Emergence of the Modern German Novel : Christoph Martin Wieland, Sophie von la Roche, and Maria Anna Sagar

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2002-05-01
  • Publisher: Camden House

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This book treats both the literary history of the modern German novel and theoretical considerations about gender and 18th-century narrative strategies. It attempts to overcome a two-fold division in scholarship by treating Christoph Martin Wieland's Geschichte des Agathon and Sophie von La Roche's Geschichte des Fr+uleins von Sternheim, the two novels generally considered to be foundational in the development of the German Bildungsroman, in conjunction, rather than as examples of unrelated traditions, and by considering the reciprocal influence of fictional and theoretical writing dealing with the developing genre of the modern German novel. Baldwin also examines Wieland's Don Sylvio and Maria Anna Sagar's Karolinens Tagebuch and analyzes how gender as a relative construct functions in each of the four texts. In so doing she shows how the new German novel of the 1770s aligns reading and narrative practices with gendered attributes to establish narrative authority and cultural legitimacy for the new stories of identity they explore. The interpretations proceed from an analysis of the ways that reading and narration are represented in the novels, and in their poetological prefaces, to show that the texts take up, challenge, and contribute to contemporary literary and social theories of the novel.Claire Baldwin is assistant professor of German at Colgate Unversity in Hamilton, New York.

Author Biography

Claire Baldwin is assistant professor of German at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
The Powers of Desire: The Debate on the Novel in Eighteenth-Century Germanyp. 13
Theoretical Discourse on the Novelp. 14
Images of Readers and Their Desiresp. 26
Anthropology, Literature, Genderp. 29
The Pleasures of Fiction: Christoph Martin Wieland's Der Sieg der Natur uber die Schwarmerey oder Die Abentheuer des Don Sylvio von Rosalvap. 38
The Demands of Reading: a Satirical Prefacep. 41
The Female Quixote: Donna Mencia as Adversary of the Narrativep. 46
Symbolic Siblingsp. 53
Hyacinthe's Tales of Virtuep. 54
Don Sylvio's Tales of Enchantmentp. 58
Little Pedro's Old Wives' Talesp. 62
Narrative Reliability: "Biribinker"p. 70
Seductive Strategies and the Promise of Knowledge: Wieland's Geschichte des Agathonp. 73
Seductive Arts: Agathon's Aesthetic Educationp. 77
Danae's Autobiographical Tale: A Model Poetic Narrativep. 85
Telling Tales of Virtuep. 93
A Story of Her Own: Sophie von La Roche's Geschichte des Frauleins von Sternheimp. 103
Wieland's Prefacep. 105
The Female Editorp. 112
Virtue Rewarded or Virtue Betrayed?p. 113
"A New Genre of Character"p. 121
Compiling Sternheim's Storyp. 128
The Legitimation of Desirep. 137
Narrating Nothing: Maria Anna Sagar's Karolinens Tagebuch ohne ausserordentliche Handlungen, oder gerade so viel als gar keinep. 141
Defining the "Nothing" of the Novelp. 143
The Writing Heroine Karolinep. 146
Stories of Silence: The Adventures of Eleonora Lusanip. 150
"The History of the Duchess v. ***"p. 155
Karoline's Authorial Profilesp. 160
Karoline's Conflicting Plots of Authorship and Marriagep. 167
Disclosing the Fiction of Marriage as Closurep. 169
Epilogue: Caveat Lectorp. 176
Works Consultedp. 181
Notesp. 207
Indexp. 253
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