"Eine Geschichte tiber mich und die Gerechtigkeit: Ich will ein Märchen erzahlen tiber einen Richter und die Gerechtigkeit. Denn manchmal ist ein Märchen wahrer als eine wahre Geschichte." In 1979, when Jurij Brezan wrote these opening lines to his fairy tale entitled "Märchen," an allegory on the founding of the GDR and a paean to the inherent justice of the socialist system, he could not have predicted the new dimensions his words would later assume. Many GDR fairy tales of the eighties are "true stories" in the sense that they treat the injustices and social-political problems in the socialist utopia eulogized by Brezan. The GDR fairy tale has in fact developed from an instrument of social didacticism into a vehicle of social-political criticism and-in light of present political developments-inadvertent prophesy. While the social-didactic, utopian fairy tales of the fifties through the seventies are still in evidence (particularly in children's fairy tales), equally apparent are the social- critical allegorical, satirical, and dystopian tales. Although the critical mode is also manifest in some recent children's tales, the paper will concentrate on literary fairy tales of the 1980s.



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