UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Self-justification through writing Schiwy, Marlene Adeline 1982

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SELF-JUSTIFICATION THROUGH WRITING by MARLENE ADELINE SCHIWY B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1978 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M.A. i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Comparative L i t e r a t u r e We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1983 t ) M arlene A d e l i n e Schiwy, 1983 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head o f my department or by h i s or her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f C ^ ^ - y ^ ^ ^ [ A ^ W U ^ -The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date E-6 (3/81) i i ABSTRACT The i d e a t h a t the w r i t e r p r a c t i c e s h i s / h e r p r o f e s s i o n i n p a r t to f u l f i l l a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and to absolve h i m s e l f of g u i l t i s not unique to contemporary l i t e r a t u r e . From Rousseau's Conf e s s i o n s , to Pablo Neruda's Confieso que he v i v i d o , l i t e r a l l y " I confess that I l i v e d " , s e l f - j u s t i f i c a t i o n has been a c e n t r a l concern of the w r i t e r who attempts an a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l or q u a s i - a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l l i t e r a r y p r o j e c t . Questions of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , g u i l t , and j u s t i c e however, may be a p a r t i c u l a r l y unavoidable p a r t of the post-War h e r i t a g e of C e n t r a l European w r i t e r s ; s p e c i f i c a l l y those who l i v e d i n Germany d u r i n g the War, and those who f o r one reason or another, were taken p r i s o n e r s by the German f o r c e s . A f t e r the War ended, the establishment of s o c i a l i s t governments o s t e n s i b l y overshadowed a l l other matters i n the newly-created German Democratic Republic and i n C z e c h o s l o v a k i a ; i n c l u d i n g the task of examining the past. Innumerable moral questions were l e f t untouched and unanswered, p a r t i c u l a r l y those r e v o l v i n g around the Holocaust. For many years the g e n e r a l trend e s p e c i a l l y among o f f i c i a l c i r c l e s , seems to have been to consider the past overcome, or " b e w a l t i g t " , and w r i t e r s were encouraged to produce p o s i t i v e p o r t r a y a l s of l i f e i n the new s o c i a l i s t soc-i e t y , and to adhere to the o f f i c i a l l y - p r o s c r i b e d tenets of S o c i a l i s t r e a l i s m . Recently however, and p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the l a s t decade or two, an i n -c r e a s i n g number of "middle-generation" w r i t e r s - those who l i v e d through the War as young c h i l d r e n but were too young f o r a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n - have turned to the dramatic and s h a t t e r i n g events of t h e i r childhoods i n an attempt to understand t h e i r present l i v e s . i i i What i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t i n g i s the f a c t that they have o f t e n chosen to p o r t r a y the events of t h e i r e a r l y years i n the form of n o v e l s , r a t h e r than a u t o b i o g r a p h i e s . C h r i s t a Wolf and Ivan Klima have both i n d i c a t e d c l e a r l y - i n an i n s c r i p t i o n and a l e t t e r to h i s re a d e r s , r e s p e c t i v e l y - that i t would be a grave e r r o r (on the p a r t of the reader) to i n t e r p r e t K i n d h e i t s - muster and Der Gnadenrichter only as the s t o r y of a s i n g l e i n d i v i d u a l i n a s p e c i f i c h i s t o r i c a l and n a t i o n a l s e t t i n g . Wolf and Klima have w r i t t e n the s t o r y of t h e i r childhoods and ensuing y e a r s , and have attempted to analyze i t s l a s t i n g i n f l u e n c e on t h e i r present l i v e s , c r e a t i n g n a r r a t o r / p r o t a g o n i s t s whose p e r s o n a l i t i e s and l i v e s bear unmistakeable a f f i n i t i e s w i t h t h e i r own. Both Wolf and Klima have found i t i m p o s s i b l e to t e l l t h e i r s t o r i e s i n a s i n g l e l o n g , u n i n t e r r u p t e d n a r r a t i v e , and have chosen, i n one form or another, to break t h e i r n a r r a t i v e s . C h r i s t a Wolf i n c o r p o r a t e s the a c t u a l process of w r i t i n g Kindheitsmuster i n hers and Ivan Klima d i v i d e s h i s s t o r y i n t o v a r i o u s s u b - n a r r a t i v e s . In both cases, the s t r u c t u r e of the novels r e -f l e c t s the d i f f i c u l t i e s i n h e r e n t i n se a r c h i n g out the p a s t , i n c h a l l e n g i n g memory, and i n attempting to t e l l the t r u t h . T his paper attempts a p a r a l l e l study of the a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l novels of two "middle-generation" w r i t e r s ; C h r i s t a Wolf's Kindheitsmuster and Ivan Klima's Der Gnadenrichter; w i t h regard to t h e i r general d e s ign, t h e i r formal q u a l i t i e s , and t h e i r most s i g n i f i c a n t thematic concerns. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Page A b s t r a c t i i D e d i c a t i o n v P r e f a c e v i i F o o t n o t e s x I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 F o o t n o t e s 15 Ch a p t e r One S i c h - F r e i - S c h r e i b e n : Theme and P r o c e s s i n C h r i s t a W o l f ' s K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r 21 F o o t n o t e s 62 Ch a p t e r Two The I m p o s s i b i l i t y o f J u s t i c e : I v a n K l i m a ' s Der G n a d e n r i c h t e r F o o t n o t e s C h a p t e r T h r e e A s p i r a t i o n , Memory, and O b s t r u c t i o n i n K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r and Der G n a d e n r i c h t e r 106 F o o t n o t e s 128 E p i l o g u e 132 B i b l i o g r a p h y 136 73 102 V ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I w o u l d l i k e t o e x p r e s s my a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r f i n a n c i a l s u p p o r t e x t e n d e d t o me by t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a i n t h e f o r m o f a U n i v e r s i t y G r a d u a t e F e l l o w s h i p 1980-81, 1981-82, and a Summer F e l l o w s h i p i n 1983. v i I would l i k e to dedicate t h i s thesis to Marketa Goetz-Stankiewicz whose teaching i n s p i r e d i t , and whose enthusiasm and steadfastness sustained the w r i t i n g of i t . v i i E i n m a l m i i s s t e s i e g e s c h r i e b e n werden, d i e s o n d e r b a r e , s p r u n g -h a f t e L e s e g e s c h i c h t e m e i n e r G e n e r a t i o n . . . C h r i s t a W o l f , 1968 L e s e n und S c h r e i b e n K a n n s t du i n d i e s e r Z e i t etwas G r o s s e r e s f e r t i g b r i n g e n , a l s m i t dem zu b e s t e h e n , was du i n d i r t r a g s t ? I v a n K l i m a , 1976 Der G n a d e n r i c h t e r Once h a v i n g t a k e n up " t h e word" t h e r e i s no e v a s i o n o f i t a f t e r w a r d : t h e w r i t e r i s n o t a d i s p a s s i o n a t e j u d g e o f h i s f e l l o w c o u n t r y m e n and c o n t e m p o r a r i e s , b u t an a c c o m p l i c e i n a l l t h e e v i l s w r ought i n h i s homeland o r by h i s own p e o p l e . A l e x a n d e r S o l z h e n i t s y n , 1972 N o b e l P r i z e S peech v i i i PREFACE C h r i s t a Wolf of the German Democratic R e p u b l i c , and Ivan Klima of Cze c h o s l o v a k i a , have w r i t t e n i n a v a r i e t y of genres d u r i n g the s e v e r a l de-cades of t h e i r l i t e r a r y c a r e e r s . But both Kindheitsmuster f o r Wolf, and Der Gnadenrichter f o r K l i m a , are unique l i t e r a r y u ndertakings. Both Wolf and Klima have invented d i s t i n c t l y a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l n a r r -a t o r / p r o t a g o n i s t s who t e l l the s t o r i e s of t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e childhoods i n Germany and Czechoslovakia d u r i n g and a f t e r the War, which was to become the dominant r e f e r e n c e p o i n t of t h e i r l i v e s . The f i n a l products r e v e a l both s t r i k i n g p a r a l l e l s and e q u a l l y , s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s . There i s a major d i f f e r e n c e to my mind, i n the two- w r i t e r s ' b a s i c l i t e r a r y p r e d i l e c t i o n . C h r i s t a Wolf and Ivan Klima approach t h e i r common m a t e r i a l w i t h w i d e l y - d i f f e r e n t backgrounds, and s t y l e s , of w r i t i n g . C h r i s t a Wolf i s , i t seems, much more the poet. Many passages of Kindheitsmuster read l i k e prose poetry; r i c h w i t h suggestive metaphor, p o e t i c images, a l l u s i o n s , and o f t e n a c h i e v i n g a powerful e f f e c t by the use of under-statement. Wolf s t a t e s t h a t prose should t r y to be u n f i l m a b l e ; t h a t i t should e x p l o r e the inner recesses of thought and memory which the camera cannot f o l l o w . She begins w i t h the t i n i e s t p o s s i b l e segment of consciousness i n the i n d i v i d -u a l and moves out, t e s t i n g her o b s e r v a t i o n s upon s o c i e t y and the world i n ge n e r a l . That Ivan Klima i s above a l l a d r a m a t i s t i s , I b e l i e v e , apparent i n Der Gnadenrichter. H i s w r i t i n g i s v i s u a l l y e v o c a t i v e and i n s p i r e s one to i x t h i n k i n terms of a c t i o n s and scene. I n c o n t r a s t to Wolf, he begins w i t h u n i v e r s a l dimensions and g r a d u a l l y works inward, to a s i n g l e n a t i o n , and f i n a l l y to a s i n g l e i n d i v i d u a l . Adam K i n d l , wandering i n the h i l l s of B r i t a i n , ponders: I s t n i c h t a l l e s , was i c h b i n , nur das bedriikkende Zusammenspiel von Z u f a l l e n , d i e dazu g e f u h r t haben, dass i c h nun i n einem unbekannten Berg e r s t e i g e und uber mis.h nachdenke, da i c h e n d l i c h Z e i t und Gelegenheit hab e, uber mich s e l b s t nachzudenken. He concludes: Der Mensch kann s i c h von seinem Leben n i c h t l o s e n . Seine E r l e b -n i s s e , I r r t u m e r , E r k e n n t n i s s e , d i e Menschen, d i e er einmal ge-l i e b t oder gehasst hat, das a l l e s b l e i b t i n ihm und b e g l e i t e t i h n b i s zu seinem Tode.l For Klima's n a r r a t o r , t h i s p e r i o d of r e f l e c t i o n and s e l f - s c r u t i n y i s an e x c e p t i o n , unusual to h i s normal r o u t i n e . For Wolf's n a r r a t o r , i t i s the b a s i s of her e n t i r e account. The t h i n g s she d i s c o v e r s about h e r s e l f and her past are examined w i t h regard to t h e i r r e levance to the l a r g e r s o c i a l group. I t i s the - i n t e g r i t y and the moral seriousness of these two w r i t e r s t h a t I f i n d remarkable and c o m p e l l i n g i n t h e i r work; the r e f u s a l of a r t f o r a r t ' s sake, the i n s i s t e n c e upon c l a r i t y , and a p a r t i c u l a r lumin-ous q u a l i t y of t h e i r prose. Ivan Klima w r i t e s t r a d i t i o n a l prose and C h r i s t a Wolf w r i t e s her own experimental prose: but both w r i t e prose that seeks to communicate meaning r a t h e r than obscure i t or deny i t s e x i s t e n c e . Perhaps i t i s an a c t of good f a i t h when a w r i t e r today presumes to communicate something t h a t he/she b e l i e v e s to be of v i t a l importance. Kindheitsmuster and Der Gnadenrichter are not only l i t e r a r y t e x t s . They are books which i l l u m i n a t e our l i v e s . Uwe Johnson, a GDR contemporary of C h r i s t a Wolf and Ivan K l i m a , now l i v i n g i n the West (and whose work has been compared w i t h Wolf's) speaks about v a r i o u s l i t e r a r y consequences t h a t have a r i s e n from the s u b j e c t of p o s t -war Germany; i n p a r t i c u l a r , how t h i s has a f f e c t e d the n a r r a t o r ' s p o s i t i o n . He s t a t e s : Where does the author stand i n h i s t e x t ? A t t i t u d e s of omnis-c i e n c e a r e suspect.... The author ought to admit that he invented what he t e l l s , t h a t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n i s incomplete and i m p r e c i s e . . . He can, f o r i n s t a n c e , raake t h i s admission by s t r e s s i n g the d i f f i c u l t quest f o r t r u t h , by comparing or r e l a t i n g h i s own view of what has happened to t h a t of one of h i s c h a r a c t e r s , by o m i t t -i n g what he cannot know, by not g i v i n g out as pure a r t what i s yet another quest f o r t r u t h . 2 I n t h e i r l i t e r a r y t e x t s and i n the f i g u r e s of t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e n a r r a t o r s , Wolf and K l i m a have made the " d i f f i c u l t quest f o r t r u t h " the c e n t r a l concern of Kindheitsmuster and Der Gnadenrichter. The n a r r a t o r i n Kindheitsmuster d i s c o v e r s as she begins to w r i t e : .. .dass n i c h t e i n s c h n e l l zu machendes Ergebnis zu erwarten war, sondern e i n e lange Z e i t von Ari> e i t und Z w e i f e l . Dass es n i c h t beim nachsten Buch E r n s t wurde, sondern b e i diesem.3 Perhaps the nature of t h e i r contents have determined that K i n d h e i t s - muster and Der Gnadenrichter would be w r i t t e n only a generation a f t e r the s h a t t e r i n g events of the War. And perhaps more f u l l y and more e l o q u e n t l y than i n t h e i r e a r l i e r works, C h r i s t a Wolf and Ivan Klima have st a t e d . h e r e , t h e i r unequivocable "yes and no". k i FOOTNOTES ^ Ivan K l i m a , Der Gnadenrichter, t r a n s . Alexandra und Gerhard Baumrucker, (Hamburg: Hoffman und Campe, 1979 ), p.520. 2 Uwe Johnson, " B e r l i n , Border of the D i v i d e d World", i n German W r i t i n g Today T e d . C h r i s t o p h e r M i d d l e t o n , (Penguin, 1967). 3 C h r i s t a Wolf, K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r ( B e r l i n : Luchterhand V e r l a g , 1977)'--, p. 31. 1 INTRODUCTION In h i s 1980 Nobel L e c t u r e , Czeslaw Mi£osz t e l l s t h a t i n a f a v o u r i t e book from h i s c h i l d h o o d , Wonderful Adventures of N i l s , the hero has a double r o l e : He i s the one who f l i e s above the e a r t h and looks a t i t from above but at the same time sees i t i n every d e t a i l . ( M i l o s z ' emphasis.) Mi-itosz makes of t h i s double v i s i o n a metaphor of the poet's v o c a t i o n - "to see and to d e s c r i b e " - and d e f i n e s the r o l e of the Poet as Seer, t h r e e f o l d : "to have before ones eyes"; "to preserve i n memory"; and "to r e c o n s t r u c t i n imagi-i . l n a t i o n . Coming from much the same pa r t of Europe as two other w r i t e r s - C h r i s t a Wolf and Ivan Klima - the words of Mil'osz d e s c r i b e w i t h more than p o e t i c s i g n i -f i c a n c e , the task which they have undertaken i n t h e i r n o v e l s ; Kindheitsmuster (1976), and Der Gnadenrichter, (1979). "To have before one's eyes" suggests both temporal and s p a t i a l immed-i a c y . The n a r r a t o r s i n both Kindheitsmuster and Der Gnadenrichter engage i n an attempt to understand t h e i r present l i v e s by uncovering the l a b y r i n t h i n e s t r u c t u r e of the past. Wolf's n a r r a t o r i n p a r t i c u l a r , i s concerned w i t h standing upon " t h i s l i t t l e p l a t f o r m of present time" i n order to "wrest the 2 past from f i c t i o n s and legends." A f t e r a time l a p s e of approximately t h i r t y years (1945-1972), she t e s t s her powers of acute o b s e r v a t i o n and memory, as 2 she a s p i r e s to "see the p a s t " . I t i s p r e c i s e l y a f o r t y - e i g h t hour p e r i o d of r e - s e e i n g the p h y s i c a l landscape of her c h i l d h o o d - the v i s i t to Gr.ozow W i e l -k o p o l s k i , f o r m e r l y Landsberg i n 1971 - that prompts the a u t h o r / n a r r a t o r to begin her odyssey through time and memory, and to produce t h i s , her most am-b i t i o u s and complex l i t e r a r y work. To i n c r e a s e her p r o x i m i t y to her m a t e r i a l , Wolf's n a r r a t o r "sees" the past i n the present tense, as i f the s t o r y were a f i l m or a r e e l of p i c t u r e s u n f o l d i n g before her own and the reader's eyes. Nuances of speech, snatches of c o n v e r s a t i o n , fragments of r a d i o b r o a d c a s t s , and evocations of glances t h a t b e l i e the spoken word - a l l t e s t i f y to the a u t h o r / n a r r a t o r ' s b e l i e f t h a t : 3 "Das Vergangehe i s t n i c h t t o t : es i s t n i c h t einmal vergangen." In Klima's Der Gnadenrichter too, we have a sense of the c e n t r a l char-a c t e r , Adam K i n d l ' s l i f e u n f o l d i n g along w i t h the n a r r a t i v e , and of h i s r e a c -t i o n s to the r e t r o s p e c t i v e s i g h t of h i s own l i f e . The substratum depths of the past are brought to l i g h t i n a secondary n a r r a t i v e , seen presumably, through the eyes of K i n d l , the p r o t a g o n i s t , who t e l l s i t n e v e r t h e l e s s from the l e v e l of present time. He does not, l i k e Wolf's n a r r a t o r , r e - e n t e r the p a s t : however, he i s near enough to have immediate and r e l i a b l e access. He can bear w i t n e s s , yet r e t a i n a p e r s p e c t i v e not p o s s i b l e d u r i n g the events them-se l v e s . c "To preserve i n memory" could mean both to t e l l o n e s e l f one's past i n order not to l o s e i t ; and to c a r r y the present i n t o the f u t u r e by means of w r i t i n g i t down. That which i s preserved i n the memories of Wolf's and Klima's n a r r a t o r s i s t r a u m a t i c , grave, and v o l a t i l e experience. The act of remembering becomes a duty and an a c t i v e process. The dilemma of how and what to remember 3 i s complicated by the counter-impulse to f o r g e t ; e s p e c i a l l y t h a t which i s too p a i n f u l to be re-borne, even before the mind's eye. C h r i s t a Wolf's n a r r a t o r i s j o l t e d by her fourteen-year o l d daughter's ignorance of who Khrushchev was: E i n n i c h t g e l i n d e r Schrecken fuhr d i r i n d i e G l i e d e r , und es wurde d i r k l a r , dass gewisse P f l i c h t e n keinen Aufschub mehr dulden, unter ihnen d i e P f l i c h t , anzudeuten, was mit uns geschehen i s t . 4 To preserve i n memory, out of a sense of urgency r a t h e r than i n c l i n a -t i o n , i n order to g i v e account of what has happened to them, i s a c e n t r a l concern of Wolf's anonymous n a r r a t o r and Klima's Adam K i n d l . In Der Gnadenrichter, author and p r o t a g o n i s t / n a r r a t o r both " r e c o n s t r u c t i n i m a g i n a t i o n " ; Mi£osz' t h i r d v a r i a n t of the Poet's way of Seeing. The cen-t r a l n a r r a t i v e - Adam K i n d l ' s l i f e as judge - and the secondary n a r r a t i v e -K i n d l ' s account of h i s l i f e from c h i l d h o o d to the present, t o l d i n the f i r s t person - v a r i o u s l y r e q u i r e the powers of i m a g i n a t i o n to v i t a l i z e and g i v e sub-stance to l i n e a r and c h r o n o l o g i c a l b i o g r a p h i c a l data. A l l of N e l l y ' s s t o r y i n Kindheitsmuster i s , i n one sense, a r e c o n s t r u c -t i o n i n i m a g i n a t i o n . The n a r r a t o r determines not to invent what she cannot remember, n e i t h e r f o r reasons of comfort or a e s t h e t i c s : "Doch b l e i b t es d a b e i , dass Erfindungen ausscheiden und d i e Erinnerung und Erinnerungen, d i e E r i n n e r -ung an Phantasien nur a l s Informationen aus z w e i t e r Hand verwendet werden konnen, a l s Spiegelungen, n i c h t a l s R e a l i t a t . " ^ Where the prodding of memory provokes h a l f - b u r i e d images, where innocuous words and phrases arouse sensa-t i o n s of f e a r and h o r r o r , the n a r r a t o r does not provide the master key to i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . She attempts r a t h e r to t r a c e the v o i c e s where she can, and where she cannot, to l i v e w i t h a cacophony of r e s i d u a l murmurs. 4 C h r i s t a Wolf, born 1929 i n Landsberg, and Ivan K l i m a , born i n Prague, 1931, have l e d d i f f e r e n t and yet not t o t a l l y d i s s i m i l a r l i v e s . S e v e r a l impor-tant p a r a l l e l s stand out. Both have shared great hopes t h a t the c r e a t i o n of the German Democratic Republic and the new Communist government i n Czechoslovakia a f t e r the war, would usher i n a p e r i o d of humane S o c i a l i s m wherein human beings could best r e a l i z e t h e i r p o t e n t i a l . C h r i s t a Wolf was e d i t o r of the j o u r n a l , Neuen Deutschen L i t e r a t u r (1958-1959) as w e l l as a j o u r n a l f o r young people, Neues Leben (1953-1959). She began p u b l i s h i n g s h o r t e r works of her own, beginning w i t h Moskauer  N o v e l l e i n 1961, and Der G e t e i l t e Himmel, 1963, o f t e n regarded as a p i v o t a l t e x t i n the b r e a k i n g away from the p r o s c r i b e d t e n e t s of S o c i a l i s t Realism, l a i d out by the S o v i e t League of authors i n Moscow, 1934. Wolf has twice spent a year i n the USA; as W r i t e r - i n - R e s i d e n c e at O b e r l i n C o l l e g e i n Ohio, 1974, and as D i s t i n g u i s h e d V i s i t i n g P r o f e s s o r at Ohio State U n i v e r s i t y at Columbus, t h i s S p r i n g , 1983. She has r e c e i v e d at l e a s t h a l f a dozen l i t e r a r y awards over the y e a r s , i n c l u d i n g the Buchner P r i z e i n 1980. W.T. Jones suggests: "the r i g h t to t r a v e l i n the West i s understandably one of the most s o u g h t - a f t e r p r i v i l e g e s i n the GDR." What i s p e r p l e x i n g i s the l a c k of any i d e n t i f i a b l e c r i t e r i o n to e x p l a i n why one w r i t e r i s i n f a v o u r , w h i l e another i s not. E i t h e r there i s no K u l t u r p o l i t i k or there i s a d i f f e r -ent one f o r each w r i t e r and a r t i s t . . . . 6 Ivan Klima taught Philosophy and L i t e r a t u r e and was a staunch member of the Communist P a r t y i n Czechoslovakia. He was dismissed from h i s academic post f o l l o w i n g the Russian i n t e r v e n t i o n i n Czechoslovakia i n 1968, and has 5 s i n c e been e s s e n t i a l l y a non-person i n h i s own country. His name, along w i t h many of h i s c o l l e a g u e s ' and c o - s i g n e r s of Charter 77, has been s t r i c k e n from o f f i c i a l r ecords and h i s books have been removed from the l i b r a r i e s and book-s t o r e s of Prague. Were he to be accorded the p r i v i l e g e of r e c o g n i t i o n at a l l by the a u t h o r i t i e s i n Prague, i t might be as a " d i s s i d e n t " , which Vaclav Havel e x p l a i n s at l e n g t h i n h i s study, Versuch, i n der Wahrheit zu Leben, i s a l a b e l a f f i x e d t o c e r t a i n i n d i v i d u a l s t h a t they might not even be aware of . Havel s t a t e s : "Es i s t u r s p r u n g l i c h und vor a l l e m eine bestimmte e x i s t e n -t i e l l e E i n s t e l l u n g . " ^ I n the aftermath of the c r e a t i o n of Charter 77, the Human Rights movement and document i s s u e d i n January of 1977, Havel makes the statement (January 25, 1979), t h a t : "We had not decided to be " d i s s i -d ents" ... but had simply done c e r t a i n t h i n g s which we had to do or which seemed to us to be proper." He d e f i n e s the " d i s s i d e n t w r i t e r s " as: S c h r i f t s t e l l e r , d i e so s c h r e i b e n , wie s i e w o l l e n , ohne Ruc k s i c h t auf d i e Zensur und auf d i e o f f i z i e l l e n An-spruche, und d i e dann i h r e Werke - wenn d i e o f f i z i e l l e n Verlage s i e ablehnen - im "Samisdat" v e r b r e i t e n . ^ Havel, a s e l f - d e f i n e d d i s s i d e n t w r i t e r h i m s e l f , was one of the e d i t o r s of one of the underground e d i t i o n s i n C z e c h o s l o v a k i a , the Edice Expedice, which has p u b l i s h e d among o t h e r s , the works of Ivan Klima. Other than t h a t , Klima's work has been p u b l i s h e d by Edice P e t l i c e , the major S a m i z d a t - s t y l e e d i t i o n i n C z e c h o s l o v a k i a . H. Gordon S k i l l i n g d e s c r i b e s the P e t l i c e e d i t i o n s i n h i s f u l l - l e n g t h study, Charter 77 and Human Rights i n C z e c h o s l o v a k i a , 1981: These were t y p e w r i t t e n , w i t h carbon c o p i e s , and bound, sometimes w i t h simple cardboard covers, o c c a s i o n a l l y w i t h c l o t h b i n d i n g and w i t h i l l u s t r a t i o n s and photographs. A l i m i t e d number of a u t h o r i s e d copies was produced, each 6 signed by the author and w i t h a note on the t i t l e page e x p r e s s l y f o r b i d d i n g f u r t h e r d u p l i c a t i o n . . . . T h e r e a d e r s h i p was v a r i o u s l y estimated at s e v e r a l hundred or even s e v e r a l thousand, but cannot be a c c u r a t e l y determined.9 S i m i l a r l y , J i n Lederer, h i m s e l f a b l a c k - l i s t e d j o u r n a l i s t who stood t r i a l on account of h i s book; Tschechische Gesprache, 1979, d e s c r i b e s Edice P e t l i c e as: "eine maschinengeschriebenen P u b l i k a t i o n s r e i h e , d i e s e i t mehreren Jahren besteht....Man kann sagen, dass j e d e r Band e i n i g e hundert Leser e r r e i c h t . I i n c l u d e t h i s b a s i c b i o g r a p h i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n i n order to i l l u s t r a t e j u s t how d i f f e r e n t the r e c e p t i o n of Wolf's and Klima's work has been. Th e i r c u r r e n t s i t u a t i o n s i n t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e homelands accounts perhaps f o r some of the d i s t i n c t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h e i r w r i t i n g . C h r i s t a Wolf has r e c e i v e d i n c r e a s i n g a t t e n t i o n and r e c o g n i t i o n by r e a d e r s , c r i t i c s , and p o l i t i c i a n s a l i k e , both i n s i d e and o u t s i d e of the German it Democratic R e p u b l i c . Her work, e s p e c i a l l y Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T., 1968, and K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , 1976, has sparked enormous c r i t i c a l c o n t r o v e r s y and d i s -pute, e s p e c i a l l y w i t h regards to her i m p l i c i t c r i t i c i s m , i n Nachdenken, of the f a i l u r e of the p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l system i n East Germany to a l l o w f o r i n d i v i d u a l growth and e x p r e s s i o n . Her work has been p r a i s e d and condemned on both s i d e s of the Border. M a r i e - L u i s e L i n n s t a t e s t h a t i n West Germany, the consensus of c r i t i c s i s t h a t : " d i e A u t o r i n habe s i c h herrschenden Tabus u n t e r g e o r d n e t . N o r b e r t S c h a c t s i e k - F r e i t a g comments th a t the main c r i t i c i s m s l e v e l l e d at Kindheitsmuster i n the German Democratic Republic were: " e i n gewisser Zug zu falschem V e r a l l g e m e i n e r n , zu u n h i s t o r i s c h e m Ver-H II kurzen, zu fragwurdigem A n a l o g i s i e r e n " ; and "vom Standpunkt s u b j e k t i v e n Leiden b e u r t e i l t , S t a t t den r i c h t i g e n i d e o l o g i s c h e n Standpunkt der r e v o l u t i o n a r e n 12 K l a s s e einzunehmen." Ivan Klima's s i t u a t i o n i n C z echoslovakia i s very d i f f e r e n t from 7 C h r i s t a Wolf's. Although he too spent a year, i n 1969, as V i s i t i n g P r o f e s s o r at the U n i v e r s i t y of Michigan i n Ann Arbor, he i s bound to have been aware t h a t should he leave the country, h i s c i t i z e n s h i p l i k e that of M i l a n Kundera, would be revoked, and he would not be allowed to r e t u r n . He w r i t e s t h e r e f o r e , v i r t u a l l y w i t h o u t r e a d e r s h i p or c r i t i c a l response. And i r o n i c a l l y , w h i l e there i s no o f f i c i a l r e c o g n i t i o n of h i s w r i t i n g a c t i v i t y , l i k e Adam K i n d l i n Der Gnadenrichter, he can never be sure that h i s a c t i o n s are not under s u r -v e i l l a n c e . K lima may be one of those whose work has s u f f e r e d most under the pre-v a i l i n g c o n d i t i o n s of the " d i s s i d e n t w r i t e r " i n C z e c h o s l o v a k i a . As one who seems to p r e f e r a low p u b l i c p r o f i l e , h i s work has not r e c e i v e d the same pub-l i c a t t e n t i o n as t h a t of Vaclav Havel, p l a y w r i g h t and former Spokesman of Charter 77; he has not enjoyed the same popular success on Broadway as P a v e l Kohout; h i s d e c i s i o n to remain i n Czechoslovakia has guaranteed that he should never enjoy the freedom of movement that Josef Skvorecky enjoys i n Toronto, or M i l a n Kundera, i n P a r i s . M i i o s z suggests i n The Captive Mind: The o b j e c t i v e c o n d i t i o n s necessary to the r e a l i z a t i o n of a work of a r t are, as we know, a h i g h l y complex phenomenon, i n v o l v i n g one's p u b l i c , the p o s s i b i l i t y of contact w i t h i t , the g e n e r a l atmosphere, and above a l l freedom from i n v o l u n t a r y s u b j e c t i v e c o n t r o l . 1 3 I t i s obvious t h a t what Ivan Klima seems to be l a c k i n g most i s the sense of a r e a d e r s h i p ; the knowledge that a c e r t a i n p o p u l a t i o n r e c e i v e s and reads h i s work i n the o r i g i n a l ; f o r i t i s i r o n i c t h a t a f t e r d e c i d i n g to stay i n C zechoslovakia i n order to preserve h i s t i e s w i t h the language, that h i s work i s p u b l i s h e d abroad i n t r a n s l a t i o n before the o r i g i n a l i s p u b l i s h e d : 8 From 1 9 7 0 he has been under a complete ban i n Czechoslo-v a k i a and only some of h i s new s t o r i e s , novels and p l a y s c o u l d be obtained i n t r a n s l a t i o n s p u b l i s h e d i n Western Europe, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n Germany.-^ Der Gnadenrichter, which Kl i m a completed i n 1 9 7 6 , was p u b l i s h e d i n German t r a n s l a t i o n i n Luzern i n 1 9 7 9 , and w i l l be a v a i l a b l e i n the o r i g i n a l Czech only l a t e i n 1 9 8 3 or 1 9 8 4 ; p u b l i s h e d by S i x t y - E i g h t P u b l i s h e r s i n Toronto. Perhaps not s u r p r i s i n g l y , there i s v i r t u a l l y a complete l a c k of p u b l i s h e d c r i t i c a l response t o Klima's major n o v e l . ^ The i n d i r e c t c r i t i c i s m s aimed at Ivan Klima and s e v e r a l c o l l e a g u e s i n t h e i r own country - i n c l u d e the l a b e l of "bourgeois i n t e l l e c t u a l s " ; " a l i e n to t h e i r own l a n d " ; defending a "pure" or " c l a s s l e s s " democracy; and of adopting 1 6 "a g e n e r a l human" i n p l a c e of "a c l a s s approach". The only c r i t i c a l review a v a i l a b l e to me, of Der Gnadenrichter, i s p u b l i s h e d i n the Czechoslovakian emigre j o u r n a l , S v e d e c t v i by I.K., an anonymous Prague c r i t i c , who shares, c u r i o u s l y , the author's i n i t i a l s . He c r i t i c i z e s K l i m a f o r l a c k i n g a balanced philosophy of h i s t o r y and f o r p o r t r a y -i n g only the i g n o b l e s i d e of Czech h i s t o r y , basing h i s argument on what he c a l l s a c t u a l f a c t s which he h i m s e l f experienced. He suggests that Adam K i n d l n o t i c e s only the e v i l , and b l i n d f o l d s h i s eyes to the a l t e r n a t i v e s that were a v a i l a b l e d u r i n g those years a f t e r the War, and to c e r t a i n connections between h i s f a t h e r ' s and h i s own g e n e r a t i o n , which he does not want to acknowledge. Adam K i n d l , I.K. suggests, l i v e s e v e r y t h i n g second-hand ."^ Miltosz comments that i n a t o t a l i t a r i a n s t a t e : One of the most ominous reproaches l e v e l e d a g a i n s t w r i t e r s i s the s u s p i c i o n that t h e i r v e r s e s , p l a y , or novels c o n t a i n a "metaphysical r e s i d u e . " - ^ I f t h i s i s the charge l a i d a g a i n s t a work of l i t e r a t u r e that suggests the 9 e x i s t i n g s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l order does not warrant the people's t r u s t nor meet i t s needs, nor p r o v i d e means of f u l f i l l i n g t h e i r need f o r e t h i c a l and i n t e l -19 l e c t u a l norms, then Klima i s indeed g u i l t y . K i ndheitsmuster and Der Gnadenrichter can both be regarded as p i n n a c l e s of the authors' l i t e r a r y p r o d u c t i o n to date. The novels are 476 and 671 pages i n l e n g t h , r e s p e c t i v e l y . The scope of the m a t e r i a l ; the time span i n v o l v e d -t h i r t y years i n K l i m a ' s , f o r t y i n Wolf's; the complexity of t h e i r n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e s , and even the p e r i o d of time i n v o l v e d i n the w r i t i n g of the books -surpass those of both authors' p r e v i o u s l y p u b l i s h e d works. Both novels were begun i n 1972. Wolf f i n i s h e d w r i t i n g K indheitsmuster i n 1975, w h i l e Klima completed Der Gnadenrichter i n 1976. Where e a r l i e r works of both authors have d e a l t w i t h r e c u r r i n g s p e c i f i c themes, Kindheitsmuster and Der Gnadenrichter have broader d e s i g n s . Each por-t r a y s not an i s o l a t e d c r i s i s i n the l i f e of an i n d i v i d u a l or the a b s u r d i t y and f a l s i t y o f a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n , but as a c c u r a t e l y , and t r u t h f u l l y as p o s s i b l e , the f u l l s t o r y of an i n d i v i d u a l l i f e , i n a concrete s o c i a l context. The s t o r i e s are not those of two average l i v e s , f o r the i n d i v i d u a l s i n q u e s t i o n both belong to that g e n e r a t i o n that spent i t s adolescence during the Second World War. Both Adam K i n d l and C h r i s t a Wolf's N e l l y , have witnessed the movement of t h e i r c h i l d h o o d , as Wolf's n a r r a t o r expresses i t ; " i n den Schatten der en von Auschwitz"; and have e t e r n a l memories of a n i g h t m a r i s h landscape of c r u e l t y , s u f f e r i n g , s t a r v a t i o n , and death; or i n the words of the 20 poet, N e l l y Sachs; they remember a "Landschaft aus S c h r e i e n " . "Die Toten gehorten i n j e n e r Z e i t zu meinem A l l t a g s l e b e n , " Adam K i n d l 21 r e c a l l s of h i s c h i l d h o o d . That Klima's p r o t a g o n i s t should bear l a s t i n g s c a rs from those e a r l y years i s not s u r p r i s i n g . Three and a h a l f of those 10 y e a r s , e x a c t l y 1,252 d a y s , he remembers p r e c i s e l y , were s p e n t i n T h e r e s i e n -s t a d t , w i t h h i s mother and younger b r o t h e r , as w e l l as v a r i o u s f r i e n d s and r e l a t i v e s . O s t e n s i b l y t h e i r i n t e r n m e n t was on grounds o f p a t e r n a l J e w i s h a n c e s t r y a l t h o u g h t h i s i s n e v e r e x p l i c i t l y s t a t e d i n t h e n o v e l . ( H i s m o t h e r ' s s i d e o f t h e f a m i l y , we l e a r n , c o n v e r t e d t o J u d a i s m f r o m C h r i s t i a n i t y t h r e e hundred y e a r s e a r l i e r , i n t h e a t t e m p t t o a v o i d p e r s e c u t i o n . ) The o l d e r Adam r e c a l l s t h e t i m e o f h i s i m p r i s o n m e n t : I c h a h n t e damals n i c h t , d a s s d e r K r i e g f u r m i c h w i e f u r v i e l e a n d e r e n i e m a l s b e e n d e t s e i n wurde. I c h werde i h n i n m i r t r a g e n , s e l b s t wenn i c h i h n v e r g e s s e n s o l l t e , a u c h wenn i c h n i c h t mehr v o n ihm t r a u m e . 2 2 What i s more s u r p r i s i n g , p e r h a p s , i s t h e e x t e n t o f t h e s u f f e r i n g b o r n e by N e l l y J o r d a n i n W o l f ' s K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r . L i v i n g i n L a n d s b e r g , now a p a r t o f P o l a n d , N e l l y was t e n y e a r s o l d when t h e War b r o k e o u t and h e r f a t h e r was c o n -s c r i p t e d i n t o t h e German Army, and s i x t e e n when she h e a r d t h e w o r d s : " H i t l e r i s t t o t . " The n a r r a t o r s t a t e s : E n t s c h i e d e n a b e r war noch l a n g e n i c h t , ob s i e d u r c h M e l a n c h o l i e - d i e T r a u e r um i h r e n s c h l i m m s t e n F e i n d -s i c h s e l b s t z e r s t o r e n o d e r ob es i h r g e l i n g e n wurde, d i e v erkiimmerte F a h i g k e i t , E r f a h r u n g e n z u t r e f f e n d z u d e u t e n , z u e n t w i c k e l n und z u u b e r l e b e n . Lange Z e i t , j a h r e l a n g , s o l l t e d e r Kampf u n e n t s c h i e d e n h i n und h e r gehen - auc h dann n o c h , a l s s i e S e l b s t i h n l a n g s t und e i n d e u t i g z u i h r e n G u n s t e n f u r e n t s c h i e d e n h i e l t . (Wie s i n d w i r so geworden, w i e w i r h e u t e s i n d ? ) C h r i s t a W o l f ' s N e l l y , no l e s s t h a n I v a n K l i m a ' s Adam K i n d l , i s t o c a r r y t h e war and t h e u p h e a v a l s c o n n e c t e d w i t h i t , i n s i d e h e r e v e r a f t e r . B o t h , as a d u l t s , n o t e t h e p r e s e n c e o f an u n c e r t a i n t y and i n s e c u r i t y , u n a t t a c h e d t o any s p e c i f i c e v e n t o r c a u s e , t h a t h a u n t s t h e i r l i v e s l o n g a f t e r t h e War i s o v e r and t h e i r l i v e s resume r e l a t i v e l y n o r m a l p r o p o r t i o n s , K i n d l s t a t e s : " I c h w e i s s n i c h t , ob d i e s e s G e f u h l d e r U n s i c h e r h e i t dem t a t s a c h l i c h e n S t a n d d e r 11 Dinge e n t s p r i c h t . . . . " Wolf speaks i n L e s e n und S c h r e i b e n , o f : "Unausge-« 25 g l i c h e n h e i t e n und U n s i c h e r h e i t e n , d i e n i c h t l e i c h t z u e r k l a r e n s i n d . " Both K i n d l and t h e a d u l t N e l l y l i v e w i t h the c o n s t a n t sense o f the p r e c a r -i o u s n e s s o f l i f e , and the knowledge t h a t e v e r y t h i n g has been c a l l e d i n t o q u e s t i o n once, and i t c o u l d happen a g a i n . B o t h emerge from the war y e a r s as v i c t i m s and s u r v i v o r s , w i t h t h e s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e t h a t K i n d l c o u l d r e c o g n i z e t h e enemy as a f o r c e e x t e r n a l t o h i m s e l f , an i d e n t i f i a b l e O t h e r ; w h i l e t h a t s e p a r a t i o n was im-p o s s i b l e f o r N e l l y J o r d a n . Hamida B o s m a j i a n a p t l y d e s c r i b e s the s i t u a t i o n of N e l l y J o r d a n and h e r f a m i l y i n t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n t o h e r s t u d y o f contemporary German l i t e r a t u r e and t h e shadow o f Nazism: Metaphors of E v i l : The N a z i s , who d e p r i v e d t h e i n d i v i d u a l of a l l human and c i v i l r i g h t s , a l s o took from t h e Germans t h e r i g h t arid b a s i c human need t o mourn one's dead and lament the d e s t r u c t i o n o f c i t i e s . 