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Sudermann's «Frau Sorge»

Jugendstil, Archetype, Fairy Tale

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Cordelia Stroinigg

This is a study of Hermann Sudermann's naive novel of 1887, Frau Sorge, once one of the most widely read works of German literature. The analysis illuminates the novel's characters, its sweeping archetypal symbolism, fairy tale motifs and structure, and circular symbolism. Stroinigg argues that Frau Sorge manifests an abundance of Jugendstil conventions and characteristics at a time well before the Jugendstil art movement is said to have begun in Germany. She places the novel in relation to Jugendstil art and literature.