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Narrative Structure and the Reader in Wilhelm Raabe's «Im Alten Eisen»

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Leo A. Lensing

The author examines the relationship between the narrator and the reader in Wilhelm Raabe's Im alten Eisen (1887) both as an aspect of narrative structure and as a reflection of social and cultural criticism. Using W. Iser's concept of the «implied reader», the interpretation progresses from an investigation of Raabe's actual readers to a Im alten Eisen is linked to its unusual synthesis of the fairy-tale and the novelistic genres and to its parody of the family-journal novels of E. Marlitt.