2 6 T h i s may be t h e r e a s o n why i t took C h r i s t a Wolf t h i r t y y e a r s to w r i t e what i s among o t h e r t h i n g s , t h e l i t a n y o f h e r l o s t c h i l d h o o d . The n a r r a t o r a n a l y z e s the s u f f e r i n g o f t h e o l d and t h e s u f f e r i n g o f t h e young, and c o n c l u d e s : "Doch es gab K e i n e n , der n i c h t s e l b e r l i t t , und darum g i b t es h e u t e k e i n e n 1 " r, ,,27 z u v e r l a s s i g e n Zeugen. H e i n r i c h B o l l w r i t e s i n an e s s a y on C h r i s t a Wolf - "Wo habt i h r b l o s s g e l e b t ? " : D i e v e r f l u c h t e , immer w i e d e r und immer w i e d e r m i t Recht g e s t e l l t e F r a g e : Wie war das denn nun w i r k l i c h ? i s t nur z u b e a n t w o r t e n i n d e r L i t e r a t u r a l s ganzem, a l s liber J a h r -z e h n t e s i c h a u s b r e i t e n d e m V e r s u c h der v i e l e V a r i a t i o n e n , v i e l e I n t o n a t i o n e n , u n z a h l i g v i e l e A u s d r u c k s f o r m e n h a t -von d e r "romanhaften Luge", d i e k e i n e i s t , b i s zum E r z a h l e n 12 mit heiser belegter Stimme....Es i s t unsinnig, wenn hin und wieder beklagt wird, dass der Roman tiber diese Zeit noch fehle: Er wird von v i e l e n aeschrieben, i n ver-schiedenen Intonationen. (Boll's emphasis) Wolf's Kindheitsmuster and Klima's Der Gnadenrichter o f f e r two s i g n i f i c a n t versions and v a r i a t i o n s of "how i t was", to have l i v e d through the War as a c h i l d , and to carry i t inside oneself for the remainder of one's l i f e . Kindheitsmuster i s situated unmistakeably i n the world of h i s t o r i c a l and p o l i t i c a l a c t u a l i t i e s of recent and contemporary times. Wolf's narrator t r i e s to re-enter and derive an understanding of the Z e i t g e i s t of Nazi Germany and the circumstances that allowed events to progress and escalate as they did: Es i s t nicht zu entscheiden, was zuerst dasein muss: die Bereitschaft v i e l e r , aus ihrem Herzen eine Mordergrube machen zulassen, oder Mordkisten, die durch die Landschaft fahren und aus den Herzen Mordergruben machen. 29 Although the author says elsewhere that Kindheitsmuster i s also "ein Gegen-wartsbuch" - the s p e c i f i c events, p o l i t i c a l f i g u r e s , and news broadcasts are i d e n t i f i e d e x p l i c i t l y and Wolf's i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the autobiographical narrator 'is c l e a r . Der Gnadenrichter, Klima states i n his introductory l e t t e r could be set anywhere, at any time. Although we know, from the author's biography that c e r t a i n events i n the novel proceed i d e n t i c a l l y to those of h i s own l i f e , the only exact names, dates, and events c i t e d i n Der Gnadenrichter are those given i n the "Dokumente" and "Altstadter Ring" passages. Igor Hajek, a colleague of Klima's from University days, now l i v i n g i n England, speculates that i n the early 1960's, those writers who used diplomacy to avoid e x p l i c i t c r i t i c i s m of the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n fared better than Klima. He notes i n a recent a r t i c l e i n the Index on Censorship; "The lesson was not l o s t on the author and he seldom set his work i n a d e f i n i t e 13 time and place again." This i s c e r t a i n l y the case i n Der Gnadenrichter. The years immediately after the War i n Czechoslovakia are alluded to with such nostalgic references as: "jenen bosen und zugleich seligen Zeiten, a l s das Leben noch v o l l Hoffnung und menschliches Tun zumindest scheinbar s i n n v o l l war." No precise c o r r e l a t i o n i s drawn between the Prague Spring and the period when Adam Kin d l was f i n a l l y able for once i n his l i f e , to pronounce j u s t sentences. Ich spiirte ein Brennen im Hals, a l s ob auch i c h i n Tranen ausbrechen musste, weil s i e a l l e endlich ein Ohr fanden, w e i l das Recht s i c h endlich Geh'or verschafften und mir die Ehre z u f i e l , i n seinem Namen ein gerechtes U r t e i l zu sprechen.32 Klima portrays his concerns on a broad canvas, juxtaposing, es p e c i a l l y i n the "Dokumente" passages, the barbarisms and c r u e l t i e s of a l l ages, making the Altsta d t e r Ring the heart of numerous concentric c i r c l e s of horror and execution. Wolf's emphasis i s on the inner workings of the individual;.the d e l i -cate mechanisms that control and shape the psyche; Klima's i s on human society as i t t o t t e r s gracelessly from one age of i n j u s t i c e into the next, gleaning evidently, no wisdom from centuries past. The "Dokumente" i l l u s t r a t e drama-t i c a l l y that while the faces and forms of i n j u s t i c e change, the frequency and essence do not. I have not attempted to use either a p a r t i c u l a r t h e o r e t i c a l perspec-t i v e or a s p e c i f i c terminology i n my discussion of Wolf's Kindheitsmuster and Klima's Der Gnadenrichter. What I have undertaken to do i s a close reading that would grant me the greatest possible proximity to the texts; with the hope that I could discuss them on their own terms, look clo s e l y at the language 14 they employ, and analyze what seem to emerge as the most important aspects of each, as w e l l as c e r t a i n p a r a l l e l s between the two works. I have mentioned a l r e a d y and i n one form or another, w i l l come back to the f a c t t h a t K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r and Der Gnadenrichter are to a great e x t e n t , reckonings of the authors' l i v e s so f a r . C h r i s t a Wolf and Ivan Klima " g i v e account" of t h e i r l i v e s : both l i t e r a l l y , i n t e l l i n g t h e i r l i f e ' s s t o r y , and i n a f i g u r a t i v e sense; because d e s p i t e t h e i r apparent i r r e l i g i o u s i t y , there i s a s t r o n g sense of an appeal to a higher Judge i n both n a r r a t i v e s . This i s evident i n the p r o p h e t i c tone of c e r t a i n passages ( e s p e c i a l l y i n K i n d h e i t s - muster) as w e l l as i n the nature of t h e i r e n t e r p r i s e : the search f o r v i n d i -c a t i o n through c o n f e s s i o n and c r e a t i o n . The n o t i o n of conducting both a cross-examination of the S e l f and a s e l f - d e f e n c e , i s c e n t r a l to both n o v e l s . The f a c t t h a t Wolf and Klima d i d not w r i t e these works sooner than they d i d , suggests that only w i t h the passing of time, have the a u t h e n t i c shape, c o l o u r and p r o p o r t i o n of t h e i r past l i v e s emerged. That they c o u l d w r i t e them now, suggests t h a t Kindheitsmuster and Der Gnadenrichter are not summations of l i v e s but r a t h e r , l i v e s - i n - p r o g r e s s , which w i l l be a f f e c t e d i n t u r n , by the w r i t i n g of the n o v e l s . I have read and t r e a t e d Kindheitsmuster and Der Gnadenrichter as two s i g n i f i c a n t t e x t s of contemporary l i t e r a t u r e , which m e r i t c l o s e a t t e n t i o n on the b a s i s of t h e i r a r t i s t i c q u a l i t i e s ; but a l s o and perhaps more i m p o r t a n t l y , as two novels which, i n a time where the l i t e r a r y t e x t i s o f t e n regarded as an e n t i t y i n i t s e l f , e x i s t i n g and having meaning only i n a world of other t e x t s , presume t o have something of s i g n i f i c a n c e to say, on the s u b j e c t of how we, as 33 "post Auschwitz homo-sapiens" attempt to shape our l i v e s i n t h i s w o r l d. 15 FOOTNOTES ^ Czesiaw Miiosz, The 1980 Nobel Lecture, World Literature Today, Summer 1981, pp. 406, 408. 2 Virginia Woolf, Moments of Being, ed. Jeanne Schulkind, (Frogmore, St. Albans, Herts: Triad/Panther Books, 1978), p.114; Milosz, p. 401. 3 Christa Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, (Darmstadt: Luchterhand, 1976), p. 9. 4 Ibid., p. 173. 5 Ibid., p. 255. William Treharne Jones, "The Literary Climate in East Germany", Index on Censorship, 3, 79, p. 24. 7 Vaclav Havel, Versuch, in der Wahrheit zu Leben, trans. Gabriel Laub, (Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1980), p. 49. 8 H. Gordon Skilling, Charter 77 and Human Rights in Czechoslovakia, (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1981), pp. 79, 211; In the Declaration of January 1, 1977, the original Chartists define Charter 77 as "a free informal, open community of people of different convictions, different faiths and dif-ferent professions united by the will to strive, individually and collectively, for the respect of civic and human rights in our own country and throughout the world." (p. 211). 9 Ibid., p. 110. ^ J i r i Lederer, Tschechische Gesprache: Schrif tsteller geben Antwort, (Hamburg: Rowohlt Verlag Gmblt, 1979), p. 11. ^ Marie-Luise Linn, "Doppelte Kindheit - Zur Interpretation von Christa Wolfs 'Kindheitsmuster111 , Deutschunterricht, (Stuttgart: Ernst Klett Verlag, 30, 1978), pp. 54, 55. 16 12 Norbert S c h a c h t s i e k - F r e i t a g , "Vom Versagen der K r i t i k " , i n C h r i s t a Wolf M a t e r i a l i e n b u c h , ed. Klaus Sauer, pp. 123, 124. 13 Czes-taw M i i o s z , The Captive Mind, t r a n s . Jane Z i e l o n k o , (New York: Vintage Books, 1981), p. 14. ^ Igor Ha^jek, " P r o f i l e of Ivan K l i m a " , Index on Censorship, 2, 83. ^ Asked to d e l i v e r a paper at a Symposium commemorating the centenary of Kafka's b i r t h ( i n Vancouver, 1983), Ivan Klima r e p l i e d t h a t w h i l e honoured by the i n v i t a t i o n , he would be unable to a t t e n d i n person f o r f e a r of being prevented from r e - e n t e r i n g h i s country, but would be pleased to send a paper to be read at the Symposium. The l e n g t h of the paper that f o l l o w e d - seventy-f i v e pages - i l l u s t r a t e s Klima's c u r r e n t i s o l a t i o n from h i s own area of i n t e r -e s t - the area of c r i t i c a l l i t e r a r y s c h o l a r s h i p - f o r , anyone more informed, would have prepared a paper of perhaps o n e - t h i r d t h a t l e n g t h . S k i l l i n g , p. 131. ^ These ideas are l o o s e l y paraphrased from an i n f o r m a l t r a n s l a t i o n of the review, done f o r the purposes of t h i s paper, by Marketa Goetz-Stankiewicz. 18 M i i b s z , The Captive Mind, p. 73. 19 Perhaps a word should be s a i d about the t r a n s l a t i o n of Wolf's and Klima's n o v e l s . I am not q u a l i f i e d to e v a l u a t e the German t r a n s l a t i o n of Klima's n o v e l , o r i g i n a l l y S t o j f , s t o j l , s'ibenic'ka, by h i s t r a n s l a t o r s , A l e x -andra and Gerhard Baumrucker, C h r i s t i a n e Auras and Helen K o l a r o v a . Alexandra and Gerhard Baumrucker have t r a n s l a t e d a c o n s i d e r a b l e number of Klima's works i n t o German ( i n c l u d i n g E i n Liebessommer, and s e v e r a l of h i s p l a y s ) . Wolf, t o my knowledge, has no s i n g l e t r a n s l a t o r i n t o E n g l i s h , which may account, along w i t h the d i f f i c u l t y of her prose, f o r the i n c o n s i s t e n t q u a l i t y of the E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n s . The t i t l e A Model Childhood f o r Kindheitsmuster i s not an accurate e q u i v a l e n t of the o r i g i n a l , and might more a c c u r a t e l y have 17 been t r a n s l a t e d as "Childhood Pattern/s". The t r a n s l a t i o n , done j o i n t l y by Ursule Molinaro and Hedwig Rappolt, omits the Table of Contents (Inhalt) which i s included at the end of K i n d h e i t s - muster and o u t l i n e s the thematic content of each of the eighteen chapters. Far more damaging to the E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n however, i s the f a c t that Molinaro and Rappolt have cut s i g n i f i c a n t sections of the text of Kindheitsmuster e n t i r e l y . Having done a thorough comparison, paragraph by paragraphjof t r a n s l a t i o n and o r i g i n a l , I have found j u s t short of one hundred omissions, varying i n length from a few words (a q u a l i f y i n g phrase, f o r example) to the longest, i n Chapter 17, c o n s i s t i n g of a cut of over two pages i n length. Having found the East and West German e d i t i o n s to be i d e n t i c a l , one can only surmise that f o r what-ever reason, the t r a n s l a t o r s have chosen to e d i t the text to one of a s i g n i f i -c a n tly shorter length, leaving out i n the process, some extremely important passages (metaphysical r e s i d u e ! ? ) . Though one could not claim that the t r a n s l a t i o n that they have produced out r i g h t d i s t o r t s or misrepresents, a cl o s e comparison shows that i t f a i l s to do j u s t i c e to the o r i g i n a l text. Many of the passages that have been omitted are i n t r o s p e c t i v e speculations, not a c t i o n passages, and one wonders what prompted the t r a n s l a t o r s to cut what Wolf h e r s e l f found e s s e n t i a l to her t e x t . While i t i s not my i n t e n t i o n to discuss the p r o f e s s i o n a l e t h i c s of t r a n s l a t i o n , one leaves the t r a n s l a t i o n with the sense that an i r r e s p o n s i b l e act has been committed against Wolf's o r i g i n a l text, and that, whatever the reason f o r the extensive e d i t i n g might be, there ought, at l e a s t , to have been an acknowledgement at the beginning of the t r a n s l a t i o n to i n d i c a t e that i t i s an abridged v e r s i o n of a longer text. (The frequent cuts also explain why the more densely printed German copy nevertheless has seventy-five pages more text than the t r a n s l a t i o n ; 476 pages to 401.) For purposes other than those of 18 t h i s d i s c u s s i o n , i t would be very i n t e r e s t i n g to contact the t r a n s l a t o r s as w e l l as C h r i s t a Wolf h e r s e l f , i n order to determine the m o t i v a t i o n behind the e d i t i n g . Although I cannot compare Klima's o r i g i n a l t e x t w i t h the German t r a n s -l a t i o n ; t r a n s l a t i o n from a S l a v i c language I am t o l d i s always d i f f i c u l t . The complete change of t i t l e demonstrates that the l i t e r a r y f o l k s y echoes cannot be approximated. Even the f a c t t h a t f o u r people c o l l a b o r a t e d on the t r a n s l a -t i o n - and v a r i o u s s t y l e s had to be rendered i n t r a n s l a t i o n - newspaper repor-tage and l e g a l documents as w e l l as the s t y l e / s of n a r r a t o r and author i n c r e a s e s the d i f f i c u l t y of t r a n s l a t i n g Klima's t e x t . 20 Wolf, K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , p. 291. 21 Ivan K l i m a , Der Gnadenrichter, t r a n s . Alexandra und Gerhard Baum-r u c k e r , C h r i s t i a n e Auras und Helena K o l a r o v a , (Hamburg: Hoffman und Campe; Luzern: E d i t i o n R e i c h , 1979), p. 59. 22 I b i d . , p. 72. 23 Wolf, K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , p. 375. 24 K l i m a , Der Gnadenrichter, p. 72. 25 Wolf, Lesen und Schreiben, (Darmstadt: Luchterhand, 1972), p. 22. 26 Hamida Bosmajian, Metaphors of E v i l , (Iowa C i t y : U n i v e r s i t y of Iowa P r e s s , 1979), p. x i i . 27 Wolf, K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , p. 346. 28 H e i n r i c h B o l l , "Wo Habt i h r b l o s s g e l e b t ? " , i n C h r i s t a Wolf Mater-i a l ienbuch, ed. Klaus Sauer, p. 11. 29 Wolf, K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , p. 232. 30 One wonders whether Klima r e t a i n s the hope th a t i n the event of another "thaw", h i s c i r c u m s p e c t i o n and d i s c r e t i o n might permit the p u b l i c a t i o n of h i s novel i n Czechoslovakia. 19 JJ" Igor Hajek, p. 40. 32 Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, pp. 11, 660. 33 George Steiner, Language and Silence, (New York: Atheneum, 1976), p. 158. c 20 "Genau sagen, was geschehen i s t " -gemigt das? C h r i s t a Wolf quotes Ingeborg Bachmann Es g i b t eine Wahrheit j e n s e i t s der wichtigen Welt der Fakten. C h r i s t a Wolf 21 CHAPTER ONE S i c h - F r e i - Schreiben: Theme and Process i n C h r i s t a Wolf's Kindheitsmuster C h r i s t a Wolf begins by w r i t i n g a v e r s i o n of S o c i a l i s t R e a l i s t l i t e r a t u r e d u r i n g the years a f t e r the War, and p r o g r e s s i v e l y w r i t e s - h e r s e l f -f r e e of f o r m a l and n a r r a t i v e c o n s t r a i n t s to f i n d , i n c r e a s i n g l y , her own v o i c e , s t y l e , and s t r u c t u r e . I n the t r i o of works comprised by Der G e t e i l t e Himmel, 1963, Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T., 1968, and K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r, 1976; the i n c r e a s -i n g l y complex n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e s r e f l e c t the author's p r o g r e s s i v e l y complex view of " r e a l i t y " . Gunter Kunert says of Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T., t h a t i t s theme i s not - " d i e W i r k l i c h k e i t , sondern der Bezug zur W i r k l i c h k e i t . " Jedes Buch, das heute v e r s u c h t , d i e W i r k l i c h k e i t d a r z u s t e l l e n , ware von v o r n h e r e i n e i n e Luge. Die W i r k l i c h k e i t i s t i n i h r e n ungeheuren A u f s p l i t t e r u n g , V i e l f a l t und I n t e r p r e t a t i o n s m o g l i c h -k e i t gar n i c h t mehr d a r s t e l l b a r . Wenn i c h aber v i e l e Bezuge zur W i r k l i c h k e i t h e r s t e l l e n kann, dann v e r m i t t e l t s i c h mir auch i n d i r e k t e i n B i l d von der W i r k l i c h k e i t . 1 S i m i l a r l y , Jack Zipes speaks of - "the r e f l e c t i o n s of a fragmented and r e f r a c t e d r e a l i t y by the n a r r a t o r i n Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T." Whereas i n Der G e t e i l t e Himmel, we get a f a i r l y c o n v e n t i o n a l s t o r y , a l b e i t one w i t h f l a s h b a c k s i n time, and some stream of consciousness elements; i n Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T., Wolf c r e a t e s an a n t i - s t o r y of s o r t s . The n a r r -a t o r comments about C h r i s t a T.'s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h K o s t i a : Denn eine r i c h t i g e k l e i n e Geschichte war es, mit E i n l e i t u n g , H a u p t t e i l , Hohepunkt, Umschlag und schnellem A b f a l l , mit Kabale und L i e b e , b l o s s w i r haben es, da w i r m i t t e n d a r i n s t e c k t e n , n i c h t gesehen. Da s i e e r z a h l b a r geworden i s t , s c h e i n t s i e h i n t e r uns zu l i e g e n . . . 3 22 What the n a r r a t o r attempts to say i n Nachdenken liber C h r i s t a T. i s n e i t h e r past nor e a s i l y t e l l a b l e . "The d i f f i c u l t y of saying ' I * " - a constant r e f r a i n i n the book, p a r a l l e l s the reader's d i f f i c u l t y on o c c a s i o n , i n determining the source of a thought, an i d e a , o r a sentence. D i a r y fragments, snatches of con-, v e r s a t i o n s - some a c t u a l , others invented " f o r the t r u t h ' s sake", e x t r a c t s from l e t t e r s , sent and unsent, q u o t a t i o n s from other l i t e r a r y works: a l l of these make of the t e x t a t a p e s t r y of memory, l o n g i n g , and i m a g i n a t i o n . The s t r u c t u r e of the n a r r a t i v e i s i n s e p a r a b l e from the s t r u c t u r e of memory, which does not f u n c t i o n l o g i c a l l y or c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y , but through i n t u i t i o n , symbols, and images. Even the t i t l e s of these two e a r l i e r novels are symbolic. Der G e t e i l t e  Himmel sets East a g a i n s t West; S o c i a l i s m a g a i n s t C a p i t a l i s m : the world i s d i v -i d e d i n t o two camps. Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T. both complicates and m o d i f i e s the p o s s i b i l i t y of such c l e a r - c u t c e r t a i n t y : Nachdenken - " i h r nach-denken" -a m e d i t a t i o n , a s p e c u l a t i o n ; l i k e memory - "eine T a t i g k e i t und d i e Voraussetz-« 4 ung s i e auszuuben...." "Nachdenken" suggests an a c t i v i t y and a knowledge t h a t cannot be c e r t i f i e d : i t a l s o i m p l i e s r e - t h i n k i n g , o r having second thoughts. As the t i t l e of Kin d h e i t s m u s t e r suggests, Wolf's l o n g e s t and most f o r m i d -a b l e work i s to be conceived of as a p a t t e r n , but i t i s a p a t t e r n c o n s i s t i n g o f ; " e i n u n g l a u b l i c h v e r f i l z t e s G e f l e c h t " ? While the t e x t s of Der G e t e i l t e Himmel and Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T. remain w i t h i n n a r r a t i v e time, i n Ki n d h e i t s m u s t e r , n a r r a t i v e time and the a c t u a l time of w r i t i n g c o i n c i d e , so that the l a s t day of the n a r r a t o r ' s s t o r y i s the day on which C h r i s t a Wolf completes her manuscript. Not having access to Wolf's e a r l i e s t work, Moskauer N o v e l l e , 1960, I have had to r e l y on summaries and c r i t i c a l reviews f o r i n f o r m a t i o n . C r i t i c s agree i n regarding i t as "conforming to p a r t y s t r i c t u r e s " and g e n e r a l l y adhering to the requirements of S o c i a l i s t Realism. I am u s i n g the d e f i n i t i o n of S o c i a l i s t Realism given by C h r i s t i n e Cosentino, i n ; "Eine Untersuchung des S o z i a l i s t i s c h e n 23 Realismus im Werke Christa Wolfs", based on the five following "Schlusselbegriff 1) ideologisch determinierter Ideengehalt 2) marxistisch-leninistische Parteilichkeit des Helden bzw des Autors 3) Optimismus 4) positiver Held (Ausnahmeerscheinung) 5) und Vereinfachung der Form. Cosentino calls Socialist Realism: "eine Kunsttheorie, die unter Anleitung der Partei die Entwicklung des sozialistischen Bewusstseins und die Verwirk-lichung des Kommunismus spiegeln s o i l , " 6 Leaving aside her short fiction and criti c a l writings (including Unter den Linden, 1974, Lesen und Schreiben, 1971 and 1980, Gesammelte Erzahl- ungen, 1974 and 1980), I see Der Geteilte Himmel, Nachdenken uber Christa T., and Kindheitsmuster as constituting the core of Wolf's fiction. The first two, I would propose, are the structural and to some extent, thematic, forerunners to Kindheitsmuster, Wolf's opus magnum to date/ i A l l three novels have as protagonist and in Nachdenken uber Christa T. and Kindheitsmuster also as narrator, female citizens of the German Democratic Republic expected to help build the socialist society, who are prevented from seeing the realization of their personal dreams for a variety of reasons. A l l three are intelligent, sensitive and discerning individuals, and a l l three come to grief in some sense, through undue optimism. Each of Rita Seidel in Der Geteilte Himmel, the anonymous narrator of Nachdenken uber Christa T. as well as Christa T. herself, and the nameless narr-ator of Kindheitsmuster, corresponds quite closely in age to the age of Christa Wolf at the time she wrote the novels. Their ages increase in proportion to her As one cr i t i c has suggested: 24 Wolf r e l a t e s to her c h a r a c t e r s i n her f u n c t i o n as n a r r a t o r j u s t as she wants them to r e l a t e to one another. I n most o f her works, the female p r o t a g o n i s t i s c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h her, g e n e r a l l y born g the same year, g e n e r a l l y having gone through the same experiences. Der G e t e i l t e Himmel, 1963, a l r e a d y oversteps the c l e a r l y - d e f i n e d tenets of S o c i a l i s t Realism. Western c r i t i c s d i f f e r i n t h e i r o p i n i o n of which of Wolf's nov e l s marked the most s i g n i f i c a n t change i n the n a t i o n a l GDR l i t e r a t u r e . While the g e n e r a l consensus appears to be Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T., some have a l s o 9 found Der G e t e i l t e Himmel to c o n s t i t u t e a d e f i n i t e break w i t h the p a s t . Again I quote Cosentino, who remarks about Der G e t e i l t e Himmel: Den m i t den s t a r r e n P r i n z i p i e n des S o z i a l i s t i s c h e n Realismus v e r -t r a u t e n Leser uberrascht zunachst d i e a n s p r u c h s v o l l e Form, d i e a l l e s andere a l s e i n f a c h i s t . — F e r n e r v e r m i s s t man d i e u b e r k l a r e Deut-l i c h k e i t , d i e dem S o z i a l i s t i s c h e n R e a l i s m u s d i e sonst u b l i c h e Schwarz-Weiss Farbung g i b t . 1 0 I n an i n t r o d u c t i o n to the E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n of Der G e t e i l t e Himmel, Jack Zipes c l a i m s : Of a l l her n o v e l s , D i v i d e d Heaven marked an important h i s t o r i c a l breakthrough, not o n l y f o r C h r i s t a Wolf as a c r i t i c a l w r i t e r , but a l s o f o r prose f i c t i o n i n the GDR.... Aside from openly c r i t i c i z i n g some of the more r e g r e s s i v e o f f i c i a l p o l i c i e s , the n o v e l was one of the f i r s t to experiment w i t h f l a s h b a c k s , stream-of-consciousness, and i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c w r i t i n g i n order to m i r r o r the probl e m a t i c e x i s t e n c e of a young woman, who could be considered a t r u e product of a new GDR st a t e . 1 1 Der G e t e i l t e Himmel opens w i t h a p o e t i c Prologue by an u n i d e n t i f i e d n a r r a t o r who i n c l u d e s h e r s e l f among those who have witnessed; "A shadow f a l l e n over the c i t y " , i n a suspended time stopped only by the e r e c t i o n of the B e r l i n 12 W a l l . The Prologue serves as a step from an i n d e f i n i t e time i n t o n a r r a t i v e time. The opening pages of the n o v e l i n p a r t i c u l a r , convey the strong sense of a movement from an u n s p e c i f i e d , i d y l l i c time i n which v i l l a g e l i f e passes w i t h 25 serene uneventfulness - "day a f t e r day....week a f t e r week" - as i t always has; i n which g i r l continues to meet boy and they l i v e h a p p i l y i n the v i l l a g e f o r e v e r -to a s p e c i f i c though i n c o n s i s t e n t time, the most c l e a r l y - d e f i n e d i n f l a s h b a c k scenes. This impression of a f a i r y t a l e time i s r e i n f o r c e d by the frequent t e x t -u a l r e f e r e n c e s to f a i r y t a l e s . Manfred r e f e r s to R i t a as "the l i t t l e brown g i r l i n a brown f u r cap, l i k e i n a Russian n o v e l . " He asks R i t a : " L i t t l e Red R i d i n g Hood, when w i l l the wolf come and gobble you up?" When he attempts to t e l l her about h i s p a s t , i t i s as an a n t i - f a i r y t a l e : The f i r s t t h i n g I remember - I've heard i t as o f t e n as other k i d s hear about the S l e e p i n g Beauty or Red R i d i n g Hood - i s the s t o r y of my b i r t h . This i s how i t goes. There was once a man and w i f e who l o v e d each other as people o n l y l o v e i n f a i r y t a l e s . 1 3 The s t o r y he goes on to t e l l however, r e v e a l s anything but the s t u f f that f a i r y t a l e s a r e made o f . N e i t h e r these elements however, nor the occurrence of i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c time snatches, a l t e r the f a c t t h a t Der G e t e i l t e Himmel i s b a s i c a l l y a l i n e a r n a r r a t i v e and adheres to the conventions of t r a d i t i o n a l s t o r y - t e l l i n g . As i n most of Wolf's s t o r i e s we know the end from the beginning, but here i t i s w i t h the added meaning of being d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from the beginning. R i t a S e i d e l , a t l e a s t i n her deep d e s i r e to f i n d a correspondence be-tween s o c i a l i s m and happiness, i s s t i l l a heroine of s o r t s , and m i r r o r s the author's a t t i t u d e towards s o c i a l i s m a t that time: w h i l e the road to a s o c i a l i s t s o c i e t y has more o b s t a c l e s and i s much more d i f f i c u l t than one a n t i c i p a t e d , i t i s s t i l l the only c o n c e i v a b l e road to t r a v e l . When R i t a S e i d e l q u e s t i o n s , doubts, d e s p a i r s ; the omniscient, convinced, and r a t h e r m o r a l i s t i c n a r r a t o r c o n f i d e n t l y d i r e c t s her back and suggests the a p p r o p r i a t e way to cope w i t h doubt. I f R i t a has grave r e s e r v a t i o n s , the n a r r a t o r has not. Der G e t e i l t e Himmel, i s s t i l l l a r g e l y a S o c i a l i s t R e a l i s t n o v e l . 26 I n s o f a r a s i t i s t h e n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e t h a t i s s e e n t o c o m p r i s e t h i s h i s t o r i c a l b r e a k t h r o u g h , I have no argument w i t h C o s e n t i n o o r Z i p e s . N o t u n t i l Nachdenken u b e r C h r i s t a T. however, i n my o p i n i o n , does t h e c e n t r a l f o c u s o f t h e n o v e l a c t u a l l y become t h e i n d i v i d u a l , n o t o n l y w i t h i n a c e r t a i n s o c i e t y , II b u t t o some e x t e n t , a s a n opponent o f t h a t s o c i e t y . Nachdenken u b e r C h r i s t a T., I b e l i e v e , c o n s t i t u t e s n o t o n l y a c o m p l e t e b r e a k w i t h S o c i a l i s t R e a l i s m , b u t a l s o s o m e t h i n g o f a s h i f t o f l o y a l t i e s on t h e p a r t o f t h e a u t h o r . The t e n s i o n between t h e f r e e - r t h i n k i n g i n d i v i d u a l and a c l o s e d s o c i e t y has become - l i t e r a l l y -some c r i t i c s have s u g g e s t e d , a m a t t e r o f l i f e and d e a t h . The n a r r a t o r s p e c u l a t e s : Und d i e F r a g e , woran C h r i s t a T. g e s t o r b e n i s t , werde i c h s e l b s t s t e l l e n , zu i h r e r Z e i t , ohne i n Z w e i f e l zu Ziehen, d a s s es d i e K r a n k h e i t war, L e u k a m i e , m i t d e r s i e n i c h t f e r t i g werden ko n n t e . 1 4 Her comment o f c o u r s e , has e x a c t l y t h e e f f e c t o f t h r o w i n g open t h e q u e s t i o n o f what i t was t h a t C h r i s t a T. c o u l d n o t cope w i t h . I n " S e l b s t i n t e r v i e w " , 1968, W o l f s a y s a b o u t Nachdenken u b e r C h r i s t a T.: "The c o n c r e t e e p i s o d e s swim i n my memory l i k e s m a l l i s l a n d s - t h a t i s t h e s t r u c t -u r e o f t h e s t o r y . . . . " 1 5 A l e x a n d e r S t e p h a n comments on t h e c o m p l i c a t e d s t r u c t u r e o f Nachdenken u b e r C h r i s t a T.: S e m a n t i s c h e D o p p e l d e u t i g k e i t e n , l i t e r a r i s c h e A n s p i e l u n g e n , Z i t a t e , w e c h s e l n d e E r z a h l p e r s p e k t i v e n , e i n e schwer zu d u r c h s c h a u e n d e Z e i t -s t r u k t o r , d i e f r e i e V e r a r b e i t u n g v o n h i s t o r i s c h b e l e g b a r e n und e r -f u n d e n e n ' Q u e l l e n ' - was i n Nachdenken z u w e i l e n an f o r m a l i s t i s c h e S p i e l e r e i und e l i t a r e L i t e r a r i s i e r u n g zu g r e n z e n s c h e i n t - w i l l n i c h t s a n d e r e s s e i n a l s d e r G a r a n t f u r das Engagement des A u t o r s . 1 6 F i v e y e a r s a f t e r Der G e t e i l t e Himmel, t h e n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e o f Nachdenken u b e r  C h r i s t a T. i s much more complex and c o n v o l u t e d . I f Der G e t e i l t e Himmel marks W o l f ' s f o r m a l b r e a k away f r o m t h e t e n e t s o f S o c i a l i s t R e a l i s m , I would s u g g e s t t h a t i t i s i n Nachdenken u b e r C h r i s t a T. t h a t she does i t t h e m a t i c a l l y . 27 Christa T. lacks a l l the qualities of a good Socialist Realist heroine, or per-haps one should say rather, that she is everything that a Socialist Realist heroine is not. While Der Geteilte Himmel is essentially the story of a single individ-ual, Nachdenken uber Christa T. tells three stories: the narrator tells the story of Christa T.; she is surprised to discover that she is actually telling her own l i f e ; and the two stories converge into the story of the l i f e of a friendship. Each story i s made important in turn; each serves to commentate the others; but essentially i t is the convergence of these two lives that is the propelling drive behind the narrative. If Der Geteilte Himmel is basically a linear narrative with some knots and detours along the way, and Nachdenken a kind of tapestry; Kindheitsmuster, while thematically a "Geflecht", is to my mind, structurally a vertical spiral that widens as i t rises. Kindheitsmuster is without a doubt, Wolf's most complex and ambitious work to date, structurally as well as thematically. Here - "the secret of the third person which can bring down more reality upon herself than the f i r s t person 'I' " and "the difficulty of saying 'I' " - constant refrains in Nach-denken uber Christa T., become narrative and structural devices.17 The splitting of her experience into second and third persons becomes for the narrator, a dis-tancing technique, and for the author, a poetic way of distinguishing among diff-erent levels of time: Form als Moglichkeit, Abstand zu gewinnen. Die niemals zufalligen, niemals beliebigen Formen des Abstand - Gewinnens. Die nackte Willkur die im Leben waltet: Hier hatte sie nichts zu suchen. It simultaneously and paradoxically posits a goal: the eventual meeting and con-vergence of the s e c°nd and Third persons with the First: 28 Der Mensch, der es g e l e r n t hat, s i c h s e l b e r n i c h t a l s e i n I c h , sondern a l s e i n Du zu nehmen. E i n S t i l e l e m e n t wie d i e s e s kann n i c h t W i l l k i i r oder Z u f a l l s e i n . . . . 