The aim of "Sprach-Wunder" is to give the reader an overview of the important cultural phenomenon of Jewish influence on Austrian literature, whereby the term is to be understood unchauvinistically as literature that has come into being on Austrian territory, either written by Austrians, or by de facto non-Austrians who chose this country as the focal point of their lives. That much of this literature today belongs to world literature (one example being Kafka) confirms our view regarding the importance of this cultural area. German was the language of this literature, and many of the writers were Jews, who left such a strong mark on Austrian culture and literature that one is tempted to ask who were all the non-Jewish Austrian writers in the period before National Socialism. While taking a literary theory perspective, "Sprach-Wunder" places particular attention on phenomena such as language socialization and multilingualism. It covers a wide range of writers, from the German-speaking authors of Eastern Jewry, many of whom grew up in a totally different language environment and who were exposed to a special kind of language socialization, through the assimilated Jews living under the monarchy, whose mother tongue was German, and those for whom German, in concentration camps or in exile, as well as in the new, small post-war country of Austria, was in spite of everything their "Heimat", right up to the latest generation.
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