Indirect Speech - Descriptions in Austrian Postwar Prose
Austria’s post-1945 period was complex and full of contradictions. Binswanger Friedman looks in his doctoral thesis at prose written by Austrian postwar authors, who experimented with literary description and indirect speech to address pertinent sociopolitical questions. Description and indirect speech represent central concepts in different disciplines, for they occupy a space where writing, enunciation, and subjective experience overlap. Here, literary techniques provide the formal means to structure the complex nature of social relationships. They answer to the fundamental issues of postwar society: responsibility, memory, and testimony. The work of Austrian authors serves as an archive of different experiential realities and literary traditions, including Christine Lavant, Ilse Aichinger, Friederike Mayröcker, Marlen Haushofer, and Thomas Bernhard.
Daniel Binswanger Friedman is currently a Ph.D. candidate in German Studies at Cornell University. His main interests are twentieth-century German-language philosophy and literature, in particular Austrian literature, the origins of analytic and non-analytic philosophies of language, and Russian formalism. His dissertation addresses Austrian postwar prose, highlighting the writer’s idiosyncratic engagement with description and indirect speech as sites of nuanced formal innovation and political action. Prior to his doctoral studies, Binswanger Friedmann studied philosophy and mathematics at the University of Oregon and received an MFA in creative writing (poetry) at CUNY Brooklyn College. Supported by the Fulbright and DAAD foundations, he spent three years in Vienna and Berlin to study, write, and translate (2014-2017).
Als Übersetzer: »Logical Empiricism«, in: Rob McFarland, Georg Spitaler, Ingo Zechner (Hg.), The Red Vienna Sourcebook, New York 2020, pp. 91–112; »BWV 910–916«, in: Triëdere – Zeitschrift für Theorie, Literatur und Kunst (Vol. 21), Vienna 2020, pp. 35–36; als Übersetzer: »Deaestheticization«, in: Timon Beyes und Jörg Metelmann (Hg.), The Creativity Complex, Bielefeld 2018, pp. 114–119.
1930 bezeichnet der sowjetische Semiotiker Walentin Woloschinow die indirekte Rede als »Rede in Rede ... und gleichzeitig Rede von Rede«. In diesem Vortrag wird die indirekte Rede als literarisches und formales Verfahren betrachtet, mithilfe dessen österreichische Autor*innen grundlegende sozialpolitische Fragen der Nachkriegszeit aufwerfen.