18 Wolfgang Emmerich, i n a "Laudatio auf C h r i s t a Wolf a n l a s s l i c h der Ver-l e i h u n g des Bremer L i t e r a t u r p r e i s e s , 1977" speaks of Kindheitsmuster as: "eine A r t G e r i c h t s v e r f a h r e n m i t s i c h s e l b s t , e i n S e l b s t - v e r h o r . " Concerning the form of the n o v e l , he comments: "Keine e i n l i n i g e Fabel a l s o , keine runde Geschichte, sondern eine k o m p l i z i e r t e S c h r e i b t e c h n i k . " 2 0 Although C h r i s t a Wolf h e r s e l f suggests t h a t to speak of l a y e r s (Ebene) i n a n a r r a t i v e i s i n a c c u r a t e and r e d u c t i v e , w i t h regards to time a t l e a s t , i t i s p o s s i b l e to I s o l a t e three d i s t i n c t l e v e l s i n the n a r r a t i v e of K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r . At the beginning of the e i g h t h chapter, the n a r r a t o r s p e c u l a t e s : ...Vergangenheit. Gegenwart. Reise nach P o l e n . Manuskript. H i l f s -k o n s t r u k t i o n e n , erdacht urn das M a t e r i a l zu o r g a n i s i e r e n und es, wenn schon n i c h t durch den simplen Mechanismus von Ursache und Wirkung, so durch d i e s e s System i n e i n a n d e r g r e i f e n d e r S c h i c h t e n von d i r abzutrennen.20 The bottom l e v e l takes up the years of the n a r r a t o r ' s e a r l y c h i l d h o o d , beginning w i t h her e a r l i e s t memory of h e r s e l f , through the years of the War, and ending w i t h her r e l e a s e , a t the age of s i x t e e n , from the TB s a n i t o r i u m . The c h i l d of f o r t y years ago seems to be a d i f f e r e n t person a l t o g e t h e r , and the n a r r a t o r simply g i v e s her a name i n order to t a l k about her: Aus dem Wohnzimmerfenster h a t t e d i e Mutter nun das Kind zum Abend-bro t zu r u f e n , wobei s e i n Name, der h i e r g e l t e n s o i l , zum e r s t e n -mal genannt w i r d : N e l l y ! Und so, nebenbei, auch der Taufakt v o l l -zogen ware, ohne Hinweise auf d i e l a n g w i e r i g e n Muhen b e i der Suche nach passenden Name.21 The second l e v e l of the n a r r a t i v e , l y i n g much c l o s e r to the n a r r a t o r ' s present l i f e , c o n s i s t s of a v i s i t of f o r t y - e i g h t hours i n May 1971, to Grozow W i e l k o p o l s k i , f o r m e r l y Landsberg, and the p l a c e of her c h i l d h o o d . I t i s the 29 f l o o d and the simultaneous recesses of memory, experienced during t h i s v i s i t , that formally prompts the narrated i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the narrator's past. Again she chooses to distance h e r s e l f from t h i s time, and addresses h e r s e l f i n the second person, as "You". The years during which the n a r r a t i v e i s constructed - 1972 to 1975 -comprise the t h i r d l e v e l of n a r r a t i v e , r e f e r r e d to by Wolf and c r i t i c s as "die Gegenwartsebene". I t i s s i t u a t e d i n the general present of the narrator\ where-i n she r e l a t e s the events of her childhood and the 1971 v i s i t to Landsberg, to current world events, and past and present r e f l e c t and e n r i c h each other. One c r i t i c suggests: E r z a h l e r i n a l s Vermittlungsgestalt und Klndheits - Ich a l s e r -zahlte Figur machen d i e komplexen Beziehungen und Widerspruche 1m Bewusstsein Wolfs zu lebendiger Erzahlgegenwart.22 One might a l s o i d e n t i f y a f o u r t h l e v e l , a kind of s p e c i f i c present time, which would e x i s t within the same time period as the t h i r d , but involve the a c t -u a l moment of w r i t i n g , and the constant r e i t e r a t i o n of the d i f f i c u l t y of remember-ing and t e l l i n g the t r u t h . Included i n d e t a i l i n t h i s f o u r t h l e v e l , i s the i n -t e r n a l process involved i n creating the n a r r a t i v e . I t i s t h i s aspect that makes Kindheitsmuster as much a story about the attempt to write a book, as anything e l s e , and most c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e s the narrator of the story as the author of the novel.23 Incorporated into the n a r r a t i v e i s the narrator's d e l i b e r a t i o n over poss-i b l e t i t l e s f o r the book: Tit e l p r o b e n , beim Einkaufsweg mit H.... Grund-Muster. Ver-nal tens-Muster . Kindheitsmuster, sagte H. b e i l a u f i g , es war vor der Apotheke, Ecke Thalmann Strasse. Damit war es geregelt. S i m i l a r l y the planning of the subsequent chapters as w e l l as d i f f i c u l t i e s and i n t e r r u p t i o n s i n w r i t i n g are incorporated i n t o the flow of the n a r r a t i v e and the 30 text of the novel: ...In diesen Tagen s e t z t du, an d i e t a g l i c h e n Arbeitsstunden ge-bunden wie an d i e W i l l k i i r einer K a p i t e l e i n t e i l u n g , eine 4 oben auf d i e neue S e i t e , um dieses K a p i t e l , deinem Plan gemass, der Schilderung einer T a u f f e i e r und der Legende vom Zustandekommen einer Hochzeit zu widmen...24 The author h e r s e l f explains the s t r u c t u r e of Kindheitsmuster i n the t r a n s c r i p t of d i s c u s s i o n s following a s e r i e s of readings from Kindheitsmuster i n October and December of 1975, the year i n which i t was completed. She des-c r i b e s her growing r e a l i z a t i o n and concept of how the work was to proceed, i n -cluding the f a c t that she spent more than a year simply f i n d i n g the r i g h t way to s t a r t : ...Ich habe sehr v i e l e Seiten l i e g e n , d i e andere Erzahlweisen aus*>: probieren und d i e mich a l l e n i c h t b e f r i e d i g t e n . . . . Man hat nur einen Erzahlton im Ohr und eine Atmosphare...einen Erzahlraum, den man gern a u s f u l l e n mSchte.25 I t i s the i n d i v i s i b i l i t y then, of past and present, of memory and a c t i o n , of l i v i n g and w r i t i n g - that determines the m u l t i - l a y e r e d depth of Wolf's n a r r -a t i v e . Several days before she began w r i t i n g the f i n a l d r a f t of Kindheitsmuster, the author commented: "Die. K o m p l i z i e r t h e i t einer Erzahlweise aber i s t und b l e i b t e i n Problem. Man kann n i c h t a l l e s e i n f a c h sagen."26 I n t e r e s t i n g too, with r e -l a t i o n to her own work, i s Wolf's evaluation i n 1966, of the w r i t e r s who have made the deepest impression on her: Gemeinsam i s t ihnen, dass d i e Strukturen i h r e r A r b e i t auf einer sehr ko m p l i z i e r t e , S f t e r durchaus i n d i r e k t e Weise mit der Struk-tur i h r e r W i r k l i c h k e i t libereinstimmen.27 31 Wie man es erzahlen kann, so i s t es n i c h t gewesen. Wenn man es aber erzahlen kann, wie es war, dann i s t man n i c h t dabeigewesen, oder d i e Geschichte i s t lange her, so dass einem Unbefangenheit l e i c h t f a l l t . A l l e i n dass man trennen muss und hintereinanderreihen, um es erzahlbar zu machen, was i n W i r k l i c h k e i t miteinander vermischt i s t b i s zur Unlosbarkeit...28 The nameless nar r a t o r of Kindheitsmuster describes a sudden nocturnal r e a l i z a t i o n of the shape and tone that her account would have to take, i n order to make the t e l i i n g p o s s i b l e : S c h l a g a r t i g war d i r auch k l a r , dass n i c h t e i n s c h n e l l zu machendes Ergebnis zu erwarten war, sondern eine lange Z e i t von A r b e i t und Zw e i f e l . Dass es n i c h t beim nachsten Buch Ernst wiirde, sondern b e i diesem.29 The na r r a t o r , l i k e the author, i s a w r i t e r , and t h i s i s not her f i r s t l i t e r a r y -endeavor. In some sense however, i t i s "the book" - a culmination of l i t e r a r y and l i f e a s p i r a t i o n , a c r i s i s point i n l i v i n g and w r i t i n g , a landmark which, as c l e a r l y as the War i n the c h i l d - N e l l y ' s l i f e , w i l l have i t s own before and a f t e r . That dates, p l a c e s , and events of the narrator's account are c o - i n c i d e n t -a l with those of C h r i s t a Wolf's biography, i s of course, no more coincidence than the protagonist's name i n Naohdenken liber C h r i s t a T. Kindheitsmuster i s as much autobiographical as n o v e l i s t i c , i f one-allows that autobiography i s always a mixture of b i o g r a p h i c a l data g i v i n g the f a c t u a l o u t l i n e s of a l i f e , and an imaginative r e c o n s t r u c t i o n made p o s s i b l e by memory, hindsight, r e f l e c t i o n , i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n , and commentary; by a na r r a t o r who i s perhaps only nominally the same character as the one he / she i s portraying. The r e l a t i o n s h i p between author and n a r r a t o r i s always f a s c i n a t i n g i n C h r i s t a Wolf's novels. Kindheitsmuster, which i s the most c l e a r l y autobiograph-i c a l , bears the claim that: A l l e Figuren i n diesem Buch sind Erfindungen der E r z a h l e r i n . Keine i s t i d e n t i s c h mit einer lebenden oder toten Person. Eben-32 sowenig decken s i c h beschriebene Episoden mit t a t s a c h l i c h e n Vorgang-en.30 That Wolf subsequently f e l t f r e e to discuss the story of N e l l y Jordan and her family as indeed the story of her own childhood, and i n f a c t makes use of episodes from Kindheitsmuster i n other autobiographical w r i t i n g s , i s perhaps not so much a c o n t r a d i c t i o n of the passage c i t e d above, as an i n d i c a t i o n that whatever " t r u t h " the novel might contain does not l i e i n a point-by-point correspondence between N e l l y ' s and the young C h r i s t a ' s l i v e s . V e r i f i a b l e f a c t s and d e t a i l s do not con-s t i t u t e the novel's a u t h e n t i c i t y , which i s what the author asp i r e s towards. The n a r r a t o r i n Nachdenken says of C h r i s t a T. that she was never very good at keeping things apart - such as dreams and waking r e a l i t y , l i f e and l i t e r a t u r e , imagination and f a c t s . At the end of her l i t e r a r y s t udies, her t h e s i s , o s t e n s i b l y a d i s s e r t a t i o n on the works of Theodor Storm, turns out to be as l e a s t as much a pr o f e s s i o n of her own philosophy and c o n v i c t i o n s . S i m i l a r l y , the na r r a t o r of Nachdenken does not maintain a con s i s t e n t distance between C h r i s t a T.'s s t o -ry and her own. The f a c t that the story of C h r i s t a T. becomes the story of t h e i r f r i e n d s h i p as w e l l as the narrator's r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n of her own l i f e , does not account f o r the oc c a s i o n a l merging of the two personae i n t o one. The r e l a t i o n -ship among author, na r r a t o r , and C h r i s t a T. has been described, as: ...eine weitgehende Anonymitat der I c h - E r z a h l e r i n , d i e a l s Maske zum verbindenden G l i e d zwischen C h r i s t a Wolf und der erzahlten Welt wird, wobei d i e Namensverwandschaft mit C h r i s t a T. unter-s t i i t z t durch d i e umfassende Anteilnahme der Autorin an der E r -z a h l e r i n und der P r o t a g o n i s t i n , extrem Autobiographisches sugg-e r i e r t . 3 1 In her d i s c u s s i o n of Nachdenken as an el e g a i c romance, one c r i t i c s t a t e s : Wolf's narrator i s barely characterized at a l l ; at times she almost b l u r s into the author; at times they both blur into Wolf's name-sake, C h r i s t a T. To make a sharp d i s t i n c t i o n among the three - au-thor, narrator, heroine - f o r c i n g i r o n i c clashes among them.., i s no part of Wolf's intention.32 33 In Kindheitsmuster, the author's voice can c o n t i n u a l l y be discerned i n the text of the anonymous n a r r a t o r : the narrator t e l l s her story, a f t e r a l l , but i t i s the author who writes the book. To demonstrate that they are one and the same person i s n e i t h e r p o s s i b l e nor perhaps, c r u c i a l . What i s c e r t a i n , i s that there i s a continuous and clos e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n at l e a s t , among author, n a r r a t o r , and protagonist. In various interviews and addresses, C h r i s t a Wolf expresses the be-l i e f that there i s a proper time to write about c e r t a i n matters, and -that i t i s as important f o r the w r i t e r to f i n d "her time" as i t i s , her subject matter. Candour does not come too e a s i l y to the n a r r a t o r of Kindheitsmuster, as the s i m i l a r l y anonymous n a r r a t o r of Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T. suggests, concern-ing events that are f a r enough removed i n time and proximity to enable a com-f o r t a b l e and ordered r e - t e l l i n g . On the contrary, the very f a s c i n a t i o n of the book a r i s e s from the n a r r a t o r ' s admission and i n v e s t i g a t i o n of her own " s t r a t e g i e s of concealment"; those "Hemmungen" or inner c o n s t r i c t i o n s that constantly intrude between the s i n c e r e attempt "to overcome oneself and f i n d out the t r u t h " , and the urgent d e s i r e to forget, to leave p a i n f u l memories, unsettled g r i e f , and unresolved g u i l t i n the f a r t h e s t corners of conscious-ness. 33 II In an address to the Akademie der Kunste der DDR i n the l a t e f a l l of 1975, s h o r t l y a f t e r the completion of Kindheitsmuster, Wolf s t a t e s : Meiner Meinung i s t jedoch, dass L i t e r a t u r versuchen s o l l t e , diese Schichten zu zeigen, d i e i n uns l i e g e n - n i c h t so sauber-l i c h geordnet, n i c h t k a t a l o g i s i e r t und schon 'bewaltigt', wie wir es gern mochten.... Es i s t , glaube i c h , w i r k l i c h e Aufgabe von L i t e r a t u r , etwas Bewegung hineinzubringen i n d i e inneren Schichten, mit deren Unbeweglichkeit man s i c h gern beruhigt, indem man Erstarrung mit w i r k l i c h e r Ruhe verwechselt, d i e nur aus einer inneren F r e i h e i t kommen kann.34 34 The metaphor of introducing motion i n t o paralyzed parts i s evocative, suggesting as i t does, frozen limbs slowly regaining l i f e , i n an agony of sen-s a t i o n . How tempting i t would be, j u s t to d r i f t o f f i n the frozen snowbanks of o b l i v i o n , the narrator implies. The n a r r a t o r of Kindheitsmuster i s a l t e r n a t e l y overwhelmed, obsessed, despairing, deeply content, and convinced of the i m p o s s i b i l i t y u l t i m a t e l y , of i n t e r p r e t i n g "the s t e a d i l y p r o l i f e r a t i n g m a t e r i a l " that forces i t s way into the n a r r a t i v e , through memory, dreams, conversations, documents, experiences, and the simple f a c t that every day brings new v a r i a t i o n s of the already e s t a b l i s h e d s t r u c t u r e s of experience. I f Kindheitsmuster i s the story of a l i f e of an i n d i v i d u a l , the novel as a whole i s the story of a generation; that generation of adolescents whose l i v e s were forever a l t e r e d and whose youth was prematurely f i n i s h e d by the events of the Second World War, which i n Germany, determined the age of innocence and experience i n a fundamentally new sense. "Du kommst n i c h t umhin, auf d i e Tat-sache aufmerksam zu machen, dass i n diesem Land Unschuld s i c h f a s t unfehlbar an Lebensjahren messen l a s s t ; " the narrator suggests.35 The years of innocence, she concludes, are short indeed. Even the ten year o l d c h i l d N e l l y , i s implicated i n Germany's past; implicated by b i r t h -place; by a v i d p a r t i c i p a t i o n at some cost to her i n t e g r i t y , i n the H i t l e r youth; by her success f i n a l l y , i n d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between what she was permitted to know and what she should rather forget or conceal. Childhood i t s e l f , i t appears to the much older narrator i n r e t r o s p e c t , was not that haven of s e c u r i t y , happi-ness and b l i s s f u l ignorance that she would l i k e to have l i v e d . Nor has i t p r o v i d -ed a morally r e l i a b l e foundation f o r the years that were to come a f t e r . Self-knowledge and knowledge of others have taken on a new meaning: 35 Steckt denn i n der Frage "Wer b i s t du?" noch irgendein Sinn? I s t s i e n i c h t hoffnungslos v e r a l t e t , uberhoit von der Verhorfrage: "Was hast du getan?", d i e i n d i r s e l b s t auf d i e schwache Gegen-frage s t o s s t : Was hat man mich tun iassen?36 I d e n t i t y as a r e s u l t of past a c t i o n , good or e v i l , i s the i s s u e . The question: given the l i b e r a l doses of both i n her own past, and the d i f f i c u l t y of a r r i v i n g at a c l e a r moral judgment, i s i t p o s s i b l e to merge these influences into a s i n g l e S e l f ; a being c o n s i s t i n g of past and present, past p o t e n t i a l , un-r e a l i z e d and unchallenged, and present p o s s i b i l i t y , f l u c t u a t i n g and uncertain? The evidence i s c i r c u m s t a n t i a l and Incomplete. The cross-examination by con-science cannot proceed. Only the n a r r a t o r h e r s e l f i s accorded the r i g h t and indeed, the o b l i g a t i o n , to search out what was good and what was blameworthy i n her past. Of her own c r e a t i o n too. are the standards by which she assesses h e r s e l f . I f Kindheitsmuster i s the story both of a s i n g l e l i f e and of a generation, there i s nevertheless nothing straightforward or t y p i c a l about the book. The complexity of the narrator's i d e n t i t y i n l i f e i s r e f l e c t e d i n the complex n a r r -a t i v e s t r u c t u r e of the novel. I t contains passages of prose poetry, dream an-a l y s i s , l i n g u i s t i c experiment and etymology, r e v e a l i n g the narrator's f a s c i n a -t i o n with the language and the power of words over thought and a c t i o n . What emerges from t h i s p r o f u s i o n of information and i n s i g h t i s the a l l -important d e s i r e on the part of the narrator, - "Sich f r e i - z u - s c h r e i b e n " - to "write h e r s e l f f r e e " - of a boundless and nameless fear whose presence i s f e l t throughout the process of n a r r a t i n g . Writing becomes both the p r e r e q u i s i t e and the means of d i s p e l l i n g t h i s f e a r . " ^ Wolf says about her w r i t i n g : "Fur mich i s t das jjchreiben] e i n Weg, Angst zu uberwinden. Oder f a l l s s i e n i c h t 36 zu uberwinden i s t , s i e mir bewusst zu machen und mit i h r leben zu konnen, ohne durch s i e eingeschrankt zu werden.""^ In the penultimate chapter; " E i n K a p i t e l Angst"; the narrator commentst Die Hoffnuug freizukommen. Befreiung a l s Prozess. A l s Selbstbestatigung, fur d i e e i n Jahrestag n i c h t angesetzt werden kann. Schreibend den Ruckzug der Angst betreiben. The process of " S i c h - f r e i - s c h r e i b e n " however involves more than t h i s nameless dread. A time span of f o r t y years of "Kriegs und Nachkriegszeiten" i s r e s i d -u a l i n the a c t i v e and passive memories of the n a r r a t o r and demands to be given form. The burden of her untold past, of memories e a r e f u l l y packaged and set aside, of words and phrases l e f t unchallenged and others l e f t unspoken, of s h a t t e r i n g s i l e n c e s , of epidemics of g u i l t where there i s no apparent cause, and headaches which have no known p h y s i c a l o r i g i n - evidence that the body has knowledge that the mind cannot t o l e r a t e : these are some of the grave con-cerns of the n a r r a t o r as s u r v i v o r . The n a r r a t o r as w r i t e r , faces i n a d d i t i o n , the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of f o r b i d d i n g h e r s e l f d i s t o r t i o n s , l e g e n d s , and h a l f - t r u t h s ; of expressing h e r s e l f with the greatest p o s s i b l e a u t h e n t i c i t y ; of determining "wovon zu reden und wovon zu schweigen". The goal, she s t a t e s , i s : "phant-39 a s t i s c h e Genauigkeit." . " S i c h - f r e i - s c h r e i b e n " functions as a concept on the thematic l e v e l , as o b j e c t i v e on the n a r r a t i v e l e v e l , and as device on the s t r u c t u r a l l e v e l . (The l a s t one becomes evident when one considers Kindheitsmuster i n the context of Wolf's two e a r l i e r novels, Der G e t e i l t e Himmel and Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T., which I have done b r i e f l y already. The n a r r a t o r a s p i r e s to write h e r s e l f f r e e of the past. "The past" i s a convenient category f o r everything one has undergone, done, and been, leading up to the present momenti. That i t i s not, however, a l i m i t e d body of experience, and i n f a c t i s inseparable from the present, i s asserted as the opening statement of the novel: "Das Vergangene i s t n i c h t tot, es i s t n i c h t einmal vergangen. Wir 37 40 trennen es von uns ab und s t e l l e n uns fremd." The i n s i s t e n c e upon the e q u i d i s t a n c e of time and experience i s a c e n t r a l theme of the n a r r a t o r ' s odyssey through time and space. I t i s i n t e n s i f i e d by the s t r u c t u r e , which i s s p i r a l - l i k e , m u l t i - l a y e r e d , s e l f - r e f e r e n t i a l , permutative; and s u b v e r s i v e of n a r r a t i v e conventions. (This sense of the e q u i d i s t a n c e of past time i s not evident i n Ivan Klima's Der Gnadenrichter. I have d i s c u s s e d t h i s i n the second Chapter.) There comes a time, suggests the n a r r a t o r , when i t becomes mandatory to make a c h o i c e : "Sprachlos b l e i b e n oder i n der d r i t t e n Person leben". "Sprach-l o s b l e i b e n " ; to remain without speech or language, unable to a r t i c u l a t e or w r i t e : . " I n der d r i t t e n Person leben"; because i t has y e t to be demonstrated that the a d u l t female n a r r a t o r and the young g i r l whose world f e l l a p a r t , and who s u f f e r e d massive Inner upheaval and d i s i n t e g r a t i o n d u r i n g the long years of the War, can be c a l l e d by the same name. Memory, w i t h a l l i t s traces-and s u b t e r f u g e s , i s both the window to the n a r r a t o r ' s p a s t , and the drawn c u r t a i n through which the o u t l i n e and I d e n t i t y of people, p l a c e s and events must be a s c e r t a i n e d . Memory i s her i n d i s p e n s a b l e a l l y and devious opponent, a t e l e s c o p e and i t s s u l l i e d l e n s . I t enables s e l f - i d e n t i -f i c a t i o n , y e t f u n c t i o n s as a "Betrugssystem": I n d i e Erinnerung drangt s i c h d i e Gegenwart e i n und der h e u t i g e Tag i s t schon der l e t z t e Tag der Vergangenheit. So wiirden w i r uns un-aufhaltsam fremd werden ohne unser Gedachtnis an das, was w i r ge-tan haben, an das, was uns zugestossen i s t . Ohne unser Gedachtnis an uns s e l b s t . 4 l Memory enables a sense of c o n t i n u i t y , and y e t i t i s p r e c i s e l y "unser Gedachtnis an das, was w i r getan haben, an das was uns zugestossen i s t " , which i s a source of unresolved g r i e f and p a i n , and unanswered q u e s t i o n s . 38 The narrator's desire to achieve a clear r e c a l l i s not unambiguous. I t i s modified by the considerable number of taboos, a r t i c u l a t e d and unspoken, which surface repeatedly i n her account, i n various forms. In attempting to t e l l her l i f e , she walks on dangerous ground, the knowledge of which i s expressed l i t e r -a l l y i n one of her dreams. The narrator's dreams and nightmares during the writing of her book t e s t -i f y to the presence of old fears and taboos, and the emergence of new ones. Imag-es of the concentration camp and mass murder a l t e r n a t e with metaphorical v a r i a -tions on the theme of her o b l i g a t i o n and i n a b i l i t y , to t e l l and write a l l . The power of old taboos continues and the narrator i s forced to e x p l i c a t e s i l e n c e s which have long denoted the border between what one could conceive of, and what, by imp l i c a t i o n , was to be denied. Lutz, her pragmatic and f a c t u a l brother, i n s i s t s that c e r t a i n things must remain sacrosanct; that there i s always the danger of going too f a r . The narrator comments: "Was er w i l l - und muss - i s t : warnen. An die Grenzen erinnern.... Ich glaube, dass es f u r a l l e s Grenzen g i b t . Dass s i e - d i e E l t -42 ern - j e n s e i t s der Grenzen zu bleiben haben, Tabu sind." COne even wonders to what extent Wolf's choice of p o l i t i c a l examples and anecdotes i s affected by the pressure to steer c l o s e of anything that f a l l s too c l o s e to home. The narrator suggests at one point i n the book that the matter of S t a l i n must also s t i l l be talked about. Wolf, questioned as to why she writes about the USA, V i e t Nam, C h i l e , and avoids anything more than an i m p l i c i t c r i t i -cism of her GDR contemporaries, gives perhaps a l e s s than s a t i s f y i n g r e p l y : A l l e r d i n g s kam i n der Z e i t , i n der i c h das Buch schrieb d i e Haupt-erschutterung i n bezug auf f a s c h i s t i s c h e und f a s c h i s t o i d e Entwick-lung, fur die i c h besonders offen war, d i e mich besonders betrafen, aus diesen Landern. Das habe i c h aufgenommen.43 ) To speak i n s p i t e of taboos which have- maintained sil e n c e among an e n t i r e 39 generation, puts the narrator's p h y s i c a l , emotional and p s y c h o l o g i c a l welfare i n jeopardy. Headaches, stomach problems, and sleeplessness r e v e a l the t o l l the pro-cess of w r i t i n g takes on her health. Periods of joy and despair, e l a t i o n and anxiety, accompany f e e l i n g s of accomplishing what she has set out to do, and a l t e r n a t e l y , of being dominated by her m a t e r i a l . Intense c o n v i c t i o n gives way to enormous uncertainty concerning the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and d e c i s i o n to speak out, i n the face of a technology so s o p h i s t i c a t e d as to make the human vo i c e seem a l -most unnecessary, i f not obsolete. The d e c i s i o n to speak, she a f f i r m s again and again throughout. Her question i s not "Ought one to write?"; but rather, "How ought one to writ e ? " The composition of Kindheitsmuster i s somewhat l i k e that of a musical fugue i n that i t introduces and c o n t i n u a l l y reintroduces subjects and themes * which are "bound together according to the s t r i c t e s t laws"; the exact nature of which the n a r r a t o r does not e l u c i d a t e . Memory, predominant among these r e c u r r i n g themes, i s p o s s i b l y most i n t r i c a t e l y woven into the texture of the e n t i r e work. The na r r a t o r , f a s c i n a t e d with words and etymologies, plays with many approaches to d e f i n i n g the process: Gedachtnis. Im heutigen Sinn: Bewahren des fruher Erfahrenen und d i e Fahigkeit dazu." Kein Organ a l s o , sonder eine T a t i g k e i t und d i e Voraussetzung s i e auszuuben, i n einem Wort.44a Memory i s "a process, and the capacity f o r ca r r y i n g i t out"; present access to past experience, present i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of past a c t i o n , and present assessment of e a r l i e r remembering. The process of remembering i s a n a l y t i c , evaluative, i n t e r p r e t i v e , c e n s o r i a l , and c i r c u m l o c u t i o n a l , as w e l l as simply r e t r o s p e c t i v e . In one of numerous extended d e f i n i t i o n s of memory, the narrator observes: Man unterscheidet folgende Gedachtnisarten: mechanisches, G e s t a l t - und logisches, verbales, materiales, Handlungsgedachtnis. H e f t i g vermisst man d i e Gattung: moralisches Gedachtnis. 40 The importance of the moral component of memory i s r e i t e r a t e d l a t e r i n the text: "Gedachtnis Qs£J kein festge f i i g t e r Block...der i n unserem Gehirn unver-a n d e r l i c h f e s t s i t z t ; eher schon, f a l l s grosse Worte erlaubt sind, e i n wiederhoIt-er moralischer Akt.''^^ The a c t of w r i t i n g - o n e s e l f - f r e e engages memory on se v e r a l l e v e l s i n Kindheitsmuster. On the personal l e v e l , i t requires the narrator to u n b a r r i -cade h e r s e l f ; to open the floodgates which have long held the voices at bay; to face her own antipathy towards her childhood and her d i s l i k e , at times, f o r the c h i l d she was and whom she envisions as s t i l l s u r v i v i n g i n some sense; to examine her own " s t r a t e g i e s of concealment"; to admit and r e l i v e f e a r and g u i l t r e s i d u a l from N e l l y ' s childhood as w e l l as that i n her present; a l l of which have long been l e f t undisturbed: .. .Du aber, neunundzwanzig Jahre spater, w i r s t d i c h fragen miissen, w i e v i e l verkapselte Hohlen e i n Gedachtnis aufnehmen kann, ehe es aufhoren muss zu- f u n k t i o n i e r e n . W i e v i e l Energie und welche Art Energie es dauernd aufwendet, d i e Kapseln, deren Wande mit der Z e i t morsch und bruchig werden mogen, immer neu abzudichten.45 The a c t i v i t y of S i c h - f r e i - s c h r e i b e n , with the emphasis on the w r i t i n g , involves the paradox expressed i n the passage quoted e a r l i e r i n t h i s d i s c u s s i o n ; namely the d i f f i c u l t y of e x t r a p o l a t i n g , ordering, and i n t e r p r e t i n g events, "which i n r e a l i t y , were so entangled as to be i n e x p l i c a b l e . " Peter Beicken and Rolf J . Goebel speak about, " e i n Grundimpuls der C h r i s t a Wolf a l s S c h r i f t s t e l l e r i n " , which they analyze as: Schreiben aus Schuld, Erzahlen a l s Rechtfertigung. Dem( Schuldigen i s t der Mund verschlossen - es s e i denn, er w o l l t e Gestandnisse machen oder s i c h der Gefahr der Luge aussetzen. Wer e r z a h l t und s i c h geltend macht a l s Gewissen (und das l i e g t der subjektiven A u t h e n t i z i t a t a l s ethischer Impuls zugrunde), der schre i b t s i c h f r e i von Schuld.46 41 The presence of g u i l t runs l i k e a dark s t a i n through the n a r r a t i v e of Kindheitsmuster and comprises a considerable portion of the narrator's memory. Rather than a s p e c i f i c emotion or a t t i t u d e , i t i s a heavy grey cloud that opp-resses N e l l y , no matter which way she turns: Jedesmal, wenn es i h r gelungen war, s i c h freizusprechen von Schuld, musste s i e erleben, dass i n einer t i e f e r e n , dunkleren Schicht i n iihrsdie Frage neu geboren wieder aufstand, dass d i e Antwort schon anders a u s f i e l , und wieder anders beim nachsten Mai, b i s jede Ge-w i s s h e i t uber s i e s e l b s t i n einem bodenlosen T r i c h t e r zu versinken drohte.47 G u i l t i s bound i n e x t r i c a b l y with d e n i a l , concealment, and s i l e n c e . I t simmers and sickens, and as -long as there i s no acknowledgement of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , suggests the nar r a t o r , there can be no c a t h a r s i s of g r i e f , and no a c q u i t t a l . "Schuld und Verschweigen, welche s i c h u n a u f l o s l i c h und fur immer ineinander ver-f i l z t e n , i n N e l l y ' s Gemut zogen: the connection suggests d e n i a l of one's i n -volvement, whether w i l l i n g or r e l u c t a n t - concealment of what one knows and would rather not know - the s t i f l i n g of one's inner misgivings about the Fuhrer's i n -f a l l i b i l i t y , even while one salutes and keeps s i l e n t . The question that the narrator poses repeatedly on N e l l y ' s behalf and which contains i t s own answer, i s : i f the German Reich i s expanding d a i l y and Germany i s winning the War as i s proclaimed hourly on the radio, and i f every German i s pleased to serve H i t l e r - why then are N e l l y , her mother, and others i n the family, seized by bouts of despair, s e l f - h a t r e d , and migraine headaches, a l l with no apparent cause? She comes across a photograph of the Jordan family at N e l l y ' s confirmation, and observes: Der zugleich erschrockene und abweisende Augenausdruck... Vor allem aber d i e unbewusste Trauer, d i e uber d i e Figur l i e g t . Eine Vierzehnjahrige, d i e n i c h t weiss, mit welchen Wbrtern und im Na-men welcher Gotter s i e i h r e Trauer ausdrucken s o i l . Die s i c h im Namen der Gotter, denen s i e s i c h u n t e r w i r f t , fur diese heimliche Trauer b e s t r a f e n muss.48 42 I t i s another i n t e r e s t i n g paradox that even while the many faces of g u i l t -r a t i o n a l and i r r a t i o n a l - seen i n ret r o s p e c t , l i e l i k e a heavy hand on N e l l y ' s shoulder, i t i s a l s o the memory of t h i s g u i l t which allows the narrator the hope, " S i c h frei-zu—sprechen", now that the mature a d u l t can assess i t s causes and i t s legitimacy: "Wie s o l l t e s i e ahnen, dass das Ertragen eines schlechten Gewiss-ens unter den waltenden Verhal t n i s s e n eine notwendige Bedingung zur inneren F r e i -49 h e l t war?" The extent of a c t u a l knowing and not-knowing at the time, i s almost im-p o s s i b l e to determine, i n re t r o s p e c t . N e l l y ' s Onkel Emil Dunst allows that: Mag j a manches p a s s i e r t s e i n , mag es j a , was n i c h t vollkommen seine Ordnung hatte, aber b e i mir doch n i c h t , doch n i c h t b e i mir. Unsereins hat doch n i c h t s gewusst, und wenn einer e i n gutes Gewissen haben kann, dann b i n i c h das wohl, b i n i c h , jawohl. "Guten Gewlssens verstarb e r , " the narr a t o r comments. "Und manches ware e i n -if facher, wenn er s c h l i c h t gelogen hatte." T h i r t y years l a t e r , she hears echoes of these words from the t a x i d r i v e r , on the road to Schoenefeld; "der a l l e s an Ort und S t e l l e m i t e r l e b t hat": "Ja: Wenn s i c h der Deutsche auch so was.hatte zuschulden kommen lassen. Aber i c h sage Ihnen: Dazu hatten wir j a auch gar n i c h t d i e Zeit'. Es l i e g t uns auch n i c h t . ^ The f a c t that t h i r t y years of newspapers, radio, and t e l e v i s i o n , have not a f f e c t e d the t a x i - d r i v e r ' s conception of what went on, and that he i s assuredly not unique i n t h i s regard, i n t e n s i f i e s that urgency that the narrator f e e l s about the necess-i t y to repeat questions that have been l a i d aside without ever having been answer-ed. The mechanisms of memory, repression, and s e l f - c e n s o r s h i p that make such claims p o s s i b l e , even as the statement of sincere b e l i e f s , haunt and grieve the n a r r a t o r , and prompt the question not: How can they l i v e with t h e i r conscience? but, "What kind of circumstances are those that cause a c o l l e c t i v e l o s s of con-science?" 43 More o f t e n i t i s s i l e n c e , both then and now, that accompanies the knowledge t h a t one i s somehow i m p l i c a t e d . The n a r r a t o r r e c a l l s , as one of the most h o r r i f y i n g episodes i n her memory, her s h o r t - l i v e d acquaintanceship w i t h Horst B i n d e r , a young emulator of H i t l e r , so s m i t t e n w i t h h i s i d o l that he i m i t a t e d him i n murder and s u i c i d e . She notes: "Deutsche F a m i l i e n bringen einander im Schlafzimmer urn. Werden s i e gesprochen haben? Nirgendwo w i r d so a b g r u n d t i e f geschwiegen wie i n deutschen F a m i l i e n . " This s t o r y serves as a grim microcosm of the most h o r r i f y i n g propen-s i t i e s a t l a r g e i n N a z i Germany. The graphic d e s c r i p t i o n of the imagined scene r e v e a l s w i t h t e r r i b l e i r o n y t h a t the f a n a t i c i s m and thoroughness so c a r e -f u l l y i n c u l c a t e d i n Horst Binder by h i s s u p e r i o r s , have m i s f i r e d . . The worst dangers of t o t a l subservience and a n n i h i l a t i o n of s e l f a r e r e a l i z e d : "Der F a h n l e i n f u h r e r Horst Binder i s t im Gebrauch von Waffen unterwiesen, nur war n i c h t vorgesehen, dass deutsche E l t e r n und e i n H i t l e r j u g e n d f u h r e r das Z i e l s e i n e r Schusse s e i n s o l l t e n . " " ^ I n the penultimate q u o t a t i o n , the n a r r a t o r e s t a b l i s h e s the connection between s i l e n c e and death, l i t e r a l l y as w e l l as p o e t i c a l l y , as the German word "totschweigen" suggests. The suppression and concealment of emotion and ex-p e r i e n c e , the l a c k of communication, and r e f u s a l to acknowledge g u i l t , she i n t i m a t e s , e v e n t u a l l y k i l l s . The n a r r a t o r of Kindheitsmuster w r i t e s - h e r s e l f - f r e e not o n l y as a s u r v i v o r of the War and NS Germany, but w i t h regard to c e r t a i n o b l i g a t i o n s which she sees as i n h e r e n t i n the w r i t e r ' s task. ( C h r i s t a Wolf s t a t e s i n Lesen und Schreiben: "Dabei s t e h t immer d i e Frage vor Augen: Wie aber s o i l man heute s c h r e i b e n ? . . . Wie lange noch s o i l d i e k l e i n e S p i t z e des Eisbergs 44 beschrieben werden, und sechs S i e b e n t e l darunter bleiben unbekannt, unbenannt, 53 unerlo'st?") How and when to write, what to say, and what to leave unsaid: these are questions frequently entertained by the narrator and open to the reader's c o n s i d e r a t i o n . The process of crea t i n g a book i s as much the c e n t r a l concern as i s re c r e a t i n g N e l l y ' s l i f e . I f the modern novel i s characterized to some extent by i t s s e l f - c o n s c i o u s -ness and s e l f - r e f l e x i v e n e s s , Kindheitsmuster i s no exception i n t h i s sense, but the f u n c t i o n of t h i s s e l f - r e f l e x i v e n e s s i s not ae s t h e t i c nor experimental. In Kindheitsmuster with i t s l a y e r upon layer of c h r o n o l o g i c a l time and n a r r a t i v e consciousness J the stor y of N e l l y and her family which contains most of the p l o t and a c t i o n as such, and the account of the narrator's f o r t y - s i x hour v i s -i t to Landsbergj provide the temporal and poeti c foundation f o r the contempor-ary l a y e r of time, which contains the,actual dramatic i n t e r e s t of the novel. The d i f f i c u l t y of authentic memory, of t r u t h f u l n e s s to t h i s memory and i n l i v i n g i n the present, merge with the d i f f i c u l t y of w r i t i n g . For t h i s n a r r a -t o r , the problems are manifold: Im I d e a l f a l l s o l l t e n d i e Strukturen des Erlebens s i c h mit den Strukturen des Erzahlens decken. Dies ware, was angestrebt wird: phantastische Genauigkeit. Aber es g i b t d i e Technik n i c h t , d i e es gestatten wurde, e i n u n g l a u b l i c h v e r f i l z t e s Geflecht, dessen Faden nach den strengsten Gesetzen ineinandergeschlungen sind, i n d i e l i n e a r e Sprachevubertragen, ohne es e r n s t l i c h zu v e r l e t z e n . 54 zu This passage, which begins the t h i r t e e n t h chapter of Kindheitsmuster, most f u l l y i l l u m i n a t e s the narrator's a t t i t u d e towards her m a t e r i a l and the «l attempt to w r i t e about i t . (In Kindheitsmuster and i n Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a  T., the structures of experience and n a r r a t i v e correspond remarkably to each o ther.) 45 The process of S i c h - f r e i - s c h r e i b e n as i t i s conducted and discussed by the n a r r a t o r , takes up such issues are the w r i t e r ' s r e p o n s i b i l i t y to t e l l the t r u t h , a l b e i t ; "a t r u t h that i s bound i n many respects"; to take up c e r -t a i n subjects as a kind of moral imperative, before he/she can go on to others. Asked about the reason f o r her choice of themes i n Kindheitsmuster, Wolf has stated: "Es g i b t j a auch gewisse Gesetze der Berufsmoral.. Wenn man eine bestimmte Sache noch n i c h t gesagt hat, darf man n i c h t zu anderem II ubergehen." The "bestimmte Sache" which must be d e a l t with here i s the question: "Wie war es moglich, und wie war es w i r k l i c h ? " ^ Wolf's concept of the vocation of the w r i t e r i s f u r t h e r evident i n her statement that: "Irgendwann muss man begreifen, dass man dazu i s t , ganz Bestimmte Sachen zu sagen." Kindheitsmuster i s the author's f i r s t attempt at a d e t a i l e d examination of Nazi Germany. In Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T., that period of time leading up to and during the War i s r e f e r r e d to as "those days", and described only i n afterthought, i n images of horror and despair. With reference to C h r i s t a T.'s nervous breakdown during that time, the narrator comments: "Der R e i t e r , h i n t e r dem n i c h t s l a g a l s ein z u f a l l i g f e s t geforener See, f i e l tot vom Pferd, a l s er erfuhr, was er h i n t e r s i c h hatte. S i e s c h r i e nur, das i s t n i c h t z u v i e l . " " ^ In "Lesen und Schreiben", an essay from 1968, Wolf suggests: Einmal musste s i e geschrieben werden, d i e sonderbare, sprunghafte Lesegeschichte meiner Generation; v i e l l e i c h t gabe s i e einen An-haltspunkt fur Unausgeglichenheiten und Unsicherheiten, die n i c h t l e i c h t zu e r k l a r e n s i n d . - ^ Three years were to pass before the v i s i t to Landsberg which served as c a t a l y s t f o r the w r i t i n g of Kindheitsmuster. Lesen und .Sahraiben purports to be a c o l l e c t i o n of c r i t i c a l w ritings on l i t e r a t u r e : "Essays, Sketches, Memories" - but i s l a r g e l y autobiographical. 46 Wolf chooses t h o s e l i t e r a r y f i g u r e s whose work b e a r s i m p o r t a n t a f f i n i t i e s w i t h h e r own, and many ti m e s h e r remarks about a w r i t e r o r a work, c o u l d j u s t as e a s i l y a p p l y t o h e r own w r i t i n g . I n h e r d i s c u s s i o n o f F r e d Wander's The S e v e n t h  W e l l , she comments: E r h a t K l u g den Z e i t p u n k t g e f u h l t , da e r es schon und noch machen k o n n t e , den S t o f f s e i n e s Lebens a u f s c h r e i b e n , da es i h n n i c h t mehr u b e r w a l t i g t h a t t e , a b e r auch noch n i c h t i n ihm v e r b l a s s t war....Er kann " i c h " sagen, ohne nur s i c h s e l b s t zu meinen. Das s c h w i e r i g e Unternehmen, n i c h t nur von den E r e i g n i s s e n , s o n d e r n auch von s i c h A b s t a n d z u ge-winnen, d i e s e S e l b s t - V e r f r e m d u n g , S e l b s t - E r n u c h t e r u n g - es i s t ihm g e l u n g e n . V i e l l e i c h t war es d a s , wo f u r d i e l a n g e Z e i t n o t i g war. J e t z t i s t da e i n E r z a h l e r , d e s s e n Stimme von Hass und llberschwang f r e i i s t , d e r s i c h n a c h d e n k l i c h , f a s t g e l a s s e n , a b e r t i e f b e t e i l i g t , b e s o r g t , e r s t a u n t , und immer a l s u n s e r Z e i t g e n o s s e e r i n n e r t . 