"German" Literature Contested: The 1991 Ingeborg-Bachmann-Prize Debate, "Cultural Diversity," and Emine Sevgi Özdamar

by Karen Jankowsky
"German" Literature Contested: The 1991 Ingeborg-Bachmann-Prize Debate, "Cultural Diversity," and Emine Sevgi Özdamar
Karen Jankowsky
The German Quarterly
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Wayne State University

"German' Literature Contested: The 1991 Ingeborg-Baclnnann-Prize Debate, "Cultural Diversity;" and Emine Sevgi Ozdamar

Mystery, contentment, 'kismet,' caravanserai, fountains; a princess dancing on a silver tray, maharaja, padishah and a thousand year old shah; a woman with henna-ed nose, weaving with her toes, a green bearded imam chanting on a windy minaret: There never was, nor is, nor will ever be such an East. The East is the land on which naked serfs toil and die, the earth belongs to everybody except to the man of the East! (Nazim Hikmet1)

I was accepted, but merely as a 'guest-writer.' (Emine Sevgi Ozdamar'')

With the help of 11 publishing companies, Hubert Fink and Ernst Willner established the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Prize Competition in Klagenfurt, Austria, and thereby coalesced the second postwar cultural sphere in which authors and critics who work in the German language could publicly discuss texts and consider what constitutes good literature. The participants, largely from (West) Germany, Austria, andSwitzerland, have gatheredyearly since 1977 in front of television cameras and radio microphones to contemplate unpublished literary manuscripts, presented in 30 minutes and distributed in print to the critics at the beginning of an author's reading (Schuder 1299; Reich-Ranicki 7; Demetz, "Evviva" 13-14). The approximately 10 judges, who each represented two writers (nominated by them) during the three-day, 25-hour event, comment immediately upon each work with all the authors in attendance. Through their discussion oftheaesthetictexts, thejudgesset standards in awarding the prizes, of which the one named in honor of Ingeborg Bachmann is the most prestigious (Princic; Moser; Zimmermann). The Klagenfurter Texte, an annual publication ofthe winning pieces along with excerpts from thejudges' statements, facilitates insight into the literary critical exchange.

Both the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Prize Competition and its predecessor, the Gruppe 47, engaged aesthetically with historical circumstances. When Hans Werner Richter and Alfred Andersch founded the Gruppe 47 in 1947, they sought to rid literary texts in German of the organic imagery and imprecision by which earlier literature had transported Nazi ideology. In jointly examining each other's work, the organization's members emphasized the aesthetic, and even magic-realistic quality oftheirwriting (Gottingen Seminar62; Demetz, Postwar 46-61; Fetscher et al.; Kroll 70-73). By the first half of the 1970s, however, the collective stopped meeting, as its postwar focus on cultural denazification decreased in urgency. Over the almost 30 years since the group's inception, Marshall Plan economic support from the Allies and the normalization of the division of Germany had spurred diverse artistic responses to the Nazi past. Marxist influences in the student movement lead to examinations of Germany's fascist heritage, while the interconnection of the personal and the political within the feminist movement provoked women to write personal

The German Quarterly 70.3 (Summer 1997) 261

narratives exploring this history from a gendered perspective, as well as experiences with sexist behavior at work and in relationships (Wolf; Stefan; see also Frieden; McCormick).

These and other historical changes in the German-speaking countries, such as the increasing cultural diversity of their populations, affected the working of the Ingeborg-Bachmann-PrizeCompetitionsince its inauguration in 1977. Migrants from Southern Europe (by 19911.7 million from Turkey and 500,000 from Italy) had come in large enough numbers to the Federal Republic of Germany that they had constructed their own foreign-language public spheres and were gaining visibility in the German-speaking mainstream (Focus; Castles 76; Rathzel; Grosch; Ackermann). Writers from these countries were not, however, invited to participate in the competition until 1991, even though in previous years Eastern Europeans such as Libuse Monikova (1983) had been included in the Klagenfurt negotiations. Considering their increasing presence in the German-speaking countries since the mid1950s, both Southern and Eastern European non-native speakers of German have moved slowly toward the central prizes at the Bachmann Competition.f

With Emine Sevgi Ozdamar's victory in the 1991 Bachmann-Prize Competition, the jury selected its first non-native speaker of German for the primary award. This article explores the extent to which Ozdamar's achievement in the fifteenth year of the competition calls the "Germanness" of "German" literature into question. It also examines how literary critical discussions of her manuscript ethnicize it in a manner which sets it at the margins of a mainstream culture in Germany To conduct these investigations, I wish to create a conceptual framework for thinkingabout culture and then present the reception of Ozdamar as a case study of the opportunities in and problems with readingfor inclusivity First, I shall sort terms which permit

