glossen: heft 7 — aufsätze

  Colonization and Magical World View in
Ingeborg Bachmann´s Fragment of a Novel Das Buch Franza[1]
Monika Albrecht (Münster)

In 1966, in the German periodical Merkur Herbert Lüthi offered the following observation: »Let the pejorative ‘colonialism’ serve as a retrospective curse. The concept of colonization cannot be detached from its original sense of development, of cultivation and of cultural transplantation, and so history is full of examples that ‘decolonization’ is never anything but regression.«[2]With such a self-confident view of the achievements of modern western civilization, in the sixties people all over the western world tried to justify the system of colonialism in retrospect. At the other end of the political spectrum, by contrast, there was a fierce denouncement of the strategies the West used to consolidate its supremacy in the new international context - once again to the detriment of the nations they had formerly exploited. Between those opposing points of view and against the backdrop of a growing number of trouble spots in the former colonies, it was only in the mid-sixties that the so-called neo-colonialism debate took its belated start in the German-speaking world.[3] The periodical Kursbuch, newly founded and edited at that time by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, played an important role in this discussion.[4] Beginning with the second issue that appeared in August 1965, this periodical often dealt with matters concerning the Third World - and, almost simultanously, in July of that year, the Berlin periodical Das Argument launched a series of special issues on the topic of »Problems of the developing World«. In Kursbuch, Enzensberger described the contemporary political situation as an increasingly crass opposition between »us« and »them«, between the ‘first’ and the ‘third’ world.[5] With special attention to the slogans of the ‘yellow peril’ or the ‘black scare’ which were then circulating in the entire western world - in the US, he might also have mentioned the ‘red scare’ and the ‘black list’ -, he questioned why people rarely talked about a ‘white scare’.[6] Half a year later, this ‘white scare’ was once again vehemently conjured up, not by a former colonized person, but by a white woman who accused her white husband, and later the entire white race, of mental colonization and exploitation: »The whites [...]. May they be damned« (KA 2, 235)[7] are the last words spoken by the fictional character Franziska Ranner. At the official end of the colonial age, Ingeborg Bachmann, in her fragment of a novel, The Book of Franza (Das Buch Franza), portrayed the marriage of her title character as a relationship between (male) colonizer and colonized (female), and the termination of the marriage as an attempt at decolonization.

Yet, Bachmann did not finish this colonization story of a white woman and, obviously, five years later a change of great magnitude had already taken place. The title character of the Franza novel still compared her situation with that of colonized people and claimed: »I am a Papua« (KA 2, 232). The novel Malina, however, observes that due to our civilizing »we have [...] forfeited the honor of even being considered alongside the wildest savage«.[8] Moreover, in almost each of the numerous interviews conducted after the appearance of her first novel, Bachmann emphasized that you cannot depict the consciousness of an era by »reiterating the sentences society speaks« (GuI, 71f.).[9] »You may wonder«, she said in her interview with Toni Kienlechner: »Where, for example, does the Viet Nam War come into place here, where are the world affairs? But the world affairs are just compulsory exercises. My writing is not program music. It is not as though you would have written something about the age that way, and I don´t believe that it is the job of literature to write about its time this way«.[10] But just that - reiterating such sentences as society speaks - is, to a great extent, what Bachmann herself did in the novel The Book of Franza, which, however, had already been written and left untouched in a drawer for several years at the time of the Malina interviews.[11] So, when Bachmann so adamantly insisted on this position in the interviews and even more emphatically one year later in her acceptance speech for the Wildgans Prize,[12] this cannot be explained simply by the fact that she had to defend her novel Malina against the demands made on literature in these politically turbulent times. It would appear that she had considered the earlier Franza novel in danger of becoming »program music«. But, of course, this cannot be gleaned from the text, because Bachmann did not impart how, in her opinion, one should write about the time. In any case, the question of whether such principles of poetics played a role when she stopped working on the Franza novel could not be posed before the preconditions were established. To date, however, the degree to which Bachmann´s work is embedded in its period of origin has not yet been investigated. Bachmann scholarship is only now on the verge of discovering that Bachmann is no longer a contemporary author, but rather a protegee of the fifties and sixties.

In the first decade after Bachmann´s rediscovery in the early eighties, Bachmann scholars assumed that the failure of the Franza novel could be attributed to autobiographical causes or the situation of a woman writing in general, and an observation by Christa Wolf became very popular. She had maintained in 1982 in her Frankfurt Lecture: »Bachmann [...] is the woman Franza in the novel fragment The Franza Case who simply cannot get a grip on her life, cannot give it a form; who simply cannot manage to make her experience into a presentable story«.[13] In those days, however, neither the circumstances of the book´s failure nor Bachmann´s comments on it were commonly known, since this was not disclosed on the occasion of the first posthumous publication of the fragmentary novel in the Collected Works edition in 1978. After the four-part reading from the unfinished novel in March 1966, Bachmann seems to have continued working unswervingly; in the summer or the fall, the novel was obviously abandoned for a while,[14] and, in November 1966, she informed the Piper publishing house: »I suddenly understood that it can´t work like this. It is not only the rough spots and some individual pages that bother me [...], the manuscript seems to me like a helpless allusion to something which is yet to be written«. The verdict, then, refers to the novel as a whole and not only to the middle chapter »Jordan Time,« which seems to invite speculations in this regard because of its explosive content. The question of the possible causes of the failure is thus to be applied, above all, to the overall concept of the novel. To this end, however, it is necessary to read the novel in a quite different light than it has usually been read. It has thus far been taken for granted that the novel was certainly unfinished but nevertheless a brilliant literary work. The conditions for a more critical approach like the one I shall present are much better today than they were in the eighties, because, with a growing distance from the time of origin of Bachmann´s Todesarten-project, contradictions which had obligingly been ignored for a long time are now identifiable. This quite welcome development in our perception is not to be misunderstood as a devaluation or derogation of Bachmann´s prose project. I am rather talking about a new approach which considers the virtues but also the limitations of Bachmann´s work against the backdrop of its period of origin;[15] in the case of those texts that have remained fragmentary it is now imperative that the ‘works in progress stage’ of these texts be taken seriously.[16]
Thirty years after the emergence of the Franza novel, a more critical approach to the texts, which, as a consequence, will presumably initiate another revision of the Bachmann image, also takes place against a different theoretical backdrop from which Bachmann scholarship in turn draws new impulses.[17] In the German-speaking world the »clear equation woman equals victim, man equals offender«[18] was tenaciously persistent until well into the eighties, and the novel The Book of Franza owes its success during this period last but not least due to these underlying associations. The victim/offender model has meanwhile fallen into disrepute both in the feminist and in the postcolonial discussion. On the one hand - based on the works of Jessica Benjamin[19] and others - such opposing pairs were superseded by a »theory of gender arrangements«, that is, by a concept »that considers patriarchal society a result of gender relations which both sexes reproduce anew again and again«;[20] on the other hand, despite the criticism of Euro-centrism, the idea of mutually determined dependence structures is also a consideration and therefore the task is to understand »the historical experience of imperialist power as a mutual experience« of colonizer and colonist.[21]

Against the backdrop of these various questions, I will attempt to provide, as an example, a critical revision of Bachmann´s depiction of the marriage of her novel character as a relationship between a (male) colonizer and a colonized (female). To a large extent, the novel owes its reputation for a radical critique of western civilization to the opposition colonizer/colonized combined with the female protagonist´s ‘magical world view’. According to the predominant trend in the interpretation of Bachmann´s work during the eighties, the Whites represent »the realization that the history of colonization and the history of patriarchal society have different victims, but only one offender.«[22] It is probably not purely coincidental that several quotations come to mind by association: »I am of an inferior race«; »He took from me what goods I had« [like the Whites took what the Blacks had]; »I am a Papua. You can only rob those who really live with magic.« Inevitably, these sentences have been quoted time after time ever since Christa Wolf described them as »key sentences« of the novel in the early eighties.[23] To date, however, they have yet to be taken to task as the subject of scholarly criticism. On closer examination these statements occupy only a limited amount of space in the novel - that is, little more than one printed page - as a kind of concentration and culmination of the novel´s fundamental motifs. In the 1978 Collected Works edition, this confluence of motifs makes up the end of the chapter »Jordan Time«. In the completely revised version of the critical edition, it is situated in the context from which it emerged, that is, at the beginning of the version of the chapter »Jordan Time« which was actually written last. Consequently, this explosive page of text is of particular interest. But, first - by pointing out several references that demonstrate that the Franza novel actually ‘reiterates a lot of sentences that this society speaks’ (that is, the society of the sixties) - I wish to shed some light on the period of origin as a backdrop for this novel visible.

The Book of Franza in its Historical Context

In November of 1959, in the first of her Frankfurt Lectures, Bachmann said: »Surely no one believes anymore today that writing takes place outside of the historical situation - that there is even one writer whose point of departure is not determined by the circumstances of his times.« (WA IV, 297)[24] In her 1958 Radio Play, The Good God of Manhattan, she had already mentioned the vocabulary of the period that Enzensberger recalled again in the mid-sixties:[25] »when the light turns green / beware the red and the brown / the black and the yellow peril« (WA I, 276). It is obvious that the inclusion of the colonization theme in the Franza novel, too, involves precisely this kind of rootedness in current affairs and, as implied by the above-mentioned reference to the onset of the neo-colonization debate in the German-speaking world at this time, is clearly a direct treatment of the period´s contemporary political themes. A glimpse at the intellectual venues and publications that set the tone for this period accentuates the degree to which the Franza novel is embedded in the contemporary political debates of the sixties.

In the August 1965 edition of the Kursbuch, which included a pre-publication version of the first chapter of Frantz Fanon´s The Wretched of the Earth in German translation,[26] Enzensberger describes, in his own essay, the »double bind« that Fanon is caught up in: »He predicts the end of the European gamble, but makes his proclamation in French. He contradicts the European values he rejects with the concept of the New Man, an idea of venerable age which contributed to all of the European ideologies from Christianity up to Stalinism, but which did not exactly gain conciseness or force of expression in the process.«[27] The discussion surrounding the mental colonization of the »leading speakers among peoples of poverty« in the Kursbuch was carried further by Peter Weiss, among others.[28] The literary works of Third World writers whose books appeared in increasing number in German-language translations in the sixties[29] also dealt with mental colonization. Bachmann´s library contains a copy of Aimé Césaire´s »Play about Patrice Lumumba« (Im Kongo) which appeared in German translation in 1966, issued by Klaus Wagenbach Verlag, then still a fledgling publishing house. There is a passage there that reads: »Could it be that there are Flemish people here? Black Flemish!« and, in another, Cesaire has the Congolese drinking Belgian beer in a toast to their independence - ironically, of course.[30] For Bachmann, too, this aspect of mental colonization is of utmost importance in the sixties at the official end of the colonial period. This is evident when she takes Rimbaud´s »Shriek of terror« - »The whites are coming!«[31] - one step further, extending its application to a time when the whites »are thrown back«. The Whites, according to Bachmann »will return in spirit when they cannot come any other way. And they will rise and be reborn in a brown or black brain« (KA 2, 73 and 278).

