Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Orbis pictus: Intermedialität zwischen Berliner Stadtmalerei und literarischer Stadterfahrung dargestellt anhand der Werke von E.T.A. Hoffmann und Wilhelm Raabe
by Vas, Laura Terezia, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, 2008, 276; 10631467
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation explores the relationship between the visual and textual Berlin representations of E.T.A. Hoffmann and Wilhelm Raabe and architectural and city paintings among others by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Eduard Gaertner and Adolph Menzel. Besides interart comparison the dissertation uses non-fictional aesthetic writings, socio-historical analyses and contemporary concepts of urban planning for the interpretation of canonical Berlin texts. As city texts often bear an explicit or implicit affinity to the art of painting, concepts and techniques such as the elevated view, window view and the bird's eye view in text and images are compared in Berlin texts and paintings. The dissertation argues that the innovative visual and textual representations of the civic spaces of Berlin served as frame for transforming the Berliners' relationship to their urban environment and raised a new urban consciousness. The dissertation argues that early city texts and city paintings reflect similarly upon a new significance of seeing and a changing urban perception. The introduction is devoted to methodological questions as it explores the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach, the terminology for the concept intermediality and the interconnectedness of the representations of the urban environment in literature and in the visual arts. The first chapter analyzes eight Berlin-texts by E.T.A. Hoffmann and discusses the label "Berlinische Geschichte" in a wide cultural context with the aid of Hoffmann's Berlin drawings and of contemporary Berlin paintings. The second chapter is devoted the Hoffmann's Des Vetters Eckfenster (1822), which is compared to two architectural paintings of the Gendarmenmarkt from 1822 and to the curtain design of the Schauspielhaus by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The similarity of the representations manifests itself in extraordinary perspectives and reveals how the Gendarmenmarkt contributed to the emergence of a new civic space and a new urban consciousness, whose most important feature is the democratization of previously privileged vantages on the canvas as much as in literature. The third chapter interprets Wilhelm Raabe's Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse in context of Eduard Gaertner's paintings and discusses the differences and similarities in the two media in regard to the concept of the elevated view above the city. Raabe mobilizes many images from the reservoir of Biedermeier Berlin paintings, however fills them with new political contents after the failed March Revolution. The fourth chapter analyzes three Berlin novels by Raabe (Ein Frühling, Die Leute aus dem Walde, Ihre Wege, Sterne und Schicksale and Die Akten des Vogelsanges) and focuses on topics such as the description of the new Berlin neighborhoods versus the Altstadt (especially the vicinity of the university) and industrialization in the novels as well as in contemporary city paintings.

Indexing (document details)
Commitee: Friedrichsmeyer, Sara, Gerstenberger, Katharina, Schade, Richard
School: University of Cincinnati
Department: Arts and Sciences : Germanic Languages and Literature
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Germanic literature
Keywords: 19th century german city literature, Berlin in art and literature, E.t.a. hoffmann, Intermediality, The city in art and literature, Wilhelm raabe
Publication Number: 10631467
ISBN: 9780355016895
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