In this article I will attempt to interpret Christa Wolf's novel Nachdenken über Christa T. (Quest for Christa T.) as a thematization of alterity. This concept will allow me to show thematic as well as structural resemblances between Christa Wolf's novel and other contemporary German fiction. I believe that similar traits could be found in other literatures. The Latin American novel — Cortazar's Rayuela (Hopscotch), for example — and the French nouveau roman seem to be characterized by an alteristic narrative strategy. The principle of alterity, however, is not limited in its function to literature and thereby to literary criticism and the didactics of literature. It seems to be operative in many areas of today's wissenschaften and to underlie certain critical stances in psychology, sociology, and philosophy — particularly in epistemology and hermeneutics — to a lesser degree in the natural sciences.



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