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Silencing the Provincial Other: Focalisation, Identification and Power in Franz Innerhofer's Schöne Tage

Firth, C (2011) Silencing the Provincial Other: Focalisation, Identification and Power in Franz Innerhofer's Schöne Tage. German Life and Letters, 64 (4). 570 - 587 (17). ISSN 0016-8777


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Franz Innerhofer’s first novel, Schöne Tage, is often held up as an archetype of the Austrian anti-Heimat novel, whose critical revision of the provincial idyll is believed to have contributed to the linguistic and social emancipation of Austria’s rural underclass. Employing a comparative narratological approach, which combines insights from literary and film studies, this article addresses the issue of narrative perspective in Innerhofer’s novel. The view ‘von unten’, celebrated as a sign of rural literature’s liberation from patriarchal power, is exposed as a problematic peg on which to hang provincial equality. Whilst narrative perspectives may have changed, the language in which they find expression remains firmly in the service of existing power structures, subjugating rather than enfranchising the rural subject. This article examines the connection between perspectival, narrative and identificatory structures and questions the basis of the reader’s identification with the text’s protagonists in the face of an unidentified, omniscient narrator wielding ultimate narrative power. In locating the basis of the reader’s identifications in problematic linguistic power structures, this article demands a re-evaluation of the impulse in literary history to accord a positive performative function to anti-Heimat literature.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons. This is an author prepared version of a paper subsequently published in German Life and Letters. The definitive version is available at www3.interscience.wiley.com.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Modern Languages and Cultures (Leeds) > German (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2011 12:39
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2014 03:47
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0483.2011.01552.x
Status: Published
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1468-0483.2011.01552.x
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43541

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