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Beyond the Zeus Principle

Two Hundred Years of Love and Politics in the Novel


Ingo Roland Stoehr

Patriarchal rule, termed «Zeus Principle» by Günter Grass, has always been resisted and transcended. A central area for this resistance is the continual change in gender roles. Most notedly, around 1800 the notion of equality revolutionized the concept of love, a process that can be best understood as a complex interrelationship between literature and society. By illustrating the rise and fall of Romantic Love from Romanticism via Realism to Modernism, this book provides the foundation for an examination of how German novels between 1959 and 1989 respond in form and content to «familial allegiances» in a fatherless society. The comprehensive survey of almost one hundred novels, including an in-depth analysis of twelve key novels, is founded in a Critical Social Psychology and supports the central hypothesis of a (re)turn of Romantic Love in contemporary literature.
Contents: Romanticism and Love (Rousseau, F. Schlegel) - Realism and Adultery (Flaubert, Fontane) - Modernism and the Female (Hesse, Faulkner) - Loss of the Father (H. Fichte, Jurek Becker) - Play of the Child (Grass, Strauß) - Power of the Mother (Johnson, Wolf) - Dialogue of the Lovers.