Another aspect of the colonization thematic in the Franza novel, relating to the equating of women and colonized peoples, is brought to a head in what is perhaps the most well-known of all the statements made by the Franza figure: »I am a Papua.« This analogy, too, must be viewed against the backdrop of the sixties when the first signs of the modern women’s movement were already emerging. The famous dictum, »Women are the world´s negroes and the negroes of collective history,«[32] was certainly first introduced to the German-speaking world in a contribution to the June 1969 issue of the Kursbuch, but Bachmann´s Franza figure cannot lay claim to authorship for the parallels drawn between racism and sexism expressed in the famed Papua citation. The argument that »women are discriminated against in the same way that ethnic minorities are because colonial racism follows the same basic logic as sexism«[33] was already posed alongside the theory of the primacy of patriarchy in the feminist discourse of the early sixties. For example, in the periodical Das Argument, a series of articles on the »Emancipation of Women: The Problematics of Sexuality and Domination« was published beginning in 1962. This demonstrates how self-evident it was at this time for women, members of the working class and people of non European heritage to be mentioned in the same breath.[34] Recapitulating the year-long debate in Das Argument, Ursula Schmiederer, in 1965, summed up by contending that it was »absolutely legitimate« to lump together minorities »whose fate is an index for the repressive tendencies of a social system in general«.[35] The saying that would later be oft-cited, »Women are the world´s negroes«, reminiscent of Bachmann´s Papua citation, originated from these debates in the early and mid-sixties.[36] Besides, Bachmann´s Franza novel also reflects the discussion surrounding questions concerning the pre-eminence of oppressive mechanisms - whether it be membership in a social class, gender or race - and the early attempts at demonstrating structural connections in this balance of political and social power. Rimbaud´s racial metaphor - »I am of an inferior race« - serves the protagonist not only as a comparison of her situation with that of oppressed peoples; taking up the discourse of the sixties, she conjoins Friedrich Engel´s thesis of the »first class opposition«: »Or wouldn´t it have to be class? Because I <have> been exploited, used« (KA 2, 230).[37]

Finally, I would like to mention two further aspects of the intellectual climate of the sixties that are particularly pertinent in conjunction with Bachmann´s mooring of the colonization theme to the ‘magical world view’ of her title character. For one thing, Wilhelm Reich was rediscovered at this time and - as an indirect consequence - among others the works of Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942), who conducted field research during the period between the World Wars in what is now Papua-New Guinea.[38] Books like Sex and Repression in Savage Society, which appeared in the German language in 1962,[39] for example, became the trail blazers for the countercultural movement that flourished in the late sixties and were characterized not least of all by an interest in the lifestyle of the so-called primitive peoples, a trend that has resurfaced repeatedly ever since the 18th Century because »primitive societies illuminate, by contrast, the dark side of world civilization«.[40] Furthermore, the sixties were a time in which shifts in thinking on decisive questions in anthropology and ethnology were occuring. Particularly the issue of how foreign peoples´ way of thinking stood in relationship to that of the western researchers was thoroughly re-examined. By the late fifties and early sixties, the ethnocentric perception of these peoples as a primitive preliminary stage of development to our own advanced civilization, a view endemic to the 19th century framework and its scholarly tradition, had been abandoned for the most part.[41] So, for example, where the magical practices of primitive peoples had previously been considered »prime examples of false consciousness«,[42] from this point on, the question was posed as to whether the »principles and basic premises« of ethnology as a discipline did not themselves »result from ethnocentricism - the representation of foreign cultures in the image of one´s own«.[43] Another result of this reorientation was attempts to reevaluate the so called primitive ways of thinking, efforts that went hand in hand with a cultural critique of the rational world view of the West - a world view which was henceforth seen as »not merely distinct from the ‘magical world view’, it is inimical to it«.[44]

So, when in 1964[45] Bachmann´s novel character Franza pronounces her husband Leo Jordan a colonizer and claims for herself: »I am a Papua. You can only rob those who really live with magic and for me, everything has meaning« (KA 2, 232), she has found a metaphor for her situation which reflects its period of origin in several ways.[46] It was perhaps less typical of the sixties to give precedence to these varying ways of thinking and living as such when examining the colonial relationships. But this very problem - the collision of contradicting cultures and its effect on the psyche of those impacted by it - was obviously one that became a central concern for Bachmann in The Book of Franza. At the same time, against the backdrop of increasing political awareness in the sixties, this theme was marginalized from the discussion. So, for example, Albert Memmi's The Colonizer and the Colonized - written in French in 1955/56[47] - was not published in German until 1980.[48] In it, the (Tunisian-French) author analyses the way the colonial framework forms character traits and dictates behavior in people on either side of the relationship.[49] When it first appeared on the market in the French original, it became a standard work for the colonial opposition. Frantz Fanon´s second book - his political pamphlet against neo-colonization, The Wretched of the Earth[50] - was translated into German in 1966, several years before his first, Black Skin, White Masks.[51] With its central focus on cultural collision and its consequences for those affected by it, Black Skin, White Masks, though written in the fifties, shared the fate of Albert Memmi's book and wasn´t translated into German until 1980[52] - two years after the publication of the original version of Edward Said´s Orientalism, which is now considered a standard reference work in post-colonialist theory.

In the early seventies, Bachmann described »world events« as a supposedly »compulsory exercise« for writers, one she had no desire to undertake herself - not anymore, I might add, in light of the wide array of contemporary themes to which she paid tribute in the mid-sixties in a way that she would presumably criticize at a later date. It is not difficult to discern the motivation driving her to do this in the novel. In the chapter, »Darkness over Egypt«, Franza asks her brother a question, one that obviously occupied Bachmann´s thoughts very early on[53] and that would take on an increasingly central role in the Todesarten-project - the question of the relationship between the life history of the individual and of world history:[54] »My story and the story of all people; together, they surely comprise the sum of history, but where are the points of intersection between these and the whole of history?« (KA 2, 270) The thematisation of colonialism, much like Bachmann´s treatment of facism,[55] is to be seen against the backdrop of this question. And, when Bachmann conceives the characters Jordan and Franza in terms of »two protagonists in the colonial drama«,[56] she is obviously ferreting out the nascent core of the political balance of imperialistic power in interpersonal human behavior. The question, then, becomes one of whether the answers Franza herself finds concerning the relationship between individual history and the »whole of history« are congruent with those the novel strives to provide. First, though, a question must be posed of the text itself: the question of the degree to which - to come to the point - the Franza figure´s dubious understanding of history was intended as such.

The "Papua-Flaw"

The Franza figure´s oft-cited statement, in which she maintains that Jordan has colonized her mentality and places herself in relationship to the victims of colonization, is located in the latest version of the »Jordan Time« chapter. It was only in this advanced phase of work that the colonizer/colonized opposition was expressed explicitly and brought in conjunction with the magical world view motif. Franza contends in this text - to cite just one preliminary example that was not revealed in the earlier Collected Works version of the text - that Jordan »scalped the whole of her golden Galician skin« (KA 2, 230) and thus alludes to the »el Dorado« myth that fueled the conquistadors´ greed for gold in the 16th century and drove them to ever more marauding operations and haphazard plundering throughout the New World.[57] The comparison of the title figure with the victims of colonization follows immediately in a confluence of motifs that now directly addresses the stages of this history. These citations from the Franza fragment are the so-called »key sentences« Christa Wolf presented at the end of her Frankfurt Lecture:[58] »The Aborigines in Australia were never annihilated, and still they are becoming extinct, and the clinical studies are unable to identify any organic causes, there is a fatal desperation among the Papuas, a sort of suicide stemming from their belief that the whites have used magical means to take possession of all their goods, and were the Incas really slaughtered by gruesome bandits alone, by these few? and the Muruts today in North Borneo, dying, now that they´ve come in contact with civilization, and before, all the races of people you introduced to alcohol, they annihilated themselves in their desperation.« (KA 2, 230f.) What follows is a brief characterization of the Jordanian marriage in metaphorical images and similes, all of which are borrowed from the history of colonization, and finally, Franza gets to the heart of the matter by drawing an analogy between her situation and that of the Aborigines in New Guinea: »I am a Papua. You can only rob those who really live with magic, and for me, everything has meaning.« (KA 2, 232)

In light of these parallels drawn by the Franza figure (and their unreflected reiteration in scholarship on the subject), the critical question has already been posed as to »whether or not the (cultural-) political situation [...] of ‘Third World’ peoples supplies the material for analogies that are incorporated into the White woman´s dominant perspective of affliction and suffering and (in the representation) receive no intrinsic value.«[59] A related question would be, firstly, how this way of exploiting the experiences of foreign peoples actually takes shape, what conclusions does this sort of embodiment arrive at? When viewed in relation to the contemporary discourse on the subject of neo-colonialism that provided the backdrop for the genesis of The Book of Franza, it is conspicuous that, in spite of this discourse, physical or political and military force does not even get a mention in Bachmann's novel. In point of fact, Franza appears to actually qualify this aspect, if not go so far as to call it entirely into question. Bachmann´s protagonist - and this has thus far been overlooked - reduces rather high handedly the acts of genocide commited against American Indian populations to the ‘bungles’ by but a handful of bandits and furthermore undertakes less than pleasing corrective adjustments to the more recent history of colonization: In the case of the Australian Aborigines, she doesn't even bother to ask whether they »really were slaughtered by gruesome bandits alone, by these few?«; instead, she categorically denies it: »The Aborigines in Australia were never annihilated, and still they are becoming extinct, and the clinical studies are unable to identify any organic causes«. Well, we can hardly speak in terms of the Aborigines never having been »annihilated«. At the very latest, by the time tensions between the colonizers and native populations escalated to a declaration of martial law in the early nineteenth century and a bounty price was placed on the head of every Aborigine, this country became »the scene of the first act of genocide in modern history«.[60] It wasn't until the 1930´s that »the politics of assimilation and antibiotics finally put an end to the mass of deaths«, so that the Aboriginal population has increased in number since then.[61]

To take it one step ahead of the game: The rest of the Franza figure´s famous statement is comprised of similar mistakes and, naturally, the question arises as to why this is so. Bachmann stressed more than once in her interviews her political and historical interests (see GuI, 42f.); it would follow, then, that a deficit in the author´s historical awareness could not be at fault for the fictional character's egregious manipulation of history. We could of course ask whether it is not this very reluctance even to consider the possibility of an author's error that may have been partly responsible for the fact that mistakes made by the Franza figure have gone unnoticed in twenty years of research on the Franza novel, and thus could not have been examined as such. We could perhaps take it a step further and maintain that contradictions and inconsistencies have barely been brought into view because the fragmentary character of the Franza novel has not been taken seriously up until now. Every introduction to every study pays obligatory tribute to the unfinished state of the novel, but that´s where it ends, and The Book of Franza is subsequently read as though it were a wholly completed text - the assumption being, among others, that you can expect a serious author to know what she's talking about when information from distant fields of special knowledge surface in her text. If I may suggest for the moment an entirely different possibility: this being one of the latest sections created in the genesis of the Franza novel, we cannot, in my opinion, rule out the idea that Bachmann may well have written it without having researched it more carefully. It is entirely plausible to think that these famous lines may not be rooted in a reliable source, but the manner in which various stages of colonialist history are mentioned in one and the same breath suggests perhaps a specific common source: a documentary film, for example, perhaps even a report from a magazine.[62] After all, the opening of the »Jordan Time« chapter is one that was left more or less in a draft version;[63] the extant text was not intended for publication, so there is no reason it should not contain sentences which have not been thought out. If I am correct in postulating that Bachmann took her information from an unreliable source, it would certainly mean that for the past twenty years preliminary sketches have been accepted as »key sentences« of the novel without any regard for their status in the genesis of the work. So my suspicion is not a triviality. But we cannot prove it now nor will we be able to at some future date if Bachmann´s source is ever revealed: what we are dealing with here are the words of a fictional character, so the possibility also exists that Franza´s flaw was intended by the author, and this will have to be examined very carefully. For now, though, I would like to elaborate on the reasons for my heretical suspicion.

