Who Owns the Story of the War?

The Presentation of the Post-Yugoslavian Wars in German and Swedish Literature

Anja Zeltner|2017

Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg


This paper compares literary presentations of the 1990’s Post-Yugoslavian Wars in German and Swedish literature. The Austrian author Peter Handke mainly initiated the discourse in Germanic literature. However, the analysis is not confined to him. Additional research includes around twenty Germanic and ten Swedish texts. The study focusses on their literary approach to the topic, the motives and their influence on media and academia. The paper shows that the Germanic and Swedish literary landscape fundamentally differ. One of the reasons for this is that the Swedish texts are frequently influenced by biographic experiences of the authors meanwhile the Germanic authors usually had not been personally affected by the wars. Thus, in comparison to the Germanic texts, Swedish literature is less likely to criticize the media's presentation of war actions because of its first-hand information about it

Suggested citation

Zeltner, Anja. Wem gehört die Geschichte des Krieges? Die Darstellung der postjugoslawischen Kriege in deutsch- und schwedischsprachiger Literatur. Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, 2017, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bvb:29-opus4-82686.