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Adalbert Stifter's «Bunte Steine»

An Analysis of Theme, Style, and Structure in Three Novellas


Joseph C. Jeter

Bunte Steine, the 1853 collection of six novellas by the Austrian writer Adalbert Stifter, is widely known and acclaimed by readers of German literature. This study compares and contrasts the most narratively disparate of those stories to uncover the underlying stylistic and philosophical unities among them. The thematic commonality demonstrated here challenges the traditional view of the collection as primarily an editorial expedient and also suggests new consistencies with its equally famous, but critically troublesome, «Vorrede».