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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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‘Sollten Alle Kinder Dichter Sein?’: 1 The Child as Artist

‘Sollten Alle Kinder Dichter Sein?’: 1 The Child as Artist

(p.159) 3 ‘Sollten Alle Kinder Dichter Sein?’:1 The Child as Artist
The Child’s View of the Third Reich in German Literature

Debbie Pinfold

Oxford University Press

Exploring the child as a symbol for the artist in post-war literature is the main concern of this chapter. It highlights the fact that the two principal modern myths of childhood, its innocence and its artistry, are not mutually dependent. It also illustrates that in the 20th century, the myth of the child as artist and conversely the artist as child has flourished. In the works examined in this chapter, children play a dual role: on the realistic level, they can appear as traumatized victims of the Third Reich, but the fact that they may have been psychologically damaged does not prevent them representing the artist or at least his potential if this is the only way for writers to suggest some glimmer of hope in a morally bankrupt country, while on a narrative focus, it represents a clarity and integrity of vision which will become those of the artist.

Keywords:   post-war literature, myths of childhood, third reich, artist, child

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