Out of Place: German Realism, Displacement, and Modernity 9781472543769, 9781441117014

In late nineteenth-century Germany, the onset of modernity transformed how people experienced place. In response to incr

206 10 4MB

English Pages [256] Year 2013

Report DMCA / Copyright


Table of contents :
Introduction: Displacement and German Realism
German Realism
Place and Realism
The Trajectory of Place within Realism: Stifter’s Granite
Organizational Rationale
1. Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900
Historical Background: The Shift from Feudalism to Industrial Capitalism and the Growth of Berlin
Place as Differentiated Space
Place as a Commodity of Exchange
Place as Restricting/Confining
Place as Dissociated from Identity and Transportable
Place as a Means of Social and Political Power
2. Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity: Realism’s Trajectory of Place
The Metropolis, Place and Realism
Heidegger on Place
Raabe and Place
Embedding Place: The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane
Narrative Strategies of Place
From The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane to The Files of Birdsong
Relinquishing Place: The Files of Birdsong
3. Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen
Theoretical Context: Dynamic and Stable Perspectives of Place
Historical Context: Displacement and Housing Reform
Stable Places in Irrungen Wirrungen
Displacement in Irrungen Wirrungen
Dynamic Places in Irrungen Wirrungen
4. Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander
Place and Home
Place in Keller’s Works
Walter Benjamin and Allegory
The Allegorical Perspective in Martin Salander: Marie’s Märchen
Repetition and Displacement
Critique of the Idyll
Displacement and Ubiquity: The Sameness of Place
Lack of Resolution: Petrified Unrest
Conclusion: Place Today—Politics and Humanity
Recommend Papers

Out of Place: German Realism, Displacement, and Modernity
 9781472543769, 9781441117014

  • 0 0 0
  • Like this paper and download? You can publish your own PDF file online for free in a few minutes! Sign Up
File loading please wait...
Citation preview

New Directions in German Studies

Vol. 7

Series Editor:

Imke Meyer

Editorial Board: Katherine Arens, Roswitha Burwick Richard Eldridge, Erika Fischer-Lichte, Catriona MacLeod, Jens Rieckmann, Stephan Schindler, Heidi Schlipphacke, Ulrich Schönherr, James A. Schultz, Silke-Maria Weineck, David Wellbery, Sabine Wilke, John Zilcosky.

New Directions in German Studies Volumes in the series: Improvisation as Art: Conceptual Challenges, Historical Perspectives by Edgar Landgraf The German Pícaro and Modernity: Between Underdog and Shape-Shifter by Bernhard Malkmus Citation and Precedent: Conjunctions and Disjunctions of German Law and Literature by Thomas O. Beebee Beyond Discontent: ‘Sublimation’ from Goethe to Lacan by Eckart Goebel From Kafka to Sebald: Modernism and Narrative Form edited by Sabine Wilke Image in Outline: Reading Lou Andreas-Salomé by Gisela Brinker-Gabler Vienna’s Dreams of Europe: Culture and Identity beyond the Nation-State by Katherine Arens (forthcoming) Thomas Mann in English: A Study in Literary Translation by David Horton (forthcoming)

Out of Place German Realism, Displacement, and Modernity

John B. Lyon

Bloomsbury Academic An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Inc

Bloomsbury Academic An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Inc 1385 Broadway New York NY 10018 USA

50 Bedford Square London WC1B 3DP UK

www.bloomsbury.com BLOOMSBURY and the Diana logo are trademarks of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc First published 2013 © John B. Lyon, 2013 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. No responsibility for loss caused to any individual or organization acting on or refraining from action as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by Bloomsbury or the author. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Lyon, John B., 1966Out of place : German realism, displacement, and modernity / John B. Lyon. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-4411-3340-3 (alk. paper) 1. German literature–19th century–History and criticism. 2. Realism in literature. 3. Industries in literature. 4. Germany–Intellectual life–19th century. 5. Fontane, Theodor, 1819–1898. Irrungen, Wirrungen. 6. Raabe, Wilhelm Karl, 1831–1910–Modernity. 7. Keller, Gottfried, 1819–1890. Martin Salander. I. Title. PT351.L98 2013 830.9’12–dc23 2012033492 ISBN:

HB: PB: ePDF: ePub:

978-1-4411-3340-3 978-1-5013-3250-0 978-1-4411-1701-4 978-1-4411-0596-7

Series: New Directions in German Studies Typeset by Fakenham Prepress Solutions, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 8NN

To Sophie and Naomi


Acknowledgements ix Permissions xi Introduction: Displacement and German Realism


1 Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900


2 Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity: Realism’s Trajectory of Place


3 Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 135 4 Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 170 Conclusion: Place Today—Politics and Humanity 214 Bibliography 223 Index 233


I am grateful to the institutions and individuals who made this book possible. These include generous financial support at various stages of this project from a John G. Bowman Nationality Room Grant from the University of Pittsburgh (2005), a Center for Western European Studies Faculty Grant from the University of Pittsburgh (2005), and from N. John Cooper, Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean of the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, who granted me a research semester in 2005, a sabbatical year in 2007–8, and summer graduate student researchers during my tenure as department chair. Hillman Library (in particular the EZ-Borrow and Interlibrary Loan departments), the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz, and the Landesarchiv Berlin were all most helpful in making necessary texts and images readily available. In addition, authors and institutions listed in the permissions section were generous in allowing me to reproduce texts and images for this book. A number of people read the manuscript in full or in part, and I am extremely grateful for their time, intellectual engagement and encouragement. They include Kathryn Edmunds, Tilman Heueis, Ljudmila Bilkic´, Holly Yanacek, Laura Caton, Andrew Piper and Fritz Breithaupt. They, along with the three anonymous readers arranged by Continuum, contributed informed and insightful comments, criticisms and suggestions that have made this into a much stronger book. Any errors that remain are my own. A great debt of thanks is due to the Department of German at the University of Pittsburgh. My colleagues provided support and intellectual engagement. Clark Muenzer offered the original intellectual impetus for a project on place, Randall Halle read and commented on the manuscript in its entirety, Beverly Harris-Schenz freed up time for me to work on the project by serving as interim department chair for a year, and Sabine von Dirke has provided ongoing engagement and encouragement. The participants in my graduate seminars on German realism in 2004 and again in 2009 helped me try out and develop

x Acknowledgements the ideas that became this book. The expert assistance provided by Elizabeth Phillips and Alana Dunn, departmental administrators, as well as Erica McLaughlin and Samantha Shipeck, student workers, was invaluable. Imke Meyer and Haaris Naqvi, the editors of the series New Directions in German Studies, have been extremely supportive, professional and a delight to work with. Finally, Tania Rands Lyon has been an unfailing support and an engaging partner at every stage of this project. I am grateful for her love and encouragement. I dedicate this book to our daughters, Sophie and Naomi.


Table 1 in chapter 1: every effort was made to locate the copyright holder. Author and Publisher will be happy to resolve any outstanding matters. Table 2 in chapter 1, reproduced with permission of Dr. Ingrid ThienelSaage from: Thienel, Ingrid. Städtewachstum im Industrialisierungsprozeß des 19. Jahrhunderts: Das Berliner Beispiel. Vol. 39. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1973. Figures 1 and 2 in chapter 1, reproduced with permission of the Landesarchiv Berlin, Fotosammlung: “Blick vom Rathausturm Neukölln von der Mitte nach rechts oben verlaufend: Boddinstraße. Links oben: Kindl-Brauerei,” Photo Number 0246931 and “Bezirk Tiergarten/ Moabit. Alt-Moabit (Straße mit Bäumen) mit Heilandskirche,” Photo Number II13122: Landesarchiv Berlin/N.N. Translations of Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen in chapter 3: reproduced with permission of Continuum from: Fontane, Theodor, “Delusions, Confusions and The Poggenpul Family.” Edited by Peter Demetz. Translated by William L. Zwiebel. New York: Continuum, 1989. Translations of Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander in chapter 4: reproduced with permission of Alma Classics from: Keller, Gottfried. “Martin Salander.” Translated by Kenneth Halwas. London: John Calder, 1963. Translations of Theodor Fontane’s Der Stechlin in the Conclusion: reproduced with permission of Camden House from: Fontane, Theodor, “The Stechlin.” Translated by William L. Zwiebel. Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1995. Excerpts from the following article were incorporated throughout the book, with permission of Cambridge Scholars Publishing: Lyon, John. “German Realism’s Other: The Space of Modernity,” in Realism’s Others, edited by Geoffrey Baker and Eva Aldea, 91–106. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.

Introduction: Displacement and German Realism

To feel out of place, to experience a once-familiar place as changed, to lose the sense of comfort and identity that a place once afforded is to feel displaced. This sense of displacement contains a tension between identifying with and separating from a specific locale—a tension characterized by reaching for a connection to a place and finding that it no longer exists. Our longed-for ideal connection to place contrasts sharply with our current experience of place. The causes of such contrasts and tensions are as varied as they are ubiquitous in our world today. It is much observed that technology allows us to visit electronically and to identify with the most distant locations without leaving the comfort of our home—we see images and video of a location, hear its sounds, and take virtual tours. And frequently it is anxiously noted that we do so in complete anonymity, without interacting personally with the place and its inhabitants and without their awareness of our presence. We thus risk establishing a one-sided or highly ephemeral connection. Similarly, transnational institutions connect us to and enable commerce with people and places distant from us; at the same time, they compel us to redefine our sense of what it means to belong to our own nation, a sense of belonging that still appeals, at some level, to geography. And the ease of travel today means not only that we can leave home and return whenever we like, but also that we often find ourselves in unfamiliar territory and that we encounter more frequently people from distant places with cultures different from our own. While these phenomena of place and displacement are often considered attributes of our age of transnationalism, globalization and technology, we are not the first to have dealt with the tensions of displacement: more than a century ago German culture and literature already grappled with these forces of transition. Analyzing the issues that faced German culture then may help us better understand our world today. Or, in more academic terms, a reassessment of the period

2  Out of Place that many social scientists have identified as First Modernity is all the more imperative after the critiques of post-modernism and can yield crucial insight into Second Modernity or Supermodernity.1 This book highlights an era in German culture when the appearance of the technological, political, economic and demographic forces of modernity brought about a dramatic shift in the concept of place. With the rise of industrialization and urbanization, the expansion of international capitalism, the extension of railway and other travel networks and the rise of the proletariat comes a widespread sense of displacement. Both individuals and the culture at large wrestled with the sense that they had lost their connection to place. This sense of displacement was particularly acute in German lands, for while the changes associated with modernity began earlier and were drawn out over a century or two in England, France, the Benelux countries and America, they occurred later and much more intensely—over the space of half a century—in German lands. And where England, France and America had political and economic revolutions, German lands did not—they were forced to address the displacements of modernity primarily in the aesthetic and philosophical realms. From Hegel through Marx, Nietzsche, Freud and Weber, the German territories gave rise to theoretical engagements with modernity that serve as the building blocks of the modern humanistic and social sciences. Thus nineteenth-century German lands experienced a concentrated clash of the forces of modernity along with a profound theoretical engagement with these forces. This book focuses on the changing conception of place during this era—that is, on the shift from a sense of belonging and a source of identity grounded in a specific locale to a sense of displacement and an anxiety that place is ephemeral and unstable. This shift manifested itself not only in literary texts, but also in debates about city planning and about social, economic and political reform. The following study focuses on how authors in the latter half of the nineteenth century represented this phenomenon, how they at first attempted to sustain and preserve a threatened sense of place, and how they ultimately prepared the way for a new understanding of place as more ephemeral—an

1 I draw on the terms First and Second Modernity from Ulrich Beck. See Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity, trans. Mark Ritter (London: Sage Publications, 1992) for a more detailed discussion of these terms. Supermodernity is Marc Augé’s term to define our contemporary situation in terms of excess: “over­ abundance of events, spatial overabundance, the individualization of references.” See Marc Augé, Non-Place: An Introduction to Supermodernity, trans. John Howe (New York: Verso, 2008), 33.

Introduction 3 understanding that we associate with high modernism and that still resonates with the displacement we sense in our world today. During this period, a literary movement known as realism emerged across Europe. Realism grew out of the crises of modernity, where materialist worldviews supplanted idealist worldviews, where individualism was challenged by urban spaces as well as by larger groupings such as class, and where value referred less to meaning in an ideal or moral sense and more to a commodity in an economic market. For reasons to be discussed later in this chapter, realism was particularly suited to address the challenges of modernity, even though it is not traditionally associated with literary modernism. Realism embodies the tension between early nineteenth-century idealism on the one hand and the materialism of Marx and the rising scientific, technological and industrial world on the other. This study draws on works of German realism to trace the shift from a secure sense of place to a sense of displacement, and it links realist representations of place and displacement to debates about place in the nineteenth century, as well as to twentieth-century theorists who speak to our situation today. Its aims include: 1) To re-evaluate the supposedly simple terms place and space—terms that shape our everyday experience—in order to highlight their complexity and significance. Rather than rely on the comfortable (post)colonial mapping of metropolitan center and periphery, it focuses instead on place itself as the crucial issue. In doing so, it answers unresolved dilemmas of phenomenology, while correcting errors or revealing biases in Marxist-influenced theories such as those of Foucault and Lefebvre. 2) To re-assess German realism from a new perspective, to underscore its less examined role as a pioneering movement, the first to address these forces of modernism.2 In this regard, it counters well-established scholarly traditions of realism, of which Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis is the best-known representative, which assert that German realism was somehow inferior to other European realisms. Instead, it asserts that German realism is crucial to understanding the shifts associated with modernism and thus reasserts the value of this oft-neglected epoch in the German canon. Additionally, in focusing on German realism, it relocates the motors of modernism from Western to Central Europe. Just as 2 There are other studies in German addressing space and place in German Realism—see, for example, Bruno Hillebrand, Mensch und Raum im Roman: Studien zu Keller, Stifter, Fontane (Munich: Winkler, 1971), but this is, to the best of my knowledge, the first in English to do so.

4  Out of Place now Germany is the motor of the European Union, it was once the generator of European conflict. 3) To contribute to contemporary debates about place and space by offering an example of how German culture over a century ago dealt with many of the issues we face today. For in recognizing in realism the incipient discursive shift that characterized modernism and finding in that discourse links to the current discourse on place and space, this book revises our chronologies of modernity. That is, not only does it locate the beginnings of cultural modernism nearly half a century earlier than current scholarship would, but it also draws out the aesthetic continuities between First and Second Modernity, finding that realism of the late nineteenth century is not so distant from forms of realism today. The non-places of Supermodernity have precursors in nineteenth century realism.3


In the late twentieth century, academic disciplines including sociology, politics, history, and philosophy, as well as literary and cultural studies, underwent what is often referred to as a spatial turn—that is, they adopted a new focus on the cultural significance of space and spatial relationships.4 This spatial turn, according to Jaimey Fisher and Barbara Mennel, “not only reflects the recent turn to space as a theoretical category in the humanities and the social sciences, but … it also represents a renewed interest in space in the cultural production in local, national and global contexts.”5 In its theoretical expression, the spatial turn is most often associated with the work of Michel Foucault, Henri Lefebvre and Edward Soja, who reject the notion of absolute Cartesian space and instead read space as innately interconnected with social structures and systems of power.6 An alternative theoretical approach toward space that contrasts with these well-known politicalcultural approaches comes from phenomenological quarters. Almost 3 See Augé’s discussion of non-places, which arise from the distinction between place and space. Augé, Non-Places, 63ff. 4 In the introduction to Mappings, Denis Cosgrove asserts: “A widely acknowledged ‘spatial turn’ across arts and sciences corresponds to post-structuralist agnosticism about both naturalistic and universal explanations and about single-voiced historical narratives, and to the concomitant recognition that position and context are centrally and inescapably implicated in all construct­ions of knowledge.” Mappings (London: Reaktion Books, 1999), 7. 5 Jaimey Fisher and Barbara Mennel, (eds), Spatial Turns. Space, Place, and Mobility in German Literary and Visual Culture (New York: Rodopi, 2010), 10. 6 See the introduction to Fisher and Mennel, Spatial Turns, particularly pp. 12–17, for a more detailed overview of some of these theories of space.

Introduction 5 contemporaneous with the better-known approaches, the phenomenological approach differentiates place from space by regarding place as a holistic experience and by understanding space, along with time, as one of its constituents. I draw on vocabulary from this phenomenological approach to describe the historical transformation that characterized the nineteenth century. In simplest terms, one could describe the tendencies in the nineteenth century as moving from a phenomenological understanding of place to a political understanding of space. The following study thus employs “place” in this phenomenological sense and speaks of “space” as an impersonal phenomenon—either as absolute Cartesian space or, most frequently, as politically determined space. The study begins with phenomenological approaches, while later contrasting these with more political approaches to space. This transformation should be seen in relative, not absolute, terms. The perception that place was lost, that it had been transformed into space, reflects a heightened awareness of place and a sensitivity to, even an obsession with, all that constitutes place. In addition, to argue in absolute terms would be to assert that before German realism place was a secure concept or experience in German lands and that after German realism place was lost forever. Yet recent studies demonstrate that place was just as much of a concern and as difficult a concept in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Chenxi Tang’s significant study, The Geographic Imagination of Modernity, argues for the emergence of “a distinctively modern concept of geography alongside and in complementarity to the concept of history” around 1800,7 “a new semantics of space”8 in which “the earth and the human world can be seen as equilibrating with one another and forming a dynamic unity.”9 The dynamic unity of the human world and terrestrial space is evident in German romanticism, where the motif of wandering binds metaphysical insecurity to a tenuous relationship to place. Andrew Cusack argues that from “the metaphysical idea of a world in flux and the insecure and frequently nomadic nature of their lives grew the tendency of the romantics to conceive of themselves as wanderers.”10 And Kate Rigby links the romantic rediscovery of place to “dislocation, largely in connection with the modernization of agriculture and the

7 Chenxi Tang, The Geographic Imagination of Modernity: Geography, Literature, and Philosophy in German Romanticism (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008), 3. 8 Ibid., 14. 9 Ibid., 4. 10 Andrew Cusack, The Wanderer in Nineteenth-Century German Literature (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2008), 222.

6  Out of Place beginnings of industrialization at home.”11 Clearly, new developments in the material and conceptual worlds were transforming the concept of place well before the latter half of the nineteenth century; the concept was anything but stable. Similarly, after the period under analysis in this study, one finds a comparable fascination with place, a sense that place as previously experienced had been transformed. This is evident in the obsessive concern with locales and spaces found in high modernism of the early twentieth century. One thinks of theorists such as Walter Benjamin and Siegfried Kracauer. As Jaimey Fisher and Barbara Mennel write: “In the work of both Benjamin and Kracauer, space serves as a central category with which to register and track the changes wrought by modernity: space, in this way, becomes a central forum for the unfolding of history and its consequences.”12 Or one thinks of films such as Walter Ruttmann’s Berlin. Die Symphonie der Großstadt (1927), which represents the city as a new type of space with a life and character of its own. Clearly, an affective relationship to place had not completely vanished, nor was it wholly nostalgic during this era. Instead, the fascination with place in each of these periods reflects a reactive formation to changes in place, to perceived or actual displacement. For each era, place was in the process of transformation, and thus to some degree lost. Each successive era discovers place to be lost in a different way. And so I speak of the shift from place to space for heuristic purposes to highlight the perceived sense of displacement—to show that within German culture of the late nineteenth century there was a prevailing sense that place had been lost. Germans were out of place. Whether or not place had actually been lost, or had ever existed as a stable experience, is beyond the scope of this study. Yet during the nineteenth century in German lands, a sense of place gave way to a sense of space. To distinguish between place and space is to recognize one of the most far-reaching developments of modernism. The twentiethcentury geographer and theorist Yi-Fu Tuan differentiates place and space as follows: “What begins as undifferentiated space, ends as a single object-situation or place … When space feels thoroughly familiar to us, it has become place.”13 As implied by Tuan, space (in an absolute Cartesian sense) is undifferentiated, void, separate from 11 Kate Rigby, Topographies of the Sacred: The Poetics of Place in European Romanticism (Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 2004), 54. See pp. 67–71 of Rigby’s monograph for a more detailed discussion of this phenomenon in German lands. 12 Fisher and Mennel, Spatial Turns, 11. 13 Yi-Fu Tuan, Space and Place (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1977), 72–3.

Introduction 7 experiencing beings, whereas place suggests human interaction with and connection to a particular locale. Tuan thus understands the experience of place as a linking over time of impersonal space to personal experience. Modernism enacts a shift diametrically opposed to the process described by Tuan: what was once place—the personal connection of an individual to his or her environment, the experiences bound to a particular locale—has been differentiated into the concepts of space and time in the modern era. Modernism ruptures place into space and time, privileging time while viewing space as its inferior. In the modern era, according to phenomenologist Edward S. Casey in Getting Back into Place, “The uniformity of space and the equability of time have replaced, or more exactly displaced, the priority of place.”14 Casey suggests that in separating space and time into two phenomena that can be quantified and categorized according to uniform measures, rather than as two constituents that work together to create unique places, modernism has lost its connection to the holistic concept of place. Modernity is characterized by functional differentiation, by the breaking down of prior “wholes” into component parts that can be individually analyzed, produced and acquired. The separation of space and time from the broader concept of place is a result of this functional differentiation. Whether in the analytic thought of the Enlightenment, the mechanisms of industrial production or the growth of the modern metropolis, differentiation has been essential to progress. Although differentiation and distinction are necessary to both analytical thought and industrial society, they also threaten to disrupt and even destroy groupings and unities that are fundamental to human experience. Such a holistic approach to the experience of place is appealing, but it also risks failing to see how power functions in and through place, a focus of Marxist analyses. I will turn to such analyses later in this volume to demonstrate the entanglement of politics and economy with place. Yet I find this phenomenological approach a helpful starting point to underscore the perceived sense of disruption in place during the nineteenth century. Martin Heidegger identifies such a disruption in his essay “Building Dwelling Thinking” [Bauen Wohnen Denken] (1951). Heidegger wrote the essay in response to a phenomenon of urban modernism: a housing shortage. Just as in the nineteenth century, there were significant historical changes shaping the experience of place in his time. Yet Heidegger asserts in this essay that equally significant to these historical forces are the efforts to conceive of place anew, to redeem the experience of place for a modern world. He maintains that the 14 Edward Casey, Getting Back into Place: Toward a Renewed Understanding of the Place-World (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993), 38.

