Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Historical UncannyDisability, Ethnicity, and the Politics of Holocaust Memory$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Susanne C. Knittel

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823262786

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823262786.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use (for details see www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 November 2018

Bridging the Silence, Part I

Bridging the Silence, Part I

The Disabled Enabler

(p.72) Chapter Two Bridging the Silence, Part I
The Historical Uncanny

Susanne C. Knittel

Fordham University Press

This chapter takes an analysis of the problematic representation of Nazi euthanasia in the TV miniseries Holocaust as the point of departure for an examination of the more general difficulties inherent in the representation of mental illness. It discusses a series of literary texts by Heinrich Böll, Wolfdietrich Schnurre, Alfred Andersch, Christoph Hein, and Günter Grass, which feature “disabled enabler” figures— mentally ill characters whose quasi-prophetic insight helps the protagonist in critical situations. This ostensibly empowering representation is in fact highly limiting and serves ultimately only to reinforce stereotypical notions of disability. Grass's The Tin Drum emerges as a litmus test for the attitudes toward mental illness in West Germany fifteen years after the war: an examination of the novel's contemporary reception reveals striking continuities between pre- and postwar Germany with regard to the rhetoric of deviancy and the preservation of the health of the body politic.

Keywords:   Disabled enabler, Representation, Mental illness, Reception, The Tin Drum, Literature

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .