Academic journal article German Quarterly

Korpersprache in Jean Pauls Unsichtbarer Loge

Academic journal article German Quarterly

Korpersprache in Jean Pauls Unsichtbarer Loge

Article excerpt

Steppacher, Elvira. Korpersprache in Jean Pauls Unsichtbarer Loge. Emblemata. Reihe Literaturwissenschaft 172. Wurzburg: Konigshausen & Neumann, 1996. 129 pp. DM 29.80 paperback.

This is the first part of a 1994 dissertation on Jean Paul and Brentano's Godwi. It deals with the body and language-not with "body language." "Die Forschung" has so far, this is the claim, neglected to see Jean Paul's positive representation of the body. It has seen the body as disconnected from the soul, and thus from the real person. "Die Forschung" has concentrated on the obvious: the disharmony of body and soul in Jean Paul's humorists. I am skeptical of such abstractions as "die Forschung" and words like "conventional" and "traditional" views; let us avoid them, especially in dissertations. As a matter of fact, the author finds a good deal of scholarship on which she can base her investigations, and while she follows the ritual of disagreeing with and polemicizing against some previous scholars, her hit list is not long and her bibliography is very selective. One of the objects of her polemics is, unfortunately, my own book, although she credits me with some pertinent observations.

Her conclusions are clear in general, but less so in the specifics, which may be due in part to her opaque style, with some sentences that cross the border of communicability. This is a pity because she deals with a central problem in Jean Paul's texts, and she makes good points. There is relatively little scholarship on Die unsichtbare Loge, Jean Paul's first experiment in novel writing, as his later novels have overshadowed his "Erstling." The Loge incorporates some early satires and is dependent on "foreign" models like Sterne's Tristram Shandy, so that the text is less integrated and more complex than the later novels. One of the experimental features is the presence of the narrator figure "Jean Paul" in the plot itself, and I applaud Steppacher for taking the narrator's own story, especially his "defeats" and his illness, much more seriously than "die Forschung" (me included) has done so far. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.