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Willibald Alexis' Zeitroman «Das Haus Düsterweg» and the «Vormärz»


On publication in 1835 Willibald Alexis' Zeitroman Das Haus Düsterweg sparked controversy only to be subsequently ignored by specialists on the Vormärz (1815-48). It has been viewed as an anomaly in Alexis' literary production, but in fact lies at the core of the intellectual interests and formal experimentation of Alexis, the prominent Vormärz author, theorist, critic and journalist. Based on techniques derived from Walter Scott, it anticipates the theory and practice of Gutzkow's «Roman des Nebeneinander». Under the aspect of Zerrissenheit it records and analyzes the psychological and political agony of the contemporary scene.
Contents: Das Haus Düsterweg as an experimental novel - The characters: configuration and meaning - Alexis' novel as a product and interpretation of its times - Its reception from 1835 to the present.