ERIC Number: EJ885217
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
Intercultural Identities in W. G. Sebald's "The Emigrants" and Norbert Gstrein's "Die englischen Jahre"
Long, J. J.
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v25 n5-6 p512-528 2004
This paper analyses W. G. Sebald's "The Emigrants" and Norbert Gstrein's "Die englischen Jahre" from the perspective of intercultural identity. In Sebald's work, intercultural identity emerges as a political crisis that leads to a series of devastating personal crises: Sebald's protagonists' inability to fully abandon early ethnic and national identifications results in life-long melancholy whose issue can only be death. For Gstrein, the problem of intercultural identity is one of ethnic impersonation. Gstrein explores performative notions of identity, but is alert to the ethical dubiousness and, indeed, potentially regressive aspect of performance, in contradistinction to some contemporary theorists who see the performative approach to identity as emancipatory. In conclusion, the role of the narrator in the texts is examined. Both narrators thematise the question of empathy, from both an ethical and an epistemological point of view. Although they come to different conclusions about the value of empathic identification, their texts represent self-conscious attempts to develop a mode of intercultural narrative that seeks to do justice to the otherness of the other. (Contains 10 notes.)
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Immigrants, Ethics, Empathy, Self Concept, Literature, Nationalism, Ethnicity, Role, Epistemology, Biculturalism, Jews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Austria; Germany