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Volume 5

Schöneck, Annette
Literarische Geschichtsbilder
Anschauliches Erzählen im historischen Roman
1855–1887

2018. 394 pages – 170 x 240 mm. Hardcover
ISBN 978-3-95650-457-0

 

48,00 EUR

Product ID: 978-3-95650-457-0  

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History is omnipresent in the 19th century; it is both the authority on interpreting the world and a political argument at the same time. The historical novel especially, the most popular means of conveying aspects of history, had a decisive influence on the culture of remembrance at that time. Critics and writers of that era clearly defined how such novels were to depict the past: they had to create pictures which visually evoked history. This study develops the concept of ‘literary images of history’ to describe this narrative strategy of depicting historical events with a strong visual effect. Using three novels that were extremely popular in the 19th century, it analyses which historical events each novel portrays in literary images of history, which narra-tive structures form the bases of these works and how they are rooted contextually. In this way, the remarkable dual structure of history’s images comes to light. As examples of ‘written ar-chaeology’, these novels transcend the mere documentation of historical reality and imbue it with symbolism. By both interpreting historical events and making them available mnemonical-ly by compressing them into literary images, they integrate complex historical images into the collective memory and fulfil their function for the present by suggesting action that could be taken.