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„Schon in Apolda wird der Norden doch viel rarer“: Reinhard Lettaus Zur Frage der Himmelsrichtungen und die imaginäre Geographie der Literatur

Jan Röhnert


Pages 225 - 232



Spatial and topographical topics occupy an ever growing field of interest in literary research. In that context, literature especially dedicated to space, places, directions, landscape etc. (“place writing”), is worth to be reconsidered. Reinhard Lettau (1929–1996), born in Erfurt (Thuringia/Germany), German-American writer and scholar, was a master of minimal prose in the tradition of the Romantic grotesque, the absurd, but also the political engagement in the aftermath of 1968 and Herbert Marcuse’s Californian aesthetics of cultural subversion. His small prose book <em>Zur Frage der Himmelsrichtungen </em>considering the paradoxes in the perception of the directions of space appeared in 1988, one year before the borders of Cold War Germany and Europe collapsed and the meaning of the directions was to be reconsidered. Following my small introduction into the poetics of space directions (<em>Kleine Poetik der Himmelsrichtungen</em>, Göttingen 2014), I want to examine Lettau’s poetical play with the directions, and the biographical, historical and geopolitical implications of his spatial discourse.

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