Filomena Viana Guarda
School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon
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Shaping the Present, Imagining Pasts and Futures in Two Recent Novels by Christian Kracht and Juli Zeh
Dedalus 25 (2021), pp. 345-358.
 
Abstract
This paper focuses on two contemporary German-language dystopian novels: one describing an imagined representation of the Past and the other a vision of the Future. In Ich werde hier sein im Sonnenschein und im Schatten (I will be here in Sunshine and Shadow) (2008), the Swiss author Christian Kracht depicts an alternative version of the history of the 20th century, thus deconstructing today’s debates of postcolonial studies and civil rights. In Corpus Delicti. Ein Prozess (The Method) (2009), the German author Juli Zeh portrays a Germany governed by a dictatorial regime fifty years in the future, and depicts a society obsessed with health issues in which every kind of excess is criminalized. The relevance of both fictional narratives to our concerns today will be addressed through the lens of R. Koselleck’s categories of ‘space of experience’ and ‘horizon of expectation’, opening new possibilities of meaning.
 
Keywords: dystopia, Christian Kracht, Juli Zeh, temporal categories, Reinhart Koselleck