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


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.