8  Out of Place true crisis in housing resides not in the lack of dwelling spaces, but in humans’ inability to dwell correctly.15 Humans need to conceive anew their relationship to place. Heidegger’s essay undermines the divisions between the acts of building and dwelling, arguing first etymologically and then philosophically that dwelling and building (as a metaphor for numerous creative activities) are synonymous. For Heidegger, true dwelling combines multiple relations and experiences, with the primary purpose of preserving what he identifies as “das Geviert” [the fourfold unity], of one’s relationship to the earth, the sky, the divine and one’s death.16 One could say that an individual who dwells correctly in the Heideggerian sense is one for whom place is experienced holistically as a stable locus at which many of the individual’s relationships interconnect and are grounded. Dwelling is a mode of experiencing being or “Sein.” And so, for Heidegger, when this original unity that includes dwelling, building and cultivating is differentiated into its component parts, holistic experience is threatened and the modernist crisis in relation to dwelling places ensues. There is a housing crisis not because of a lack of dwelling places, but because, with modernism, humans have lost the ability to dwell—that is, to interact creatively and reflectively with their environment. Later in this book I will critique Heidegger’s argument; however, I find that his primary assertions— that dwelling involves a more complex relationship to place than simply occupying space and that humans’ ability to dwell has been lost—highlight effectively modernism’s troubled relationship to place. Heidegger’s essay thus provides a useful conceptual starting point for exploring what I see as the shift—toward modernism—in the understanding of place in German novels written in the second half of the nineteenth century. They, like Heidegger, reflect not only on historical forces but also on the nature of place itself. Casey, along lines similar to Heidegger’s, locates the impact of the modernist shift from place to space in such characteristically modern experiences as “disorientation, memory loss, homelessness, depression, various modes of estrangement from self and others” and “nostalgia.”17 These experiences reflect the loss of a place to ground one’s identity and experience. The individual lacks totality and becomes painfully aware of his/her own fragmented nature. Thus the experience of place is bound to belonging and wholeness, whereas the experience of space is linked to separation and fragmentation. 15 Martin Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” in Gesamtausgabe. I. Abteilung. Vol. 7, Vorträge und Aufsätze, 145–64 (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 2000), 163. 16 See chapter 2 for a more detailed discussion of Heidegger’s essay. 17 Casey, Getting Back into Place, 38–9.

Introduction 9 The disruption and fragmentation of the experience of place into space and time was an extended process that began long before the mid-nineteenth century and continues today. In the mid-eighteenth century one finds Harrison’s marine chronometer, a device that allowed ships to determine their longitude by means of a clock, that is, to locate oneself in space by means of time. Casey regards its invention as a significant moment in the rising dominance of time over space and place.18 One thinks also of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (1781), where the first section, the “Transcendental Aesthetic,” begins with the identification of two pure forms of sensible intuition: space and time. These serve as principles of a priori knowledge, and Kant views time as the more fundamental of the two.19 Kant’s differentiation of space and time, although useful as an analytical tool, disrupts the holistic experience of place and subordinates space to time. The chronometer and Kant’s treatise mark important technological and philosophical developments but do not yet correspond to widespread changes in social experience. The dissolution of place into space was most keenly experienced on the broadest scale with the shift from feudalism to capitalism and the onset of industrialization. These changes led to the functional differentiation of space. Factories that required both a large working population and large amounts of space sprung up on the edge of cities, often miles from where workers lived, thereby increasing the separation of workplace from living place. The physical separation of work and home stands in stark contrast to the typical pre-industrial organization of place, which allowed residence and workplace often to be identical, as, for instance, in the agriculture, textile and service industries.20 In addition, with the end of feudal institutions—and many of these institutions endured in Germany well into the nineteenth century—a large population found itself without its hereditary obligation to a specific place or a specific occupation. Conflict on two fronts—between the failing nobility and the bourgeoisie, and between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat—weakened the institutional structures that enforced a sense of belonging and left many without a firm connection to place. Under feudalism, workers and their labor were bound by heredity to a 18 Ibid. 19 “dass der Begriff der Veränderung und, mit ihm, der Begriff der Bewegung (als Veränderung des Orts) nur durch und in der Zeitvorstellung möglich ist.” Immanuel Kant, Kritik der reinen Vernunft, ed. Raymund Schmidt, (Hamburg: Felix Meiner: 1990), 76. 20 See Ingrid Thienel, Städtewachstum im Industrialisierungsprozeß des 19. Jahrhunderts. Das Berliner Beispiel (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1973), for a more detailed analysis of the functional differentiation of Berlin in the course of the nineteenth century.

10  Out of Place specific plot of land. With the rise of the industrial metropolis came the rise of the rootless urban proletariat. One no longer belonged to a place and a profession, which up until then served as footholds for identity. Instead, one belonged to a class that was bound neither to profession nor place. Marx describes the experience of this shift to a class-based industrial society as alienation. The proletariat “feels destroyed in this alienation, seeing in it its own impotence and the reality of an inhuman existence.”21 This sense of alienation, of no longer being at one with one’s environment, characterized the modern era for Marx, the philosopher of propertylessness, uprootedness and revolution. This was not solely an alienation from the product of one’s labor, as traditional Marxist theory would describe it, but also an alienation from one’s locale. One finds compensatory conceptual mechanisms for this alienation in two characteristic features of nineteenth-century German culture, namely in the rise of nationalist sentiment along with a nostalgic turn in the arts towards a Heimat [homeland].22 The increase of urbanization and industrialization brought with them migration from the country to the city and the emergence of a new literary genre, Heimatliteratur, or literature of one’s homeland. These texts usually focused on regional and town life in idealized terms. This genre came into its own at the end of the nineteenth century, to some degree in reaction against naturalism’s focus on metropolitan life. Although this genre is often viewed as aesthetically inferior and closer to pure entertainment (German scholars label it Trivialliteratur [trivial literature]), its popularity during the nineteenth century—greater than that of naturalist literature—reflects a fascination with an idealized sense of home and locale, an ideal that was fictional. It reflected a sense of nostalgia, a sense that a harmonious relationship to place had been lost. In recognizing that a connection to place had disappeared in the modern city, authors of Heimatliteratur created a fiction of place to compensate for the loss. Similarly, the nineteenth century saw the unification of numerous German lands into a nation, a process that had occurred much earlier in other European countries. This process was the result of decades of protests, debates and wars. In 1817, radical students pushed for national unity at the Wartburg festival; during the latter half of the nineteenth century politicians argued for kleindeutsche und großdeutsche Lösungen [small- and large-German solutions] to the nation-state question (the 21 Karl Marx, “Alienation and Social Classes,” in The Marx-Engels Reader, ed. Robert C. Tucker (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1978), 133. 22 For a helpful overview of both the literature and the social background of this period, see Eda Sagarra, Tradition and Revolution: German Literature and Society 1830–1890 (New York: Basic Books, 1971).

Introduction 11 chief difference centering on whether to include Hapsburg AustriaHungary in the union); and through wars with Denmark, Austria, and France in the 1860s and 1870s, Bismarck ensured that Germany came to be unified under the leadership of Prussia (without Austria-Hungary). German unification, the culmination of decades of nationalist sentiment, took place in 1871 at the palace of Versailles in France, a location that reflected not only the German desire to humiliate France, but also the concept of Germany as an abstraction that transcended geographical location—a nation could be founded somewhere other than on its own soil. The focus on nationalism and the German nation in belles-lettres as well as in political negotiations of the time was thus, in some regards, a reflection of a lack of connection to a specific locale. Stated simply, during this era, Germans found a stronger sense of place in literary fictions or imagined national communities than in specific locales.

German Realism

German realism, often labeled poetic realism or bourgeois realism, spans the latter half of the nineteenth century. The failed Revolution of 1848 is usually identified as its starting point, although realists such as Adalbert Stifter and Friedrich Hebbel were publishing as early as the 1830s; and although convention sets its conclusion around 1890 (the year of Gottfried Keller’s death and of Bismarck’s resignation), realist authors such as Wilhelm Raabe and Theodor Fontane published texts late into the 1890s. In addition to any uncertainty as to exactly when realism began and ended, there is an even greater uncertainty as to what realism was. In diachronic terms, it follows romanticism and precedes modernism.23 In synchronic terms, however—in the context of contemporary European realism and such authors as Dickens, Balzac, Flaubert and Dostoevsky—German realism sometimes appears as inferior, a sickly younger sibling to be pitied rather than respected. For example, Erich Auerbach, whose seminal volume Mimesis traces realist tendencies in literature from antiquity to the twentieth century, notoriously could only disparage German realism: “None of the men between 1840 and 1890—from Jeremias Gotthelf to Theodor Fontane—displays, fully developed, all of the major characteristics of French realism, that is, of the nascent European form of realism.”24 Auerbach did observe that conditions in German lands were fundamentally different from those in 23 Todd Kontje, “Introduction: Reawakening German Realism,” in A Companion to German Realism. 1848–1900, ed. Todd Kontje (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2002), 8. 24 Erich Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, trans. Willard R. Trask (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953), 518.

12  Out of Place their European counterparts at this time; whereas France, England and Russia had all established themselves as empires or nations, Germanspeaking territories remained a conglomerate of diverse principalities and kingdoms until 1871. Industrialization and rising capitalism came late to German territories—more than a century after they had taken hold in France and England—and this delay meant that they spread through German lands more quickly and more forcefully than they had spread elsewhere. Although Germans and their European counterparts were responding to similar forces of modernity, Germans were doing so from a dramatically different vantage point. Auerbach devalues these differences by setting French realism as the standard to which all other contemporary realisms must aspire. For this reason, Gail Finney noted critically that German Poetic realism was “neither inferior nor superior to European Realism, but … simply distinctive.”25 Although the aim of my study is not to compare and contrast German realists with realists elsewhere in Europe, I would suggest that looking at their distinctive situation and analyzing their contribution from that perspective forces a reassessment of the concepts of both realism and modernism.26 What made their situation distinctive? Was it ideology? There is a long tradition of reading German poetic realism in relation to a Marxist model of history, where realism is read as an expression of bourgeois bad faith, as willful exclusion or, in the most positive light, benign ignorance of the economic and political realities that defined a culture shaped by the rise of industrial capitalism. Georg Lukács is perhaps the most influential representative of this tradition. He views realism against the political and economic background of the nineteenth century, a background that includes the failed revolution of 1848 from which ensued two tendencies: the waning of the bourgeois struggle for a democratization of Germany and the rise of modern industrial capitalism. Lukács states: “The problem of German development, however, resides precisely in the fact that economic progress sets in at a time when the bourgeoisie, in particular the German section, has already been transformed into a reactionary class in political and social terms.”27 As a result, he argues, everything that pointed toward true future development—all literature of true value—was pushed to the periphery.28 More recent approaches in this vein have drawn on the 25 Gail Finney, “Poetic Realism, Naturalism, and the Rise of the Novella,” in German Literature of the Nineteenth Century, 1832–1899, (eds) Clayton Koelb and Eric Downing, 117–36 (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2005), 119. 26 See Kontje, A Companion to German Realism, for a myriad of approaches that recognize the unique position of German Realism. 27 Georg Lukács, German Realists in the Nineteenth Century, trans. Jeremy Gaines and Paul Keast (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1993), 7. 28 Ibid., 9.

Introduction 13 Frankfurt School, specifically Horkheimer and Adorno, and include Russell Berman’s The Rise of the Modern German Novel (1986) and Robert Holub’s Reflections of Realism (1991). Both focus on realist texts as manifestations of bourgeois ideology and thus highlight not only those elements that reinforce the dominant socio-economic structure, but also those types of excluded otherness that might threaten it. Thus Berman asserts that realist practice, in its anti-theoretical and anti-empirical postures, “corresponds to the exigencies of capitalist stabilization”29 and that realist texts are “defined less by an absence of abnormality than by a perpetual reenactment of the punishment of deviant behavior in order to reassert the unquestionability of the normative law.”30 Along similar lines, Holub’s study is an effort “to disclose the ideology and paradoxes informing the realist enterprise,” and it asserts that “realism functions as a normed discourse that excludes otherness.”31 By insisting on reading realist texts in the historical contexts that shaped them, Berman and Holub reaffirm that these texts and authors are products of the various social, intellectual and political forces that characterized the nineteenth century in German lands. Nonetheless, their readings of realism, however insightful and invaluable, ultimately repeat the somewhat tired formula of restrictive class analysis from many of their Marxist predecessors, and are thus as bound to find German realism deficient as are more traditional approaches. From a Marxist perspective, German realism again falls short in comparison to its European counterparts: it was less socially conscious, less progressive and less revolutionary than the literature of other European lands. Favorable assessments of German poetic realism typically focus on a tension within realism. Richard Brinkmann’s important study Wirklichkeit und Illusion [Reality and Illusion] (1966) sees this as a tension between subjectivity and objectivity, in which the supposed objectivity associated with realism is permeated increasingly by subjectivity. He asserts that, in the realist endeavor to represent objective reality, “more and more the individual subject and his specific reality move to the center.”32 Lilian Furst likewise rejects reading realist literature “as an either/or option between referentiality and textuality”33 and focuses 29 Russell Berman, The Rise of the Modern German Novel: Crisis and Charisma (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986), 76. 30 Ibid. 31 Robert C. Holub, Reflections of Realism: Paradox, Norm, and Ideology in NineteenthCentury German Prose (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991), 17. 32 “mehr und mehr das Einzelsubjekt und seine spezifische Wirklichkeit in den Mittelpunkt treten.” Richard Brinkmann, Wirklichkeit und Illusion: Studien über Gehalt und Grenzen des Begriffs Realismus für die erzählende Dichtung des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1966), 319. 33 Lilian R, Furst, All is True: The Claims and Strategies of Realist Fiction (Durham:

14  Out of Place instead on the “porous interface” between these two realms, “particularly on the crossovers from the one to the other, the covert points of transition where the real turns into the fictive, and the fictive takes on the appearance of the real.”34 One of the more recent and most fascinating studies in this regard focuses on a tension, in this case a formal doubling. Eric Downing’s Double Exposures (2000) draws on the function of repetition in structuralist theory (Jakobson and Barthes), psychoanalysis (Freud and Lacan) and critical theory (Horkheimer and Adorno) to argue against studies such as Holub’s and Berman’s. Downing asserts: “the reality, and fiction, that both these critics see exposed behind and within the text by their own extrinsic analyses are instead part of the texts’ own intrinsic strategies, of their own double, conflictual nature.”35 As a result, Downing appeals for an “awareness of the dual, conflictual, and even self-deconstructive nature of realism,”36 and asserts “a dual, conflictual model for realism that turns on issues of repetition, or rather, on repetition and the failure of repetition.”37 Although I do not take up the formal elements of repetition and doubling the way that Downing does so elegantly in his study, I follow his understanding of realism as characterized by conflict and inner tensions, even contradictions. In contrast to Downing, however, I find these contradictions not so much in formal elements as in the material displacements of modernity. The primary aim of this book is neither to offer a conclusive definition of German realism nor to challenge the category of realism as it is understood in German Studies, since others have already asserted the instability and imprecision of this concept.38 Instead, my aim is to recognize the tensions within realism and to situate realist literature on the cusp of a significant discursive shift, a shift towards modernist conceptions of place and space. I assert that there was a keen awareness within realism of its own liminal position. To demonstrate this, I turn now to statements by theorists contemporary with the novelists I will later discuss. These theorists define realism less by offering a static notion of mimetic representation, and more by highlighting the dichotomies and tensions at work within realism. Duke University Press, 1995), 22. 34 Ibid., 26f. 35 Eric Downing, Double Exposures: Repetition and Realism in Nineteenth-Century German Fiction (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000), 12. 36 Ibid., 13. 37 Ibid., 23. 38 Ibid., 1: “It has become a critical commonplace in almost every discussion of literary realism that it is nearly impossible to define the term itself, and that is particularly the case when the subject is German realism or, as it is also called, poetic realism.”

Introduction 15 Realism responded to competing philosophical and aesthetic tendencies from earlier in the century. On the one hand, it was strongly influenced by materialist thought, specifically from Ludwig Feuerbach, whose critique of religion and idealism led to a focus on present reality and humanity rather than on an afterlife or transcendent ideals. On the other hand, the philosophical tradition of transcendental idealism, initiated by Kant and championed by Fichte, Hegel and others, left its mark on realism as well. In particular, Arthur Schopenhauer’s pessimist philosophy, first published in 1819 in Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung [The World as Will and Representation], gained strong popularity in German lands after 1848 and during the period associated with German realism. This productive tension between the competing influences of idealism and materialism is the hallmark of the art and literature of German realism. For example, Wilhelm Traugott Krug, Kant’s successor in Königsberg, dismissed both aesthetic idealism and aesthetic realism (which he associated with materialism) and appealed instead for an “ästhetischer Synthetismus” [aesthetic synthesism].39 Similarly, Julian Schmidt, one of the theoretical pioneers of German bourgeois realism—whose journal, Die Grenzboten, laid out a theoretical and aesthetic program for this epoch—identifies a similar tension by contrasting the motifs of realism with the means of realism: whereas the motifs are extremely spiritualistic, its means are materialistic.40 Schmidt distinguishes realism from its predecessors and argues: “The belief of the past era was that the ideal was the enemy of reality and would resolve [cancel] it; our belief, in contrast, is that the idea realizes itself in reality and we hold this belief as the principle of the future.”41 Realists thus represented a unique confluence of materialism and idealism. This confluence of dichotomous philosophies translated into a representational practice that likewise balanced the ideal with the real. Realists distanced themselves from “die gemeine Wirklichkeit” [coarse reality],42 and thus eschewed naturalism and other attempts to imitate reality 39 Wilhelm Traugott Krug, Allgemeines Handwörterbuch der philosophischen Wissenschaften nebst ihrer Literatur und Geschichte. Erster Band. A bis E (Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus, 1827), 58–9. 40 Julian Schmidt, “Der neueste englische Roman und das Princip des Realismus,” in Roman und Romantheorie des deutschen Realismus, (eds) Hans-Joachim Ruckhäberle and Helmuth Widhammer (Athenäum Verlag: Kronberg, 1977), 207. 41 “Der Glaube der vergangenen Zeit war: das Ideal sei der Wirklichkeit Feind und hebe sie auf; unser Glaube dagegen ist, dass die Idee sich in der Wirklichkeit realisiert, und diesen Glauben halten wir für das Prinzip der Zukunft.” Julian Schmidt, Bilder aus dem geistigen Leben unserer Zeit (Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, 1870), 34. 42 See Arnold Ruge: “Die gemeine Wirklichkeit ist geistlos und bedeutungslos; erst wenn du sie verstehst, gibst du ihr eine Bedeutung, erst wenn du sie auf ihr Ideal ziehst, gibst du ihr Geist.” “Idealismus und Realismus im Reich des Ideals – Als Vorläufer zu Schillers Hundertjährigem Geburtstage,” Deutsches Museum: Zeitschrift für Literatur, Kunst und öffentliches Leben, Nr. 15: 8 April 1858, in Robert

16  Out of Place with photographic accuracy and detail. Rather than strive for impartial objectivity in representation, realists asserted that their practice was deliberately and self-consciously representational—that is, that it presented a world that did not correspond perfectly to ours. Theodore Fontane asserts that “realism is art,”43 that realist practice is aware of itself as creation and artifice to a degree and therefore it is not a simple imitation of objective reality. Realism must instead convey an ideal, a sense of truth present in external reality, but not evident to the untrained eye. Fontane thus asserts that “Realism does not want simply the sensed world and nothing but that; it wants least of all the purely palpable, but it does want what is true.”44 This statement suggests that the artist must perceive the truth the rest of society overlooks and then refine it through representational means in such a way as to make it perceptible to readers. Thus realist practice dictates departing from pure imitation of reality. Fontane describes this as “die Läuterung” [refinement],45 and Julian Schmidt justifies a similar practice in his well-known dictum: “Truth cannot be represented by one who does not know reality, nor by one who is its slave.”46 This conception of realism attributes great insight to the author as the one who perceives reality clearly, refines it so as to identify its true essence, and then conveys that essence in poetic form. The realist perceives the ideal and lets it shine through. Yet if the realist is not a slave to reality, neither is he/she a slave to the ideal. As Otto Ludwig argues: “The main difference between artistic realism and artistic idealism is that the realist allows his re-created world as much of its breadth and variety as is consistent with its spiritual unity.”47 The poet does not allow the ideal to dominate the details of the material world, but instead maintains a balance between these two worlds. Prutz, Deutsches Museum: Zeitschrift für Literatur, Kunst und öffentliches Leben. Achter Jahrgang: Januar-Juli 1858 (Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus, 1858), 529. 43 “Der Realismus in der Kunst ist so alt als die Kunst selbst, ja, noch mehr, er ist die Kunst.” Theodor Fontane, “Unsere lyrische und epische Poesie seit 1848,” in Deutsche Annalen zur Kenntnis der Gegenwart und Erinnerung an die Vergangenheit, ed. Karl Biedermann (Leipzig: Avernarius & Mendelssohn, 1853), 355. 44 Ibid, 359. 45 Ibid, 358. 46 “Die Wahrheit darstellen kann weder derjenige, der die Wirklichkeit nicht kennt, noch derjenige, der ihr Sklave ist,” Julian Schmidt, “Der neueste englische Roman und das Princip des Realismus,” in Roman und Romantheorie des deutschen Realismus, (eds) Hans-Joachim Ruckhäberle and Helmuth Widhammer (Athenäum Verlag: Kronberg, 1977), 209. 47 “Der Hauptunterschied des künstlerischen Realismus vom künstlerischen Idealismus ist, daß der Realist seiner wiedergeschaffenen Welt so viel von ihrer Breite und Mannigfaltigkeit läßt, als sich mit der geistigen Einheit vertragen will.” Otto Ludwig, Shakespeare-Studien. Mit einem Vorbericht und sachlichen Erläuterungen von Moritz Heydrich (Halle: Hermann Desenius, 1901), 197.

