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Bonaventura's «Nachtwachen»

A Satirical Novel

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Kathy Brzovic

This book argues that Bonaventura's Nachtwachen presents us with richly complex and profound satirical treatment of eighteenth-century German society, of that society's censorial response to satirical works of art and, finally, of the artist who doggedly refuses to abandon the satirical mode of expression despite repeated persecution. As such, Bonaventura's work is anything but a testimony to a romantic sense of nihilistic despair. Indeed, as the text closes, the enlightenment principles professed by the nightwatchman/satirist endure, while the oppressive and censorial social order of the period finds its just end in the graveyard.