Transitions in the Novel Zwischenstationen by Vladimir Vertlib
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Vladimir Vertlib
Jewish Identity

How to Cite

1. Pelloni G., Sarakaeva E. Transitions in the Novel Zwischenstationen by Vladimir Vertlib // Journal of Frontier Studies. 2020. № 1 (5). C. 95-111.


The novel Zwischenstationen by the Austrian Jewish writer of Russian descent Vladimir Vertlib draws on personal experience in its depiction of the emigration of a Russian-Jewish family. The first-person narrator is the family’s young and only son, who recounts the family’s various “interstations” and his own quest for identity. While Vertlib’s realist narrative achieves provisional closure at the level of the plot, it is structured so as to juxtapose voices, times and places in a way which explores a range of contemporary problems. These concern migration, memory, 20th century European history and the remembrance of the Third Reich, Jewish identity and Jewish diaspora. Taking as its starting point Vertlib’s description of migrant condition, the article singles out the story told in Zwischenstationen as an emblematic achievement of a transcultural condition par excellence. In relation to Michael Epstein’s concept of transculture this is established as a state of outsideness and not-belonging which is the precondition of a creative freedom paradigmatically conveyed by the decision of the protagonist to truly dedicate himself to writing.
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