'Die Seele sehnte sich hinaus in den Schnee': The Meaning and Function of Outside Space in Bettine von Arnim's Die Guenderrode


  • Catherine Grimm Miami University




At this stage in the history of von Arnim scholarship, I believe, that it is time to place her literary works at the center of critical focus and consider the possibility that a close analysis of the structures and strategies employed in her aesthetic works will reflect and illuminate the author’s underlying motives and inspirations in a way that a one-sided focus on her life cannot. Therefore, this article will concentrate on analyzing what seems to be a central theme throughout much of her work, but especially in Die Günderode – namely, the protagonists’ complex relationship to outside space(s). A next step will consist of suggesting how the meaning and function of outside space can be understood as subtle and perhaps even ironic commentaries on certain cultural and philosophical discourses of the day. In so doing, I hope to illuminate the creative complexity of this multi- layered text, and to make clear in what way it transcends the sphere of autobiographical commentary. 


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