5 8 S i m i l a r l y t h e n a r r a t o r i n K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r has a c h i e v e d t h e n e c e s s a r y d i s t a n c e from b o t h t h e e v e n t s and h e r s e l f t o overcome the a n t i p a t h y w h i c h e a r l i e r has p r e v e n t e d an h o n e s t attempt t o see t h i n g s 'as they were', and t h a t now a l l o w s h e r to a p p r o x i m a t e h e r g o a l of " p h a n t a s t i s c h e G e n a u i g k e i t " . U n l i k e F r e d Wanders, however, t h e " S e l b s t - V e r f r e m d u n g " c o n t i n u e s f o r t h e d u r a t i o n o f t h e book, and w h i l e she c a n say "You" and " N e l l y " w i t h o u t meaning o n l y h e r s e l f , i t i s o n l y on t h e l a s t page t h a t she i s a b l e t o say " I " . Even t h e n , as one c r i t i c has s u g g e s t e d , i t i s i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e d r e a m l i k e n a t u r e o f e x i s -t e n c e . She s u g g e s t s , i t i s : - " e i n I c h das s i c h s e i n e r I d e n t i t a t keineswegs • * ..59 s i c h e r i s t . The i d e a o f t h e w r i t e r as a k i n d o f m o r a l r e a r - g u a r d f o r a g e n e r a t i o n i s a c e n t r a l c o n c e r n o f t h e n a r r a t o r . Times b e i n g d i f f e r e n t , the w r i t e r might have e n j o y e d , as C z e siaw M i f o s z e x p r e s s e s i t , t h e freedom to c o n t e m p l a t e b e i n g i n t h e w o r l d , b u t s u d d e n l y ; " a l l t h i s i s n e g a t e d by demoniac d o i n g s o f H i s t o r y , w h i c h a c q u i r e s t h e t r a i t s o f a b l o o d t h i r s t y D e i t y . 47 In "Der Beruf des D i c h t e r s " , E l i a s C a n e t t i t e l l s of an anonymous j o t t i n g , dated August 23, 1939, which he came across, quite by chance. I t s t a t e s : Es i s t aber a l l e s voruber. Ware i c h w i r k l i c h e i n Dichter, i c h musste den Krieg verhindern konnen. Canetti describes h i s i n i t i a l i r r i t a t i o n i n response to t h i s claim, and h i s gradual r e c o g n i t i o n of i t s a c t u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e : Es i s t eben d i e s e r i r r a t i o n a l e Anspruch auf eine Verant-wortung, der mich h i e r nachdenklich macht und b e s t i c h t . Es ware dazu auch zu sagen, dass es durch Worte, bewusst und immer wieder eingesetzte, missbrauchte Worte zu d i e s e r S i t u a t i o n gekommen i s t , i n der der Krieg unvermeidlich wurde. Wenn durch Worte s o v i e l auszurichten i s t - warum l a s s t es s i c h n i c h t durch Worte verhindern. Es i s t gar n i c h t zu wundern, dass jemand, der mehr a l s andere mit Worten umgeht, von i h r e r Wirkung auch mehr erwartet a l s andere.61 T h i r t y years a f t e r the f a c t , the w r i t e r ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s no longer prevention, but d e s c r i p t i o n and reclamation. The War and the Nazi regime being a h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i t y , the w r i t e r , Wolf claims, now has the duty to describe what has happened during those years, i n words that are s t i l l tinged with i n -human shades. Steiner s t a t e s , i n 1959, with reference to the death of the German language: Everything f o r g e t s . But not a language. When i t has been i n j e c t e d with falsehood, only the most d r a s t i c t r u t h can cleanse i t . 6 2 Perhaps Wolf envisions part of her (the w r i t e r ' s ) task to be p r e c i s e l y that -to rescue language i t s e l f from i t s own " V e r f a l i e n " ; to cleanse i t through the f i r e of d r a s t i c " t r u t h " . Again I would l i k e to point out the narrator's t r e -mendous i n t e r e s t i n words: t h e i r o r i g i n s , etymologies, constituent elements, 48 a p p l i c a t i o n s , and m i s u s e s ; i n t h e attempt t o d e t e r m i n e whether t h e r e r e m a i n s 63 t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f u s i n g them i n a new and t r u t h f u l way. The d i f f i c u l t y t h a t t h e w r i t e r e n c o u n t e r s i n w r i t i n g b e c a u s e he must c o n f r o n t h i s c o n t e m p o r a r i e s w i t h the i m p o r t a n t m o r a l i s s u e s o f the time i s e v i d e n t n o t o n l y i n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s t a s k , b u t i n most o f the l i t e r a r y r e f e r e n c e s i n K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r . The n a r r a t o r r e a d s and i s r e p e a t e d l y i n t r i g u e d by w r i t e r s known p e r s o n a l l y o r t h r o u g h t h e i r works, who s h a r e the dilemma o f a t t e m p t i n g t o cope w i t h t h i n g s o f the p a s t o r p r e s e n t t h r o u g h w r i t i n g . A l t h o u g h K i n d h e i t s - muster o f f e r s the most e x p a n s i v e i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f t h i s a t t e m p t , i t i s a c e n t r a l m o t i f i n a l l o f W o l f ' s works. In Nachdenken u b e r ' C h r i s t a T., t h e n a r r a t o r r e f l e c t s and t h i n k s back upon t h e l i f e o f a friendj.'who was a l s o a w r i t e r o f s o r t s . She a t t e m p t s t o cope w i t h t h e d e a t h o f t h i s f r i e n d by means o f r e - c r e a t i n g h e r l i f e i n n a r r a -t i v e . The e f f e c t o f h e r d e a t h upon t h e n a r r a t o r i s e x t r e m e l y p o w e r f u l . I n a d d i t i o n t o b e i n g a c l o s e f r i e n d o f t h e n a r r a t o r , C h r i s t a T. l i v e d an unexemp-l a r y l i f e . She was an i n d i v i d u a l i n a time when one was encouraged to i d e n t i f y o n e s e l f w i t h a stamp t h a t was supposed to "say i t a l l " about o n e s e l f . The c i r -cumstances o f h e r l i f e ; t h e c r u e l i r o n y t h a t she s h o u l d be s t r i c k e n w i t h a d i s e a s e f o r which, as b o t h she and t h e n a r r a t o r r e a l i z e , t h e r e would l i k e l y be a c u r e w i t h i n a m a t t e r o f y e a r s , j u s t as she has begun to r e a l i z e what would be h e r own way of l i v i n g i n t h e w o r l d , d i c t a t e t h a t the n a r r a t o r must f i n d a way t o l i v e w i t h "einem dummen, bos e n , s i n n l o s e n Z u f a l l " . Das V e r m a c h t n i s e i n e r - wenn es nur m i t r e c h t e n Dingen zugangen ware - Lebenden auf den H a l s z u haben, s c h i e n m i r damals e i n b e s o n d e r e r U n g l u c k s f a l l . . . . The need and t h e o b l i g a t i o n t o r e s c u e t h i s i m p o r t a n t l i f e f rom o b l i v i o n , i s t h e d r i v i n g f o r c e b e h i n d the n a r r a t i v e . "Denn es s c h e i n t , w i r b rauchen s i e " ; t h e n a r r a t o r c o n c l u d e s . 49 Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , the story of C h r i s t a T. i s that of a young woman who manages to l i v e , l i t e r a l l y , by w r i t i n g . Writing i s therapy; a way of understanding, a means of securing a foothold i n the world; "dichtzumachen die schone, h e l l e , f e s t e Welt"; of coming to terms with things, of mediating r e a l i t y , of saying what cannot be said to one's s a t i s f a c t i o n i n d a i l y l i f e . C h r i s t a T. i s one of Wolf's most dramatic examples of an i n d i v i d u a l ' s need, "schreibend uber di e Dinge [zu] kommon."^4 S i g n i f i c a n t also i s C h r i s t a T.'s choice of t o p i c for her t h e s i s i n the f i e l d of l i t e r a t u r e ; the w r i t e r Theodor Storm: Weil s e i n Weltverhaltnis "vorwiegend l y r i s c h " i s t und w e i l eine solche Natur, i n eine von Niedergangstendenzen und Epigonentum gezeichnete Z e i t g e s t e l l t , besondere Anstreng-ungen n o t i g hat, um dennoch i h r Werk hervorzubringen. Diese Anstrengungen sind es a l s o . Nicht, dass s i e das Werk llber-schatzte, aber s i e schatzt, dass es dennoch zustande kam.... Aber er hat, was er immerhin b e s i t z t , w i r k l i c h erobert, und unter welchen Bedingungen! The t h e s i s becomes as much an a s s e r t i o n of her a f f i n i t y with the w r i t e r as an e x p l i c a t i o n of h i s work. While reading the t h e s i s , a f t e r C h r i s t a T.'s death, the narrator i s s u r p r i s e d : Auf mitgehendes Verstandnis, auf Bekenntnisse war i c h n i c h t gefasst, noch weniger auf Selbstprufung und f a s t unverhullte S e l b s t d a r s t e l l u n g , auf den Einbruch pers o n l i c h e r Problematik i n die l e i d e n s c h a f t l o s e Untersuchung.65 Having completed her t h e s i s , C h r i s t a T. r e l u c t a n t l y submitted i t to the i n s t i -tute as required, and there i s not even a copy to be found among her things, evidence again that what was c r u c i a l to her was the process of w r i t i n g i t s e l f , rather than a f i n i s h e d w r i t t e n product. 5U I n d i v i d u e l l e Geschichtserfahrung, niedergelegt im f i k t i o n a l e n Text, kann gelesen werden a l s Korrektur und Kontrast zur his t o r i o g r a p h i s c h e n Geschichtsdeutung, die solche p r i v a t e Erfahrung weitgehend vernachlassigt.66 Marie-Luise Linn suggests that one can read Kindheitsmuster as an a l t e r n a t i v e approach to understanding h i s t o r y .- the h i s t o r y that i s recorded i n textbooks, and i s not concerned with i n d i v i d u a l s . The story that the nar-r a t o r r e l a t e s i s however more than a personal " s l i c e of h i s t o r y " . She f e e l s compelled to get behind mere f a c t s , which sometimes serve to hide the t r u t h . She i s perhaps not as much concerned with an a l t e r n a t e account of the meaning of the events themselves, as with confronting i n d i v i d u a l s with knowledge that i s too e a s i l y forgotten, and i n i d e n t i f y i n g the traces of past experience that s t i l l e x i s t w i t h i n . Wenn uber eine a l t e Geschichte e n d l i c h Gras gewachsen i s t , dann kommt bestimmt e i n junges Kamel, das es wieder r u n t e r f r i s s t . (Schnauzchen-Oma to Liesbeth.)67 C h r i s t a Wolf, i n 1976: Ta t s a c h l i c h mochte i c h das Vergessen schwieriger machen. ...Ich b i n h i e r das Kamel, dass das Gras von diese r a l t e n Geschichte r u n t e r f r i s s t - mit v o l l e r Absicht.68 Perhaps Wolf i s concerned not so much w i t h the laps e of h i s t o r y i n t o legend and l i e s , as i t s la p s e i n t o i r r e l e v a n c e , II Der K r i e g i s t t r o t z a l l e m b i s heute etwas n i c h t A u s g e k l a r t e s oder n i c h t gemigend Besprochenes. Wir s i n d ubereingekommen, uber e i n gewisses B i l d des K r i e g e s , i n einem gewissen S t i l vom K r i e g e zu sc h r e i b e n oder i h n zu verdammen, doch f u h l t man d a r i n i r g e n d e i n Verschweigen, e i n Vermeiden j e n e r Dinge, d i e immer wieder eine s e e l i s c h e Erschutterung verursachen.69 The ethically-engaged w r i t e r , Wolf suggests, i s constantly faced with the dual o b l i g a t i o n to write and to act; 'beobachten und handeln'. In Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T. the dilemma becomes a s e r i o u s source of d e s p a i r to C h r i s t a T. The i m p o s s i b i l i t y of r e c o n c i l i n g the two causes her to consider s u i c i d e . I n a l e t t e r to her s i s t e r , which i s never sent, she w r i t e s : Ich w i l l a r b e i t e n , Du w e i s s t es - mit anderen, f u r andere. Aber meine Wirkurigsmoglichkeiten s i n d , s o v i e l i c h sehe, s c h r i f t l i c h e r , m i t t e l b a r e r Natur. Ich muss mich mit den Dingen i n S t i l l e , b e t rachtend, auseinandersetzen konnen. ...Das a l l e s andert n i c h t s , u n l o s b a r e r Widerspruch, an meiner T i e f e n Ubereinstinmiung mit d i e s e r Z e i t / O C h r i s t a T.'s s i t u a t i o n i s p o r t r a y e d as that of a s e n s i t i v e and g i f t e d i n d i v i d u a l who l a c k s "Anpassungsfahigkeit" and the hardness r e q u i r e d to l i v e i n a p e r i o d of d r a s t i c t r a n s i t i o n and accommodation. The s i t u a t i o n of the n a r r a t o r i n Kindheitsmuster i s not so dramatic and the dilemma i s d i f f u s e d i n t o v a r i o u s component q u e s t i o n s : Muss n i c h t der B e r i c h t e r s t a t t e r zogern, eine Vergangenheit von s i c h abzutrennen, d i e i n ihm s e l b s t noch a r b e i t e n mag, d i e noch n i c h t f e r t i g i s t , daher n i c h t beherrschbar? Upon r e c e i v i n g news of the I s r a e l i - E g y p t i a n c o n f l i c t i n 1973, the n a r r a t o r i s unable t o go on w r i t i n g : a tt Die Gewohnheit, t a g l i c h e i n Stuck Text auf weisse S e i t e n zu s c h r e i b e n , war i n Frage g e s t e l l t . She dreams th a t she i s an u n w i l l i n g accomplice to the t o r t u r e of an o l d man, and f e e l s h e r s e l f : "gelahmt, f e s t g e l e g t auf d i e B e o b a c h t e r r o l l e " ; unable to come to h i s a i d . Upon awaking, the meaning of the dream i s c l e a r to her: Aber wo beginnt d i e v e r f l u c h t e P f l i c h t des A u f s c h r e i b e r s der, ob er w i l l oder n i c h t , Beobachter i s t , sonst s c h r i e b e er n i c h t , sondern kampfte oder s t i i r b e -, und wo endet s e i n v e r f l u c h t e s Recht?... 0 Uber d i e s e Z e i t , da der Schreibende, ehe er zur Be-schreibung fremder Wunden ubergehen d a r f , d i e Wunde seines eigenen Unrechts vorweisen muss/-'-52 In her Buchner-Prize Acceptance Speech of October, 1980, C h r i s t a Wolf says that she i s "disturbed more than ever by the deep complexity of w r i t i n g and l i v i n g , of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and g u i l t , which molds and l i k e w i s e threatens 72 to destroy anyone who writes by l i v i n g and l i v e s by w r i t i n g . " The tension produced by the c o n t i n u a l p u l l between l i v i n g and w r i t i n g prompts the afore-mentioned dream, through which the narrator r e a l i z e s ; "dass du v o r e r s t n i c h t w e i t e r a r b e i t e n konntest." As she wanders through the s t r e e t s , she discovers: Die Freude uber d i e wiedererlangte Fahigkeit zu sehen mischt s i c h mit der Bedriickung uber d i e Unmoral dieses Berufes: Dass man n i c h t leben kann, wahrend man leben beschreibt. Dass man leben n i c h t beschreiben kann, ohne zu leben.73" The c o n f l i c t between observation and p a r t i c i p a t i o n , r e f l e c t i o n and a c t i o n , between reporter and actor - i s mirrored i n the danger of confusing l i t e r a t u r e with l i f e . George Steiner states i n Language and S i l e n c e : The capacity f o r imaginative r e f l e x , f o r moral r i s k i n any human being i s not l i m i t l e s s ; on the contrary, i t can be r a p i d l y absorbed by f i c t i o n s , and thus the cry i n the poem may come to sound louder, more urgent, more r e a l than the cry i n the s t r e e t outside. The death i n the novel may move us more potently than the death i n the next room....74 The seriousness of w r i t i n g to ensure her s u r v i v a l i s evident i n Wolf's dialogue with an anonymous interviewer, 1976. To the question - " I s t die Vergangenheit zu bewaltigen?" - she r e p l i e s : Nein. Sechs M i l l i o n e n ermordeter Juden sind n i c h t zu bewaltigen... Zuruf: Hat denn das Schreiben daruber einen Sinn? C h r i s t a Wolf: ...Fur mich hat es einen Sinn. Ich w i l l j a auch noch weiterleben. Ich lebe n i c h t nur b i s heute.75 53 The extravagant demand made upon the w r i t e r by the events of t h i s cen-tury, to cope with m a t e r i a l of inhuman proportions, and the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of "having prevented" the past - i n the sense of Canetti's d i a r i s t who was unable, as a w r i t e r , to prevent the war - do not make the w r i t e r ' s attempt to dent the darkness any l e s s c r u c i a l or indispensable. In f a c i n g the darkest deed of humanity i n her own time - genocide, and not only that committed i n Nazi Ger-76 many - the w r i t e r earns f o r h e r s e l f , her place on earth. (Gunderrode and K l e i s t i n Kein Ort, Nirgends, on the contrary, each i n some way out of step with the times, cannot break enough human ground ever to f e e l that the earth i s r e a l l y home f o r them, and each commits s u i c i d e . ) In an e a r l i e r interview (1973) Wolf explains: Eine Grundlust und eine Garantie dafur, dass i c h immer weiter schreiben werde, i s t wahrscheinlich die Erfahrung dass i c h mir auf diese Weise am ehesten den mir gemassen Lebensraum schaffe.^? S i m i l a r l y i n an interview with Hans Kaufman she s t a t e s : / Es i s t e i n grosses Thema, den Reifeprozess d i e s e r meiner Generation zu v e r f o l g e n , auch die Grunde zu suchen, wenn er ins stocken kam. Fur diejenigen, die i n der Z e i t des Faschismus aufwuchsen, kann es kein Datum geben, von dem ab s i e ihn a l s "bewaltigt" e r k l a r e n konnen.^S She adds, concerning the advantage that the a r t i s t has over the s c i e n t i s t today: "dass seine A r b e i t an seine Person gebunden i s t , und von keinem anderen gemacht werden kann." The personal v i s i o n of the a r t i s t i s seen by Wolf as having contributed to humanity i n a way that science has not equalled. Asked about the wisdom of a s p i r i n g towards impossible goals and thus endangering one's mental health, Wolf s t a t e s : 54 ...Ich meine, man kann auch schreiben, wenn man krank i s t . Um gesund zu werden. Schreiben kann auch eine Therapie sein....Denn i c h glaube n i c h t , dass das Aussprechen von Krankmachenden Sachverhalten z e r s t o r t , sondern dass es h e i l t 7 9 Freud has w r i t t e n i n "The Technique of Psychos-Analysis": It i s the analyst's task constantly to tear the patient out of h i s menacing i l l u s i o n and to show him again and again that what he takes to be new r e a l l i f e i s a r e f l e c -t i o n of the past.8^? Substitute " n a r rator" f o r a n a l y s t , and "protagonist" and "reader" for p a t i e n t , and t h i s could be an apt statement about Kindheitsmuster as w e l l . Wolf's concept of w r i t i n g as therapy serves, through processes s i m i l a r to those of psychoanalysis, to uncover, reclaim, decipher, and i n t e r p r e t past experience. Like the psychoanalyst who takes h i s patient i n t o layers of exper-ience and consciousness underlying the observable e x t e r i o r , Wolf chooses to explore rather than bury, the fearsome subterranean chambers of the soul and psyche, and to examine the r e l a t i o n s h i p of past and present existence: Es geht doch darum, dass wir immer t i e f e r e Schichten des Bewusstseins f r e i l e g e n , und dass wir die Grenzen dessen, was die G e s e l l s c h a f t von s i c h weiss, aber auch, was i c h von mir weiss, immer weiter hinausschieben. Das i s t anstrengend, aber auch b e f r e i e n d . ^ To compare the w r i t i n g of Kindheitsmuster with an extended period of psychoanalysis i s not mere metaphor. The process of w r i t i n g the book (for Wolf) and of t e l l i n g the story (for the n a r r a t o r ) , prompted at one l e v e l by a strong moral impulse, c o n s t i t u t e a l s o an act of s e l f - h e a l i n g . (The narrator achieves i t w i t h i n the te x t ; C h r i s t a Wolf, outside the text.) Like the process of undergoing psychoanalysis, the t e l l i n g of the story can not be accelerated or rushed. The narrator has, i n the f i r s t 55 chapter, a premonition that t h i s p r o j e c t would r e q u i r e : "eine lange Z e i t von A r b e i t und Z w e i f e l . " U n l i k e a s t o r y of l e s s complex s t r u c t u r e and p l o t , and l e s s i n t e n s e l y p e r s o n a l substance, the n a r r a t o r works w i t h her m a t e r i a l as she i s ready t o ; as she b r i n g s hew ground i n t o consciousness and to a r t i c u l a t i o n . The w r i t i n g of Kindheitsmuster takes approximately two and one h a l f y e a r s . As w i t h p s y c h o a n a l y s i s , the s t o r y i n c o r p o r a t e s the s u b j e c t of i t s own progress i n t o i t s e l f : there i s o f t e n a cumulative p r o g r e s s i o n from one chapter to the next and t h e r e are frequent i n t r a t e x t u a l r e f e r e n c e s . The t e l l i n g of the f i n a l chapter i s made p o s s i b l e only by the s o u l - s e a r c h i n g and the i n s i g h t s accomplished i n the preceding ones. Perhaps the most 'obvious example of t h i s i s the beginning of the f i f -t e e nth chapter, where the n a r r a t o r g i v e s an account of s e v e r a l r e a c t i o n s to a p u b l i c r e a d i n g of what was to become the e l e v e n t h chapter, i n S w i t z e r l a n d . A male contemporary asks her: "Ob d i e L i t e r a t e n n i c h t e n d l i c h aufhoren s o l l t e n mit der P f l i c h t u b u n g Auschwitz, um s t a t t dessen der Jugend d i e f e i n e r e n Meth-oden und Gefahren des Faschismus naherzubringen." The n a r r a t o r promises herT s e l f and a Jewish man i n the audience: Dort, wo du l e b s t , h a t t e niemand d i e Erwahnung von Auschwitz o f f e n t l i c h a l s " P f l i c h t u b u n g " bezeichnen konnen.^ 2 (Jack Zipes mentions a l s o t h a t two chapters of Kindheitsmuster were p u b l i s h e d s e p a r a t e l y i n Text und K r i t i k (1975) and S i n n und Form (1976) before completion of the n o v e l . ) ^ M a r i e - L u i s e L i n n , i n "Doppelte K i n d h e i t " , suggests t h a t i n K i n d h e i t s - muster : (So) w i r d d i e epische F i k t i o n e i n e r Psycho-Analyse der Du-Figur aufgebaut, eine F o r t s e t z u n g der, C h r i s t a T. i n s o f e r n , a l s das Nach-Denken h i e r dem eigenen, durch 56 Verdrangung entfremdeten Ich g i l t . Die kommentierende E r z a h l f o r m . . . r e c h t f e r t i g t s i c h aus d i e s e r Analyse-Struktur The narrator stands i n r e l a t i o n to her distanced and f i c t i o n a l i z e d s e l f - N e l l y - and to her past-in-present s e l f - the "Du-Figur" as the psycho-analyst to h i s p a t i e n t . She has the powers of provocation, a r t i c u l a t i o n , i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , and to some extent, of o b j e c t i v i t y , that her past selves, notably N e l l y , lacked, and subsequently s u f f e r e d from. Freud speaks of the pact made between psychoanalyst and patient as the promise of the p a t i e n t ' s "complete candour" i n exchange f o r the analyst's a s s i s t a n c e i n regaining "mastery over l o s t provinces of h i s mental l i f e " : He i s to t e l l us not only what he can say i n t e n t i o n a l l y and w i l l i n g l y , what w i l l give him r e l i e f l i k e a confession, but everything e l s e as w e l l that h i s s e l f - o b s e r v a t i o n y i e l d s him, everything that comes i n t o h i s head, even i f i t i s disagreeable f o r him to say i t , even i f i t seems to him unimportant or a c t u a l l y nonsensical....he w i l l present us with a mass of material - thoughts, ideas, r e c o l l e c t i o n s -which are already subject to the i n f l u e n c e of the unconscious, which are often i t s d i r e c t d e r i v a t i v e s , and which thus put us i n a p o s i t i o n to conjecture h i s repressed unconscious m a t e r i a l (Freud's emphasis) S i m i l a r l y , the narrator c a l l s upon her past s e l f to y i e l d up experience -as d e t a i l e d and as authentic as p o s s i b l e , which she w i l l then grapple with, i n t e r p r e t , and synchronize with the b i o g r a p h i c a l o u t l i n e s of her l i f e ' s s tory. Where the psychoanalyst however, gains the p a t i e n t ' s t r u s t i n part, p r e c i s e l y as a r e s u l t of h i s promise not to judge, the narrator of Kindheitsmuster takes a r e l e n t l e s s and j u d i c i a l approach to e a r l i e r thoughts, and actions committed i n the past. One of the ways i n which she attempts to make peace with h e r s e l f i s p r e c i s e l y i n the apportioning of g u i l t , r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and innocence. What do psychoanalysis and w r i t i n g , as described i n Kindheitsmuster, have i n common? Both are g r e a t l y concerned with, and i n v e s t i g a t e , the workings 57 of the Unconscious: ...processes and tendencies i n mental l i f e , of which we know nothing; have, f o r a very long time, perhaps even never, known anything about at a l l . ...a s p e c i a l realm, with i t s own desires and modes of expression and p e c u l i a r mental mechanisms not elsewhere operative. Freud provides a s p a t i a l i l l u s t r a t i o n of the Unconscious as, "a large anteroom i n which the various mental e x c i t a t i o n s are crowding upon one another, l i k e i n d i v i d u a l beings." There i s a doorkeeper who checks whatever threatens to pass across the threshold i n t o consciousness, and allows c e r t a i n e x c i t a t i o n s to pass through, and turns back c e r t a i n others which are then "incapable of 87 becoming conscious; we c a l l them repressed." " (Freud's emphasis) To get past the doorkeeper standing guard at the gates of conscious-ness, i s a common aim of the psychoanalyst and the narrator of Kindheitsmuster. Wolf quotes a l i n e (anonymously) from S c h i l l e r : "Die Wachter vor den Toren des Bewusstseins abziehen." A f t e r one of the frequent s l e e p l e s s nights brought on by the trauma of her undertaking, the narrator r e a l i z e s : ...dass du d i e Erinnerung, dies Betrugssystem, zu furchten, dass du, indem du s i e scheinbar v o r z e i g s t , i n W i r k l i c h k e i t gegen s i e anzugehen hast....Was die Zensur p a s s i e r t , sind Praparate, Einschlusse, F o s s i l i e n mit einem furchtbaren Mangel an Eigentumlichkeit. F e r t i g t e i l e , deren Herstellungs-prozess - an dem du, wie du nicht leugnen w i r s t , b e t e i l i g t b i s t - zur Sprache gebracht werden muss.^ The narrator attempts to r e l i v e past experience, to reconstruct past time, and i n the act of a e s t h e t i c r e - c r e a t i o n - to imagine other options: i n the form of imaginary conversations between people who never met, p o s s i b l e v a r i a t i o n s of interchanges known to have happened, and p o s s i b l e a l t e r n a t e 58 e n d i n g s t o s t o r i e s w hich ended b a d l y . P s y c h o a n a l y s i s and w r i t i n g c o n t a i n a paradox i n t h e i r common o b j e c t i v e o f remembering i n c i d e n t s , w h i c h when th e y happened, had t o be b u r i e d o r r e p r e s s -ed so t h a t the p a t i e n t / p r o t a g o n i s t might go on l i v i n g . They a l s o s h a r e t h e d i f f i c u l t t a s k o f r e s t o r i n g a c o n t i n u i t y between event and e m o t i o n w h i c h was s e v e r e d e a r l i e r . F o r t h e n a r r a t o r o f K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , on b o t h t h e c o n s c i o u s and u n c o n s c i o u s l e v e l s , t h e r e a r e " w r i t e r ' s b l o c k s " , w h i c h she can o c c a s i o n a l l y i d e n t i f y , even w h i l e n o t n e c e s s a r i l y r e c o g n i z i n g t h e i r o r i g i n : W i d e r s t a n d e i n m i r s i n d , w i r k l i c h das h e r a u s z u f i n d e n , wonach d e r S t o f f d r a n g t . Denn n a t u r l i c h hat man beim S c h r e i b e n auch Angst v o r dem, was herauskommen w i r d . Niemand s e t z t f r e i w i l l i g A n g s t f r e i . Dass muss man a b e r , indem man b i s an d i e Grenze des S t o f f e s g e h t . R u c k s i c h t s - l o s s e i n (ohne S i c h t z u r u c k ) a l s e i n e d e r U b e r l e b e n s b e d i n g u n g e n ; a l s e i n e d e r V o r a u s s e t z i g u n g e n , d i e Lebende von u h e r l e b e n d e n t r e n t . 8 9 The n a r r a t o r a l l u d e s t o t h e O l d Testament a c c o u n t of, L o t ' s w i f e who d i s o b e y e d t h e o r d e r not to t u r n and l o o k back a t the f a l l i n g c i t y , and was changed i n s t a n t l y i n t o a p i l l a r o f s a l t . I n o r d e r t o l i v e i n t h o s e t i m e s , 90 she s u g g e s t s , one had to keep one's eyes f i r m l y ahead. The n a r r a t o r sum-m a r i z e s t h e t a s k w h i c h f e l l t o h e r g e n e r a t i o n : "Niemals haben Menschen so v i e l e s v e r g e s s e n s o l l e n , um f u n k t i o n s f a h i g zu b l e i b e n , wie d i e , m i t denen w i r l e b e n . " The paradox l i e s i n the f a c t t h a t an a c t i o n which once made one's s u r v i v a l p o s s i b l e , t h a t o f w i l f u l f o r g e t t i n g , has now to be r e v e r s e d . The g r e a t e r h e r s u c c e s s a t f o r g e t t i n g i n t h e p a s t , t h e more d i f f i c u l t the t a s k of r e t r i e v a l i n t h e p r e s e n t . Amazed a t h e r i n a b i l i t y to i d e n t i f y h e r own f e e l i n g s upon r e t u r n i n g to h e r former home town, t h e n a r r a t o r l i e s awake a t n i g h t and r e a l i z e s : I n d i e s e r Nacht i n der fremden Stadt mit i h r e n fremd-sprachigen Gerauschen b e g r e i f s t du, dass d i e Gefuhle s i c h rMchen, d i e man s i c h v e r b i e t e n muss, und v e r s t e h s t b i s i n s e i n z e l n e d i e S t r a t e g i e , d i e s i e anwenden: Wie s i e , indem s i e s e l b s t scheinbar z u r u c k z i e h e n , benachbarte Empfindungen mit s i c h nehmen. Nun v e r b i e t e t s i c h schon n i c h t mehr nur d i e Trauer, das Weh - auch Bedauem i s t n i c h t mehr zugelassen und, vor a l l e m , d i e Erinnerung. Erinnerung an Heimweh, Trauer, Bedauern. Die Axt an  der Wurzel. (My emphasis) (In p s y c h o a n a l y t i c i n v e s t i g a t i o n i t i s s i m i l a r l y p o s s i b l e to determine a p o i n t a t which the events of an i n d i v i d u a l ' s l i f e , and the emotions they provoke, no longer have a c a u s a l connection; where a sense of numbness becomes the i n d i v i d u a l ' s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t a t e of e x i s t e n c e . ) The n a r r a t o r comments: "Dahin, f u r immer dahin i s t d i e scheme f r e i e Ent-sprechung der Gefuhle mit den Vorgangen. Auch das ware, r e c h t bedacht, e i n Grund zur Trauer." This ' d i s c o n n e c t i o n ' evolves i n t o a k i n d of i n n e r a l i e n a -t i o n ; "whose very t r a c k s c o n s i s t e d i n the effacement of a l l t r a c k s . A person 91 who wants to pass unnoticed soon stops n o t i c i n g a n y t h i n g . " R.D. Lai n g w r i t e s , concerning "The i n n e r s e l f i n the s c h i z o i d c o n d i -t i o n , " i n The D i v i d e d S e l f : ...temporary s t a t e s of d i s s o c i a t i o n of the s e l f from the body occur i n normal people. In g e n e r a l , one can say that i t i s a response t h a t appears to be a v a i l a b l e to most people who f i n d themselves enclosed w i t h i n a t h r e a t e n i n g experience from which there i s no p h y s i c a l escape.92 The d i s p a r i t y between o b s e r v a t i o n and i n f o r m a t i o n , the d e l i b e r a t e d i s -c onnection between events and the emotions they e l i c i t e d , the energy r e q u i r e d f o r c o n t i n u a l d e n i a l of the h e a r t ' s and body's i n t u i t i o n s ; a l l of these exact t h e i r t o l l i n emotional s u f f e r i n g . In order to preserve some sense of the r a t i o n a l i t y and i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y of her own behaviour, N e l l y develops a tendency to " s p l i t i n two" - one h a l f of which does what i s demanded of her, the other 60 o n e ; " b e o b a c h t e t s i e a l l e und s i c h s e l b s t von d e r Zimmerecke h e r und d u r c h s c h a u t a l l e s . " So s p r a c h e i n T e i l von N e l l y z u dem a n d e r e n T e i l , denn es war i h r z u r Gewohnheit geworden, s i c h s e l b s t l a u f e n und r e d e n und h a n d e l n zu sehen....Es h i n d e r t e s i e o f t d a r a n , von d e r L e b e r weg zu r e d e n o d e r d u r c h z u g r e i f e n , wo es n o t i g gewesen ware.... And a g a i n : S i e , unbewegter B e o b a c h t e r , w i r f t e i n e n u n d u r c h d r i n g -l i c h e n S c h a t t e n a u f s i c h , d e r , wie s i c h z e i g e n s o i l , s c h werer a u f l o s b a r i s t a l s d i e b l a s s e n huschenden S c h a t t e n d e r f e i n d l i c h e n F l i e g e r uber s i e hinweg.... The n i g h t t h a t h e r f a m i l y packs up f o r t h e second t i m e , t o f l e e f rom t h e S o v i e t army, marks the c r i s i s p o i n t i n N e l l y ' s young l i f e : Wenn N e l l y irgendwann i n d e r G e f a h r schwebte, den Boden u n t e r den F u s s e n zu v e r l i e r e n , dann i n j e n e r Nacht. V e r -z w e i f l u n g ware d e r A u s d r u c k n i c h t , v e r z w e i f e l n zu konnen, b e d e u t e t , man hangt m i t d e r U r s a c h e der V e r z w e i f l u n g z u -sammen: N e l l y h i n g m i t h i c h t s mehr zusammen.9-^ N e l l y has r e a c h e d the l o w e s t rung i n a s p i r a l o f u n t r u t h s , d e n i a l and s u f f e r -i n g . T h i s d i v i s i o n a l l o w s h e r t o m a i n t a i n some measure o f d i s t a n c e , and t o keep a p a r t o f h e r s e l f i n t a c t , i n e s s e n c e - t o s u r v i v e . (I do n o t w i s h t o s t r e t c h the c o m p a r i s o n o f p s y c h o a n a l y s i s and t h e p r o -c e s s o f w r i t i n g , but i t i s a n o t uncommon o c c u r r e n c e t h a t an i n d i v i d u a l who l i v e s i n an i n t o l e r a b l e s i t u a t i o n w i l l c o m p a r t m e n t a l i z e h i s e x i s t e n c e and h i s " s e l f " t o t h e p o i n t of c r e a t i n g s e v e r a l d i s t i n c t p e r s o n a l i t i e s c o - e x i s t i n g w i t h i n h i m s e l f : " M u l t i p l e p e r s o n a l i t i e s " - a k i n d of s c h i z o p h r e n i c d i s o r d e r . The o b j e c t o f t h e a n a l y s t w o r k i n g w i t h s u c h an i n d i v i d u a l , i s to r e - u n i f y , t o s y n c h r o n i z e , to r e s t o r e harmony and u n i t y t o the s h a t t e r e d f r a g m e n t s , whether t h e s e e x i s t as s e p a r a t e p e r s o n a l i t i e s , o r as an i n n e r and o u t e r s e l f , as i n N e l l y ' s c a s e . ) 61 Der Doppelsinn des Worter "vermit'teln" - Schreibend zwischen der Gegenwart und der Vergangenheit v e r m i t -t e l n , s i c h i n s M i t t e l legen. H e i s s t das: versohnen? Milde r n ? G l S t t e n ? Oder: E i n s dem anderen naher bringen? Der heutigen Person d i e Begegnung mit e i n e r vergangenen moglich machen, v e r m i t t e l s geschriebener Z e i l e n ? Elsewhere the n a r r a t o r s t i p u l a t e s : Erschopfen von ausschopfen?...Der Endpunkt ware e r r e i c h t , wenn zweite und d r i t t e Person wieder i n der e r s t e n z u -sammen t r a f e n , mehr noch: • zusammenfielen. Wo n i c h t mehr "du" und " s i e " - wo unverholen " i c h " gesagt werden musste. A d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s of the dream content i n Kindheitsmuster would doub t l e s s prove very i n t e r e s t i n g , i n p a r t i c u l a r , the symbolic and a e s t h e t i c e x p r e s s i o n which her dreams g i v e t o the n a r r a t o r ' s l o n g - l o s t memories and unsuspected f e a r s . The "White Ship" episode i s one example of how the mind preserves temporal and symbolic r e l a t i o n s h i p s over a long p e r i o d of time. F i n a l l y , w r i t i n g as therapy serves the n a r r a t o r as a form of c a t h a r s i s and exorcism - as a means of d i s p e l l i n g f e a r and ghosts, and of g i v i n g formal e x p r e s s i o n to g r i e f . Kindheitsmuster i s , as Peter Beicken and R o l f J . Goebel have suggested, a working out of sorrow: L i t e r a t u r e a l s d i e grosse R e c h t f e r t i g u n g , warum es Hoffnung geben muss und n i c h t nur Wissen und Ver-zw e i f l u n g an der Schuld: C h r i s t a Wolf l a s s t h i e r i h r Schreiben a l s e i n Stuck p e r s o n l i c h e r T r a u e r a r b e i t erkennen.^5 62 FOOTNOTES 1 Gunter Kunert, i n Wirkungsgeschlchte von C h r i s t a Wolfs 'Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T. ', ed. Manfred Behn, (Konigstein: Athaneum, 1978), p. 124. 2 Jack Zipes, "Marxist as M o r a l i s t " i n Divided Heaven, C h r i s t a Wolf, trans. Joan Becker, (U.S.A.: Adler's Foreign Books, 1981), p. x x i i . 3 H Wolf, Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T., p. 83; (hereafter c i t e d as Nachdenken). 4 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 17. 5 I b i d . , p. 317. ^ C h r i s t i n e Cosentino, "Eine Untersuchung des S o z i a l i s t i s c h e n Realismus im Werke C h r i s t a Wolfs" i n German Quarterly, 47, 1974, pp. 246j 247. ^ Kein Ort, Nirgends and Cassandra, which was published by Sammlung Luchterhand t h i s Spring, 1983, are novels of a d i f f e r e n t order, I b e l i e v e . While Kein Ort Nirgends, and Cassandra as w e l l I suspect, contain many auto-b i o g r a p h i c a l elements; Wolf re-creates i n both novels, the story of an a c t u a l h i s t o r i c a l f i g u r e . K aroline von Gunderrode and Cassandra of Troy were both v i s i o n a r y women, a l i e n to and r e j e c t e d by t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r time and s o c i e t y . Both came to v i o l e n t ends; K a r o l i n e at her own hands, and Cassandra, s l a i n by Clytemnestra. Wolf a l i g n s t h e i r d i f f i c u l t i e s with those confronting her var-ious autobiographical n a r r a t o r s , and continues the dialogue between past and present, but leaves the h i s t o r i c a l f i g u r e s i n t h e i r o r i g i n a l contexts. Zipes, p. x v i . 9 See: Peter G. L i d d e l l , " I n d i v i d u a l i t y and C o l l e c t i v i s m : the evolving theory and p r a c t i c e of S o c i a l i s t r e a l i s m i n East Germany r e f l e c t e d i n three novels of the 1960's." PhD d i s s e r t a t i o n , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1977. ^ Cosentino, p. 247. 63 ^ Zipes, pp. xxx, xxxi; C h r i s t a Wolf, asked to give an opinion of her e a r l i e r work, comments i n 1973: "Ich habe fruher Texte geschrieben die i c h heute anders schreiben wurde....Es handelt s i c h [von]...die von einer gewissen damals v e r b r e i t e t e n E i n s t e l l u n g zur L i t e r a t u r ausgingen, von einer unschopferischen, r e i n ideologierenden Germanistik." (Meinetwege Schmetter-l i n g e , p. 129) 12 Wolf, Divided Heaven, p. 1; Because Der G e t e i l t e Himmel was not a v a i l a b l e , I have quoted from the Eng l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n . 