Stereotype and Destiny in Arthur Schnitzler's Prose: Five Psycho-Sociological Readings - New Directions in German Studies (Hardback)
  • Stereotype and Destiny in Arthur Schnitzler's Prose: Five Psycho-Sociological Readings - New Directions in German Studies (Hardback)
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Stereotype and Destiny in Arthur Schnitzler's Prose: Five Psycho-Sociological Readings - New Directions in German Studies (Hardback)

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£96.00
Hardback 280 Pages / Published: 08/02/2018
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What was the function of the invocation of destiny in the increasingly secularized era of turn-of-the-century Vienna? By exploring this question, Stereotype and Destiny in Arthur Schnitzler's Prose offers a new psycho-sociological perspective on the narrative works of Arthur Schnitzler. While Vienna 1900 as a site of crisis has been established in the scholarship, this book focuses on the presence of forces that deny the existence of said crisis and work to contain its subversive and critical potential. Stereotype and destiny emerge in Schnitzler's prose texts as a form of these counter-critical forces. In her readings, Kolkenbrock shows that stereotype and destiny serve as an interrelated coping mechanism for a central psychological conflict of modernity: the paradoxical need to be recognized as `normal' and `special' at the same time. While, through the complex of "stereotype and destiny," Schnitzler's prose addresses central modern questions of identity and subjecthood, Kolkenbrock's close readings also reveal how the texts inscribe themselves aesthetically in the literary tradition of Romanticism and as such offer crucial sources for understanding Schnitzler's representations of embattled subjecthood within broader social and aesthetic traditions.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
ISBN: 9781501330964
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 472 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 mm


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Kolkenbrock's original reading of Arthur Schnitzler's narrative prose both identifies the hidden normative agenda dominating Viennese society around 1900 and attends to Schnitzler's complex view of the human psyche. As Kolkenbrock lucidly shows, Schnitzler's protagonists seek individual autonomy in a society in which stereotypes about sex, race, and culture delimit the parameters of their actions. Kolkenbrock reveals that this futile search for autonomy inevitably leads Schnitzler's protagonists to the figure of the 'other'-one in conflict with the normative order-yet these encounters ultimately do not provide a sustained escape from societal restraints. * Carl Niekerk, Professor of German, Comparative and World Literature, and Jewish Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, and editor of German Quarterly and Lessing Yearbook *
Kolkenbrock's elegant and original study discovers 'destiny' as a term for the missing substance of subjectivity in Schnitzler's prose works. By defining the different relations between an individual character's encounter with a sense of destiny, on one hand, and the operation of social stereotyping, on the other, she constructs a supple theoretical tool. The resulting analysis gives a beautifully lucid, but also subtly differentiated, account of how Schnitzler's work embodies the impossible challenge confronting personhood not only in fin-de-siecle Austro-Hungarian reality, but arguably in modernity in general: how to be normal and special at the same time. * Michael Minden, Former Reader in Modern German Literature and Culture and Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College, University of Cambridge, UK *

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