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Von Jungen Pionieren und Gangstern: Der Kinder- und Jugendkriminalroman in der DDR
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Baltic Languages, Finnish and German.
2011 (German)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation examines detective novels for children and young adults written and published in the German Democratic Republic (GDR). The aim of the thesis is to study how the genre developed under the conditions of a socialist society. The analysis of the 66 texts included in the corpus is based on a socio-historical approach assuming that dialogical interdependencies between texts and society exist and can be verified. Central to the analytical work with the texts is the thesis that detective novels written for young readers reflect the socio-political development in East-German society. It shows, however, that—because of their strong didactic impetus—the texts did generally not, like detective novels for adults, develop into a forum for socio-critical discussions. In the diachronic development, which extends from the beginning in the Soviet occupation zone to the post-reunification period, it is shown that changing socio-political conditions interact with the texts, which becomes particularly obvious in the changing presentation of the detectives and criminals.

Studying the texts, the dissertation presents basic research and an overview of the genre. Ten texts from the corpus are subject to a detailed analysis in order to deepen the general insights with examples. This way, different aspects of detective novels for children and young adults in the GDR are emphasized, e.g. the interaction between text and illustration. The embedding of figures in a socialist community produces further motives frequently occurring in the texts such as: the Heimat motive or the anti-fascist society.

Although the majority of the texts do not go beyond stereotypical representations of characters, criminal cases, and locations—and hence demonstrate the close link between (normative) ideas of society and their literary implementation—the body of texts contains some innovative exceptions in which the social development is questioned and even cautiously criticized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2011. , 330 p.
Stockholmer germanistische Forschungen, ISSN 0491-0893 ; 75
Keyword [en]
Children’s literature, Detective Novels, GDR, Ideology, Intermediality, Young Adults, Socio-Historical Approach, Socialist Society
Keyword [de]
Kinder- und Jugendliteratur, Kriminalromane, DDR, Ideologie, Intermedialität, Literaturgeschichte, sozialistische Gesellschaft
National Category
General Literature Studies Specific Languages
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-60269ISBN: 978-91-86071-76-9OAI: diva2:434525
Public defence
2011-10-07, hörsal 7, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10 D, Stockholm, 13:00 (German)
Available from: 2011-09-15 Created: 2011-08-11 Last updated: 2015-06-16Bibliographically approved

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Löwe, Corina
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