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The Child’s View of the Third Reich in German LiteratureThe Eye Among the Blind$
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Debbie Pinfold

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199245659

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245659.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Child’s View of the Third Reich in German Literature

Debbie Pinfold

Oxford University Press

One of the principal literary devices for achieving a defamiliarization effect has always been to adopt an outsider’s perspective. Due to the difficulties of creating a plausible outsider figure and viewpoint in literary works, modern authors have often adopted the perspective ‘that of the child’. This chapter suggests that using the child’s viewpoint is a particularly effective defamiliarizing device. The child’s perspective that dealt with here focuses on the way German authors have utilized this perspective to describe the Third Reich. A brief overview of the child figure in German literature is outlined to present the main developments on the subject and how it affects this study. Further, this chapter asserts that in viewing the Third Reich from a child’s unknowing gaze shows how this period of history was once someone’s humdrum normality, and this in itself is defamiliarizing.

Keywords:   defamiliarizing device, literary works, child’s viewpoint, german authors, third reich, german literature

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