The prefaces accompanying the work on The Book of Franza offer one example of the fact that the first time the author takes up an idea does not necessarily lead to the immediate formulation of completely thought out sentences, but rather that it can at first occur on a more or less unreflected level - and this example, incidentally, relates, too, to the theme of violent crime I am dealing with here. Echoing J. A. Barbey d´Aurevilly, »one of the pioneers in literary decadence«, in these prefaces Bachmann formulates aspects central to the conceptualization of the Todesarten project,[64] which revolves around the crimes committed by modern civilization - around murder cases, then, in which, unlike the crimes of colonialism and fascism, there is no bloodshed. When the author follows Barbey almost a century later in speaking of »crimes of barbarism«, she appears to be referring first and foremost to the massacres of the Third Reich; but we can also see a fundamental attempt to come to terms with the problems of violent crime on the one hand and the »non-violent« crimes of civilization on the other. Interestingly, the further along she progressed in her work, the more critical Bachmann became in her consideration of her source. In the beginning, she recapitulates Barbey's narration in A Woman's Vengeance almost verbatim when she speaks of the bloodless »crimes of this civilization,« which are »much more atrocious than those of the basest barbarism« (KA 2, 72).[65] But she also seems to have soon become aware of the dubiousness of her contention, because she subsequently retracts her assessment[66] to the point where, in the third and last preface of this series, she speaks merely in terms of »crimes that require intellect and that move our minds« where there is »no bloodshed and the slaughter occurs within the parameters of the permissible and proper etiquette« (KA 2, 78). The fundamental comparison of the nonviolent crimes of civilization with the bloody crimes of barbarism that so obviously fascinated Bachmann about Barbey's text thus remains intact; but the presumptuous conclusion drawn here - namely, that crimes of intellect are much more horrific - was relinquished by the author the more she concerned herself with her source.[67] On closer examination, then, we see that Bachmann originally kept to her source without questioning it. In the case of the Franza figure´s statements on the Australian Aborigines and the Incas, there are, however, no existent stages of development or processing, so a critical question mark like the one reflected in her processing of the Barbey citations cannot be ascertained here.

One of the reasons Franza´s statement has not been illuminated from a critical perspective can perhaps be gleaned from the simple fact that Bachmann research has not taken note of certain aspects of this figure. Otherwise, it would have been inevitable to register that, for example, the question of the Inca´s fate was not politically inocuous and not, I might add, just from today's perspective. The question of whether the Incas »were really slaughtered by gruesome bandits alone« must be seen against the backdrop of a historiography that barely acknowledges the murder of a single native. Because even when Franza takes an unambiguous stand on the question of responsibility from another angle, it is one thing to place »culture shock« as a cause of death in the foreground, but it is another thing to ignore the violent crimes of history or worse, to deny their very occurance. While this latter representation of colonialist history was anything but obsolete in the sixties, it elicits substantial cause for concern when expressed here as a statement made by a literary character so steeped in positive connotations as Ingeborg Bachmann's Franza. Especially since the author could have, and perhaps did, know better: Her library contains a copy of the Spanish author Bartolomé de Las Casas' Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies (1542) - in an edition that appeared at the very same time that the author was working on the Franza novel, namely, in 1966, edited and with an afterword by Hans Magnus Enzensberger. The Dominican monk Las Casas spent four decades of his life in the just then discovered New World before he wrote his Brief Account of the Spaniard´s massacres[68] and, nowadays, is considered by many historians to be the first European to »have understood the profound questionability of the colonial phenomenon.« [69] It is along the same line that Enzensberger introduces the new 1966 edition found in Bachmann´s library and he points out that, in light of more recent research results, Las Casas »was probably rather too careful with his figures.«[70] Thus, if Bachmann actually ever took this book into account and did not simply discard and disregard it as a gift from the editor - which is yet another possiblity - she must have been conscious of how very dubious Franza´s doubts about the violent extermination of the Incas were. But, as far as the remaining aspects of Franza´s statements, this is not neccessarily applicable.
A more comprehensive look at Bachmann's library suggests that she didn't concern herself all too intensively with the thematic debate at issue.[71] Above and beyond the books already mentioned here - Aimé Césaire´s Im Kongo and Las Casas´ Brief Account - there are no further relevant titles, particularly none that demonstrate an interest in the fate of the Aborigines or the Papuas. In addition to the mistaken conclusions drawn about the Australian Aborigines already mentioned, Franza’s equally bizarre claims about the indigenous peoples of New Guinea are, however, particularly indicative of the notion that the entire citation about colonialism and magical world view can be traced to an unreliable source and attributed to author error; the more the relationships depicted in the text depart from an assumed level of knowledge in the general public, the more unlikely the reader is to notice when a character in a novel is wrong. And it would simply not have made sense for Bachmann to have foisted falsities onto her character deliberately without presuming that at least some of her readers would notice. Franza says, in her statement: »there is a fatal desperation among the Papuas, a sort of suicide stemming from their belief that the Whites have used magical means to take possession of all their goods«. And she is of the opinion that the same happens to her, on a metaphorical level - namely, that Jordan has robbed her of what goods she had: »Why anyone would do something like that is beyond me, but there´s no explanation for why the Whites took what the Blacks had either, not just their diamonds and their dates, their nuts and oils« (KA 2, 231). Before dealing with the actual situation of the Papuas in New Guinea, I wish to take a critical glance at the implications of this citation in and of itself, because Franza´s contention - once the seeds of suspicion have been planted - seems a bit odd even without this backdrop. In most of the colonies, the natives were driven from their lands, often by means of armed force, before the excavation of natural resources began. Mining industries like those in New Guinea are generally run by a conspicuously sprawling industrial park that is often protected by military surveillance. It is thus more than improbable that the Papuas would have sought an explanation in magic when the technical and military superiority of the Whites was so obvious. So, even without closer scrutiny, Franza’s imputations are dubious at best.

The excursion into the world of the Papuas, however, is reminiscent of a cult movement that flourished in the region in question, particularly in the first half of this century: the so-called »cargo-cults« that were actually interpreted to be a reaction to contact with Whites.[72] Cargo cults are based, on the one hand, on the belief that the ancestors will return in the near future bringing along an overabundance of »cargo« - that is, all the things the Papuas saw that the Whites had - and, on the other hand, on the conviction that the New Guinea natives are actually entitled to the goods the Whites have, a concept that must be viewed against the backdrop of our completely different concept of property ownership and cannot be discussed in detail here.[73] This belief sprang from a situation in which people »still using stone tools, and who only yesterday had never seen a white man, have stepped straight into a world of radios and aeroplanes«,[74] and developed as a result »a desire for the goods of the White man«.[75] They believed that »secret magical power was the key to the wealth of the Europeans«[76] and, since the goods never came, that the Whites used these magical powers to keep the goods from the natives. This is the only thing Franza could be referring to when she speaks of the Papuan belief that the Whites »used magical means to take possession of all their goods«. But what is at issue here are the cultural goods of the Whites, not New Guinea´s natural resources. Aside from the fact that a comparison between these cargo cults and Franza´s situation would make no sense, the very convoluted manner in which the imagination and rites of foreign peoples are distorted in this depiction leads us to suspect that we are not dealing with a conscious construction of texts by the author, but simply with the reproduction of an unreliable source.

Franza´s understanding of the magical world view of so-called primitive peoples is shaped by her pre-supposed notions about religious belief among the Papuas, culminating in her contention: »I am a Papua. You can only rob those who really live with magic, and for me everything has meaning.« (KA 2, 323) One might already assume, based on the example provided by the cargo cults, that Franza´s magical world view is infected far more by the provincial Austria of her childhood than by the New Guinean territories, as yet untouched by civilization, even if the expression »to live with magic« echoes the tone of discussions about magic in the field of ethnology that experienced a renaissance in the sixties.[77] Influential in these discussions were the contributions of Murray and Rosalie Wax, who adopted and developed the same approach introduced by the religious historian Sigmund Mowinkel and coined the term »magical world view«.[78] According to this perspective, magic cannot be seen as a degenerate religion or pseudo science, as had thus far been the case, but rather as a coherent world view, »a way of seeing things and their interdependence.«[79] That the magical conceptualization of the world must be understood as a cosmology was something that Sir James Frazer had already recognized a century earlier.[80] What the sixties added to the discussion was, on the other hand, a revaluation of the thought structures of so-called primitive peoples that also characterizes the statement made by the Franza figure in the most recent introduction to the chapter »Jordan Time«. The title of a comprehensive study that provides a retrospective survey of the decade´s anthropological and ethnological research, released in the early seventies, is indicative: In Search of the Primitive. A Critique of Civilization.[81] So, even in the early sixties, ethnologists were sometimes subject to the accusation that their assessment of primitive ways of life backlashed into a »xenomorphic conception of Western man«.[82] The parallels Bachmann draws between the lifestyles of primitive societies and those of her Franza figure can thus perhaps be seen as stemming from this context - gleaned perhaps from popular science publications - rather than being rooted in any sound knowledge of such societies, because magic and ritual as components of social life among so-called primitive peoples must be seen as a way of enacting the ambivalences of human interaction.[83] The primitive »society, so to speak, recognizes and provides for a wide range of human expression«.[84] Viewed along this horizon, then, similarities between these notions of magic and those developed in the Franza novel are barely discernible.

Bachmann, however, did not draw parallels between Franza´s magical world view and the Papuas until a very late stage in the work on the novel; while the magic motif appears throughout the fragment of the novel previously, it is presented in a manner more characteristic of the superstitions in rural areas of Europe than in non-European primitive societies.[85] Two traditional strains of thinking on conventional understandings of magic are visible in the novel: on the one hand, the notion that children and primitive peoples share the same »magical world view« and on the other hand you can find a world view like this not only in primitive peoples but also in neurotics and schizophrenics.[86] Franza´s brother Martin, who calls her a »savage« more than once (KA 2, 149, 265), plays a central role in illuminating the first of these strains of thought because he introduces to the novel the notion that Franza´s development halted at an early stage. So, for example, he takes note of her »steep schoolgirl script« that »evidently underwent no further development after the end of the war«. (KA 2, 145). Martin´s perspective reflects an understanding »whose logical consequence is that primitive peoples´ thinking is childish and does not distinguish between cognitive associations and causal relationships in the real world.«[87] The other traditional school of thought can be traced back to Freud´s treatise on Totem and Taboo (1912-1913), particularly the theory of »omnipotence of thoughts« developed there.[88] This »omnipotence of thoughts«, according to Freud, is »the principle governing magic« and »it is in obsessional neuroses that [its] survival [... ] is most clearly visible«.[89] Without exception, then, examples of magical thinking in Bachmann’s Franza novel echo notions of magic that, much like those described in Freud´s treatise,[90] are self composed by obsessional neurotics and not at all congruent with the magical and ritual practices of primitive peoples, whose very trademark is, after all, that these beliefs are not individual creations, but rather commonly shared by the social grouping/unit.[91] So, for example, in the version of the text read in Zurich, when Franza spends the night with two Arabian men, Jordan is said to »have had a nasty night« back in Vienna at the very same time (KA 2, 32); in the most recent version of the chapter »Jordan Time« she uses her »things«, the bread basket and bowls, to exert power over Jordan from a distance: »his hand cannot remove the bread, it would sooner turn leprous, and the bread to mold, because I keep thinking about it« (KA 2, 231f.). These examples center on Franza´s belief in the »omnipotence of thoughts« or, as Freud put it elsewhere, »the overvaluation of mental processes as compared with reality« that »have unrestricted play in the emotional life of neurotic patients«.[92] In the overall scheme of the novel, though, it is Jordan who exerts more power over Franza so that the relationship between the two characters adopts an aura of a power struggle between two magicians or sorcerors, each equipped with varying degrees of magical powers. Indeed, in a very early draft, Jordan is even called a »magician« (KA 2, 67), an idea that continues to resonate repeatedly throughout subsequent renderings of the material.[93] Ultimately, though, all these allusions to magical practices - from Franza’s alleged poisoning (KA 2, 60) to her mysterious »fits« (KA 2, 57f.) that border on obsessional neurotic behavior - can be reduced to a simple tautology: The novel undertakes an attempt to prove the contention that Jordan has caused her illness using magical means by attributing to him superior magical powers.

