the last decades, literary criticism with relatively few exceptions (Badewien and Schmidt-Bergmann 2014, Schubert 2017) has paid little attention to the author even though his utopian and especially dystopian discourse certainly warrants further analysis. Over the years, Boll’s critical discourse of society developed along utopian and dystopian lines in much of his work, in his short stories, in his more mature prose works and even in his plays. Utopia and dystopia (Bernhard 1970, Tomko 2014) act as an optical instrument in the literary work, as a magnifying and distorting mirror of reality that transcends the limits of the engaged writer’s “prophetic” role and critically presents the origins of social contradictions and evils. Böll’s typical heroes are endowed with the characteristics of dystopian characters, since they are problematic outsiders in society who exercise a disobedient resistance against upper instances and demiurgical figures. The aim of this contribution is to pursue the utopian and, above all, dystopian Leitmotiv in Heinrich Böll’s first play "Ein Schluck Erde" (1962), in order to discuss the effect of his works in the new millennium. In fact, his reversed and distorted images offer an opposing utopian view of human pietas, as a means in the struggle against capitalist greed, technological ambition and warlike hybris.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1123-2684
eISSN: 2283-6438
DOI: 10.13137/2283-6438/17423
Appears in Collections:2017 / 22 Prospero. Rivista di letterature e culture straniere

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