chapter  18
Constructing Identities and Remembering Fascism: the Published Letters of Elisabeth Langgässer
ByJoanne Sayner
Pages 12

‘Where, I asked myself, where has a woman ever revealed herself as more multifaceted, as the creation of nature that she is than in her letters? And all at once it seemed very important to me to read women’s letters’. 1 In the face of the past marginalization of letters as subjects for academic study, one might agree with the latter sentiment of this quotation from Anna Brunnemann’s 1911 essay ‘Woman as a Letter Writer’. What this quotation also encapsulates, however, is a paradigm that is prevalent in the frameworks of publication and the reception of Elisabeth Langgässer’s letters: the supposition, and revelation, of ‘the authentic hidden woman’.