Ingeborg Bachmann’s novel

Malina

, published in 1971, belongs to the most significant –if also the most cryptic – works of Austrian literature in the twentieth century. Prefaced by a list and short description of five characters, as well as the time designation of “today” and the place designation of “Vienna”, the text starts out more reminiscent of a play than a novel. By presenting her figures as a cast of characters, Bachmann hints at the “acting” that is often required in order to conform to socially determined, gender-specific roles. This implicit critique is reinforced by the namelessness of the female narrator, who is only designated as “Ich” (“I”) in the list of characters, while the males around her lay claim to their own named identities. Bachmann…

1135 words

Citation: Marston William, Jennifer. "Malina". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 December 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16581, accessed 25 July 2024.]

16581 Malina 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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