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Adalbert Stifter and the Idyll

A Study of "Witiko</I>

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Barbara S. Stone Grossman

The historical novel Witiko, written by the nineteenth-century Austrian writer Adalbert Stifter, presents an interesting problem for the study of literary reception. Stifter's attempt at integrating the narrative forms of the historical novel and the Biedermeier idyll results in a novel which is very different from the standard historical novel of the Scott tradition. Though trying on the reader, Stifter's extreme stylization raises interesting questions regarding the successful creation and limits of a literary illusion.