The representation of male figures in the fiction of Irmtraud Morgner
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This study describes and analyses the treatment of male characters in the work of the East German author, Irmtraud Morgner. The main focus of the thesis is on Morgner’s handling of masculinity in relation to her treatment of the fantastic. Given that the majority of scholarship on Morgner concentrates on feminist aspects of her work, the aim of this thesis is to redress this imbalance by concentrating on the importance to her fictional narratives of male figures. The ways in which Morgner portrays her male characters shed significant new light on the function of the fantastic in her work. A detailed analysis of her texts shows that Morgner excludes all but a few of her male characters from the fantastic. By investigating the reasons for this, the thesis seeks to contribute to a better understanding of Morgner’s complex views on gender issues. The argument is advanced that Morgner’s treatment of her male characters and their interaction, or lack of interaction with the fantastic, reveals a more nuanced disillusionment with society than emerges from examinations of her female characters alone. Such a reading therefore permits a deeper and more differentiated understanding of her work.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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