Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Siller B.
New German Critique
Contaminated soulscapes and landscapes in maja haderlap’s engel des vergessens/angel of oblivion
Optional Fields
Contaminated landscapes Maja Haderlap Polluted soulscapes Transgenerational memories Trauma
© 2020, Duke University Press. All rights reseved. This article discusses contaminated soulscapes and landscapes in southern Carinthia in Austria as narrated in Maja Haderlap’s novel Engel des Vergessens (Angel of Oblivion, 2011). Since a large part of the Slovenian population in southern Carinthia joined the partisans during World War II and thus resisted the Nazis, it is a highly contaminated space, where local battles took place and hidden graves are ubiquitous. The article examines the representation of these tainted landscapes in Haderlap’s novel. It emphasizes the contaminated soulscapes of the portrayed characters and positions soulscapes and landscapes in close connection to each other. It argues that the characters’ traumatic experiences not only are inscribed as bodily memories but also become part of their language. Rather than engage with the wider field of trauma theories, this article focuses on the main characters of the three generations, grandmother, son, and granddaughter, whereby it becomes obvious that Haderlap’s text supports the idea of transgenerational memories. By discussing the narrative choices for portraying the memories, the article argues that through specific strategies the text displays the interconnectedness between past, present, and future as well as the complexity of remembering processes.
Grant Details