The Waiting Water: Order, Sacrifice, and Submergence in German Realism (Signale: Modern German Letters) (Paperback)

The Waiting Water: Order, Sacrifice, and Submergence in German Realism (Signale: Modern German Letters) By Alexander Sorenson Cover Image

The Waiting Water: Order, Sacrifice, and Submergence in German Realism (Signale: Modern German Letters) (Paperback)

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The Waiting Water addresses one of the most recurrent and troubling motifs in German Realist literature--death by drowning. Characters find themselves before bodies of water, presented with the familiar realm above the surface and the unobservable, uncanny domain beneath it. With somber regularity, they then disappear into the depths. Alexander Sorenson explores the role that these hidden deaths in water play within a literary movement that set out precisely to reveal universal truths about human life. The poetics of submergence, he argues, revolve around two concepts fundamental to Poetic Realism--order and sacrifice.

Focusing on texts by Adalbert Stifter, Gottfried Keller, Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, and Theodor Storm, along with material from earlier and later epochs, The Waiting Water shows that the pervasive symbolism of drowning scenes in German Realism, which typically occur in zones of narrative invisibility on the social periphery, reveals the extent to which realist narrative uses the natural environment to work through deeply embedded and hidden tensions that troubled the social and moral life of the age.

Alexander Sorenson is Lecturer of German and Comparative Literature at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Product Details ISBN: 9781501777103
ISBN-10: 1501777106
Publisher: Cornell University Press and Cornell Universi
Publication Date: September 15th, 2024
Pages: 282
Language: English
Series: Signale: Modern German Letters