Introduction 17 I highlight this representational practice, specifically the tension between idealism and materialism, for two reasons. The first is to distance myself at the outset from analyses that point out how “unrealistic” realism is, how its supposed claims to objective representation are tainted by ideology, philosophical tradition, sexism, psychological concerns and so on. Although such arguments offer useful lenses through which to read realism and help twenty-first-century readers understand the various influences on realist practice, their fundamental point ignores that realists themselves were aware of the partiality and non-objectivity of their own practices. Fontane asserts that realism is interested, that it represents an Interessenvertretung [a partial or biased position].48 In other words, realists were aware that the “truth” they represented was not absolute reality. Twenty-first-century readers might take exception to many of the “truths” realists represent, but this does not mean that realism’s lack of objectivity is a failure, for it did not aspire to absolute objectivity. To accuse realists of a lack of objectivity is thus not only banal, but also reflects a gross misunderstanding of the thrust of the realist movement. The second reason that I highlight this tension is that it is inherent to the concept of place. When we view or imagine a place, we bring together perceptions of a specific, material locale with the affective or ideational content we associate with that place. Because both realism as an artistic and theoretical movement and place as a concept are characterized by the competing pulls of materialism and idealism, it is fitting that place becomes not only a thematic, but also a structural, feature of realist texts. Karl Gutzkow made this observation most clearly in his novel, Die Ritter von Geiste [Knights of the Spirit] (1850/51). Commenting on new novelistic techniques, Gutzkow writes: “The novel of the past … represented the succession of artistically intertwined events.”49 In contrast: the new novel is the novel of simultaneity [literally: side-bysideness]. The whole world lies there! Kings and beggars meet there! The people who belong to a narrated story, and those who give it a reflected illumination. … No segment of life any more, but the complete, round, full circle lies before us; the poet builds 48 “er ist ... eine ‘Interessenvertretung’ auf seine Art.” Theodor Fontane, “Unsere lyrische und epische Poesie seit 1848,” Deutsche Annalen zur Kenntnis der Gegenwart und Erinnerung an die Vergangenheit (Leipzig: Avernarius & Mendelssohn, 1853), 359. 49 “Der Roman von früher ... stellte das ‚Nacheinander’ kunstvoll verschlungener Begebenheiten dar.” Karl Gutzkow, “Der Roman des Nebeneinander,” in Romanpoetik in Deutschland. Von Hegel bis Fontane, ed. Hartmut Steinecke (Gunter Narr Verlag: Tübingen, 1984), 113.

18  Out of Place a world or at least contrasts his illumination to that of reality. He looks down from the perspective of an eagle hovering in the air and has a worldview [Weltanschauung], new, peculiar. Unfortunately it is a polemic one.50 Gutzkow here encapsulates the project of the realist novel—to give a bird’s-eye view to the “truth” of reality—or, more specifically, the poet’s “illumination” of that reality. He gives a truth that is partial, even slanted. Even more important, Gutzkow phrases this project in spatial terms (as indicated by such phrases as “lies there,” “meet there,” “lies before us,” “looks down” and “in the air”). Previous novels represented developments in time, whereas “new” novels represent relationships in space, and these relationships are bound to a specific worldview. Because the structural features in the realist novel can be represented in spatial terms, it is fitting that place also becomes one of the dominant themes in the novels of German realism. As Lilian R. Furst notes in her study of European realism, All is True (1997), the prominence of place is not just because realist texts describe place, but more importantly because they enact it: “The vivid and lasting sense of place that emanates from realist fiction is therefore elicited more through enactment than through description. In the determining role that it plays in the fate of the protagonists, place becomes a vicarious reality for readers.”51 In realist texts, place assumes greater significance than in the fiction of its precursors. This is, as Furst recognizes, because the tensions that define the era are embodied in the notion of place: “The generally painful negotiations between individual idealism and the reigning mentality are the archetypal theme of realism. And that reigning mentality is concretely embodied in place as a physical locale is invested with moral dimensions to such an extent that it becomes, as it were, almost a dramatis persona in its own right.”52 Yet in making these observations on the role of place in realism, Furst does not engage with the nature of place itself, and it is here that I hope to build on her observations and demonstrate how an understanding of place both shaped and was transformed by these tensions: realists not only enacted place, 50 Ibid., 114: “der neue Roman ist der Roman des ‘Nebeneinander.’ Da liegt die ganze Welt! Da begegnen sich Könige und Bettler! Die Menschen, die zu einer erzählten Geschichte gehören, und die, die ihr eine widerstrahlte Beleuchtung geben. ... Kein Abschnitt des Lebens mehr, der ganze runde, volle Kreis liegt vor uns; der Dichter baut eine Welt oder stellt wenigstens seine Beleuchtung der der Wirklichkeit gegenüber. Er sieht aus der Perspektive des in den Lüften schwebenden Adlers herab und hat eine Weltanschauung, neu, eigentümlich. Leider ist es eine polemische.” 51 Furst, All is True, 188. 52 Ibid., 177.

Introduction 19 but they also questioned and attempted to redefine it. One finds that representations of place bear the ongoing tensions that characterize poetic realism. These tensions were of manifold nature: literary (truth and fiction), philosophical (idealism and materialism) and political/ economic (bourgeois conservatism and democratic liberalism), to name but a few. Moreover, there were tensions in the fundamental understanding of place, and so, in the course of German poetic realism, this concept underwent a dramatic transformation. I assert that in the latter half of the nineteenth century, place lost its significance, that its value during this epoch was a product of its threatened status. Authors gave such value to place, even making it a dramatis persona, as Furst suggests, because there was a sense that place was threatened.

Place and Realism

The trajectory described above—an intense engagement with issues related to place, in which longing for a stable sense of place ultimately yields to the perception of place as lost and in which idealism gives way to materialism—traces a general trend within realism, but one that is far from monolithic. The authors under consideration in this study manifest this trend most clearly. This is not surprising, considering that they are similar in both setting and genre: they each draw on the burgeoning metropolis—for Raabe and Fontane it is Berlin, for Keller it is Zürich—and each work under consideration is a Zeitroman, a social novel or, literally, a novel that reflects its time. Yet there are countless texts in realism from different decades and genres and with a variety of settings that reflect similar concerns. They may be set in small villages and remote regions of the German lands, in the metropolis, or even overseas, and they may be short stories, poetry, or drama. Nonetheless, they manifest the underlying tensions that contribute to this general trend: they depict the struggle between the two extremes of being in place and being out of place. Stated differently, although the trend I trace in this book may not be wholly uniform across realism in the late nineteenth century, the engagement with issues of place, and with the tension between being in place and out of place, is ubiquitous in this epoch. A few representative texts demonstrate this. I limit my examples primarily to realist prose, as this was the predominant medium in this era, and two brief examples of poetry. Drama was more of an exception and less of a representative genre in this era.53 53 See, for example, Benjamin Bennett, “The Absence of Drama in NineteenthCentury Germany,” in German Literature of the Nineteenth Century, 1832–1899, (eds) Clayton Koelb and Eric Downing, 157–81 (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2005). Bennett argues that although a dramatic tradition was available to German realists, there was no systematic or consistent meditation on drama

20  Out of Place The genre of the Dorfgeschichte [village tale], associated with early realist authors such as Jeremias Gotthelf (1797–1854) and Berthold Auerbach (1812–82), embodies such tensions. In this genre, one expects to find a connection to Heimat, a simple agrarian life removed from the complex metropolis and an idyllic agrarian escape into nature. Yet the realities of these texts are very different. As Horst Daemmrich notes, many of these stories represent social disruptions such as unresolved interpersonal relationships, the gap between rich and poor, and bureaucratic abuses. Internal inconsistencies, both in conflict and style, reflect the unresolved contradictions of the time.54 In Auerbach’s “Der Tolpatsch” [The Klutz] from his Schwarzwälder Dorfgeschichten [Tales of Villages in the Black Forest] (1843), a clumsy young man decides to prove himself worthy of his romantic interest by joining the military. Conscription requires him to leave town and while he is away his love interest is seduced by and marries another. The young man, Aloys, emigrates to America, where he finds success but is left reflecting nostalgically on his lost love. The story concludes with the protagonist out of place in America and longing for the lost place of his village and the romance it had once promised. A tale about homeland asserts the importance of homeland only through distance from it. Another Dorfgeschichte from the same period, Jeremias Gotthelf’s Die Schwarze Spinne [The Black Spider] (1842), takes a different stance, but also engages with the tension of being in place and out of place. Gotthelf preserves a nearly religious devotion to place by making place uncanny. The story is a frame narrative in which guests at a christening party encounter an old black post built into a house. We then learn the story of a past time in the village, when the villagers enlisted the devil to help them complete their work. When they refused to bring him an unbaptized child as payment, a poisonous black spider afflicted the village until one mother, at the cost of her own life, trapped it in the black post, saving the village. The spider was released again generations later when the village people had turned from their pious ways, and was again trapped in the post only after an individual sacrificed himself for the rest of the village. The house was rebuilt multiple times over the centuries, but the black post was always preserved. Gotthelf’s tale of piousness and evil presents a complex notion of place: it represents a continuity of place over generations, as evidenced by the black post, yet a continuity that also contains its own threat to the survival of and that any dramatic productions during this period were more of aberrations than representative examples of a consistent aesthetic practice. 54 Horst S. Daemmrich, “Realismus,” in Geschichte der deutschen Literatur 3. Vom Realismus bis zur Gegenwartsliteratur, 2nd edn., ed. Ehrhard Bahr, 1–88 (Tübingen: A. Francke Verlag, 1998), 32.

Introduction 21 that place, as shown by the spider trapped in the post that threatens to destroy the village. Place reaffirms existence and identity at the same time that it threatens them. The novella, the quintessential genre for realism, also evidences a tension in the relationship to place. Theodor Storm’s (1817–88) early novella, Immensee [Bee’s Lake] (1849/51), is a frame narrative in which an old man, Reinhard, retreats into an inner chamber of his home to reflect on a failed romance of his youth. Underlying the novella is a tension between indoor spaces, associated with memory and reflection, and outdoor spaces, associated with action. Reinhard’s romantic failure manifests itself in terms of space and place, for his studies in a distant town allow another suitor, Erich, to woo his beloved, Elisabeth. Similarly, Reinhard’s later failure to reach a waterlily in the lake (a symbol for Elisabeth) associates spatial distance with romantic failure. Reinhard is somehow always out of place. The novella connects other important themes of German realism to place, for Erich’s estate, Immensee, shows the dominance of modern capitalism over romantic ideals of nature. In this early work, Storm uses place to represent the tensions both between individuals and within emergent modernism. A mainstay among realist genres, the Zeitroman, highlights the tension between being in place and out of place, both structurally (recall Gutzkow’s assertion of simultaneity over succession) and thematically. Gustav Freytag’s (1816–95) Soll und Haben [Debit and Credit] (1855), set predominantly in Silesia, opposes the rise of a diligent, bourgeois class to the decline of the aristocracy, and a bourgeois work ethic against an unethical capitalism. These forces are played out in oppositions of country and city. The hero, Anton Wohlfahrt, must go to the city to find success. The aristocrat von Rothsattel witnesses the demise of his country estate due to unethical business dealings. Although Wohlfahrt has limited success in helping save Rothsattel’s estate, he is ultimately unsuccessful in that endeavor—he is out of place there—and must return to the city to find success in a conventional bourgeois mode. Freytag binds social groups (aristocracy and bourgeoisie) to place, and only by being in one’s proper place can one succeed. Another important genre for realism was the historical novel, and these works, too, manifest the tension in the relationship to place characteristic of realism. Louise von François (1817–93) published Die letzte Reckenbürgerin [The Last von Reckenburg] in periodical form in 1870, and in book form in 1871. It contains not only a variety of narrative perspectives, but also a variety of settings, including the Netherlands, France and German lands. François pits bourgeois morals against those of the aristocracy and ultimately valorizes those of the bourgeoisie, embodied in a noblewoman, Hardine von Reckenburg. Although a noble, Hardine takes responsibility first for the child and then grandchild of a bourgeois

22  Out of Place companion who had been seduced by a nobleman. Through bourgeois values of diligence and duty, she turns her run-down family estate into a model of productivity and then allows her bourgeois charge to inherit the Reckenburg estate and fortune. François portrays a tension between an aristocratic world where family is bound to place, but place is neglected, and a bourgeois world, where family is unmoored from place, but place is cared for and preserved. This tension between being in and out of place continues in late realism, as is evident in Theodor Storm’s later novella, Der Schimmelreiter [The Rider on the White Horse] (1888). Hauke Haien, the protagonist, is a rational outsider to the superstitious villagers, and the house he lives in later in the novella as dikegrave, an officer in charge of dikes, lies separate and on a higher level than most of the villagers. Yet Hauke is also bound to the village and the land: his ambition to build a new dike, to regain more land from the sea, should ultimately benefit the village. When his new dike breaks under the onslaught of a fierce storm, Hauke throws himself into the breach and becomes a ghost in local lore, a specter on a white horse who watches over the dikes for subsequent generations. The ghost figure reflects the tension of being both in and out of place, for he is no longer part of society, yet is bound to it supernaturally. Places maintain their significance only through a type of uncanny haunting. These prose engagements with place find counterparts in lyric poetry of German realism. The Swiss poet Conrad Ferdinand Meyer (1825–98) wrote Hohe Station [Summit Station] (1881), a poem that describes an idyllic life in a remote mountain house. The peace of the setting is disturbed by contemporary news transmitted via an electric cable. The poem represents the “disruption of a self-contained literary idyll by the static of history.”55 The poetic voice creates a secluded place, only to find that technology and events in the outside world ruin its tranquility and seclusion—modernity has shattered the idyll. Similarly, Theodor Storm’s Abseits [Apart] nearly two decades earlier (1863) gives an initial impression of a secluded, tranquil idyll: describing a run-down cottage outside a village, it concludes, “Kein Klang der aufgeregten Zeit / Drang noch in diese Einsamkeit.” [No tone of the tumultuous time / penetrated this solitude.]56 Although Storm’s 55 For both a translation and an interpretation of this poem, see Thomas Pfau, “Between Sentimentality and Phantasmagoria: Germany Lyric Poetry, 1830–1890,” in German Literature of the Nineteenth Century, 1832–1899, (eds) Clayton Koelb and Eric Downing, 207–48 (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2005), 235. 56 Theodor Storm, Sämtliche Werke in zwei Bänden, vol. 2 (München: Winkler, 1951), 945.

Introduction 23 idyll is not shattered as violently as is Meyer’s, cracks and ruptures are evident in it and they indicate that disruptions in the experience of place are due not only to external forces, but also to internal forces. A closer reading of the earlier verses of Abseits indicates that, whether in the scurrying of the insects, the play of the light or the economy of a honey harvest, this place is not completely tranquil. It also indicates from the ring of the distant town clock that this place is not immune to the passage of time; the sound of the town clock intimates impending intrusions. As this cursory overview demonstrates, the tension between feeling in place and out of place was pervasive in German realism, even if represented differently by various authors and in diverse genres. Ultimately these tensions resulted in a shift from idealism to materialism, from a longing for an ideal connection to place to a sense of resignation that place had been lost. The direction of this shift is evident even in the earliest realist texts, as a closer reading of one text demonstrates.

The Trajectory of Place within Realism: Stifter’s Granite

Adalbert Stifter wrote a decade or more earlier than the authors in this study and came from a different corner of the German-speaking world, specifically the Austro-Hungarian empire. In Stifter’s novellas we recognize not only the heightened sensitivity to place at this time, but also, even in the earliest stages of poetic realism, an incipient awareness that place was undergoing a transformation and that place as formerly conceived was in decline. One sees this in Stifter’s novella collection, Bunte Steine [Colorful Stones] (1853), where each story is named after a different stone. The first story in the collection is titled Granite, referring to a large granite slab that lies in front of the narrator’s childhood home. The story consists of one narrative embedded within another. The outer narrative is told by an adult who reflects on his childhood home and recalls an instance where he besmudged his mother’s clean floor with tar-covered feet and was driven from the home. The inner, embedded narrative is relayed by the grandfather of the banished boy and is presented—within the plot of the outer narrative—when the grandfather takes him on a long walk after the banishment, in an effort to console him. The inner narrative binds local geography to history, since it tells of when the plague came to the valley and orphaned a young boy, who subsequently rescued a young girl from certain death. The boy later married the girl, who owned a palace, and the story has a fairy tale-like happy ending. Yet the ending of the outer narrative frame contrasts starkly with the fairy tale ending of the embedded narrative; for although the adult narrator’s family house itself remains, the family members are geographically dispersed

24  Out of Place rather than gathered in the home. In its ephemerality, the family structure now stands in contrast to the enduring slab of granite instead of in solidarity with it. The arc of the narrative described above embeds the story of a past fairy tale-like world, threatened by a plague that has come from the outside, within the frame story of a modern world in which a place (the family homestead) is threatened not by an aggressive external force or event, but instead by changing times and values, by social and psychological forces that destabilize the connection to place. The shift in the understanding and role of place is most evident when one compares the 1853 book version of Granite with an earlier version titled Die Pechbrenner [The Pitch Burners], published in 1848 in the journal Vergißmeinnicht [Forget-me-not].57 One of the most obvious contrasts between the two versions is the emphasis that Stifter places on the narrative frame in the later version. Although both versions refer to the family home and the stone in front of it, a symbol of continuity and strength,58 the final version returns to this at the end of the story with an emphasis different from that of the earlier version. The following sentence (the penultimate paragraph in the narrative) is an addition in the final version: “Seitdem sind viele Jahre vergangen, der Stein liegt noch vor dem Vaterhause, aber jetzt spielen die Kinder der Schwester darauf, und oft mag das alte Mütterlein auf ihm sitzen, und nach den Weltgegenden ausschauen, in welche ihre Söhne zerstreut sind.”59 [Since then many years have passed, the stone still lies before my father’s house, but now the children of my sister play on it, and often my dear old mother may sit on it and look out into the parts of the world to which her sons have been dispersed.] This sentence highlights the breakdown of an older patriarchal order by contrasting the geographic dispersal of the men with the women’s connection 57 For one of the first comparisons of the earlier and later versions, see Joachim Müller, “‘Die Pechbrenner’ und ‘Kalkstein,’ Strukturanalysen einer Urfassung und einer Endfassung der Bunten Steine,” Adalbert Stifter-Institut des Landes Oberösterreich. Vierteljahrsschrift 15, no. 2. (1966): 1–22. For a more recent assessment, see Brigitte Prutti, “Zwischen Ansteckung und Auslöschung. Zur Seuchenerzählung bei Stifter – Die Pechbrenner versus Granit,” Oxford German Studies 37, no. 1 (2008): 49–73. Prutti focuses in particular on the earlier version of the novella and its representation of the plague. 58 “Thus, stretching from infinite past into infinite future, the block of granite stands as the emblem of ‘rock-solidity’ enshrining the continuity of both the natural and the social realm.” Martin and Erika Swales, Adalbert Stifter: A Critical Study (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 144. 59 Adalbert Stifter, Werke und Briefe. Historisch-Kritische Gesamtausgabe, (eds) Alfred Doppler and Wolfgang Frühwald (Stuttgart: Verlag W. Kohlhammer, 1982), 60. All translations of Stifter’s text are my own.

