A literary occupation: responses of German writers in service in occupied Europe

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O'Keeffe, William John
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University College Cork
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This thesis examines the literary output of German servicemen writers writing from the occupied territories of Europe in the period 1940-1944. Whereas literary-biographical studies and appraisals of the more significant individual writers have been written, and also a collective assessment of the Eastern front writers, this thesis addresses in addition the German literary responses in France and Greece, as being then theatres of particular cultural/ideological attention. Original papers of the writer Felix Hartlaub were consulted by the author at the Deutsches Literatur Archiv (DLA) at Marbach. Original imprints of the wartime works of the subject writers are referred to throughout, and citations are from these. As all the published works were written under conditions of wartime censorship and, even where unpublished, for fear of discovery written in oblique terms, the texts were here examined for subliminal authorial intention. The critical focus of the thesis is on literary quality: on aesthetic niveau, on applied literary form, and on integrity of authorial intention. The thesis sought to discover: (1) the extent of the literary output in book-length forms. (2) the auspices and conditions under which this literary output was produced. (3) the publication history and critical reception of the output. The thesis took into account, inter alia: (1) occupation policy as it pertained locally to the writers’ remit; (2) the ethical implications of this for the writers; (3) the writers’ literary stratagems for negotiating the constraints of censorship.
Literature of the German World War II occupation of Europe , Occupation literature
O'Keeffe, W. J., 2012. A literary occupation: responses of German writers in service in occupied Europe. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.