an investigation of the Bachmann-Prize Competition as a negotiation of ethnicity and culture, especially as they apply to notions of "Germanness" and to an opposition between "European" and "Oriental" cultures. Secondly, I shall take stock of the competition text's content and form before contrasting its reception with the judges' and reviewers' appraisal of the secondprize-winning manuscript by Swiss author Urs Allemann. Through analysis of these various readings, I hope to reveal barriers that have hindered the understanding of a text framed as "multicultural" in the German-speakingcountries. For example, critics have failed to connect Ozdamar's text with modern society and literature in Turkey, as well as with the author's own experiences in Turkey and in the two German states. As such, they have underscored the association of Turkey with a timeless, hermetically sealedcountry of "Oriental" fairy tales and have characterized Ozdamar's writing as not so much the product of aesthetic skill, but of a naive and harmless storytelling. I wish to show that a number of reviewers of the event set up Allemann, a native speaker of German and author from Switzerland, as the representative of mastery over the stylistic tools of the literary canon from (Western and Northern) Europe. Allemann's pornographic imagination, as well as his associative work with language fragments, are interpreted by critics as indicative of this literary sophistication. In conclusion, I call for U.S. and German scholars of literature written in German to dismantle the construction of their field as monocultural.

The process of developing a multicultural understanding of literature in German is, however, fraught with difficulties in articulating equality without either erasing or overly accentuating differences between groups. Thinking multiculturally means acknowledging that more than one culture sets values and meanings. In general, multicultural thinking implies that acquiring knowledge about the different cultural structures that coexist within a country, as well as globally, will allow for a greater understandingofthe mental map out ofwhich people from various backgrounds participate in society (Tyler; Gudykunst and Kim). Specifically with regard to the Bachmann-Prize Competition, by inviting authors to participate in the event from Turkey, Iran, and Switzerland, the jury, selected by the city of Klagenfurt and the Austrian television station ORE was acknowledging the cultural diversity of writers in German. Multicultural thinking can, however, create barriers between such groups by ethnically marking them as from different cultures according to the Enlightenment project of learning more about the history, literature, and social conditions in numerous cultures.

This "culturalist" thinking (Dirlik 15) casts a pejorative shadow on the culture which stands for the element of diversity within the overall society. This negative quality emphasizes differences, but does so without necessarily investigating relationships between those cultures labeled as different and those which are not thus marked. When such relationships between the margins and the center are not questioned, the cultivation of knowledge about disparate cultures legitimates the dominant group's hegemony, because this group's values and characteristics will be more highly appraised. In this way, accentuating the "Turkishness" of Ozdamar's text emphasizes differences between Turkey and Germany. This binary thinking valorizes culture from Germany or Europe as Christian and enlightened and lessens the worth ofculturefrom Turkeyas reflecting Moslem fundamentalism, as being particularly patriarchal, and as lacking in modernity (see Pieterse), The criticwho associates Ozdamar's manuscript with the "Zugabe der ... bekannten tiirkischen Grausamkeit" expressessuchculturallybiased assumptions as knowledge about Ozdamar's foreignness (Ebel),

Marking Ozdamar as exclusively from

a "Turkish culture" is problematicbecause she thus becomes labeled as the "ethnic Other" among the participants. Though notions of "ethnicity" are not referred to explicitlyin the reviews, Ozdamarbecomes ethnicized when her biography, writing style, and text are cast as representative of the "Turkish Other" rather than as an individual's construction of a personal portrait of culture from Turkey that has been shaped by involvement in cultures from West and East Germany and by articulation ofa"Turkish" identity within Western Europe. Authors invited to the BachmannPrize Competition who are citizens of Austria or Switzerland are not similarly categorized as outsiders by the critic from Germany, who explained Ozdamar's victory as a means of encouraging "foreigners," i.e., non-native speakers or non-citizens, to participate in future competitions (Ebel; see also Liitzeler, "Multiculturalism"). Outside the literary context, this culturalist thinking of "ethnicity" has become a kind ofcode implying the immutable differences which, across Western Europe as well as in the U.S., legitimate rejecting residency for prospective Third World immigrants, because they may challenge, with "pre-modern" values and economies, the lifestyles of FirstWorld majority populations. Studying ethnicity as an exclusionary category can bolster racist politics of separation and discrimination (Balibar; von Dirke; Dirlik; Rathzel).

As a German Studies scholar working toward a more inclusive understanding of literature in German while also recognizing the pitfalls of addressing cultural differences, I suggest reading Ozdamar for "intersections" of cultural influences from Turkey and Germany. This perspective implies a pointofcontactbetweendistinctsystems of identity and power. In Ozdamar's case, critics could have analyzed (as I shall do in what follows) intersections of her life experience and of her aesthetic borrowings from Germany and Turkey (see also Senocak 25). In this way, Ozdamar is seen both as a "German" and as a "Turkish" author. Unfortunately, this interpretation still oversimplifies the cultural relationships within which Ozdamar creates her texts. The image of an "intersection" evokes a corner at which several traffic lines cross, and does not easily encompass the varied sorts of contact between the sign systems which shape identity and those which individuals mold as they assert identities and power. Such points imply an additive relationship between the different aspects of identity, which are less stacked one on top of the other than interwoven and inflected in and through each other.

