|Abstract: ||The following interdisciplinary study focuses on the poetic, prose and translation work of the Austrian Jewish writer Erich Fried. The present research concentrates on expressions of Fried’s identity or his sense of self in his work.
Rather than being interpreted as a constant value, identity is perceived as fluid, expressed as a strategic positioning in one’s surroundings. It is postulated that various aspects of Fried’s identity appear in his work. Several traits coalesce to show one aspect or a combination of aspects, presenting an unexpected unity in disparity, as is shown throughout four core chapters.
The kaleidoscopic blend of apparent inconsistencies and uncertainties becomes visible in the shape of different faces of Fried which shine through his work. This is indicated in the main proposition: the title of the thesis and the image of the ‘Vexierbild’ draw on Fried’s idea of ‘hidden faces’. The current thesis does not seek the author’s one ‘true face’ which possibly remains hidden under layers of traced and distorted circumlocutory accounts in his work, but rather captures the dynamic which drives the interchange between and metamorphosis of various components which contribute to the framework of Fried’s identity at different times of his life.
The complexity of Fried’s identity in exile and its combined evidence in Fried’s literary and translation work is an aspect which has so far not been analysed. The findings reflect the main hypothesis—as suggested by the ‘Vexierbild’ image, aspects of Fried’s identity are complementary and opposing at times, dynamically and productively mirrored in his work.|