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Book Title: Kassandra|
The author of the book: Christa Wolf
Date of issue: August 18th 2008
Loaded: 2218 times
Reader ratings: 5.3
ISBN 13: 9783518460528
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 23.26 MB
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"I can't love a hero."
Thus ends the fragile love affair between Kassandra and Aeneas. He has to leave the Trojan battlefield and start a new dynasty far away from Kassandra's beloved home and she has learned to hate male heroism, being a guarantee of brutal violence against women.
Kassandra, the seeing woman in a world full of blind patriotism and machismo, a fighter for the rights of women in a society that trades them in exchange for gold or honour - she is as timeless as myth itself, and as contemporary as any political character can be.
Rereading Christa Wolf's take on the Trojan princess after many years, I was stunned to see how much of Kassandra is in the author herself, how much the myth matches the way she fought against the delusional power-hungry politics of her own time, the way she tried to raise a voice of concern and reason in the middle of ideological wars raging around her - wars fought by childish, vain heroes over fake booty.
In the end, Kassandra sees the walls of her community destroyed from the inside, and like the ancient Trojan priestess, Christa Wolf was able to tell that her society was about to break down. The novel is written in the early eighties, and the DDR had all the signs of a slowly eroding system.
When Kassandra laments the rhetoric that gets louder and stronger the weaker Troy becomes, it is a mirror of Christa Wolf's experience of propaganda in a failing government. In Eumelos, Troy even has its Stasi agent and fanatic.
And there is more to it than that. The whole reason for the Trojan War is based on a fraud: Helena is not there. She is absent. Not necessary. For two demogogues to confront each other, no real reason is needed - just a valid excuse.
Fake news meets Greek myth. And it is chillingly good!
This novel needs to be read, and reread, for the Trojan War keeps going on, and on, and on.
And it will, until new roles for men and women are established. Roles that are not based on the idea that a violent hero is attractive. Roles that give women access to the decision making processes to the same extent as men. Roles that forever destroy the idea that a woman is an object that can be "won" in a (war) game or paid for with gold.
"I can't love a hero."
That's the first step towards peace. But unlike Kassandra, most people are blindly following the military piper, playing the patriarchal tune of intolerance and violence on the march towards destruction.
And the voices of women like Kassandra remain unheard.
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Read information about the authorA citizen of East Germany and a committed socialist, Mrs. Wolf managed to keep a critical distance from the communist regime. Her best-known novels included “Der geteilte Himmel” (“Divided Heaven,” 1963), addressing the divisions of Germany, and “Kassandra” (“Cassandra,” 1983), which depicted the Trojan War.
She won awards in East Germany and West Germany for her work, including the Thomas Mann Prize in 2010. The jury praised her life’s work for “critically questioning the hopes and errors of her time, and portraying them with deep moral seriousness and narrative power.”
Christa Ihlenfeld was born March 18, 1929, in Landsberg an der Warthe, a part of Germany that is now in Poland. She moved to East Germany in 1945 and joined the Socialist Unity Party in 1949. She studied German literature in Jena and Leipzig and became a publisher and editor.
In 1951, she married Gerhard Wolf, an essayist. They had two children.
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