It is rather doubtful that the convergence of the earlier magic motif with the magical world view of primitive peoples undertaken in the Papua citation in this later stage of the work’s development presents an adequate solution to the dilemma. What is more, the inconsistencies increase exponentially when the relationship of magical force and power supersedes the actual historical relationship of force and power between the colonizers and the colonized. Just prior to the Papua citation, we find the assessment, »I am of an inferior race, ever since that happened, I know, that this will destroy itself« (KA 2, 230), and this dictum is, then, at the core of the misconceptions mentioned here: Franza´s conviction would have it that the magical world view leads to self-destruction, a sort of collective suicide, when the people come in contact with Western civilization. And this is precisely where she is wrong: Not even the »Murutes in North Borneo« are headed toward extinction,[94] as Franza maintains, »now that they´ve come in contact with civilization«, and she neglects to mention, in conjunction with »all the races of people introduced to alcohol«, that all over the world the problem of alcoholism was preceded by a ruthless displacement of the indigenous peoples, appropriation of their lands, and destruction of their basic methods and means of subsistence. The example of the cargo cults in Papua-New Guinea illustrates in particular that precisely the opposite of what Franza contends is true: namely, that adherence to the magical world view is not cause for self destruction but may well in fact be the prerequisite to self-preservation. These cults illustrate the very flexibility of the magical world view that obviously enabled the peoples concerned to cope with new situations appropriately.[95] Without a doubt, these cults grew out of »a highly charged emotional situation resulting from the overthrow or questioning of ancient ethical values«,[96] under circumstances, then, in which people still immersed in their traditional lifestyle were confronted by severely altered external conditions in the form of western civilization. The continued existence of the traditional magical world view and the creation of the cargo cults in Papua-New Guinea are, however, to be seen to »express social and moral solidarity and independence«;[97] they must thus be considered attempts at solving the very problems that arise from the colonial situation.[98] Even though colonized peoples all over the world have fallen by the wayside, discarded and disregarded as ‘losers’, it was not by any means merely the collision with western culture that lead to self-destruction among these peoples, as Bachmann´s Franza figure claims.

It would be impossible to reconstruct the way Bachmann intended to carry out the work after she had combined the earlier magic motif with the magical world view of colonized peoples or whether she had planned to pursue this complex of ideas at all. The work, in its extant stage of development, by presenting the combination of these two motifs, obviously intends to give an answer to the question of the relationship between individual life history and (collective) world history.[99] It is this very question that Franza poses later in the chronological sequence of events when, in the chapter »Darkness over Egypt«, she asks her brother: »My story and the story of all people; together, they surely comprise the sum of history, but where are the points of intersection between these and the whole of history?« (KA 2, 270) Her search for a similar connection between them leads her to such analogies between the situation of European women and the condition of colonized peoples that have, in many different ways, gone hand in hand with the entire history of colonization. And this is not entirely unwarranted since »the mechanisms for marginalizing both women and ethnic minorities in the construction of the Other are nearly identical in cultural historical dimension«.[100] As early as the sixteenth century J. Ginés de Sepúlveda, an advocate of the conquest and adversary of Bartolemé de Las Casas, had written, following Aristoteles: »In wisdom, skill, virtue and humanity, these people are as inferior to the Spaniards as [...] women to men«,[101] and in the sixties, one of the women´s movement´s slogans screamed: »Women are the world´s negroes and the negroes of collective history«. As many times as these paralles have been drawn, there have been almost as many instances in which the question of differences between them has not been posed.[102]
Bachmann´s Franza figure isn´t interested in drawing distinctions in her analogy either; far more, she appears to want to tie forcibly her history and the history of all people together. This understanding of history, juxtaposed against the backdrop of what has been said here, clarifies the degree to which this aspect of the character has thus far been ignored by scholarship on the subject. From Franza´s perspective, the issue of violent force as a factor is first faded out of world history, after which she introduces the aspect of self-destruction among colonized peoples in questionable notions of historical inevitability[103] and, in this manner, draws on an amazing logic to establish a connection between her own individual life history and world history: »I am of an inferior race, ever since that happened, I know that this will destroy itself« (KA 2, 230). Thus, Franza´s evaluation may be different, but her understanding of history demonstrates disconcerting parallels to those positions used to justify the system of colonialism and imperialism in the sixties - the very positions that depict the man-made historical reality of colonization as a »law of development«[104] and the mentality of oppressed peoples as predestined for colonization.[105] Viewing Bachmann´s text in this critical light, it is hardly imaginable that the novel´s answer to the question of relationship between individual life history and world history is limited to Franza´s perception of history which certainly laments the ‘survival of the fittest’ and the demise of the weak, but nonetheless regards this relationship as inevitable.

Creative Process and Narrative Structure

If the Franza figure´s flawed grasp of the Papuas and the Aborigines was intended by the author, then it can only have been a strategically applied narrative device designed to illustrate how dubitable Franza´s world view is. As the history of its perception demonstrates, this strategy - inasmuch as it indeed was one - has not exactly been self-evident to the readership. But the fact is that the text does provide scattered evidence - above and beyond Franza’s ‘Papua-Flaw’ - indicating such a narrative strategy. Especially in the two more developed chapters of the book, the narrative perspective undergoes a sort of breach even where it appears to coincide with the characters´ perspective. So, for example, consider that the narrator at the beginning of the trip to Egypt ascertains with relief, from Franza’s perspective: »The Whites. Finally a place they hadn´t found« (KA 2, 255), only to repeatedly mention, as an aside, that symbol of western civilization, the Coke bottle, that accompanies the siblings to the very end of the journey (KA 2, 257, 276, 280f., 328). In the Zurich Reading version of the text, this is even more apparent where it says: »but then she simply turned toward the men, holding the empty coke bottle in her hand. Europe, then, was at an end, it was all over for a white woman with her habits, taboos, social deformities.« (KA 2, 28) At least as far as the Franza figure is concerned, such references to the fact that the world view demonstrated by characters in the novel is to be regarded with caution surface only in rare exceptions. Another example taken from the more developed chapters that were published during Bachmann´s lifetime - if only on the occasion of public readings - illustrates that in the extant text of the unfinished novel precisely this »special affinity«[106] the narrator has for Franza can be seen as an ‘immature’ relationship between this narrator and his female protagonist (but, of course, this is not a question of demanding a particular narrative perspective or a particular relationship of the narrator to his characters). The fragmentary novel does not reveal Franza´s source of information on Egypt´s queen Hatschepsut and the history of the New Kingdom; but evidently, even Martin has forgotten what he learned from his reading of Breasted´s History of Egypt (KA 2, 173) in the Egyptian heat because he, like his sister, assumes that the Pharaoh Thutmosis III had his wife Hatschepsut´s insignias removed from the temple. James Henry Breasted and Egon Friedell, Bachmann´s sources for this motif, agree, on the other hand, that Thutmosis III was not only Hatschepsut´s husband, but also her half-brother and they both mention, too, that Hatschepsut´s father and another half-brother participated equally in the »desire to eliminate a great figure« (KA 2, 274).[107] It becomes quite apparent in this context that Franza has no use for a brother who wants to wipe out his sister´s history, if she hopes to compare her situation with that of the Egyptian queen - it would be obvious, that is, if the readers knew enough about the history of ancient Egypt to be able to recognize the manipulation as such. After all, the narrator of the Franza novel does give his figures free reign in the construction of an apparently fitting historical comparison, and it is decisive that Bachmann seems to have considered her work on this motif complete by the fall of 1966 - that is, before she left the novel in its extant stage. The twenty year history of its reception, then, has shown that here, too, the selective perception of the characters has been read as a report of historical facts,[108] and not completely without cause: Franza speaks about the Egyptian pharaohs and the Aborigines in New Guinea as though she knows what she´s talking about, and she is represented in the text as though she´s reporting established historical facts.

But the fact that such mistakes in the Franza figure are rarely identifiable as such is not the only weakness of the novel The Book of Franza; this problematic must be seen in conjunction with the overall concept of the novel in its extant state: on the one hand, the Franza figure is equipped with a degree of moral superiority that seems justified based on her whole situation as the victim of psychic murder; on the other hand, isolated signs clearly indicate an intent to depict the problematic aspects of Franza´s perspective. But the »particular affinity« on the part of the narrator toward Franza far outweighs them, and any occasional qualification of Franza´s perspective is engulfed by the pursuant imbalance. A couple of coke bottles and the narrator´s comment on how Franza´s sun tanned arm »was still white amid the Arabs« (KA 2, 275) are, frankly, rather inadequate in light of the prevailing »diseased perspective of the white woman«. Incidentally, the impact of the 1978 Collected Works version, entitled Der Fall Franza/The Franza Case, in determining the work´s reception is not to be underestimated. It would be the subject of a study in itself to question in detail the degree to which the Collected Works version of the »Jordan Time« chapter has colored our perception and led to the impression of the predominance of Franza´s perspective.[109] The middle chapter as it exists in this version consists almost exclusively of drafts written from Franza´s point of view and, for the most part, in the first person-narrative - a concentrated compendium of complaints so well-formulated and impressive that they have been quoted again and again. The only thing missing is the critical or perhaps merely ironic distance on the part of the narrator which does, after all, resonate occasionally in the two remaining chapters.

