Spaces for Happiness in the Twentieth-Century German Novel

Mann, Kafka, Hesse, Jünger

by Alan Corkhill (Author)
©2012 Monographs VII, 203 Pages
Series: German Life and Civilization, Volume 57


This book offers an in-depth study of the rich tapestry of happiness discourses in well-known philosophical novels by Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, Hermann Hesse and Ernst Jünger, published between 1922 and 1949. The study is prompted, in part, by an awareness that despite the interdisciplinarity of happiness research, Western literary scholarship has paid scant attention to fictionalized constructs of happiness. Each of the four chapters uses extended textual analysis to explore the sites in which happiness (Glück) and serenity (Heiterkeit) are sought, experienced, narrated, reflected upon and enacted. The author theorizes, with particular reference to Bachelard and Foucault, the interfaces between interior and exterior spaces and states of well-being. In addition to providing new interpretive perspectives on the canonical novels themselves, the book makes a significant contribution to a broader history of the idea of happiness through the appraisal of key intellectual cross-currents and traditions, both Western and Eastern, underpinning the novelists’ varied and nuanced conceptualizations and aesthetic representations of happiness.


VII, 203
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2012 (January)
The Twentieth-Century German Novel Happiness and Spatiality Happiness in Western and Eastern Traditions The Technologization of Happiness Happiness as a Literary Trope Collective Promises of Happiness and Well-being
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2012. VIII, 203 pp.

Biographical notes

Alan Corkhill (Author)

Alan Corkhill is Reader/Associate Professor of German Studies at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. He is the author of four monographs and numerous book chapters and articles, chiefly on aspects of German literature from the Enlightenment to the present. His monographs include Australia and the German Literary Imagination 1754-1918 and Glückskonzeptionen im deutschen Roman von Wielands «Agathon» bis Goethes «Wahlverwandtschaften». He is also the Associate Editor of Seminar. A Journal of Germanic Studies.


Title: Spaces for Happiness in the Twentieth-Century German Novel