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By Sara Lennox

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Extra resources for Cemetery of the Murdered Daughters: Feminism, History, and Ingeborg Bachmann

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See chapter 3) identified with Bachmann’s figures. But now the reading of their historicized positionality at which this book arrives instead understands the positionality of these entirely socially constructed figures as situated within and inflected by all the other social determinants of the period about which Bachmann wrote. At the same time, readings derived from this notion of historicized position- introduction { 17 } ality must direct attention to the ways Bachmann also packages her analysis of femininity in historically determinate forms: that is, in the terms that were available to her.

In a year of great anxiety about the stationing of cruise and Pershing missiles in Europe, I note both Bachmann’s and Wolf’s pessimism about the possibility of change but also propose (rather gloomily myself) that the texts of these writers may nonetheless help us to forestall the worst. S. feminist attentiveness to race, however, and my own involvement in Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign, my essay, published here for the first time in English, takes a somewhat different tack. I believe I was the first Bachmann scholar to propose that her protagonist’s imprecations against “the whites” might in fact be directed at the crimes of European imperialism.

Expanding on my brief historical overview in chapter 1, I also respond to Monika Albrecht’s and Dirk Göttsche’s injunction to treat Bachmann more historically (Albrecht, “Vorwort” vii) by showing that Bachmann herself was not entirely untainted by Cold War politics. This chapter explores Bachmann’s evolving critique of the Cold War era and women’s situation within it, but it also shows how she was forced to package her critique in materials available to her. That inevitably meant, as Bachmann herself observed in her Frankfurt lectures, that some of her readers would believe she sanctioned the conditions she was trying to decry.

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