Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Osterle, Heinz D.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures


Wolf; Christa. Was bleibt; Wolf; Christa--Political and social views; Authors; German--Political activity; Germany (East)--Politics and government--1989-1990


The publication in May 1990 of the introspective story, Was bleibt (1990; What Remains and Other Stories. 1993), a modern novella, brought a storm of controversy upon its author, Christa Wolf. Until that time, she was a highly regarded East German writer, who had been awarded many literary prizes in both the East and the West. The literary and ideological debate stemming from this book's publication was conducted in a spiteful tone on the part of West German conservative critics, some of whom had previously praised Wolf's work. One of the most visible writers of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), she was called a Staatsdichterin (state poet), and accused of complicity with the East German regime. This thesis will show that Wolf was not in the service of the GDR government, and that the charges leveled against her were unfair. An avowed socialist, Wolf supported the GDR government, believing in its ability to implement democratic socialism. However, she started to become critical of her government's policies as early as the mid-1960s. Her attitudes and her literary works provide ample evidence of this. Christa Wolf found herself the target of critics because of the changing political climate in Germany. Along with the revolution in November 1989, and German unification in October 1990, came the question of how to deal with the former East Germany. The conservatives intended to rewrite the history of the GDR and the idea of socialism itself, and tried to accomplish this by criticizing and trying to discredit that country's most famous and representative author.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [65]-68)


73 pages




Northern Illinois University

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