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By Sara Lennox

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Additional info for Cemetery of the Murdered Daughters: Feminism, History, and Ingeborg Bachmann

Sample text

As Lutz Koepnick, a forum participant from my own field of German Studies, puts it, “Literary culture is an essential part of the force field of institutions, meanings, and practices that cultural studies takes as its object; there is no reason that the works of, say, Shakespeare or Goethe cannot be examined from a cultural studies perspective” (266). In the same forum, Lily Phillips proposes that the preeminence of cultural studies may derive from a growing acknowledgment of the importance of the positionality for which this introduction has argued: “Cultural studies has emerged forcefully because the awareness of positionality, context, and difference is endemic to this historical period.

Italy left its imprint on many poems in her second lyric volume, Anrufung des Großen Bären (Invocation of the great bear; 1956). Under the pseudonym Ruth Keller she also reported on political and cultural events in Italy for Radio Bremen and the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. Her first radio play, “Ein Geschäft mit Träumen” (A business with dreams; 1952), had been completed in Vienna and originally broadcast by Rot-Weiss-Rot. In a second radio play, “Die Zikaden” ( The cicadas; 1954), she drew on her contacts with the artists’ colony on the Italian island of Ischia, where she had lived with Henze.

During the 1950s, Henze set a number of Bachmann’s poems to music, and she produced several opera libretti for him. Their close collaboration bachmann in history { 33 } ended in 1958 when Bachmann met the Swiss author Max Frisch, and her intense and painful relationship with Frisch lasted until 1962. In the late 1950s Bachmann turned away from poetry, suspicious of her own easy facility with language. In 1959–1960, holding the first chair for poetics at the University of Frankfurt, she delivered a series of badly received lectures on problems of contemporary literature.

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