“[A]ber Zitronen haben nicht geblüht”: Heimat, Agency, and the Adaptation of the Mignon Figure in Irmgard Keun’s Kind aller Länder

Didem Uca


This essay argues that the protagonist of Irmgard Keun’s exile novel Kind aller Länder (1938) is an adaptation of Mignon from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (1795/96). Through the development of a narratological approach that distinguishes between diegetic and narrative forms of agency, the essay analyzes intertextual connections between the novels that reveal important insights into how intersecting aspects of the characters’ identities, including gender identity, age, linguistic ability, and migration status, limit and control their access to their Heimat and self-narration. (DU)

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