Even if only the most recent versions of each chapter are considered ‘most valid’, it is precisely the narrator´s relationship to Franza that appears underdeveloped. One might go so far as to say that the narrator repeatedly evades that very responsibility that he almost flaunts at one point in the opening passages of the novel and later demonstrates at various points throughout in the form of mere ironic distance. When, in the tunnel passage in the first chapter, the authorial narrator says that »the tangible facts that make up our world - they need the intangible as a vantage point from which to be seen« (KA 2, 134), when a narrative authority confronts its figures with facts (even if they are little more than coke bottles), then the same narrator or narrative authority cannot do what the characters are, of course, free to do: namely, to first manipulate the »tangible facts« so that they subsequently fit the intangible better. And this is, on closer examination, precisely what is happening in the cases of the inconsistencies outlined here when, for example, Franza places herself on a par with other victims of colonization: There was no violent force involved in the ‘colonial relationship’ of the Jordanian marriage that could even begin to resemble real incidences of genocide. Consequently, acts of genocide become acts of mass suicide in Franza´s portrayal, a collective self-destruction of the victims, and, just as she only mentions that aspect of the Egyptian history of the New Kingdom that appears fitting for comparison with the Jordanian marriage, in comparing her own situation to that of colonized peoples she eliminates the force factor that hardly lends itself to comparison. The narrator hides behind his character and gives her free reign, and the novel as it was left by the author does not hint at any intention of clarifying these inconsistencies.[110]

The sweeping generalization that the narrator demonstrates a »particular affinity for Franza«[111] appears rather undifferentiated in light of the fact that this very relationship between the narrator and his character was still the focus of the process of shaping the work until the very end. A look at this creative process is intended here to draw attention to this problem - one that should be considered more carefully in future scholarship on the subject. In the final extant version of the novel, Franza´s mistakes may not have been corrected, but the most recent version of the »Jordan Time« chapter does provide one index that points to a qualification of Franza´s perspective in a more general sense. Obviously, the author´s intent is not to allow Franza to speak as extensively in this late stage of work as before. The draft about the Papuas created in this last period of work was, after all, not intended to be the conclusion of the chapter as it is presented in the Collected Works version; it stands, rather, in a larger context, more toward the beginning of the chapter. In the images of the gas chamber dream, the cemetery of the murdered daughters and the Papua analogy, Franza certainly unfolds the three major themes of fascism, patriarchy and colonialism successively, but, obviously, the narrator was slated to resume his ‘reign’ after this explosive introduction with its confluence of motifs (KA 2, 232ff.). And this narrator´s presence is sometimes as ironic as it is in the first chapter, where he reports that occupation and rape became sought-after idols for the fifteen-year-old Franza when the war came to an end - all, of course, as the result of a basic misunderstanding: no one ever bothered to tell her what either of them meant (KA 2, 176). Similarly, in the most recent version of the »Jordan Time« chapter, Franza´s plans to become a doctor later and travel to »Africa or Asia« are founded on a rather naive motivation: »So, for a while [...] she always took sides with the negroes or the flood victims or people subject to policies of encirclement who, incidentally, had no skin color« (KA 2, 233f.). While it is doubtful that Franza´s dubious reconstructions of history could have been cushioned by the narrator´s ironic attitude, this is nonetheless a general indicator that Bachmann worked on qualifying her characters´ perspective.

But Bachmann also continued to develop the narrator´s affinity for Franza through the last phase of work, establishing the overall impression that the creative process was an ambivalent vacillation between these two poles and for that very reason necessarily leading to the inconsistencies mentioned above. Several observations about this last phase of work illustrate this peculiar phenomenon. In the famous tunnel passage at the beginning of the first chapter, a revealing change was made in the final corrections, which could seem to indicate that Bachmann had intended to devote more attention to the narrator at this point, shortly before the March 1966 reading. In the sentence »nun kann der Zug genau so gut fahren« (»the train may just as well travel«), the modal adverb »genau so gut« is replaced by the causal adverb »unserthalben« (»nun kann der Zug unserthalben fahren« / »as far as we´re concerned, the train can travel«) (KA 2, 134). At first glance, this formulation is reminiscent merely of what Bachmann terms the »old masters of the novel and the narrative« (KA 1, 398) in the later Goldmann/Rottwitz novel, not of a twentieth century author. Seen in the context of the time in which it was created, this classic authorial plural »unserthalben« could, however, be considered a signal for the »inner plural« of the narrative figure that such authors as Hubert Fichte and Max Frisch were experimenting with in the sixties and later, Günter Grass in the seventies.[112] Bachmann herself, after suspending her work on The Book of Franza, also sought such a pluralistic solution to the narrative question in her novel, Malina, where she applies the male/female doppelgänger constellation of I/Malina,[113] and it is not entirely unthinkable that this problem perhaps resonates already in the last level of corrections made to the tunnel passage. But when Bachmann presented this first segment of the chapter »Return Home to Galicia« at the March 22, 1966 reading in Hamburg, she left out the hand-written »unserthalben« after a brief pause for thought. Thus, the »inner plural« form of the narrative that had just been introduced explicitly - inasmuch as it was conceived as such - was again eliminated at the time of the lecture.[114] Further substantiation for such a renewed change in direction that is intimated here seems to exist in the most recent version of the »Jordan Time« chapter, completed after the March reading, when the narrator´s affinity for Franza is put in no uncertain terms. Alluding to the narrative excursion about the train traveling through the Semmering-Tunnel (KA 2, 134) - an image that stands for the process of enlightening discovery as well as for imagination and writing - Franza, too, speaks of her dream in terms of »driving through the tunnel at night« (KA 2, 230). What is more, she more or less becomes part of the process of portrayal when, in the beginning of the chapter, she says »there is something that manifests itself in me, I can see now how you could stage it« (KA 2, 228). What follows is Franza´s introductory monologue in which she is so mistaken on the subject of colonialism, as the examples outlined above demonstrate.[115] Overall, the qualification of Franza´s dubious perspective takes on so little shape that the relationship of the narrator to his female protagonist resembles - to cite Stanzel - a »kind of unsurmounted mediacy of presentation«[116] - a phenomenon which, in the case of the Franza novel, may indeed be attributed to the fact that the novel was left in unfinished form.

Now that this critical approach has been applied to the contradictions and inconsistencies in Bachmann’s novel The Book of Franza and has thus contributed to the qualification of a dubious character perspective that is itself recognizable in the fragmentary novel, the question arises as to the interpretive potential presented by Franza´s manipulation of history. The ‘Papua Flaw’ opens an interesting forum for questions that can be posed from today´s point of view against the backdrop of the post-colonialist debate. However, the danger of lapsing into wishful thinking cannot, in this context, be underestimated, as the following example illustrates. Edward W. Said writes, in his second book, Culture and Imperialism: »the tendency in anthropology, history and cultural studies in Europe and the United States is to treat the whole of world history as viewable by a kind of Western super subject, whose historicizing and disciplinary rigor either takes away or, in post-colonial period, restores history to people and cultures ‘without’ history.«[117] In the chapter from the Franza novel titled »Darkness over Egypt«, it says that the white archeologists have removed the mummies from their caskets and put them on display in museums. Franza, on the other hand, would like to »recover them with linen« and »place the golden masks back on their faces« so that the pharaohs rule once again and their »scripts and scrolls remain, signs of life, water signs, the winged-sun, the lotus blossom«. The narrator comments: »This is the restitution. This is the re-construction. The entrances to the tunnels stopped up, buried so that no one can find them. Thebes should sink, not a single cliff should open.« (KA 2, 291) Against the backdrop of the post-colonial debate, one could argue that this illustrates the ‘normal consciousness’ of the Whites, a way of thinking that flagrantly puts foreign peoples at its disposal as though this were the most natural thing in the world and even then exercises the »power of definition over the Other«[118] when it would prefer to reverse and reconstruct the outrageous crimes of history. It would, however, be nearly impossible to prove that Bachmann´s intent in this passage was to demonstrate manifestations of Euro-centric thinking as such - at least not without succumbing to wishful thinking that the author must have had this in mind.

But every analysis must ultimately settle on this very question of whether Euro-centric thinking was not only reproduced, but represented as such - for example, when Franza´s less than accurate reports on the stations of colonial history are taken as manifestations of her ‘normal white consciousness’. In conclusion, in the light of the colonialism motif, I would like to provide some insights into the type of questions that might be posed when examining the Franza novel against this backdrop. According to Todorov´s study, The Question of the Other, there are two basic positions, »two elementary figures of the experience of alterity«[119] that were already apparent when the Europeans made their first contact with inhabitants of the New World and are still visible today: The others are either considered equal, whereby ‘equal’ is confused with ‘identical’, which leads to a »projection of [one’s] own values onto the others«; or they are considered different but this difference is »immediately translated into terms of superiority and inferiority«.[120] Oddly enough, in Franza´s statements as recorded in the final version of the »Jordan Time« chapter, both of these things happen, namely because Franza, being a woman, sees herself cast in the role of someone who is not participant in the ‘white system’ and consequently allies herself with the others. Franza first contends that in each of the cases cited - from the Incas to the modern aborigines in Borneo - it was the very fact of contact with western civilization that had fatal consequences for each of these indigenous populations. Thus, she reduces the historical phenomenon of genocide to a pyschological problem among the conquered peoples and, in so doing, has established an appropriate analogy to her own situation in which the ‘murder’ was not a physical one as well. From this perspective, the foreign populations she compares herself with are »immediately assimilated, imbibed with the color of the personal self«.[121] The »Other is re-modeled, monopolized, re-formed until the Self can recognize itself in the Other, until the Self seems similar to the Other.« [122] She draws the others - the Aborigines, the Incas, and the Papuas - over to her side, placing them beside herself, blending out whatever doesn´t fit her own view and shaping the others to suit her own person. But Franza does not understand this process as such; on the contrary, she sees herself situated on the side of the Others and, from this position, she reproduces the hierarchical relationship of inferiorty and superiority that corresponds to the attributes of difference present in Todorov´s second figure of alterity. In the tradition of Simone de Beauvoir, Franza conceives of herself as »the second sex«, the Other who »aligns herself with the dominant culture only insomuch as she is herself the social outcast or marginal figure«.[123] The logical consequence of this way of thinking is the »implementing of prevailing principles from the subjugated position«.[124]

For decades, Bachmann scholarship has indiscriminately accepted the title character´s victim status, thereby confirming, for its part, the status as such. Without a doubt, this position is anchored in the text, too. Today, though, we must ask ourselves whether the Franza novel goes beyond the point of reproducing the world view of a white woman who stylizes herself as victim and aligns herself with the other victims of the western system of domination and control.[125] The implications of this victim stance that have been discussed in feminist theory in recent years - namely self-infantilization and self-degradation of those who see themselves exclusively in the role of victim[126] - are undoubtedly present in the Franza novel, too. The question, however, is whether or not Bachmann herself already saw this in the sixties. Particularly in conjunction with the relationship between personal history and world history so central to the context of the Todesarten-project, today´s answer to the question would have to take into account the fact that Franza attempts to extricate herself from history and thus relieve herself of any responsiblity by situating herself on the side of the victims. The »label of difference« to which Franza lays claim can, in general, also be seen as »a license that the person labeled or labeling herself as such uses to free itself from social responsibility«.[127] More specifically, ascertaining whether or not the Franza novel accomplishes anything beyond simply confirming Franza's world view is paramount in this regard. These are the types of questions that Bachmann research will need to pose in the future - particularly, though not exclusively, in the case of the fragmentary novel The Book of Franza; the question of whether the Franza novel goes beyond simple reproduction of the phenomena cited here will determine, in the future, the manner in which Bachmann´s work can be re-read in the context of its time. In order for this to occur, however, we will inevitably have to detach ourselves from the »particular affinity for Franza« that a large number of researchers have been caught up in until now.

In collaboration with the author translated by Lilian Friedberg and William Tucker


[1].* As an impulse for the present essay, I wish to acknowledge the paper "White Ladies and Dark Continents in Ingeborg Bachmanns Todesarten" which Sara Lennox presented at the Bachmann Symposium October 25-26, 1996, State University of New York at Binghamton ("If we had the Word. An Anniversary Symposium"). Unpublished manuscript provided by the author. Publication forthcoming in documentation to the conference, (ed.) Gisela Brinker-Gabler, as well as in The Imperialist Imagination: German Colonialism and Its Legacy. (Eds.) Sara Friedrichsmeyer, Sara Lennox, and Susanne Zantop (University of Michigan Press), and in German translation in "Über die Zeit schreiben." Literatur- und kulturwissenschaftliche Essays zu Ingeborg Bachmanns Todesarten-Projekt. Hg.. von Monika Albrecht and Dirk Göttsche. Würzburg 1998, S. 13-31.

