Space in Theodor Fontane's Works. Theme and Poetic Function

Michael James White
30 May 2012
198 pp
Hardback: 978-1-907322-29-7

The novels of Theodor Fontane (1819-1898), Germany's most important Realist, have long been appreciated for the symbolism of their represented worlds. In this study, Michael White examines the significance of space and spatial experience across Fontane’s oeuvre, providing analyses of non-fiction prose and less well-known novels, alongside major works and poetry. The study reveals not only a complex and varied spatial symbolism, but also that space itself is a thematic concern in Fontane’s writing. His texts portray human beings’ relationships with their worlds, and how and to what end they invest their environment with meaning. Fontane's novels and travel writings emerge as profoundly reflexive discourses on art and its function for the individual.

Michael J. White completed his PhD at St Andrews and now teaches German at the Institut de la formation des maîtres, Université d’Artois.