Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2019

Department 1



In her 1977 short story “Probleme Probleme,” Ingeborg Bachmann plays with space and representations of reality in a way that reflects the disillusionment of Austria’s post-war generation. Beatrix’s two desires in the short story – to look at herself in the mirror and to sleep – both suggest a resistance to living in the real world and a dependence on the illusions of her dreams, mirrors, and the beauty salon. Although the older patrons of the salon and Beatrix try to hide from the responsibility for the past and present, the mirrors and the salon prove to be temporary illusions that are unsustainable. Sleep and mirrors become ways to avoid reality rather than coming to terms with it, which, for Bachmann, is ultimately unproductive and naïve.


Written for GER 240: Introduction to German Studies: Methods and Theories.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.