Mann, Kafka, Hesse, Jünger
Conclusion Das Glück besteht darin, zu leben wie alle Welt und doch wie kein anderer zu sein. — Simone de Beauvoir, 1908–1986 This book has discussed seven canonical early to mid-twentieth-century German novels in which there is sustained and nuanced treatment of happi- ness as a subject of existential, socio-political and metaphysical speculation. (Many more layers are dispersed throughout the respective narratives). I have demonstrated not only how personal and communal forms of hap- piness are perceived in significant literary works, but equally where they are sought, found and performed. The first approach has entailed critical readings of the text corpus both in the light of autobiographical ref lec- tions on Glück and within the larger context of cross-cultural happiness discourse. At the same time, I have explored the extent to which the nar- ratives under review are concerned with the coordinates of space (Raum) as a physical, mental, spiritual, cultural or territorial entity. I have done so with particular reference to Bachelard’s and Foucault’s reading of space as the sites of felicitous or infelicitous experience. “Es gibt Gott sei Dank viele Arten von Glück. Und du sollst sehen, wir werden schon etwas finden für dich”1 (Thank goodness there are many kinds of happiness. We will certainly find one for you, just you see), exclaims Frau von Briest reassuringly to her “fallen” daughter in Theodor Fontane’s Ef fi Briest (1895). This notion of pluralistic relativism upon which Fontane had already ref lected in his draft...
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