Introduction 25 to their locale.60 At the outset of the novella, the narrator associates the house with the granite slab set in front of it: the slab is stable, unchanging, binding generations of a patriarchally-organized family together. The permanence of the stone and its location now contrast with the uprootedness of the narrator’s brothers. Similarly, the audience for the grandfather’s tale was his grandson, while the audience for the narrator’s tale is not family but an anonymous and unlocalized public. The quotation above indicates that men no longer share this grounding in place. The identity of a family has been separated from the stability of a particularly enduring location. In the beginning of the narrative frame in the later version, readers note that Stifter blames the transformations of social and family structure on the transformations associated with modernity. The narrator describes how he enjoyed the view from the granite stone as a child: “Ich saß gerne auf dem Steine, weil man wenigstens dazumal eine große Umsicht von demselben hatte. Jetzt ist sie etwas verbaut worden.” [I enjoyed sitting on the stone, at least in those days, because you had a great view from there. Now it has become somewhat obstructed.]61 This simple observation, added to Granite but not included in “The Pitch Burners,” contrasts an earlier world that could be comprehended from a single vantage point with a modern world, where a comprehensive view has been obstructed—literally it has had things built in its way [verbaut]. Stifter intimates here not only the increased growth of cities at the expense of rural areas, but also a philosophical shift associated with modernity, where a comprehensive, unifying worldview yields to one that is fragmented and disrupted. Clearly, Stifter became more keenly attuned to modernity as a potential threat to his worldview in the five years that separated these two versions. Within the narrative one finds repeated indications of the tension between two attitudes towards place. On the one hand, place is a source of stability and connection, and on the other insofar as place is threatened with dispersal and no longer firmly linked to human identity, it is a source of anxiety and nostalgia. A seemingly insignificant passage that appears in Granite, but not in “The Pitch Burners,” recounts how the grandfather and grandson walked together over a grassy area: Wir gingen auf dem grauen Rasen zwischen den Stämmen weiter, immer von einem Stamme zum andern. Es wäre wohl ein ausgetretener 60 As Edward McDonald asserts, “Stifter’s essential concern in Granit is with issues that threaten familial and social harmony.” “The Family Legacy of Values as the Redemptive Rock of Ages in Stifter’s Granit,” Modern Language Studies 24, no. 2 (Spring 1994), 77. 61 Stifter, Werke und Briefe, 23.

26  Out of Place Weg gewesen, aber auf dem Rasen war es weicher und schöner zu gehen. Allein die Sohlen meiner Stiefel waren von dem kurzen Grase schon so glatt geworden, daß ich kaum einen Schritt mehr zu thun vermochte, und beim Gehen nach allen Richtungen ausglitt. Da der Großvater diesen Zustand bemerkt hatte, sagte er: „Du mußt mit den Füssen nicht so schleifen; auf diesem Grase muß man den Tritt gleich hinstellen, daß er gilt, sonst bohnt man die Sohlen glatt, und es ist kein sicherer Halt möglich. Siehst du, alles muß man lernen, selbst das Gehen.”62 We walked further on the gray grass between the trunks, always from one trunk to the other. There would probably have been a well-worn path, but it was softer and nicer to walk on the grass. But the soles of my boots had already become so smooth from the short grass that I was hardly able to take another step and in walking slipped in all directions. Since grandfather noticed this condition, he said: “You must not drag your feet so; on this grass, you must place your step so that it counts, otherwise you will polish your soles smooth and no secure footing is possible. Do you see, one must learn everything, even walking.” This passage has no bearing on the plot and so might seem superfluous in the economy of the narrative. Yet its inclusion in the later version of the novella indicates that its value is significant, that it points to a crucial element within the story. The passage contrasts two walking paths, one a well-worn path, suggesting tradition and continuity with the past, and the other a less-defined yet more appealing path, one that takes one away from convention and tradition. When the boy takes the more appealing path and defies convention, he risks losing his Halt [secure footing]. In the context of the story, where this passage follows shortly after the grandfather’s lament that contemporary workers no longer honor the Sabbath as past generations did, slipping is equivalent to the religious term “backsliding”—that is, the loss of a secure foothold means the departure from a religious tradition and belief system.63 Most significant here is that Stifter phrases this historical change in religiosity in terms of one’s relationship to place. In losing their connection to the past and to their community, people also lose their connection to place. In asserting, “one must learn everything, even walking,” the grandfather indicates that the connection to place, although presumed to be innate and an integral part of identity, is more like the bond to religion, 62 Ibid., 41. 63 Eve Mason likewise sees the religious reading implicit in this passage: “We are not far distant from the use of religious parable.” Stifter. Bunte Steine (London: Grant & Cutler, 1986), 24.

Introduction 27 patriarchy and the other systems that underlie the society in this story. That is, it is not innate, but a convention that is acquired and to which one conforms. In this context, one understands better the grandfather’s near obsessive attention to geographic details as an attempt to teach his grandson the connection to place.64 While walking together, the grandfather points out numerous geographical features and asks the young boy to identify them, as if to ensure that the boy has a bond to the places and their history. Again, an episode in Granite but not in “The Pitch Burners” has the grandfather telling the story of the plague and connecting it to specific places: “Du wirst wissen, daß manche Stellen unserer Gegend noch den Beinamen Pest tragen, zum Beispiele Pestwiese, Peststeig, Pesthang.” [You probably know that many places in our region bear the name “plague,” for example Plaguemeadow, Plaguepath, Plagueslope.]65 He then bemoans the fact that subsequent generations have lost the connection between these names, the places and their history: Seitdem sind andere Geschlechter gekommen …, die von der Sache nichts wissen und die die Vergangenheit verachten, die Einhegungen sind verloren gegangen, die Stellen haben sich mit gewöhnlichem Grase überzogen. . . . Sie achten nicht der Plätze, wo die Todten ruhen, und sagen den Beinamen Pest mit leichtfertiger Zunge, als ob sie einen anderen Namen sagten wie etwa Hagedorn oder Eiben.66 Since then other generations have come … who know nothing of the matter and who disdain the past, the enclosures have gone lost, the places have become overgrown with common grass. … They do not respect the places where the dead rest, and they say the name plague with a careless tongue, as if they were saying another name like hawthorn or yew. For the grandfather, the new generation is alienated from the past, and this manifests itself in an alienation from place. It is unclear whether the alienation from place and from the past is due to willful neglect or to the external circumstances of modernism. In either case, the new generation does not care for places but instead allows them to be overgrown. Because the enclosures have been lost, the places now lack definition. Most significant, however, is that places lose their function as signifiers. Whereas the name of a place provided a direct link 64 Stefan Gradmann describes the text as an “Initiation in ein ordnungshaft erfahrenes räumliches Modell.” Topographie / Text. Zur Funktion räumlicher Modellbildung in den Werken von Adalbert Stifter und Franz Kafka (Frankfurt: Anton Hain, 1990), 39. 65 Stifter, Werke und Briefe, 44. 66 Ibid., 45.

28  Out of Place between the place and its history, now it becomes just another name, where the history or meaning that it once signified has disappeared. Without a connection between places and history and meaning, such as the grandfather provides for the grandson, places become meaningless signs.67 There are numerous other indications that, in the second of these two versions, Stifter gives the concept of place greater attention, yet the examples above suffice to demonstrate a change within Stifter that also takes place on a larger scale within realism. On the one hand, authors recognize place as a social construct that provides both meaning and identity, but on the other, they perceive it as threatened and recognize that it has lost the respect and value it was previously accorded. No longer is place the point where history, meaning, identity, and familial and societal structures converge and cohere. Instead, Stifter, like many realists after him, views the cohesive and integrative concept of place nostalgically, as belonging to the past and as lost to the dispersive forces of modernism. Realism struggles to come to terms with the realities of modernism, yet is still bound to the philosophical and theoretical apparatus of idealism. Realist authors and thinkers have not yet developed a concept of place that allows for modernist notions of meaning, identity and history, and so realists can conceive of place only as lost. The following study highlights three authors who exemplify this tendency and who trace a trajectory from post-romanticism to early modernism.

Organizational Rationale

This book highlights the perceived loss of place by focusing on works of three major representatives of German realism: Gottfried Keller, Wilhelm Raabe and Theodor Fontane. I select these three not only because of their similar aesthetic practices, but also because all three are connected to Berlin. Although they settled in very different parts of the German-speaking world (Keller in Zürich, Raabe in Braunschweig, and Fontane in Berlin), each author spent a formative portion of his career in Berlin. Keller wrote his first novel, Der grüne Heinrich [Green Henry], as well as the first few novellas of his Die Leute von Seldwyla [The People of Seldwyla] cycle there from 1850–5. Raabe wrote his first novel, Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse [The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane] 67 See Marcus Twellmann’s insightful reading, in which he demonstrates how Stifter himself deconstructs the narrative strategies necessary to connect history, place and community: “Seine Erzählung bezeugt das Zerbrochensein des Überlieferungszusammenhangs, indem sie den Bruch im Zusammenhang selbst aufzeigt.” “Bleibende Stelle. Zu Stifters ‘Granit,’” in Zeitschrfit für Deutsche Philologie 126, no. 2 (2007): 243.

Introduction 29 (1856), in Berlin beginning in 1854. And Fontane, although he lived in London as a foreign correspondent from 1855 until 1859, spent the majority of his literary career in Berlin. Each would have witnessed the dramatic demographic and topographic changes that affected the city during the course of the nineteenth century, and traces of these changes are evident in their texts. The first chapter therefore focuses on the social transformations in Berlin during the nineteenth century to highlight a microcosmic example of how the experience of place was transformed during the nineteenth century in German lands. I do not claim that Berlin represents exactly what happened in all other German-speaking cities or regions; in fact, the rate of transformation differed dramatically across these areas, although it was often more intense in Berlin. Nor do I attempt to offer an exhaustive study of the history of Berlin, as others have already provided these.68 Instead, I draw on the transformations in Berlin for heuristic purposes, to ground in concrete historical data my theoretical assertion that there was a sense that place had been lost during the nineteenth century. I assert that the changes in Berlin reflect general tendencies that appeared in various degrees throughout German lands during this century, as the discussion of Stifter above affirms. The chapter offers a selective socio-historical analysis of the city in order to argue on a larger scale that the changes associated with ascendant modernity transformed the experience of place. Specifically, place: 1. was differentiated according to function, 2. became a commodity of exchange, 3. was seen as a site of restriction and confinement, 4. was dissociated from identity and even portable, and 5. became a means to exercise social and political control over others. Stated in simpler terms, place lost value as an experience and gained significance as an economic and political instrument. These historical transformations accompany the transformation in the concept of place that this book highlights. Experienced place was no longer a secure source of bourgeois identity and had to be thought of nostalgically or in imaginative terms. After setting the socio-historical stage for my conceptual argument, I analyze the shift in the concept of place with three different approaches: the first is diachronic, comparing an early and late novel by the same author; the second is synchronic at a crucial turning point of 68 Some helpful overviews of Berlin’s history can be found in: Bodo Harenberg, ed., Die Chronik Berlins, 2nd edn. (Dortmund: Chronik Verlag, 1991); Gottfried Korff and Reinhard Rürup, (eds), Berlin, Berlin. Die Ausstellung zur Geschichte der Stadt (Berlin: Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1987); Wolfgang Ribbe, ed., Geschichte Berlins. 2 Vols. (München: Beck, 1987); and Alexandra Ritchie, Faust’s Metropolis: A History of Berlin (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1998).

30  Out of Place this transformation for one author; and the third is synchronic at a significant endpoint of this trajectory. I begin with Wilhelm Raabe, and contrast his first novel, The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane (1856), with his final completed novel, The Files of Birdsong (1896). By focusing on the beginning and the end of Raabe’s career, I highlight a trajectory that mirrors the conceptual arc of German realism as a whole. In The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane one encounters a sense of place that is centered and, although threatened, relatively stable. The implicit assumption is that identity is connected to a specific place. The text attempts to convey and even recreate this sense of place for the reader. By the end of Raabe’s career, however, in The Files of Birdsong, stable, centered places yield to a notion of lost place, and characters face a dilemma: bind themselves to a sense of place and thus also bind themselves to confining social structures, or free themselves from such confining social structures but simultaneously dismiss all connection to place and ultimately to other humans. Place and autonomy have become incompatible. Raabe presents neither alternative as appealing, leaving the modern subject torn between freedom paired with a lack of connection on the one hand and connection paired with restrictive social obligations on the other. In the next chapter, I focus on a novel that embodies the crucial turning point in the trajectory of realism as a whole, a text that represents a watershed moment between the beginning and endpoints of the trajectory evident in Raabe. In his novel Irrungen Wirrungen [Delusions Confusions] (1888), Theodor Fontane represents a dynamic notion of place—that is, a conception of place that is in the process of transformation. Fontane recognizes the contemporary phenomenon of displacement. However, rather than trying to recreate nostalgically a lost ideal of stable places, Fontane shows that such stable places already bear within them the seeds of future conflicts and that, in Deleuze and Guattari’s terminology, smooth spaces, spaces of revolution and transformation, were beginning to appear. His text acknowledges the arrival of modernist conceptions of place, but does so at a remove, still holding fast to a notion of place from earlier in the century. The final chapter highlights the endpoint of this trajectory by analyzing Gottfried Keller’s final novel, Martin Salander (1886). Although written two years before Fontane’s novel, it is conceptually closest to what we now associate with modernism of the early twentieth century, for it not only recognizes a modernist notion of place, but also portrays the notion of place from earlier in the nineteenth century as irretrievably lost. Keller’s conception of place in Martin Salander can be described best as emptied of meaning. Drawing on Walter Benjamin’s concept of the allegorical to elucidate my interpretation, I show how, for Keller, place resembles more a souvenir than a source of identity;

Introduction 31 how it repeatedly manifests a tension, an erstarrte Unruhe [petrified unrest], between being a commodity and being a source of meaning; and, how, along with other characters and objects in the novel, place is subject to repetition, replication and reproduction. Martin Salander, like The Files of Birdsong (written a decade later), embodies the endpoint of the conceptual journey that place traverses in German realism. In tracing this trajectory and analyzing these individual texts, I set each of them in a dual tension. On the one hand, I link them to contemporaneous theories and phenomena of place during the nineteenth century, drawing on significant figures in social and aesthetic philosophy such as Cornelius Gurlitt, Georg Simmel, Victor Aimé Huber, Julius Faucher and Friedrich Engels. On the other hand, I view them through the lens of theorists who are more familiar to late twentieth-century theoretical discourse, including Edward Casey, Martin Heidegger, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, and Walter Benjamin. The aim here is not only to situate the works within their historical and intellectual context, but also to see how they address issues that continue to engage us today. In the conclusion, I offer a brief analysis of Fontane’s final novel, Der Stechlin [The Stechlin] (1897) in order to argue that by the end of the nineteenth century, place, a concept intrinsically linked with human experience and identity, had been fully separated from humanity and relegated to the realm of nature. From this point, I nod towards other twentieth-century theories of space (from thinkers such as Foucault, Lefebvre, Soja and de Certeau). In these theories, the identificatory function of place gives way to the ideological construction and control of space. This is the culmination of a trajectory that first became evident in German realism, in which place, as a source of identification and meaning, gives way to space as a site of control and a loss of individuality. Inherent to this trajectory is a tension endemic to representations of place in realism, namely the desire to bind individual experience, meaning and ideals to a locale, while at the same time recognizing the ways in which class, economics and changing demographic relationships shaped space. The trajectory of place in realism and the tensions it reflects characterize the onset and development of high modernism and continue to influence our world today.

1.  Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900

The historical changes associated with industrialization and the onset of modernity forced a reconceptualization of one’s relationship to place. Place, in an ideal sense, may never have actually existed, but the forces of modernity reinforced the perception that place had been lost. Specifically, place became 1. functionally differentiated, 2. a commodity of exchange, 3. a hindrance, a restriction, and source of limitation and confinement, 4. dissociated from identity and transportable, and 5. a means of social control and power. Place lost its quality of familiarity during this era and took on the functional and instrumental quality of space. These historical transformations in place, described in detail in this chapter, provide the context for the literary representations of place to be analyzed in subsequent chapters. The city of Berlin, where Raabe, Fontane and Keller spent formative periods of their literary careers, serves as a unique test site that embodies many of the changes taking place across Germany.

Historical Background: The Shift from Feudalism to Industrial Capitalism and the Growth of Berlin

Berlin became the capital of a united Germany in 1871 and thus had symbolic value for the nation. It was Germany’s largest city by the end of the nineteenth century and the growing pains of industrialization were most pronounced and easily identifiable here. Berlin is representative insofar as it reflects the problems associated with the shift from feudalism to industrial capitalism,1 but it is unique in the specific manifestations of and reactions to these problems. Thus what happened in Berlin was not a necessary result of industrialization, nor 1 Werner Hegemann’s polemical study gives this point its broadest formulation in arguing that the development of Berlin is typical not only of German, but also of international processes. See Der Städtebau. Nach den Ergebnissen der allgemeinen Städtebau-Ausstellung in Berlin nebst einem Anhang: Die Internationale StädtebauAusstellung in Düsseldorf, Erster Teil [von zwei] (Berlin: Ernst Wasmuth, 1911), 7.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  33 did it happen everywhere else in Germany.2 Instead, Berlin, in its simultaneously representative and unique situation, manifests fundamental tendencies inherent in this shift between systems. These tendencies were not inevitable, but were the result of choices that hastened the perceived disappearance of place in favor of space. Berlin was founded much later than most other German and European cities—the first recorded references to it appear early in the thirteenth century,3 when London, Rome and Paris were already at least a thousand years old—and for a number of centuries its size was relatively insignificant in comparison to its German peers and European counterparts. In 1805 it was listed as the sixth largest city in Europe, after London, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam and St. Petersburg4 and it still had a decidedly provincial character. Farmers still kept livestock in the city and would frequently herd the animals through the city streets. There were even farms and fields within the city walls. As the residence of the Prussian monarchy, Berlin brought together the two extremes of royal pomp and lower-class agrarian workers.5 The size and character of the city changed dramatically in the course of the nineteenth century, more noticeably than its European counterparts, as population statistics manifest. From 1800 to 1900, London, Paris, and Vienna grew by 753 per cent, 609 per cent, and 735 per cent, respectively, while Berlin grew by 1,574 per cent, more than doubling the growth rate of these other major metropolises. Most of this growth happened after 1850, for Berlin’s growth rates during the first half of the century were comparable to those of other cities during this period. During the latter half of the century, though, Berlin outstripped them. From 1850 to 1900, London, Paris, and Vienna grew by 279 per cent, 253 per cent, and 398 per cent, respectively, whereas Berlin grew by 607 per cent.6 Like other cities in Europe and Germany, Berlin attracted both the growing unskilled proletariat and large industry. But Berlin did so at a 2

See Rudolf Eberstadt, who asserts that the growing metropolis of the industrial period should have produced an optimal solution to the housing problem, not the negative one in Berlin. Handbuch des Wohnungswesens und der Wohnungsfrage, 2nd edn. (Jena: Gustav Fischer, 1910), 3. See also later in his text where he compares the predominant building forms in various regions of Germany, demonstrating that the Berliner Mietskasernen were neither a historical necessity nor a national form. Ibid., 225–60. 3 Alexandra Ritchie points out that both the exact date of Berlin’s founding (sometime in the late twelfth century) and its nature as a city (it was actually a combination of two older settlements, Berlin and Cölln) were anything but certain. Faust’s Metropolis. A History of Berlin (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1998), 23. 4 Paul Clauswitz, (1908) 1986, Die Städteordnung von 1808 und die Stadt Berlin, reprint (Berlin: Julius Springer, 1908), 4. 5 Ibid., 9. 6 Statistics compiled from data in Tertius Chandler, Four Thousand Years of Urban

34  Out of Place faster rate than most of its counterparts, and this growth was concentrated in the latter half of the century. The primary cause for this immigration to Berlin was legal reforms, conducted in the Prussian State early in the nineteenth century, which dismantled feudal institutions. These included the edict of 11 October 1807, expanded in 1811, which allowed Prussians the freedom to pursue almost any profession, with the exception of a few professions that affected public welfare. This reform not only reduced the control of guilds over professions, but also largely eliminated the distinction between rural and urban labor.7 An edict of 14 September 1811 began a reform process that culminated in the Prussian Agrarian Reform of 1850. These various reforms freed farmers from hereditary obligations to landowners, allowed farmers with hereditary leases to acquire this land themselves, and permitted others without hereditary leases to receive monetary remuneration for the land to which they had been bound. All other obligations to feudal lords and landowners—whether of service, corvée or taxes—were removed. All duties to land and to feudal lords were framed now in terms of money rather than in terms of hereditary or other obligations.8 The importance of these laws to the rise of industrial capitalism in general, and to capitalism within Germany in particular, cannot be overstated. The changed laws increased the landholdings of noble lords and also created a small group of property-owning farmers. Similarly, many people who had been serfs became day laborers, dependent solely on wages.9 The new laws also led to the privatization of all state-owned domains (with the exception of royal estates), thereby opening up all the land around Berlin to real estate entrepreneurs.10 By the middle of the nineteenth century, urban and rural populations had been given a degree of freedom—civil and economic—previously unknown to them.11 This freedom allowed, and in some cases necessitated, migration from rural areas to the cities, which promised work and the possibility, however remote, of social mobility. Thus these laws encouraged the shift away from a forcibly imposed connection Growth. An Historical Census (Lewiston, NY: St. David’s University Press, 1987), 487–93. 7 Ingrid Thienel, Städtewachstum im Industrialisierungsprozeß des 19. Jahrhunderts. Das Berliner Beispiel, vol. 39, Veröffentlichungen der Hist. Kommission zu Berlin (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1973), 23. 8 Ibid., 24. 9 Ibid., 24. See also Paul Voigt, Grundrente und Wohungsfrage in Berlin und seinen Vororten, vol. 1, Institut für Gemeinwohl zu Frankfurt a. M. (Jena: Gustav Fischer, 1901), 106. 10 Voigt, Grundrente und Wohnungsfrage, 107. 11 Thienel, Städtewachstum im Industrialisierungsprozeß, 25.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  35 to place and toward a lost connection to place, a loss grounded in the conception of space as an obstacle to overcome, a commodity to trade or transport, and a means to obtain power. This shift would find its most visible manifestation in the cities of industrial Germany. Although many cities in Prussia grew during this time, Berlin grew most quickly,12 and population immigration from rural areas was the most significant cause for this. Table 1 shows the population of Berlin in ten-year intervals from 1800 to 1900:

Table 1 Population Growth: City of Berlin (1800–1900)13 Year


Growth Rate (population expressed in terms of percentage of population in 1800)


































*New (expanded) city limits

From this table, one sees not only that Berlin increased more than ten times in size in the course of the nineteenth century, but also that most of this growth occurred in the latter half of the century, during the period of industrialization: between 1850 and 1900, the population 12 Ibid., 25. 13 Statistisches Jahrbuch der Stadt Berlin. 34. Jahrgang, enthaltend die Statistik der Jahre 1915 bis 1919. H. Silbergleit, Hrsg. (Berlin: P. Stankiewicz’ Buchdruckerei, 1920), 3–4. Every effort was made to locate the copyright holder. Author and Publisher will be happy to resolve any outstanding matters.