[2]. Herbert Lüthi: "Die Epoche der Kolonisation. Versuch einer Interpretation des europäischen Zeitalters." In: Merkur, 20 (1966), S. 913. (This was a serialized essay in a series of three issues of the periodical Merkur.)

[3]. See also Birgit Rommelspacher: Dominanzkultur. Texte zu Fremdheit und Macht. Berlin 1995: »From the Nazi period well into the post-war period, the Germans were not participants in the discussions about decolonization that were carried out in parts in other western industrial nations.« (S. 50)

[4]. Bachmann was a reader of both periodicals, Merkur and Kursbuch, not least as a result of her friendschip with the editors. Numerous issues of Merkur (from the years 1950-1971) and Kursbuch (from 1965-1972) were found in her private library.

[5]. Hans Magnus Enzensberger: "Europäische Peripherie." In: Kursbuch, H. 2 (August 1965), S. 155.

[6]. Ibid., p. 159.

[7]. Ingeborg Bachmann: Todesarten-Projekt. Kritische Ausgabe. Unter Leitung von Robert Pichl hg. von Monika Albrecht und Dirk Göttsche. Vier Bände in fünf Banden. München, Zürich 1995, Bd. 2, S. 325. (In the following, quotations from this edition will be cited: KA 2, 235).

[8]. Malina citation taken from the English translation by Philip Boehm (New York and London 1990, here p. 68).

[9]. See Ingeborg Bachmann. Wir müssen wahre Sätze finden. Gespräche und Interviews. Hg. von Christine Koschel und Inge von Weidenbaum. München, Zürich 1983, S. 71f. (All subsequent quotations from this edition will be cited: GuI, 71f.)

[10]. See Toni Kienlechner: "Gespräch mit Ingeborg Bachmann." In: Die Brücke. Kärntner Kulturzeitschrift, 1 (Klagenfurt 1975), Heft 1, S. 102: »Man könnte sich ja fragen: Wo kommt hier denn zum Beispiel der Vietnamkrieg vor, wo ist das Weltgeschehen? Aber das Weltgeschehen ist eine Pflichtübung. Ich schreibe keine Programmusik. Es ist nicht so, daß man dadurch etwas über die Zeit geschrieben hätte, und ich glaube nicht, daß es Sache der Literatur ist, auf diese Weise über die Zeit zu schreiben«. - In the version of this interview printed in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit on April 9, 1971 and also in GuI (p. 95-100), the last sentence of this quotation has been cut (»Es ist nicht so .... über die Zeit zu schreiben«).

[11]. See also commentary in KA 2, 398.

[12]. See Ingeborg Bachmann: Werke. Herausgegeben von Christine Koschel, Inge von Weidenbaum, Clemens Münster. Vier Bände. München, Zürich 1982, Bd. IV, S. 297. (All subsequent quotations from this edition will be cited: WA IV, 297)

[13]. Christa Wolf: Voraussetzungen einer Erzählung: Kassandra. Frankfurter Poetik Vorlesungen. Darmstadt und Neuwied 1983, S. 151. English citation taken from translation by Jan van Heuck (Cassandra. A Novel and four Essays. New York 1984, p. 301).

[14]. Bachmann wrote to her editor Otto Best that she had "re-read the manuscript after some months" (for this and subsequent quotations from Bachmann´s correspondence with her editor see commentary in KA 2, 397f.

[15]. See also Sara Lennox: "The Feminist Reception of Ingeborg Bachmann." In: Women in German Yearbook, 8 (1992), p. 104ff.

[16]. For the time being, see Monika Albrecht: Text-Torso oder Trümmerfeld? Ingeborg Bachmanns Todesarten-Projekt im Jahr 1973. In: »Text-Tollhaus für Bachmann-Süchtige?«. Lesarten zur kritischen Ausgabe von Ingeborg Bachmanns Todesarten-Projekt. Hg. von Irene Heidelberger Leonard. Opladen 1998, p. 28-46. [= Lecture on the occasion of the Bachmann symposion in Brussels, November 28-30, 1996.]

[17]. We can only hope that Bachmann will not all too readily be credited with having anticipated the results of the current feminist and postcolonial discussion with her text that was written thirty years ago, just as she was said (with some reason, however) to have anticipated the achievements of poststructuralist thinking.

[18]. Christina Thürmer-Rohr: "Die postmoderne These vom Tod der Geschichte. Feminismus und Holocaust." In: Widerspenstige Wechselwirkungen. Feministische Perspektiven in Psychoanalyse, Philosophie, Literaturwissenschaft und Gesellschaftskritik. Hg. von Ita-Maria Grosz-Ganzoni.Tübingen 1996, S. 151.

[19]. In particular in her book The Bounds of Love. Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and the Problem of Domination. New York 1988.

[20]. B. Rommelspacher: Dominanzkultur, S. 127.

[21]. Edward W. Said: Culture and Imperialism. New York 1993, p. xxii.

[22]. Sigrid Weigel: "'Ein Ende mit der Schrift. Ein anderer Anfang.' Zur Entwicklung von Ingeborg Bachmanns Schreibweise." In: Text und Kritik, 6 Ingeborg Bachmann. München 1984, S. 82.

[23]. Chr. Wolf: Voraussetzungen einer Erzählung, S. 153 (Cassandra. A Novel and four Essays, p. 304)

[24]. English translation of the Frankfurt Lectures (transl. by Karen R. Achberger) forthcoming in: Ingeborg Bachmann: Critical Writings. An Annotated Translation with Introduction and Commentary. (Eds.) Karen R. Achberger and Monika Albrecht (Wayne State University Press).

[25]. A finding I would like to present here can perhaps be seen as an indicator that the intertextual relationship between the works of Bachmann and Enzensberger has thus far been unjustly neglected in scholarship on the subject. In a 1956 interview, Bachmann said: "We must find valid sentences, ones that correspond to our own state of mind and our altered world." (English translation of the Bachmann interviews forthcoming in: Ingeborg Bachmann: Critical Writings) Years later, Enzensberger would write: "[...] we live in the age of Hiroshima and Auschwitz. Twenty years after our baptism with this phrase, it already sounds like a cliche. Valid sentences today become threadbare before they have had an opportunity to take full effect, and are treated like consumer articles which can be discarded at will and replaced by newer models." (Hans Magnus Enzensberger: Politik und Verbrechen. Frankfurt/M. 1964, S. 18; Politics and Crime. New York 1974, p. 27, translated by Michael Roloff.)

[26]. Frantz Fanon: "Von der Gewalt." In: Kursbuch, H. 2 (August 1965), S. 1 55. Fanon´s book Les damnés de la terre (Paris 1961) was published in German translation in the spring of 1966 (Die Verdammten dieser Erde. Frankfurt/M).

[27]. H. M. Enzensberger: "Europäische Peripherie," S. 165.

[28]. Peter Weiss: "Enzensbergers Illusionen." In: Kursbuch, H. 6 (Juli 1966), S. 165.

[29]. See Holger Ehling/Peter Ripken: "Einführung." In: Die Literatur Schwarzafrikas. Ein Lexikon der Autorinnen und Autoren. München 1997. The authors speak about a »revived interest in Africa« in the sixties which is »connected with the names of literature agents Janheinz Jahn and Rolf Italiaander« (S. 7)

[30]. Aimé Césaire: Im Kongo. Ein Stück über Patrice Lumumba. Mit einem Essay von Jean-Paul Sartre. Berlin 1966, S. 26 und 31.

[31]. For Bachmann´s Rimbaud reception see Dirk Göttsche: "Die Schwarzkunst der Worte - Zur Barbey- und Rimbaud-Rezeption in Ingeborg Bachmanns Todesarten-Zyklus." In: Jahrbuch der Grillparzer-Gesellschaft, 3. Folge, 17 (1991), S. 127-162. - Bachmann´s Büchner Prize speech, by the way, is written in the style of Rimbaud´s cycle of prose poetry Une saison en enfer (1873), something which has not been investigated to date. Here, I can only point to another quotation from the early drafts of the Büchner Prize speech/Desert Book complex which refers to Rimbaud: »Die Geschichte einer meiner Verrücktheiten« (KA 1, 183). Compare Arthur Rimbaud: Sämtliche Dichtungen. Französisch und Deutsch. Edited and translated by Walther Küchler. Heidelberg 1982, p. 298-299: »L'histoire d'une de mes folies« / »Die Geschichte einer meiner Narrheiten«.

[32]. Karin Schrader-Klebert: "Die kulturelle Revolution der Frau." In: Kursbuch, H. 17 (Juni 1969), S. 1.

[33]. B. Rommelspacher: Dominanzkultur, S. 106.

[34]. For example, Herbert Marcuse´s book Eros and Civilization (1955; first German translation 1957 under the title Eros und Kultur) played an important role in the discussion in this periodical, last but not least his view that "just as is the case with Jews and Negroes the oppression of women can only be dismantled by dismantling social repression as a whole". ("Emanzipation der Frau in der repressiven Gesellschaft. Ein Gespräch mit Herbert Marcuse." In: Das Argument, 4 [1962], H. 4, S. 4).

[35]. Ursula Schmiederer: "Emanzipation der Frauen. Anmerkungen zu den Argument-Heften." In: Das Argument, 7 (1965), H. 35, S. 41.

[36]. K. Schrader-Klebert (Die kulturelle Revolution der Frau, S. 2) explicitly refers to Ursula Schmiederer´s essay from 1965.

[37]. In a 1963 interview, when questioned about her current reading Bachmann said among other things: »At the moment it even looks like a downright systematic pursuit of historical materialism, from Marx and Lenin beyond the various stages between to Ernst Bloch and Kolakowski.« (GuI, 42) Traces from this reading can also be found, for example, in the Desert Book when Bachmann alludes to the Socialist Internationale: "Frauen [...] können nicht herausfordern, zum letzten Gefecht" (KA 1, 248). Cf. the passage from the Franza novel cited above which refers to Friedrich Engel´s famous thesis: "The first class oppression that appears in history coincides with the development of the antagonism between man and woman in monogomous marriage, and the first class oppression coincides with that of the female sex by the male" (Friedrich Engels: Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. New York 1942, p. 58).

[38]. See Volkmar Sigusch: "Geschlecht und Verdrängung in primitiven Gesellschaften" (review of a 1983 reprint of Malinowski´s book Geschlecht und Verdrängung in primitiven Gesellschaften [original version Sex and Repression in Savage Society. London 1927]). In: Die Zeit, 18.02.1983, S. 40. - Claude Lévi-Strauss who became a well-known and controversial figure in the sixties should also be mentioned in this context, especially his book La pensée sauvage (Savage Mind), which appeared in its original version in 1962.

[39]. Geschlecht und Verdrängung in primitiven Gesellschaften. Reinbek 1962. - With his critique on Freud´s theory of the universality of the Oedipus complex in this book, Malinowski had then started off the discussion between Ethnology und Psychoanalysis (on that see Karl-Heinz Kohl: Abwehr und Verlangen. Zur Geschichte der Ethnologie. Frankfurt/M. 1987, S. 59). In the sixties, however, the cultural critique potential of Malinowski´s work was in the foreground as, for example, the introductory essay of Hans Magnus Enzensberger´s book Politics and Crime shows (p. 200; Politik und Verbrechen., S. 387).

