Die Mauer, in id. Das Waisenhaus: Roman Reinbek, Mannheim, Werkausgabe, ed. Darmstadt and Neuwied, Die Blechtrommel: Roman, in Werkausgabe, ii. Hundejahre: Roman, in Werkausgabe, iii. Weh dem, der aus der Reihe tanzt Frankfurt, Unsere Eroberung: Roman Darmstadt and Neuwied, Munich and Wiesbaden, , vol. Deutschstunde: Roman repr.
Bela B. (Bela Barney) 1962-
Hamburg, Gesammelte Werke, 12 vols Frankfurt, Buddenbrooks: Verfall einer Familie, in Gesammelte Werke, i. Die Eisheiligen: Roman Darmstadt and Neuwied, Werke: Nationalausgabe, ed. Julius Petersen Weimar, ——. Kindheitsmuster, in Werkausgabe, 12 vols. Sonja Hilzinger, v Munich, In the first instance he describes this process as a way of making the reader re-experience physical sensations i. Lemon and Marion J.
Rees eds. But this is an extreme example; there are many instances of the outsider perspective coming from human beings who are on the margins of society. Carol McGuirk Harmondsworth, , Nor should we be misled by the overtly negative associations of these modern-day wildernesses, which might suggest a far more negative perception of those who inhabit them than of the likes of Parzival and Simplicissimus. Characters are shaped by their society and so presenting an outsider perspective always leaves us with the question as to how this deviant viewpoint was acquired.
In this respect Wolfram von Eschenbach and Grimmelshausen had a slightly easier task; not only was keeping their characters in the extra-social space of the wilderness a more plausible option than it is in our own time, but the societies they depicted had quite straightforward, unambiguous social and moral structures, and so the outsider position was also more clearly defined. The child may be born into a specific social and cultural context, but it takes some time before the values of that society become its own; while it is still being socialized it may be considered as existing on the margins of adult society, and its perspective, however provisionally, is that of an outsider.
Die Zeit 23 May , repr. Frankfurt, , See esp.
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Contemporary reports by Erika Mann and Gregor Ziemer suggest that children were parroting Nazi ideology practically as soon as they could talk, and in the light of this it is difficult to see at what stage the child might be seen as offering a morally independent, naive viewpoint.
The identification with a pernicious era makes it highly problematic to talk about childhood innocence in this context. However, the child narrator or focalizer is first and foremost a literary device, and therefore the child behind the perspective need not necessarily be a psychologically plausible construct.
She has had an overwhelmingly positive reception as a nonconformist figure who somehow came through the Third Reich with her spirit and moral vision intact, while her counterpart in Kindheitsmuster , Nelly Jordan, is generally regarded as having been corrupted and psychologically crippled by the regime. Munich, , The comparison between Oskar and Simplicissimus is developed in detail in G. Pamela R. Barnett draws too stark a distinction between Nelly Jordan and Christa T. The effects of Nazi ideology on Nelly will be discussed in more detail in Chs. Sie schrie nur, das ist nicht zuviel. Sie hatte recht.
Quernheim points to the importance of Christa T.
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While there is a long literary history that follows the Wordsworth line of seeing the child as a miraculous being whose clarity of vision is part of its heavenly inheritance, more recent insights from the field of child psychology would have given us a less mystical view of the child, even without seeing the kind of perversion of childhood innocence that could be brought about by the Nazis. The child figure is therefore rich in potential meanings and extends an open invitation to writers with very different agendas.
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It is obviously impossible to give a very detailed account of the shifting perceptions of childhood here, but what follows is a broad outline of the main developments in thought on the subject as they affect this study. It is possible to divide perceptions of childhood into, broadly speaking, two groups which might be labelled Old and New Testament. This view of childhood was popularized by St Augustine amongst others and it had a profound and lasting impact on childrearing methods. For an account of the debate regarding the necessity for infant baptism, ibid.
See also Lloyd deMause ed. That these words have enduring significance for the literary depiction of childhood is clear from the work of Ilse Aichinger amongst others see the discussion of her work in Ch. For a more detailed discussion see esp. These ideas of original innocence and a close association with the natural world are two elements taken up by Romantic writers in the image of childhood they went on to create.
But the German Romantic perception of childhood includes more than this; namely, an identification between the child and the saviour largely indebted to the cult of the Virgin and Child at this time and, importantly for my context, between the child and the artist. Werke, xx. Paul Kluckhorn and Richard H. Samuel, 5 vols. Kuhn points out that the idea of the child as saviour actually pre-dates Christianity, for it is also central to the classical tradition ibid.
Both Ueding and Richter interpret the story as demonstrating a new perception of childhood as an alien state. This is typical of literary children of this time, who tend to stand apart from society, representing both a former ideal state and one that might be reattained were there to be some kind of apocalypse;41 they are an ideal standard against which to measure social mores.
But for the Romantics the child did not merely offer a means of evoking an ideal state beyond society or the ideal artistic vision; it also provided them with an image for their own status. In Romantic works the child represents all the qualities required to both produce and appreciate art: spontaneity, closeness to nature, and imagination.
