Journal of Arts & Ideas, no. 9 (Oct-Dec 1984) p. 83.


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The subjective reflection of emotions and experiences is not linked with a desire for any qualitative change, except with regard to a greater identification within one's own group.

Apart from Christa Wolfs earlier writings which do not fall into this category at all, even her novel Cassandra does not correspond either in theme or in style to the general pattern of feminist texts. The entire novel shows Cassandra's attempt to understand herself and her reactions in the context of the war between Troy and Greece. The war which destroyed her country, as well as all the events which formed part of the psychological preparation for war, are just as imporant as Cassandra's personal development. In fact the present threat to peace is shown in terms of the past, and the reader has to keep both in mind.

Christa Wolf also touches upon the connection between Aristotelian aesthetics and the patriarchal system; between dualistic modes of thought as a manifestation of the 'male principle' and the present development of Western society. She demands nothing less than a complete ^orientation of all values hitherto considered essential for progress'(101). Domination, progress, war/ peace are seen as supra-class terms, which reduces the arguments to the level of abstract speculations. War and nuclear armament are not seen within the context of major ideological contradictions in the world today, but as manifestations of patriarchal structures of thought (122). Christa Wolf is therefore convinced that it is women who will be able to effect a qualitative change in this situation, and she wishes to mobilise women to make their contribution to history. Her point of view, however, delinks the question of women's autonomy from the broader social context of the autonomy of the oppressed classes and therefore, her arguments lose their relevance.

1. Christa Wolf, Kassandra. Darmstadt U. Neuwied, 1983

Christa Wolf, ^oraussetzungen Einer Erzahlung: Kassandra Darmstadt, 1983

2. Wilhelm Girnus: Wer Baute Das Siebentorige Theben?', Sinn Und Form, No 2, 1983.

Journal of Arts and Ideas 83


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