Turner, David

Dr. David Turner recently retired as Reader in German Literature from the University of Hull. He has published widely on German and Austrian literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including a major study of the Novellen of Stefan Zweig.

Mental Processes and Narrative Possibilities in the German Novelle 1890-1940
2005 0-7734-6127-2
Although it concentrates on a particular historical period, and although it examines a variety of individual works, many of them acknowledged Novellen, this study is neither an historical survey nor a collection of interpretations. Its distinctive approach is taxonomical and comparative. Taking as its starting point the surge of interest in the human mind as the nineteenth century drew to a close, it examines the kinds of (shorter) narrative that were generated by that interest. On the other hand therefore it investigates how, by focusing on particular aspects of the mind, writers were led to adopt certain narrative patterns or structures; and on the other hand, building on the work of Dorrit Cohn, but extending her range considerably, it explores and evaluates the different modes of presentation which writers exploited as they sought to give life to the inner workings of their characters.

According to some, psychology and the Novelle are incompatible. Although the investigation concludes that there is no inherent incompatibility between psychological interest and the aims of the Novelle, it also demonstrates that psychological interest in shorter narratives does not always lead to Novellen; it explores other narrative structures that may arise when particular models of the mind form their basis.