Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Zum Löwen geboren: gender in Entwicklungsromanen aus verschiedenen Jahrhunderten: Parzival, Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, Ahnung und Gegenwart, Netzkarte, Der junge Mann
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Baltic Languages, Finnish and German, German.
2002 (German)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study focusses on the gender system in five “novels of development” (Entwicklungsroman) ranging from the medieval to the contemporary. The following works are examined: Parzival  by Wolfram von Eschenbach, Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, Joseph von Eichendorff’s Ahnung und Gegenwart, Netzkarte by Sten Nadolny and Botho Strauß’ Der junge Mann.

In approaching the novel of development as part of patriarchal discourse it is presupposed that this type of novel has a high grade of ideological potential. It symbolically distributes procreative and other forms of reproductive competence between the sexes, a strategy which is intimately related to the transformation of ideas of matrilineality into the ideas of patrilineality that also Biblical myth displays as its central model of procreation. The literary text makes use of the myth’s explanatory model as a means for making sense of the gendered world. This model, in its turn, is related to the physical phenomena of the real world both in order to create effective metaphors and to gain legitimacy for the patrilineal model put forward. The study employs an anthropological perspective with respect to how literary texts relate to the cultural context as well as to the analytical terms used. 

The literary texts studied here privilege male reproductivity and diminish and disqualify female reproductivity. Both the male protagonist and the whole of the male sphere gain in life-giving and sustaining abilities throughout the course of the narration. The reproductive capacities of the female characters are exploited by the protagonist and become ingredients of his becoming a man. As these female characters represent both a support and a threat to the hero and to male existence in itself, the narration either eliminates them or suggests various ways of integrating the women into the patrilineal order that is established at the end of the novel and at the end of the hero’s development. 

Before gender positions have stabilized androgyny functions as a sign of deficiency, a lack of manliness that is to be overcome by the hero. On the other hand androgyny is represented as a means of survival for female characters in the male domain. While these novels put forward an exemplary tale of a young man’s development (which is aimed at the acquisition of the necessary reproductive abilities) the literary text makes use of the fact that the attribution of Male and Female to Culture and Nature respectively can be kept open or preliminary. In other words the dichotomies are not fixed but displaced as part of the argument for the patrilineal principle. Consequently Nature is made to function/is “won over” as men’s territory/domain. Since the novels counteract the idea of female reproductivity they break down the connection between Woman and Nature in order to establish the patrilineal principle that is built on the notion that it is above all the male who is the reproducer. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International , 2002. , 242 p.
Series
Stockholmer germanistische Forschungen, ISSN 0491-0893 ; 59
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
German
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-83394Libris ID: 8635213ISBN: 9122019782 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-83394DiVA: diva2:575545
Public defence
2002-10-19, 10:00
Opponent
Available from: 2012-12-10 Created: 2012-12-10 Last updated: 2017-10-19Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

PDF (Not accessible to users outside Sweden)
By organisation
German
Languages and Literature

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 101 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf