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Helga Mitterbauer

(Priv.-Doz. Mag. Dr.; Austrian Visiting Assoc. Prof. at the U. of Alberta, Edmonton)

Experiences, Theories, and Fictions of Exile in the Life and Work of Henry Kreisel

Henry Kreisel was born in Vienna in 1922. After the annexation of Austria by the Third Reich in 1938, he fled to England. He was interned in May 1940, and sent to internment camps in Canada. After being released in November 1941, he studied English at the University of Toronto. Henry Kreisel became a professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and also had an impressive career in administration: he served as chair, acting dean, and was named Vice-President of this university in 1970. He was also an advisor to both provincial and federal governments. His work was recognized with major awards, including a 1987 appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada.
     Immigration and exile are pivotal topics in his scholarly as well in his literary works. In my presentation I will analyse the novel The Rich Man (1948) and compare it with the theoretical reflection of exile in his PhD thesis The Problem of Exile and Alienation in Modern Literature (London 1954). In the novel, an emigrant returns to his hometown Vienna where he un-derstands that his newly gained wealth is insulting his desperate relatives.
     My paper explores the notion of guilt and the forms of foreignness as well as for the relationship between economy and power represented in the novel. I will scrutinize the correlations of Henry Kreisel’s theoretical idea of exile and the fictional presentation in the novel.


Helga Mitterbauer:
Austrian Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, Edmonton (since 2010); PhD (2000) and Habilitation (2008) at the University of Graz where she has been teaching since 1993; Visiting Professor at the ELTE Budapest (2003), the University of Zagreb (2005-2006), and the University of Innsbruck (2013); Research-Fellow at the IFK Vienna (2007/08), founder and editor of the Yearbook in Cultural Studies „Moderne“ (since 2005).
She has published about 20 volumes and numerous articles on Austrian and German literature and culture from 19th to 21st century, on the theory of cultural transfers, and on transcultural studies.

Recent Book Publications:
Crossing Central Europe: Continuities and Transformations, 1900 and 2000 (ed., Toronto, forthcoming), Elfriede Gerstl, Werke (ed., Graz 2012 and 2013), Gedächtnis und Erinnerung in Zentraleuropa (ed., Vienna, 2012), Ver-rückte Kulturen. Zur Dynamik kultureller Transfers (ed., Tübingen 2003, 2nd ed. 2011).

E-Mail: helga.mitterbauer@ualberta.ca


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