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Quarantines : Framing Romantic Narratives of Extinction and Epidemic Experience

Title data

Klaeger, Florian:
Quarantines : Framing Romantic Narratives of Extinction and Epidemic Experience.
In: Literatur für Leser:innen. Vol. 46 (2023) Issue 1 . - pp. 43-60.
ISSN 2364-7183

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

The essay situates Romantic representations of epidemics in the context of ‘last man narratives’, for which there was a vogue around 1800. It focuses on their shared use of ‘framings’ of the sort familiar from the works of Caspar David Friedrich, the Rückenfigur. Through this device, the unthinkable is captured and ‘reined in’, as the focus is directed away from the subject itself and towards its human observer. Such framings are employed, in very different fashion, in the two texts discussed centrally: Mary Shelley’s 1826 novel The Last Man and Heinrich Heine’s 1831 letters in Französische Zustände. The framings in these narratives of epidemics are compared to those in narratives of human extinction, including the 1777 cantata, Der lezte Mensch; Jean Paul’s ‘Rede des toten Christus vom Weltgebäude herab, dass kein Gott sei’; and Jean-Baptiste Cousin de Grainville’s novel Le Dernier Homme (1805).

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Professor English Literature
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields > Cultural Encounters and Transcultural Processes
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 800 Literature > 820 English and Old English literatures
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2024 08:37
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2024 08:37