By Fatima Felicitas Naqvi-Peters
After Kurt Waldheim's election as president in 1986, Austria's "founding" delusion grew to become the thing of a lot feedback. whereas victimhood had previously served as an explanatory paradigm for the nation's historic improvement, complicity with Nazism all of sudden looked to be a extra persuasive version. Austrian paintings from the eighties and nineties deals a extra nuanced point of view in this dramatic shift. rather than an inexorable chasm, a curious oscillation among viewing oneself as fascism's sufferer and its offender turns into obvious. In exposing the "victim-and-perpetrator" rhetoric with all its power difficulties, the works lower than dialogue have created what may possibly develop into the second one Republic's lasting cultural legacy.
The dissertation starts with Thomas Bernhard's scandal-provoking Heldenplatz (1988). The play makes use of a court docket version: the Austrian viewers stands accused of fascist leanings by way of Jewish characters who themselves reveal authoritarian features. Wolfgang Murnberger's movie, Himmel oder Hölle (1990), examines the conflicting calls for of state and Heimat (one's neighborhood or local background), in addition to the transmission of an ethos of victimhood to later post-war generations. Robert Menasse's Selige Zeiten, brüchige Welt (1992) maintains this engagement with the place of birth through returning us to Austria's fin-de-siècle. the radical demonstrates how Freud's sufferer narratives, omnipresent in nationwide psycho-histories, determine within the gendering of Austria as a malevolent magna mater. Michael Haneke's movie, Benny's Video (1992), increases the problem of cultural imperialism and its violent side-effects in a society that represses the earlier. ultimately, Christoph Ransmayr's 1995 novel, Morbus Kitahara , drawing at the Vienna memorial debates, pessimistically assesses the act of commemoration and means that empathy with fascism's sufferers will be taken too a long way.