The Representation of Terrorism as Defective Communication in Volker Schlöndorff’s Die Stille nach dem Schuss, Gregor Schnitzler’s Was tun wenn’s brennt, Leander Scholz’s Rosenfest and Ulrike Edschmid’s Frau mit Waffe: Zwei Geschichten aus terroristischen Zeiten
Dillon, Sandra I.
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Dillon, Sandra I.
The attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, prompted scholars in a variety of fields, such as history, philosophy and literature, to re-examine the topic of terrorism, including the emergence of terrorism in West Germany in the 1960s and 1970s. The challenges that arise when dealing with the topic of terrorism derive in part from a lack of consensus on a definition for terrorists and terrorist attacks. One element that I found in my research is that there is a connection between terrorism and communication. This dissertation examines that connection in Volker Schlöndorff's filmDie Stille nach dem Schuss Gregor Schnitzler's film Was tun wenn's brennt Leander Scholz's novel Rosenfestand Ulrike Edschmid's biographical narrativesFrau mit Waffe: Zwei Geschichten aus terroristischen Zeitenin the context of Speech Act Theory. The films and texts show how West German terrorism is represented as a form of communication, through which fictional terrorists are trying to accomplish the impossible statement "I hereby persuade you." The act of persuasion has an element of freedom, because one can either be persuaded or not. However, the terrorists represented in the works mentioned above want to eliminate the element of choice and force the interlocutor to be persuaded. In order to achieve this they introduce violence, which in turn causes them to be labeled as terrorists. The more they try to use violence to achieve their goals, the more they cement their condemnation as terrorists. This dissertation frames its investigation within ideas about performative speech acts, concepts of power, violence, identity and discussions about "terrorist" narratives in German literature and film.