Magdalenas stimmen: polyphone erinnerung in Jürgen Fuchsʼ Autofiktion
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This thesis examines the auto-fictional text Magdalena (1998) by the East German writer Jürgen Fuchs. This auto-fiction provides an insight into the work of the East German secret police (Stasi), its internal structures, language and impact on the everyday lives of its victims. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Fuchs worked as a full-time researcher in the Gauck-Behörde in order to analyse the structure of the Stasi. Magdalena is an account of his experience at this government agency. The focus of this thesis is on the form of remembrance within Fuchs’ text. The Stasi files he finds bring back memories of his time in prison. The on-going conflicts and the experienced trauma are expressed through different voices and polyphony within Magdalena, e.g. the so-called prison-voice (Knaststimme). These voices represent different identities as well as different times and perspectives but often merge and overlap, they get into conversations with each other and the inner monologues become dialogues. These dialogues fulfil the functions of self-remembrance, of avoiding self-deception, of self-assurance and self-defence. This thesis examines the characteristics of several voices of the text and combines their analysis with elements of psycho-analysis (emotion and affects, Sigmund Freud), postmodern autobiographical writing (Almut Finck, Frank Reiser), tendencies of authentic writing in East German literature (Christa Wolf) and the representation of remembrance (Jan and Aleida Assmann). This work also examines the inner struggle of the text subject about coming to terms with the past and the present. Especially the emotions hinder the text subject to deal with the past in a rational and objective manner. Moreover, the text subject needs the emotions in order to be able to keep its moral point of view. In conclusion, this thesis puts its focus on Jürgen Fuchs’ as a writer rather than his impact on the public debate in Germany before and after 1989.