Echoes of Surrealism

Echoes of Surrealism

Challenging Socialist Realism in East German Literature, 1945–1990

Gerrit-Jan Berendse


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For many artists and intellectuals in East Germany, daily life had an undeniably surreal aspect, from the numbing repetition of Communist Party jargon to the fear and paranoia engendered by the Stasi. Echoes of Surrealism surveys the ways in which a sense of the surreal infused literature and art across the lifespan of the GDR, focusing on individual authors, visual artists, directors, musicians, and other figures who have employed surrealist techniques in their work. It provides a new framework for understanding East German culture, exploring aesthetic practices that offered an alternative to rigid government policies and questioned and confronted the status quo.


Gerrit-Jan Berendse:

Gerrit-Jan Berendse is Emeritus Professor of the School of Modern Languages at Cardiff University. His publications include Die Sächsische Dichterschule (1990), Grenz-Fallstudien (1999), Schreiben im Terrordom (2005), Vom Aushalten der Extreme (2011), and Baader-Meinhof Returns (2008), edited with Ingo Cornils.