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Volume 110, Number 4, Winter 2018
Table of Contents



Lukas Bauer

“Sie durchziehen dieses Land in ganzen Schwärmen”: Tourism as a Marker of Modernity in Heine’s Reisebilder

This article positions Heine’s Reisebilder at the beginnings of an intellectual history of critical discourses about tourism. It examines the intersection of this discourse with Heine’s broader critique of capitalism and modernity. I argue that Heine’s appraisal of tourism constitutes part of a larger project to describe economic and cultural transformations in Restoration Europe, driven by early capitalism. Tourism expressed the essential logic of capitalism by emulating patterns of consumption that commoditized culture. Heine makes this attitude towards culture responsible for a break in cultural cohesiveness that in turn constituted the condition of modernity. Heine’s account of these changing travel patterns that signalled the advent of mass tourism offers a complex examination of social transformations in Europe that radically altered the cultural and communal ties between individuals. Traditions that had once formed the basis of identity had become commodities, circulating in a nascent capitalist market place. (LB)


Raleigh Whitinger

Do the Math and Go Figure! The Socratic Schoolmaster in Theodor Storm’s Der Schimmelreiter

In comments following his account of his protagonist’s life, the narrating schoolmaster in Storm’s last novella makes an arithmetic error—as yet unremarked in the critical discourse—which offers a starting point for this article’s argument that he is the source and inspiration for the irony that pervades the text. The article shows how this storyteller’s treatment of women’s discourse and of fantastic events subjects the impression of his protagonist’s heroic image to an ironic perspective that the two mediating fictive authors report—and emulate. The text’s evocations of Socrates play an important role in sustaining and marking this irony. They invite recipients to ponder but doubt Hauke’s image as a hero akin to such bygone greats. They suggest instead the schoolmaster’s kinship with that legendary pedagogue. This fosters reflections on how the novella’s anticipative “modernity” is born of its homage to the romantic roots of its “poetic realism.” (RW)


Erik Born

Some Omissions in the Universal Library: Kurd Lasswitz and the Emergence of Science Fiction

This article examines the integral relation between form and content in Kurd Lasswitz’s “Die Universalbibliothek” (1904), one of the seminal treatments of the universal library topos and a direct inspiration for Borges’s “Library of Babel.” In Lasswitz’s concise thought experiment, a mathematical demonstration presents the exact number of volumes contained in a universal library, the amount of space they would occupy, and the time required to travel from one end of the library to the other. At the same time, a creative literary frame narrative undermines this seemingly utopian project, revealing the dream of producing a universal library to be a nightmare for all those involved in its reception. Reading across Lasswitz’s scientific and literary output, the aim of this article is to draw attention not only to the story’s omission from the global tradition of science fiction, but also to the unavoidable omissions involved in any universal library project. (EB)


Nicole Mattern

Doppelte Buchführung. Kollabierende Systeme in Thomas Manns Buddenbrooks

Research on Thomas Mann’s first novel has assumed so far that the liquidation of the Buddenbrook company is an effect of its conservative business activities. The article will try to show—with the help of systems theory developed by Niklas Luhmann—that the business activities of the Buddenbrook enterprise are riskier than it is evident at first sight. The quiet business activity of the company is hedged by the business activity of the family (mostly weddings and deaths), which can be read as foreshadowing today’s tradings and export-import business. While the Hagenströms ‚merely‘ practice speculative tradings, the business of the Buddenbrooks points to risks of hedging, which can be more dangerous than speculative trading. Therefore the novel Buddenbrooks anticipates the experiences of crisis and contingency in the coming post-modern western societies and the establishment of complex abstract financial instruments. (NM; in German)


Tobias Klauk und Tilman Köppe

Zur Erzählsituation in Die Strudlhofstiege

The narrative agent in Heimito von Doderer’s novel The Strudlhof Steps or Melzer and the Depth of the Years (Die Strudlhofstiege, 1951) poses an intricate problem for interpretations of the novel: The text contains ample evidence for a figural narrator who is part of the world he (or she) talks about. But the text also contains evidence for a narrator who cannot be part of this very world. We analyze this contradictory evidence and, by drawing inter alia on Doderer’s remarks in Foundations and Function of the Novel (Grundlagen und Funktion des Romans, 1959) we try to reconcile the apparent contradiction. Finally, we argue for interpretations of the narrative agent which emphasize the aesthetic merits of the novel. (T. Klauk/T. Köppe; in German)


