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The Poet as an Inflexible Dissenter (Der Poet als unbeugsamer Dissident)

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Hans Joachim Schädlich’s Reception of Frischlin in Versuchte Nähe (1977) and Its Source Materials from David Friedrich Strauß (Hans Joachim Schädlichs Frischlin-Rezeption in Versuchte Nähe (1977) und ihre Quellen bei David Friedrich Strauß)

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In 1977 the East German author Hans Joachim Schädlich published Versuchte Nähe (English edition Approximation published in 1980), a small volume of short stories. While the Western German press praised Schädlich’s first work as a literary reflection of the society in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), Schädlich was marginalized as a dissident in the GDR and had to move to West Germany. One of the short stories in Versuchte Nähe is about the last days of the German renaissance author Nicodemus Frischlin, who, arrested by German authorities, died in prison. The story was appreciated for its style using a “Luther-like language”. Schädlich’s story is mainly based on a biography of Frischlin written by David Friedrich Strauss, a famous and prolific 19th century German author and theologian. Schädlich’s modification of the original source includes a description of the conditions of imprisonment and the heroification of Frischlin as an uncompromising critic of a totalitarian regime.

Affiliations: 1: Stuttgart, Deutschland,


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