Undivided convictions in a divided country. Remembering Christa Wolf in Italy

by Elisa Leonzio

Christa Wolf, who died last year at the age of 82, was one of the most famous and controversial German authors in recent decades. This article aims at reconstructing the various stages of the reception of her work and its translation in Italy in the light of the relation between her poetry and politics (widely commented by the author herself). After the 1960s Wolf’s fame was mainly connected with her position concerning East Germany’s cultural politics; she was initially quite tolerant but later became progressively more critical. However her books remained almost unknown. During the 1980s her novels reached a wider public, many were translated and her writing began to be analysed from a literary perspective.