The current contribution of literary scholarship to an understanding of spatiality and meaning within Ilse Aichinger’s writings in general, and ,Die größere Hoffnung’ in particular, is long overdue. As Peter Härtling pointed out in 1980: “Ilse Aichingers Roman hat lange, allzulange auf uns ge wartet. Er ist […] so geduldig wie seine Autorin”. Gail Wiltshire’s text examines a wide range of aspects of meaning, symbolism and spatial discourse under the following rubrics: space and time – space and heterotopia – space and memory – (auto-)biographical space. As theoretical underpinnings she incorporates a number of hypotheses by contemporary cultural theorists. She refers to M.M. Bakhtin’s concept of “chronotopicity”, that is, “time space” in ,The Dialogic Imagination’ (1981), and Michel Foucault’s treatise on heterotopic otherness in “Different Spaces” (1967) and ,Discipline and Punish. The Birth of the Prison’ (1975). Furthermore, she draws on Aleida Assmann’s theory of memory outlined in ,Cultural Memory and Western Civilisation’ (1999) to interrogate the nexus between space and memory in Aichinger’s novel. Finally, Foucault’s seminal discourse “What Is an Author?” (1969) contributes to an analysis of (auto-)biographical space. The application of the theories of Bakhtin, Foucault, and Assmann to this novel breaks new ground. In addition to exploring further salient perspectives by the French anthropologist Marc Augé in Non-Places. ,An Introduction to Supermodernity’ (1992), the concepts of Gaston Bachelard’s ,The Poetics of Space’ (1958) underscore an investigation of the symbols of memory determining the spatial dimension of.
The author The proprietor of the Twelfth Night Theatre in Brisbane Australia, Gail Wiltshire has recently completed postgraduate studies at the University of Queensland German Department, specializing in the works of Ilse Aichinger.