restricted access Late Socialism as a Narrative Problem: Christoph Hein and the Limits of the Novella

Christoph Hein’s Der fremde Freund, published in the GDR in 1982, counts as a paradigmatic postwar German novella. While the text announces its genre membership explicitly, it fails, or perhaps refuses, to substantiate fully its initial self-categorization. Indeed, its ambiguous adherence to the premises of this event-focused genre highlights how the use of a particular generic format to organize narrative material can serve to foreground and conceal, activate and deactivate ideological meanings.