The mimicry of dialogue: Thomas Lehr’s september. Fata Morgana (2010)

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This new reading of the German 9/11 novel September. Fata Morgana (2010) by Thomas Lehr challenges its prevalent interpretation as an East-West dialogue of cultures. Unveiling the narrative’s hitherto neglected unreliability, the chapter argues that rather it displays a mimicry of dialogue which confronts the reader with their own Eurocentricism. Through the analysis of narrative, motivic and intertextual elements, the chapter demonstrates that the cultural approximation is not the result of dialogue but of a European appropriation of the Eastern Other. Giving a special emphasis to German 9/11 cultural responses, it then contextualises Lehr’s manifold conjunction of the September attacks and the theme of mimicry in the wider 9/11 discourse before consolidating the argument with a view of the novel’s historical pessimism.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication9/11 in European Literature : Negotiating Identities against the Attacks and What Followed
EditorsSvenja Frank
Number of pages30
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Publication date01.01.2017
ISBN (Print)9783319642086
ISBN (Electronic)9783319642093
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2017
Externally publishedYes