Not just the words for describing the interrelationship between cultures but those for naming them as individual sociospatial constructs are useful, though problematic articulations. For example, the meaning of "German" is perhaps most straightforward as an adjective describing a language. Using this meaning, I specify the various national and regional origins of judges and contributors in the event while writing in general about the "Germanspeaking context" they inhabit. As a geographic descriptor of national borders that have changed-for example, in 1989, 1961, 1945, and 1918-however, "German" is inexact. In addition to the national restructurings which these dates mark, migrations of workers and asylum-seekers have also affected the culture indicated by the attributive adjective "German." I thus try to avoid this word or I write about "Germanness" in quotation marks. I do, nonetheless, refer to "German scholarship" or to "German Studies" to address research on literature in the German language. The clumsybutuseful "non-German"describes the social reality and aesthetic production of authors whose primary language is not German and who had, before 1991, not been chosen to join the native speakers as award-winners and craftspeople ofthe best new writing in German. I also set "nonWestern European" in quotes because it only appears to refer to a specific cultural

quality based on the geographic marker of whatis outsideofEurope. Thetermimplies the fiction of a clear distinction between cultures in Western and Eastern or Southern Europe and thus ignores their interconnectedness over time and the artificiality of the Europe/Asia split. The analysis which this article provides of the critical commentsin thepressconcerningthe1991 Ingeborg-Bachmann-Prize Competitiondocuments the identification of the winning writer born in Turkey as "Oriental." Not I, but the competition jury; set the cultural and geographic qualifier "Oriental" in opposition to "German" and "European." As imprecise as these notions may be, I work with their meanings in the reviews. Finally, I have resisted labeling the 1991 winning authorfrom Turkey as "Turkish" since she lived a considerable time in both East and West Germany and is a writer working in German (contrast Rosch's adoption of "migrant literature" for works in German by writers from Turkey).

Ozdamar's prize and the way the media covered it exposed the culturally determined elements of an aesthetic by which critics had previously assumed the "Germanness" of winning manuscripts. The juxtaposition oftheseotherwisebarely perceptible reader expectations with Ozda· mar's images of twentieth-century history in Turkey demonstrates the extent to which this explicitly non-German social reality represented in literature may diminish its perceived aesthetic worth in the German-speaking context. To counteract this socially reinforced blind spot within literary criticism, scholars of German need to develop more culturally inclusive categories of analysis that adequately interpret the works of foreigners and the representation of foreignness in the Germanspeaking countries (Adelson, "Migrants' Literature"; Veteto-Conrad 145).

Let us imagine the difficulties literary criticsfaced in thefirst years following German unification when they considered "foreign" authors as "German." This redefinition process occurred against the backdrop of rising immigration and of increasing attacks against foreigners who were perceived as Jewish, African, Arab, Asian, or Southern European, and at a time when the federal government was under pressure to reformulate residency and citizenship rights for foreigners in Germany (Fischer; Leuninger; Verlagsinitiative gegen Gewalt und FremdenhaB; see also Benz). Amidst this heightened interaction between Germans and foreigners, the 1991 Bachmann-Prize-Competition judges were articulating the aesthetic value of the production of a foreign (and "non-Western European") writer in comparison to the work of a native speaker. Competition judges translated Ozdamar's magic-realist presentation of Turkey following World WarII intoaxenophilicimageoftheforeign author, while Allemann's surreal pornographic portraits gave rise to an a-cultural notion of this native speaker as a libertine writer.? The contrast between these two constructions of author profiles illuminates the monocultural assumptions that informed the German literary landscape even as "foreign" writers such as Ozdamar entered into pivotal discussions of aesthetic worth. The following case study provides insight into how the competition judges and, later, the newspaper critics cast Ozdamar as visibly "Oriental" and Allemann as invisibly "German."

Ozdamar read for the contest jurors' consideration the opening pages of the book manuscript which would be published a year later as Das Leben ist eine Karawanserei hat zwei Taren aus einer ham ich rein aus der anderen ging ich raus. The massive novel as a whole chronicles the life of a young girl born around World War II in the Anatolian city of'Malatya.vAsTurkey modernizes, her father's repeated unemployment drives the family to Istanbul, Bursa, and Ankara. Her family's uprootedness and the increasing influence of American films and cultural icons lead the protagonist to refuse certain gendered expectations connected with Islamic values. She earns money for the family as an actress, and by the close of the novel heads for Germany; sharing a train compartment with a prostitute and a lesbian. Ozdamar's Bildungsroman of the making of a female guest worker from Turkey balances the representation in literature by Saliha Scheinhardt, or in films like 40m2 Deutschland, of women from Turkey as the oppressed partners of their immigrant husbands.

