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The Past Between Condemnation of Memory and Desire of Reconciliation

Ironic Paradoxes and Melancholy in Der Verlorene (Il fratello perduto, 1998) by Hans-Ulrich Treichel

Serena Grazzini    Università di Pisa, Italia    



In his lessons on poetics, Hans-Ulrich Treichel underscored the close connection between his writing and the theme of memory, speaking both of the absence, triggered by a traumatic experience, of a communicative memory within his family and of the repercussions of this absence on his writing. Following the pathway marked out by Treichel, critics and scholars have put forward mainly thematic readings of the short novel Der Verlorene (1998), duly foregrounding nevertheless its historical and autobiographical underpinning. Treichel seems partly to answer these readings in his novels Menschenflug (2005) and in Anatolin (2008), which, together with Der Verlorene, form an actual trilogy dedicated to his lost brother and characterised by an extremely close association of life and fiction. This essay takes up the critical results achieved so far but moves beyond a thematic approach to the novel: by also taking into consideration other works by Treichel, a purely literary analysis of the text is proposed here, aimed in particular at investigating the writing strategies through which the author combines irony and detachment with melancholy and desperation. This line of inquiry is especially fruitful in revealing the special character of this novel within the wider context of contemporary literature of memory, and at the same time it represents a fresh contribution to a poetological analysis of memory in literature.

Sept. 30, 2016
June 27, 2016
April 19, 2016

Keywords: Literary comediansHans-Ulrich TreichelMelancholyMemory

Copyright: © 2016 Serena Grazzini. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.