War in Peacetime: Authorship between Bachmann and Ungaretti


  • Barbara Agnese Université de Montréal




The following reflections contribute to an exploration of the “peacetime crimes” in Ingeborg Bachmann’s work by offering an analysis of an episode in her novel Malina. Tracing a hitherto unnoticed allusion to a poem by Ungaretti, the analysis also contributes to a discussion of Bachmann’s poetics of citation. The subtle web of intertextual play and citation that pervades the whole novel de-emphasizes the role of the author in literary history and opens instead a reading space where literature as textual memory, again and again, comes to be actualized.

Author Biography

Barbara Agnese, Université de Montréal

Barbara Agnese is associate professor of Comparative Literature at Université de Montréal. She received her PhD in philosophy, with focus on the philosophy of language, from the University of Vienna. Agnese has published extensively on Ingeborg Bachmann and has taught at the University of Vienna (2000-2011) and at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris (2011-2012). Recent publications include the co-edition of the volume Die Lücke im Sinn. Vergleichende Studien zu Yoko Tawada (2014) and the Nelly Sachs Issue of Europe(August/September 2015). She is currently working on a monograph titled « Utopia and Literature in Ingeborg Bachmanns Writing » and on the project «canadian and european exophone texts». She is editing two volumes of Bachmann’s Collected Works (Suhrkamp/Piper) and also works as a translator.




How to Cite

Agnese, B. (2019). War in Peacetime: Authorship between Bachmann and Ungaretti. Konturen, 10(1), 81–102. https://doi.org/10.5399/uo/konturen.10.0.4511