Paradise Lost / Paradise Found, Motherland Lost, Motherland Found? The Images of Poland and Germany in the Debut Novel of Alexandra Tobor Sitzen vier Polen im Auto. Teutonische Abenteuer

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Eliza Szymańska


The subject of the following analysis is the debut novel by Alexandra Tobor, a representative of „young prose with Polish roots“ within the German Literature. In her novel, the author depicts the departure of the child protagonist and her family from Poland to Germany in the late 1980s as a kind of „clash of civilizations“ (Huntington 1997). The aim of this paper, therefore, is to examine what narrative strategies the author uses to present the binary oppositions between the original culture and the host culture. By following the course of the story and the distribution of thematic and emotional accents in it, I will try to prove that the formula of „paradise lost“ and „paradise found“ used in the title reflects the complexity of the protagonist's liminal state and the image of Poland and Germany presented in the novel.


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Literary studies