36  Out of Place more than quadrupled in size. What the table does not show, however, is the growth in the smaller cities and suburbs surrounding Berlin, cities that belonged to the larger police district of Berlin but not to its official city limits. These cities became, to all intents and purposes, part of Berlin by the late nineteenth century, some officially in 1861 and some not until 1920. Table 2 shows that growth in these areas was even greater than that in Berlin during the nineteenth century:

Table 2 Population Growth: Berlin’s Outlying Police District (1801–1900)14 Year


Growth Rate (as a percentage of 1801 population)































*After new (expanded) city limits

It is interesting to note here that the police district, even after losing some of its population to the city in 1861, increased its population by over sixty-seven times in the course of the century, with most of this increase occurring in the latter half of the century (more than an eighteen-fold increase between 1861 and 1900). In other words, during the latter half of the nineteenth century, the city of Berlin increased not only in population, but also in dimensions, with the outlying areas

14 Thienel, Städtewachstum im Industrialisierungsprozeß, 369. Reproduced with permission of Dr. Ingrid Thienel-Saage.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  37 growing at more than four times the rate of that within the official city limits. The most significant cause for this growth was geographical displacement, not natural population growth. Although birth rates exceeded death rates in Berlin during most of the nineteenth century, births account for only a small portion of overall population increase. Estimates of the ratio of rate of immigration into Berlin to birthrate in Berlin range from as low as five-to-one to as high as thirteen-to-one.15 Between 1838 and 1885 nearly 3.3 million immigrants settled in Berlin. Even though over 2.4 million people left Berlin during the same period, that still left a surplus of over 800,000 inhabitants.16 There was a steady increase in the presence of immigrants in Berlin. In 1864, 50.4 per cent of the Berlin population had not been born in Berlin. This non-native population increased to 58 per cent of the Berlin population by 1895, with a peak of 59.3 per cent in 1890.17 This means that for the latter half of the nineteenth century, immigrants dominated Berlin’s population. It was a city of people displaced from their place of origin. An ever-increasing population caused the city to expand geographically. Many of the outlying towns and cities, even though not within the official city limits of Berlin, belonged to its police district, and soon became indistinguishable from the city of Berlin itself. In 1861, the city limits of Berlin expanded to include a small number of outlying cities to the west and to the south, leading to an increase in space of more than 68 per cent, and an increase in population of just over 7 per cent.18 City limits were expanded again in 1878 to the east and in 1881 to the west (including the zoological gardens), but these additions increased the space of the city by only 6 per cent.19 The city limits were not officially expanded again until 1920, when other outlying areas were added, creating what we know as Berlin today. Perhaps the most visible manifestation of urban growth, of the change from a feudal city to a modern industrial city, was the removal of the old city wall during the 1860s—a modification ordered in 1865 and carried out from 1867 to 1869.20 The fortifications that had protected the city in the past now became a hindrance to its growth, specifically to the growth of commerce and public transportation. By the time of its removal, the city wall was little more than a troublesome vestige of a 15 Ibid., 90. 16 Ibid., 93. 17 Ibid., 398. 18 Königlich Preußischer Minister der öffentlichen Arbeiten, ed., Berlin und seine Eisenbahnen. 1846–1896, vol. 1 (Berlin: Julius Springer, 1896), 58. 19 Ibid., 58. 20 Ibid., 60–1.

38  Out of Place past era. No longer demarcating the outer limits of the city, the wall not only posed a great obstacle to both public and commercial traffic, but also became much less capable of serving a defensive function, due in part to buildings that had sprung up on its outer side and now towered over it. The removal of Berlin’s city wall was an outward sign that feudal society (a society in which place not only imposed constraints, but also provided refuge) had ended and that a new era had begun—an era in which space was a commodity to be exchanged and an obstacle to be overcome.

Place as Differentiated Space

The shift from feudalism to industrialization in Berlin brought with it the functional differentiation of space, specifically a shift in relation to living space and workplace. Differentiation encouraged the perception that place had become space. This is not to say that the experience of place itself is not differentiated, only that in differentiating place according to one specific function (e.g. living vs. working), one psychologically delimits the breadth of experience that can be associated with a specific place. Such a one-sided view of place, when combined with factors to be discussed later, leads to the transition from place to space. Beginning in the 1840s, with the onset of industrialization, city regions became associated with the specific function they served. Thus in Berlin during the latter half of the nineteenth century, the city was defined in terms of three major economic functions in specific areas: the factories and industrial centers on the northern outskirts of the city, business and service industries in the city center, and textile and clothing industries in the southern parts of the city. The population resided predominantly in the southern and southeastern and to some extent also in the northern outlying suburbs.21 For factory workers, workplace and residence were separate, underlying modernism’s tendency to differentiate space by function. In the older, pre-industrial textile and handwork industries, however, residence and workplace were often still identical.22 These two patterns of dwelling reflect the struggle between a modern, industrial relation to place, for which work and residence are distinct, and a pre-modern, pre-industrial relation to place, for which work and residence still belong together. The modern tendency won out in the long run, as evidenced by the decline in the percentage of residences also used as workplaces during 21 Ingrid Thienel, “Verstädterung, städtische Infrastruktur und Stadtplanung. Berlin zwischen 1850 und 1914,” in Zeitschrift für Stadtgeschichte, Stadtsoziologie und Denkmalpflege, 4, no. 1 (1977), 55–84, 59–63. 22 Thienel refers to this phenomenon as a “relic of the pre-industrial economy.” Thienel, Städtewachstum im Industrialisierungsprozeß, 84.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  39 this period: 21.1 per cent of all apartments were used as a workplace in 1861, whereas by 1875 that proportion had decreased to 16.6 per cent.23 In other words, the increasing predominance of separation between workplace and residence reflects a dramatic change for a city where, before 1800, workplace and residence were usually the same.24 Thus with the rise of industrialization in Berlin, workplace and residence began to be differentiated according to economic function and viewed as two distinct places with two distinct purposes. Ingrid Thienel, in her study on urbanization during the industrialization process in Berlin, identifies the separation of workplace and residence as the most significant spatial characteristic of urbanization in the industrial age. In cities of the medieval and early modern period, most distinctions were made according to social factors such as language, religion, professional groups or social class—factors that may have been, but were not necessarily, spatially differentiated. Yet with the modern, industrial city, one encounters a system that reflects economic and social functions through spatial differentiation.25 This was a one-sided type of differentiation based primarily on economic considerations. It would shape the layout and feel of Berlin for years to come.26 The problems with this particular type of differentiation were compounded by the lack of other differentiation. In 1892, Rudolf Eberstadt, an architect and city planner, decried the lack of structural distinction in street and neighborhood planning between residential areas on the one hand and main business areas and major thoroughfares on the other: “Even today Berlin does not have a single continuous, unhindered traffic street.”27 He appealed to the city council for a “concentration of traffic,” paired with a “division of residential areas”28—that is, a distinction between main traffic arteries and smaller residential streets. He likewise bemoaned the dearth of open spaces in the city and the lack of parks where children could play, accusing 23 Ibid., 393–5. 24 Ibid., 63. Thienel names the Voigtland, an impoverished neighborhood in front of the northern city gates, as the only exception to this generalization. 25 Ibid., 3-4. 26 For Thienel, the functional differentiation between residence and place of production lays the foundation for one of the two main problems in organizing city space, even in the twentieth century: the allocation of work and living spaces within the city. (The second main problem in her view is the layout of the transportation system.) Ibid., 64. 27 Rudolph Eberstadt, “Berliner Communalreform,” Preußische Jahrbücher, ed. Hans Delbrück, vol. 70, 577–610 (Berlin: Georg Reimer, 1892), 603. All translations from the German in this chapter, unless otherwise noted, are my own 28 Ibid., 603.

40  Out of Place the city council of planting trees on sidewalks instead of creating open spaces for recreation.29 Eberstadt’s criticisms point to the problem of functional differentiation in nineteenth-century Berlin. The types of differentiation that were allowed, even encouraged, to occur in Berlin, were driven primarily by a purely economic understanding of space. All non-economic concerns—differentiations that would have promoted recreation and leisure, ease of travel, and comfort of living areas—were disregarded. Place had become one-dimensional, a commodity to be used, not a source for experience. This was also evident in the growth of the suburbs of Berlin. Most of these suburbs were originally independent towns or cities in their own right. Yet as they grew into the city during the course of the nineteenth century, they soon took on the character of a specific part of the city, whether that be primarily industrial, residential or—as remnants of an older system—resembling cottage industry, with homes serving as both residence and workplace. As Ingrid Thienel states, “Industrial agglomeration not only shapes the space that it occupies according to its own rules, from which ensues a particular ordering of space unique to it, but it also inundates community, land and national borders, it draws in towns and cities and transforms them completely.”30 Thus as the communities around Berlin grew and became part of the city, they took on this one-sided, differentiated character driven by economic interests.

Place as a Commodity of Exchange

This one-sided approach to place was reflected in another phenomenon in Berlin, namely the commodification of space. Space, as experienced in modernity, is a commodity, whereas pre-modern place was not commodified to the same degree. Space as a commodity took its most pronounced form in the real estate speculation that began in the 1860s and continued for the rest of the century, but it is also evident in the relationships of renters to their apartments. The feudal system relied on rent, but offered its inhabitants a very different form of living than that of urban apartment dwellers. In the modern city, wage-slaves were also space-slaves, living in spaces that were not connected to their labor, interchangeable in the housing market, just as they themselves were on the labor market. Renters were no longer individuals who shared reciprocal obligations with their landowners, but became an easily replaceable and exchangeable commodity in relation to the landowner. The situation in Berlin illustrates how this came to be. In response to the rapid growth of the city, the police and the 29 Ibid., 602. 30 Thienel, Städtewachstum im Industrialisierungsprozeß, 14.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  41 Prussian Ministry of Commerce had a plan drawn up to govern future expansion and building. The city building councilor, James Hobrecht, led the commission designing the plan and published the plan for Berlin in 1862. Hobrecht’s plan did not specify residential or industrial zones, nor did it specify how city blocks were to be divided into specific parcels. It proposed city streets and large squares and plazas, based on the model of Paris. The streets were at least 25 meters wide (some as wide as 50–75 meters) and were to enclose deep blocks of land that ranged from 200 to 400 meters in length and 150 to 250 meters deep. Once the building plan was published, real estate investors began to buy up plots of land on the proposed streets and then to sell them at a profit. Plots of land would often change hands numerous times before streets were laid or buildings were built. Real estate entrepreneurs would inflate prices artificially by purchasing large quantities of land on the outskirts of the city, essentially forming a ring around the city to prevent competition. This practice drove up the price of land not only on the outskirts, but also within the city limits proper.31 Prices climbed quickly for a number of reasons, yet most scholars agree that it was not simply a matter of supply and demand. Eberstadt points out that the practice of building Mietskasernen [rental barracks]— a building form that maximized owners’ profits and minimized inhabitants’ living space—did not start in the crowded inner city where land was valuable and move outward, as one might expect under normal laws of supply and demand. Rather, he observes, it began on land that was open, not crowded, and that was valued much less than land in the city. This land was given an artificially inflated value, necessitating the construction of Mietskasernen to regain one’s investment.32 (Mietskasernen will be described in greater detail later in this chapter.) In order to recognize the significance of building practices not determined by supply and demand, it is helpful to understand Eberstadt’s observations on speculative real estate transactions and his distinction between trade speculation and value speculation. In trade speculation he sees entrepreneurs who produce or trade goods for a market rather than for a known clientele; in value speculation he finds a business intention that desires to make a profit solely on changes in value and price—that is, a business intention that is freed, conceptually or actually, from both the production and the use of economic goods. Eberstadt argues that the real estate speculation of the late nineteenth century in Berlin was no longer trade speculation; instead, because many investors bought and sold land with no intention of building on it or using it, the real estate speculation of this era could only 31 Eberstadt, Handbuch des Wohnungswesens, 80–2. 32 Ibid., 80.

42  Out of Place be seen as value speculation.33 Eberstadt argues that this approach toward property, which was embedded in Prussian politics, hindered the development of land use and land prices according to free market economic principles and thus also exacerbated the difficult living situation in Berlin.34 Numerous real estate investment companies were created during the 1870s. They were often called Baugesellschaften [building societies], even though few of them actually built buildings. As of 1 June 1872, there were twenty-five of these building societies in Berlin, of which more than half had been founded in the previous year; by 1873 the number of these societies had increased to forty-five.35 These building societies were more interested in real estate speculation than in actual construction, as evidenced by an 1873 statement of Dr Engel, director of the royal Prussian statistical office: “All properties in a two mile radius around Berlin have passed into the hands of real estate speculators, without anyone thinking about building on this land for years.”36 Land was taxed at a lower rate if there were no buildings on it, so property would often change owners frequently and remain vacant for years before a building would be constructed on it. By that time, the price of the land had increased to such an extent that an owner who wanted to develop the property would have to construct a building that would produce as much rent as possible. In addition, even after a building had been erected, it would often change hands numerous times. After demonstrating how the homeowners would drive up the value of the house in order to drive up the rents, Eberstadt bemoans: “What a state we have reached! One acquires a Berlin building not to inhabit it; nor to invest capital in it—that belongs to the predecessors, the mortgage holders—no, but to live from the rental of the apartments.”37 The occurrence of this phenomenon is not surprising if we consider that the average profits from rental income generated by leasing property on a plot of land more than quadrupled between 1850 and 1890.38 The housing bubble burst in the early 1870s during the so-called Gründer-Krach [Founder’s Crash or Panic of 1873]. This led to a brief abatement of the housing crisis, as fewer apartments changed hands and rents did not climb as steeply for a short period of time. However, 33 Ibid., 70–1. 34 Ibid., 125. 35 Hegemann, Der Städtebau, 31. 36 Engel, cited in Hegemann, Der Städtebau, 31. 37 Eberstadt, “Berliner Communalreform,” 586. 38 Königlich Preußischer Minister der öffentlichen Arbeiten, Berlin und seine Eisenbahnen, 119.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  43 during the period from the Revolution of 1848 to the end of the century, this relative lull represents the only minor interruption in an otherwise constant increase in the price of housing and land. I highlight the real estate speculation during this era to point out that in Berlin at this time, place had been reduced to its economic value (and, furthermore, to its exchange value, not its use value). As a commodity to be exchanged, place could serve neither as a source of identity, nor as a place of refuge. The familial ties to land typical of the feudal era are no longer evident. Instead, a speculative mentality that views place exclusively in terms of its economic value dissociates family, obligation and connection from locale, thereby transforming place into space. This approach to land and housing as a commodity affected the shape of the city. Regular laws of supply and demand would cause a city to grow out in a radial form, where housing would be less expensive and less dense on the outskirts of the city or relatively far from main avenues of transportation, and denser and more expensive toward the center of the city or close to transportation. In Berlin this growth pattern was not followed, however, because speculation drove up prices everywhere. As a result, the city grew in clumps by “filling in the gaps” and building densely everywhere.39 Although most housing developers and real estate speculators of this period followed the patterns described above, displaying indifference to nearly everything but price and monetary value, there were exceptions to this rule. Most notable among them was Johann Anton Wilhelm von Carstenn-Lichterfelde, the founder of the villa quarter Wandsbeck in Hamburg and later the Berlin suburb Lichterfelde. In 1854, Carstenn traveled to London, where he studied the layout of the city; he then brought these principles to bear on his own developments in Germany. Housing reformer Julius Faucher praised Carstenn’s work in 1869: Through brisk activity in creating streets, lights with home-made gas, planting trees and plants, establishing connections with the city and the nearest train stations via omnibus, setting up a restaurant, etc., above all through the cheapness of the building sites, Carstenn has ensured that already in the second year (1869) enough building sites have been sold and in part built and inhabited, so that the price of the land and of all labor is covered, and that the large remainder, whose construction is now most certain, is net profit for him.40 39 Ibid., 59. See also Eberstadt, Handbuch des Wohnungswesens, 80. 40 Faucher, cited in Hegemann, Der Städtebau, 27–8.

44  Out of Place By demonstrating that an entrepreneur could build larger homes with more space, provide the necessary amenities (transportation, water, gas, etc.), and still make a handsome profit, Carstenn demonstrated that different ways of acquiring land and building residences were possible and profitable—that is, that profit did not have to be the exclusive motivation in urban development. Carstenn left his mark on the city of Berlin not only in the suburb of Lichterfelde, but also in the widening of the Kurfürstendamm and in its transformation into a major radial in the city, connecting the city to the Grünewald Park. In concerning himself with livability in addition to profits, however, Carstenn was more the exception than the rule. More typical of the real estate speculators was Heinrich Quistorp, the developer of the suburb Westend. Quistorp’s more idealistic co-founder, Werkmeister, died young, leaving Quistorp to finish on his own. Quistorp began with idealistic intentions and founded a cooperative, the Deutscher Zentralbauverein [German Central Building Association], that promised to build single-family houses in Westend. Yet after the real estate crash of the early 1870s, Quistorp declared the cooperative to be an “experiment on a humane principle” and transformed it into a publicly traded company, whose stocks soon became a prime focus for real estate speculation during this period and for which he founded a bank, the Vereinsbank Heinrich Quistorp [Heinrich Quistorp Association Bank]. The ideals of the cooperative had been forgotten; speculation, profit, and the stock market became the primary interests. When the stock market crashed, Westend was left with multiple Krachruinen [ruins of the crash], half-completed houses with no prospect of being finished.41 Although Quistorp was perhaps the most infamous of real estate speculators in Berlin during this era, there were far more like him than there were like Carstenn. The director of the Berlin statistical office at the time, Dr H. Schwabe, estimated that if all proposed building projects were completed, housing for more than nine million people would be created,42 certainly far more than necessary for a city with a population barely surpassing 2.5 million residents in 1900. Compared to the size of the overall population, real estate speculators formed a relatively small group. However, a similar mentality toward space as a commodity is evident in a majority of Berliners. Because only a small minority of the population owned property, the majority of Berliners rented their living spaces. This meant that place was not associated with ownership, but with impermanence and ephemerality. Dr Schwabe wrote in 1874: “One does not say too much when one claims, that in Berlin … apartments have become a 41 Ibid., 29–30. 42 Ibid., 31.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  45 commodity, and everyone feels the great implications of this fact in economic, physical and ethical terms.”43 Schwabe analyzes apartment occupancy statistics between 1861 and 1872 and observes that, during this time, close to 50 per cent of Berlin renters changed apartments each year. He also notes that residents moved out of their apartments less in correlation with rent increases and more in correlation with the supply of apartments.44 He thus concludes that the desire to change apartments has become a characteristic trait of a metropolitan population, rather than being something that is externally motivated, such as by rental increases. He comments: “The metropolis with its eternal change and its loose structure of society is taking from apartments the stable character that would belong to them under normal circumstances; it accustoms people gradually to moving, to that terrible change of quarters, by which on average 20,000 Berliner families drift around on furniture carts.”45 Schwabe links this “nomadic lifestyle” to poverty, finding a much higher frequency of moves in apartments with lower rents. The lower classes, like the wealthier classes, appear to have viewed their apartments not as permanent places of residence, but as commodities that could be exchanged. This manner of relating to place as a commodity, void of personal connection, finds its most striking manifestation in Schlafleute [sleepers], also called Schlafgänger and Schlafburschen. These individuals rented a bed or sleeping space in an already inhabited apartment for a certain number of hours each day. Their only connection to the apartment and its owners was the space they slept in and the rent they paid for it. Yet they figured significantly in the residential life of Berlin. In 1861 there were 43,320 sleepers in Berlin, or 8.3 per cent of the population. This number dipped slightly during the 1860s, but increased again with the housing crash so that in 1875 there were 78,698 sleepers (once again accounting for 8.3 per cent of the population). In both 1861 and 1875, sleepers lived in over 20 per cent of households in Berlin.46 These figures are even more striking when one realizes the statistics they don’t include: Chambre-Garnisten [renters of a room within an apartment] and subletters, as well as Burschen [servants, messengers, and young employees who often lived with their employer]. For this significant minority of the population, place could be conceived of only 43 H. Schwabe, “Das Nomadenthum in der Berliner Bevölkerung,” in Berliner Städtisches Jahrbuch für Volkswirtschaft und Statistik, vol. 1, ed. Dr H. Schwabe (Berlin: Leonhard Simion, 1874), 29–37, 29. 44 Ibid., 31. 45 Ibid., 32. 46 Statistics taken from Thienel, Städtewachstum im Industrialisierungsprozeß, 387–90.