1 3 I b i d . , pp. 10, 35, 39. 14 Wolf, Nachdenken, p. 64. 1 5 Wolf, "Interview with Myself, 1966" i n The Reader and the Writer, trans. Joan Bec:ker, (New York: I n t e r n a t i o n a l Publishers, 1977), p. 76. ^ Alexander Stephan, C h r i s t a Wolf, Autorenbucher, (Munich: Verlag C H . Beck, 1976), p. 88. ^ Wolf, The Quest f o r C h r i s t a T., trans. Christopher Middleton, (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1970), p.114. 18 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, pp. 193, 141. 19 Wolfgang Emmerich, "Der Kampf um die Erinnerung" i n C h r i s t a Wolf Materialienbuch, pp. 114, 115. (Hereafter c i t e d as Materialienbuch.) 20 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, pp. 192, 193. 2 1 I b i d . , pp. 12, 13. Peter Beicken and Rolf J . Goebel, "Er z a h l e r i s c h e Selbstverstandigung: C h r i s t a Wolf zwischen Moderne und T r a d i t i o n " i n Monatshefte, 74, No. 1, p. 69. 23 Ivan Klima a l s o takes up the "book wit h i n a book" theme, but does not explore the process of w r i t i n g as Wolf does. 24 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, pp. 47, 86. 25 Wolf, i n "Diskuss ion mit C h r i s t a Wolf" i n Materialienbuch, p. 35. 64 26 *• Joachim Walther, Meinetwegen Schmetterlinge, Gesprache mit S c h r i f t s -t e l l e r n , ( B e r l i n : Buchverlag Der Morgen, 1973), p. 124. 27 Wolf, Lesen und Schreiben Neue Sammlung, (Darmstadt: Luchterhand, 1980), p. 163. 28 Wolf, Nachdenken, p. 82. 29 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 31. 30 I b i d . , I n s c r i p t i o n . 31 Beicken and Goebel, p. 68. 32 P a t r i c i a Merivale, "The Search f o r the Other Woman: Female A r t i s t -Parables i n the Seventies", (unpublished paper, d e l i v e r e d at The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1982), pp. 6, 7. 33 Wolf, 34 Wolf, i n Materialienbuch, p. 36. 35 Wolf, A Model Childhood, trans. Ursule Molinaro and Hedwig Rappolt, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1980), p. 194; Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 67. 3 6 I b i d . , p. 407. 37 The German language perhaps s i g n i f i c a n t l y contains phrases which con-c i s e l y and f o r c e f u l l y express an idea f or which there i s perhaps no equivalent En g l i s h expression. Among these i s the idea of " S i c h - f r e i - s c h r e i b e n ; l i t e r a l -l y , w r i t i n g oneself free or f r e e i n g oneself through w r i t i n g from whatever i t i s that holds one captive; whether the burden of words themselves, or past experience which has never been given due a t t e n t i o n . The narrator i n Kin d h e i t s - muster also modifies t h i s as "Sich-frei-sprechen": to speak oneself f r e e . Another s i m i l a r concept which i s more suggestive i n German i s that of "weiter leben" and "weiter schreiben"; l i t e r a l l y , to l i v e on, to go on l i v i n g and to go on w r i t i n g . In the context that Wolf uses them however, they evoke CO the sense of a p o s s i b i l i t y which i s not to be taken f o r granted, but depends on i t s own p a r t i c u l a r set of p r e r e q u i s i t e s . Because the German words are more evocative, I w i l l use the German with quotation marks. 38 Wolf i n Materialienbuch, p. 39. 39 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, pp. 415, 60, 317. 4 0 I b i d . , p. 9. 4 1 I b i d . , pp. 9, 10, 180. 42 I b i d . , pp. 214, 215. 43 Wolf, i n Mat er i a l i e n b u c h , p. 48. 44a, Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 17. 44b I b i d . , pp. 48, 169. 45 I b i d . , p. 85. 46 Beicken and Goebel, p.. 70. 47 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 73. 4 8 I b i d . , pp. 71, 301. 49 I b i d . , p. 262. 5 0 I b i d . , pp. 177, 417, 418. George Steiner, ( i n Language and Silence) addresses t h i s matter i n an essay e n t i t l e d "The Hollow M i r a c l e " , i n which he writes about the three years of f a c i n g the t r u t h i n Germany, before the "economic m i r a c l e " brought with i t a new myth: M i l l i o n s of Germans began saying to themselves and to any foreigner g u l l i b l e enough to l i s t e n that the past had somehow not happened, that the horrors had been gr o s s l y exaggerated by A l l i e d propaganda and sensation-mongering j o u r n a l i s t s , Yes, there were some concentra-t i o n camps, and reportedly a number of Jews and other unfortunates were exterminated. (More than Emil Dunst or the t a x i - d r i v e r were w i l l i n g to concede.) "But not s i x m i l l i o n , l i e b e r Freund, nowhere near that many. That's j u s t propaganda, you know....And r e a l l y , on the 66 E a s t e r n Front our boys were not up a g a i n s t normal human beings. The Russians: are mad dogs, l i e b e r Freund, mad dogs!...Wherever one t r a v e l l e d i n Germany, one heard such arguments. The Germans themselves began b e l i e v i n g them w i t h f e r v o r . (Language and S i l e n c e , p. 106-7; His emphasis) S t e i n e r examines the e f f e c t of t h i s myth on Germany, a decade l a t e r ( i n 1959) and summarizes t h a t p r e v a l e n t a t t i t u d e as f o l l o w s : Forget the past. Work. Get prosperous. The new Germany belongs to the future....Why rake up the past ? . . . " L e t us f o r g e t " i s the l i t a n y of the new German age. Even those who cannot, urge oth e r s to do so. (p. 108) I t i s t h i s m e n t a l i t y , i n a d d i t i o n to her p e r s o n a l quest f o r answers, that causes C h r i s t a Wolf, over a decade l a t e r , to cr e a t e a d i f f e r e n t s o r t of l i t a n y - a l i t a n y of sorrow and remembering. Hamida Bosjamian i n t r o d u c e s her a n a l y s i s of "Contemporary German L i t e r a t u r e and the Shadow of Naziism" w i t h the q u e s t i o n : "Why deny the obvious n e c e s s i t y of memory?" (Marguerite Duras, Hiroshima Mon Amour). The author's p e r s o n a l involvement i n her m a t e r i a l i s evident from the be-gi n n i n g . She d e s c r i b e s Metaphors of E v i l as: "an a n a l y t i c a l and c r i t i c a l attempt to determine the impact of the Nazi era on the l i t e r a r y i m a g i n a t i o n ...grounded i n the c r i t i c ' s p e r s o n a l memory, i n her l i v i n g as w e l l as i n t e l l e c t u a l e xperiences", and s t a t e s : The N a z i era was no h i a t u s i n our c i v i l i z a t i o n , was no transcendent a t r o c i o u s time: i t was our time. From the vantage p o i n t of an ephemeral present moment, we presume to overlook the years 1933-1945, overlook them i n the sense of overseeing and n e g l e c t i n g . B l i n d to the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the present moment and l i v i n g i n the i l l u s i o n of r e p r i e v e , we c i r c l e the c a s u a l rounds of d a i l y e x i s t e n c e . We can do t h i s because we rep r e s s the memory or p o s s i b i l i t y of such an extreme s i t u a t i o n . . . our memory and our fumbling, always inadequate, s e l f -awareness must work together l e s t we f o r g e t and repeat. (Metaphors of E v i l , pp. x i , x i i . ) 67 52 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, pp. 319, 242, 243. 53 Wolf, "Tagebuch - A r b e i t s m i t t e l und Gedachtnis" i n Lesen und Schreib-en, pp. 70, 74 54 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 317. ^ Wolf, i n Materialienbuch, pp. 33, 34. Wolf, Nachdenken, pp. 38, 39. 57 Wolfj "Lesen und Schreiben" i n Lesen und Schreiben Neue Sammlung, p. 22. 58 II I b i d . , "Gadachtnis und Gedenken (Fred Wander)", pp. 190. ^ Linn, p. 56. 6 0 Mi4osz'^ The 1980 Nobel Lecture, p. 407. ^ E l i a s C a n e t t i , Das Gewissen der Worte, (Munich: Hanser, 1975), p. 62 Steiner, p. 108. 63 C h r i s t a Wolf and George Steiner, with very d i f f e r e n t l i f e experiences, i n p a r t i c u l a r , of the war, s t r i k e me as remarkably s i m i l a r with regard to t h e i r concerns i n w r i t i n g . The work of both demonstrates a deeply serious and intense-l y moral tone, e s p e c i a l l y as concerns the w r i t e r ' s , and also the l i t e r a r y c r i t -i c ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n the aftermath of Auschwitz. George Steiner says of con-temporary human beings: "We come after....We are post-Auschwitz homo sapiens." (Language and S i l e n c e , p. 158). While C h r i s t a Wolf i s implicated i n her m a t e r i a l by v i r t u e of having been a c h i l d during World War II years, Steiner writes as one who might have been a concentration camp v i c t i m himself. Both write extremely poet i c prose, and both have very c l e a r ideas on the function of the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c , which, they suggest, i n t h i s age i s more c r u c i a l than ever, and which depends, i n Steiner's words, on "the exacting freshness of personal encounter." (Language and S i l e n c e , p. 53) They share a common i n s i s t e n c e that Auschwitz - as symbol for a l l the 68 N a z i a t r o c i t i e s - must be a c e n t r a l awareness i n t h e p o e t ' s c o n s c i o u s n e s s . S t e i n e r r e c o u n t s how, when he was asked about h i s f r e q u e n t r e f e r e n c e s t o c o n c e n t r a t i o n camps, h i s r e s p o n s e was t h a t t h e y a r e " p r o f o u n d l y r e l e v a n t " . Both s t r e s s " t h e o b v i o u s n e c e s s i t y o f memory" and a r e g r a v e l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t t h e H o l o c a u s t c o u l d happen a g a i n ; i n f a c t , t h a t the e v i l s o f t h e p a s t w i l l , and do, r e p e a t t h e m s e l v e s i f t h e y a r e n o t g i v e n t h e r e q u i s i t e i m p o r t a n c e and a t t e n t i o n . ( S t e i n e r speaks o f t h e " m i r a c l e o f a m n e s i a " w h i c h has been a c c o m p l i s h e d i n post-War Germany.) Language and s i l e n c e : l a nguage as t h e " v e s s e l of human g r a c e and t h e prime c a r r i e r o f c i v i l i z a t i o n " ; and s i l e n c e as p e r haps the f i n a l r e c o u r s e i n t h e f a c e o f an u n s p e a k a b l e r e a l i t y : t h i s i s a r e c u r r i n g r e f r a i n i n b o t h S t e i n e r ' s and W o l f ' s w r i t i n g . The n o t i o n o f time - i t s " V i e l s c h i c h t i g k e i t " and t h e n o t i o n s o f d i f -f e r e n t o r d e r s o f t i m e - a r e a l s o m o t i f s common t o b o t h . Wolf l o o k s a t f o u r d i a r i e s o f c o ntemporary i n d i v i d u a l s l i v i n g w i t h i n a s m a l l a r e a , w r i t t e n i n the same decade, and i s amazed a t the i r r e c o n c i l a b l e d i f f e r e n c e s . Among them i s t h e d i a r y o f a young J e w i s h boy l i v i n g i n a v i l l a g e n e a r Warsaw d u r i n g the .r War. "Das v o r l e t z t e Wort - j e d e n f a l l s i n d e r d e u t s c h e n U b e r s e t z u n g - h e i s s t : B l u t . Das l e t z t e - Dawidek h a t es n i c h t mehr a u f s c h r e i b e n konnen - musste Tod h e i s s e n . Genauer: Mord." (L e s e n und S c h r e i b e n , p. 6 2 ) . The second d i a r y c o n t a i n s a d e t a i l e d a c c o u n t o f a b u t t e r f l y c a u g h t by th e d i a r i s t , r e m i n i s c e n t somehow of Nabokov's a c c o u n t i n Speak Memory, and prompts the n a r r a t o r t o ask: " I s t es u n b i l l i g , a u s z u s p r e c h e n , d a s s D a v i d R a b i n o w i c z ' Tagebuch s o l c h e Z e i l e n i n Un-Natur v e r w a n d e l t ? Obwohl das e i n e vom a n d e r e n n i c h t s w e i s s ? " (p. 6 5 ) . She wonders: " W i e v i e l S c h i c h t e n hat d i e Z e i t ? W i e v i e l M o g l i c h k e i t e n , i n i h r z u l e b e n ? " (p. 6 2 ) . S t e i n e r s t a t e s : 69 One of the t h i n g s I cannot grasp, though I have o f t e n w r i t t e n about them, t r y i n g to get them i n t o some k i n d of bearable p e r s p e c t i v e , i s the time r e l a t i o n . . . . P r e c i s e l y at the same hour i n which Mehring or Langner were being done to death, the overwhelming p l u r a l i t y of human bei n g s , two m i l e s away on the P o l i s h farms, f i v e thousand m i l e s away i n New York, were s l e e p i n g or e a t i n g or going to a f i l m or making l o v e or worrying about the d e n t i s t . This i s where i m a g i n a t i o n b a l k s . (Language and S i l e n c e , p. 156) S t e i n e r ponders whether there a r e i n f a c t ; " d i f f e r e n t s p e c i e s of time i n the same w o r l d , 'good times', and enveloping f o l d s of inhuman time, i n which men f a l l i n t o the slow hands of l i v i n g damnation." (p. 156). Wolf and S t e i n e r a l s o share a common i n t e r e s t i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the v i c t i m and the s u r v i v o r . 64 Wolf, Nachdenken, pp. 229, 97, 9, 27, 44. 6 5 I b i d . , pp. 120, 121. L i n n , p. 63. 6 7 Wolf, K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , p. 42. 68 Wolf, i n M a t e r i a l i e n b u c h , p. 38. 6 9 Wolf, ^ Wolf, Nachdenken, p. 91. ^ Wolf, K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , pp. 112, 200, 201; This dream i s unusual by r e v e a l i n g i n images, the n a r r a t o r ' s need to h a l t her w r i t i n g t e m p o r a r i l y , and r e t u r n to l i f e . Most of the accounts of dreams, on the c o n t r a r y , r e v e a l some aspect of the f e a r of w r i t i n g , and the danger of breaking the s i l e n c e . Wolf comments: "Es kommen v i e l e Traume vor i n diesem Buch, i n der Z e i t i n der man an einem d e r a r t i g e n S t o f f a r b e i t e t , da traumt man n i c h t gut, k l a r . Es w i r d Angst f r e i , von der man gar n i c h t gewusst h a t , dass s i e noch da i s t . . . . " ( M a t e r i a l i e n b u c h , p. 42.) 70 72 Wolf, " S h a l l I Garnish an Almond Blossom with a Metaphor" i n New German C r i t i q u e , 23, Spring Summer 1981, p. 3. 73 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, pp. 355, 356. Steiner, p. 61 ^ Wolf, i n Materialienbuch, pp. 41, 42; The concept of "Vergangen-heitsbewSltigung" perhaps even more than that of " S i c h - f r e i - s c h r e i b e n " -e x i s t s as such only i n the German language. While i t seems that everyone presumes to understand i t s meaning, there i s no standard d e f i n i t i o n of the term. I t i s not even c l e a r whether i t c a r r i e s p o s i t i v e or negative connota-ti o n s ; whether "overcoming the past" i s a danger, or an achievement. "To come to terms with the past" could mean to i n v e s t i g a t e and understand i t , to f i n d one's own place i n i t , to accept r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and g u i l t , and f i n a l l y , to "have done with i t . " The term has been invented f o r a s p e c i f i c time and place: post-War Germany. ^ Steiner s t a t e s : "Genocide i s the ultimate crime because i t pre-empts on the future, because i t tears up one of the roots from which h i s t o r y grows. There can be no meaningful forgiveness because there can be no r e p a i r . " (Language and S i l e n c e , p. 164). ^ Wolf, i n Meinetwegen Schmetterlinge, p. 124. ^ 8 Hans Kaufmann, "Gesprach mit C h r i s t a Wolf", i n Weimar Beitrage, 20, 1974, p. 79 Wolf, i n Meinetwegen Schmetterlinge, pp. 124, 125. 80 Sigmund Freud, An Outline of Psycho-Analysis, The James Strachey T r a n s l a t i o n , (New York: W.W. Norton & Co. Inc., 1969), p. 81 Wolf, i n Meinetwegen Schmetterlinge, p. 125. 82 Wolf, Kindheit smus t e r , pp. 31, 360, 361. 83 _. Zipes, p. xxx. 71 L i n n , p. 56. ^ F r e u d , p. 31. 86 Sigmund F r e u d , A G e n e r a l I n t r o d u c t i o n t o P s y c h o a n a l y s i s , t r a n s . Joan R i v i e r e , W a s hington Square P r e s s I n c . , New Y o r k , 1952. 87 I b i d . , p. 249. 88 W o l f , K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , pp. 255, 180, 181. 89 W o l f , i n M e i n e t w e g e n S c h m e t t e r l i n g e , p. 124; W o l f , K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , p. 388. 90 The s t o r y o f t h e f a l l o f Sodom and Gomorrah i s o b v i o u s l y s i g n i f i -c a n t f o r t h e n a r r a t o r as she comes b a c k t o i t i n t h e r h e t o r i c a l q u e s t i o n : "Oder r e i c h t e i n e e i n z i g e F a m i l i e a u s , e i n e ganze S t a d t z u r e t t e n ? F u n f G e r e c h t e a u f f u n f z i g t a u s e n d ? " N e a r i n g t h e end o f h e r s t o r y , she r e f l e c t s on t h e amount o f t i m e and e n e r g y t h a t has gone i n t o i t s t e l l i n g , and t h e d a n g e r s met, r e c o g n i z e d o n l y i n r e t r o s p e c t , and p o n d e r s : "Wer h a t w i s s e n konnen, d a s s es daraufkommen wurde, im R i i c k b l i c k n i c h t z u r S a l z s a u l e , n i c h t z u S t e i n z u e r s t a r r e n . " ----- • 91 W o l f , K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , pp. 451, 321, 189. 92 R.D. L a i n g , The D i v i d e d S e l f , (Markham: P e n g u i n B o o k s , 1 9 6 9 ) , p. 78. 93 W o l f , K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , pp. 157, 269, 371, 364. 94 I b i d . , pp. 192. 95 B e i c k e n and G o e b e l , p. 70. 72 The P o r t i o n When i n j u s t i c e i s carved i n t o many s l i c e s how t h i n must that s l i c e be which d a i l y i s put on my bread? Thinner than the glass p a r t i t i o n that separates me from l i f e than the blade of the blunt k n i f e that cuts me to pieces E r i c h F r i e d trans. C. Middleton 73 CHAPTER TWO The I m p o s s i b i l i t y of J u s t i c e : Ivan Klima's Der Gnadenrichter Der Gnadenrichter i s a nove l of r e l a t i o n s h i p s , paradoxes, and degrees. I t p o r t r a y s a man as he stands i n r e l a t i o n s h i p to the s o c i e t y i n which he l i v e s , i n r e l a t i o n s h i p to h i s w i f e Alena and h i s m i s t r e s s Alexandra; to v a r i -ous other women he has known; to h i s f a t h e r , h i s c h i l d r e n , and f r i e n d s , h i s p r o f e s s i o n as a Judge; and f i n a l l y and most p r o b l e m a t i c a l l y , i n r e l a t i o n s h i p to h i m s e l f . I t c o n s i d e r s the p a r a d o x i c a l s i t u a t i o n of a man who has b e l i e v e d i n the e x i s t e n c e of j u s t i c e , yet seen o n l y b l a t a n t i n j u s t i c e wherever he l o o k s ; who sees h i m s e l f as c a l l e d to judge, yet d i s c o v e r s u l t i m a t e l y that he cannot. I t i s a l s o a novel about degrees of good and e v i l , g u i l t and innocence, i g n o r -ance and s e l f - d e c e p t i o n , of i n t e g r i t y and d i s s i m u l a t i o n , of pers o n a l and p u b l i c r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , of memory and f o r g e t f u l n e s s , o b s e r v a t i o n and i m p l i c a t i o n , and perhaps most i m p o r t a n t l y , the measure of j u s t i c e and i n j u s t i c e . This i s the s t o r y of a man approaching middle age, who looks back and d i s c o v e r s t h a t he has not accomplished what he wanted to i n l i f e ; who regards the past without any sense of f u l f i l l m e n t and the f u t u r e without hope or a n t i c i p a t i o n : Ganz u n l o g i s c h dachte i c h , dass i c h i n e i n paar Tagen si e b e n -u n d d r e i s s i g werde und irgendwo im Leben stehe, an einem Punkt, von dem d i e Menschen wohl z u r i i c k b l i c k e n , um B i l a n z zu Ziehen, und nach vorn schauen, um d i e eigene Zukunft abzuwagen....1 74 At the o u t s e t , Adam K i n d l , the p r o t a g o n i s t and p a r t i a l n a r r a t o r of Der  Gnadenrichter, i s s a t i s f i e d i n a mediocre f a s h i o n w i t h h i s l i f e which c o n s i s t s predominantly of h i s j o b , h i s f a m i l y , a ha n d f u l of f r i e n d s , and h i s s e c r e t w r i t i n g a c t i v i t y . The p r o t a g o n i s t , l i k e the author of Der Gnadenrichter, l i v e s i n Prague, but cannot p u b l i s h h i s work i n Cze c h o s l o v a k i a , because h i s b e l i e f s are not acce p t a b l e to the o f f i c i a l censors. H i s e a r l y a r t i c l e on c a p i t a l punishment, and a l a t e r essay on Montesquieu, are simu l t a n e o u s l y means of e x p r e s s i n g h i s e v a l u a t i o n of contemporary events i n h i s own country. With the passing y e a r s , Adam K i n d l has g r a d u a l l y l o s t a l l i l l u s i o n s about h i s p r o f e s s i o n as w e l l as c e r t a i n t y i n other areas of h i s l i f e . He can-not say whether or not he lo v e s h i s w i f e anymore: Er wusste n i c h t , ob er seine Frau l i e b t e . In der langen Z e i t des Zusammenlebens h a t t e er s i c h zwar an s i e gewohnt, war s i c h s e i n e r Gefuhle f u r s i e aber n i c h t mehr s i c h e r . Of h i s daughter alone can he say w i t h assurance t h a t he l o v e s her: "Er h a t t e gesagt, am meisten l i e g e ihm etwas an s e i n e r Tochter." The best of h i s f r i e n d s , Macek and P e t r , l i v e as Adam does h i m s e l f , o u t s i d e the c i r c l e of o f f i c i a l a p p r o v a l . Accused during the course of h i s i n t e r r o g a t i o n of seeking the company of those forced to leave t h e i r p o s i t i o n s , Adam r e p l i e s : " I c h wurde eher sagen, dass meine Freunde i h r e Posten v e r l a s s e n mussten." (Klima's emphasis.) Macek i n p a r t i c u l a r , serves Adam as a k i n d of moral v o i c e and a combi-n a t i o n of a l t e r - and super-ego. He a r t i c u l a t e s s u c c i n c t l y the nature and i m p l i c a t i o n s of d e c i s i o n s which Adam must make, i n terminology t h a t commands Adam's res p e c t and l o y a l t y : "Nie t e i l t e e r s i c h jemandem mit (ausgenommen v i e l l e i c h t Macek), dem er e i n besonderes Vertrauen entgegenbrachte f a s t wie e i n Sohn^" 75 Although the memory s e c t i o n s - "Bevor w i r aus dem F l u s s Lethe t r i n k e n " -provide the s t o r y of Adam's l i f e from h i s internment as a young boy at Theres-i e n s t a d t to the age of t h i r t y - s e v e n , the c e n t r a l n a r r a t i v e of t h i s enormous novel spans a s u r p r i s i n g l y short p e r i o d that c o i n c i d e s w i t h the dates of K a r e l K o z l i k ' s appearance and departure from the l i f e of Adam K i n d l . In the f i r s t c hapter, K o z l i k ' s case has j u s t been brought to K i n d l ' s a t t e n t i o n : i n the l a s t , K i n d l r e c e i v e s a l e t t e r w i t h the news that K o z l i k has been executed. During the i n t e r v a l , Adam K i n d l r e c o n s i d e r s and attempts to ev a l u a t e the course of h i s own l i f e , conducts h i s f i r s t e x t r a m a r i t a l a f f a i r w i t h the w i f e of a man whom he had once considered a f r i e n d , experiences i n c r e a s i n g attempts at i n t i m i d a t i o n by the p o l i c e , i n c l u d i n g constant s u r v e i l l a n c e , and makes h i s f i n a l and f a t e f u l p r o f e s s i o n a l d e c i s i o n , i n f u l l knowledge t h a t i t w i l l c ost him at the very l e a s t , h i s c a r e e r . Der Gnadenrichter c r e a t e s t h e m a t i c a l l y and s t r u c t u r a l l y , an ambiguous p a r a l l e l between the l i v e s and f a t e s of Adam K i n d l and K a r e l K o z l i k , n o m i n a l l y at l e a s t , a t opposite ends of the procedure of o f f i c i a l j u s t i c e . S t r u c t u r a l l y t h i s i s evident i n the t e x t u a l interweaving of the two s t o r i e s ; the i n t e r r u p -t i o n of Adam K i n d l ' s l i f e and s t o r y w i t h fragments of K a r e l K o z l i k ' s l e t t e r of s e l f - d e f e n c e . The connection between the two l i v e s i s suggested i n the f i r s t sentence of the n o v e l , i n which we l e a r n t h a t Adam K i n d l has j u s t r e c e i v e d the o f f i c i a l " A n k l a g e s c h r i f t gegen K a r e l K o z l i k wegen Mordes". I t i s r e i n f o r c e d immediately t h e r e a f t e r by Adam K i n d l ' s i n t u i t i o n t h a t h i s own days, l i k e K a r e l K o z l f k ' s , are numbered: ...Er kannte den F a l l und wusste, dass b e i heimtuckischem Doppelmord f u r a l l e nur eine e i n z i g e S t r a f e i n Betracht kam, d i e H o c h s t s t r a f e : Leben urn Leben. Er h a t t e den F a l l e i g e n t -l i c h ablehnen mussen, aber wie? A l l e l a u e r t e n darauf, dass 76 er so etwas t a t , um i h n e n d l i c h loszuwerden. Er b e g r i f f ohnehin n i c h t , wieso er noch b l e i b e n d u r f t e , wer s i c h f u r i h n verburgt oder ihm eine G a l g e n f r i s t gewEhrt haben mochte.3 In some sense, both men are on r e p r i e v e , l i v i n g under a suspended sentence f o r breaking the o f f i c i a l code of conduct. Both K i n d l and K o z l l k have l e d a t y p i c a l , i f w i d e l y d i f f e r e n t c h i l d -hoods which have l e f t them, as a r e s u l t of d i f f e r e n t e x periences, w i t h a sense of l o v e l e s s n e s s , i n e x p l i c a b l e i n Adam's case, which haunts them throughout t h e i r a d u l t l i v e s . As there i s only one d i r e c t meeting between Adam K i n d l and K a r e l K o z l l k , our conception of the l a t t e r i s a composite c o n s t r u c t e d from v a r i o u s sources, most s i g n i f i c a n t l y h i s l e t t e r to Adam K i n d l . H i s g i r l f r i e n d c l a i m s : "Er hat n i c h t s Schlechtes tun w o l l e n , a l l e s i n d gegen i h n gewesen, er hat's n i c h t mehr ausgehalten." The shadowy c r i m i n a l f i g u r e emerges as a man who never had a chance i n l i f e . Rejected at b i r t h by h i s mother, s h u f f l e d back and f o r t h among v a r i o u s p l a c e s as a c h i l d , too e a r l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r p r o t e c t i n g h i s stepmother and bro t h e r s from an a l c o h o l i c f a t h e r , and s u f f e r i n g v i c i o u s headaches as a r e s u l t of u n s u c c e s s f u l eye surgery, h i s l i f e thus f a r has con-ti n u e d i n the same s t r a i n of ha r d s h i p , thwarted good i n t e n t i o n s , and ensuing embitterment. K o z l l k w r i t e s that w h i l e i n p r i s o n : "Ich b e s c h l o s s , Gutes zu tun und nach meiner Entlassung junge Leute zu b e e i n f l u s s e n , damit s i e den rechten Weg f i n d e n . " In and out of p r i s o n , more as a r e s u l t of bad tim i n g than of a c t u a l wrongdoing, K o z l i k shares w i t h Adam K i n d l the experiences of having been imprisoned at an e a r l y age, of s u f f e r i n g d e b i l i t a t i n g i l l n e s s , and of growing up w i t h v i r t u a l l y absent f a t h e r s . Adam K i n d l was separated from h i s d u r i n g the long war years and d i s -covered upon t h e i r reunion: "Wir gingen einander v o r b e i , w i r wurden i n der Z e i t , a l s w i r uns hat ten f i n d e n konnen, auseinandergerissen und um so v i e l e s 77 gebracht, was s i c h n i e mehr nachholen l i e s s , so dass w i r einander n i c h t mehr naherkommen konnten." S i m i l a r l y to K o z l i k , K i n d l was l e f t w i t h the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r h i s mother and b r o t h e r as a youth. H i s three and a h a l f year internment at T h e r e s i e n s t a d t leaves him w i t h a l i f e l o n g p reoccupation w i t h freedom, and a p a s s i o n v e r g i n g perhaps on o b s e s s i o n , w i t h the r e l a t i o n s h i p among j u s t i c e , power, and g u i l t . H i s sense of l o n e l i n e s s too o r i g i n a t e s a f t e r h i s r e l e a s e from the c o n c e n t r a t i o n camp: "Ich h a t t e keine Z e i t , neue Freundschaften an-zuknupfen, und meine a l t e n Freunde waren t o t . " 4 Adam K i n d l a l s o a s p i r e s to make h i s l i f e count f o r something, and h i s dreams, upon h i s r e l e a s e from imprisonment, p l a c e him c o n s t a n t l y i n s i t u a t i o n s where he c o n t r o l s h i s own d e s t i n y of s e l f - e s t e e m and s e l f - o r d i n a t i o n . No longer i s he at the whim of a power that c o n t r o l s h i s every move. The enormity of K a r e l K o z l i k ' s predicament both m a g n i f i e s and r e f l e c t s Adam's own l i f e - s i t u a t i o n ; the d e c l i n i n g s t a t u s of h i s marriage, the i n c r e a s i n g estrangement from h i s p r o f e s s i o n a l c o l l e a g u e s , the f a c t that h i s c h i l d r e n are r a p i d l y growing up and he has not taken time to know them. The d e s t i n i e s of both men are bound i n e x t r i c a b l y w i t h each o t h e r , f o r not o n ly does K o z l i k ' s f a t e appear to r e s t on how K i n d l judges him, but K i n d l ' s f u t u r e as w e l l , de-pends on t h i s f a t e f u l d e c i s i o n . While Adam K i n d l i s aware of the obvious i n f l u e n c e of h i s d e c i s i o n i n the K a r e l K o z l i k case upon h i s l i f e , he r e p e a t e d l y i n t i m a t e s a deeper connec-t i o n between h i m s e l f and the accused. As he contemplates a l l those whose dreams l i k e h i s own, have gone u n f u l f i l l e d , he r e f l e c t s upon: " K o z l i k , der g l e i c h ihm s e l b s t von guten Taten getraumt h a t t e , dem jedoch e i n f r e u d l o s e s , l i e b e l e e r e s Leben beschieden war, e i n S c h i c k s a l , schwerer, a l s er es e r t r a g e n konnte..." 78 The f u l l e x t e n t o f t h e i r combined d e s t i n i e s however, i s n o t e v i d e n t u n t i l t h e f i n a l pages o f t h e n o v e l . Adam r e c e i v e s s i m u l t a n e o u s c o n f i r m a t i o n o f a d a t e f o r h i s upcoming s u r g e r y , and w r i t t e n n o t i f i c a t i o n from Dr. P r a v d a t h a t K a r e l K o z l l k w i l l have been e x e c u t e d by t h e tim e t h a t Adam K i n d l r e c e i v e s t h e l e t t e r . K i n d ! f e e l s an i n s t a n t a n e o u s p h y s i c a l p a i n and Macek m i s t a k e s the s o u r c e o f h i s d i s t r e s s . Macek's c o n f u s i o n about t h e t e l e g r a m ' s c o n t e n t h e i g h t -ens t h e s u g g e s t i o n o f i n t e r m i n g l e d f a t e s . "Der K o z l f k i s t w a h r s c h e i n l i c h h i n g e r i c h t e t worden," s a g t e Adam. " D i e s e r Morder, wenn du d i c h e r i n n e r s t . " "Und d e s h a l b s c h i c k t man d i r e i n Telegramm?" "Man b e s t e l l t m i c h z u r O p e r a t i o n . E i n B e t t i s t f r e i ge-worden, a l s o komme i c h f r u h e r d r a n . " Ob z w i s c h e n d i e s e n b e i d e n B e n a c h r i c h t i g u n g e n etwa e i n m e t a p h y s i s c h e r Zusammenhang be s t a n d ? Aber e r war n i c h t a b e r g l a u b i s c h und v e r s c h e u c h t e den E i n f a l l . Warum s o l l t e e i n eben e r f u l l t e s S c h i c k s a l m i t seinem e i g e n e n S c h i c k s a l zusammenhangen? E r und K o z l f k h a t t e n doch n i c h t s gemeinsam. The e f f e c t o f t h i s s t a t e m e n t o f c o u r s e i s t o s u g g e s t , t h a t t o t h e c o n t r a r y , t h e y have a g r e a t d e a l i n common. Der G n a d e n r i c h t e r c o n s i s t s o f s e v e r a l d i s t i n c t n a r r a t i v e s u b - s t r u c t u r e s , of which the dominant one i s t o l d by a s u p p o s e d l y i m p a r t i a l n a r r a t o r , and spans an u n s p e c i f i e d l e n g t h o f time i n t h e p r e s e n t l i f e o f Adam K i n d l , Judge o f t h e Law. The memory p a s s a g e s - "Bevor w i r aus dem F l u s s L e t h e t r i n k e n " - on t h e o t h e r hand, a r e n a r r a t e d i n t h e f i r s t p e r s o n by a c h a r a c t e r whom we assume, on t h e b a s i s o f b i o g r a p h i c a l c o i n c i d e n c e , t o be the p r o t a g o n i s t o f t h e r e m a i n d e r of the s t o r y . They c o v e r Adam K i n d l ' s l i f e from the b e g i n n i n g o f the War, o v e r a p e r i o d o f a p p r o x i m a t e l y t h i r t y y e a r s , t o t h e R u s s i a n o c c u p a t i o n o f C z e c h o s l o -v a k i a i n 1968. Nowhere i s t h e r e an e x p l i c i t c r o s s - r e f e r e n c e between t h e two t e x t s , and t h e r e i s no attempt made by n a r r a t o r o r p r o t a g o n i s t a t the end t o 79 b r i n g them t o g e t h e r . On t h e f i n a l page o f t h e n o v e l , Adam K i n d l Informs Macek: " I c h habe v e r s u c h t , so etwas wie meine B i o g r a p h i e z u v e r -f a s s e n . W e i s s t du, was i n t e r e s s a n t i s t ? I c h kann n i c h t sagen, ob i c h s i e g e s c h r i e b e n habe, urn mich a n z u k l a g e n oder um m i c h z u v e r t e i d i g e n . " J These memory p a s s a g e s , c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y and s e q u e n t i a l l y o r d e r e d , m i g h t a l s o c o n s t i t u t e i n p a r t , t h e t e x t o f Adam K i n d l ' s n o v e l , Der R i c h t e r . T h i s would a l s o a c c o u n t f o r t h e u n e x p l a i n e d gap o f t h r e e y e a r s t h a t f a l l s between t h e two main n a r r a t i v e s . I n t h i s c a s e a n o t h e r s t r i k i n g p a r a l l e l w i t h C h r i s t a W o l f ' s K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r would be e v i d e n t : t h e p r o t a g o n i s t , l i k e W o l f ' s unnamed n a r -r a t o r ( t h e a d u l t N e l l y ) , would t h e n i n t u r n become a n a r r a t o r - w r i t e r - a u t h o r f i g u r e . However, r e g a r d l e s s o f whether t h e p a s s a g e s "Bevor w i r aus dem F l u s s L e t h e t r i n k e n " c o m p r i s e t h e t e x t o f K i n d l ' s a u t o b i o g r a p h y o r a r e m e r e l y an a c c o u n t o f h i s memories, t h e a u t h e n t i c i t y o f t h e i r n a r r a t i o n remains a v a l i d c o n s i d e r a t i o n . The n a r r a t o r , l i k e t h e n a r r a t o r i n K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , s t r i v e s f o r t h e g r e a t e s t p o s s i b l e h o n e s t y i n r e c a l l i n g h i s p a s t ; amazed a l t e r n a t e l y by what he remembers and what he has f o r g o t t e n , and d e t e r m i n e d n o t to i n v e n t what he does n o t remember: " i c h w i l l a b e r n i c h t s dazu e r f i n d e n . " Taken as a t r u t h f u l a c c o u n t o f one man's l i f e i n a post-war t o t a l i t a r i a n s t a t e , t h e s e p a s s a g e s p r o v i d e an i n t e r e s t i n g s u b - v e r s i o n o f the h i s t o r y g i v e n i n t h e l e n g t h y s e c t i o n s o f "Dokumente." The "Dokumente" j u x t a p o s e newspaper r e p o r t a g e and e x c e r p t s from w r i t i n g s i n p o l i t i c a l p h i l o s o p h y and o t h e r s o u r c e s , w i t h c h r o n i c l e s o f " c r i m e s " committed a g a i n s t the government i n d i f f e r e n t e r a s . The " A l t s t a d t e r R i n g " p a s s a g e s l i s t the d e a t h s e n t e n c e s c a r r i e d o ut i n t h e h e a r t o f Prague t h r o u g h o u t c e n t u r i e s . The "Traume und A l p t r a u m e " s i m i l a r l y appear as o b j e c t i v e t h i r d p e r s o n a c c o u n t s , and f o l l o w the g r a d u a l d i s i n t e g r a -80 t i o n o f K i n d l ' s g r e a t a s p i r a t i o n s . The s t o r y o f t h i s s u c c e s s f u l j u d g e who f i n a l l y d e c i d e s t o s t e p down from t h e bench because he c a n no l o n g e r ' c o n f i d e n t l y p a s s judgment, l e t a l o n e t h e imminently-demanded d e a t h - s e n t e n c e , i s t o l d by an o m n i s c i e n t n a r r a t o r whose v o i c e i s f r e q u e n t l y t h e t h i n l y - d i s g u i s e d v o i c e o f the a u t h o r h i m s e l f . I t i s one o f t h e i n t e r e s t i n g p a r a d o x e s o f Der G n a d e n r i c h t e r t h a t w h i l e t h e s t r u c t u r e o f t h e n o v e l and o f i t s i n d i v i d u a l t e n c h a p t e r s i s v e r y b a l a n c e d and s y m m e t r i c a l , t h e f u n c t i o n and i d e n t i t y o f t h e v a r i o u s n a r r a t o r s r e m a i n somewhat u n c e r t a i n and ambiguous. What i s c e r t a i n i s t h a t t h e r e i s a c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p among t h r e e d i s t i n c t v o i c e s e v i d e n t i n t h e t e x t . T h e re i s t h e v o i c e o f t h e o m n i s c i e n t n a r r a t o r i n t h e main n a r r a t i v e , who r e l a t e s t h e s t o r y of Adam K i n d l the Judge, and i n t e r p r e t s and t o some e x t e n t e v a l u a t e s the p r o -t a g o n i s t ' s l i f e f o r the r e a d e r . T h e r e i s t h e v o i c e o f Adam K i n d l h i m s e l f , who presumably r e l a t e s the e v e n t s o f h i s l i f e l e a d i n g up t o t h e time o f the p r e s e n t c r i s i s , i n t h e f i r s t p e r s o n , memory p a s s a g e s . And f i n a l l y , t h e r e i s t h e v o i c e o f t h e a u t h o r h i m s e l f , p e r h aps most e v i d e n t i n numerous s t a t e m e n t s e x p r e s s i n g e t h i c a l c o n v i c t i o n s as w e l l as p h i l o s o p h i c a l d i g r e s s i o n s , w i t h i n t h e c e n t r a l n a r r a t i v e . The f r e q u e n t l y e n r a g e d , i n j u r i o u s , and s o r r o w f u l tone i s n o t c o n -g r u e n t w i t h t h e o b j e c t i v i t y t h a t we might e x p e c t i n a t h i r d p e r s o n n a r r a t i v e . Many s t a t e m e n t s i n Der G n a d e n r i c h t e r c a n n o t be i d e n t i f i e d as s p e c i f i -c a l l y the n a r r a t o r ' s , t h e p r o t a g o n i s t ' s , o r the a u t h o r ' s . One example o f t h i s i n d i s t i n c t i o n i s the c l a i m , i n a passage o f d e s c r i p t i o n and a n a l y s i s o f Adam's p e r s o n a l i t y , t h a t : " E i n Mensch, d e r s i c h S e l b s t m i t l e i d g e s t a t t e t , war dem Leben a u s g e l i e f e r t und konnte n i c h t s l e i s t e n . " ^ The q u e s t i o n o f t h e o r i g i n o f t h i s c o n v i c t i o n m i g h t w e l l be a d d r e s s e d w i t h one c r i t i c ' s r e s p o n s e t o C h r i s t a W o l f ' s Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T.: "To make a s h a r p d i s t i n c t i o n among t h e t h r e e - a u t h o r , n a r r a t o r , h e r o / i n e - f o r c i n g i r o n i c c l a s h e s among them...is no 81 p a r t of the author's i n t e n t i o n . " Another and perhaps more dramatic example i s a passage i n the f i n a l chapter of the n o v e l . Adam K i n d l f i n d s h i m s e l f alone i n h i s c a b i n , w i t h an u n w i l l i n g r e a l i z a t i o n of the f u t i l i t y of h i s l i f e . Alexandra has found a new involvement; K o z l i k ' s f a t e i s out of h i s hands - and K i n d l sees only evidence of h i s i n e f f e c t i v e n e s s , i n r e f l e c t i n g upon h i s l i f e . I t i s one of s e v e r a l major moments of c r i s i s and i n s i g h t f o r the p r o t a g o n i s t . The n a r r a t i v e here i s i n t e r r u p t e d by frequent i n s i s t e n t , p a s s i o n a t e , and s o r r o w f u l i n t e r j e c t i o n s which convey undeniably the a u t h o r ' s , as w e l l as the n a r r a t o r ' s view of the s i t u a t i o n : Eine Macht, d i e auf T o t a l i t a t a b z i e l t , v ersucht auf jeden w i d e r s e t z l i c h e n Menschen auszuuben. U n t e r w i r f t er s i c h n i c h t , dann i s t s i e b e s t r e b t , ihm das Leben zu erschweren, i h n der E x i s t e n z m o g l i c h k e i t zu berauben, i h n i n s Gefangnis zu werfen, wo i h n v e r s c h a r f t e Bedingungen erwarten, i n s Irrenhaus zu stecken oder zumindest an einen Ort abzuschieben, wo ihm j e d e r E i n f l u s s auf g e s e l l s c h a f t l i c h e Vorgange genommen i s t . Adam experiences, perhaps f o r the f i r s t time, compassion f o r a l l those around him whose a s p i r a t i o n s l i k e h i s own have met w i t h d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t . Again a s o r r o w f u l commentator suggests: So e n t g l e i t e n uns a l l m a h l i c h unsere Wunsche, unsere Traume b r o c k e l n ab, d i e Z i e l e , d i e w i r i n uns t r a g e , f a l l e n i n s i c h zusammen. Das schlimmste i s t , dass w i r zum Schluss uns s e l b s t e n t g l e i t e n und n i c h t nur auf das eigene Verderben h i n a r b e i t e n , sondern auch auf d i e Vernichtung unserer einmal gesteckten Z i e l e . 