Furthermore, migration and social change characterize the country from which Ozdamar's female guest worker departs for Germany. For example, the RussoTurkish war and Turkish participation on the German side in World War I altered Turkey's structure, politics, and identity (Emre), The protagonist's grandfather weaves this history through his life story like a carpet from his beard: He settled in Anatolia after the Russians had driven the Turks out of the Caucasus and farmed in Malatya until he joined the Turkish troops in World War I; he joined other returning soldiers to fight in Atati.irk's battle for Turkey's independence; after the republic was founded he continued to do battle for the classless society which Atati.irk advocated before attaining power. For the grandfather, Atati.irk's governmental officials had learned from the foreign (U.S.) visitors to be "vampires" who sucked away what they could from his country When the rest of his friends from the armed struggle were killed, he returned to agricultural work. In the Klagenfurt excerpt the grandfather tells the protagonist this story as he brings her by train to Malatya, back to her roots, so to speak. As his tale indicates, however, this regional "origin" is temporary and the result ofdisplacement from anotherarticulation of Turkish culture. Through storytelling, the grandfather passes on to his granddaughter a record of agency in the face of Western European and U.S. imperialism, monarchical oppression, and corruption in the fledgling Turkish republic. With

the Bachmann Prize andtheKarawanserei novel, Ozdamar sets this otherwise marginalized and homogenized cultural history at the center of belletristic production in Germany.

Because of this culturally diverse sense of positioning, however, Ozdamar pushes past the boundaries of the realistic narrative in the Bildungsroman of Sophie de la Roche, Goethe, and Thomas Mann. Ozdamar describes an individual life history with a magic-realist style much like that used by Jorge Luis Borges, Garcia Marquez, and Isabel Allende to confront the legacy of colonialism, and similar to the style Gunter Grass crafts to present the history of fascism and Irmtraud Morgner forges to assail GDR-socialism's patriarchal power structures. Like these other international writers, Ozdamarcombines objective observations with accounts of dreamlike, mythic, and fairy-tale occurrences. Juxtaposing a timeless, magical innocence with the socio-economic reality of Turkey's development out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, Ozdamar presents the colonializing influences that accompany her country's modernization and opening toward Western Europe (see also Stone 44-47):

Der Sultan sagte: "In meinem Reich gibt es so viele Steine, der Ketzer soll auch was davon haben." Bismarck schleppte alle Steine aus der Stadt Pergamon nach Berlin, dann kam Bismarck wieder zum Teppich und brachte deutsche Eimer, mit denen er das 01 von Bagdad mit nach Hause schleppen wollte. Die Englander und Franzosen und Italiener horten es und kamen mit ihren eigenen Eimern in die Turkei. Deutsche, Englander, Franzosen, Italiener kehrten ihre Eimer urn, setzten die Eimer als Helme aufihre Kopfe, zogen ihre Handgranaten und Waffen aus ihren Hosentaschen, und in der Turkei fand der Oleimerkrieg statt. Der GroBvater muBte fur die deutschen Eimer in den Krieg, auf dem Teppich zwischen Flammen und brennenden Tieren und Menschen lief

GroBvater, schreiend. (Ozdamar, Karawanserei 39)

Ozdamar accentuates in such passages a foreign quality to Turkey, for example, when story characters emerge out of the carpet which weaves itselffrom the beard of the protagonist's grandfather, when objects like "pails" can take on new, unrealistic usages as "helmets," and when these "pails"/"helmets" synecdochically stand for the German army. Objectively, however, the author also registers here economic resources such as oil, and cultural capital such as the Pergamon altar, which Bismarck and other European leaders sought in Turkey during the nineteenth century.

Through its rapid sequencingofevents, impressions, and its usage of Turkish, the "Karawanserei" excerpt conveyed an atmospheric quality, which critics at the competition and in the press did not always sufficientlysetwithin a bi-cultural context, although they were, for the most part, leftleaning intellectuals who were sympathetic to issues of cultural diversity. In response to increased immigration because of the transformation of Eastern Europe, the marketability of certain "multicultural" products in Germany may have caused many of the reviewers to emphasize the author's foreignness (see Auffermann), Few journalists reported on the works of other competition authors who were not native speakers of German. These unmentioned, otherwriters included, for example, an author from Iran living in Munich, who publishes under the pseudonym Said, and Francesco Micieli, an Albanian living in Switzerland (see Strater, "Ochsenauge"; Vogler). Concerning Ozdamar, newspaper headlines announced "Interessante Stoffe kamen von Auslandern" (Gruber) and "Zuwanderer beleben die deutschsprachige Literatur" (Strater, "Zuwanderer"). Critics contrasted the pale "Vorstellungswelt deutscher Autoren" with Ozdamar's lush

adventures evocative of Scheherazade and 1001 Nights (Baron).

Through comments such as these, critics present an Oriental essence which Edward Said distilled from, and identified within, an earlier body of texts (see also Akbulut). Critics construct the "Karawanserei" manuscript as a non-Western cultural artifact, one that implicitly reflects ignoranceand a lackofconsciousformation or development over time. Thus, many reviewers compliment Ozdamar in a disparaging manner as having performed an intuitive writing. The "Unbeholfenheit" of the manuscript's language vouches for its authenticity(Bohl 7).Whencriticscontrast the sophistication, but also the contrived nature of the self-referentiality of the German native-speaker authors in the competition (Escherig) with a Third World closeness to naive storytelling on Ozdamar's part (Escherig; Baron), they deepen a chasm of difference between these cultural spheres while promoting the commercial attractiveness of the forthcoming book. Comments emphasizing the "Otherness" of Ozdamar's text through its "beliebten orientalischen Ingredienzen" (Ebel) implied that Ozdamar did not interact with modern literary works, whether written in Turkey or crafted by authors from Southern Europe and Arab cultures in Western Europe. One newspaper critic, who associated second-class status with this idea of culture connected with Turkey as foreign, interpreted Ozdamar's victory as a goodwill gesture on the part of judges, who wanted to encourage other non-native speakers to participate in future competitions (Ebel), Making this distinction reinforces the division which separates a "migrant literature" from "German literature."

