Die übel unserer Zeit. Überlegungen zu Juli Zehs Roman Spieltrieb

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Juli Zeh, a German author born in the seventies with a doctorate in International Law, is a very good observer of contemporary Western society, whose social reality she questions in her literary writing. This paper considers her second novel Spieltrieb published at the beginning of the new millennium (2004), and focuses on the violence depicted there, which is perpetrated by the young fictional characters. Zeh’s fictional world of cruelty and moral emptiness is examined here, confronting it with Zygmunt Bauman’s sociological view of contemporary society (Liquid Love: On the Frailty of Human Bonds, 2003). While the Polish sociologist explains how consumerism and globalization are affecting human life and transforming the nature and meaning of our relationships, the German woman writer is determined to convey a complex fictional picture of our disenchanted modern world. This helps us advance our understanding of today’s society and forces a reflection on the critical function Juli Zeh assigns to literature.
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)191-203
Number of pages13
JournalTemeswarer Beiträge zur Germanistik
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Juli Zeh
  • Zygmunt Bauman
  • Liquid modernity
  • Violence
  • Moral emptiness
  • Game theory

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