E. Marlitt and her Narrative Strategies
This study is the first in English to examine E. Marlitt’s complete fiction. It situates her prose against the backdrop of women’s discourse and nineteenth-century historical developments in the German Empire. It synthesizes findings of both American and German scholarship to show how her social constructs advanced a liberal political agenda while resisting the conventional view of «natural» gender roles. The book provides a context for recognizing Marlitt’s clever use of the conventionality and acceptability of the romance genre to reposition the image of middle-class women. Her emphasis on personal autonomy, educational opportunities and new fields of professional engagement for women advanced altered images of family, class and national identity. Ultimately, this study of a popular author illuminates domestic, middle-class issues that underwent significant transformations equal to the Empire’s public developments under Bismarck’s politics.
Literature on E. Marlitt
Arens, Hans. E. Marlitt. Eine kritische Würdigung. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 1994.
Bachleitner, Norbert. “Die deutsche Rezeption englischer Romanautorinnen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts, insbesondere Charlotte Brontës,” in Susanne Stark, ed. The Novel in Anglo-German Context: Cultural Cross-Currents and Affinities. Papers from the Conference held at the University of Leeds, 15–17 September 1997. Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi 2000. 173–94.
Barsch, Achim. “Massenmediale Unterhaltungsliteratur und soziale Wirklichkeitskonstruktion: Zum Menschenbild in der Gartenlaube am Beispiel der Romane von E. Marlitt,” in Achim Barsch and Peter M. Hejl, eds. Menschenbilder: Zur Pluralisierung der Vorstellungen von der menschlichen Natur (1850–1914). Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp, 2000. 376–422.
Belgum, Kirsten. “Domesticating the Reader: Women and Die Gartenlaube,” Women in German Yearbook, 9 (1993), 91–111.
——. “A Nation for the Masses: Production of German Identity in the Late-Nineteenth-Century Popular Press,” Ch. 10 in Scott Denham, Irene Kacandes, and Jonathan Petropoulos, eds. A User’s Guide to German Cultural Studies. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1997. 163–77.
——. Popularizing the Nation. Audience, Representation, and the Production of Identity in “Die Gartenlaube” 1853–1900. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1998.
——. “E. Marlitt: Narratives of Virtuous Desire,” in Todd Kontje, ed. A Companion to German Realism 1848–1900. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2002. 259–83.
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