A number of newspaper reviewers further questioned the value of Ozdamar's text by arguing for the greater skill displayed by Drs Allemann in the secondprize-winning Babyficker. These journalistsreasoned thatthejudgesgave Ozdamar the highest award in order to avoid the literary scandal that Allemann's victory would have provoked (Ebel; Jessen; "Nicht mit Babys"), In this contestation of the jury's decision, critics oppose Ozdamar as a moral, but aesthetically inexperienced Oriental teller of tales to Allemann as a perverted but sophisticated provocateur who pushes past the limits of literary respectability.

Allemann supporters struggled less to valorize his submission over hers than to insist upon the Swiss author's realization of a I'art-pour-l'art aesthetic. Critics praised Allemann's mathematical reshuffling of grammatical units in order to evoke the associativelogicby whichwords generatefurther words.v

Ich ficke Babys. Das ist mein Satz. Ich hab keinen andern. Einer wie ich laBt sich nicht aus einer Erinnerung ziehn. Aus ein zwei Erinnerungen die er sich manchmal leistet womoglich, Mein Satz. Den hab ich. Der bin ich. Aus dem muB ich gezogen werden. Von mireFalls ich mich nicht weigere mich von mir ziehen zu lassen. Ich bin kein Baby. Ich ficke Babys. Linda ist keins. Drum fick ich sie nicht. (Allemann 17)

Repeated words ("Erinnerung" and "Babys"), movementbetween sentences oftwo and three words in length, and alliterative beginnings of sentences with shifts between the accusative and the nominative cases ("den" to "der") create a progression propelled by musical and syntactical changes. However, Allemann cannot avoid the fact that his images refer to a violent eroticism. His protagonist, who has locked himself away in an attic apartment, derives sexual pleasure from molesting and penetrating babies of both sexes. To succeed in making a case for the value ofAllemann's work, literary critics had to disregard the social implications of Allemann's imagery, focus on language play,and champion an aesthetics free of ethical concerns. In their newspaper articles, somecritics

fought for the visibility of Allemann's text with "Literatur klassenkampferischer Tone" (Seiler). To avert its assumed silencing as the second-place text in the competition, HellmuthKarasek, one ofthejudges and a staff member of Der Spiegel, presented an excerpt ofthe manuscript in this, the most important news weekly in Germany. Karasek suggests that scandal is one of the key ways art works on its audience. Other critics purported that Allemann's manuscript derived its artistic value from the means by which it provoked competition jurors to express the moralizing attitudes of an "inquisitorischer Prazeptur" (Hensel) and caused them to articulate limits of tolerable expression in literature.

Consideration ofthe debates on pornography in Germany; Austria, and Switzerland serve to explain the intense discussion surroundingthe relationship betweenAllemann's aesthetics and his imagery In 1987, for example, the editors of the feminist magazine Emma had begun their second "PorNO-Kampagne," which was still rallying support into the 1990s for those who implied a relationship between dangerous sexual scenarios in art and actual physical violence perpetrated in society In addition, Allemann's text appeared in Klagenfurt two years after the publication of Elfriede Jelinek's novel Lust, which criticized, through smut, the exploitation ofa woman both in her marriageand in an extramarital affair. It is within the discursive context of pornography that one of the journalists writingabout theBachmann-PrizeCompetition compared those who were critical of Allemann's text, like the juror from Italy who walked off the competition set at the beginning of the reading, to the Nazis who denounced Expressionism as "entartete Kunst" (mey).?

Those who cast Allemann as a proponent of postmodern play and as an artist who faces inquisitional and fascist forces implied that representations in good art need not limit themselves by moral considerations. One saw Allemann as a frustrated intellectual who replicated the impotence of language to halt the mistreatment of children (Glessner), while another demanded that colleaguesin the German-language press finally take to heart Saussure and Derrida's notions of the artificiality of the sign and of the arbitrary significance of its referent (Hensel). Thedebate surrounding the 1991 Ingeborg-Bachmann Prize, i.e., the validation of Allemann's Babyficker within that context, documents the ease with which literary critics working in German explore perversion in literature from Hamlet, Madame Bovary, andReigen, to texts by the Marquis de Sade (see especially Karasek). This literary tradition is so present as an interpretive framework for the manuscript's extreme sexual fantasies that it exists without saying as the unnamed "German" or "European" cultural context against which Ozdamar's textis set in contrast as "Oriental" (Gutsch), In this way; critics ignore a broad socio-cultural import to aesthetics as it relates both to time and location. When reviewers bring the same expectations they have of Allemann's text to Ozdamar's, they shy away from influences upon the text from recent literature in Turkish, and thus impair a more nuanced understanding of culture from Turkey and literature within a German-speaking literary establishment.

