European Fiction on the Borders: The Case of Herta Müller

Marcel Cornis-Pope, Andrew Hammond

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


Although European frontiers have often been sites of exchange and contact, their role in national and ideological division is a more pronounced feature of post-1945 continental arrangements. This essay explores the disciplinary function of borders via a study of Herta Müller’s Herztier (The Land of Green Plums, 1994). Set in late Cold War Romania, the novel dramatizes the manner in which the regime’s closed borders helped to shape the identity of the domestic population, conditioning not only public activity, but also the private realms of thought and emotion. As the essay points out, despite the dismantling of the Iron Curtain in 1989, Müller’s text retains its relevance to a ‘Fortress Europe’ still defined by national and ‘civilisational’ boundaries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Novel and Europe: Imagining the Continent in Post-1945 Fiction
EditorsAndrew Hammond
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781137526267
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Modern European Literature

Bibliographical note

Cornis-Pope, Marcel & Hammond, Andrew, European Fiction on the Borders: The Case of Herta Müller, 2016, Palgrave Macmillan UK reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan. This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here: [insert URL for product on


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