Sexing Berlin?

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Berlin has always been a literary space of extremely diverse political and cultural projections. This essay investigates why after the unification of East and West Berlin the city has been imagined as a play zone of sexual self-fulfilment by authors such as Inka Parei, Tanja Dückers, Kathrin Röggla, Judith Hermann and Julia Franck. Have such erotic adventures replaced political vision in our post-utopian decade? What is the purpose of the laboured allegorisation of the fall of the wall in Durs Grünbein's essays or in the novels of Katja Lange-Müller and Thomas Hettche? The sexification of historical and political processes recalls similar stereotypes in the East German literature of the 1980s: the metropolis as a whore in works by Heiner Müller or Wolf Biermann, but also by younger authors of the independent literary scene in Berlin like Uwe Kolbe or Frank-Wolf Matthies.
Original languageGerman
JournalGerman Life and Letters
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)83-94
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 01.2011