[40]. Stanley Diamond: In Search of the Primitive. A Critique of Civilization. New Brunswick/NJ 1974, p. 160 (Kritik der Zivilisation. Anthropologie und die Wiederentdeckung des Primitiven. Frankfurt/M. 1976, S. 115.)

[41]. See the introduction of the editor in: Magie und Religion. Beiträge zu einer Theorie der Magie. Hg. von Leander Petzoldt. Darmstadt 1978 (= Wege der Forschung, Bd. CCCXXXVII), S. VII-XVI.

[42]. Hans G. Kippenberg: Zur Kontroverse über das Verstehen fremden Denkens. In: Magie. Die sozialwissenschaftliche Kontroverse über das Verstehen fremden Denkens. Hg. von Hans G. Kippenberg und Brigitte Luchesi. Frankfurt/M. 1995 (1978), S. 9.

[43]. Ibid, p. 39.

[44]. Murray and Rosalie Wax: "The Notion of Magic." In: Current Anthropology (1963), Issue 4, p. 502

[45]. The events surrounding the construction of the Aswan Dam mentioned in chapter 3 help date the action of the novel; see also Sara Lennox: "Geschlecht, Rasse und Geschichte in Der Fall Franza." In: Text + Kritik-Sonderband Ingeborg Bachmann, S. 159.

[46]. Another example for the fact that Bachmann includes the discussions of the sixties in her novel can be found in another famous statement of the novel. In a draft for the chapter »Jordan Time« Franza says to her brother Martin: »You say facism, I never heard that for a private behavior« (KA 2, 53). Martin, too, did not think this up himself. Frantz Fanon in his book The Wreched of the Earth (which appeared in the spring of 1966 in German translation) mentions facism as a political balance of power on the one hand and facism as an individual behavior on the other hand without comment. Beyond that, quoting Résistance Algérienne, Vol 4, March 28, 1957, he draws another parallel which is also along the same lines as the corresponding analogy in the Franza novel: »But on the individual level, on the plane of human rights, what is fascism if not colonialism when rooted in a traditionally colonialist country?« (Frantz Fanon: The Wretched of the Earth. (translated by Constance Farrington) New York: Grove Press, 1963, p. 90. Frantz Fanon: Die Verdammten dieser Erde. Frankfurt/M. 1966, S. 69. (Fanon is following Aimé Césaire and his Discours sur le colonialisme [Paris 1955], to whom he explicitly refers in a similar connection in his first book [Vgl. Frantz Fanon: Schwarze Haut, weiße Masken. Frankfurt/M. 1980, S. 60 u. ö.]).

[47]. Portrait du colonisé précédé du portrait du colonisateur.

[48]. Albert Memmi: Der Kolonisator und der Kolonisierte. Zwei Porträts. Hamburg 1994 (Frankfurt/M. 1980). English translation: Albert Memmi: The Colonizer and the Colonized. New York 1965.

[49]. Ibid, p. 13.

[50]. Les damnés de la terre (Paris 1961). English translation London: Penguin 1963.

[51]. Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Masks. New York 1967.

[52]. Albert Memmi: Der Kolonisator und der Kolonisierte. Zwei Porträts. Hamburg 1994 (1980).

[53]. In Bachmann's 1952 review of Heinrich Böll´s narrative Der Zug war pünktlich, the opposition of »historical time« and »individual time« is already apparent in her contention that »Böll's books are apolitical because they reduce historical time to the dimension of individual time.« See Ingeborg Bachmann: "Der Zug war pünktlich" [Rezension]. In: Wort und Wahrheit. Monatsschrift für Religion und Kultur, 7 (1952), H. 8, S. 624. - Only two out of four reviews Bachmann wrote for Wort und Wahrheit (see Otto Bareiss, Frauke Ohloff: Ingeborg Bachmann - Eine Bibliographie. München, Zürich 1978, S. 18f.) appeared in the Collected Works Edition of 1978 (WA IV, 309-315). English translation of all four reviews forthcoming in: Ingeborg Bachmann: Critical Writings.

[54]. See also recent research by Dirk Göttsche: "Zeit, Geschichte und Sozialität in Ingeborg Bachmanns Todesarten-Projekt." Presented on the occasion of the Bachmann symposium in Brüssel, November 28-30, 1996. Publication forthcoming in documentation to the conference, (ed.) Irene Heidelberger-Leonard (Opladen 1998), and: Dirk Göttsche: Ein "Bild der letzten zwanzig Jahre«. Die Nachkriegszeit als Gegenstand einer kritischen Geschichtsschreibung des gesellschaftlichen Alltags in Ingeborg Bachmanns Todesarten-Projekt." In: Über die Zeit schreiben, S. 161-202.

[55]. See also Irene Heidelberger-Leonard: "Ingeborg Bachmann und Jean Améry: Zur Differenz zwischen der Ästhetisierung des Leidens und der Authentizität traumatischer Erfahrung," and Hans Ulrich Thamer: "Nationalsozialismus und Nachkriegsgesellschaft. Geschichtliche Erfahrung bei Ingeborg Bachmann und der öffentliche Umgang mit der NS-Zeit in Deutschland," in: Ingeborg Bachmann - Neue Beiträge zu ihrem Werk. Internationales Symposion Münster 1991. Hg. von Dirk Göttsche und Hubert Ohl. Würzburg 1993, S. 187-196 bzw. 215-224.

[56]. A. Memmi: The Colonizer and the Colonized, p. 145 (Der Kolonisator und der Kolonisierte, S. 127).

[57]. See also, Jack Weatherford: »When the Spanish entered what is today Columbia, they heard the legend of the Indian nation around Lake Guatavita located at an elevation of ten thousand feet in the mountains. Each year their king covered himself in gold dust, took a barge loaded with golden objects out into the middle of the lake, and sacrificed the gold to the god of the lake by throwing objects into the water. The leader himself then dove into the lake and swam around to wash away and thus sacrifice his ‘golden skin’. This became the legend of the Golden Man, or El Dorado.« Jack Weatherford: Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World. New York 1988, p. 7.

[58]. Christa Wolf: Cassandra. A Novel and four Essays, p. 304 (Voraussetzungen einer Erzählung, S. 153).

[59]. Hermann Weber: "Zerbrochene Gottesvorstellungen: Orient und Religion in Ingeborg Bachmanns Romanfragment Der Fall Franza." In: Ingeborg Bachmann - Neue Beiträge zu ihrem Werk, S. 108. - More recently, Gisela Brinker-Gabler has posed another critical question: "Franza’s identification with the victims and the products of colonization [...] means [...] a renewed colonization of the colonized [...] insofar as Franza equates her own experience of disappropriation with the Papua´s experience of disappropriation, without granting them their own perspective. [...] We will [...] today read Bachmann´s text critically as a text, which not only thematizes colonial disappropriation, but at the same time doubles the colonization once more: by identification." (Transl. by Sabine Goelz). Gisela Brinker-Gabler: "Andere Begegnung: Begegnung mit dem Anderen zwischen Aneignung und Enteignung." In: Seminar. A Journal of Germanic Studies. Vol. XXIX, Number 2 (May 1993), p. 98.

[60]. Eckhard Supp: Australiens Aborigines. Ende der Traumzeit? Bonn 1985, S. 224. See also Stephen J. Kunitz: Disease und Social Diversity. The European Impact on the Health of Non-Europeans. New York, Oxford 1994, S. 110: »[...] throughout the 19th century [...] it was not diseases acting independently that reduced the population but the conscious slaughter of Aborigines on massive scale, the destruction of the environments on which they depended, starvation, and disease.«

[61]. E. Supp: Australiens Aborigines, S. 233. - The Aborigines won the right to vote in the early sixties, (see ibid., p. 252) which began drawing the attention of the international public to their past and present fate. In the sixties, the time of a mining boom in Australia, witnessed the early beginnings of the Landrights Movement which won the Australian Aborigines the support of the international press (see ibid, p. 24ff.).

[62]. I am reminded of the way that Bachmann once told a reporter in an interview about the mountain of newspapers in her apartment (GuI, 42f.)

[63]. To be more precise, we would have to differentiate here between the beginning of the chapter which is rather developed and the following text which is more of a draft.

[64]. See D. Göttsche: Die Schwarzkunst der Worte, S. 130ff. (quotation, p 129).

[65]. See Barbey´s narration A Woman's Vengeance in Jules Amédée Barbey d´Aurevilly: The She-Devils. London 1964, p. 215: »Yet the crimes of extreme civilization are undoubtedly worse than those of extreme barbarism, by the very fact of their refinement, the corruption which they imply, and the higher degree of intelligence of the criminals [....]. And in fact, if those crimes appeal less to the senses, they appeal more to the intellect; and the intellect, in the last analysis, is the deepest part of us.«

[66]. In the next preface that she created, Bachmann specified the comparison and thus qualifies her previous evaluation: »The crimes of this civilization are surely as horrible as the ones of the most brutal barbarism and in one respect perhaps more horrific: by virtue of their refinement« (KA 2, 75).

[67]. It is noteworthy that, when Bachmann re-wrote the prefaces to the Franza novel in the winter of 1966/67, obviously drawing on the previous prefaces by memory, she appears to have begun faltering on precisely the question of judging the severity of the sublimal crimes (see KA 2, 359,7 and the corresponding critical apparatus) before she returned to her neutral formulations (KA 2, 360f.).

[68]. Bartoleme de Las Casas: Kurzgefaßter Bericht von der Verwüstung der Westindischen Länder. Hg. von Hans Magnus Enzensberger. Frankfurt/M. 1966. - »And no account, no matter how lengthy, how long it took to write, nor how conscientiously it was compiled, could possibly do justice to the full horror of the atrocities committed at one time or another in various parts of this region by these mortal enemies of the human race.« (Citation from Bartolomé de Las Casas: A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. New York, London: Penguin Books 1992, p. 43; quotation in the German copy p. 40)

[69]. Urs Bitterli: Die ‘Wilden’ und die ‘Zivilisierten’. Grundzüge einer Geistes- und Kulturgeschichte der europäisch-überseeischen Begegnung. München 1991 (1976), S. 38.

[70]. Hans Magnus Enzensberger: "Las Casas oder Ein Rückblick in die Zukunft." In: B. de Las Casas: Kurzgefaßter Bericht, S. 141. (Hans Magnus Enzensberger: Las Casas, or A Look Back into the Future. In: H.M. Enzensberger: Critical Essays. Edited by Reinhold Grimm and Bruce Armstrong. New York 1982, p. 123.) Tzvetan Todorov substantiated this in his 1982 study: »indeed, these figures justify Las Casas: not that his estimates are trustworthy, but his figures are comparable to those established today.« See Tzvetan Todorov: The Conquest of America. The Question of the Other. New York 1982, p. 132.

[71]. On the other hand, there is evidence of works concerning colonization and the magical world view in Bachmanns library from the year 1967, a time when she had already abandoned work on the Book of Franza in its extant form; this suggests that she planned to further develop this thematic complex. Works found there included Peter Gäng, Reimut Reiche: Modelle der kolonialen Revolution. Beschreibung und Dokumente. Frankfurt/M. 1967, and: Institutionen in primitiven Gesellschaften. (no editor given) Frankfurt/M. 1967 (contributions from leading British anthropologists of the post-Malinowski generation deal with such topics as »Orientierungen im Wirtschaftsleben« [Raymond Firth], »Religion« [Edward E. Evans-Pritchard], »Ästhetik« [Edmund R. Leach], »Recht« [J. G. Peristiany], »Familie und Sippe« [John Laytard], »Politische Institutionen« [Max Gluckmann], »Bewußtsein« [Meyer Fortes], »Denkformen« [Godfrey Lienhardt]).

