Abstract

The article takes issue with Sara Lennox’s reading of the significance of the famous film noir classic The Third Man in Bachmann’s 1971 novel Malina. While Lennox uses the film’s inscription into Malina to prove her overarching thesis that the novel must be understood—like the film—as historically specific to the Cold War era, I argue that it is a much broader, metahistorical level that Bachmann emphasizes by naming her much-discussed dream chapter “Der dritte Mann” after the film. It is, in other words, the sublation of the film’s historical specificity into a type of collective unconscious, resulting in a much more universally fluid view of the how fascist tendencies permeate society and have continued into the postwar era.

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