9 This passage, preceded by the account of Adam K i n d l ' s growing sense of compas-s i o n , and f o l l o w e d immediately by Adam's in n e r r e s o l v e not to d e s p a i r complete-l y , i s c u r i o u s l y p l a c e d . I t i s too w e l l a r t i c u l a t e d and too a n a l y t i c a l to be Adam's in n e r monologue at t h a t p a r t i c u l a r moment, and s u s p i c i o u s l y impassioned and g r i e v i n g to o r i g i n a t e w i t h an o b j e c t i v e n a r r a t o r . Which suggests t h a t i t 82 i s t h e thought o f t h e a u t h o r h i m s e l f , who has c e r t a i n l y been i n t h e p o s i t i o n o f s e e i n g many o f h i s hopes dashed d u r i n g t h e e v e n t s t h a t a b r u p t l y ended t h e Prague S p r i n g . W h i l e t h e e x a c t i d e n t i t y o f t h e n a r r a t o r i n Der G n a d e n r i c h t e r r e m a i n s u n d e f i n e d - (perhaps p r e d o m i n a n t l y b e i n g p a r t o f a l i t e r a r y c o n s t e l l a t i o n t o e n a b l e t h e t e l l i n g o f t h e s t o r y ) - I v a n K l i m a endows h i s p r o t a g o n i s t , Adam K i n d l , w i t h s u f f i c i e n t s i m i l a r i t i e s t o h i m s e l f , t o make him c l e a r l y an a u t o -b i o g r a p h i c a l f i g u r e . Adam K i n d l , l i k e t h e a u t h o r , l i v e s i n Prague, and i s a p p r o a c h i n g m i d d l e age. ( K i n d l i s a p p r o a c h i n g f o r t y i n t h e n o v e l , and K l i m a w r i t e s Der Gnaden- r i c h t e r i n h i s e a r l y f o r t i e s . ) A u t h o r and p r o t a g o n i s t a r e f o r m e r members o f the Communist P a r t y i n C z e c h o s l o v a k i a , and h e l d g r e a t hopes f o r t h e p o l i t i c a l and humanist U t o p i a w h i c h they f o r e s a w as t h e r e s u l t o f an e n l i g h t e n e d i m p l e -m e n t a t i o n and development o f the new government. K l i m a ' s p r o t a g o n i s t , l i k e h i m s e l f , made the d e c i s i o n t o r e m a i n i n C z e c h o s l o v a k i a a t a ti m e when t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f a g e n u i n e c h o i c e s t i l l , e x i s t e d . Adam K i n d l , l i k e K l i m a , has s t r o n g c o n v i c t i o n s about the d e c i s i o n t o s t a y r a t h e r t h a n e m i g r a t e , and l i k e K l i m a , expends c o n s i d e r a b l e e n e r g y d e f e n d i n g t h i s d e c i s i o n , w h i c h , as we know from o t h e r s o u r c e s , was n o t e a s i l y made by the a u t h o r . I n p e r s o n a l c o r r e s p o n d e n c e w i t h a c e r t a i n Mr. S p i e s s , an employee i n a German p u b l i s h i n g house - ( l e t t e r s w r i t t e n d u r i n g h i s s t a y a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f M i c h i g a n , 1970, when K l i m a had t h e o p t i o n t o r e m a i n abroad) the a u t h o r ex-p r e s s e s h i s s i m u l t a n e o u s c o n v i c t i o n t h a t t h e f u t u r e l o o k s b l e a k f o r C z e c h o s l o -v a k i a , and t h a t he n e v e r t h e l e s s has no c h o i c e b u t to r e t u r n . The l e t t e r s g i v e some i d e a , i n b r o k e n E n g l i s h , o f t h e a u t h o r ' s sense o f c o n f l i c t , and o f some of the c o n s i d e r a t i o n s t h a t t a k e him back t o h i s n a t i v e P r ague: " . . . i t i s my country and I have not enough courage to leave i t f o r e v e r . . . . " In another l e t t e r , w r i t t e n soon t h e r e a f t e r , (February 12, 1970), Klima w r i t e s : "The home, the f r i e n d s are more important f o r me than many other things.""^ In a subsequent interview with J i r i Lederer i n 1976, (Tschechische  Gesprache), Ivan Klima s t a t e s : Die Emigration hat immer etwas Tragisches. Sie i s t wie eine Operation, d i e den Menschen von etwas trennt - (von seiner Heimat, seiner Muttersprache, seiner Umgebung...). Discussing the p l i g h t of w r i t e r s i n Czechoslovakia, he determines: Bei uns kann man das Gefuhl der Genugtuung sehr stark a l l e i n darauserleben, dass man s i c h zumindest t e i l w e i s e seine AuthentizitSt bewahrt hat, dass man nicht dem versklavenden, entpersonlichenden E i n f l u s s der Umgebung und des ausseren Drucks e r l a g . . . Adam Kind l ' s c o n v i c t i o n s about emigration are evident from the begin-ning of the story: "er ware s i c h s e i n Leben lang wie e i n Deserteur vorge-kommen." The d i f f e r e n c e between those who l e f t and those who stayed, K i n d l regards as insurmountable: Und s o l l t e man s i c h nach Jahren noch einmal widersehen, wurde man einander im Grunde n i c h t s mehr zu sagen haben - fremde Menschen. He despairs of t r y i n g to make c l e a r to h i s father that f o r him there i s reason enough to stay i n Czechoslovakia i n the p o s s i b i l i t y that he might be u s e f u l : Er hatte sagen mussen, dass N u t z l i c h k e i t s i c h n i c h t immer i n T a t i g k e i t s k a t e g o r i e n zu aussern braucht. Dass der Mensch s i c h schon dann n u t z l i c h fuhlen oder Befriedigung empfinden kann, wenn er einfach ausharrt, jemandem gehort oder auch nur s i c h s e l b s t , s i c h unter gewissen Bedingungen seine innere F r e i h e i t bewahrt.... 84 H i s r e f u s a l t o j o i n h i s b r o t h e r Hanus i n s e l f - i m p o s e d e x i l e i s f o r Adam K i n d l , a s perhaps f o r I v a n K l i m a , an a c t o f d e f i a n c e ; a s t a t e m e n t o f a s s e r t i o n t h a t "They" do n o t have t h e r i g h t t o c o n t r o l who goes and who s t a y s , and whom t h e l a n d b e l o n g s t o . E a r l y i n t h e s t o r y , Adam comments t o h i s f i r s t l o v e , Magdalena: " D i e haben e i n e n schon um so v i e l e s g e b r a c h t , da s c h m e i s s t man i h n e n n i c h t auch noch d i e Heimat h i n . " L a t e r , upon h i s r e l e a s e from t h e i n t e r r o g a t i o n , he r e f l e c t s a n g r i l y , i n a passage w h i c h once a g a i n sounds d i s -t i n c t l y a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l : Und d i e U n v e r f r o r e n h e i t , i h n zu f r a g e n , warum e r n i c h t a u s g e r e i s t war! D i e t a t e n , a l s geh'orte d i e s e s Land i h n e n . M a ssten s i c h das Recht an, zu e n t s c h e i d e n , wer s i c h a l s P a t r i o t f u h l e n d u r f t e ! - ^ The a t t i t u d e o f K l i m a ' s p r o t a g o n i s t c o n c e r n i n g e m i g r a t i o n i s f i n a l l y r e m i n i s -c e n t o f t h e words o f t h e R u s s i a n p o e t , Anna Akhmatova: " I am n o t one o f t h o s e who l e f t t h e l a n d t o the mercy o f i t s enemies."13 Adam K i n d l ' s s e c r e t w r i t i n g s e x p r e s s i n g a l t e r n a t e m o r a l s t a n c e s upon s t a t e - c o n t r o l l e d i s s u e s , p a r a l l e l s I v a n K l i m a ' s p r o d u c t i o n o f l i t e r a r y works, w h i c h a r e p u b l i s h e d i n h i s own c o u n t r y , o n l y i n t h e Czech s a m i z d a t ; t h e E d i c e P e t l i c e ( P a d l o c k s e r i e s ) and E d i c e E x p e d i c e ( D i s p a t c h s e r i e s ) . I v an K l i m a u s e s t h e "book w i t h i n t h e book" theme, i n Der G n a d e n r i c h t e r . S i m i l a r l y t o I v a n K l i m a who has w r i t t e n a v a r i e t y o f a r t i c l e s , Adam K i n d l has it w r i t t e n v a r i o u s t h i n g s , r a n g i n g from h i s e a r l i e s t t r e a t i s e - "Uber den M u s t e r -s t a a t " - t o an e s s a y on M o n t e s q u i e u : "...um s e i n e Gedankengange ube r d i e U n a b h a n g i g k e i t des R i c h t e r s z i t i e r e n z u konnen..." - l e a d i n g up t o t h e work on h i s n o v e l , Der R i c h t e r : ...Vor e i n i g e r Z e i t h a t t e e r begonnen, e i n Buch zu s c h r e i b e n . E r b e a b s i c h t i g t e , es e i n f a c h Der R i c h t e r zu nennen und d a r z u -l e g e n , wie zumal i n d e r A l t e n Welt d i e k o n k r e t e B e t e i l u n g des R i c h t e r s an der Rechtausubung zurtickgeht und daher auch d i e i n d i v i d u e l l e B e u r t e i l u n g des e i n z e l n e n Verbrechens, wie d i e Angehorigen eines ehedem geachteten Standes zu Beamten werden, zu b l o s s e n Technikern, d i e d o s i e r t Gesetze berab-r e i c h e n , uber deren R i c h t i g k e i t s i e s i c h keine Gedanken zu machen b r a u c h e n . ^ K i n d l ' s attempt to r e v e a l the a b s u r d i t y i n h e r e n t i n the o f f i c i a l p r a c t i c e of j u s t i c e i n h i s t o r y p a r a l l e l s Klima's c i t a t i o n i n the "Dokumente" passages of the n o v e l , of i n s t a n c e upon i n s t a n c e of the i n j u s t i c e and murder that have occurred i n the name of j u s t i c e throughout the ages. The process of w r i t i n g Der R i c h t e r becomes f o r Adam K i n d l , a means of understanding, e v a l u a t i n g , and j u s t i f y i n g h i s l i f e . The nature of Der Gnadenrichter suggests that i t has served a s i m i l a r f u n c t i o n f o r Ivan Klima. Klima's w r i t i n g s abound w i t h f r u s t r a t e d w r i t e r f i g u r e s whose l i t e r a r y p r o d uctions never see the l i g h t of day i n C z e c h o s l o v a k i a . His p r o t a g o n i s t s , i n v a r i a b l y male, regard the act of w r i t i n g as one of the few important ways i n which they can s t i l l sound t h e i r own v o i c e and perhaps accomplish something worthwhile i n the world. The p r o t a g o n i s t i n E i n Liebessommer, 1973, David Krempa, a predecessor of Adam K i n d l , regards w r i t i n g as a means of warding o f f the unexplained f e a r t h a t descends upon him as he stops to r e f l e c t upon h i s l i f e : II Immer wenn i h n d i e s e Angst u b e r f i e l , s e t z t e er s i c h i n j a h e r Panik an den S c h r e i b t i s c h und h o l t e d i e p r o t o k o l l e s e i n e r Versuche heraus, auch Sonderdrucke s e i n e r A r t i k e l , er wuhlte i n den Exzerpten f u r seine Vorlesungen und s e i n b e a b s i c h t i g t e s und immer wieder aufgeschobenes Buch, er kramte i n seinen Gedanken, um s i c h wenigstens durch d i e F u l l e von Wortern, durch d i e Schwere des P a p i e r s zu uber-zeugen, dass er etwas aufgespurt, dass er wenigstens etwas e r r e i c h t h a t t e . As he contemplates the course of h i s l i f e , h i s thoughts could very w e l l be those of Adam K i n d l : 86 . . . i c h habe eine Frau, aber i c h rede kaum mit i h r , i c h habe zwei Tochter, aber e i g e n t l i c h weiss i c h n i c h t s von ihnen, ich. weiss n i c h t s von der Welt, i n der i c h mich bewege, und n i c h t einmal e i n Buch habe i c h geschrieben.-^ But there i s the d i f f e r e n c e , that K i n d l , l i k e Klima, does manage to w r i t e t h i s book: and t h i s i s p o s s i b l y a c r u c i a l d i f f e r e n c e . The narrator i n Hopfenernte, 1977, f a l l s i n t o a nightmarish, Kafkaesque world, but remembers: ...jene Menschen, welche di e Dinge noch beim r i c h t i g e n Namen nannten, di e v i e l l e i c h t sogar seine Bucher lasen, und uber seine Gedanken nachsannen....16 Those o c c a s i o n a l e x c e p t i o n s of men who manage to overcome the f e e l i n g of t h w a r t e d l i t e r a r y a m b i t i o n s , e l i c i t g r e a t r e s p e c t from Adam K i n d l . F o r Macek, the v a l u e o f w r i t i n g does n o t l i e i n b e i n g w i d e l y r e a d : Der Mensch h a t es n o t i g , das Schweigen z u d u r c h b r e c h e n , m i t dem i h n d e r Kosmos und d i e V e r n a l t n i s s e umgeben. Es i s t e g a l , wie v i e l e L e u t e i h n d a b e i h o r e n . Macek e x h i b i t s a more o p t i m i s t i c and s e l f - r e l i a n t s t r e a k t h a n Adam K i n d l . K i n d l i d e n t i f i e s w i t h and emulates Macek: " I n e i n e r e n t p e r s o n l i c h t e n Z e i t war e r immer e i n e P e r s o n l i c h k e i t g e b l i e b e n . " I t i s Macek who f i r s t i n t i m a t e s , be-f o r e Adam K i n d l h i m s e l f , t h a t t h e K a r e l K o z l i k c a s e i s no o r d i n a r y c a s e but a d e t e r m i n i n g p o i n t i n h i s f r i e n d ' s l i f e : M e i n s t du....dass man d i r k e i n e i n z i g e s Mal e i n e n F a l l u n t e r j u b e l n w i r d , b e i dem du d e i n e n Ehrenkodex ad a c t a l e g e n kannst?....Und h o f f e n t l i c h geht d i r a u f , dass d i e s e r F a l l schon da i s t . 1 7 The s i m i l a r i t y between a u t h o r ' s and p r o t a g o n i s t ' s names to o d e m o n s t r a t e s K l i m a ' s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h Adam K i n d l . Both names have f o u r and f i v e l e t t e r s r e s p e c t i v e l y and have a l m o s t t h e same c o n s t e l l a t i o n o f vowels and c o n s o n a n t s . 87 In an e a r l i e r work, Games, 1979, the name of the autobiographical f i g u r e i s Kamil Sova, which f a l l s only two l e t t e r s short of being an anagram. (Kamil Sova, l i k e Adam K i n d l , i s a w r i t e r and a p h i l o s o p h i c a l seeker of j u s t i c e who has despaired of t r y i n g to change the world and i n t h i s case, i s made the innocent v i c t i m i n the game of Execution.) A Prague reviewer, i d e n t i f i e d only as I.K., of Der Gnadenrichter, r e f e r s to the protagonist as " t h i s u n p a r a d i s i c a l Adam". C e r t a i n l y the name "Adam K i n d l " evokes the B i b l i c a l Adam. Unlike h i s predecessor however, t h i s Adam does not l i v e i n harmony with h i s environment, h i s woman, or himself, and h i s f i n a l f a l l from grace, suggested with u n i n t e n t i o n a l irony i n the German m i s t r a n s l a t i o n of the novel's t i t l e , cannot be a t t r i b u t e d to a woman's wi l e s . Both Alena and Alexandra remain on the periphery of Adam's e t h i c a l existence. And where the Old Testament Adam i s judged by God, i n Adam Kindl's dream, the heavens are s i l e n t and he i s l e f t to judge himself. Like that other l i t e r a r y i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the Law gone awry, Kafka's The T r i a l , Per Gnadenrichter explores an absurd State J u s t i c e whos e main p r i o r i t i e s are bureaucratic e f f i c i e n c y and expediency. In Der Gnadenrichter, Klima c o n s i s t e n t l y plays o f f two very d i f f e r e n t concepts of j u s t i c e against each other: t h i s s t a t e - c o n t r o l l e d o f f i c i a l j u s t i c e - " J u s t i c e as a system" -and an unr e a l i z e d , perhaps u n r e a l i z a b l e , i d e a l notion of an Absolute J u s t i c e which, i f i t e x i s t s at a l l , does so somewhere outside of the world of mortal beings. It i s the continual tension between these two co n t r a d i c t o r y concepts of j u s t i c e that propels the n a r r a t i v e : ...What fascinated Klima, i s that j u s t i c e as a system, knows only extreme p o s i t i o n s , and refuses to acknowledge the vast spectrum, f o r i t i s i n the ambiguity and v a r i e t y of l i f e that the a r t i s t f i n d s h i s material.20 88 L i k e the hope of a c h i e v i n g a p e r f e c t a u t h e n t i c i t y i n Ki n d h e i t s m u s t e r , the n o t i o n of an ab s o l u t e j u s t i c e f u n c t i o n s both as a c e n t r a l thematic f o c u s , and a f e r v e n t p e r s o n a l a s p i r a t i o n on the par t of the n a r r a t o r - p r o t a g o n i s t . The c e n t r a l paradox of Adam K i n d l ' s l i f e i s p r e c i s e l y that w h i l e he can f i n d no evidence t h a t i t i s p o s s i b l e to e x e r c i s e an i m p a r t i a l j u s t i c e i n the w o r l d , he i s a judge by p r o f e s s i o n and must n e v e r t h e l e s s continue t o judge, and to ma i n t a i n the p r e t e x t t h a t h i s judgments are v a l i d and necessary, and that they c o n t r i b u t e to the good of s o c i e t y . In r e a l i t y , he i s t o r n w i t h doubts: Kann man denn G e r e c h t i g k e i t vlben i n e i n e r Welt, deren Gleichgewicht v o l l i g g e s t S r t i s t ? Was g i l t schon e i n Leben wenn M i l l i o n e n g e t o t e t werden...? For Adam K i n d l , the q u e s t i o n of j u s t i c e t r a n s l a t e s , on the pe r s o n a l l e v e l , i n t o the q u e s t i o n : I s i t p o s s i b l e to judge at a l l ? What f i n a l l y t r i g g e r s the l a s t step i n a long p e r i o d of growing d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t , w i t h h i s p r o f e s s i o n i s Adam K i n d l ' s own " t r i a l by f i r e " i n the form of a t e s t c a s e -K a r e l K o z l i k - put before him to f o r c e him, once and f o r a l l , to r e v e a l where h i s l o y a l t i e s l i e , i n the end. He must a l i g n h i m s e l f openly w i t h the higher a u t h o r i t i e s , or face t h e i r wrath, and any number of r e p e r c u s s i o n s , which he knows to be grave. His work w i t h the case of K a r e l K o z l i k demonstrates t h a t K i n d l can no longer judge h i s own motives, i n t e n t i o n s , and behaviour w i t h c e r t a i n t y . Whatever e l s e the f u t u r e h o l d s , he d e c l i n e s to pass judgment on another human being: V i e l e s von dem, was er getan h a t t e , e r s c h i e n ihm a l l e r d i n g s u n e r k l a r l i c h , und er konnte n i c h t b e u r t e i l e n , ob es gut oder s c h l e c h t gewesen war, r i c h t i g oder f a l s c h . ^ l S i m i l a r l y , he i s unable to pronounce a judgment on K a r e l K o z l i k , and r e s o l v e s 89 to abdicate h i s career i n the middle of h i s l i f e , with no idea of what i s to follow, i n order to r e t a i n what i n t e g r i t y remains to him. The adult narrator i n Kindheitsmuster r e c a l l s N e l l y ' s frequent confus-ion of emotions i n s t r a t e g i c s i t u a t i o n s , and r e f l e c t s : Wie s o l l t e s i e ahnen, dass das Ertragen eines schlechten Gewissens unter den waltenden Verh'altnissen eine notwendige B edingung zur inneren F r e i h e i t war?22 Adam Kind l ' s f i n a l i n a b i l i t y to judge, I would suggest, l i k e N e l l y ' s inner c o n f l i c t and sense of bad f a i t h , give evidence that t h e i r consciences have remained i n t a c t , despite tremendous ex t e r n a l pressure to s i l e n c e them. In the l i t e r a r y works of Ivan Klima, every person s u f f e r s one or another form of i n j u s t i c e , and i t becomes every i n d i v i d u a l ' s choice i n turn, e i t h e r to promulgate i t w i t h i n his/her own l i f e , or to attempt to break the 23 v i c i o u s s e l f - p e r p e t u a t i n g c i r c l e : "der T e u f e l k r e i s von Mord und Rache." In the f i r s t of three s t o r i e s that comprise Machtspiele. 1977, Matthias Leonard, j u r y member, faces the e t h i c a l dilemma of e i t h e r sanctioning an execution that has already been c a r r i e d out, thereby ensuring the continued s e c u r i t y of h i s present l i f e , or of speaking h i s true opinion and preserving hi s i n t e g r i t y , thereby endangering the welfare of h i s e n t i r e family as w e l l as h i s own. Here, as i n Klima's play, "The Jury", an e a r l i e r v e r s i o n of the same story, the question i s not: Was the defendent t r u l y g u i l t y ? - but rather: " W i l l the j u r y perform i t s task as puppets of an a u t h o r i t y that has made up i t s mind?" Or, as the young medical student asks Matthias: "Konnte es n i c h t 24 s e i n , dass d i e Zeugen schuldig sind und der Angeklagte n i c h t ? " P a i n s t a k i n g l y , Matthias Leonard makes h i s d e c i s i o n , only to l e a r n that i n expressing a d i s s e n t i n g view, he too has served unwittingly as the missing spoke i n the wheel of o f f i c i a l j u s t i c e : "...dass eben dadurch der trugerische 90 E i n d r u c k von einem u n p a r t e i i s c h e n G e r i c h t e n s t a n d . " H i s a g o n i z i n g m o r a l d e c i -25 s i o n has p r o v i d e d the e n t i r e p r o c e e d i n g s w i t h the appearance o f a u t h e n t i c i t y . S i m i l a r l y , i n Der G n a d e n r i c h t e r , t h e m a t t e r of K a r e l K o z l i k ' s g u i l t or i n n o c e n c e i s f a r l e s s u rgent than t h e q u e s t i o n whether and how the autonomy o f i n d i v i d u a l c o n s c i e n c e can be p r e s e r v e d i n s p i t e o f t h e enormous p r e s s u r e e x e r t -ed on the i n d i v i d u a l , t o a b d i c a t e h i s m o r a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o the S t a t e . Adam K i n d l knows t h a t the K a r e l K o z l i k case i s not a n o t h e r "normal c a s e " ; t h a t i f he does not pronounce t h e judgment exp e c t e d o f him, h i s p r o f e s -s i o n a l days a r e numbered. The a c t u a l r e a s o n why t h e S t a t e has d e c i d e d t h a t K o z l i k must be found g u i l t y i s not made c l e a r n or does i t s t r i k e the r e a d e r as i m p o r t a n t . S i g n i f i c a n t i s t h a t K i n d l i s not p e r m i t t e d to. a c t as an independent j u d g e , but as a mouthpiece o f the S t a t e ' s d e c i s i o n . I t i s i r o n i c t h a t a n o v e l c o n c e r n e d w i t h the q u e s t i o n o f j u s t i c e u l -t i m a t e l y p o s i t s an absence r a t h e r t h a n an answer t h e absence o f a n y t h i n g r e m o t e l y r e s e m b l i n g j u s t i c e i n t h a t s o c i e t y . C u r i o u s l y , Der G n a d e n r i c h t e r i s i n f a c t , a n o v e l about v a r i e t i e s o f unfreedom and t h e i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f j u d g i n g . Adam K i n d l f i n d s h i m s e l f u n a b l e t o d e t e r m i n e g u i l t o r i n n o c e n c e i n the c a s e o f K a r e l K o z l i k . Y e t the S t a t e a l l o w s him n e i t h e r the p o s s i b i l i t y o f ( p e r s o n a l ) u n c e r t a i n t y nor o f clemency towards the d e f e n d e n t : t h e r e f o r e , K i n d l i s n o t f r e e t o j u d g e . The i n n e r freedom which i s h i s s o l e c o m f o r t under the p r e -v a i l i n g c o n d i t i o n s i s made i m p o s s i b l e . The c e n t r a l c o n c e r n s o f the n o v e l can be d e f i n e d b e s t i n n e g a t i v e terms. E s s e n t i a l t o K l i m a ' s c o n c e p t o f how the machinery of o f f i c i a l j u s t i c e f u n c t i o n s , i s the i d e a o f r o l e s - t h a t t h e r e w i l l always be t h o s e d e s i g n a t e d as " t h e g u i l t y " and "the i n n o c e n t " and t h a t t h e d i v i s i o n between them i s a r b i -t r a r y . The n o t i o n appears r e p e a t e d l y i n h i s w r i t i n g s t h a t the r o l e s c o u l d j u s t as e a s i l y be r e v e r s e d and t h a t i n h i s t o r y , t h i s i s p r e c i s e l y what happens: 91 ...Das i s t a l s o d i e G e r e c h t i g k e i t . . . d e r eine w i r d angeklagt, der andere i s t der R i c h t e r , der d r i t t e der Bewacher, warum? Man konnte d i e R o l l e n j e d e r z e i t vertauschen.... In the i n t r o d u c t i o n to her book, Metaphors of E v i l , Hamida Bosmajian suggests: " I n one way or another, a l l the l i t e r a r y works which I w i l l d i s c u s s i n t h i s study have at the core a f a i l u r e of l o v e . " She subsequently quotes Theodor Adorno, (Erziehung nach Au s c h w i t z ) : ...every person today, without e x c e p t i o n , f e e l s not s u f -f i c i e n t l y loved because no one can love enough. The i n c a p a c i t y f o r an empathetic i d e n t i f i c a t i o n was unquestion-a b l y the most important p s y c h o l o g i c a l reason t h a t made i t p o s s i b l e f o r Auschwitz to occur among r e l a t i v e l y proper and harmless human beings. Bosmajian concludes t h a t : "The r e f u s a l to l o v e , motivated by the f a i l u r e to r e c e i v e l o v e , i s the v i c i o u s c i r c l e t h a t d e f i n e s the ground of d e p r i v a t i o n i n 27 the l i t e r a t u r e w r i t t e n i n the shadow of N a z i i s m . " Although Bosmajian r e s t r i c t s her d i s c u s s i o n to the work of German-language w r i t e r s and does not i n c l u d e Wolf's Ki n d h e i t s m u s t e r , she could e a s i l y have d i s c u s s e d both Kindheitsmuster and Der Gnadenrichter i n r e l a t i o n to her t h e s i s . Both novels r e v e a l a dearth of l o v i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s . N e l l y , i n K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , senses love only i n r a r e and f l e e t i n g mo-ments, and i t i s g e n e r a l l y as a c u r i o u s , e l u s i v e l a c k . The n a r r a t o r r e c a l l s a f a m i l y photograph taken by a f r i e n d , not long a f t e r C h a r l o t t e Jordan's mysterious m i s c a r r i a g e : Was man n i c h t sehen kann - N e l l y l a c h t auf dem B i l d - > i s t e i n e A r t Auszehrung, d i e r a p i d e s c h n e l l um s i c h g r e i f t , und auf d i e N e l l y , d i e s i c h nichts e r k l a r e n kann, mit An-f a l i e n von Schwermut antwortet. Es w i l l i h r n i c h t g e l i n g e n , d i e Beschadigung der Fingernagelrander e i n z u s t e l l e n . Musst du d i r denn s e l b e r weh tun, K i n d ! , aber s i e kann es n i c h t 92 lassen, obwohl s i e f u h l t , dass s i e etwas Verwerfliches t u t . . . . S i e kann es k o r p e r l i c h spuren, wie i h r e Achtung von s i c h s e l b s t weiter schwindet....Lieblosigkeit i s t e i n schauerliches Geheimnis. The expression of love i n times when one's s u r v i v a l i s at stake, i s considered by those around N e l l y as a luxury not to be indulged i n . The n a r r a t o r comments i n the Horst Binder episode: "Nirgendwo wird so abgrundtief geschwiegen wie i n deutschen Familien." - and one suspects that the presence or absence of love, as w e l l as of knowledge, were l e f t unacknowledged and unspoken. Concerning the l i f e l o n g dispute between Char l o t t e Jordan and L i s b e t h Radde, the narrator comments: i^Erst a l s Charlotte im Sterben l a g , brach e i n Strom ver-z w e i f e l t e r Schwesterliege aus Liesbeth Radde, di e k-einer i h r nun glauben w o l l t e ausser d i r : Durch des Tod der einen Schwester war der Kampf entschieden, d i e andere konnte e n d l i c h lieben^28 In Der Gnadenrichter, everyone from Adam K i n d l to Karel Kozlfk exper-iences "the r e f u s a l to love, motivated by the f a i l u r e to receive l o v e . " The traumatic "years at Theresienstadt leave Adam with the determination: "Mein Herz an niemanden und nichts mehr zu hangen, wo a l l e und a l l e s nur zur Ver-nichtung v e r u r t e i l t i s t . " Upon the unforewarned departure of h i s f r i e n d Mirek, to the West, Adam s t i f l e s h i s pain at the l o s s of h i s f r i e n d , and decides: ...nicht mehr an ihn zu denken, mich wie e i n Mann zu ver-halten. Darunter verstand i c h , hart zu s e i n - vor allem mir s e l b s t gegenuber: Nie mehr grossen Emotionen e r l i e g e n , nie mehr jemandem r u c k h a l t l o s v e r t r a u e n / 9 Adam K i n d l himself i s not sure whether the word "love" a p p l i e s to h i s f e e l i n g s f o r the women i n h i s l i f e . With Magdalena, he remembers having thought once i n the d i s t a n t past, that he loved her: "Er fand es sonderbar, dass er d i e s e Frau einmal g e l i e b t , dass er d i e s e n Korper begehrt und l i e b -k o s t v . . . " Magdalena r e f l e c t s on t h e i r e a r l i e r r e l a t i o n s h i p and informs Adam: "Mir war es k l a r , dass du mich n i c h t so]_i eben kannst wie i c h d i c h . Es war v i e l l e i c h t gar n i c h t deine Schuld, dass du dazu u n f a h i g warst....Man hat d i r z u v i e l angetan, a l s du k l e i n warst." L a t e r , she adds i n a l e t t e r to Adam: Du w o l l t e s t g e l i e b t werden. Du w o l l t e s t auch l i e b e n , aber keine Konsequenzen daraus'ziehen. Vor a l l e m hast Du Dich n i c h t v e r p f l i c h t e t oder wenigstens v e r a n l a s s t g e f u h l t , auf den P a r t n e r einzugehen. Adam's w i f e Alena asks f o r reassurance t h a t he lo v e s her and he can-not answer: "Er wusste n i c h t ob er seine Frau l i e b t e . " Alena longs f o r " w i r k l i c h e L i e b e " which she does not f i n d w i t h Adam, and subsequently searches f o r i t i n a k i b b u t z l i f e s t y l e and i n r e l i g i o n : "Auch i h r f e h l t e d i e L i e b e . Immer h a t t e s i e Liebe ersehnt und b e s t e n f a l l s Sex gefunden." As Alena longs f o r a word of lo v e from Adam, he i n t u r n d e s i r e s i t from Alexandra: "Wenn s i e mir wenigstens e i n l i e b e s Wort gonnen wurde! E i n z a r t l i c h e s . E i n menschliches. Einen Hoffnungsschimmer, dass s i e doch mit mir empfindet." One suspects, along w i t h the Prague reviewer, I.K., that i t i s Alexandra's otherness, her t o t a l d i f f e r e n c e from h i m s e l f , t h a t f a s c i n a t e Adam K i n d l and m a i n t a i n h i s d e s i r e f o r her, even a f t e r he has acknowledged he does not lo v e her. While t r a v e l l i n g i n England, Adam r e f l e c t s upon h i s y o u t h f u l dreams of heroism and worldwide r e c o g n i t i o n : I c h glaube n i c h t , dass i c h ruhmsuchtig war, i c h sehnte mich nach dem I n t e r e s s e anderer Menschen, nach L i e b e , H if nach Unabhangigkeit...nach einem Nachsten, der mich l i e b e n wurde und den i c h l i e b e n k o n n t e . . . S t a t t dessen wurde i c h immer einsamer und verkrampfte mich immer mehr. 94 The e f f e c t s of the l a c k of love are most g r a p h i c a l l y evident i n the l i f e of Karel K o z l i k , whose d e p r i v a t i o n was the most severe. Considered by h i s mother at the time of h i s b i r t h , as something that was done to her, she disposed of him as r a p i d l y as p o s s i b l e l i k e an unwanted pet, and he i s handed on whenever he becomes an inconvenience. He i s disclaimed by everyone, with the p o s s i b l e exception of h i s g i r l f r i e n d , Libuse Kornerova, at the end of h i s l i f e . His own mother has no o b j e c t i o n to her son's impending execution: "Wenn er d i e A l t e umgebracht hat, dann s o l l e n s i e ihn hangen, er verdient's n i c h t besser. The f u n c t i o n of the "Traume und Alptraume" passages i n Der Gnaden- r i c h t e r remains somewhat unclear i n s p i t e of Klima's remarks i n the introduc-tory l e t t e r to h i s reader, i n which he speaks of: "...hochfliegenden Traumen (die s i c h g r o s s t e n t e i l s zwar auf der Ebene n a c h t l i c h e r Phantastereien und il u n M Angste/TRAUME UND ALPTRAUME/ halte n , t e i l w e i s e aber auch seine fruhere Hand-31 lungsweise b e e i n f l u s s t haben..." Klima suggests that these dreams are one way i n which Adam K i n d l a r r i v e s at a sense of h u m i l i t y and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with the world. As a general comment, I would suggest that these passages are too r e a l i s t i c a l l y drawn to be understood as a c t u a l dreams and that t h e i r "meaning" functions at a r e a l i s t i c rather than a symbolic l e v e l . The inner l o g i c of the dreams passages i s i d e n t i c a l to that of K i n d l ' s waking world, and they are coherent, c h r o n o l o g i c a l , and s e q u e n t i a l . The f i n a l e f f e c t i s that of a moral 32 f a b l e rather than an a c t u a l dream. As i n Klima's d i v i s i o n of K i n d l ' s story i n t o past and present, the passages e n t i t l e d TRAUME UND ALPTRAUME and DOKUMENTE, s t r a t e g i c a l l y s p l i c e d i n t o the main n a r r a t i v e i n a l t e r n a t e chapters, work together to form a l i t e r -ary mosaic that sets i n d i v i d u a l human a s p i r a t i o n against h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i t i e s . 95 S i m i l a r l y to the memory passages - "Bevor w i r aus dem F l u s s Lethe t r i n k e n " -Adam's dreams cover a p e r i o d of approximately t h i r t y y e a r s , but not the same t h i r t y y e a r s . They take him from e a r l y adulthood to the age of perhaps s i x t y years. They p o s i t a v a r i e t y of ways i n which Adam K i n d l would l i k e to e f f e c t some p o s i t i v e change i n the w o r l d , and a l s o a p r o g r e s s i o n of means by which he might achieve t h i s . The DOKUMENTE passages counter these i d e a l s w i t h i n -d i s p u t a b l e h i s t o r i c a l evidence, from the words of Moses i n the Old Testament, to the words of Hannah Arendt, a n a l y z i n g our own times, that i n r e a l i t y , a r b i -t r a r i n e s s and i n j u s t i c e win out over h e r o i c i d e a l s and conduct. The i m p l i c i t s uggestion i s t h a t t h i s w i l l continue to be the case. As A l i c e informs K i n d l : "...Helden s e i e n n i c h t g e f r a g t . Heutzutage werden Leute bevorzugt, d i e s i c h v e r n u n f t i g und gemassigt v e r h a l t e n . Klima's use of the heading - TRAUME UND ALPTRAUME - i s perhaps i l l u m -i n a t e d by h i s d i s c u s s i o n "Aus der W e r k s t a t t " - an e p i l o g u e to the s t o r y , Hopfenernte. Here he d i s c u s s e s the a c t u a l dream that prompted the n o v e l l a , and suggests the i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y n i g h t m a r i s h q u a l i t y of dream and waking r e a l i t y . He i s f a s c i n a t e d by, " d i e T r a u m h a f t i g k e i t v i e l e r E r i e g n i s s e unseres Lebens." Ich schrecke m i t t e n i n der Nacht aus einem Traum hoch, und schon kommt mir etwas durch und durch Reales i n den S i n n , was mir jedoch wegen s e i n e r M o n s t r o s i t a t alptraumhaft v o r -kommt....Traum und W i r k l i c h k e i t gehen ineinander uber.... A c t i o n s which are i m p o s s i b l e i n everyday l i f e are r e a l i z e d i n dreams: u " B e i Tage wagt es s i c h n a t u r l i c h n i c h t hervor, aber nachts g e l i n g t es ihm m i t -ii u n t e r , meiner A u f s i c h t zu entkommen und mir a n s c h a u l i c h vorzufuhren, wie i c h 34 mich v e r h a l t e n s o l l t e . " II II The f i r s t passage of TRAUME UND ALPTRAUME co n t a i n s a great d e a l of C h r i s t - i m a g e r y yet i s , i n one sense, an i r o n i c a n t i - C h r i s t i a n a l l e g o r y . I t 96 begins w i t h the extremely C h r i s t i a n n o t i o n of f o r s a k i n g Heaven (fame and f o r -tune as a f o o t b a l l hero) to come to e a r t h , (darkest A f r i c a ) i n order to feed the hungry and h e a l the s i c k . The "dreamed Adam" has a newspaper c l i p p i n g that t e s t i f i e s to h i s benevolence: " K i n d l geht nach S c h w a r z a f r i k a , um auf Schweitzers Spuren seine K r a f t e i n den Di e n s t der Menschheit zu s t e l l e n . " The young hero has decided t h a t fame, f o r t u n e , and women, cannot be c o n s i d e r a -t i o n s f o r someone w i t h a m i s s i o n i n l i f e : "Seine b i s h e r i g e Lebensweise war e i g e n t l i c h nur eine V o r b e r e i t u n g auf d i e Zukunft gewesen, auf das, was er k u n f t i g v o l l b r i n g e n musste, wenn s e i n Leben n i c h t ungenutzt v e r s t r e i c h e n s o l l t e . " At the age of t h i r t y , he t r a v e l s to A f r i c a d e s p i t e the warnings and discouragement of h i s f r i e n d s , and proceeds to h e a l the s i c k , t r e a t epidemics, spread the gospel of modern hygiene, and begin the pl a n n i n g of h i s "Stadt der Li e b e " as w e l l as b r i n g a kingdom of l o v e and harmony to the n a t i v e s . He singlehandedly engineers a miraculous rescue of h i s f u t u r e w i f e , E l i s a b e t h from a f i r e - b r e a t h i n g volcano, and t e l l s her: " I c h b i n gekommen um S i e n i c h t a l l e i n zu l a s s e n . " As d i v i n e compensation f o r h i s s e l f l e s s n e s s , he i n a d v e r t e n t l y stumbles i n t o m a t e r i a l wealth i n the form of a diamond mine: "Nun gehorte auch Adam, der n i c h t s d e r g l e i c h e n ersehnt h a t t e , zu den r e i c h s t e n Mannern der Erde." Nevertheless he t r a v e l s to I n d i a to s o l v e the famine, works on a cure f o r cancer, d i s c o v e r s a way to harness s o l a r energy, i s awarded a Nobel P r i z e , II begets two sons, and p r e d i c t s : " d i e b a l d i g e Uberwindung von A l t e r und Tod." The e n v i s i o n e d and subsequently r e a l i z e d "Stadt der L i e b e " , completed f o r h i s t h i r t y - f i f t h b i r t h d a y , i s p a r a d i s a l and rem i n i s c e n t of St. John's d e s c r i p t i o n of Heaven i n the Book of R e v e l a t i o n s . A l l that remains f o r K i n d l i s , " e i n H e i l m i t t e l gegen das A l t e r n zu entdecken." the e a r t h l y working out 35 of e t e r n a l l i f e . 