Baader-Meinhof and the Novel: Narratives of the Nation / by Julian Preece (auth.)

By Julian Preece (auth.)

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Extra resources for Baader-Meinhof and the Novel: Narratives of the Nation / Fantasies of the Revolution, 1970–2010

Sample text

In Kawaters’s novels, Zora’s heart certainly beats on the left, but she has no patience with contemporary left-wing mores and she challenges prejudice wherever she encounters it. In December 1987, Kawaters fled Germany when she was tipped off that the BKA was searching the Bochum offices of the alternative newspaper die tageszeitung, where she worked. ”63 She spent the next eight years avoiding arrest in France and Spain before giving herself up in 1995. 64 The existence of these “novelist-terrorists” does not demonstrate an essential connection between the decision to commit acts of violence and the urge to write a novel.

No single moment caught onlookers’ imagination more than Meinhof’s leap from the window of the library in the Institute for Social Research in Miquelstrasse in the Dahlem district of West Berlin on May 14, 1970. The incident is rendered memorably in Uli Edel’s film. 13 An American historian sees the leap as rich in meaning for both the principal individuals: The leap was patently metaphorical: Baader plunged into precarious freedom. Meinhof [ . . ] leapt into an entirely new life of danger and notoriety, in which bombs replaced words as her main weapons.

Schlink was inspired by the debate in the summer of 2007 over whether President Horst Köhler should pardon Christian Klar and Brigitte Mohnhaupt, who masterminded the assassinations and kidnappings in 1977 and had been in custody for 25 years. Köhler paid a visit to the imprisoned Klar but refused him a pardon. In The Weekend, Jörg is released because he has inoperable prostate cancer and thus no longer poses a possible threat. He is, however, the center of narrative attention and the novel’s pivotal point.

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