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Journal Article

NARRATIVE AND THE BODY IN UNIFORM: EAST GERMAN MILITARY MASCULINITIES IN CLAUS DOBBERKE'S EIN KATZENSPRUNG AND JÜRGEN FUCHS'S FASSONSCHNITT

Tom Smith
The Modern Language Review
Vol. 110, No. 1 (January 2015), pp. 204-221
DOI: 10.5699/modelangrevi.110.1.0204
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5699/modelangrevi.110.1.0204
Page Count: 18
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NARRATIVE AND THE BODY IN UNIFORM: EAST GERMAN MILITARY MASCULINITIES IN CLAUS DOBBERKE'S EIN KATZENSPRUNG AND JÜRGEN FUCHS'S FASSONSCHNITT
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Abstract

This article explores the relationship between body and uniform as one of two competing narratives of masculinity. Literature and film depicting the Nationale Volksarmee of East Germany (NVA) present uniform's narrative of ideal military masculinity in conflict with a second, apparently more natural narrative of masculinity written on the body. Claus Dobberke's Ein Katzensprung (1976) and Jürgen Fuchs's Fassonschnitt (1984) explore ways that the body might subvert the effects of uniform. Ultimately, however, these two works depict the uniform transforming body and psyche and unsettling existing narratives of masculinity, even disrupting the narrative text itself.

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