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Modern HungersFood and Power in Twentieth-Century Germany$
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Alice Weinreb

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190605094

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190605094.001.0001

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Yes, We Have No Bananas: Negotiating Past and Future in Reunified Germany

(p.237) Epilogue
Modern Hungers

Alice Weinreb

Oxford University Press

The epilogue explores the ways in which fantasies and memories of food and hunger were central to the experience of German reunification in 1989/1990. It analyzes the frequent invocation of particular foods, particularly bananas, during this time, and shows that such fantasies about East German appetites have a long tradition in the FRG, dating back to the early years of division. The chapter argues that such Western descriptions of East German hungers and food ways say more about West Germans than they do about East Germans. It also explores the important role played by food in Ostalgie, or “nostalgia for the East,” a form of nostalgia that is specific to post-socialist societies. This analysis uses food discourse to complicate the idea that German reunification was a successful, and above all finite, process.

Keywords:   German reunification, bananas, nostalgia, post-socialism, East Germany, memory, food, West Germany

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