46  Out of Place in economic terms—a rentable temporary location where one could sleep for a few hours a day, a location that would in theory leave as small an impact on the sleeper as would the sleeper on it.47 In other words, both owners and renters came to see place as a commodity, where its exchange value trumped its use value. The affective or identificatory qualities of place became secondary to its economic worth.

Place as Restricting/Confining

Although the concept of place suggests a binding or connection, the living situation in Berlin intensified this bond into outright restriction and confinement. To understand the following section, it is important to distinguish two faces of Berlin in the nineteenth century. In many regards, Berlin was a spacious, open city. Hobrecht’s plan ensured wide streets for promenading, as well as massive, but not high, buildings to impress the viewer. Monumental neoclassical constructions by the likes of Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Carl Ferdinand Langhans graced the city. These included Schinkel’s Neue Wache, Altes Museum and the Konzerthaus on the Gendarmenmarkt, as well as Langhans’ Brandenburg Gate. The residence of the emperor and numerous recreational palaces and imperial buildings contributed to the imposing presence of the city. If one were to promenade in Berlin, particularly in its center, one would gain the sense of a spacious, open and architecturally striking city. Yet these outward signs of space and order contrasted dramatically with the real living situations of most Berliners. In 1909 a group of Englishmen visited four German cities, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Wiesbaden. Their observations about these cities could apply just as well to Berlin in the second half of the nineteenth century. George Haw writes in the Daily News of 6 May 1909: One can well say, the Germans learned to build cities before they learned to build apartments. … Directly behind the wide streets that the city planners have created in German cities, one often finds enormous mass rental houses, desolate and overpopulated. The German worker lives here. He pays twice as much rent and twice as many taxes as his English counterpart. His house is often taller than city ordinances permit for the imposing front houses, which cut off his view of the tree-lined street. His windows look out onto barren and gloomy stone courtyards. We call them stone wells in England. And certainly the inhabitants of the lowest floors have the impression that they live at the bottom of a well shaft. 47 Eberstadt points to additional problems with having Schlafleute in a household, including numerous reported cases of child abuse. See Handbuch des Wohnungswesens, 167.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  47 We are dealing with a city where the city architects have created ample air, light and space for the main streets and the suburbs, but nothing worth speaking of for the rear houses in which the poorest workers live.48 Haw highlights a tension that was characteristic of Berlin and other industrial cities in the latter half of the nineteenth and well into the twentieth century. Wide streets and open spaces for commerce and the nobility stood in stark contrast to the cramped Mietskasernen in which a majority of the population lived. As mentioned above, such rental barracks had become a fixture in the Berlin cityscape during the latter half of the nineteenth century. To envision the Mietskaserne, one should imagine a large city block (200–400 meters in length and 150–250 meters deep). This is subdivided into smaller, narrow parcels that recede deeply (often 70–80 meters) into the interior of the block. Because of skyrocketing land and building prices, property owners see themselves obligated to cover the entire parcel of land with buildings that can be rented. As Dr Schwabe wrote at the time: Instead of producing more streets, one produces more flights of stairs; one piles level upon level, garnishes the houses with side, transverse- and back buildings, one builds over every piece of a garden, for the Mietskaserne will not tolerate anything green, and allows the courtyards between the colossal walls to shrink down to narrow, dark tubes, that live on a tense footing with fresh air and warm sunshine.49 On each plot of land, a front building faces the street and is connected to side and back buildings that have no direct access to the street but that reach back to the full depth of the plot of land. The five- and six-story front buildings abut buildings on adjoining plots, so that from the street the block of houses appears as a solid wall. The inner buildings are accessible only through the front building and are built around small inner courtyards. Fire regulations stipulated that the courtyards had to be large enough for a fire engine to turn around (approximately 5 by 5 meters), but there was no obligation to build them larger than this and no financial incentive for a landowner to do so. Every floor of the building, including the cellar and the attic when possible, was used for apartments. This meant that apartments facing 48 George Haw in “Ein Englisches Urteil über deutsches Wohnungswesen.” Cited (in German) in Eberstadt, Handbuch des Wohnungswesens, 310. 49 Cited in Königlich Preußischer Minister der öffentlichen Arbeiten, Berlin und seine Eisenbahnen, 67–8.

48  Out of Place the interior courtyard, particularly those on the lower floors, were not guaranteed adequate light or fresh air. Figures 1 and 2 show images of typical blocks built in this style:

Figure 1. View from Courthouse Tower, Neukölln, May 15, 1906.50

Figure 2: Tiergarten/Moabit, ca. 1920.51 50 51 50 Image courtesy of the Landesarchiv Berlin. “Blick vom Rathausturm Neukölln von der Mitte nach rechts oben verlaufend: Boddinstraße. Links oben: KindlBrauerei.” Photo Nr. 0246931: Landesarchiv Berlin/N.N. 51 Image courtesy of the Landesarchiv Berlin. “Bezirk Tiergarten/Moabit. Alt-Moabit (Straße mit Bäumen) mit Heilandskirche.” Photo Nr. II13122: Landesarchiv Berlin/N.N.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  49 One notes here not only the deep plots of land, but also how owners capitalize on these plots by building back and side houses. In 1861, 71.7 per cent of apartments in Berlin were in front buildings. By 1875, this proportion had dropped to 63.3 per cent, meaning both that 36.7 per cent of the apartments in Berlin did not look onto a street and that more than a third of the Berlin population lived in back and side buildings.52 And since not all apartments in the front buildings faced the street, one can assert that a significant portion, possibly even a majority, of Berliners lived in apartments that faced a small inner court. In other words, a significant percentage of Berliners lived in accommodations that lacked adequate space, privacy, light and air.53 The density of the buildings within these blocks also reflects the density of the living spaces inside them. The average number of inhabitants per apartment in Berlin actually decreased during the second half of the nineteenth century (statistics show an average of 5.5 inhabitants in 1841, 4.9 in 1863, 4.2 in 1883 and 3.6 in 1895).54 This decline might lead one to conclude that the housing situation improved during this period. But when one looks at the density of the population—that is, at how many inhabitants lived in each building, and how many apartments there were per building—and at what kind of apartments people lived in, a different conclusion is reached. Because the Mietskasernen spread rapidly as a common building form after 1862, one notes a dramatic increase in the number of inhabitants per building during this period. In 1850 Berlin had an average of 48 inhabitants per building; this average increased to 53 by 1870, and reached nearly 72 by 1890. Obviously this dramatic increase in the number of inhabitants per building, with a moderate decrease in the number of residents per apartment, meant that the average number of apartments per building increased during this period. Indeed, the number of apartments per building almost doubled in forty years, with an average of 9.2 in 1850, 12.8 in 1875 and 17.3 in 1890.55 The increase in the number of apartments was accompanied by a decrease in the average size of the apartments. Using statistics 52 Thienel, Städtewachstum im Industrialisierungsprozeß, 393–5. 53 Eberstadt, Handbuch des Wohnungswesens, 236–8. Eberstadt details some of the consequences of this way of living for the health of the inhabitants, including a correlation of tuberculosis deaths with the number of rooms in an apartment, as well as correlation of illnesses with the location of the apartment. He notes that inhabitants of cellar apartments suffer a high rate of illnesses. See Ibid., 168–70. 54 Data derived from Ursula Herzberg, Geschichte der Berliner Wohnungswirtschaft unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der gemeinnützigen (Klein-) Wohnungswirtschaft, PhD diss., Freie Universität Berlin, 1957, 40. 55 Königlich Preußischer Minister der öffentlichen Arbeiten, Berlin und seine Eisenbahnen, 119.

50  Out of Place pertaining to the number of heated rooms in an apartment as a measure of the apartment’s overall size, one can see that the number of small apartments—that is, those with one heated room—increased slightly between 1853 and 1875 (from 49.1 per cent of all apartments to 51.3 per cent), while the percentage of larger apartments—those with more than one heated room—decreased or remained constant.56 Similarly, the average number of square meters per inhabitant in Berlin decreased by about 33 per cent from 56.01 in 1880 to 37.48 in 1895.57 Berliners had less and less space to call their own. Compounding the difficulties for tenants, as mentioned earlier, rents climbed steadily during these periods, with only a short plateau in the 1870s.58 Up until 1887, the Mietskasernen were built primarily within the city limits, as Paul Voigt notes, but after a building code of 1887 that declared the Mietskasernen an appropriate form for the outlying areas, this form spread there rapidly, as well.59 The result was that, after 1887, Mietskasernen were established as a building form in the outlying areas, often replacing villas and farmhouses. Rent was driven up accordingly. For the most part severely lacking in light, air and space, living conditions in Berlin were anything but optimal. In the Berliner Mietskasernen, place had become restrictive and a danger to one’s privacy and health. As Eberstadt argues, this form of living makes people homeless. He states that the inhabitants of the Mietskasernen on the one hand lack the status that a guest in a hotel would command, and on the other hand lack the conviction inhabitants of military barracks might have. Instead, the residents of the Mietskasernen are made strangers in their own house for the benefit of real estate speculation.60 When one recognizes, in addition, that there were occasional severe apartment shortages, the situation appears even worse. In 1872, over 600 homeless families had to be housed in public facilities, and another 163 homeless families lived on the street, in trains and in tents.61 Many attribute the cause for this building style to the high land prices resulting from real estate speculation. Rudolph Eberstadt argues in 1892 against this approach: One says the high land prices in Berlin cause the construction of Mietskasernen. The opposite is true; only the assumption that 56 Thienel, Städtewachstum im Industrialisierungsprozeß, 393–5. 57 Königlich Preußischer Minister der öffentlichen Arbeiten, Berlin und seine Eisenbahnen, 111. 58 Ibid., 114. 59 Voigt, Grundrente und Wohnungsfrage, 126–7. 60 Eberstadt, Handbuch des Wohnungswesens, 236. 61 Königlich Preußischer Minister der öffentlichen Arbeiten, Berlin und seine Eisenbahnen, 66.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  51 one would build Mietskasernen has driven current prices to their dizzying heights. Neither location, nor need, nor natural factors determine the price of a plot of land in Berlin; the pressure to overbuild it fivefold forms the general determiner of value.62 Eberstadt sees the building of Mietskasernen not as a product but as the primary cause of the real estate situation in Berlin. He thus places the blame for the Mietskasernen on Hobrecht’s city plan of 1862, implying that its deep city blocks allowed for nothing other than huge buildings that stretched deep into the inner property. In other words, the city plan of 1862 privileged public city spaces at the expense of individual living spaces. I highlight this argument because it indicates the fundamental significance of one’s understanding of place. Eberstadt’s argument suggests that the Mietskasernen were built neither by accident nor by necessity, but as a natural outgrowth of a one-sided relationship to place. Eberstadt recognized that a changed relationship to place would produce changed structures for experiencing place. In Hobrecht’s attempts to create open public spaces and impressive streets, squares and plazas, he privileged the commercial and political functions of space over the individual experience of dwelling in a space. The result is that as soon as Berliners left the large city streets, they were confined by cramped and restrictive spaces. On a communal level, there was a great deal of space, but on an individual level, space had become a source of restriction, an obstacle to overcome. Space could be regarded as an obstacle in another aspect of urban life as well, namely with respect to transportation and mobility within the city. Stated simply, the demands of a modern industrial society require efficient transportation between residence and workplace. Yet Berlin’s slow response to this need served as a constant reminder to the populace that space had become an obstacle to overcome and that distance was confining when one lacked the means to traverse it. Industrialization heightened the need for efficient and affordable transportation. In Berlin, the development of public transportation was relatively slow compared to that in European counterparts, and the transportation itself was inefficient. In 1871, Berlin began building a Pferdebahn [horse-tram], horsedrawn buses that conveyed people around the city, and it relied on this system for the rest of the century, continuing to expand until well into the 1890s. Whereas cities in the United States had begun using streetcars and subways, and London had a complex of horse-drawn and motorpowered trams, Berlin still relied on the slower and less comfortable Pferdebahn. Neither the city council nor the government did much to 62 Eberstadt, “Berliner Communalreform,” 590.

52  Out of Place improve local transportation initially, and for the first years any success in transportation was the result of private initiatives. The failure to implement speedier and more efficient methods of public transportation is even more astounding when one recognizes that Berlin was a significant center of the Prussian train network: by 1846 there were five main train lines that ended in Berlin, each fully independent of the other (this number increased to eight by the 1870s).63 The train lines ended at different points on the outside of the city; these points were connected to each other by a primitive set of tracks in 1851,64 available only for commercial transport. The tracks proved to be a great hindrance to traffic within the city (some trains stopping for a quarter of an hour at a time at the busy Potsdamer Platz, because of limited space in train stations), so that a new connecting Ring on the city outskirts was proposed in the late 1860s. Its first segment opened in 1871, and the entire ring was finally completed in 1877.65 Freeing the inner-city streets from this connecting train would have helped facilitate transportation in the city if the land had been used for additional streets. Instead, it was built upon immediately. Local public transportation, up until the end of the 1870s, was severely lacking and relatively expensive. Only trains on the Ring had low fares, and all trains traveled only infrequently. In the late 1870s and early 1880s, the state began to take control of the train lines, which led to more stations for local traffic and better possibilities for public transportation.66 The first Stadtbahn [city train] was opened in 1882,67 and although this was an important step and increased transportation availability, it alone was not adequate to meet the demand for transportation. As Rudolph Eberstadt states in 1892: “Of the existing [means of transportation], the single line of the Stadtbahn cannot alone suffice; the traffic in the city is administered primarily by horse trains and omnibuses that are recognized to be fully inadequate in both operation and speed.”68 Whereas cramped quarters and lack of light and ventilation illustrate the restrictive and confining experience of dwelling—that is, of occupying space in Berlin in the late nineteenth century—the inefficiency and inadequacy of an increasingly necessary transportation system emphasize the extent to which space—in this case, the distance from an inhabitant’s residence to his destination—was an obstacle and 63 Königlich Preußischer Minister der öffentlichen Arbeiten, Berlin und seine Eisenbahnen, 51. 64 Ibid., 53. 65 Ibid., 64, 310. 66 Voigt, Grundrente und Wohnungsfrage, 162–3. 67 Königlich Preußischer Minister der öffentlichen Arbeiten, Berlin und seine Eisenbahnen, 319. 68 Eberstadt, “Berliner Communalreform,” 605.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  53 a hindrance, adding to the sense of being confined and thus to the frustrations and fragmentation of modern living.

Place as Dissociated from Identity and Transportable69

Most of this chapter highlights changes to the experience of place in Berlin that were, in varying degrees, representative of changes affecting German lands during this era, specifically urbanization and industrialization. There is one significant change to the experience of place in nineteenth-century German lands, however, that is more difficult to localize, but that merits discussion in this context. It is difficult to localize precisely because it involves dissociating a specific locale from identity. Stated simply, for a variety of reasons, Germans found that the definition of Germanness did not depend on the geographical boundaries of the German lands or their connection to a specific locale. Instead, the experience of Germanness became associated with abstract notions such as nation, culture, race and a Volk; these abstract concepts allowed Germans to assert nation and a belonging to that nation without a definitive connection to place. Place became disconnected from identity and even transportable. As mentioned in the introduction, the moment that best embodies this tendency is Germany’s unification as a nation in 1871. Benedict Anderson points out that a nation “is an imagined political community”70—that is, it does not necessarily depend on borders or geography. In fact the people in that community may not even know each other, “yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion.”71 Thus, in establishing a nation, Germans were not simply establishing a set of borders and laying claim to a geographical area. Although that may have been part of the process, more significant was the formalization of an idea that united a wide variety of Germans from a wide variety of places. This had more to do with concepts and less to do with connection to place, as evidenced by the location of German unification: it was formalized in Versailles, outside the borders of the nation being unified. The newly created German state was less significant as an actual place than as an abstract concept that could be separated from a specific location. The nationalistic tendencies that led to and followed unification can thus be read as manifestations of the displaced effect of place. When we consider Edward Casey’s definition

69 Special thanks to Laura Caton, who did historical and secondary research for this section. 70 Benedict R. O’G. Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (New York: Verso, 2006), 6. 71 Ibid.

54  Out of Place of place as that which “takes place between body and landscape”72— that is, a decidedly local phenomenon—we see how the energy that might have been invested in the relationship to a locale, a place for an individual or family, was ultimately redirected towards larger concepts and groupings such as “nation” and “culture” that transcended both landscape and body. German lands in the nineteenth century were characterized by a shift from identity bound to the specific locale of place and towards identity associated with abstract notions. In the remainder of this section I focus on two interrelated manifestations of this shift: the definition of German identity and the rise in emigration, including colonization. The definition of German identity in non-geographical terms began well before the nineteenth century, perhaps to compensate for the lack of national unity in German lands in comparison to their European neighbors. For example, in the early 1790s, Christoph Meiners, a cultural historian and professor in Göttingen, attempted to distinguish the German race from other races. Susanne Zantop credits him with “the invention of the German race,”73 for “by basing his definition of Germanness on a few physical traits, Meiners establishes an exclusive, racialized national identity.”74 Meiners attempts to define Germanness not primarily in terms of geography or locale, but in terms of genetics (i.e. Germans were white men with beards). Legal definitions of citizenship in the nineteenth century used similar conceptions of Germanness, although with different aims. As Howard Sargent writes: “Early forms of state citizenship in Germany tended to employ the principle of descent as the key basis of citizenship not as a biological definition of Germanness but simply to exclude alien immigrants, many of whom were ethnically German.”75 That is, these citizenship laws used descent as a pretense to discriminate against lower class immigrants. The 1842 Prussian Citizenship law eliminated extended residence in Prussia as a means to citizenship, and even revoked the citizenship of Prussians who emigrated.76 Here, notions of identity and citizenship have a complex relationship to place: the 1842 law appeals to descent, a concept related more to biology than place, 72 Edward Casey, Getting Back into Place. Toward a Renewed Understanding of the Place-World (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993), 29. 73 Susanne Zantop, Colonial Fantasies: Conquest, Family, and Nation in Precolonial Germany, 1770–1870 (Durham: Duke, 1997), 87. 74 Ibid., 89. 75 Howard Sargent, “Diasporic Citizens. Germans Abroad in the Framing of German Citizenship Law,” in The Heimat Abroad: The Boundaries of Germanness, (eds) Krista O’Donnell, Renate Bridenthal and Nancy Reagin, 17–39 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2005), 21. 76 Ibid., 21.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  55 but does so in order to designate an “other” who is out of place and to make it difficult for alien or lower-class immigrants to establish a legal relationship to a specific place. At the same time, it also appeals to geography in excluding emigrants from citizenship, even those who may have had hereditary claim on citizenship. Class assumed greater significance than connection to a locale. In the light of increased emigration later in the century, however, this definition was modified. Although the 1842 law stated that a decade of uninterrupted residence outside Prussia would lead to loss of citizenship, an 1870 citizenship law declared that a decade of uninterrupted residence outside Germany would not result in loss of citizenship if the citizen registered with a local consulate.77 The result was that German citizenship was defined more in terms of duties and privilege—i.e. the privilege of citizenship was granted if citizens performed the duty of registering—and less in terms of residence or locale. Although this would lead to later laws that would connect citizenship to military service, it asserted that something other than residence was most important in determining citizenship. As emigration increased after 1870, German patriotic and colonial societies also pursued more expansive definitions of Germanness, ones that would include Germans living abroad. For example, Roger Chickering describes the development of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Sprachverein [General German Language Association, founded 1886], a group dedicated to preserving the integrity and beauty of the German language. While the Language Association’s mission was not explicitly political, Chickering asserts that its work had political impact: “the campaign of the Language Association had far-reaching political implications, for this campaign was also underlain by a concept of the German nation that was based on language and hence transcended the frontiers of the Reich.”78 Similar efforts arose to ground German identity not only in language, but also in culture, forming the idea of a Kulturnation [cultural nation]. Although such endeavors might not have changed citizenship laws directly, they changed popular notions of citizenship “from a ‘transnational’ model, designed to discriminate on the basis of class rather than nationality, to an ‘ethnocultural’ definition of the German nation, which defined citizenship as membership in the Volk.”79 As the nineteenth century progressed, German identity and specifically German citizenship became ever more dissociated from a

77 Ibid., 23. 78 Roger Chickering, We Men Who Feel Most German: A Cultural Study of the Pan-German League, 1886–1914 (Boston: George Allen & Unwin, 1984), 36–7. 79 Sargent, “Diasporic Citizens,” 25.