This reattainment of childhood has both individual and social implications. Clearly this description of children in the Romantic era as depicting symbols of purity, spontaneity, closeness to nature and imagination is a rather one-sided one, and critics are quick to point out that it is not the whole story. Certainly not every child who appears in the literature of this time is an ethereal ideal who speaks to us of a poetic dimension beyond our humdrum reality.
The idealization of childhood and what it represents has been interpreted as a particularly German phenomenon, notably by Rainer Hagen, who believes that different nationalities have distinct literary images of childhood. Kindheit in Romanen um Bielefeld, , —7. Kinder, 8—9.
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The beginnings of a new perception of childhood are obvious if we compare the two versions of the Wilhelm Meister text, for the later version anticipates a more widespread change in attitude towards childhood. Not only do his activities with the puppet theatre anticipate his involvement with the real theatre, but Goethe also privileges the childhood chapters by using an omniscient narrator, an implied value judgement.
The Lehrjahre on the other hand offers a more sober view of childhood as a transitory stage that Wilhelm has to go through in order to attain more mature qualities,53 and this aspect of the novels prefigures the work of the poetic realists. It was now less likely to be presented as quasi-divine or a potential model for others, and more likely to be perceived as the object of adult attentions as the influence of writers such as Rousseau, Pestalozzi, and Jean Paul made itself felt in many works of poetic realism.
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I have only been able to consult the abstract of this thesis. Kuhn indicates the different treatments of Heinrich and Meretlein and points out that the Bildungsroman assumes a consistent, undelineated development from childhood to adulthood Corruption in Paradise, 25—6 and Frankfurt, — , ii.
This may explain why even the more sober-minded writers of the mid- to late nineteenth century often presented children in such a way that poetry more than held the balance with realism. These children are portrayed as socially integrated and as flesh-and-blood characters rather than the personifications of abstract ideas; nonetheless they suggest a dimension beyond their various social environments.
In Werke, ed. Norbert Miller Munich, —— , v.
She is a mysterious child, rumoured to be a natural relation of Dubslav von Stechlin himself, and although shown in a social context she appears to exist on the very fringes of it. Konrad Steffen, 14 vols. Basle and Stuttgart —72 , 62 iv. Bance suggests that she, like Dubslav himself, represents a conjunction of old and new, for while she is rooted in the past through her grandmother, a herbalist regarded as a witch by the local population, her youth is strikingly evident, even down to her scarlet stockings.
She thus combines the positive features of the Romantic child with a realistic presentation. The most radical change in the perception of childhood since Rousseau was on the horizon: the work of Sigmund Freud and especially the Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie In Fontane, Werke, ed. Hans-Heinrich Reuter, 5 vols. Berlin and Weimar, 70 , v. Theodor Fontane, This suggests, as Freud was to do, that children and adults are in fact subject to the same physical impulses, an idea that went some way towards eliding the traditional boundary between childhood and adulthood.
Hagen goes so far as to claim that they have only ever been given a very lukewarm reception in German writing about the child because they do not fit with the German perception of childhood as an intrinsically pure and innocent state, distinct from adulthood.
There is clearly some reluctance in our modern culture to see children as anything but innocent. This reluctance now appears in heightened form because the traditional image of children as unaware of sex and therefore as pure is under attack from various quarters, not least the advertising industry.
But as Higonnet points 72 Image of Childhood, Writers tended to cling to an image of childhood unknowing and innocence, untainted by any hint of sexuality. How were they able to maintain this image of childhood? One is for the writer to stop writing about the child before what Kuhn regards as the inevitable intrusion of Thanatos and Eros can destroy the paradise of childhood. This is what happens to Mignon in order for her symbolic value to be preserved, but this technique is certainly not reserved for her and her brethren of the Romantic era.
Corruption in Paradise, Munich; Munich, , 3. On the one hand such texts apparently mark a positive development in the history of the way the child is presented in German literature; these children are presented much more as psychological constructs than their predecessors and, while we may not yet hear their voice, we certainly see things from their perspective.
Whereas the Romantics, following in the footsteps of Schiller, had expressed a desire to attain a new and higher form of childhood, an essentially forward-looking impulse, in the stories from the early twentieth century quoted above there is a more regressive tendency, since any positive potential embodied in the child and its separate dimension is negated by its death. He is a close 80 The literary presentation of the individual and his relationship to school will be discussed in more detail in Ch.
First, the way he is depicted represents a turning point in the perception of the child, and secondly in the school chapter he prefigures the way children will be presented in the Third Reich. He is the only character in the book that we know from his much-trumpeted birth to his death; and no matter how short that time span actually is, it occupies over half of the novel.
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He is not merely a symbol, the living and dying proof that the complacent bourgeois society cannot in fact offer everything needed for individual fulfilment; Mann has invested too much psychological interest in him for this to be his sole function. This suggests that at least initially this novel follows the Bildungsroman formula that the child is father of the man.
However, it is also clear that he has been socialized so as to unconsciously accept and indeed internalize the values of this society.