LAUGHTER WORD AS A MEANS Of DEMYTHOLOGIZATION IN THE NOVELS BY THOMAS BRUSSIG

Abstract

The historical events of the last decades of the twentieth century in Germany, the collapse of the Communist ideology and the «great narratives» and the new postmodern artistic practice radically change the nature of the «laughter word» (M. Bachtin) and its existence. In postmodern literature the «laughter word» loses its drama and bitterness, it now lives in the bright element of language games.
The purpose of this study is to consider the potential of the «laughter word» in the new historical and aesthetic circumstances, its functions and active participation in the procedures of deconstruction of ideological constructions of socialism in the GDR on the base of the postmodern projects by German writer Thomas Brussig.
In T. Brussig’s novels the «laughter word» is used as a universal means of destruction of the ideological content of the myths of socialism (demythologization).
In the anecdotal stories of the novel «Am kьrzeren Ende der Sonnenallee» the «laughter word» is considered in funny language games: caricature, the «laughter gesture», «black humor», playing with contexts, deliberately misuse of words, excessive use of Communist rhetoric.
In the novel «Helden wie wir» the connective of the «laughter word» and «laughter gesture» is included in the postmodern language game «on the decline»: parody, grotesque, occasionalism, euphemisms, game element names, sexual perversion. It also points to the visual using of the «laughter word»: a game with graphic writing, the use of italics and breakdown in words.
The ambivalence of the «laughter word» is emphasized to destroy old myths and create new ones.
A linguistic method of interpretation and the method of intertextual analysis is used.
In this the study the conclusions about the importance of the «laughter word» in the procedures of demythologization and in the language games «on the decline» are made.

About the authors

G. V. Kuchumova

Samara National Research University

Author for correspondence.
Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7045-4310

Doctor of Philological Sciences, professor of the Department of German Philology

N. V. Barabanova

Samara National Research University

Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1381-6992

Candidate of Philological Sciences, assistant professor of the Department of German Philology

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