The biographical imagination in Moritz's Anton Reiser: a chronotopic reading

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Moritz's fictionalized autobiography Anton Reiser is a psychological novel primarily concerned with the significance of the imagination in personal development, pedagogy and identity formation. By clarifying the influence of the experience of time and space on the imagination, Moritz's analysis of the imagination makes a significant contribution to empirical psychology. Bakthin's theory of the chronotope is applied in this reading in order to show that the realism of the novel consists in its evocation of the protagonist's experience of his own situatedness, and to illuminate the architectonics of the novel, those processes by which it is constituted as an aesthetically formed whole. The reading demonstrates the full implications of Moritz's decision to make the novel – an aesthetic form – the vehicle for a pursuit of psychological insight in which the reader's imagination is enlisted in the process of enlightenment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-262
JournalORBIS Litterarum
Issue number3
Early online date13 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


  • Chronotype
  • Biography
  • Time and space
  • Imagination
  • Moritz's Anton Reiser
  • Psychological novel


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