The peasant novel from Turkey; which developed after Mustafa Kemal Atatiirk's fight for national independence (19191923), is one such historical marker in the present that informs the realistic aesthetic which the text reinvents and which goes unmentioned when the critics from Europe in the Bachmann-Prize Competition romanticize Turkey as an Oriental culture of an undifferentiated past. In particular, they could have compared "Karawanserei" with the writings of urban authors such as Memduh Sevket Esendal and Sabahattin Ali. For the most part, these writers, influenced by Nazim Hikmet, were, by the 1950s, developing didactic texts that tended toward the Bildungsroman. By portraying conflicts between landholding and landless peasants in Anatolia, these authors countered religious dogmatism and the persistent class inequities which Kemalist reform had striven to end (Rathbun 28-32, 44-48; Stone 44-47). Urban authors expressed these migrants' multiple struggles in transition from communal to individual identities as poverty forced peasants to leave established social networks and to search as single people or as family units for work in the cities (Dino 267-69,273). Eventually, a more sociological prose gave way to Yashar Kemal's incorporation of repetitive oral storytelling elements within a realistic narrative (Dino 270-73) and to Latife Tekin's magic-realist representations in the 1980s ofthe subconscious's attempts to grapple with social change through visualizing spiritual powers (Gun 278). Ozdamar's styleis most akin to these later permutations of realism, and she shares with the "peasant" novelists a concern for the costs of urbanization.

When critics do not assess Ozdamar's biography; which bridges developments in Turkey as well as in Germany, they also elide the manuscript's historicity. The author left Turkey before the age of20 and by 1991 had lived over 25 years in Germany. Having lived in both German states by the time of unification, she had familiarized herself with more of Germany than most citizens and nativespeakers ofGerman had experienced (see Frolich), In addition, Ozdamar draws upon extensive theater workin the two German states to articulate many-sided views of both cultural spheres. After two years as a guest worker in the FRG, Ozdamar studied acting in Turkey for three years, then immigrated to the GDR and became a director's assistant and actor for Benno Besson at the East Berlin theater that cultivated the legacy ofBertolt Brecht. These years with the Berliner Ensemble lead to writing and directing opportunities with West German theaters in Essen, Bochum, and Frankfurt and to performing in films directed by Hark Bohm and Doris Dorrie (Ozdamar, Mutterzunge jacket cover; Frolich 57).

Having lived and been culturally active in three different countries, Ozdamar intermingles "European" and "Turkish" literary strategies and cultural references. With agile artistry she cultivates a range of forms in her 1990 collection of stories Mutterzunge, published by the Berlin Rotbuch Verlag. The first and title story of the volume thematizes language, identity, and displacement through a realistic personal narrative. The text's flawless high German stands in contrast to implications of linguistic deficiencies within the "Karawanserei" manuscript (Bohl), Interior monologues open up psychological space in "GroBvaterzunge" for considering fading memories of the protagonist's roots in her grandfather's culture since Turkey abandoned the Arabic alphabet for written Turkish in 1927. Fairy-tale elements in "Karagoz in Allemania" present impoverished peasants from Anatolia in contrast to the migrants from Turkey who become objectified production machines for businesses in Germany Finally; "Karriere einer Putzfrau" enacts a postmodern take-offon the Ophelia character in Shakespeare's Hamlet and in East German writer Heiner Muller's Hamletmaschine to comment upon the tragic heroine's social position and lack of cultural marking as a "German." Ozdamar thereby proclaims the migrant's desire to perform Ophelia even though citizens in Germany regard her exclusively as a cleaning woman in their country.

Similarly, considering Ozdamar's writing as a response to 30 years of literature in German by authors from Southern Europe (including those from Turkey) would have demonstrated that Ozdamar directed her literature, more than many of her colleagues had previously done, foremost at an audience of native speakers rather than at an audience of non-native speakers ofGerman. Her range ofaesthetic forms and her exploration of social change within Turkey distinguish Ozdamar's project from the sociological quality of "guestworker literature" within Germany during the 1970s. Ozdamar experiments with realistic, modernist, and postmodern writing strategies to bring social reality from Turkey into the German-speaking cultures. By these means, she portrays economic and social influences from Western Europe that had changed Turkey before guest workers began migratingto Germany (consider also


The preferred, though by no means exclusive forms in which most of the foreign, i.e., guest-worker or "non-Western European" authors wrote included poetry and realistic or modernist fiction. Literature allowed these foreigners, who followed the call to migrate to Germany for financial gain, to grapple with their "economicexile" and discrimination in the work environment (Suhr 77). Into the 1980s, Franco Biondi, Rafik Schami, and others who banded together as Polikunst and Siidioind authors wrote politically autobiographical and programmatic texts about work experiences as well as fairy tales to rally guest workers from different national origins (Biondi and Schami), Situating themselves at the perceived divide between Germany and Turkey, or rather between Germans and the community of "foreigners" in the FRG, Aras Oren andYiiksel Pazarkayacreated literature to alleviate the social dissonance created by the separation between the two cultural spheres (Teraoka 85; Suhr 79). Ozdamar attempts, as do Oren and Pazarkaya, to reach a broad audience, though she interacted perhaps to an even greater extent than these authors with East and West Germany as sites of aesthetic, as well as economic, exchange (see also Wierschke). Finally, similar to Aysel Ozakin, Ozdamar presents gendered views of social change in Turkey and Germany (Gokberk; ROsch 109-47; Wierschke).

