Erinnern und Vergessen in Christian Krachts Romanen
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Remembering and the Process of Forgetting in the Novels by Christian Kracht
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The article discusses the issues of remembering and the process of forgetting in the novels by Christian Kracht. Each of the three texts chosen for discussion here has a different nameless first-person narrator whose memory, and sometimes no-memory, determines the style and the direction of the narrative. When the memory is disturbed, the identity of the characters becomes a problem. In the novel, Faserland, readers meet a dandy who leads a life of luxury, whose days are filled with parties and various stimulants. The protagonist’s memories, beliefs, and judgements reflect the so-called “Generation Golf” and record the hollowness, aimlessness, and alienation of the young aesthete. The novel 1979 deals with the process of purposeful forgetting and the attempt to create a new identity. Its tone is rather ironic, since the protagonist surrenders to totalitarian ideology, a step which in practice leads to self-destruction. The last text analysed here, Ich werde hier sein im Sonnenschein und im Schatten [I will be here, in sunshine and in shadow], is a counterfactual vision of the world devoid of letters and memory. Its protagonist, a native African, is “converted” into a party official. Consequently, his childhood, memories, and value system are manipulated.
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