The distinction between Germany East and West is not only the result of artifice, usually made in recent decades on the basis of geopolitical criteria, as the basic conditions for those who have worked in the field of letters are so different. But, even before the reunification, splitting became less and less linearly allowed, especially since more and more Eastern writers were forced to choose (among the most sensational cases that of the poet and songwriter W. Biermann, expelled from the GDR in the 1976) or have chosen to move to the West, causing new situations that have led to alternatives or transversal convergences to the barriers marked by a fictitious inter-German border. In general, the ideological roots or the choices of the field are not denied by anyone; the original belonging to one or the other cultural community is still noticeable; Unless before, however, on the basis of these parameters it is legitimate to try, albeit only for convenient expository purposes, to find coordinates in an overall picture that remains very composite. What has united and continues to unite writers, and intellectuals in general, of the late seventies and eighties, on both sides of the border suddenly and unexpectedly dissolved at the dawn of the nineties, is the looming, even strongly diversified but never completely forgotten, of social or at least environmental agents, which in the widespread discomfort of years of stagnation or decay, if not even of decay, can turn into a reason for thematic reductiveness or criticality in various degrees expressed, much less than first,
An established author such as B. Strauss (b.1944) attempts the great poetic proof in the poem Diese Erinnerung an einen, der nur einen Tag zu Gast war (1985), without having adequate means for the commitment assumed, which is to give an organic and non-destructive response to the great questions of life; Jürgen Becker (b.1932), also well known, in the cyclical Das Gedicht von der wiedervereinigten Landschaft (1988) aims to offer a kind of large map of his Rhineland, in time and today, always referring to an attentive and grieving subject ; P. Hacks (b. 1928), one of the most appreciated playwrights, in Historien und Romanzen (1986) theorizes about the ballad and also composes it, with at least dubious results. HM Enzensberger (b.1929) remains far from his first messages (Die Furie des Verschwindens, 1980, trans. it., 1987), always intelligently provocative in coherence with his conception of poetry as already immanently political.
And these are some of the most accredited names in the field of opera, in which, moreover, the themes, mostly traditional or at least usual, even if adapted to today’s situation, do not seem to count, but rather the tones, in comparison with the world and with themselves, with a clear prevalence of subtle or medium ones.
Among the rare exceptions, the no longer young C. Geissler (b.1928), who however passes, also symptomatically, from the aggressive anger, obviously in a political key, of Im Vorfeld einer schussverletzung (1980) to reflection on existential themes basically with the mortified soul of an almost defeated in Spiel auf ungeheuer (1983). W. Biermann himself (b. 1936), one of the best poets in the Brechtian sense, in Affenfels und Barrikade (1986) passes to less disruptive modules, paying attention to the problems of language. Along a parable that comes from afar, the multifaceted and well-known V. Braun (b.1939), one of the authors who remained bound, and not only ideologically, to the GDR in spite of the many difficulties, in Training des aufrechten Gangs (1979) makes use of metaphor to signify and strike the obstacles that oppose the free exercise of thought, while privileging the idyllic tone, now out of all utopia, in Langsamer knirschender Morgen (1987). Even if tied to a seasoned manner of his, the old master K. Krolow (b.1915) never decays to the levels of epigonality, confirming himself as pleasant and bitterly elegant (Zwischen Null und Unendlich, 1982; Schönen Dank und vorüber, 1984; Die andere Seite der Welt, 1987; Als es soweit war, 1988, alongside the sensitive memoir Nacht-Leben oder geschonte Kindheit, 1985). Wearily repetitive, the old masters of lyrical experimentalism, H. Heissenbüttel (b.1921 ; Textbuch 8, 1985; Textbuch 9 and Textbuch 10, 1986; Textbuch 11, 1987) and O. Pastior (b.1927; Anagrammgedichte, 1985; Lesungen mit Tinnitus, 1986). And the last testimony (Die neunte Stunde, 1979) by P. Huchel (1903-1981) does not add much, along the lines of his magical lyric poured out on the political.
According to EQUZHOU.NET, a poetic revival, dictated by the love for his city in the celebratory year of its foundation, is Berlin beizeiten (1987) by Germany Kunert (b.1929), who distances himself from the initial political illusions to take refuge in the recovery of meaning of individuality, made aware of living in a time without prospects. Two of the most exquisite poetesses also lean towards the subjective, S. Kirsch (b.1946 ; Erdreich, 1982; Katzenleben, 1984) and U. Hahn (b.1935 ; Herz über Kopf, 1981; Spielende, 1983; Freudenfeuer, 1985; Unerhörte Nähe, 1988).
Few new or relatively such names worthy of attention, and none of the younger ones. To remember the very active H. Czechowski (b.1935; Ich beispielweise, 1982; An Freund und Feind, 1983; Ich und die Folgen, 1987; Sanft gehen wie Tiere die Berge neben dem Fluss, 1989), P. Hamm (n. 1937; Die Balken, 1981; Die verschwindende Welt, 1985), R. Haufs (b.1935; Die Geschwindigkeit eines einzigen Tages, 1977; Juniabschied, 1984; Felderland, 1986), W. Kirsten, (b.1934 ; die erde bei Meissen, 1987), all referable to the common figure of worried melancholy.
In the prose, a notable part of the general picture is occupied by further testimonies of authors who have already acquired, sometimes even at a high level and in any case outside the pressures of the news, their place; however, the individual profiles are hardly ever enriched, on the contrary usually secondary or disappointing evidence results. This is the case, among all the most striking given the fame of the author, of the Nobel laureate H. Böll, who died in 1985, zealous to the end but with works that are clearly epigonal or only extrinsically innovative (among other things, the novels Fürsorgliche Belagerung, 1979, it., 1989; and the posthumous Frauen vor Flusslandschaft, 1985, it., 1988).