Studies of German Prose Fiction in the Age of European Realism
|Author: ||Swales, Martin|
Argues that the tradition of German prose writing is importantly and illuminatingly part of European realism - not in spite of, but because of, its concern with mental life and its poetic and symbolic concerns. It has often been maintained that inwardness, that governing characteristic of German culture, prevents German prose fiction from contributing to the mainstream of European realism. But German prose narratives most challengingly explore a realism of mentality, of concept and ideas, a realism attending to the characters' reflectivity. Among the writers discussed, and the headings under which they appear, are: Theodor Fontane (Half Truths); Thomas Mann (Subjectivity and the Public Realm); Franz Kafka (The Real and the Self-Evident); and Günter Grass (The Cultishness of the Times).