Maxie is wanders almost 40 years old good morning, you beautiful – a classic of East German literature. Authentic women’s narrated by themselves, their dreams and problems. It is also today still absolutely worth reading and surprisingly up-to-date
I in Western Germany grew up, where you learned a lot about the Holocaust in school (right) and very little about the GDR (wrongly). The Scorpions had cause Sung to the “wind of change”, the German Division was overcome and we are all part of a big, happy people. During my first trip in the former GDR I hung in Dresden so fascinated before various “Ostalgie”-products that my girlfriend Marie grew up in East Germany shook his head in disbelief only.
Now I am imagining to learn somewhat more about the German Democratic Republic and East Germany – everything else would be after five years first home Berlin more than sad. And yet I’ve read until now wanders wonderful book good morning, you beautiful Maxie. A friend has given me this 40-year-old classic of the DDR literature birthday and frankly I was skeptical about today can still be interesting and up-to-date: 19 women aged from 16 to 92 years from the GDR, telling of their concerns and their hopes, dreams and love.
More than the sum of its parts
Hiking the Austria-born reporter Maxie has recorded the conversations and then condensed into monologues. The character of every single woman emerges quite clearly from the words, hiking Gabi has to speak their kind Susanne, Caroline and the others left. Ultimately, the book is so much more than mere “logs to tape”, as modest in the subtitle. The writer Christa Wolf writes in the preface very properly, the collection of women’s stories is more “than the sum of its parts: by desire, demand, life claim almost each of the talks has above themselves, (…)”. Hiking much has done more than from a tape recording a text to write – it is even part of these texts, a presence. In the words of Christa Wolf: “Seemingly the twentieth is missing these nineteen protocols, the self-disclosure of the author; but she is so present, and not merely passive, recording, mediation.” It must be someone who asks the right questions and really listen to his counterpart, to produce logs like that in good morning, you beautiful.
And these logs, these voices of women in different life situations, sound 2017 even as currently as in 1977. There is the schoolgirl who is afraid of close to, but also love yearns for. There is the teacher, who with her husband has any fun sex – and believes she would have to make more effort. Or the librarian, who would like to make free of the expectations of their parents. Some of the protocols raise something immediately, you may think on their own, similar experiences, can identify with the woman speaking, there. Others do not. But each of the vote held in the logs is authentic, every vote has something to say. Some of the women are insanely wisdom and to emphasise three times the rates promised by them.
Mix of self – and external viewing
All sounds with the GDR – she is a constant background noise, but never loud. No wonder that good morning, beautiful in the West was you to success. This does not mean that the book not by the situation of the German Democratic Republic is marked: after all, the equality of the sexes in the GDR Constitution was laid down, unlike in the West women were of course work. Socially, if you will, the problem of equal rights is thus solved. Theoretically. Christa Wolf writes: “the social contradictions, which previously had the tendency, she (the woman, NB) rub up, roll over, contact now the more subtle form of personal conflict it used for its solution, a roll behavior is not given her.” What to do with the new freedoms? How we integrated it into his life and finds new behaviours and roles for themselves? Questions that were not only women in East Germany and deal with.
In Maxie wanders protocols women may be so, as they are, and how they want to like to claim. The author himself writes in the introduction: “I think every life sufficiently interesting, to be communicated to others to be”. It comes out as an interesting mixture of self – and external viewing. The book also shows how far our society in terms of gender equality is – come already and how much remains still to be done. The personal is still political.