Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Berlin’s Cultural East and West Division: Masochism and the Female Body

Else Buschheuer's novel Ruf!Mich!An! represents an exceptional example of contemporary German literature in which the gendered body, in correlation to division and unification of Berlin, is represented as a sexual battlefield. The female body of the main protagonist in Ruf!Mich!An!, becomes the main mediator and battle field of the divisions and tensions in Berlin between East- and West Germans. Be it the East German inability to cope with Western television or capitalism, the protagonist perceives East Germans as unable to cope with the cultural changes that have come with reunification. Her alienation and hatred culminate into guilt over her own behavior. Communication, which would open ways of coping with the alienation and hatred, has become impossible. As a strategy for channeling this guilt, Paprika indulges in masochism. Masochism represents pornological descriptions which displace and channel her hatred and guilt. Masochism becomes a tool by which her feelings towards Eastern Germans are negated and transcribed into sex.