"A great poet on a great brother poet" : a parallactic reading of Goethe and James Joyce

  • The essay provides a contrapuntal "parallactic" reading of Johann Wolfgang Goethe's "Bildungsroman" Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre - with its extensions Wilhelm Meisters theatralische Sendung and Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre - and James Joyce's high modernist A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Ulysses (1922). Derived from astronomy, the term parallax designates, transferred to literary history, a narrative stratagem, a metapoetical rationale, and an interpretive method. Joyce employs it as a key concept and narrative tool in Ulysses to denote a stereoscopic perspective applied to the protagonists’ actions and the world they live in. Leopold Bloom thus refl ects on it and the technique of Ulysses is determined by it. On a higher plane, literary critics, too, engage in literary historical parallax whenever they read texts intertextually — as exemplified in this essay. A parallactic reading of the novels’ protagonists Wilhelm Meister and Stephen Dedalus, as regards not just their identification with Shakespeare’s Hamlet but also the symbolic connotations embedded in their names and mythological pretexts, allows us to shed new light on the roles and significance of narrative irony, chance, and paternity in these novels.

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Author:Robert Weninger
Parent Title (English):Publications of the English Goethe Society : PEGS
Place of publication:Leeds
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2014/11/20
Year of first Publication:2010
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2014/11/20
GND Keyword:Joyce, James; Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von; Literatur; deutsch; englisch
Page Number:24
First Page:182
Last Page:205
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 80 Literatur, Rhetorik, Literaturwissenschaft / 800 Literatur und Rhetorik
BDSL-Klassifikation:04.00.00 Allgemeine Literaturgeschichte / BDSL-Klassifikation: 04.00.00 Allgemeine Literaturgeschichte > 04.03.00 Vergleichende Literaturgeschichte
Sammlungen:Germanistik / GindokWeimar
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht