Machtverhältnisse und die Problematik des postkolonialen Blicks in Uwe Timms Morenga (1978) und Gerhard Seyfrieds Herero (2003)
Frederiksen, Elke P
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Using a postcolonial methodology within a German Cultural Studies framework, this thesis applies a close reading to Uwe Timm’s 1978 novel Morenga and Gerhard Seyfried’s 2003 novel Herero. Both novels narrate the colonial experience in German Southwest Africa during the 1904-1907 Herero and Nama uprising through the eyes of a German male protagonist. I investigate how notions of the ‘other’ become ingrained in the collective cultural imaginary of a nation and manifest themselves as inherent truths used to justify methods of subjugation. I also examine the conflicts that arise due to the clash between these drastically different cultures in the “contact zone”, a term I borrow from Mary Louise Pratt. Emphasis is placed on analyzing the ways in which the natives’ use of mimicry allows for the creation of a cultural hybridity in which power relations are constantly negotiated and re-evaluated. I also problematize the difficulty both protagonists demonstrate in their quest to abandon the colonial gaze in favor of adopting a postcolonial perspective, an attempt that often appears ambivalent at best.