56  Out of Place specific locale and increasingly associated with abstract concepts such as nation, people and culture. As mentioned above, one of the most significant pressures leading to these changes was German emigration abroad, including colonization. There was a small but steady stream of emigrants from German lands in the early nineteenth century, averaging 1–5 per cent of the population annually. After the revolution of 1848, however, emigration spiked and in the early 1850s, particularly in 1850–54, nearly 9 per cent of Germany’s population emigrated annually. There were smaller spikes in emigration again in 1866–73 and the early 1880s, with spikes of about 4 per cent of the population emigrating.80 There were multiple factors that contributed to this. Peter Marschalck divides them into “push” and “pull” factors—that is, factors within Germany that would push portions of the population overseas and factors outside Germany that would attract emigrants. These included religion (the desire for more religious freedom, as offered in the United States), politics (particularly after the revolution of 1848), economic circumstances (emigration figures correlate strongly to unemployment rates in the latter half of the century), and social concerns (such as population increase).81 Marschalck summarizes the impact of these forces in the latter portion of the nineteenth century by stating: “And so in many ways and in more or less all parts of Germany, people’s ties to their homeland were dissolved.”82 Increasing emigration abroad forced definitions of German identity to transform. This is evident in a term that arose in the nineteenth century. As Bradley Naranch notes, “in the postrevolutionary decades, the term Auslandsdeutsche [foreign German] increasingly replaced the older term Auswanderer [emigrant].”83 The term “evoked memories of the rupture, discontinuity and separation between Heimat and abroad, even while endorsing a general incorruptibility and spiritual unity of the German people as an ethnically homogenous population.”84 As a result, Germans believed that although emigrants had removed themselves from their homeland, they could nonetheless spread the positive influence of German culture (i.e. “mental dexterity, moral solidity and masculine-coded vitality”) to “improve the moral and 80 Peter Marschalck, Deutsche Überseewanderung im 19. Jahrhundert: Ein Beitrag zur soziologischen Theorie der Bevölkerung (Stuttgart: Klett, 1973), 44. 81 Ibid., 71. 82 Ibid., 68. 83 Bradley D. Naranch, “Inventing the Auslandsdeutsche: Emigration, Colonial Fantasy, and German National Identity, 1848–71,” in Germany’s Colonial Pasts, (eds) Eric Ames, Marcia Klotz and Lora Wildenthal, 21–40 (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska, 2005), 26. 84 Ibid., 26.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  57 cultural fiber” of other cultures and to “militate against the ‘feminizing‘ impact of the French emigrants and stultifying influence of the Irish and other racially inferior populations” in the United States and other emigrant destinations.85 Naranch connects this to Susanne Zantop’s work on colonial fantasies in Germany, seeing these approaches as manifestations of colonialist thinking in German lands well before official German colonialism.86 Naranch’s work on Auslandsdeutsche points to German efforts to rethink national identity without binding it to place. For Germans in the nineteenth century, place could be transcended; it could also be transported. In his chapter on German diasporic communities in America, Thomas Lekan highlights a pervasive trope of German emigrants to America, namely to seek out their landscape of origin. He describes their tendency to settle in woodland areas and then asserts: “Germany’s status as a ‘nation of provincials,’ in which most citizens envisioned their country as a decentralized mosaic of regional landscapes, also shaped the experience of Germans abroad and enabled them to imagine themselves as part of a Kulturnation that spanned the seas.”87 Lekan asserts that this was not only a passive search for similarity, but that German diasporic communities believed “that they had physically inscribed a particular cultural landscape into their new Heimat.”88 This led to the formation of German cultural associations abroad and “thus maintained the contours of an imagined local community spanning the Atlantic.”89 Place, one’s connection to one’s homeland, had become transportable and abstractable. German emigrants could find Heimat away from home, for they could belong to a larger imagined community of Germanness, even when separated by the Atlantic Ocean. The sense that German culture could encompass foreign lands was a colonialist type of thinking, even though Germany did not have colonies until well after unification in 1871, long after its European counterparts had acquired multiple lands across the globe. Yet when Germany colonized, it did so rapidly: in the span of two years (1884–85), Germany acquired colonial holdings in South West Africa, Togoland and the Cameroons, East Africa, New Guinea, and smaller islands in the Pacific. In 1898 it would also acquire a 99-year lease on 85 Ibid., 28. 86 Ibid., 21, 30. 87 Thomas Lekan, “German Landscape: Local Promotion of the Heimat Abroad,” in The Heimat Abroad: The Boundaries of Germanness, Krista O’Donnell, Renate Bridenthal and Nancy Reagin (eds), 141–66 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2005), 141. 88 Ibid., 142. 89 Ibid., 149.

58  Out of Place the Chinese port of Kiao Chow.90 At the same time, colonial societies sprung up in Germany, supporting the cause of colonial expansion. In 1882, the Deutscher Kolonialverein [German Colonial Association] was founded, followed in 1884 by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Kolonisation [Society for German Colonization]. And in 1887, the two societies merged to form the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft [German Colonial Society], bringing together over 15,000 members.91 These societies— which, along with other organizations, focused on German language and culture—“defined the German nation in the more comprehensive terms of language, culture, ethnicity and empire,” rather than in terms of a political nation restricted to geographical borders.92 Clearly, colonialism in Germany reinforced conceptions of Germanness that could be dissociated from place. Rather than discuss colonialism in detail, I refer here to the important work already done on German colonialism, specifically on German colonialism in the imaginary realm, by Susanne Zantop in her 1997 monograph, Colonial Fantasies.93 Although Germany did not have colonies until the late nineteenth century, Zantop demonstrates that Bismarck’s colonialism “was preceded by a long history of smallscale colonial ventures, large-scale colonialist theories, and a myriad of colonial fantasies, from the sixteenth century onward.”94 These colonial fantasies were important because they “provided an arena for creating an imaginary community and constructing a national identity. … The ‘colony’ thus became the blank space for a new beginning, for the creation of an imaginary national self, freed from history and convention.”95 Beginning well before the nineteenth century and continuing through it, imagined colonies became an imaginary place for creating a German identity, a place distinct from the German locale. The reason for this may indeed have been compensatory, as Zantop argues—that is, covering up or compensating for “lack of national 90 See W. O. Henderson, The German Colonial Empire: 1884–1919 (London: Frank Cass, 1993) for more details about Germany’s colonial endeavors. 91 Chickering, We Men Who Feel Most German, 35–6. 92 Ibid., 40. 93 In addition to Zantop’s study, see also Eric Ames, Marcia Klotz and Lora Wildenthal, (eds), Germany’s Colonial Pasts (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska, 2005); Arthur J. Knoll and Lewis H. Gann, (eds), Germans in the Tropics: Essays in German Colonial History (New York: Greenwood, 1987); Sara Friedrichsmeyer, Sara Lennox and Susanne Zantop, (eds), The Imperialist Imagination: German Colonialism and Its Legacy (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1998); and W. O. Henderson, The German Colonial Empire: 1884–1919 (London: Frank Cass, 1993). 94 Zantop, Colonial Fantasies, 1. 95 Ibid., 7.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  59 territory, unity, identity.”96 In engaging in such fantasies, though, Germans not only compensated for national lack, but they also bound their identity to places distinct from their own locale. The German longing for colonies, specifically the fantasy of colonies, is yet another manifestation of a tendency to dissociate identity from the particular place in which Germans resided. Real places only reminded Germans of their impotence, whereas colonial fantasies gave them a sense of “potency.”97 German identity was to be found not in place, but in separation from place.

Place as a Means of Social and Political Power

Whereas imagined places offered power to the disenfranchised, real places were seen as a tool of the powerful in social and political realms. Specifically, in the urban environment, individuals and institutions attempted to shape and control space in an effort to assert this power. Since the early days of industrialization in Berlin, space, particularly living space, was seen as a political issue. Bettina von Arnim’s book, Dies Buch gehört dem König [This Book Belongs to the King] of 1843 includes an appendix in which a young Swiss journalist, Heinrich Grunholzer (1819– 73), gives an account of his visits to several houses in the Voigtland.98 The Voigtland was a slum-like area to the north of Berlin’s Hamburger city gate, where the residents lived in Mietskasernen (although they weren’t yet referred to as such). Grunholzer begins his protocol with an impassioned plea to the nobility for political involvement in this housing problem, specifically in housing the poor: If that nobility should make you noble, which a burgher purchases with usurious joy in a noble estate, in scorn of his family origin; then build—instead of luxury parks and gardens with a temple and a grotto and dancing waters—facilities for the homeless, and make your summer pleasure, the English cottage, into a German hut, in which German poverty can recover; distribute your English lawns for fields for potatoes and bread; then you are a nobleman, who would contradict it?99 Grunholzer highlights the connection between politics, economics and the experience of place and he intimates that the miserable living 96 Ibid., 99. 97 Ibid. 98 A facsimile of this now rare report is reprinted in Johann Friedrich Geist and Klaus Kürvers, Das Berliner Mietshaus. 1740–1862 (München: Prestel-Verlag, 1980), 9–25. 99 “Grunholzer Protokolle” 536, cited in Das Berliner Mietshaus, vol. 1, 10.

60  Out of Place conditions of the working class are fodder for political revolution. He appeals to the bourgeoisie and the nobility to demonstrate their nobility by creating housing for the lowest classes. Yet the motivations to address unhealthy living conditions were not based only on ideals of nobility. After the Revolution of 1848, there was a growing awareness, particularly among the bourgeoisie, that inadequate living conditions might cause revolution. In broader terms, there was a growing awareness that by controlling individuals’ relationship to place, one might control their behavior within the state. As a result, the discourse of place during this era often takes on political overtones or is framed in terms of social and political concerns. This will not surprise those familiar with the system of political representation in both Berlin and Prussia at this time, for this system disenfranchised a large majority of the population, often because they did not have a fixed relationship to place. Up until 1850, Berlin distinguished between citizens and Schutzverwandten [non-citizens with citizens’ rights]: the former had a business or owned property in the city and the latter did not. Schutzverwandten were subject to the city’s authority and jurisdiction but had no political voice in city affairs. This distinction was made in the hope of motivating more people to join the middle class, but statistics show that the percentage of citizens remained more or less constant in the first half of the nineteenth century.100 One’s access to political power, to the rights of citizenship, was thus defined, in part, by one’s relationship to place. Only property owners could be citizens. This system was changed in 1850. In the new system all inhabitants who had lived in the city for at least a year and who had a certain income level were considered citizens.101 This apparent empowerment was meaningless, however, in the light of the Dreiklassenwahlsystem [three-class voting system], introduced in 1849. This system divided the voting populace into three groups according to the state taxes they paid; the aggregate amount of each group’s paid taxes, including property taxes, was equivalent, but the total number of taxpayers in each group was not. This meant that two of the three groups had a relatively small number of wealthy and middle-class voters, most of whom owned buildings in the city, and the remaining group had a large number of poor voters. Since each of these three groups was allowed to elect the same number of representatives to the city council, and also the same number of representatives to parliament, this led to a political disenfranchisement of the lowest class. An additional law that stipulated that at least half of all elected representatives had to be homeowners compounded this disenfranchisement. This ensured that 100 Clauswitz, Die Städteordnung, 197. 101 Ibid., 197.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  61 homeowners and the upper class would have more power in politics than did the more numerous lower classes of renters.102 If we consider that the proportion of apartments rented rather than owned in Berlin increased from about 70 per cent of all apartments in 1800 to about 95 per cent in 1871,103 we recognize that a vast majority of the population was denied a political voice. On 18 April 1866, the Kreuzzeitung, a conservative Berlin newspaper, criticized this system: “This electoral system is nothing but the representation of financial capital with the deceptive appearance that it would represent the entire people. It is the creation of a modern financial aristocracy, which pulls everything that is higher and nobler, whether above or below, ever increasingly down into the dust of the most vulgar materialism.”104 The effects of this system on the political activity of the city inhabitants were noticeable. Before 1850, between 60 and 70 per cent of all citizens participated regularly in city elections. Yet after the redefinition of citizenship and the institution of the three-class voting system, participation levels dropped dramatically. Voting participation dropped from 76 per cent in 1850 to 40.6 per cent in 1852. And it dropped again after an additional reorganization of state authority in 1853, to 32 per cent in 1854, and remained low for decades.105 Clearly, a large majority felt that they had no voice or that their voice would not make a difference in the affairs of the city. Nonetheless, even with the political system rigged to benefit owners and to disenfranchise renters, some middle-class inhabitants were uneasy about the living conditions of the lower classes. A group of housing and city reformers soon sprang up in the 1840s and 1850s and attempted to improve existing conditions.106 The debates around housing reform were conducted more in ideological, often religious, terms—that is, in terms of what the upper classes felt the 102 Herzberg, Geschichte der Berliner Wohnungswirtschaft, 15. 103 Jutta Wietog, “Berliner Wohnverhältnisse bis zur Gründung des Kaiserreiches,” in Berlin: Von der Residenzsstadt zur Industriemetropole. Band I. Aufätze: Die Entwicklung der Industriestadt Berlin: das Beispiel Moabit, ed. Karl Schwarz, 273–8 (Berlin: Gesellschaft von Freunden der Technischen Universität Berlin in Verbindung mit der Universitätsbibliothek der TUB/Abt. Publikationen, 1981), 273. 104 Cited in Hegemann, Der Städtebau, 15–16. 105 Clauswitz, Die Städteordnung, 197. 106 For a detailed introduction to these reform movements, see Geist and Kürvers, Das Berliner Mietshaus, specifically chapter 12, “Die Familienhäuser—Teil IV. Die Entwicklung einer Sozialpolitik zur Beherrschung des Proletariats,” 370–463. For additional treatment of some of the reformers, see Werner Hegemann, ed., Der Städtebau. Nach den Ergebnissen der allgemeinen Städtebau-Ausstellung in Berlin nebst einem Anhang: Die Internationale Städtebau-Ausstellung in Düsseldorf, Erster Teil [von zwei] (Berlin: Ernst Wasmuth, 1911).

62  Out of Place workers needed for their social, moral and political well-being—than in pragmatic terms—that is, in terms of the actual material needs of the workers.107 Foremost among these reformers was Victor Aimé Huber, a professor of literature in Berlin who visited England at roughly the same time as Friedrich Engels and who recognized the superiority of many aspects of the English model for workers’ housing. Following the Revolution of 1848, Huber wrote about Berlin’s growing proletariat: The entire future depends on molding this chaotic mass of forces, whose privation and resentment brings forth upheaval from which the most frightful dangers of the future threaten, into an ordered, organic constituent of the bourgeois order. That this element of a social group be molded into an actual social group … the fourth estate. This can only happen however on the basis of property.108 Huber felt that the political threat of the “chaotic” masses could be dampened only through property ownership. In this regard, he set the tone for housing reformers for decades to come, turning to the English model of single-family homes and villas as the way to solve the problem of the Mietskasernen. To achieve housing reform, Huber’s earlier writings championed “inner colonization,” the idea of making smaller worker colonies with individual dwelling units on the periphery of a metropolis, with efficient transportation to one’s workplace. Later, at the end of the 1840s, Huber joined with Carl Wilhelm Hoffmann (an architect in the civil service) and others and—with the support of the then-prince of Prussia (later Kaiser Wilhelm I)—founded the Berliner gemeinnützige Baugesellschaft [Berlin Non-Profit Building Society]. This organization, to be funded by private and state donors, as well as by donations from employers, would challenge current building practices by offering affordable apartments with better living conditions. By this time, however, Huber had recognized that his idea of inner colonization was not feasible given the real estate prices in Berlin, so he instead focused on constructing buildings in the city that contained apartments with adequate light and air. The aim of the Building Society was 107 Gerhard Fehl, “Englischer Arbeiterwohnungsbau und Berliner Baublockreform um 1890,” in Berlin: Von der Residenzsstadt zur Industriemetropole. Band I. Aufätze: Die Entwicklung der Industriestadt Berlin: das Beispiel Moabit, ed. Karl Schwarz, 279–303 (Berlin: Gesellschaft von Freunden der Technischen Universität Berlin in Verbindung mit der Universitätsbibliothek der TUB/Abt. Publikationen, 1981), 280. 108 V. A. Huber, in the journal Concordia, cited in Fehl, “Englischer Arbeiterwohnungsbau und Berliner Baublockreform,” 281–2.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  63 “the transformation of propertyless workers into working property owners.”109 The Building Society did this by offering the inhabitants of their buildings a chance at ownership and self-governance within the household administration. After thirty years of renting, the renter would have claim of ownership to a part of the building. The Berlin Non-Profit Building Society was thus a social experiment, an effort to change the living conditions within Berlin. At its deepest level, this experiment was not solely a selfless effort to improve others’ living spaces: it was, in addition, an attempt at social control, an effort to encourage “moral” behavior in the lower classes by means of housing. Huber, and with him the crown prince of Prussia, saw this as the only means to redirect the dangerous energies of the dissatisfied lower classes.110 In Foucauldian terms, one sees here a form of biopower or biopolitics, an attempt to exert political control in the daily life of the individual citizen.111 The Building Society did not build for the lowest of the lower class; instead, its target was the upper end of the lower class, a group it hoped to infuse with bourgeois values.112 Furthermore, it selected the inhabitants and constructed the buildings in such a manner as to encourage “moral” behavior. Those who could not maintain a lifestyle acceptable to the Building Society lost both their right to prospective ownership as well as their apartment in the building, as evident in the following clause from a typical rental agreement for the building: §.12. In the following cases, the contract will be repealed and the tenant considered obligated, with the loss of all his rights, to vacate the apartment immediately without being released from the obligation of paying the rent for the current quarter: 1) If the tenant or a family member residing with him, in the judgment of the House Superintendent and the Board, leads an immoral or dissolute life, or deals dishonorably or dishonestly in his business, or conducts interactions in his apartment with disreputable or immoral persons, or treats members of the household intolerably, or otherwise makes himself guilty of conduct that reduces his esteem in the eyes of his fellow citizens.113

109 See Johann Friedrich Geist and Klaus Kürvers, Das Berliner Mietshaus, 451. 110 Hegemann, Der Städtebau, 11–12. 111 For more on Foucault’s notion of biopolitics, see The Birth of Biopolitics. Lectures at the Collège de France. 1978–1979, ed. Michel Senellart, trans. Graham Burchell (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). 112 Herzberg, Geschichte der Berliner Wohnungswirtschaft, 29–30 113 Cited from Carl Wilhelm Hoffman (Die Wohnungen der Arbeiter und Armen) in Geist and Kürvers, Das Berliner Mietshaus, 455.

64  Out of Place The pedagogical motivation behind this stipulation is evident in the words of Carl Wilhelm Hoffmann, Huber’s close associate in founding the Building Society: Without a doubt the immediate environment with its steady and constant impressions will inevitably and everywhere have the greatest pedagogical impact. The adage “Clothes make the man” is to be understood not merely ironically from its effect on others, it is also to be understood pedagogically by the influence on the person of the wearer. I need only in passing to be reminded of the uniform, of the military uniform, for example and its disciplinary influence … . And what, I ask, is even closer to people than their clothes and less subject to change than the apartment, the house, that with its four walls, its doors and windows, with its view of a distance and its gable protrudes into all conditions of life, into all moods, that binds itself inseparably to each bit of expanded knowledge, to each idea, to each memory and in the end still remains bound to the earliest youthful experiences in the memory of the old man?114 Clearly, Hoffmann, Huber and the other members of the Building Society viewed place as a powerful pedagogical tool, a means to shape the lower classes into God-fearing, socially responsible property owners who would be unlikely to revolt. The pedagogy of place has a lasting impact on knowledge, experience and memory, and place viewed in this way provides the occupant with continuity to his past and cohesion of his various moods and experiences in an era when continuity and cohesion had become increasingly elusive. This idealistic endeavor failed in a short period of time due to lack of external financial support. Despite the prince’s efforts to recruit funds, too few people saw it as lucrative and too few saw the promised social good as worth an investment. While the capital required to start the project was estimated to be 1 million Talers, only 211,000 Talers were raised. The Building Society was able to build 209 apartments, which housed 1,168 people, but soon it had to close down for financial reasons.115 In 1851, Huber left Berlin and the Building Society. One could argue that the Building Society’s failure was not due solely to financial miscalculation, for with its objective of teaching bourgeois values to the lower class, its failure may also be attributed to its disregard for ascertaining the lower classes’ needs and desires. Stated simply, the Building Society dictated wants and needs to the 114 Ibid. 115 Hegemann, Der Städtebau, 13.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  65 working class rather than learn what the working class actually wanted and needed. And so although demand for apartments was high in Berlin, demand for the apartments offered by the Building Society was not always so, despite their better quality. The first buildings filled quickly, but with subsequent buildings the society had to lower the minimum rent (the minimum amount needed for a house to stay financially viable), because not enough workers expressed interest.116 Rent was slightly higher for apartments built by the Building Society, and renters did not see improved living conditions and potential ownership as enough to offset that. In addition, the necessary mobility of the working population made a thirty-year commitment to one place quite unrealistic. Again, this was a proposal made from a bourgeois perspective, not from a perspective that recognized the needs of the lower classes. The discrepancy between what the proposal encouraged and what the renters actually wanted is perhaps most clearly illustrated by the fact that those few renters who managed to stay thirty years in their residence opted, without exception, not for the ownership but for the cash value of their ownership.117 This indicates that, for at least some working class inhabitants of Berlin, the continuity and cohesion afforded by having a stable place for many decades was not as valuable as liquid cash assets. Unlike the middle-class people (with the exception of real estate speculators) who seemed to want to resist the commodification of place and property and hold on to the old order, the working-class people, who had already been uprooted from their original homes, actually embraced further displacement, at least when it was a matter of choice rather than of necessity. Thus the working class had a very different relationship to place and property than did the middle class. As numerous scholars have recognized, one reason that the housing situation in Berlin became so dire is because residents allowed it to. There were occasional renter revolts,118 but on the whole, these had limited impact. Many contemporary scholars attribute the residents’ willingness to subject themselves to wretched living conditions to their displaced nature: a majority of the lower-class residents were immigrants, usually from rural, agricultural areas where living conditions would have been even worse. This may have been true, but the wretched conditions that many had to tolerate were also a product of a mindset that viewed space as a commodity instead of in human terms,

116 Herzberg, Geschichte der Berliner Wohnungswirtschaft, 32. 117 Ibid. 118 Some in the early 1860s even involved fighting on the barricades. See Hegemann, Das steinerne Berlin, 331.

