Abstract

Abstract:

This article proposes a new reading of Herta Müller's 2009 novel Atemschaukel as a critique of the notion of "reform through labour" that was used to legitimize the Soviet gulag system, drawing attention to the striking similarities between the critique articulated in the novel and Karl Marx's account of the qualitative transformation of the labour process in the course of its real subsumption under capital. I show how several elements of Marx's account are reflected in complexes of figuration that run throughout the novel, amounting to an immanent literary critique of the theoretical foundations of the gulag system.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1911-026X
Print ISSN
0037-1939
Pages
pp. 134-154
Launched on MUSE
2021-06-09
Open Access
No
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