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The critical reception of Herta Müller in the German and English printed media before and after the Nobel Prize for Literature 2009

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After being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009, Herta Müller attained great prominence around the world. Commentators, especially in English-speaking countries, seemed shocked by the decision. One of

After being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009, Herta Müller attained great prominence around the world. Commentators, especially in English-speaking countries, seemed shocked by the decision. One of the primary concerns was that Müller was relatively unknown. This thesis seeks to address this and other concerns by looking at reviews of her works in German- and English-language publications both before and after the Nobel Prize was awarded. This thesis analyses chronologically the reception of her books beginning with Niederungen in 1982 and ending with the reception of her novel Atemschaukel in 2009. It compares the reception of the original German text to that of the English translation; therefore only works which have been translated and published in English are discussed. The study also shows that while Müller's work did not top the bestseller charts, at least before the Nobel Prize, she was hardly the completely unknown author that some in the English-language media believed. This thesis seeks to present trends in the reception as well as provide a basis for further study of the reception of Herta Müller.

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  • 2011

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Klassiker des (Kinder)-Grusels schöpfen neue Lebenskraft: eine mundartliche Renaissance

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ABSTRACT (English)

Heinrich Hoffmann`s renowned Struwwelpeter and the famous Grimm brothers' fairy tales have been the subject of exhaustive pedagogical and psychological scrutiny. By means of shocking and fascinating literary elements

ABSTRACT (English)

Heinrich Hoffmann`s renowned Struwwelpeter and the famous Grimm brothers' fairy tales have been the subject of exhaustive pedagogical and psychological scrutiny. By means of shocking and fascinating literary elements Struwwelpeter's revolutionary didactic horror-comedy as well as the instructive horror-fantasy inherent in fairy tales are able to cast an enchanting, enlightening spell on their audience. However, both Hoffmann's and the Grimm's adventurous stories have suffered harsh criticism particularly owing to their often gruesome, macabre and unrealistic subject matter. Notwithstanding the barrage of denunciating objections, the remarkable longevity of Fidgety Philip, Little Red Riding Hood and Co appears to know no bounds, as their ingenious formula for success comprising captivatingly shocking, spine-tingling elements of both entertaining and educational value continues to inspire contemporary adaptations. Several German dialects have also discovered and devoted themselves to the magical world of Hoffmann's chaotic rascals and the Grimm's fascinating fairy tale characters in furtherance of enlivening them with the identity, culture and local flavor of their respective region.

The current study aims to demonstrate the extent to which dialectal adaptations of the aforesaid tales succeed in not only revitalizing the original narratives including their pedagogical and psychodynamic quintessence but also in capturing the readers' hearts by virtue of their intimate parlance/phraseology. This particular philological approach illustrates the symbiotic interaction between regional German dialects and well-known (children's) Horror-stories.

ABSTRACT (German)

Bisher waren sowohl der renommierte Struwwelpeter Heinrich Hoffmanns als auch die berühmten Märchen der Brüder Grimm Objekte erschöpfender pädagogischer und psychologischer Betrachtungen. Die revolutionäre didaktische Gruselkomik der struwwelpetrigen Abenteuer sowie die lehrhafte Gruselphantastik der Märchen vermögen vermittels ihrer schockierenden und zugleich faszinierenden Elemente Menschen jeden Alters in ihren verzaubernden, lebenserhellenden Bann zu ziehen. Allerdings mussten die hoffmannschen und grimmschen Geschichten insbesondere auf Grund grausamer, wirklichkeitsfremder Inhalte auch als Zielscheibe heftigster Kritik fungieren. Nichtsdestotrotz scheint der steilen Karriere von Zappelphilipp, Rotkäppchen und Co keine Grenzen gesetzt, denn ihre raffinierte Erfolgsformel bestehend aus unterhaltsam-belehrenden Schock- und Zaubermotiven inspiriert stets neue Adaptionen. So haben auch die deutschsprachigen Mundarten längst das skurille sowie zauberhafte Reich der chaotischen Lausbuben und Märchencharaktere für sich entdeckt, um diese mit der jeweils eigenen regionalkolorierten Identität und Kultur zu beseelen.

Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit gilt es nun zu demonstrieren, inwiefern es den dialektalen Petriaden und Märchenversionen gelingt, nicht nur die Erzählungen samt ihrer pädagogisch sowie psychodynamisch wertvollen Kerngehalte zu neuem Leben zu erwecken, sondern sich darüber hinaus in anheimelnder Weise die Herzen der Leserschaft zu erobern. Diese einzigartige philologische Perspektive beleuchtet die Erfolg versprechende Wechselwirkung zwischen den ortsspezifischen Sprachgeflechten und den (Kinder)-Gruselklassikern.

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  • 2015

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An analysis of two World War II propaganda films [electronic resource]: the German Feuertaufe and the Polish-British This is Poland

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At the beginning of the 20th century, the introduction of the motion picture as a medium changed the way people disseminate information between each other and to the masses. The

At the beginning of the 20th century, the introduction of the motion picture as a medium changed the way people disseminate information between each other and to the masses. The magnitude of this change was supplemented and amplified first by, the addition of sound, then color, and finally (possibly most importantly) the invention of the technology to send and receive motion picture signals along with their corresponding sound tracks. This would eventually all be combined in the production of the first television sets. Some of the most stunning illustrations of the power brought about by this medium can be observed in the way that Germany was able to utilize film during (and before) World War II. The idea of using cinema as a propaganda tool led to the creation of UFA during WWI (1914-1918). Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels' fascination with film and its propaganda potential led to the development of many successful public communication techniques and numerous tactics used to influence the people's thoughts and actions. This thesis provides background information pertaining to the outbreak of World War II including the German propaganda machine, and examines the role that motion pictures played in the distribution of anti-Polish messages before and during the early stages of the war. It focuses specifically on the film Feuertaufe as an example illustrating six major tenants of Nazi film propaganda namely: oversimplification, appeal to emotions, harnessing the power of the visual image, intentional blurring of lines between entertainment and facts, repetition, and the use of graphics combined with music. Next, this essay explores how each of the abovementioned characteristics were used by the Poles and the British in their pro-Polish film This is Poland in order to sway public opinion and spread messages aligned with their political views respectively. This thesis concludes by stressing the importance of being aware of these techniques so that one may be able to separate fact from hype, and by looking at the possible utilization of the six tenants in the years to come as smart mobile-devices usher in yet another metamorphosis of the art of information distribution.

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  • 2014