The Bachmann-Prize discussions did resist situating literature by foreigners in

a ghetto of guest-worker literature, and thus in a secondary position vis-a-vis the literary production of native speakers of German, i.e., vis-a-vis "German" literature. In this acceptance process, Emine Sevgi Ozdamar's "Karawanserei" manuscript introduced into the negotiations of the Bachmann-Prize Competition questions surrounding the aesthetic quality of the works that present cultural difference from the perspective of a non-native speaker ofGerman (Strater, "Ochsenauge" and "Zuwanderer"). This possibility for acknowledgingtheworkofa writerfrom Turkey as Germanliteratureis acontestedone, since critics welcomed the ways Ozdamar enriched literaturein German with her cultural experiences from Turkey, but were hard put to explain, except through orientalizing platitudes, the ways Ozdamar worked with literary language. This "enrichment" argument supports, as Biondi has articulated, the power position of the majority over the minority, and ignores the commonality between native-speaking and non-native-speaking writers, who, as Chiellino explains, all may experience foreignness and give it expression in language (Biondi 27-28; Chiellino 76; see also Rosch 207). In this particular series ofnegotiations concerning Ozdamar's status as a foreign author within a German-speaking context, manyreviewers involvedin the debate portrayed, on several levels, an unbridgeable chasm between Germany and Turkey as modern and pre-modern cultures. This reproduction of a stereotypic image of Turkey does little to facilitate an understanding of Ozdamar as a "German" author of literature. It clouds the mixture of cultural and aesthetic traditions from Germany and Turkey with which she inflects the development of a female identity within Turkey as a country, which is influenced by Germany, France, England, the U.S., and Russia.

The more aesthetically thorough consideration ofAllemann's text and the more superficial interpretation of'Ozdamar's refleet a lack of preparation on the part of literary critics for reading inclusively (see Strater, "Ochsenauge" and "Zuwanderer"). In order to have been able to appreciate the author's aesthetic play with cultural differences, the judges and critics of the 1991 Ingeborg-Bachmann-Prize Competition would have needed to assess the hardly overt, but persistent cultural bias of their evaluative categories and to acknowledge that they would require additional expertise, such as familiarity with additional "canons" of literature and with strategies of representation for doubled cultural identities.

A resistance to canon expansion is already evident before the appearance of "guest-worker literature" in the decades that it took in West Germany following the end of World War II to recognize the texts ofJewishexile writersandto legitimate the scholarship that focussed on their literary production (see Stern; Clausens and Gallas). With their major goal ofpreparing students for state examinations toward certification as high school teachers, departments of German in the FRG have not, across the board, revised categories of analysis for material tested in the first and second examinations, beyond those that would facilitate the inclusion of workingclass and leftist authors into the canon. Categories for reading for cultural inclusiveness, however, are necessary for addressing the work of a group of writers in German who are perceived as foreign, whether or not they are citizens of a German-speaking country (Van Cleve and Wilson 67; Holub 22-24; Chiellino 65-120; Natter 112-13).

Although the literature of "non-Germans" has not been integrated into the canon, their artistic production and social life have been central since the 1970s to endeavors which, by virtue of being situated outside the negotiations of a national identity in scholarship of "German" literature, reinforce a secondary position within literary criticism for foreigners within Germany: For example, Alois Wierlacher calls for an "intercultural German Studies" when foreign students learn about (West) German culture; the Institut fUr Deutsch als Fremdsprache in Munich sponsors competitions for foreigners writing in German; and, though not exclusively literary; intercultural education is the focus of workshops for bi-and tri-cultural groups at institutes for political education (Internationale Begegnungsstiitte). Here the tendency is to understand "non-Western European" influences as something from the outside, rather than from within Germany's core culture; foreigners appear in the ancient Greek role of suppliants who need the protection of a "proxenus" or sponsor, in this case, of social workers and educators, to facilitate their integration into German culture (see Gokberk; Jankowsky; Teraoka; Kristeva 17-19). Performing the separation between suppliants and proxeni masks the ways in which both citizens of Germany and foreign subjects change within themselves and in response to one another (Adelson, "Opposing Oppositions" 306).

Not equally as resistant as German literature programs at universities in (West and East) Germany; those in the United States have also been slow to reform their curricula toward representing the interaction between minority and majority populations (Helbig; Henderson). Germanists in the United States, whether for fear of cuts due to enrollment-driven budgets, for fear of a loss in status and students to newer, more disciplinarily diverse fields, or for fear of losing academic clout with respect to their European, and thus always more "authentic" and expert colleagues from German-speaking countries or regions in Europe, have embraced the scholarly investigation and teacherly imparting of cultural contents, but have often not undertaken steps to realize a multicultural focus within departmental curricula and testing.

