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Suddenly Everything Was Different : German Lives in Upheaval - Olaf Georg Klein

Suddenly Everything Was Different

German Lives in Upheaval

Paperback Published: 15th June 2008
ISBN: 9781571133694
Number Of Pages: 210

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What happens when the world in which people have crafted identities for themselves and lived their lives suddenly disappears? How does a person -- or a nation -- confront such a shock? From 1990 to 1993, at an unparalleled moment in German history, Olaf Georg Klein interviewed almost a hundred fellow former East German citizens, probing their experiences of the sudden collapse of the German Democratic Republic, then crafting that material into twelve first-person narratives. The result is a literary account whose narrators include representatives from the cities and the countryside, from young and old, from the East German power elite and the resistance, as well as from those in position to be critical of both the GDR and united Germany. The book was a sensation in Germany upon its publication in 1994, and the translation will be of interest to students and scholars in history and political science, sociology, psychology, and literary studies. It includes an introduction and extensive annotations to assist the reader in understanding the East German and unified German contexts.

Olaf Georg Klein's novel Aftermath was published in translation by Northwestern University Press in 1999. Ann McGlashan is Associate Professor of German and Dwight D. Allman is Associate Professor of Political Science, both at Baylor University.

Industry Reviews

Klein saw his work as "a book of histories" of how individuals confront the past and present when their political "system" evaporates.... The interviewees' hopes and fears are poignantly illuminated by the virtually verbatim transcripts.... A valuable resource for students of history and political science. CHOICE

Most of us have an apparent idea of what the word "unification" means: two becoming one, or perhaps the formation of something new from two parts that fuse. By contrast, German unification in 1989-90 was, from a legal point of view, an asymmetrical process.. To West Germans everything remained the same; to East Germans suddenly everything was different: they were "trained GDR citizens without a GDR.". In [this book], twelve people rethink their childhood, career, and life in the GDR and afterwards. The oldest narrator was born in 1925, the youngest in 1974. None of them was a high-ranking representative of the GDR. Their stories answer many questions, particularly concerning their attitude toward ancien regime..Even if the finer points of language can only be noticed in the original, the sensitive translation by Ann McGlashan successfully performs the balancing act between preserving the original and providing a version accessible to English-speaking readers. H-NET

Introductionp. vii
Translator's Prefacep. xxv
Author's Prefacep. xxvii
"I think it comes from keeping everything bottled up inside and never opening your mouth..."p. 3
"So much of the really good life was lost to us..."p. 18
"You should know I won't be blackmailed..."p. 31
"They even accuse me of having planned murders..."p. 46
"I never cared much for work just for the sake of work..."p. 60
"And that's why you'd rather give in first..."p. 73
"So what's changed? Patriarchy hasn't disappeared..."p. 85
"I always hope I won't wake up in the morning..."p. 96
"Somehow or other I want to make up for the mistakes I made back then..."p. 107
"So how are people ever going to connect with each other?"p. 120
"You have to keep your mouth shut and do your job as if it's the most fulfilling thing in your life..."p. 132
"You can best change the world by changing yourself..."p. 144
Annotationsp. 159
Works Consulted & Citedp. 199
Indexp. 201
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781571133694
ISBN-10: 1571133690
Series: Studies in German Literature, Linguistics, and Culture
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 210
Published: 15th June 2008
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 14.63  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.33