Literary Concepts of Masculinity in Christian Kracht's Imperium and Steffen Kopetzyk's Risiko


Uysal Ünalan S.

STUDIEN ZUR DEUTSCHEN SPRACHE UND LITERATUR-ALMAN DILI VE EDEBIYATI DERGISI, no.43, pp.155-185, 2020 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 43
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/sdsl2020-0006
  • Title of Journal : STUDIEN ZUR DEUTSCHEN SPRACHE UND LITERATUR-ALMAN DILI VE EDEBIYATI DERGISI
  • Page Numbers: pp.155-185

Abstract

Christian Kracht's imperium and Steffen Kopetzky's Risiko can be described as historical adventure novels, which deal with the Wilhelminian Era. In both novels it is significant that the context of the German colonialism plays an important role. Closely related to the specific configuration of the male subjects of colonialism, these novels open up a critical perspective on the typical perception of masculinity of the Wilhelminian Era, in which masculinity is associated with solidity, self-assertion, control and force. The aim of this study is to demonstrate that Kracht's Imperium as well as Kopetzky's Risiko can be seen as narratives which vehemently question conventional images and discourses of heroic masculinity. The study refers to literary studies which focus on the literary conception of masculinity. After a short outline of the cultural discourses about masculinity at the beginning of the 20' century, I will analyze the male figures. The illustration of the discursive link between the fictional configuration of masculinity and the imperial world politics of Germany constitutes a crucial point of the analysis. Therefore, I will also concentrate on the significance of the body. In this sense, it could be ascertained that the images and configuration of masculinity in Kracht's Imperium and in Kopetzky's Risiko are dominated by colonial discourses, which turn out to be negative. So, the literary conception of masculinity serves as a critical dimension, that reveals the negative aspects of German colonialism politics in the Wilhelminian Era.