Members of German Departments both in the U.S. and abroad may explain the lack of inclusiveness in comparison to other literature departments by arguing that "German culture" is particularly homogeneous. In contrast to England, France, Portugal, and Spain, Germany's reign as a governing colonial power limited itself to a period between the 1884 Berlin Treaty; which carved up Africa into zones under the governmental control of countries in Europe, and the end of World War I. The small number of citizens in Germany from the former colonies ofTogo,Cameroon,Namibia, andTanzania comprises a hardly audible group of people who can fight for academics to recognize their colonial and postcolonial histories, along with the histories of other "non-Western European" foreigners in Germany, as knowledge that is necessary for understanding this country's history and culture.f

Toa certain extent, the U.S.Germanists who have developed German Studies have potentially positioned themselves most advantageously to steer the field in such a multicultural direction. They have done so by creating an intellectual framework for expanding the canon of works for teaching and research in their field to incorporate cultural artifacts in a broad sense (see Holub 21-26; Kuhn 97; Sephocle; Van Cleve and Wilson; McCarthy). Moving beyond exclusively literary analyses, they examine the systems in which meanings are negotiated and investigate socio-political contexts of literary production and reception (Helbig 54; Berman 242-45; Bathrick 255-56). Within the interdisciplinary organization of scholars in German and History in the German Studies Association, this shift in focus has expressed itself through the articulation of an American agenda for the field (German Studies Association; Gilman; Liitzeler; Trommler, Geyer and Peck; Trommler and McVeigh; Weiss). Within this U.S. context, the members of the Coalition of Women in German study "the intersection of gender with

other categories ... such as sexuality, class, race, and ethnicity" ("Mission Statement"). Despitedevelopmentsin an American agenda for German Studies which entail incorporating the works of minority and postcolonial global citizens within the field, however, we have not, as a profession, moved to do so as swiftly and comprehensively as those in other departments and area studies programs (consider Byrnes; McCarthy).

This article's attention to the historical specificity of Emine Sevgi Ozdamar's winningofthe 1991 Ingeborg-Bachmann Prize is presented as an example of inclusivity within the field of German Studies. The literary critical reception of Ozdamar's "Karawanserei" manuscript demonstrates the need to develop further tools to avert the ethnicizing of the non-native-speaking author of "German" literature at the same time that we consider culturally diverse texts as "German." Interactions with cross-disciplinary diversity discussions at universities in the United States are imperative in this project, in order to make these arguments and methods also compelling for native-speaking Germanists in Germany, who in turn educate new generations of teachers, scholars, and critics.


IQtd. in Stone 179.

2Qtd. in Manguel157.

3In another instance of an encumbered cross-cultural discourse, writers from the GDR scarcely participated in the competition. Though, for example, in 1978 East German authors Ulrich Plenzdorf won the Bachmann Prize and Helga Schutz also participated in the event, it was not until 1986 that Katja LangeMuller again represented East Germany and 1987 that Irina Liebmann received the ErnstWillner Prize. The recognition of culturallydifferent German-speaking constituencies within which literature is created did not extend until 1991 to the multicultural and non-nativespeaker groupings within these regions (Moser).

4The problem which these critics face is that of "xenophilia," which Angelika Bammer describes as a projection onto the foreign Other of an exoticized ideal. Though not directly racist, xenophilic expressions obstruct an understanding of the discrete historical past of such marginalized groups (Bammer),

5Turkey is difficult to situate within regional categories. While it wishes to become a member of the European Community, it has a heritage which valorizes the usage of classical Arabic in the Koran and which used Arabic script to write Turkish. Turkey therefore demonstrates the artificiality inherent in addressing cultures as Southern European and Arab.

6Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari argue in Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature that the language usage in the literature of minority authors like that of Czechoslovakia's Germanspeaking Jewish writer, Franz Kafka, diverges from that in the literature of the majority population. Kafka breaks up the hierarchical narrative structures of realistic texts through a "rhizomatic," or associative combination of grammatical units (16-17, 22-23, 26).

7Allemann may have, in fact, planned to shock readers at the Bachmann Competition with his portrayal of the sexual abuse of children in order to appeal to the judges' need to associate themselves with the allure of a sexualized border-crossing. He bid unsuccessfully for a prize at an earlier competition with an altogether playful postmodern manuscript.

8Consider as well that the 5 million foreigners who live in Germany have encountered formidable obstacles to becoming citizens. According to 1993 legislation, however, foreigners between 17 and 23 years of age who had legally inhabited the country for eight years and had six years of schooling in Germany, and those over 23 who had at least 15 years of residency in Germany, could legally become naturalized citizens (Deutschland Nachrichien). This increased security for a growing number of "foreigners" in Germany will surely lead to stronger demands for the integration of their respective heritages and ongoing aesthetic creativity within German culture.

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