‘“Hier ist die Grenze […] Wollen wir darüber hinaus?”: Borders and Ambiguity in Fontane’s "Unwiederbringlich"

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Abstract

Theodor Fontane’s „Unwiederbringlich“ may be productively read as an exploration of boundaries. The historical context creates a distinction between bordered and unbordered spaces, between crossing thresholds and staying within limits. This double focus mirrors the text’s thematics, in which clear thresholds in morality and time are balanced against exhortations to relativism. The represented landscape reproduces this antithesis and functions as a symbolic map against which Holk’s and Christine’s actions and feelings may be read, charting trespass and ironic misunderstanding. A study of boundaries in the text reveals a complex and multifaceted spatial symbol appropriate to a literary exploration of thresholds in human life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-123
Number of pages15
JournalZeitschrift für deutsche Philologie, Sonderheft
Volume129
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Borders Fontane Unwiederbringlich

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