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Interior Meaning

Design of the Bourgeois Home in the Realist Novel


Kirsten Belgum

Private life and domestic interiors play a central structuring role in German realist novels of the nineteenth century. Drawing on non-literary fields such as the social history of the family and the development of historicist styles of decoration, this study interprets the specifically narrative construction of this private space. In the works of major realist authors it traces the changing dimensions of the interior from its narrative stabilization in the 1850s through its social contestation in the Gründerzeit to its dissolution at the end of the century.
Contents: Stabilization and disintegration of the middle-class or bourgeois domestic interior in realist novels by Stifter, Freytag, Spielhagen, Marlitt, Kretzer, Raabe, Fontane and Th. Mann.