„Amerika ist trotz allem grossartig“ – Die transkulturellen Leben und autobiographischen Praktiken der Familie Viertel
Schlagworte:Family, Gender, Migration, Exile, Transcultural Lives, Archives, Autobiographical Practice, Memoir, Relational Autobiography
Abstract: “America is awesome, in spite of everything”: The transcultural lives and autobiographical practices of the Viertel family. The Viertel family engaged in diverse biographical practices. Salka Viertel was an actress and screenwriter; her husband, Berthold Viertel, was a writer and director, while their son, Peter, was also a writer. They are one of very few (intellectual) families in which three members from two different generations have bequeathed their autobiographies. Predetermined by gender, age, socialisation and historical context, their autobiographies reveal very different emphases regarding how events in family life can take on quite different meanings when juxtaposed against the backdrop of contemporary world history. The transformations and limitations of concepts such as migration and exile become apparent when we realise that constant mobility was, for example, part of everyday life in the multinational Habsburg Empire, especially in the theatre and film business. In contrast, their migration to the USA in 1928 was transformed into ‘exile’ when the National Socialists rose to power. Whereas the two male family members adhered, on the whole, to traditional masculinities and an autobiographical master narrative, Salka Viertel found a ‘relational’ and ‘transcultural form’ for the writing of her autobiography.