Uwe Johnson: Mutmassungen über Jakob [Speculations About Jacob] (1686 words)

Alfred D. White (Cardiff University)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error


After failing to publish his relatively conventional novel Ingrid Babendererde, Johnson set out in 1958 to produce a novel of undiluted, stringent modernism, filled with potentially explosive attacks on some aspects of the German Democratic Republic. The novel asks several controversial questions: why the GDR is not the ideal state, nor on the way to it; why states cannot tolerate freedom; whether any political form gives ground for hope; how much dissidence can be tolerated. In order to publish this in the Federal Republic and still live in the east, he thought of using a pseudonym, but, persuaded that his cover would not hold, decided instead to move to West Berlin in July 1959.

The novel is set in 1956, the year o…

Citation: White, Alfred D.. "Mutmassungen über Jakob". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 June 2005 [https://staging.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16830, accessed 09 August 2022.]

16830 Mutmassungen über Jakob 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.