Elfriede Jelinek's postdramatic stage essay Rein Gold (2012) interweaves countless texts including Richard Wagner's operas from the Ring cycle, Karl Marx's The Capital, and Marx and Friedrich Engels's The Communist Manifesto as well as contemporary writings and news articles. Scholarship has so far examined the play in comparison to Wagner's Rheingold opera, which serves as the base for the dialogue between the father Wotan and daughter Brünnhilde. This article examines intertextualities with the story of the National Socialist Underground, an extremist right-wing group that committed hate-crime murders and bank robberies, and with the exploitative history of workers, particularly women, in capitalist systems. Jelinek compares the National Socialist Underground's attempt to violently rid Germany of non-ethnic Germans with Siegfried's mythical fight as dragon slayer in the Nibelungenlied that created a hero who has been cast as a German identity figure for an ethnonational narrative and fascist ideas in twenty-first-century Germany.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 114-133
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.