Cemetery of the Murdered Daughters: Feminism, History, and Ingeborg Bachmann (Paperback)

Cemetery of the Murdered Daughters: Feminism, History, and Ingeborg Bachmann By Sara Lennox Cover Image

Cemetery of the Murdered Daughters: Feminism, History, and Ingeborg Bachmann (Paperback)


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Although Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann (1926–1973) is widely regarded as one of the most important twentieth-century authors writing in German, her novels and stories have sometimes been viewed narrowly as portraits of women as victims. In this innovative study, Sara Lennox provides a much broader perspective on Bachmann's work, at the same time undertaking an experiment in feminist methodology.Lennox examines Bachmann's poetry and prose in historical context, arguing that the varied feminist interpretations of her writings are the result of shifts in theoretical emphases over a period of more than three decades. Lennox then places her own essays on Bachmann in similar perspective, showing how each piece reflects the historical moment in which it was written. Making use of recent interdisciplinary approaches—Foucauldian theories of sexuality, post-colonial theory, materialist feminism—she explores the extent to which each of her earlier readings was shaped by the methods employed, the questions asked, and the political issues that seemed most germane at the time. Out of this analysis comes a new understanding of the significance of Bachmann's work and new insight into the theory and practice of feminist criticism.
Sara Lennox is professor of German and Scandinavian studies and director of the Social Thought and Political Economy Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Product Details ISBN: 9781558495524
ISBN-10: 1558495525
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Publication Date: October 25th, 2006
Pages: 408
Language: English
"A very ambitious and original, indeed daring, experiment with impressively successful results. . . . The author set herself the triple challenge of historicizing readings of Bachmann, of reading Bachmann historically, and reading her own readings of Bachmann historically as well. The result is not just a book about Bachmann, but a persuasive demonstration of the workings of 'positionality' in determining how readings change across time."—Patricia Herminghouse, editor of German Feminist Writings

"Lennox's meticulously written and researched study of feminist readings of the Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann provides us with a genealogy of feminist literary criticism in the last four decades. . . . It will be the definitive book on Bachmann in the English language, and also a book that will stir up debate in broader feminist and non-feminist circles."—Karen Remmler, editor of Contemporary

Jewish Writing in Germany: An Anthology

"Lennox's book reveals the tensions and influences on her subject as she tried to live, and the interpretations of that life that followed, makes Bachmann's world visible"—UMass Amherst Magazine

"An outstanding piece of scholarship by a first-rate feminist scholar. . . . This book will be indispensable for anyone concerned with feminist theory, cultural studies, and literary criticism."—Gisela Brinker-Gabler, editor of Writing New Identities: Gender, Nation, and Immigration in Contemporary Europe

"With her far-reaching interdisciplinary framework, sensitive readings, and self-reflexive approach, Lennox provides new insights into Bachman, feminist methodology, and the practice of reading."—Choice

"In this thoroughly engaging study, lauded Ingeborg Bachmann scholar Sara Lennox revisits her own scholarship to deliver a series of highly insightful, contextualizations of the changed and changing perspective of feminist analysis. . . . Lennox successfully models the overall project of literary and cultural studies: to produce and compile literary and textual scholarship, while simultaneously engaging ourselves in the study of discourse in order to understand the timely and historically specific assumptions inherent in our own approaches to literature and the discourses of scholarship. The method modeled so eloquently by Lennox is a never-ending interaction with texts and the contexts which produce them."—German Studies Review

"In this landmark study, Lennox does not simply draw together her earlier insights and integrate them into a more comprehensive treatment. Rather, she uses her own approaches historically to explore the challenging cultural parameters that have informed readings of Bachmann over time, at the same time tracing the 'intellectual journey' (ix) of feminism in its response to literature by women. . . . It is lucidly and engagingly written, absorbing in its discussion of the works, exciting in its interdisciplinary scope, and stimulating by the sheer energy of its argument."—Monatshefte