Charlotte Melin

Cultivating a Poetics of Knowledge: H.M. Enzensberger’s Mausoleum, the Botanical, and the Anthropocene

Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s Mausoleum: Siebenunddreißig Balladen aus der Geschichte des Fortschritts (1975) has been widely interpreted as a critique of technological progress. Close reading of its poems about Carolus Linnaeus, Alexander von Humboldt, Charles Darwin, and other figures, however, reveals an ecological turn in Enzensberger’s thinking premised on human relations with the botanical world. This essay proposes an interpretation of the poetic cycle in terms of the Anthropocene, a concept that recognizes the interconnection of human and natural history. Theoretical grounding for the analysis comes from both discussion of the Anthropocene by historian Dipesh Chakrabarty and ecocriticism pertaining to literary plant studies. Following a discussion of the significance of nature poetry for Enzensberger’s work, the essay explores the deployment of botanical tropes in Mausoleum as an aesthetic experiment in the creation of knowledge that is facilitated by the narrative framework of deep history. (CM)



Introduction, German Departments in the USA, German Departments in Canada, Promotions, New Appointments, Visitors, Retirements, Necrology, Doctoral Dissertations, Summary



Anderegg, Johannes, Lorbeerkranz und Palmenzweig. Streifzüge im Gebiet des poetischen Lobs (Paul Gebhardt)

Brassat, Wolfgang, Hrsg., Handbuch Rhetorik der Bildenden Künste (Rüdiger Singer)

Byrd, Vance, A Pedagogy of Observation: Nineteenth-Century Panoramas, German Literature, and Reading Culture (Florence Vatan)

Cornils, Ingo, Writing the Revolution: The Construction of “1968” in Germany (Friedemann Weidauer)

Cornish, Matt, Performing Unification: History and Nation in German Theater after 1989 (Ralf Remshardt)

Engelstein, Stefani, Sibling Action: The Genealogical Structure of Modernity (Sarah Vandegrift Eldridge)

Erb, Andreas, Hrsg., Antje Rávic Strubel. Schlupfloch: Literatur (Sonja E. Klocke)

Frackman, Kyle, An Other Kind of Home: Gender-Sexual Abjection, Subjectivity, and the Uncanny in Literature and Film (Kevin S. Amidon)

Härtl, Heinz, „Drei Briefe von Beethoven“. Genese und Frührezeption einer Briefkomposition Bettina von Arnims (Helen G. Morris-Keitel)

Hau, Michael, Performance Anxiety: Sport and Work in Germany from the Empire to Nazism (Erik Jensen)

Huber, Martin und Wolf Schmid, Hrsg., Grundthemen der Literaturwissenschaft. Erzählen (Thomas Scholz)

Klapper, John, Nonconformist Writing in Nazi Germany: The Literature of Inner Emigration (Stephen Brockmann)

Kruschwitz, Hans, Hrsg., Ich bin meiner Zeit voraus. Utopie und Sinnlichkeit bei Heiner Müller (Marc Silberman)

Netzwerk Hör-Wissen im Wandel, Hrsg., Wissensgeschichte des Hörens in der Moderne (Rolf J. Goebel)

Rupp, Irene, Der Brief im deutschen Drama des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts (Helen G. Morris-Keitel)

Schmid, Lukas, Reinheit als Differenz. Identität und Alterität in Max Frischs frühem Erzählwerk (Richard R. Ruppel)

Sina, Kai und Carlos Spoerhase, Hrsg., Nachlassbewusstsein. Literatur, Archiv, Philologie 1750–2000 (Vance Byrd)

Torra-Mattenklott, Caroline, Poetik der Figur. Zwischen Geometrie und Rhetorik: Modelle der Textkomposition von Lessing bis Valéry (Dirk Kemper)

von Moltke, Johannes, The Curious Humanist: Siegfried Kracauer in America (Marcus Bullock)

Weidner, Daniel, Hrsg., Handbuch Literatur und Religion (Julie K. Allen)

Weihe, Richard, Hrsg., über den Clown. Künstlerische und theoretische Perspektiven (Alan Lareau)

Wetenkamp, Lena, Europa erzählt, verortet, erinnert. Europa-Diskurse in der deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur (Paul Michael Lützeler)

Wood, Michael, Heiner Müller’s Democratic Theater: The Politics of Making the Audience Work (S. E. Jackson)


INDEX VOLUME 110 (2018)