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Spaces for Happiness in the Twentieth-Century German Novel

Mann, Kafka, Hesse, Jünger


Alan Corkhill

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.


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Notes 159


Notes Introduction 1 Recent monograph-length studies of fictional happiness in German letters include: Ulrike Tanzer et al. (ed.), Das glückliche Leben – und die Schwierigkeit, es darzustellen. Glückskonzeptionen in der österreichischen Literatur. Beiträge des 14. Österreichisch-Polnischen Germanistentref fens Salzburg 2000. Zirkular, 61 (Wien: Dokumentationsstelle für neuere österreichische Literatur im Literaturhaus 2002); Alan Corkhill, Glückskonzeptionen im deutschen Roman von Wielands “Agathon” bis Goethes “Wahlverwandtschaften.” Saarbrücker Beiträge zur Literaturwissenschaft, 78 (St. Ingbert: Röhrig Universitätsverlag, 2003); Pierre Béhar (ed.), Glück und Unglück in der österreichischen Literatur und Kultur. Musiliana, 9 (Bern: Peter Lang, 2003); Gerda E. Moser et al. (ed.), “Klug und stark, schön und erotisch.” Idyllen und Ideologien des Glücks in der Literatur und in anderen Medien. Schriftenreihe Literatur des Instituts für Österreichkunde, 17 (Innsbruck: Studien Verlag, 2006); Ulrike Tanzer, Fortuna, Idylle, Augenblick. Aspekte des Glücks in der Literatur (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2011); Glück paradox. Moderne Literatur und Medienkultur – theoretisch gelesen, ed. Anja Gerigk (Bielefeld: transcript-Verlag 2010); Volker Stef fen, Kafkas [Un-]Glück. Zur negativen Dialektik des Schreibens (Bielefeld: Aisthesis Verlag, 2010); Alan Corkhill and Katharina von Hammerstein (ed.), Reading Female Happiness in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century German Literature. Texts and Contexts, Seminar. A Journal of Germanic Studies 47.2 (2011):123–299. Recent specialist articles and book chapters on literary happiness that cover the time frame of my study (other than those contained in the edited volumes above) include: Theo Elm, “Das Glück...

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