Lieferbare Titel

Amsterdamer Publikationen
zur Sprache und Literatur
Herausgegeben von Norbert Otto Eke und Bodo Plachta

Woolley, Jonathan: The Ethical Project in Rolf Dieter Brinkmann’s Westwärts 1&2
(Amsterdamer Publikationen zur Sprache und Literatur, Band 159)
ISBN 3-89693-431-7 (04/2005)
186 Seiten, 22 x 15 cm, Kt., EUR 30,00

This study shows how Rolf Dieter Brinkmann’s later poetry can be seen as intensely ethical. First, Jonathan Woolley sets out a model of ethics adapted chiefly from Wayne C. Booth’s The Company We Keep: An Ethics of Fiction. Woolley’s discussion of this model introduces key terms such as ‘implied author’ and ‘open texts’, which provide the foundation for the following analysis. He then looks at the type of openness found in Brinkmann’s poems and takes issue with those critics who claim that these contain no interpretive guidance. He argues that both in the pop poems of the 1960s and Westwärts 1&2 (1975) we find an implied author that elicits a particular activity, rather than a specific interpretation, from his reader.
Woolley then focuses on Westwärts 1&2 and outlines why Brinkmann’s implied author views the activity elicited in this collection, spontaneity, as an ethical requirement within stagnant West German society. Woolley goes on to define this ethics of spontaneity more closely and insists that it must be viewed as a thinking ethics. He contrasts ‘the vulnerable rationality’ deployed by Brinkmann’s implied author with ‘the invulnerable rationality’ characteristic of the state.
Finally, Woolley considers the appropriateness of including Brinkmann under the rubric Neue Subjektivität and concludes that it is the ‘ethics of spontaneity’ that sets his poetry apart from that of his contemporaries.

Table of Contents
Aim of This Study
Brinkmann's Life and Works
State of Research
Chapter One: The Ethical Problem Presented by the Lack of an Implied Author in Open Texts
Wayne C. Booth's Understanding of Ethics
The Implied Author
The Implied Reader's Synchronous Ethics in Two Texts Featuring Killers
Open Texts versus Closed Texts
Chapter Two: The Apparent Lack of an Implied Author in Brinkmann's Works
The Reception of Brinkmann's Pop Poems and of Westwärts 1&2
Openness in Brinkmann's Pop Poems
Openness in Westwärts 1&2
Chapter Three: An Ethics of Spontaneity
The Apparent Incompatibility of Ethics and Spontaneity
The Problem of Spontaneity and the Inevitability of Craft
Ethics versus Morals
The Predominance of Moral Literature in Post-War West Germany
Ethics versus Morals in Brinkmann's Later Works
Spontaneity as the Narrator's Submissiveness
Spontaneity as the Narrator's Recklessness
Examples of Spontaneity in Open and Closed Texts
Spontaneity as Puzzling Simplicity
Chapter Four: The Necessity of Rationality
Concepts of Rationality
The Influence of Alfred Korzybski
Vulnerable versus Invulnerable Rationality
The State's Invulnerable Rationality
The View of Brinkmann's 'Subject' as Over-Rational or Irrational
Clearing the Mind of State Rationality
The Instrumentalisation of Emotions
'Politisches Gedicht 13. Nov 74, BRD': Example of a Poem that Replicates State Rationality
'Rolltreppen im August': Example of a Poem Featuring Vulnerable Rationality
Chapter Five: Brinkmann and Neue Subjektivität
Trends in Post-War West German Literature
Definitions of Neue Subjektivität
Controversy over Neue Subjektivität
Subjectivity Means More Than Saying 'Ich'
Penetrating the Ideological Content of the Everyday
Communication is Not an End in Itself
Beyond Radical Negative Subjectivity