Public Lecture Series :: Spring 2017
Moritz Baßler (Universität Münster)
The Semiotics of Prose and the Problem of Realism
As far as fiction is concerned, we could simply state that realism won. It has outlasted the experimental phases of 20th century avant-garde movements and prevails today as the International Style of narrative literature. If we perceive realism as a technique (Verfahren, prijom), though, a problem becomes evident: How can a prose literature that feeds upon our most common ideés reçues, still be poetic - a second order sign, or simply something artistically meaningful? The talk will look at some of Germany's most popular and praised contemporary novels (Kehlmann, Schlink) and discuss some of their features harking back into the intertwined histories of prose and realism.