97 K i n d l ' s zealous a c t i v i t y however, b r i n g s on a c o l l a p s e , and w h i l e r e -c u p e r a t i n g , he i s f o r c e d to slow down. The r e a l i z a t i o n comes to him t h a t : "Die Welt war zu v i e l f a l t i g , e r f a s s t zu werden, d i e Menschheit so z a h l r e i c h , i, II II dass es unmoglich war, a l l e s f u r s i e zu tun, was s i e b e n o t i g t e . I t becomes c l e a r to him that f a r from i n i t i a t i n g an e r a of harmony and b r o t h e r l y l o v e , h i s dream w i l l not o u t l i v e h i m s e l f : " A l l e s l o s t s i c h im Meer d e r ' Z e i t auf, a l l e gehen i n der Menge der immer neu hinzukommenden Menschen u n t e r . " Destroyed by the volcano he would be dust returned to dust: "Er wurde zum Himmel a u f s t e i g e n wie eine f e u r i g e Wolke": but not as C h r i s t ascending i n t o Heaven. As he u n w i t t i n g l y foresees h i s own death, he beseeches Heaven, but he r e c e i v e s no reassurance from - "dem fremden Himmel...nach wie vor g l e i c h g u l t i g gegeniiber a l i e n menschlichen Hohenflugen, Absturzen, Traumen und Alptraumen. He foresees three days-of s i l e n t mourning a f t e r which he does not r i s e from the dead, l i f e resumes as normal, and h i s memory passes i n t o o b l i v i o n . The f i n a l e f f e c t of t h i s passage i s one of s e l f - i r o n i z a t i o n . I t pro-v i d e s a mocking comment on the f a t e of those who, l i k e Adam K i n d l , e n v i s i o n themselves as Saviour of a world that does not want to be, and perhaps cannot be, saved. In the dreams th a t f o l l o w , K i n d l ' s humanitarian n o t i o n s take on more s p e c i f i c , more f e a s i b l e , and i n c r e a s i n g l y s e c u l a r p r o p o r t i o n s , as he heads the r e v o l u t i o n a r y c o u n c i l i n London - "der L l e b l i n g des V o l k e s " - then imagines h i m s e l f and Matej l e a d i n g t h e i r s t a l w a r t f o r c e of n i n e t y men a g a i n s t the p o l i c e i n Prague, i n order to a b o l i s h the s e c u r i t y department and e s t a b l i s h a 36 r new government. The s i t u a t i o n they cope w i t h here i s much more r e a l . F i n a l l y i n the l a s t dream, i n the penultimate chapter of the n o v e l , u only Alptraume remain. Adam K i n d l i s a l o n e , secluded on h i s l i t t l e patch of 98 land and l i v i n g i n constant dread t h a t even t h a t w i l l be taken away from him. He holds h i m s e l f r e s p o n s i b l e f o r h i s son's and daughter's d i f f i c u l t i e s i n se c u r i n g a p o s i t i o n . In t h i s grim a n t i c i p a t i o n of o l d age, the supremacy of the P o l i c e has been openly acknowledged and they have r i s e n to e l i t e s t a t u s , and l i v e e n t i r e l y apart from the r e s t of the p o p u l a t i o n . That the o l d man's s u s p i c i o n s of h i s own impending e x t e r m i n a t i o n are not groundless or u n r e a l i s t i c , i s i m p l i e d by h i s son's i n a d v e r t e n t c o n f i r m a -t i o n t h e r e o f . The son responds that even i n the event t h a t these f e a r s should be v a l i d , the process would not be c a r r i e d out as Adam imagines. We know, of course, (even from Kindheitsmuster) t h a t f a r from being a product of a s e n i l e i m a g i n a t i o n , programs of j u s t t h i s order were c a r r i e d out du r i n g Adam K i n d l ' s l i f e t i m e , by H i t l e r , i n N a z i Germany. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t the dreams s h r i n k the dimensions of Adam K i n d l ' a m b i t i o n s , so th a t the same man who set out c o n f i d e n t l y to save the world w i t h h i s d i s c o v e r y of a formula a g a i n s t o l d age d i s c o v e r s i n the f i n a l episode, that he cannot even save h i m s e l f . Where he once concerned h i m s e l f w i t h u n i -v e r s a l m a t t e r s , he i s now caught up i n a n x i e t y about how he w i l l manage to feed h i m s e l f . The f i n a l i m p l i c a t i o n t h a t he i s to be exterminated i n the St a t euthanasia program suggests that Adam K i n d l i s h i m s e l f sentenced t o death -perhaps f o r h i s f a i l u r e to r e a l i z e h i s great a s p i r a t i o n s . I f as he r e f l e c t s e a r l i e r : "Jeder M e n s c h . . . v e r u r t e i l t jemandem zum Tode," - one suspects t h a t i n h i s dreams, Adam K i n d l has pronounced h i s own death sentence. The i r o n y that c h a r a c t e r i z e d the f i r s t passage of TRAUME UND ALPTRAUME and t h a t i s present to a l e s s e r degree i n the two that f o l l o w , i s absent i n the l a s t passage. The s i t u a t i o n here i s d e p i c t e d w i t h a f r i g h t e n i n g sense of r e a l i s m and r e a l i t y , to the extent that one cou l d almost confuse i t w i t h the c e n t r a l n a r r a t i v e , were i t not f o r the s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e i n K i n d l ' s age. 99 As the v i s i o n of a Utopian Humanistic S o c i a l i s m fades, the dark face of p o l i t i -c a l r e a l i t y s u r f a c e s , and q u i t e l i t e r a l l y , as Klima suggests i n Hopfenernte: "Traum und W i r k l i c h k e i t gehen i n e i n a n d e r u b e r . " " ^ Although Der Gnadenrichter p u r p o r t s to be the s t o r y of a man who i s by p r o f e s s i o n , a judge, the course of Adam K i n d l ' s p r o f e s s i o n a l c a r e e r i s l e f t hazy and unexplored. In t h i s regard I agree w i t h I.K. (the Prague reviewer) who notes the amazing l a c k of d e t a i l concerning the t r i a l s which Adam K i n d l 38 has presumedly conducted, and the sentences he has passed. The only accounts of sentences and executions are those l i s t e d i n the " A l t s t a d t e r R i n g " passages, where the author l i s t s dozens of death-sentences pronounced i n the h i s t o r i c a l t p a s t , and the v a r i o u s modes of e x e c u t i o n i n which they were c a r r i e d out. We are t o l d \of one case - "mein e r s t e r 'grosser F a l l ' " - that of Herr H z a b o l c i k , which i s deemed " p o l i t i s c h sehr w i c h t i g " by the a u t h o r i t i e s and i s a l s o Adam K i n d l ' s f i r s t important t e s t c a s e . I t prompts a c r i s i s of conscience f o r K i n d l but a f t e r a s l e e p l e s s n i g h t of b a t t l i n g a g a i n s t h i s c o n v i c t i o n s , he s u r v i v e s the c r i t i c a l moment. The q u e s t i o n - "Wie s o l l t e i c h mein: S c h u l d i g ! aussprechen?" i s answered w i t h the f a c t t h a t : " I c h war auch der P a r t e i v e r -a n t w o r t l i c h . " Ich v e r u r t e i l t e Herrn Szabo i « k zu d r e i e i n h a l b Jahren Gefangnis und weiss n i c h t , was i c h anderes zu meiner R e c h t f e r t i g u n g v o r b r i n g e n Konnte a l s d i e Tatsache, dass i c h i n einem Vakuum, i n der Unklammerung, im f e s t e n Wurgegriff e i n e r Logik von Folgerungen l e b t e , deren Pramissen l a n g s t niemand mehr u b e r p r u f t e , d i e aber a l s g u l t i g und u n e r s c h u t t e r l i c h g a i t e n 3 9 Here, Adam K i n d l admits that he d i d not seek j u s t i c e but f o l l o w e d an estab-l i s h e d p a t t e r n i n s t e a d ; that he d i d not q u e s t i o n - but accepted p a s s i v e l y . The present time i n Der Gnadenrichter marks another c r i s i s p o i n t i n the p r o f e s s i o n a l and e t h i c a l l i f e of Adam K i n d l . But w h i l e the f i r s t c r i s i s xuu concerned a matter of a few years i n the defendant's l i f e , here i t has become a matter of l i f e and death; l i t e r a l l y , f o r K a r e l K o z l l k , and s p i r i t u a l l y , f o r Adam K i n d l . F o r m a l l y i t i s K a r e l K o z l l k who i s on t r i a l i n Der Gnadenrichter. In r e a l i t y h i s t r i a l i s not the main concern. The r e a l t r i a l conducted i n the novel i s t h a t of Adam K i n d l . Perhaps one might say r a t h e r , t h a t s e v e r a l t r i a l s are conducted i n the lengthy course of Der Gnadenrichter. O f f i c i a l l y , K i n d l i s i n charge of the t r i a l of K a r e l K o z l l k , accused of murdering two women; Frau Obensdorfova and her young granddaughter. But the u n d e r l y i n g s i t u a t i o n i s s i m i l a r to th a t i n Klima's M a c h t s p i e l e , where: ...the accused i s of minor importance, i t i s the j u r y who i s on t r i a l here - a group of o r d i n a r y people faced w i t h the c h o i c e between making a d e c i s i o n to the best of t h e i r conscience and p u t t i n g a stamp of approval on a case t h a t has a l r e a d y been d e c i d e d . ^ The t r i a l of K a r e l K o z l l k runs c o u n t e r p o i n t to the u n o f f i c i a l t r i a l of Adam K i n d l , S t a t e Judge, who i s given a t e s t c a s e by the a u t h o r i t i e s . He i s t r i e d a l s o i n order to determine the moral a u t h e n t i c i t y of h i s l i f e , by the n a r r a t o r of the t h i r d person passages; and by the reader, who decides how c r e d i b l e and i n s i g h t f u l Adam's account of h i s l i f e i s , and what i s to be made, f i n a l l y , of t h i s l i f e . Although Adam K i n d l , i n a moment of b i t t e r n e s s , doubts the valu e of a s i n g l e l i f e i n the face of thousands of murdered i n n o c e n t s , perhaps i t i s u l t -i m a t e l y i n the i n d i v i d u a l l i f e alone t h a t s i g n i f i c a n t change can and must occur. In keeping w i t h the other negative d e f i n i t i o n s which d e l i n e a t e the p r o t a g o n i s t ' s predominant concerns, K i n d l e f f e c t s a form of j u s t i c e i n the very d e c i s i o n to step down from h i s p r o f e s s i o n and whatever s l i m comfort and s e c u r i t y i t pro-101 vides; i n d i c a t i n g thereby that wherever h i s personal l o y a l t i e s may l i e , i t i s not with a State-authorized concept and p r a c t i c e of Law and J u s t i c e . 102 FOOTNOTES Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, p. 664. 2 I b i d . 3 I b i d . 4 I b i d . 5 I b i d . 6 I b i d . pp. 351, 428, 422, 108. pp. 7, 8. pp. 93, 21, 125, 126. pp. 625, 667, 671. p. Wolf's narrator s i m i l a r l y determines to leave blank the gaps i n her memory: "Doch b l e i b t es dabei, dass Erfindungen ausscheiden und die Erinnerung und Erinnerungen, d i e Erinnerung an Phantasien nur a l s In-formationen aus zweiter Hand verwendet werden konnen, a l s Spiegelungen, n i c h t a l s R e a l i t a t . " . 7 I b i d . , p. 108. g Merivale, pp. 6, 7. 9 Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, pp. 624, 625. Let t e r s to Mr. Spiess, 1970. Lederer, pp. 113, 114. 12 Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, pp. 9, 112, 13, 425. 13 E l a i n e F e i n s t e i n , "Poetry and Conscience," i n Women Writing and Writing about Women, ed. Mary Jacobus (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1979) p. 56, 14 Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, pp. 184, 504, 224. Klima, E i n Liebessommer, trans. A. und G. Baumrucker, (Frankfurt: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1976), pp. 65,67. Klima, Hopfenernte, trans. A. und G. Baumrucker, (Luzern: Reich Verlag, 1977), p. 16. ^ Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, pp. 97, 97 , 281. 103 18 This i s re m i n i s c e n t of course, of Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T. i n which both the anonymous n a r r a t o r and the p r o t a g o n i s t , C h r i s t a T., are ob-v i o u s l y a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l . 19 C h r i s t a Wolf a l s o makes s i g n i f i c a n t use of B i b l i c a l symbolism and f i g u r e s . In one of the n a r r a t o r ' s frequent dreams i n Kindhe i t smus t e r , she w r i t e s a pos t c a r d to H., her husband, w i t h the message: " L i e b e r H., hast du geschrieben, j e t z t b i n i c h n i c h t mehr der a l t e Adam, sondern e i n neuer. J e t z t i s t a l l e s von mir a b g e f a l l e n . Dein a l t e r Adam." (p. 447). 20 Marketa Goetz-Stankiewicz, The S i l e n c e d Theater: Czech P l a y w r i g h t s Without a Stage, (Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto P r e s s , 1979), p. 125. 21 K l i m a , Der Gnadenrichter, pp. 361, 670i 22 Wolf, K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , p. 268. 23 K l i m a , Der Gnadenrichter, p. 515. 24 Goetz-Stankiewicz, p. 129. 25 Ivan K l i m a , M a c h t s p i e l e , t r a n s A. und G. Baumrucker, (Luzern: Reich V e r l a g , 1977), pp. 9, 67, 68. 26 K l i m a , Der Gnadenrichter, pp. 336, 337. 2 7 Q Bosmajian, P- y-28 Wolf, Ki n d h e i t s m u s t e r , pp. 294, 242, 349. 29 K l i m a , Der Gnadenrichter, pp. 49, 191; Wolf's n a r r a t o r d i s c u s s e s the e f f e c t s of denying o n e s e l f the experience of c e r t a i n emotions: it ...Wie s i e , indem s i e s e l b s t s i c h scheinbar z u r u c k z i e h e n , benachbarte Empfindungen mit s i c h nehmen. Nun v e r b i e t e t s i c h schon n i c h t mehr nur d i e Trauer, das Weh - auch Be-dauern i s t n i c h t mehr zugelassen und, vor a l l e m , d i e Erinnerung....Die Axt an der Wurzel. ( K i n d h e i t smus t e r j p. 321). 30 K l i m a , Der Gnadenrichter, pp. 13, 162, 355, 351, 435, 432, 519, 230. I b i d . , p. 6. 32 This i s i n contrast to the dreams of Wolf's narrator, which are not as much pr o j e c t i o n s of l o f t y a s p i r a t i o n s as symbolically rendered expressions of anxiety and transmutations of g u i l t and sorrow over her past as she s t i r s memory and new things come to consciousness. 33 Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, p. 428. 34 Klima, Hopfenernte, pp. 27, 28, 29, 25. 35 Klima, Per Gnadenrichter, pp. 77, 83, 84, 85; The theme of discover-ing a remedy against o l d age surfaces repeatedly i n Klima's f i c t i o n , notably i n E i n Liebessommer, where David Krempa, a b i o l o g i s t , engages i n research that w i l l r e v e a l the secrets of the aging process and allow him to prevent i t . 36 Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, pp. 85, 86, 87, 270, 37 Klima, Hopfenernte, p. 29. 38 Klima (the author) may have preferred f o r a v a r i e t y of reasons, to keep the novel general and a p p l i c a b l e abroad rather than l o c a l i z e d . Avoiding mention of s p e c i f i c known cases might also be a d e c i s i o n based on p o l i t i c a l circumspection, on h i s part. 39 Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, pp. 380, 381, 382. 40 Goetz-Stankiewicz, p. 129. 1 0 5 How am I to l i v e i n t h i s country, Where the f o o t c o n s t a n t l y touches The unburied bones of the c l o s e ones? I hear the v o i c e s , see l a u g h t e r s . I am unable To w r i t e a n y t h i n g , as f i v e hands Reach f o r my pen at once And order me to w r i t e t h e i r s t o r y , The s t o r y of t h e i r l i f e and death. I s i t p o s s i b l e t h a t I have been born To become a mournful w a i l e r ? I want to s i n g j o y f u l f e a s t s , Happy groves to which Shakespeare l e d me once. Please g i v e The poets a moment of j o y Or our world w i l l p e r i s h . I t i s madness to l i v e so, without a s m i l e And repeat two words Meant f o r you who are dead, For you whose share Was to be j o y Of deeds, thoughts and b o d i e s , of song and f e a s t , Two rescued words: Truth and j u s t i c e . ("In Warsaw") Czes^aw Mi£osz 106 CHAPTER THREE A s p i r a t i o n , Memory, and O b s t r u c t i o n i n Kindheitsmuster and Der Gnadenrichter The n a r r a t o r / p r o t a g o n i s t s of Kindheitsmuster and Der Gnadenrichter embark on a s p i r i t u a l journey towards an e n v i s i o n e d but u n c e r t a i n g o a l - by route of a simultaneous journey i n t o the pas t . They encounter o b s t a c l e s and detours t h a t impede t h e i r progress and t h r e a t e n to d i s r u p t the journey e n t i r e l y . The f i n a l g o a l of the n a r r a t o r / p r o t a g o n i s t s as w r i t e r s i s , through the process of " w r i t i n g - t h e m s e l v e s - f r e e " , to a r r i v e at a v i n d i c a t i o n of t h e i r s e l v e s and an a p o l o g i a f o r t h e i r lives.''" The n a r r a t o r s as human beings and as s u r v i v o r s seek i n both i n s t a n c e s , a str o n g e r and more r e a l i s t i c sense of i d e n t i t y . Wolf's n a r r a t o r speaks of a g r e a t e r p o t e n t i a l f o r opening up the f u -t u r e , made p o s s i b l e by a c l e a r i n g of the past: Im Z e i t a l t e r u n i v e r s a l e n Erinnerungsverlustes...haben w i r zu r e a l i s i e r e n , dass v o i l e geistesgegenwart nur auf dem Boden e i n e r lebendigen Vergangenheit moglich i s t . Je t i e f e r unsere Erinnerung geht, um so f r e i e r w i r d der Raum f u r das, dem a l l e unsere Hoffnung g i l t : der Zukunft. Both n a r r a t o r s a s p i r e towards the r e a l i z a t i o n , i n language and i n l i f e , of an I d e a l . Wolf's n a r r a t o r seeks an ab s o l u t e t r u t h f u l n e s s ( A u f r i c h t i g k e i t ) 1U/ that would e x i s t behind the f i l t e r of human consciousness and not be bound by the l i m i t s of that r e a l i t y which the w r i t e r has access t o : "eine v i e l f a c h ge-bundene Wahrheit: an s i c h s e l b s t gebunden, den M i t t e i l e n d e n , und den immer begrenzten F r e i h e i t s r a u m ; den er s i c h abgezwungen hat; gebunden an den, uber 2 den er aussagt, und n i c h t z u l e t z t an j e n e , denen d i e M i t t e i l u n g g i l t . " Klima's Adam K i n d l seeks an a b s o l u t e j u s t i c e . Impressed as a young man by the attempt of the Law; "das ganze Leben zu e r f a s s e n und ihm e i n System und Normen aufzuzwingen' 1; he has s i n c e d e s p a i r e d of f i n d i n g j u s t i c e ( G e r e c h t i g -3 k e i t ) i n the world. His i d e a l i s perhaps more i l l u s i v e than the n o t i o n of Truth t h a t Wolf's n a r r a t o r s u s t a i n s , because i t i s expounded o n l y i n negative terms, i n K i n d l ' s b i t t e r commentary about i t s absence. The d e s i r e to r e a l i z e these i d e a l s , both i n w r i t i n g and i n l i v i n g , and the knowledge t h a t t h i s i s i m p o s s i b l e , c r e a t e a constant t e n s i o n i n both n a r r a -t i v e s . In Kindheitsmuster t h i s t e n s i o n i s present throughout and i n Der  Gnadenrichter, more i n the account of K i n d l ' s e a r l i e r years than i n h i s present l i f e , I would suggest. In K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , the s e v e r i t y of the s t r u g g l e e v e n t u a l l y causes the p h y s i c a l c o l l a p s e of the n a r r a t o r and she ends up i n the h o s p i t a l : "Erschopfen von ausschopfen? Die schwere Versuchung, abzubrechen." She i s t o r n by: " d i e Notwendigkeit, s i c h a u s z u l i e f em, und d i e Unmoglichkeit, es zu tun"; but per-4 s i s t s i n the e f f o r t , n e v e r t h e l e s s . K i n d l ' s a s p i r a t i o n s to d i s c o v e r and e f f e c t a system of law based on j u s -t i c e , extremely nebulous from the b e g i n n i n g , d i s s i p a t e f u r t h e r w i t h the passing years. Although he has vague n o t i o n s of a "Stadt der L i e b e " as a p l a c e where people can l i v e i n harmony w i t h each o t h e r , he l a c k s from the beginning, a p r e c i s e d e f i n i t i o n of what i t i s he hopes to achieve. L o f t y dreams of sav i n g the world t e s t i f y to h i s benevolent and y o u t h f u l l y exaggerated 1U0 a s p i r a t i o n s , but not to any evidence of p o l i t i c a l p e r c e p t i o n s , p h i l o s o p h i c a l c o n v i c t i o n s , or even of c a r e f u l thought. Although he determines r e p e a t e d l y to set t h i n g s s t r a i g h t and to make h i s mark on the w o r l d , he i s always slow to f o l l o w through w i t h p r a c t i c a l a c t i o n . His ambitions are g r e a t , but the oppor-t u n i t i e s to c a r r y them out, s m a l l , and d i m i n i s h i n g through the yea r s . H i s energy too, i s drained by d e s p a i r , and f i n a l l y by apathy. In h i s middle-aged ye a r s , one f i n d s r e s i g n a t i o n i n the p l a c e of h i s e a r l i e r hopes, and c o n s i d e r a b l e b i t t e r n e s s i n the memory of h i s former i d e a l i s m . Upon v i s i t i n g h i s f a t h e r i n p r i s o n , accused of having l i b e l l o u s a t t i t u d e s , the young Adam K i n d l r e f l e c t s w i t h p a s s i o n and b i t t e r n e s s : Das i s t a l s o d i e Gerechtigkeit...wenn der e i n e , zwischen zwei Bewaffneten, n i c h t einmal seinen Sohn ansehen d a r f , das i s t G e r e c h t i g k e i t , der eine w i r d angeklagt, der andere i s t R i c h t e r , der d r i t t e der Bewacher, warum? Man kbnnte d i e R o l l e n j e d e r z e i t vertauschen. His f a t h e r has l o s t a l l hope of a j u s t r u l e , which he s u s t a i n e d d u r i n g the years immediately a f t e r the War. He t e l l s him q u i e t l y ; "Adam, das a l l e s i s t nur Luge und Betrug. Luge und Betrug.""' Wolf's n a r r a t o r suggests w i t h regard to the process of w r i t i n g : Im I d e a l f a l l s o l l t e n d i e S t r u k t u r e n des Erlebens s i c h mit den S t r u k t u r e n des Erzahlens decken. Dies ware, was an-ge s t r e b t w i r d : p h a n t a s t i s c h e Genauigkeit. (my emphasis) Her n a r r a t i v e goal of " f a n t a s t i c accuracy" i s expressed i n the j o i n t e n t e r p r i s e of l i v i n g and w r i t i n g as " A u f r i c h t i g k e i t " J which i s rendered by the t r a n s l a t o r s both as honesty and as a u t h e n t i c i t y , which, I b e l i e v e , i s c l o s e r to Wolf's sense of the word. The n a r r a t o r i n Kindheitsmuster l i e s awake at n i g h t and e n v i s i o n s the 109 p o s s i b i l i t y of a c h i e v i n g t h i s a u t h e n t i c i t y : Du s t e l l s t d i r v o r : A u f r i c h t i g k e i t n i c h t a l s e i n m a l i g e r K r a f t a k t , sondern a l s Z i e l , a l s Prozess mit M o g l i c h k e i t e n der Annaherung, i n k l e i n e n S c h r i t t e n , d i e auf einen noch unbekannten Boden f f i h r e n , von dem aus auf neue, heute noch u n v o r s t e l l b a r e Weise wieder l e i c h t e r und f r e i e r zu reden ware, o f f e n und nuchtern uber das, was i s t ; a l s o auch uber das, was war...("Was du noch h o f f e n kannst, / das w i r d doch s t e t s geboren.") In the c l e a r l i g h t of morning, however a very d i f f e r e n t view occupies her thought: Heute w e i s s t du, dass es im Z e i t a l t e r des Argwohns das a u f r i c h t i g e Wort n i c h t g i b t , w e i l der a u f r i c h t i g e Sprecher auf den angewiesen i s t , der a u f r i c h t i g zuhJJren w o l l t e , und w e i l dem, dem lange das v e r z e r r t e Echo s e i n e r Worte zuruck-s c h l a g t , d i e A u f r i c h t i g k e i t vergeht. Dagegen kann er n i c h t s machen....So konnen w i r n i c h t mehr genau sagen, was w i r e r f a h r e n haben. 6 The n a r r a t o r i s c o n t i n u a l l y t o r n between her glowing, i f r a t i o n a l l y anchored v i s i o n of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of t r u t h f u l n e s s and the wry knowledge that the v i s i o n i s Utopian and cannot be achieved. This tension n e v e r t h e l e s s c r e a t e s a powerful impetus f o r e v e r - g r e a t e r e f f o r t by the n a r r a t o r , and pro-motes a renewed d e t e r m i n a t i o n to p e r s i s t i n her e f f o r t s to "overcome h e r s e l f and f i n d out the t r u t h " . (The s t r u g g l e a l s o g i v e s the n a r r a t i v e i t s great v i t a l i t y and power.) Her r e f u s a l to a b d i c a t e the quest f o r a more p r e c i s e form of t r u t h p a r a l l e l s the n a r r a t o r ' s u n f a i l i n g f a i t h i n human p o t e n t i a l i t y j a n d her d e s i r e to see " d i e B a n a l i t a t des Guten a l s g e s e l l s c h a f t l i c h e R e a l i t a t . " 7 A l o n g s i d e the sadness over her o b s e r v a t i o n that people do not seem to l e a r n from past mistakes, e v i l s , and s u f f e r i n g , there i s always hope and the c o n v i c t i o n that change f o r the b e t t e r i s p o s s i b l e . She never expresses pessimism, r e s i g n a t i o n , 110 or d e s p a i r , but engages a c t i v e l y i n l i f e : i n s u f f e r i n g , when i t i s p r e r e q u i s -i t e , and i n recovery from s u f f e r i n g , both p h y s i c a l and emotional, which i n e v -i t a b l y r e s t o r e s a deep i n n a t e j o y of l i f e . During her v i s i t to Landsberg, now Grozow W i e l k o p o l s k i , i n 1971, the n a r r a t o r and Lenka, her daughter, v i s i t the graveyard where N e l l y ' s g r e a t -grandmother, C a r o l i n e Meyer, l i e s b u r i e d . Only l a t e r does she understand her sorrow at the s i g h t of broken tombstones i n the o l d German cemetery: J e t z t s i e h s t du den Grund f u r Bestiirzung und Trauer. Sie g a i t n i c h t d i e s e n Toten, die ( )deutsche Namen getragen h a t t e n , sondern jenen Lebenden, Uberlebenden, d i e hergehen mussten, d i e S t e i n e zu s c h l e i f e n , d i e Grab er niederzutram-p e l n , w e i l e i n Hass wie der, der ihnen e n t f a c h t worden war, n i c h t einzugrenzen, n i c h t vor Grabern anzuhalten i s t . The g r i e f however i s f o l l o w e d immediately by the r e c o g n i t i o n of a c r i t i c a l change i n her own response; the d i s c o v e r y of an empathy and compassion, which has l i k e l y taken years to develop: Gefuhle, d i e s i c h j e t z t f r e i und ungezwungen auf der S e i t e der e i n s t m a l "anderen" bewegen und um i h r e t w i l l e n b e s t u r z t s i n d , wenn s i e s i c h Gewalt antun mussen. 8 The p o s s i b i l i t y f o r change which she observes i n her own a t t i t u d e s and emotion-a l responses, a f f i r m s the n a r r a t o r ' s hope t h a t s i m i l a r change can/could a l s o take p l a c e on a l a r g e r s c a l e . Adam K i n d l , as a young student of law, i s warned a g a i n s t a f u t i l e be-l i e f i n the e x i s t e n c e of j u s t i c e . A g r e a t l y - r e s p e c t e d teacher of Adam's informs him: Die meisten Verbrechen begingen immer d i e j e n i g e n , d i e an d i e V e r w i r k l i c h u n g der G e r e c h t i g k e i t glaubten und vergassen, dass es im Grunde weder G e r e c h t i g k e i t noch Recht gabe, sond-ern nur d i e Macht, d i e Besetze gebraucht oder missbraucht I l l und nach ihrem S e l b s t v e r s t a n d n i s - n i c h t Gewissen, betonte er - e i n grosseres oder k l e i n e r e s Mass an W i l l k u r z u l a s s t . The o l d e r w i s e r n a r r a t o r t r i e s t o r e c a l l h i s i d e a l i s t i c e x p e c t a t i o n s of h i s p r o f e s s i o n : . . . i c h weiss n i c h t mehr, welche V o r s t e l l u n g i c h von der T a t i g k e i t des R i c h t e r s h a t t e , z w e i f e l l o s v e r s t a n d i c h dar-unter eine Reihe u b e r l e g t e r , e r z i e h e r i s c h wirkender Rechts-handlungen. Ich glaubte n a t i i r l i c h , dass i c h u n b e s t e c h l i c h , u n p a r t e i i s c h s e i n und immer, unter a l i e n Umstanden d i e Wahrheit suchen wurde. In the present time, he r e f l e c t s upon h i s power and h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n the K a r e l K o z l l k case, and f i n d s h i m s e l f unequal to the task before him; not only because the s o c i e t y he l i v e s i n i s reduced to l i v i n g without r e s p o n s i b i l -i t y , but a l s o because as a member of t h i s s o c i e t y , he h i m s e l f has become unfree and l a c k s any r i g h t s . Kann man denn G e r e c h t i g k e i t uben i n e i n e r Welt, deren Glei c h g e w i c h t v o l l i g g e s t o r t i s t ? . . . W i e konnte uber das Leben oder d i e F r e i h e i t eines Menschen er entscheiden, der s e l b s t u n f r e i und r e c h t l o s war und i n e i n e r e n t r e c h t -eten, entmundigten G e s e l l s c h a f t l e b t e ? Wer s o l l t e da n i c h t v e r z w e i f e l n ? 9 During the p e r i o d of time covered by the c e n t r a l n a r r a t i v e i n Der  Gnadenrichter, Adam K i n d l i s d i s i l l u s i o n e d , b i t t e r , and has resi g n e d h i m s e l f to the i n d e f a t i g a b l e supremacy of time and r e a l i t y over h i s i d e a l s , and of power over j u s t i c e . The t e n s i o n here i s the r e s u l t as much of the discrepancy between K i n d l ' s avowed a s p i r a t i o n s and h i s o f t e n p e r p l e x i n g behaviour, as of any h a l f - h e a r t e d e f f o r t s towards the attainment of h i s g o a l . He no longer holds out much hope or d e s i r e of changing the world. Der Gnadenrichter i s , i n one sense, the s t o r y of the gradual l o s s of one man's hopes, n a r r a t e d at a time subsequent to the process i t s e l f . 112 Before the almighty powers of the State, K i n d l i s often tempted to descend i n t o s e l f - p i t y : Dann gab i c h mich dem S e l b s t m i t l e i d h i n . Ich dachte daran, dass i c h bisher n i c h t s von dem v e r w i r k l i c h t hatte, was i c h mir e i n s t v o r s t e l l t e , und wenn i c h j e t z t sturbe, b l i e b e von mir keine Spur, keine Erinnerung, n i c h t s ausser einem S t e i n mit meinem Namen, schon nach wenigen Jahren grasuberwachsen und i n d i e Erde eingesunken. x^ The d i f f i c u l t journey i n t o the past undertaken by both protagonist/ narrators i s conducted by the route of memory. The account of Wolf's narrator i s prompted l i t e r a l l y , by a f o r t y - e i g h t hour v i s i t to the place of her c h i l d -hood, formerly Landsberg. C h r i s t a Wolf states i n 1976: ...eine andere Frage i s t . . . o b man i n s i c h s e l b s t mit den Erfahrungen leben s o l i , die man im Grunde vergessen mochte, ob das einen Grund hat, ob das dazu b e i t r a g t , dass man produktiv b l e i b t . Her narrator and Klima's Adam K i n d l have i n common a c o n f l i c t i n g d e s i r e to put aside past experience and forget; and to remember with hope of understanding, j u s t i f y i n g , and i n Wolf's case, of explaining to the next generation, represen-ted here i n Lenka, her daughter, who i s a kind of c a t a l y s t f o r much of the narrator's self-examination. Wolf states elsewhere: Die Jungeren, d i e stehen n a t u r l i c h j e t z t i n uns schon ihren E l t e r n oder Erziehern gegenuber und sagen: Was war denn e i g e n t l i c h l o s , wie war denn das, was habt i h r da e i g e n t l i c h gesehen, getan und g e d a c h t ? x x This simultaneous need to remember and to forget creates a d i f f i c u l t y f o r both n a r r a t o r s , and demonstrates the claim of Wolf's narrator, that memory 12 i s " e i n wiederholter moralischer Akt." The s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l systems i n which both l i v e , r e i n f o r c e and compound t h i s d i f f i c u l t y by r e q u i r i n g the i n d i v i d u a l 113 to deny his/her personal sense of the past, i n favour of a State-authorized 13 v e r s i o n . Wolf's narrator i n p a r t i c u l a r , i s a l t e r n a t e l y f a s c i n a t e d and troubled by the v a r i e t i e s , d i s t o r t i o n s , subterfuges, and "the obvious necessity of memory": "So wurden wir uns.unaufhaltsam fremd werden ohne unser Gedachtnis an das, was wir getan haben, an das, was uns zugestossen i s t . Ohne unser Gedacht 14 n i s an uns s e l b s t . " The a b i l i t y to forget i n order to survive, i s the r e -verse side of the coin. The anonymous narrator of Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T. r e c a l l s the years immediately a f t e r the War: "Ich wusste, dass man v i e l e Namen und Gesichter i n sieben Jahren vergessen kann, wenn man w i l l . Wir waren damal streng mit unseren Erinnerungen. In Kindheitsmuster, the narrator r e i t e r a t e s t h i s c o n v i c t i o n : ...Die Jahre ohne Gedachtnis, d i e diesen Angangsjahren folgen werden: Jahre, i n denen das Misstrauen gegen die s i n n l i c h e Erfahrung um s i c h g r e i f t . Niemals haben Menschen so v i e l e s vergessen wollen, um funktionsfahig zu b l e i b e n , wie d i e , mit denen wir l e b e n . ^ S i m i l a r l y , the young Adam K i n d l discovers, during the long years of h i internment at Theresienstadt, the necessity of economizing with h i s memories, as one a f t e r the other of h i s f r i e n d s are shipped o f f to extermination camps: So ubte i c h mich e i n , dass auch ihre Schatten mich ni c h t mehr beruhrten, dass s i e mir nicht einmal im Traum begegneten. Als i c h vor Jahren i n Auschwitz durch das Museum ging, an einem Berg von Koffern mit grossen e m a i l l i e r t e n S c h i l d e r n v o r b e i , wurde mir bewusst, dass i c h sogar d i e Namen meiner Freunde vergessen hatte. R e c a l l i n g the misplaced indulgence of h i s teachers towards him a f t e r h i s r e -lease and return to school, Adam asserts that past wrongs cannot be r i g h t e d : Unsere begangenen Taten s i n d u n w i d e r r u f l i c h wie d i e Z e i t , die vergangen i s t . Wir konnen hSchstens versuchen zu 114 vergessen, was geschehen i s t . F a l l s w i r Geduld und K r a f t genug dazu f i n d e n . I 7 The d e s i r e to f o r g e t , evinced here, i s n e v e r t h e l e s s c o n t r a d i c t e d by K i n d l ' s r e s o l v e to w r i t e h i s biography - "Um mich anzuklagen oder um mich zu v e r t e i d i g e n " - r e q u i r i n g p r e c i s e l y t h a t he engage memory to r e c a l l h i s past l i f e . I n the case of the author, Ivan K l i m a , a seven-hundred page s t o r y of per s o n a l a s p i r a t i o n , set a g a i n s t a panorama of s u p r a - n a t i o n a l p r o p o r t i o n s , c o n s t i t u t e s the rec o r d of an age, and a legacy to the next g e n e r a t i o n , i f not, t r a g i c a l l y , to the Czechs; one which leaves no doubt about the importance of p r e s e r v i n g the past. Despite the p a r t i a l r e j e c t i o n of memory, Der Gnadenrichter too i s an a c t of remembrance, f o r both author and p r o t a g o n i s t . The n a r r a t o r of K i n d h e i t smus t e r compares the s t r u c t u r e s of s t o r i e s and memories: A r b e i t e t das Gedachtnis mit V o r l i e b e a l s Anekdotenspeicher? Etwas i n s e i n e r S t r u k t u r s c h e i n t der S t r u k t u r der p o i n t i e r t e n Geschichte entgegenzukommen. Eine S t r u k t u r i s t eine Menge -von Punkten und so w e i t e r -, i n der gewisse R e l a t i o n e n g e k l a r t s i n d . Die Verarbeitung s c h w i e r i g e r G e s c h i c h t s a b s c h n i t t e , i n denen gewisse R e l a t i o n e n noch un g e k l a r t s i n d , zu Zei t u n g s -anekdoten, aus Anlass von Jahrestagen...Anwendung der Misch-t e c h n i k : Loschen, auswahlen, pointieren.-'-^ Perhaps a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between Kindheitsmuster and Der Gnadenrichter i s i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p of mutual i n f l u e n c e of the s t r u c t u r e s of memory and n a r r a t i v e . In K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , i n keeping w i t h Wolf's g o a l of w r i t i n g w i t h " f a n t a s -t i c accuracy", the s t r u c t u r e of her n a r r a t i v e , i n c l u d i n g the range of m a t e r i a l , expands as her memory expands. The s t r u c t u r e i s somehow " o r g a n i c " ; a r i s i n g from the nature of the m a t e r i a l i t s e l f , r a t h e r than being imposed on i t . The s t o r y of a chil d h o o d l i v e d i n Naz i Germany comments upon and changes the pre s -ent f o r , as the n a r r a t o r suggests, e x p l i c i t l y , and by r e f u s i n g to keep the 115 s t o r i e s separate from each o t h e r ; past and present are i n s e p a r a b l e . C h r i s t a Wolf r e p l i e s to the q u e s t i o n of why she has not chosen to w r i t e about the present, i n s t e a d of the pa s t : "Gegenwart i s t j a n i c h t nur, was heute passiert...Gegenwart i s t a l l e s , was uns t r e i b t , zum B e i s p i e l heute so zu hand-19 e i n , wie w i r es t u n . " Wolf and Kli m a share an urge to get behind the f a c t s of o f f i c i a l r e -corded h i s t o r y , and examine s p e c i f i c p e r s o n a l experience which i n f a c t o f t e n r e s u l t s i n a k i n d of microcosmic a n t i - h i s t o r y i n Kindheitsmuster and Der  Gnadenrichter. Where h i s t o r i a n s might s t r i v e towards accuracy and f i n a l i t y , Adam K i n d l and the a d u l t N e l l y attempt to search out a t r u t h which i s not to be found i n dates or p l a c e s , but i f at a l l , then i n people's i n t u i t i o n s , emo-t i o n s , a t t i t u d e s , and i n s i l e n c e s . This s u b - v e r s i o n of the o f f i c i a l v e r s i o n i s o b v i o u s l y more conspicuous i n the case of K l i m a , whose r e n d i t i o n of Czech h i s t o r y has t o t a l l y antagonized those r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the P a r t y ' s account, so tha t there i s a complete ban on h i s l i t e r a r y work. In h i s use of newspaper excerpts and o f f i c i a l documents, i n p a r t i c u l a r , Klima r e v e a l s the a r b i t r a r i -ness of h i s t o r i c a l events, which o f f i c i a l h i s t o r i a n s aggrandize or d i s c r e d i t , i m m o r t a l i z e or o b l i t e r a t e , a c c o r d i n g to t h e i r c u r r e n t purpose. The j u x t a p o s i -t i o n of m u t u a l l y - d i s c r e d i t i n g newspaper accounts to show how l u d i c r o u s the o f f i c i a l v e r s i o n of n a t i o n a l h i s t o r y i s , subverts any n o t i o n of r a t i o n a l or ca u s a l progress i n h i s t o r y . H i s t o r y , as recorded by the o f f i c i a l e x p e r t s , has chameleon-like p r o p e r t i e s . In Kindhe i t smus t e r , the scope and urgency of the m a t e r i a l gathers momen-tum u n t i l the n a r r a t o r d i s c o v e r s : Beinah a l l e s gehort h i e r h e r : Dahin i s t es gekommen. Es v e r s t a r k t s i c h der Sog, der von d i e s e r A r b e i t ausgeht. Nun kannst du n i c h t s mehr sagen, horen, denken, tun oder l a s s e n , das n i c h t an d i e s e s G e f l e c h t ruhren musste. Der 116 l e i s e s t e Anruf wird r e g i s t r i e r t , w e i t e r g e l e i t e t , v e r s t a r k t , abgeschwacht, umgelenkt, - auf Batmen, d i e i n seltsamer Weise miteinander verknupft s i n d , n i c h t voraussehbar, nicht b e e i n f l u s s b a r , und, was du bedauerst: n i c h t besschreibbar.20 Wolf's s t y l e has been described as "discontinuous prose". The frequent s e l f - i n t e r r u p t i o n s , fragmentations, i n t e r n a l cross-references, b r i n g i t clos e to the processes of a c t u a l thought and memory. It p a r a l l e l s the process of memory, which i s a s s o c i a t i v e rather than l o g i c a l , and comes i n f l a s h e s , spurts, and glimmers, rather than c h r o n o l o g i c a l , a r t i c u l a t e d , l i n e a r s t o r i e s . Even her d e c i s i o n to weave the various time l e v e l s i n t o one n a r r a t i v e , r e f l e c t s the im-p o s s i b i l i t y of determining what, among one's memories, has had the greatest im-pact upon one's present existence: "In die Erinnerung drangt s i c h d i e Gegen-21 wart e i n und der heutige Tag i s t schon der l e t z t e Tag der Vergangenheit." (Similarly, the la c k of i n t e n t i o n to d i s t i n g u i s h among author, n a r r a t o r , and protagonist, r e f l e c t s an underlying harmony and i n t e g r a t i o n . ) Where i n Kindheitsmuster, the narrator's memory constantly i n t e r r u p t s and becomes a part of the present moment, i n Der Gnadenrichter i t i s relegated i n t o a separate, l i n e a r , c h r o n o l o g i c a l n a r r a t i v e , appearing i n the sections e n t i t l e d - "Bevor wir aus dem Fluss Lethe t r i n k e n " - which r e c a l l s K i n d l ' s past from the beginning of h i s three and a h a l f year stay at Theresienstadt, through twenty-five years i n h i s personal and p r o f e s s i o n a l l i v e s , and ending with the Russian occupation of Czechoslovakia i n 1968. The binary s t r u c t u r e of the novel seems to suggest the p o s s i b i l i t y of separating the past from the present. It i s c a r e f u l l y balanced and measured, with passages of Past and Present narra-t i v e s i n each of the ten chapters. It suggests that d i s t i n c t i o n s can be made between past and present, memory and a c t i v e l i f e ; between dreams and nightmares and waking r e a l i t y , a s p i r a t i o n s and l i m i t a t i o n s , c onvictions and conduct, theory and p r a c t i c e : 117 I c h g laubte an eine Welt, deren Bewohner man i n Schuldige und Unschuldige, i n Angeklagte und R i c h t e r e i n t e i l e n kann. Ich glaubte an d i e Marchenwelt des Guten und des Bosen, an eine Welt, d i e Vollkommenheit und Wahrheit e r s t r e b t . 