Magical Realism in the Holocaust Literature of the Postwar Generations: Doron Rabinovici’s The Search for M. and Robert Schindel’s Born-Where

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This article investigates the use of magical realism in two Holocaust novels written by the contemporary Austrian writers Doron Rabinovici and Robert Schindel, who both are descendants of Holocaust survivors. I will argue that Rabinovici and Schindel not only use the narrative technique of magic realism in order to bear witness to the “reality of the events”, as experienced by their parents (Arva, 2011), but also in order to represent the “double reality” (Steinecke, 2005) of the “children of the holocaust” (Epstein,1979). Both Rabinovici’s novel The Search for M. (Suche nach M., 1991) and Robert Schindel’s novel Born-Where (Gebürtig, 1994) visualize the situation of being torn between two contradictory perceptions of the world: on the one hand, the “normal” perception of the world, based on the present norms of society, and on the other hand, a perception of the traumatic world bestowed by family history, which clearly subverts those present norms. Whereas the magical element in The Search for M. is inherent in the contradictions of the
story line, it is shown in a bewildering narrative structure in Born-Where (Genette, 1980).
Original languageEnglish
JournalInterferences Litteraires
Pages (from-to)81-97
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

ID: 131730584