[72]. Peter Worsley (The Trumpet shall Sound: ‘Cargo’-Cults in Melanesia. London 1957, p. 221ff.) points out, however, that the cult was not restricted to Melanesia, but rather was to be seen in conjunction with millenarian movements that existed in almost every region of the world.

[73]. Ibid, p. 246.

[74]. Ibid, p. 16.

[75]. Ibid, p. 243.

[76]. Ibid, p. 44.

[77]. See also L. Petzoldt´s introduction in: Magie und Religion, S. XIII XIV.

[78]. M. und R. Wax: The Notion of Magic, p. 501.

[79]. Sigmund Mowinkel: Religion und Kultus. Göttingen 1953, S. 15.

[80]. See also I. C. Jarvie und Joseph Agassi: "Das Problem der Rationalität von Magie." In: Magie, S. 122f.

[81]. This is the original American title of Stanley Diamond´s book (New Brunswick/NJ 1974) which appeared in German in 1976 (Kritik der Zivilisation. Anthropologie und die Wiederentdeckung des Primitiven. Frankfurt/M.)

[82]. Comment on the essay M. and R. Wax »The notion of Magic« by Ruth Hill Useem in: Current Anthropology (1963), Issue 4, p. 512.

[83]. See also, for example, Hans Bosse: Der fremde Mann. Jugend, Männlichkeit, Macht. Eine Ethnoanalyse. Gruppengespräche mit jungen Sepiks in Papua-Neuguinea. Frankfurt/M. 1994, S. 243.

[84]. S. Diamond: In Search of the Primitive, S. 95.

[85]. Since it would hardly seem likely, against the backdrop of what has been presented thus far, that Bachmann had followed the discussion about whether so-called primitive thinking could even be compared with western thought very closely, a brief mention of the two basic directions answers to this question took will suffice here: While Freud left the question of possible cross-cultural comparison open (see Totem and Taboo. Some Points of Agreement between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics [1912-1913]. New York 1989; Totem und Tabu. Einige Übereinstimmungen im Seelenleben der Wilden und der Neurotiker, in: Ders.: Studienausgabe, Bd. XI [Fragen der Gesellschaft und Ursprünge der Religion]. Frankfurt/M. 1994, S. 318, 328), particularly proponents of developmental psychology tend to deny any fundamental difference and maintain that, in primitive societies, it is simply a matter of fact that »cognitive growth ceases earlier, and that formal thought and the more advanced concrete operations in particular are not developed« (Christopher Robert Hallpike: The Foundations of Primitive Thought. Oxford 1979, p. 39). An opposing view is presented by Peter Winch, for example, an advocate of »Wittgensteinian theological philosophy« (see Alasdair MacIntyre: Läßt sich das Verstehen von Religion mit religiösem Glauben vereinbaren? In: Magie; S. 57), who assumes that »a way of thinking and the historical situation to which it belongs form one indivisable whole« (Peter Winch: The Idea of a Social Science and its Relation to Philosophy. New York 1958, p. 132). S. Diamond presents a similar argument from an anthropological perspective when he stresses that western ‘magic’ cannot be compared with that of primitive peoples (In Search of the Primitive, p. 173).

[86]. Compare Géza Róheim: Magic and Schizophrenia. Edited by Warner Muensterberger and S. H. Posinsky. Bloomington 1962 (1955), p. 46 and 94.

[87]. See I. C. Jarvie und J. Agassi: Das Problem der Rationalität von Magie, S. 132. - For a parallel development of the European notion of childhood on the one hand and the underdeveloped savage on the other, see also Ashis Nandy: The Intimate Enemy. Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonisation. Oxford 1993 (1983), p. 11ff.

[88]. S. Freud: Totem and Taboo, p. 107ff.

[89]. Ibid., p. 108.

[90]. Ibid.

[91]. G. Róheim: Magic and Schizophrenia, p. 226f.

[92]. S. Freud: Totem and Taboo, p. 108.

[93]. For example when Martin draws a connection between Franza´s mysterious fainting spells and sorcery: »[...] he could even watch her calmly, he already knew the sorcery show. She being dead and white, just one of those things, he left her alone [...]« (KA 2, 173).

[94]. On the contrary, Borneo has problems resulting from a constant growth in population; see also Jan B. Avé and Victor T. King: People of the Weeping Forest. Tradition and Change in Borneo. National Museum of Ethnology. Leiden (Netherlands) 1986, p. 65.

[95]. See Patrick F. Gesch: Initiative and Initiation. A Cargo Cult-Type Movement in the Sepik Against its Background in Traditional Village Religion. Anthropos-Institut. St. Augustin (Germany) 1985, p. 117: »Such developments as have taken place in the shape of the cargo cult over the years can be taken as organic adaptions of the one religious world view to altering circumstances.«

[96]. P. Worsley: The Trumpet shall Sound, p. 248.

[97]. Ibid, p. 248.

[98]. Ibid, p. 243.

[99]. See also recent research by Dirk Göttsche: "Zeit, Geschichte und Sozialität in Ingeborg Bachmanns Todesarten-Projekt," and: Dirk Göttsche: Ein "Bild der letzten zwanzig Jahre". Die Nachkriegszeit als Gegenstand einer kritischen Geschichtsschreibung des gesellschaftlichen Alltags in Ingeborg Bachmanns Todesarten-Projekt. In: Über die Zeit schreiben, S. 161-202.

[100]. B. Rommelspacher: Dominanzkultur, S. 97.

[101]. G. de Sepúlveda, cited in T. Todorov: The Conquest of America, p. 153.

[102]. See also B. Rommelspacher: Dominanzkultur, S. 107.

[103]. Franza´s position is reminiscent of Octave Mannoni´s central thesis of the ‘dependency complex of the colonized’ (in his book: Psychologie de la colonisation. Paris 1950. Reissued under the title: Prospero and Caliban. Ann Arbor 1990). F. Fanon takes issue with this concept in the fourth chapter of his book Peau noire, masques blancs (Black Skin, White Masks). Several years later, too, A. Memmi (The Colonizer and the Colonized, p. 88) criticized the »notions of ‘dependency complex’, ‘colonizability’« which were obviously »fashionable« in the context of the decolonization discussions in the fifties. E. W. Said (Culture and Imperialism, p. 11) cites, in this context, the conservative historian D. K. Fieldhouse, who wrote in his book The Colonial Empires which appeared in 1965: »The basis of imperial authority was the mental attitude of the colonist. His acceptance of subordination - whether through a positive sense of common interest with the parent state, or through the inability to conceive of any alternative - made empire durable.«

[104]. See also S. Diamond: In Search of the Primitive, p. 1ff.

[105]. For example H. Lüthi: Die Epoche der Kolonisation, S. 906.

[106]. Sabine Grimkowski: Erzählerfigur und Erzählperspektive in Der Fall Franza. In: Ingeborg Bachmann - Neue Beiträge zu ihrem Werk, S. 99.

[107]. See James Henry Breasted: Geschichte Ägyptens. Berlin 1910, S. 238ff., and Egon Friedell: Kulturgeschichte Ägyptens und des alten Orients. München 1989 (1936), S. 282ff.

[108]. The fact that both aspects - Franza´s selective perception on the one hand and ‘reality’ on the other - could actually be applied to the historical comparison does not have any bearing on the criticism expressed here: Martin Ranner´s participation in the ‘Jordanian’ world, for example, has not been recognized because the historical manipulations outlined above were obvious. In this case, too, it would be impossible to determine whether Bachmann was simply wrong or whether she in fact intended to subject her readers to the type of intellectual acrobatics suggested here.

[109]. In the Collected Works edition, the famous draft on the theme of colonization and magic has been reserved for the all-important closing page: The chapter, as it is presented there, ends with the sentence: »I am a Papua« (WA III, 414). - We can only hope that, in their reception of the critical edition, people will note that the existing drafts for the chapter »Jordan Time« do not altogether represent the chapter´s final version. According to the author´s intentions, even in the case of those texts that were edited for the »edierte Hauptfassung«, the preliminary plan was to replace the newer drafts with older ones, as the four identical chapter titles indicate (KA 2, 206, 225, 226, 228).

[110]. Drawing connections between Franza´s naivety as a student, expressed in her idealization and romanticization of foreign peoples (KA 2, 233f.) and the manipulation of history that occurs ten years later doesn´t clarify things and - calling to mind again the history of its reception - can only be seen to infer a potential intent once the mistakes have been recognized.

[111]. S. Grimkowski: Erzählerfigur und Erzählperspektive in Der Fall Franza, S. 99.

[112]. Willy Michel: "Das Problem der Erzähleraufspaltung." In: Ders.: Die Aktualität des Interpretierens. Heidelberg 1978, S. 143.

[113]. See Monika Albrecht: "Ein Mann, eine Frau..." - Erzählperspektive und Geschlechterdiskurs in Ingeborg Bachmanns Roman Malina. Presented on the occasion of the symposium »If we had the Word. Ingeborg Bachmann. An Anniversary Symposion October 25-26, 1996«, State University of New York at Binghamton. Publication forthcoming in documentation to the conference, (ed.) Gisela Brinker-Gabler.

[114]. On the relationship between the edited version of the chapter »Return Home to Galicia« and the versions of the readings from March 22 and 23, 1966, see the critical text commentary in KA 2, 439ff.

[115]. When the narrator subsequently begins to speak again he certainly clears up a mistake in his very first sentence, but instead of Franza it is Martin who is found guilty of a mistake. In the first chapter he thinks he remembers that Franza fainted in the anatomy class and this was the way she met Jordan. In the last version of the chapter »Jordan Time« the narrator points out that this was not at all the case (KA 2, 232). But he leaves undisturbed the numerous mistakes concerning the history of colonialism Franza made two pages earlier in her monologue, and the extant material does not explain whether he was meant to leave it at that.

[116]. Franz K. Stanzel: Theorie des Erzählens. Göttingen 1979, S. 25. The English translation leaves out this term (unbewältigte Mittelbarkeit); see Franz K. Stanzel: A Theory of Narrative. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge 1984, p. 11.

[117]. E. W. Said: Culture and Imperialism, p. 35.

[118]. Christina Thürmer-Rohr: "Weiße Frauen und Rassismus." In: die tageszeitung, 8.1.1993, S. 12.

[119]. T. Todorov: The Conquest of America, p. 42.

[120]. Ibid, p. 42.

[121]. Christina Thürmer-Rohr: Verlorene Narrenfreiheit. Essays. Berlin 1994, S. 14.

[122]. Ibid, p. 29.

[123]. Ibid, p. 143.

[124]. C. Thürmer-Rohr: Die postmoderne These vom Tod der Geschichte, S. 158.

[125]. Compare B. Rommelspacher: Dominanzkultur: »Dominance is [...] to be distinguished from Domination, which is similarly based on a stable asymmetry in the control of resourses. But domination rests first and foremost on repression, on rules and prohibitions, whereas dominance is supported by widespread approval which mediates through the social structures and internalized norms which is why it reproduces political, social and economic hierarchies in a more subtle manner«. The notion of Dominance Culture is defined as a culture in which »our lifestyle, our interpretation of our selves as well as the images that we develop of others, are contained within categories of superiority and inferiority« (S. 26 and 22).

[126]. Ibid, p. 113.

[127]. C. Thürmer-Rohr: Verlorene Narrenfreiheit, S.143.

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