2 2 The r e l a t i o n s h i p between memory on the one hand, which enable Wolf's n a r r a t o r to r e - e n t e r the years gone by; and f e a r and g u i l t on the o t h e r , which c o n s t a n t l y t h r e a t e n to b l o c k t h i s r e - e n t r y and m a i n t a i n a s t r i c t border between what was then and what i s now - i s complex and many-layered i n Kin d h e i t s m u s t e r . Memory i s impeded by f e a r , and si m u l t a n e o u s l y s e t s new f e a r i n t o motion. Fear i s present on a l l l e v e l s of the n a r r a t i v e : there i s f e a r experience by N e l l y , t h i r t y years e a r l i e r ; f e a r r e a c t i v a t e d i n the present by probing too deeply i n t o " d i e i n n e r e n S c h i c h t e n " ; and f e a r f o r the f u t u r e , i n the form of the nar-r a t o r ' s daughters, who w h i l e not i m p l i c a t e d i n t h e i r mother's p a s t , neverthe-l e s s experience shades of a pseudo-existence which the n a r r a t o r regards as an aftermath of her former r e f u s a l to face the pa s t : as " l i v i n g between echoes; between echoes of echoes." I m p l i c i t i n the task of remembering i s the p o s s i -b i l i t y of e x o r c i s i n g these f e a r s by a r r i v i n g , a t t h e i r r o o t s , and t r y i n g to understand the mechanism of f e a r i t s e l f . By way of ex p r e s s i n g what she a n t i c i p a t e s as the tenor of her under-t a k i n g , the N a r r a t o r notes, at the end of the f i r s t chapter: " E i n G e f u h l , das jeden Lebenden e r g r e i f t , wenn d i e Erde unter seinen Fussen s i c h bewegt: Furcht.' Asked about the experience of w r i t i n g K i n d h e i t s m u s t e r , C h r i s t a Wolf comments: Es w i r d Angst f r e i , von der man gar n i c h t gewusst h a t , dass d i e noch da i s t , und d i e s i c h auch auf d i e Gegen-wart b e z i e h t und d i e man j e t z t e r s t v e r s t e h t : Warum man i n der Gegenwart vor Dingen Angst hat d i e im Grunde n i c h t g e f a h r l i c h s i n d . 2 ^ The f e a r of memory, and the memory of f e a r , are compounded by the 118 u n c e r t a i n t y o f what t h e s e l a y e r s o f memory, f o r many y e a r s h e l d i n a b e y a n c e , w i l l do t o one's p r e s e n t s e l f : I n deinem K o p f r e n n e n immer d i e g l e i c h e n Gedanken. V i e l -l e i c h t , s a g s t du, i s t es d i e A n g s t , s i c h s e l b s t z u z e r -r e i s s e n , wenn man s i c h v o n d e r R o l l e l o s e n muss, d i e m i t einem v e r w a c h s e n war. - G i b t es e i n e A l t e r n a t i v e ? - N e i n , s a g s t du. Und doch i s t es e i n e Wahl. ( S o i l das G e f u h l d e r E c h t h e i t n u r n o c h d u r c h A n g s t z u e r k a u f e n s e i n , d i e e c h t i s t , k e i n e n Z w e i f e l an s i c h aufkommen l a s s t ? ) 2 5 The f e a r and g u i l t W o l f ' s n a r r a t o r e x p e r i e n c e s and e x p l o r e s i n t h e p r o c e s s o f t e l l i n g N e l l y ' s s t o r y a r e i n t e r n a l t h r e a t s , s i g n i f y i n g t h e v i o l a t i o n o f l o n g -r e s p e c t e d t a b o o s . F e a r , w h i l e t r a c i n g a f i r m p a t h t h r o u g h t h e n a r r a t i v e o f Der G n a d e n r i c h t e r , i s a s s o c i a t e d l a r g e l y w i t h t h e t h r e a t o f e x t e r n a l , r a t h e r t h a n i n t e r n a l d e s t r u c t i o n . K i n d l a t no t i m e e v i n c e s t h e same se n s e o f r i s k i n v o l v e d i n t h e e x a m i n a t i o n o f h i s p a s t . What he does d e s c r i b e i s t h e f e a r e x p e r i e n c e d as a c h i l d i n T h e r e s i e n s t a d t , f e a r on b e h a l f o f h i s f r i e n d s and t h e f e a r o f l o s i n g them, f e a r as a young P a r t y member t h a t one wrong move c o u l d a l t e r h i s f a t e i r r e v o c a b l y , f e a r o f f a l l i n g i n t o t h e hands o f t h o s e above h i m i n t h e h i e r a r c h y o f power. I n t h e p r e s e n t , t h e o m n i s c i e n t n a r r a t o r h i n t s a t K i n d l ' s f e a r t h a t he c o u l d c o n c e i v a b l y s e n t e n c e K a r e l K o z l i k i n o r d e r t o appease t h e a u t h o r i t i e s who a r e d e t e r m i n e d t o have him s e n t e n c e d t o d e a t h . I t i s a f e a r t h a t e ven h i i n n e r f r e e d o m c o u l d u l t i m a t e l y be t a k e n away f r o m h i m t h a t h a u n t s Adam K i n d l t h r o u g h o u t . K l i m a ' s and W o l f ' s n a r r a t o r s b o t h see g u i l t as t h e q u i n t e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y p o s t - w a r human b e i n g s . The n a r r a t o r i n K i n d - h e i t s m u s t e r s u g g e s t s : "Es g e h t w o h l u b e r d i e K r a f t e i n e s Menschen, h e u t e l e b 26 und n i c h t m i t s c h u l d i g zu w erden." C h r i s t a W olf h e r s e l f makes a s i m i l a r 119 comment i n her essay on Fred Wander i n Lesen und Schreiben: "E r s t an den 27 nachsten Generationen sehen wir, was das Wort "unbelastet" bedeuten kann." In Der Gnadenrichter, b u i l t i s l a r g e l y a moral and a p h i l o s o p h i c a l issue. As surely as through reprehensible a c t i o n , g u i l t i s incurred through non-action and the f a i l u r e to speak out against i n j u s t i c e . I t i s al s o engend-ered by the gradual erosion of the i n d i v i d u a l ' s i n t e g r i t y through co n t i n u a l compromise. The p h i l o s o p h i c a l aspects of g u i l t are explored i n lengthy specu-l a t i v e d i g r e s s i o n s i n both of the two main n a r r a t i v e s , by both author and narrator/pro t a g o n i s t . Perhaps more than the idea of the ps y c h o l o g i c a l i n t r i c a c i e s of personal g u i l t , Klima i s concerned with the a r b i t r a r y designation of g u i l t and innocence i n h i s own s o c i e t y , as w e l l as u n i v e r s a l l y , and the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of determin-ing blame and blamelessness: "Und was i s t liberhaupt Schuld? Ich hatte mein Jurastudium f a s t beendet, aber i c h war meiner Antwort gar ni c h t s i c h e r . " As the lawyer conducting the defence of Adam's fath e r t e l l s him: "Auf Schuld oder a 28 Unschuld kommt es heute uberhaupt n i c h t an!" Bauer, the zealous exponent of the f i n a l deadly round, i n Klima's Games, says: Nobody has a completely c l e a r conscience. My prin c e used to say that the innocent d i f f e r from the g u i l t y only i n that t h e i r turn hasn't come yet. (But one ^ day t h e r e ' l l be enough i n t e r r o g a t o r s to go around.) The narrator i n Kindheitsmuster sees g u i l t as the culmination of a s e r i e s of developments, beginning with the fear of knowing; then the e f f o r t not to know, the r e f u s a l to admit to oneself what one does know, and f i n a l l y the complicitous 'silence that i n d i c a t e s unspoken agreement to ignore what threatens to destroy the e q u i l i b r i u m : 120 Bloss nicht z u v i e l Gefuhl! Bloss nicht e x a l t i e r t werden! Bloss n i c h t i n Tranen ausbrechen, wenn da Leute umgebracht werden auf dem Bildschirm, und bloss nicht das Abendbrot dabei unterbrechen!30 The uneasy mixture of knowledge i s contained i n "no words": "Loschen, loschen, loschen." Or, as she describes that process by which her family treated unwel-" It it come news: "Uberhoren, ubersehen, vernachlassigen, verleugnen, verlernen, ver-schwitzen, vergessen." With reference to the euthanasia program conducted i n 1940 and 1941, the narrator comments r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y ; " . . . i n Z eiten wie diesen gi b t es v i e l e Stufen zwischen Wissen und Nichtwissen." N e l l y ' s family, f o r instance, read the newspaper d i s c r i m i n a t e l y , allowing t h e i r minds to absorb only "safe" information. F i c t i o n , advertisements, and entertainment news are acceptable: "Andere Mitteilungen wiederum hatten n i c h t s mit ihnen zu tun." "Was i c h n i c h t weiss, macht mich n i c h t h e i s s " : the narrator quotes one of the convenient f o l k s y sayings which surface frequently i n her memory of her 31 childhood. The Jordan family had a ready supply of "Sprichworte" f o r most s i t u a t i o n s i n which there was uncertainty about how one should conduct oneself, or simply, where a word of "wisdom", sanctioned by t r a d i t i o n a l usage, was 32 needed. Elsewhere, C h r i s t a Wolf expresses some wonderment at the reactions of the two generations to the memory of the War: Die a l t e r e Generation, d i e a l t e r i s t a l s i c h b i n , d i e diese ganze Frage der Schuld j a im Grunde auf s i c h hatte beziehen miissen, i s t am weitesten ausgewichen, die i s t am schwersten zu bewegen, dariiber zu reden oder v i e l l e i c h t auch zu denken ....Unsere Generation, d i e zu jung war, um im direkten Sinne schuldig zu werden, im Sinne von Handlungen schuldig zu werden, hat die ganze Last di e s e r Schuld an s i c h e r l e b t und erfahren.33 Klima's Adam K i n d l of course, emerges from the War with a rather d i f f e r -ent perspective. Having suffered imprisonment at the hands of the Nazis, he i s on the other side of the fence from Wolf's na r r a t o r , who r e a l i z e s perhaps only i n r e t r o s p e c t that while the matter was never discussed, they had a l l known of the existence of concentration camps. Kin d l ' s response to the War, s i m i l a r l y to that of h i s father and h i s uncle, i s to put i t f i r m l y behind him and concen t r a t e a l l h i s energies on the development of the new s o c i a l i s t s t a t e . The attempt - "Sich f r e i zu schreiben" - could also mean to write one-s e l f f r ee of charges, as i f one had been put on t r i a l and had now to provide >-a self-defence, which i s p r e c i s e l y what Wolf's and Klima's narrators do. Wolf r e f e r s to the task of l i t e r a t u r e today as "peace-research" i n Lesen und Schrei  ben. Kindheitsmuster and Der Gnadenrichter, I would suggest, are al s o attempt at defence-research; self-defence, and defence against r e p e t i t i o n of past e v i l i n the future. Wolf's narrator considers the powerful i n f l u e n c e of propaganda and the media that concealed the true range of a t r o c i t i e s committed during the War, and notes: "Selbstbezichtigungen und Entschuldigungsversuche halten einander die Waage." ^ 4 In Kindheitsmuster, Wolf i s concerned predominantly with moral and ps y c h o l o g i c a l issues, and her narrator's language r e f l e c t s t h i s i n t e r e s t . Legal terminology where i t appears at a l l , i s metaphorical, and intended to evoke the sense of hazy, i l l - d e f i n e d g u i l t suspended over the narrator, with no i m p l i c a t i o n of an external j u d i c i a l a u t h o r i t y . I have mentioned before that the standards by which she judges her own l i f e are personal ones; influenced by her l i f e experiences, her maturity, her knowledge of l i t e r a t u r e and h i s t o r y , and based l o o s e l y on Judeo-Christian premises of good and e v i l . Her e t h i c might be summarized with the same expres-sion Alexander Stephan has chosen to describe her l i t e r a r y s t y l e ; that of 122 " S u b j e c t i v e A u t h e n t i c i t y " . ( S t e p h a n f i r s t p r o p o s e d t h e t e r m and i t was su b -s e q u e n t l y u s e d by v a r i o u s W olf c r i t i c s and i s now used f r e e l y i n t h e body o f Wo l f c r i t i c i s m . ) S t e p h a n p a r a p h r a s e s W o l f ' s o b j e c t i v e i n w r i t i n g as: 1 " e i n Hochstmass an s u b j e k t i v e r A u t h e n t i z i t a t b e i m S c h r e i b e n , d i e u n a u f l o s b a r e V e r -35 b i n d u n g v o n B i o g r a p h i e und Z e i t g e n o s s e n s c h a f t . " Adam K i n d l , l o o k i n g b a c k upon h i s l i f e , f i n d s : " V i e l e s v o n dem was e r g e t a n h a t t e , e r s c h i e n ihm a l l e r d i n g s u n e r k l a r l i c h , und e r k o n n t e n i c h t b e -36 u r t e i l e n , ob es g u t o d e r s c h l e c h t gewesen w a r , r i c h t i g o d e r f a l s c h . " K l i m a ' s n a r r a t o r s p e a k s , as I have s u g g e s t e d , a l w a y s as a j u d g e . W h i l e t h e p s y c h o l o g i c a l component i s u n m i s t a k e a b l e i n t h e n o v e l , t h e c o n c e p t u a l framework i s above a l l , , l e g a l and p h i l o s o p h i c a l . To w r i t e i s a l s o t o p a s s judgment on. S i n c e I v a n K l i m a and h i s p r o -t a g o n i s t , Adam K i n d l , b o t h have good r e a s o n t o do u b t t h e e x i s t e n c e o f j u s t i c e i n t h e l a w c o u r t s o f P r a g u e , t h e p r o c e s s o f w r i t i n g Der R i c h t e r , f o r Adam K i n d l , a s Der G n a d e n r i c h t e r , f o r I v a n K l i m a , m i g h t be s e e n as a t r i a l by pen and p a p e r . I f one b e l i e v e s , a s Adam K i n d l d o e s , t h a t one i s i n t h e w o r l d i n o r d e r t o a s s e s s v a l u e s , and p a s s judgments on them, and t h e l e a d i n g powers t h a t be i n t h e l a n d a r e r e v e a l e d a s m o r a l l y u n t r u s t w o r t h y , t h e j u d g e who d e s i r e s t o u n d e r s t a n d h i s own l i f e w i l l e v e n t u a l l y j u d g e h i m s e l f . Where i n t h e l a w c o u r t , t h e d e f e n d e n t i s c h a r g e d w i t h a s p e c i f i c o f f i c e , t h e c h a r g e a g a i n s t Adam K i n d l , as a g i n s t I v a n K l i m a , i s much more d i f f i c u l t t o a s c e r t a i n . Names, p l a c e s , d a t e s , c o n s t i t u t e t h e i n d i s p u t a b l e f a c t s o f t h i s t r i a l o f e t h i c s : e v e r y t h i n g e l s e i s c i r c u m s t a n t i a l and c a n be i n t e r p r e t e d i n many d i f f e r e n t ways. The c h a r g e s l a i d a g a i n s t K i n d l by t h e System c o n c e r n h i s r e f u s a l t o a b d i c a t e p e r s o n a l i n i t i a t i v e and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o i t s g r e a t e r power. Those 123 l a i d a g i n s t Ivan Klima concern h i s r e f u s a l to w r i t e a modern form of S o c i a l i s t Realism; l i t e r a t u r e t h a t would pass o f f i c i a l c e n s o r s h i p . In both i n s t a n c e s -i n Klima's f i c t i o n and i n h i s l i f e - the "subversive behaviour" i s the outcome of a deep moral s t r u g g l e . The r e l a t i o n s h i p of author and n a r r a t o r / p r o t a g o n i s t i s r e i n f o r c e d by t h e i r mutual commentary. While Klima w r i t e s the s t o r y of K i n d l the Judge, the " s u b - t e x t " of Der Gnadenrichter i l l u m i n a t e s i n t u r n , the p l i g h t of Klima the w r i t e r . N e i t h e r author nor n a r r a t o r a r r i v e s at a v e r d i c t . The n a r r a t o r i n Kindheitsmuster begins her quest w i t h the c o n v i c t i o n : Aber s e l b s t wenn d i e Hoffnung g e r i n g i s t , s i c h a l l m a h l i c h f r e i z u s p r e c h e n . . . s o ware es doch nur d i e s e g e r i n g f t i g i g e Hoffnung, d i e f a l l s s i e d u r c h h a l t , der Verfuhrung zum Schweigen und Verschweigen t r o t z e n k o n n t e . 3 7 What measure of s e l f - j u s t i f i c a t i o n , a u t h e n t i c i t y , i n n e r freedom, i s a t t a i n e d by the n a r r a t o r / p r o t a g o n i s t s of Kindheitsmuster and Der Gnadenrichter? Is the o b j e c t i v e - " S i c h f r e i zu s c h r e i b e n " - u l t i m a t e l y r e a l i z e d by e i t h e r ? To my mind there i s a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e i n the extent to which Wolf's n a r r a t o r and Klima's Adam K i n d l accomplish t h i s g o a l . The n a r r a t o r i n Kindheitsmuster has confronted memory and answered "the v o i c e s . " She has acknowledged g u i l t and begun to p e r c e i v e the borders between r a t i o n a l and i r r a t i o n a l g u i l t . She has overcome f e a r by i n v e s t i g a t i n g and even i n v i t i n g i t : Wie doch d i e Angst zuruck-weicht, wenn man nur anfangt, daran zu denken. Wie d i e bose Ahnun|, dass es d i r b a l d d i e Rede ver s c h l a g e n w i r d , s i c h a n f l o s t und dafur Lust e n t s t e h t . She has made peace w i t h , and perhaps even d i s c o v e r e d a k i n d of lov e f o r the c h i l d N e l l y , whom at the o u t s e t , s h e j "loved w i t h the wrong k i n d of l o v e , and 124 hated w i t h the wrong k i n d of hate." She has s u r v i v e d the journey's o b s t r u c -t i o n s and a r r i v e d at a g o a l . The freedom that Adam K i n d l achieves a t the end of Der Gnadenrichter i s e s s e n t i a l l y a negative freedom; an i n n e r a l o o f n e s s from the m e n t a l i t y pre-v a i l i n g i n the context of a t o t a l i t a r i a n system; the knowledge t h a t he has had no p a r t i n K o z l l k ' s e x e c u t i o n and has done h i s utmost to prevent i t ; the s a t i s -f a c t i o n of knowing t h a t the State has not made him i t s s u b s e r v i e n t mouthpiece. S t r u c t u r a l l y however, the "Traume und Alptraume" passages as w e l l as the two main n a r r a t i v e s , end on a note of re s i g n e d d e s p a i r . Adam K i n d l , i n h i s f i n a l nightmare j awaits h i s own e x t e r m i n a t i o n at the hands of the Sta t e he has served a l l h i s l i f e . Adam, i n the memory passages, having r e c e i v e d word th a t - "Die Russen s i n d da" f e e l s h i m s e l f alone: " i n der Welt des s e e l e n l o s e n S t a h l s und der Macht, d i e n i c h t s a l s Vernichtung mit s i c h b r i n g t . . . . H i n t e r mir gab es n i c h t s , v o r mir gab es n i c h t s , i n meinem Kopf war nur e i n e i n z i g e r Ge-danke, e i n e i n z i g e r Satz: Das i s t z u v i e l . Das i s t z u v i e l . " Adam i n the c e n t r a l n a r r a t i v e ( E p i l o g ) works w i t h Macek, w r i t e s h i s autobiography, and awaits surgery - no longer f e a r i n g , or ho p e f u l of an y t h i n g . H i s sense of ac-complishment i s ambivalent: "Er war umhergeirrt und h a t t e s i c h b e i r r e n l a s s e n . Er h a t t e s i c h s e l b s t getauscht und andere. Aber er h a t t e v e r s u c h t , s i c h von ,,39 diesem Sustand zu b e f r e i e n und d i e T r u g b i l d e r zu durchschauen. The omniscient n a r r a t o r of the " E p i l o g " suggests: "Zum Schluss h a t t e er immerhin g e l e r n t , s i c h s e l b s t zu ve r s t e h e n . " But immediately a f t e r , Adam's own u n f i n i s h e d i n n e r s p e c u l a t i o n s throw such cl a i m s i n t o doubt: he expresses u n c e r t a i n t y about whether h i s l i m i t e d accomplishments are of s u f f i c i e n t m e r i t -"dass er s i c h von Schuld lossprechen k o n n t e . " 4 ^ He ponders: "War er uberhaupt eines echten Gefuhls f u r einen nahestehenden Menschen f a h i g ? " One wonders i f 125 he cannot answer that question what does he a c t u a l l y know about himself? The three voices i n Per Gnadenrichter - author's, omniscient narra-t o r ' s , and protagonist's - never f u l l y d i s t i n g u i s h e d or f u l l y i ntegrated, f a l l apart at the end of the novel and even, as here, c o n t r a d i c t each other. The omniscient narrator o f f e r s one evaluation of Adam Kind l ' s l i f e , the protagonist implies another, and the author himself appears unsure of how to end the novel. One i s tempted to speak of "loose ends" at the end of Der Gnadenrichter because the novel lacks the sense of a r e s o l u t i o n or an ending. Perhaps t h i s i r r e s o l u -t i o n r e f l e c t s Klima's sense of h i s own uncertain and unpromising f a t e i n Czech-oslovakia. Like h i s protagonist, Adam K i n d l , Klima does not know what the future may bring and he has no reason to expect improvement i n h i s own s i t u a -t i o n . Kindheitsmuster ends on a rather d i f f e r e n t note. While Wolf's narrator too, i s uncertain of how s u c c e s s f u l l y she has accomplished the goal set h e r s e l f i n w r i t i n g the book, the s i g n i f i c a n c e of her future i s never i n question. The n a r r a t i v e draws to a c l o s e : Dies scheint das Ende zu s e i n . A l l e Z e t t e l sind von deinem T i s c h verschwunden. Seltsam, dass es heute i s t , der 2. Mai 1975. Der Tag, an dem von der Pappel a l l e braunen B l a t t h u l l e n auf einmal abgesprungen sind....Du ahntest, wenn auch nicht i n i h r e r v o l l e n Scharfe, die Bewegungen voraus, welche die Ar b e i t i n d i r hervorrufen wurde. 4 x E a r l i e r , recovering from exhaustion i n the h o s p i t a l , she had d i s -covered: Der Endpunkt ware e r r e i c h t , wenn z e i t e und d r i t t e Person wieder i n der ersten zusammen t r a f e n , mehr noch: zusammen-f i e l e n . Wo nicht mehr "du" und " s i e " - wo unverhohlen " i c h " gesagt werden musste. Wolf's narrator l i k e Klima's, ends by r e i t e r a t i n g the questions which 126 prompted the process of t e l l i n g her s t o r y : Hat das Gedachtnis seine S c h u l d i g k e i t getan?....Und d i e Vergangenheit, d i e noch Sprachregelungen verfugen, d i e e r s t e Person i n eine zweite und d r i t t e s p a l t e n konnte -i s t i h r e Vormacht gebrochen? Werden d i e Stimmen s i c h b e r u h i g e n ? 4 ^ I t i s the response to her own q u e s t i o n t h a t i n d i c a t e s the degree of her 43 accomplishment. I t comes i n the f i r s t person: "Ich weiss es n i c h t . " The openness and non-conclusiveness of t h i s statement does not d i m i n i s h i t s s i g n i -f i c a n c e . As U r s u l a Mahlendorf has noted: "Hers i s now a s e l f which has been 44 t e s t e d i n the c r u c i b l e of an a c i d s e l f - e x a m i n a t i o n . " I t i s f o l l o w e d immediately by a passage of unmistakeabl'e a f f i r m a t i o n . At peace t h a t she has done what she c o u l d , the n a r r a t o r g i v e s h e r s e l f over to dreams and v i s i o n s , and concludes: S i c h e r , beim Erwachen d i e Welt der f e s t e n Korper wieder v o r z u f i n d e n , werde i c h mich der Traumerfahrung u b e r l a s s e n , mich n i c h t auflehnen gegen d i e Grenzen des S a g b a r e n . 4 j But Kindheitsmuster and Der Gnadenrichter go beyond s e r v i n g as v e h i c l e s f o r t h e i r authors' v i n d i c a t i o n and s e l f - l i b e r a t i o n . In t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r form-u l a t i o n of the s t o r i e s of i n d i v i d u a l s seeking to l i v e a u t h e n t i c and meaningful l i v e s i n our own times, they embody and r e f l e c t the search t h a t i s common to us a l l . In an unpublished paper on Kafka, read i n Vancouver, March 1983, Klima notes some of the " s i g n s of the modern w o r l d " evident i n Kafka's works: . . . i s o l a t i o n , the sense of being at the mercy of power and i t s l a c k e y s , the unquenchable yearning f o r freedom and at the same time f o r some k i n d of a b s o l u t e i n t h i s world i n which God has been rendered dubious, a yearning f o r law and o r d e r , the f e e l i n g of being c o n s t a n t l y and mutually endangered and e s t r a n g e d . 4 6 127 These words might j u s t as e a s i l y be a p p l i e d to Klima's own l i t e r a r y work, f o r every s i n g l e f e a t u r e l i s t e d , c o n t r i b u t e s to an apt d e s c r i p t i o n of Klima's Adam K i n d l . By v i r t u e of h i s experiences d u r i n g the War, h i s membership i n a s o c i -e t y which i s o l a t e s i t s members i n order to m a i n t a i n i t s h o l d over them, and h i s perso n a l temperament K i n d l too i s an o u t s i d e r of s o r t s ; d e s i r i n g d e s p e r a t e l y to p a r t i c i p a t e i n a humanistic community i n h i s e a r l y y e a r s , n e v e r t h e l e s s doomed to e t e r n a l f r u s t r a t i o n by the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s of h i s l a n d , and by the demise of b e l i e f i n u n i v e r s a l v a l u e s shared by contemporary human beings. Wolfj i n my o p i n i o n , goes s e v e r a l steps f u r t h e r . Taking i n t o 1 c o n s i d e r -a t i o n the given r e a l i t i e s of t h i s c entury, she demonstrates t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l i s not reduced to p a s s i v e adherence to a code of s i l e n c e and d e n i a l . Perhaps more than i n Klima's work, a p r o p h e t i c element i s unmistakeable i n her w r i t -47 i n g . Although C h r i s t a Wolf, I b e l i e v e , would not consider h e r s e l f as any k i n d of prophet, the language as w e l l as the moral concerns of the n a r r a t o r i n Kindheitsmuster, c o n t a i n a strong sense of warning and e x h o r t a t i o n . 128 FOOTNOTES ^ C h r i s t a Wolf, as I have suggested p r e v i o u s l y , a c t u a l l y uses the German term " S i c h - f r e i - s c h r e i b e n " while Klima r e f e r s to the process more ob-l i q u e l y . Wolf explores the many p o s s i b l e permutations of meaning that the term evokes: her narrator frees h e r s e l f of the tyranny of the past over her present l i f e ; examines the extent of her own involvement i n the conspiracy of s i l e n c e , during and a f t e r the War; and experiences an emotional c a t h a r s i s as a r e s u l t of t e l l i n g her story. 2 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, pp. 181, 373, 374. 3 Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, p. 266. 4 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 437. Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, pp. 336, 338. 6 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, pp. 317, 437, 438, 420. 7 Wolf, Lesen und Schreiben, p. 145. g Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 366. 9 Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, pp. 332, 376, 361. I b i d . , p. 401; The p l a i n t i v e and powerless tone of t h i s passage i s evident again as K i n d l imagines what would become of h i s c h i l d r e n , should he leave them: Wenn ihm w i r k l i c h n i c h t s anderes u b r i g b l i e b , a l s f o r t z u -gehen, wurden die Kinder bald vergessen was er ihnen an Er-ziehung beigebracht hatte. Sie wurden ganz anders leben, a l s er, andere Werte anerkennen und s i c h andere Z i e l e setzen. Ob ihnen dadurch s o v i e l entgehen wurde? Der Zweifel am Wert des eigenen B e i s p i e l s l i e s s ihn verstummen. (p. 410) Here there i s the problem of Adam's c r e d i b i l i t y . Thus f a r , he has shown l i t t l e awareness of h i s c h i l d r e n ' s existence, nor i n t e r e s t i n t h e i r development. He has noticed them mainly as inte r f e r e n c e s i n h i s own l i f e , and t h i s moment of s e l f - q u e s t i o n i n g neither p a r t i c u l a r l y engages the reader's empathy nor prompts 129 a change i n Kindl's behaviour towards h i s c h i l d r e n . ^ Wolf, i n Materialienbuch, p. 42, 41. 12 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 143. 13 The r e w r i t i n g of h i s t o r y by State h i s t o r i a n s , i s a theme that recurs frequently i n the work of East-bloc w r i t e r s . Milan Kundera has w r i t t e n frequent-l y about the " a i r - b r u s h i n g " of undesirable events and persons out of h i s t o r y most f u l l y perhaps, i n h i s novel, The Book of Laughter and F o r g e t t i n g , 1981. 14 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 10. ^ Wolf, Nachdenken uber C h r i s t a T., p. 25. 16 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 451. Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, pp. 49, 125. 18 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 417. 19 Wolf, i n Materialienbuch, p. 34. 20 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 112. 21 I b i d . , p. 9. 22 Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, p. 127. 23 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, pp. 275, 34. 24 Wolf, i n Materialienbuch, p. 42. 25 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 446. 2 6 TWA I b i d . , p. 27 Wolf, Lesen und Schreiben, p. 188; One wishes perhaps f o r a German word that would preserve the d i f f e r e n c e between the way Wolf's and Klima's narrators use the word "Schuld". Klima uses i t predominantly i n the more ob-j e c t i v e sense of " f a u l t " , or "blame", which may sometimes be apportioned out; and as an appropriate moral and emotional response to c e r t a i n modes of behav-iou r . I t also c a r r i e s the meaning of a moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y that has been inadequately c a r r i e d out. I3U 28 Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, p. 335. 29 Klima, Games, p. 47. 30 Wolf, i n Materialienbuch, p. 45. 3 1 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, pp. 176, 177, 232, 49, 176. 32 The text of Kindheitsmuster i s s p r i n k l e d with proverbs and f o l k wisdom which create an i n t e r e s t i n g contrast to the l i n e s Wolf frequently ex-t r a c t s from various l i t e r a r y works, the sources of which often remain anony-mous. Russian proverbs, p o l i t i c a l slogans of the past and present, are counterbalanced by l i n e s from the poetry of Ingeborg Bachmann, the w r i t i n g s of Brecht, S c h i l l e r , F r i s c h , M u s i l , to name only the few which I i d e n t i f i e d . I t may be a l i t t l e f a r - f e t c h e d to suggest that the contrast between various quotations provides an i n s i g h t i n t o the author's conception of two e s s e n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t ways of responding to the world: the s i m p l i f i e d gen-) e r a l i z a t i o n s and catchwords predominantly of her childhood and her NS past, and the often r e f l e c t i v e , personal voice that speaks from the l i n e s she quotes from other w r i t e r s ' works. The i n c l u s i o n of slogans and proverbs i l l u s t r a t e s a l s o how a phrase or sentence-formation can i n i t i a t e a c e r t a i n way of think-ing which f a r o u t l a s t s i t s o r i g i n a l meaning. 33 Wolf, i n Materialienbuch, p. 41. 34 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 235. 35 Alexander Stephan, p. 22. 36 Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, p. 670. 37 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 15. TO I b i d . , pp. 438, 39 Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, pp. 664. 40 Klima, Der Gnadenrichter, p. 670. 41 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 476. 131 4 2 I b i d . , p. 476, 406. 43 This i s the only instance where she r e f e r s to h e r s e l f i n the f i r s t person other than a curious passage i n the t h i r t e e n t h chapter where she l i e s awake at night, watching the moon, and r e f l e c t s : "Das merk i c h mir. Das sind die Sachen, d i e man s i c h merken kann. Das andere vergeht." (p. 320) 44 Ursula Mahlendorf, "Confronting the F a s c i s t Past and Coming to Terms with i t " , World L i t e r a t u r e Today, 55, 1981. 45 Wolf, Kindheitsmuster, p. 477. 46 Klima, "The Swords are Drawing Closer: A Personal Comment on Franz Kafka's I n s p i r a t i o n " , trans., i n part, by Marketa Goetz-Stankiewicz. 47 The prophetic element, combined with a study of the language of Kindheitsmuster, i s ma t e r i a l f o r another study. It i s of v i t a l importance to Wolf, to determine how to speak, what to say and what to leave unspoken. 132 "4 EPILOGUE In Versuch, i n der Wahrheit zu leben, h i s a n a l y s i s of p o s t - t o t a l i t a r -i a n forms of government and s o c i e t y , Vaclav Havel c i t e s the s i t u a t i o n of "the common man"; the vegetable s e l l e r who p l a c e s the p r o s c r i b e d p l a c a r d i n h i s shop window, as an automatic a c t i o n r a t h e r than as a statement of h i s p e r s o n a l c o n v i c t i o n / p e r s u a s i o n . This p l a c a r d , w i t h a hundred others l i k e i t - each s i g n i f i c a n t on i t s own - combines to c r e a t e a very s p e c i f i c "Panorama des A l l t a g s " which i n t u r n , r e a f f i r m s the importance of the g e s t u r e , and ensures the maintenance of "the l i e " . Havel analyzes the p o s s i b i l i t i e s open to the vegetable s e l l e r who r e f u s e s to perpetuate the l i e , and suggests t h a t he may r e s i s t i n the f a c t -"dass er manche Dinge e i n f a c h n i c h t t u t " ; or h i s p r o t e s t can extend beyond non-action: "Der Gemusehandler kann anfangen, etwas Konkretes zu t u n . " ^ (His emphasis.) Alexander S o l z h e n i t s y n s t a t e s i n the course of h i s Nobel P r i z e Speech: ...The simple course of the simple brave man i s not to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the l i e and not to support l y i n g a c t i o n s . But w r i t e r s and a r t i s t s are capable of more: they can conquer the l i e . (His emphasis.) 2 133 C h r i s t a Wolf and Ivan Klima share w i t h Havel and S o l z h e n i t s y n , a common p o l i t i c a l geography and to some e x t e n t , a common C e n t r a l - E a s t e r n European h e r i t a g e . Wolf and Klima share w i t h Havel the d e c i s i o n to sta y and f i g h t the l i e from w i t h i n , w h i l e S o l z h e n i t s y n f i g h t s i t o u t s i d e of h i s n a t i v e R u s s i a . S o l z h e n i t s y n says a l s o : . . . l i t e r a t u r e can t r a n s f e r condensed, i r r e f u t a b l e experience -from g e n e r a t i o n to ge n e r a t i o n . In t h i s way i t becomes the l i v i n g memory of n a t i o n s and together w i t h language, i t pre-serves the n a t i o n a l s o u l . 3 By c o n f r o n t i n g the l i e t h a t the r i s e of Nazism i n Germany was a unique h i s t o r i c a l phenomenon and could never r e c u r , and that the past has been overcome, C h r i s t a Wolf conquers p e r s o n a l as w e l l as s o c i a l taboos, and does her p a r t to prevent f o r g e t t i n g or a recurrence of past e v i l s . In a country where freedom of speech and ex p r e s s i o n are only a pre-t e x t to put pen to paper a l r e a d y comprises a moral act of s o r t s . To speak the t r u t h on paper where i t can be used as evidence a g a i n s t one i s perhaps a k i n d of heroism. That a w r i t e r such as Ivan Klima should be prevented from p u b l i s h i n g h i s work, i s as S o l z h e n i t s y n says of Akhmatova and Zamyatin, not merely a pe r s o n a l tragedy, but a tragedy f o r an e n t i r e n a t i o n . K l i m a , l i k e S o l z h e n i t s y n f o r many ye a r s , must take heart from the knowledge t h a t o u t s i d e h i s own country a t l e a s t , h i s work i s p u b l i s h e d and h i s name i s not unknown. S o l z h e n i t s y n says of "the n a t i o n whose l i t e r a t u r e i s i n t e r r u p t e d by f o r c e " , t h a t t h i s i s not "simply a v i o l a t i o n of 'the freedom of the p r e s s ' , 134 i t i s the i n c a r c e r a t i o n of the n a t i o n ' s h e a r t , the amputation of the n a t i o n ' s 4 memory. The n a t i o n can no longer remember i t s e l f . . . . " K l ima has attempted to remind the n a t i o n of i t s e l f ; through s t o r y , metaphor, and dream; w i t h i r o n y , d e s p a i r , and perhaps, l i k e M i i o s z ' u n c l e ; " w i t h o l d l o v e worn out by p i t y , l o n e l i n e s s and anger."^ I would l i k e t o end t h i s d i s c u s s i o n w i t h the h o p e f u l words of Alexander S o l z h e n i t s y n , whose works have long shared the f a t e of Klima's works - i n being p u b l i s h e d only o u t s i d e of h i s homeland: For i n the s t r u g g l e w i t h the l i e , a r t has always conquered and always w i l l conquer - v i s i b l y and i r r e f u t a b l y f o r a l l to s e e . 6 135 FOOTNOTES Havel, p. 55. 2 Solzhenitsyn, Nobel P r i z e Speech, i n Index on Censorship, 1, No. 3, 4, p. 24. 3 I b i d . , p. 18. 4 I b i d . , p. 18. 5 M i i o s z , The 1980 Nobel Lecture, p. 409. Solzhenitsyn, p. 24 136 BIBLIOGRAPHY Achberger, Karen R. 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