Zur Topologie eines literarischen Transfers
Edited By Rüdiger Görner and Isabel Wagner
A bb . 1 2: W ol fg an g H ild es he im er , B üh ne nb ild sk iz ze , e tw a 1 93 8 From Nobility to Sloth: Melancholy Self-Fashioning and the Hamlet-Motif in Wolfgang Hildesheimer’s Tynset and Masante Mary Cosgrove Towards the end of Wolfgang Hildesheimer’s novel Tynset (1965), the in- somniac first-person narrator ponders the contents of his kitchen cupboard as he teeters on the brink of wakefulness and fitful bursts of sleep.1 Mentally listing different combinations of mixed dried herbs he concludes that a specific assortment containing rosemary would never sell in Germany. A herb that Shakespeare’s Ophelia once linked to the power of memory, rose- mary is simply not a German affair.2 Nor is garlic, the narrator muses, for “deutsche Esser” (German eaters) prefer to have pure breath. From an uni- dentified place of self-elected exile he remembers the German man who imparted this to him, someone he once met arbitrarily in the restaurant car of a train and who subsequently became famous for his surgical skill: during the war this random acquaintance transplanted the hip-bones of “a few” Danes to “a few” Germans. Whether the Danes in question were alive or dead at the time remains open to speculation. Having thus cloaked in a hue of implied but unconfirmed butchery what might have been a pioneering medical procedure, the narrator pointedly moves away from this disturbing train of thought and returns to his mixed herbs, concluding that there is certainly...
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