66  Out of Place and that drove rents to such heights that inhabitants were unable to conceive of living in any other conditions. The collapse of the Berlin Non-Profit Building Society had not marked the end of attempts at housing reform and city planning reform, however. These continued, usually without response from the city council, well into the beginning of the twentieth century. I discuss three more of these simply to point out how each approach—however enlightened and advanced it may have been, however correct in regards to what have become basic principles for city planning and housing—was also an effort to exert social or political control, to infuse bourgeois values into the working population and, most importantly, to dampen any desires for political or social revolution. Julius Faucher, who had visited the slums in London with his close friend Theodor Fontane, was politically active in asserting housing and city reform in Berlin. Faucher was motivated by renter revolts in large cities across Europe, including Berlin, that occurred in the late 1850s and early 1860s; by firsthand experience with living conditions in cities such as London, Berlin and Vienna; and by the appearance, beginning in 1861, of Berlin census results, which put living conditions in Berlin in stark and easily quantifiable terms.119 When Faucher saw statistics showing that more than half of the apartments in Berlin had no more than one heated room and that not quite half the population lived in rooms occupied on average by 4.3 people, he wrote: “Is this the normal Lebensform [way of life] or not? And if it is not, what should we think of an exception that covers half the cases? And if it is, should it remain so?”120 Faucher recognized and gave clear expression to the dire living conditions in Berlin at this time. As an antidote, Faucher proposed more single-family homes on the outer ring of the city. He responded to complaints that this would lead to an expansion of the city beyond what its infrastructure could bear by pointing to London’s expansion and its corresponding development of public transportation. He also calculated that for deliveries of messages, goods and post, more than 9,000 miles of stairs had to be climbed each day in the city, stairs that wouldn’t have to be climbed with single-family homes. Faucher also spoke out against the forced mixing of classes which the Mietskasernen caused, and spoke instead in favor of neighborhoods where people of similar socio-economic rank live in houses of similar value.121 He recognized that the composition of neighborhoods and living spaces had socio-political results. 119 Hegemann, Der Städtebau, 18. 120 Faucher in “Die Bewegung für Wohnungsreform,” cited in Hegemann, Der Städtebau, 19. 121 Hegemann, Der Städtebau, 24.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  67 James Hobrecht, the architect of the city plan that had made the Mietskasernen a necessity, shared this awareness. Hobrecht contrasted his Berlin city plan (which was based on a Parisian model) with the English model preferred by Faucher and writes in 1868: Our way of living stands, as is well known, in principled opposition to the English way. In a so-called Mietskaserne an apartment is located on the first floor for 500 Talers rent, on the ground floor and second floor are two apartments for 200 Talers, on the third floor two apartments each at 150 Talers, on the fourth three apartments at 100 Talers, in the basement, in the attic, in the back building or the like, several apartments at 50 Talers. In an English city, in the West End or somewhere else, we find, always contiguous, the villas and individual houses of the wealthy class, in the other districts houses of the poor, always grouped together contiguously according to the assets of the owner, and thus whole neighborhoods inhabited only by the working population. Who would now doubt that the reserved location of the wealthier classes and houses offers amenities enough, but who can close his eyes to the fact that the poorer class forfeits many good deeds that an intermingled living arrangement grants. Not ‘isolation’ but ‘penetration’ seems to me from moral considerations, and therefore from the considerations of the state, to be imperative. In the Mietskaserne children from the basement apartments walk to the free school through the same main hallway as those of the senior official or merchant on their way to high school. William, from the cobbler family in the attic, and the old bedridden woman Schulz in the back house, whose daughter procures a meager livelihood from sewing or cleaning, are well-known figures on the first floor. Here is a bowl of soup for strengthening the sick, there a garment, there the effective help to obtain free lessons or the like, and all that, which turns out to be the result of the cozy relationship between those residents who are similar in nature, even though so different in situation, is a help, which exercises its ennobling influence on the donor. And moving among these extreme social classes are the poorer classes of society from the third and fourth floors, social classes with the highest importance to our cultural life, the official, the artist, the scholar, the teacher etc. In these classes dwells above all the spiritual significance of our people. Compelled to constant work, to frequent self-denial, and driving themselves on in order not to lose their hard-won space in society, and when possible to increase it, they are elements that cannot be valued enough in both their example and teaching and they have an encouraging and stimulating effect that is thus

68  Out of Place beneficial to society, even if it were only that of their existence and silent example for those who live mingled next to and with them.122 Hobrecht argues for the Berlin model—a forced mixing of classes through the Mietskasernen rather than a differentiation of classes by neighborhoods—on moral and also on political grounds. The implication is that the personal interaction between the classes would dampen any revolutionary tendencies, would give the middle and upper classes opportunities to perform charitable service for the lower classes, and would also teach the poorer classes proper bourgeois values. This extensive passage on Hobrecht’s position demonstrates that although his ideas (influenced by a Parisian model) are diametrically opposed to those of Faucher and most other contemporary reformers (influenced by an English model), his justification for the choice of model is almost identical to theirs: the moral and political education of the lower class. Faucher recognized, however, from numerous renters’ revolts in Paris in the 1850s and in Berlin in 1863, that Hobrecht’s plan did not create the peaceful co-existence of classes that it claimed to. He criticized mortgage and real estate lending practices during this era, practices that encouraged quick reselling of properties and mortgages and did not encourage longer ownership and repayment. In addition, he found fault with the tax system that allowed building owners to include their taxes in their mortgages and thus not have them affect their profits. But Faucher did not see the renters themselves exclusively as victims; he recognized that insofar as they were willing to tolerate the miserable living conditions at high prices, they were in part also responsible for this situation.123 An additional example of the many housing and city reformers during this era was Countess Adelheid Dohna-Poninski, who wrote under the pseudonym “Arminius.” While her true identity was still undiscovered, her volume Die Großstädte in ihrer Wohnungsnot und die Grundlagen einer durchgreifenden Abhilfe [The Large Cities in their Housing Crisis and the Foundations of a Radical Remedy] appeared in 1874. Arminius’s suggestions were progressive, even from a twentyfirst century perspective, although they were largely ignored at the time of their publication. In this text, Arminius developed a “theory of the architecture of large cities,”124 which appealed to a more human way of living. To achieve this, she emphasized harmony between the 122 Cited in Eberstadt, Handbuch des Wohnungswesens, 240–1. 123 Hegemann, Der Städtebau, 36. 124 Ibid., 62.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  69 various aspects of residential life and placed particular emphasis on having green places for recreation and recuperation within the city.125 Arminius criticized Hobrecht’s strategy for social control through city planning as misguided. For her, dispersing the proletariat masses throughout the city and mixing them in Mietskasernen with the upper classes in order to prevent social revolution was misguided. She wrote: “The fragmented living of the workers in big cities, their atomistic scattering, is no protection against their alliance towards evil.” And again: “It was not just bias and short-sightedness that reigned for so long in many so-called conservative circles, but also sin, to want to hinder urban workers’ associations in their development, instead of looking after them in a guiding manner.”126 As progressive as her criticisms may appear, Arminius, like Hobrecht and Faucher, also saw city planning as a means of social control. The word “sin” indicates the moral quality she sees in this endeavor, and the “guiding manner” in the last sentence likewise suggests a lack of trust in the workers’ associations to represent their own interests adequately or to be concerned about the interests of society as a whole. Nonetheless, she differs from her contemporaries in arguing that the form city planning had taken in late nineteenth-century Berlin did not achieve its intended goal. One of Arminius’s chief suggestions for improving the city was a “green belt,” a space set aside in the city, and within one half-hour’s walking distance of every apartment, that would be used for recreation and recuperation. This space, forming a ring around the city, would be off-limits to construction as the city expanded, and all city expansion would have to occur outside the ring.127 The ring would serve the various needs of the city, subdividing its areas into recreational areas for manual laborers, those for the intellectual and higher classes, gardens in the interest of family life, playgrounds for small children, and gardens or parks for several other different classifications according to age, profession and social class.128 Clearly, Arminius viewed the use of space in relation to functionality and class. And she framed her arguments for city design not only in practical, but also in moral terms, as the quote about “sin” above demonstrates. She continues with arguments for reforms of taxes that recreate a feudal-like relationship between renter and landlord and calls for numerous institutions—the state, communal organizations, workers’ organizations, employers, as well as private non-profit organizations—to join forces to solve this problem, recognizing that “the solution to the housing question, which 125 Ibid., 64. 126 Arminius, cited in Hegemann, Der Städtebau, 65. 127 Ibid., 66. 128 Ibid.

70  Out of Place has now entered the series of the most burning questions in all civilized states, rests on higher, moral principles. Success is thus bound to recognizing these and allowing them to prevail!”129 There were countless other reformers active during the nineteenth century in German lands, including Ernst Bruch, August Orth, Adolf Wagner, Gustav Schmoller (discussed below), Ernst Engel, Johannes von Miquel, Paul Voigt and Rudolf Eberstadt (discussed earlier), to name but a few. The volume and fervor of their writings and projects demonstrate the magnitude of the housing problem, and, on a more general level, the importance of place during this era. The efforts of these reformers indicate that the role of place had changed with the onset of industrialization in Germany. The reformers were trying to recover a sense of place that was not restrictive and oppressive, that was not solely a commodity, and that was experienced in more ways than simply work or residence. Their efforts contradict the conclusions of Heidegger’s essay “Building Dwelling Thinking.” Where Heidegger sees the root problem of the housing crisis as philosophical, conceptual and even existential—humans no longer conceive of place as a unified space for dwelling, creating, working, being etc.—these reformers see this philosophical and conceptual crisis as a result of material circumstances. The acknowledgment of the impact made by material circumstances is clearly seen in a published debate about socialism between the conservative state functionary Heinrich von Treitschke and the reformer Gustav Schmoller. When the topic turns to living conditions, Treitschke writes: “Each person is first responsible for his own actions; so wretched is no one that he could not hear the voice of God in a narrow little room.” In response Schmoller admonishes: “To lecture morally and spiritually neglected proletarian masses on the estates of the inner life is just as futile as demonstrating to a blind man the sublime beauty of the starry sky.” Expounding on Schmoller’s response, Werner Hegemann—in whose book the debate between Treitschke and Schmoller appears—asks: “What can the city missionary hope from devotion in the quiet chamber, when he … finds houses in his district that are inhabited by 250 families, and where 36 apartments open onto one corridor?”130 Schmoller and later Hegemann imply the primacy of physical experience of place: they suggest that only through this physical experience does one gain an appreciation for larger concepts (here, the experience of God). Heidegger, in contrast, recognizes the impact of changed physical circumstances, but appeals primarily to the realm of thought and being. In this regard, I find the reformers of the nineteenth century much stronger in asserting a sense of a material place. As discussed, their assertions were, admittedly, 129 Ibid., 70. 130 Treitschke, Schmoller and Hegemann cited in Hegemann, Der Städtebau, 71.

Place and Displacement in Berlin, 1848–1900  71 utilitarian in a political and social sense—that is, they felt that by shaping space they could also assert social and political control over a population. Nonetheless, they were able to recognize the threat to the experience of place posed by industrialization in Berlin and offered means to preserve or regain the sense of place.


The phenomenon of place is ultimately bound to affect, intimacy, identity and holistic experience. In contrast to these, the differentiation and commodification of space, the increasing sense of space as restrictive and limiting, the dissociation of place from identity, the transportability of space, and the efforts to assert social and political control by means of space all worked counter to the experience of place. Experienced place lost its uniqueness and the sense of value associated with it. This resulted in multiple compensatory undertakings in German culture, endeavors that re-directed the affect associated with place into other realms. This lost affect of place finds its manifestation in the literature of German realism. As an imaginative medium, literature allows authors not only to highlight the loss of place and to express nostalgia for a deeper connection to locale, but also to envision alternatives to such loss and to experiment with conceptual models that reframe the relationship between individual and locale. Stated simply, literature enables authors to come to terms with the space of modernity. The following chapters treat individual authors from German realism, each of whom addresses this affective quality of place. Berlin is a significant context for each author, since each spent a period of time in Berlin during the era discussed above; and space and place, particularly those of the metropolis, feature prominently in their texts. Rather than regain the lost affect of place through an abstract concept of nation, through calls for housing and city reform, or by attempts to transport place elsewhere, these authors turn to literary representation to revive or at least reflect on this affect. My interpretation of each author highlights their representations of the lost affective relationship to place during this era and their efforts to recover and preserve it, even after industrialization transformed the physical conditions that determine how we relate to place.

2.  Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity: Realism’s Trajectory of Place

The first and last completed novels of Wilhelm Raabe (1831–1910), The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane (1856) and The Files of Birdsong (1896), invite comparison, for they share numerous similarities in formal structure, narrative stance, plot details, theme, and setting. Raabe himself compared the two texts, describing The Files of Birdsong as a counterpart to The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane,1 and he identified them as beginning and ending points of a trajectory.2 Scholars have likewise recognized the continuity between the two texts.3 Both texts are formally similar—the terms “chronicle” and “files” imply a loosely connected, almost haphazard arrangement of material.4 Both also share a similar configuration of characters, namely, a cloverleaf-like constellation one finds frequently in Raabe:5 in each “cloverleaf,” the adult narrator—a socially established individual—recounts the story of a childhood trio in which he was the 1 “An den ‘Akten des Vogelsangs’ haben Sie eben das Gegenstück zu der ‘Chronik der Sperlingsgasse.’” Raabe to Otto Janke, 16 January 1896, in Sämtliche Werke. Ergänzungsband 2, ed. Karl Hoppe (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1975), 375. 2 “Die ‘Akten des Vogelsangs’ werden dem Publikum wohl wieder einmal einigen Grund zur Verwunderung geben. Auf der Buchausgabe werden Sie ein Wort aus dem Peter Schlemihl finden, welches 40 Jahre nach der ‘Chronik der Sperlingsgasse’ nicht ohne Grund am Schlusse einer so langen literarischen Lebensarbeit steht.” Raabe to Paul Gerber, 8 Nov. 1895, Ibid., 371. 3 “stellen doch die Akten des Vogelsangs—im Text selber auch ‘Chronik des Vogelsangs’ genannt—in vieler Hinsicht ein thematischer Engführung gestaltetes Fazit der in der Chronik der Sperlingsgasse erstmalig gestalteten Thema dar.” Irmgard Roebling, “Berliner Luft. Oder: Von Vögeln, Frauen, Philobaten in Raabes poetischem Universum,” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1987): 205–27, 221. 4 See Wieland Zirbs for a discussion of the formal nature of the “Akten.” Strukturen des Erzählens. Studien zum Spätwerk Wilhelm Raabes (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1986), 148. 5 Jeffrey L. Sammons, Wilhelm Raabe. The Fiction of the Alternative Community (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1989), 301.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  73 outsider to the love relationship that developed between the other two friends, whose personalities were more mercurial than his own. Both texts are characterized by Raabe’s modern narrative stance, in which the narrative itself is as much a focus of the text as is the subject matter that it narrates. Both narrators reflect on how they should narrate and question the effectiveness of their narrative, prompting the reader to reflect on the act of narration itself.6 The reader soon realizes that the narrators are far from impartial and are not wholly reliable. In addition, as their titles suggest, both texts are anchored in specific locales: the first is set in the small alley of a large metropolis (modeled on the Spreegasse where Raabe lived in Berlin), while the second is set both in the small neighborhood of Birdsong, which is eventually swallowed up by an encroaching metropolis, and in a small apartment in Berlin. Both draw on Raabe’s own experience in Berlin where, from 1854 to 1856, he attended university courses and wrote his first novel. Although he did not feel at home in the city, this experience influenced his writing and has been described as the zenith of his intellectual development.7 As discussed in the previous chapter, Berlin at this time was on the cusp of modernization. On the one hand, it had fortified walls characteristic of a medieval city and a distinctive visual appearance that reflected the influence of Schinkel and Schadow, among others; but it also had gas streetlights, an organized fire brigade and a water system, thanks to the efforts of the autocratic president of police, Karl Ludwig Friedrich von Hinckeldey.8 Raabe sets the stories against the contemporary signs of encroaching modernism in various forms: the rise of the city, the increasing awareness of class differences, and the transience of the population, to name a few. Admittedly, the Berlin Raabe represents in his texts is a literary construct, somewhat different from the actual Berlin, as Horst Denkler and Volker Klotz note.9 It is more like a representation of the metropolis as a concept than as a lived experience. 6 “Der Roman ‘Die Akten des Vogelsangs’ erscheint in diesem Fall als ein kunstvoll gestaltetes Exemplum für die stringent verarbeitete Relation von Erzählweise und erzählter Geschichte.” Zirbs, Strukturen des Erzählens, 140. Irmgard Roebling refers to the narrative in Die Akten as a “Prozeß der doppelten Artikulation und Reflexion.” Wilhelm Raabes doppelte Buchführung. Paradigma einer Spaltung (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1988), 105. 7 Fritz Martini, Die Stadt in der Dichtung Wilhelm Raabes, Inaugural-Dissertation (Greifswald: E. Panzig & Co., 1934), 27. 8 Albert Lorzenz, “Raabe und Berlin,” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1961): 40–52, 42. 9 Horst Denkler, “‘In Berlin nicht zu ermitteln.’ Berlin im Leben Wilhelm Raabes,” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1988): 9–23, 22. Similarly, Volker Klotz notes that, in the Chronik, Wachholder never refers to Berlin, but only to “die große Stadt.” Die erzählte Stadt. Ein Sujet als Herausforderung des Romans von Lesage bis Döblin (München: Carl Hanser Verlag, 1969), 168.

74  Out of Place

The Metropolis, Place and Realism

The metropolis is perhaps the most widely recognized symbol of modernity. Its presence testifies to multiple other modern phenomena: these include the rise of industrialization (which required large factories and a large workforce, available only in a metropolis), the dominance of capitalism over feudalism (commerce and trade depended on a common trading market in a single location), the development of high-speed transportation and communication (the resources needed to sustain a metropolitan populace had to be imported from remote distances), and the increasing depersonalization of society (as evidenced by the large masses of people in the metropolis). One of the most significant changes that the metropolis embodied was the transformation in individuals’ relationship to place. Raabe was one of many contemporaries who perceived this change, along with numerous philosophers, sociologists and cultural critics. In 1874 Dr. H. Schwabe, the head of Berlin’s statistical office, bemoaned the nomadic lifestyle of the Berlin populace, which constantly moved from apartment to apartment, never forming a connection to a place. A few years later, in 1888, architectural historian and critic Cornelius Gurlitt contrasted “those rectangular, unalluring spaces, in which every outsider feels at home” with the “unforgettable home” that, for him, “one’s parents’ house on the old market square”10 represented. He also asked: Is there no deliverance from being utterly absorbed in the homogenization of the city, no remedy, if not to rise above the indifferent crowd, then at least to separate ourselves from it and also to create a facility for us, that is ours, not only in the sense of bourgeois law, but in a higher, spiritual conception, a part of our being?11 And in 1903, Georg Simmel described the individual transformed by the metropolis: a mere cog in an enormous organization of things and powers which tear from his hands all progress, spirituality and value in order to transform them from their subjective form into the form of a purely objective life. It needs merely to be pointed out that the metropolis is the genuine arena of this culture that outgrows all personal life. Here in buildings and educational institutions, 10 Cornelius Gurlitt, Im Bürgerhause. Plaudereien über Kunst, Kunstgewerbe und Wohungs-Ausstattung (Dresden: Gilbers’sche Königl. Hof-Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1888), 1–2. This and all other translations, unless otherwise noted, are my own. 11 Ibid.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  75 in the wonders and comforts of space-conquering technology, in the formations of community life, and in the visible institutions of the state, is offered such an overwhelming fullness of crystallized and impersonalized spirit that the personality, so to speak, cannot maintain itself under its impact.12 Simmel, like Gurlitt and Schwabe before him, emphasizes the transformation in human relations and specifically in human identity that results from inhabiting the metropolis. Social forces have changed not only the external way of life, but also the inner life: the way humans relate to their environment affects who they are. Yet how does one respond to transformations of the environment that threaten to change the self? Gurlitt proposes a retreat into interiority: Create for yourself your own nest that corresponds to your being, and it will please you. … It is not the stylistic forms that make a house a unique being that distinguishes itself comfortingly from the mass of mediocre houses, but the thought content which, unnoticed yet decisively, governs objects.13 Gurlitt first appeals to one’s own living space (“your own nest”) as a retreat and then abstracts from this in an appeal to the “thought content” that permeates a dwelling. Gurlitt implies that true dwelling is a product of the mind rather than of the environment; he thus argues for interiority as the answer to the overwhelming impact of the metropolis. In this interiority, he sees a relationship among individuals, their thoughts and material objects: “If the objects around us have become works of devotion, of love, of reciprocal attention, based on a recognition of the wishes of loved ones and sympathy, then however formless they may be, they will produce an overall tone that speaks to the heart, because it was born from the heart.”14 Things begin to resonate harmoniously with us, to speak to our hearts, because we have initially invested them with emotional and intellectual energy. Simmel traces a similar move towards interiority in city dwellers, although not to advocate for interiority but to observe it. The threat of the metropolis to personality “results in the individual’s summoning the utmost in uniqueness and particularization in order to preserve his most personal core. He has to exaggerate this personal element in 12 Georg Simmel, “The Metropolis and Mental Life,” in The Sociology of Georg Simmel, trans. and ed. Kurt H. Wolff, 409–24 (New York: The Free Press, 1950), 422. 13 Gurlitt, Im Bürgerhause, 4. 14 Gurlitt, Im Bürgerhause, 5.

76  Out of Place order to remain audible even to himself.”15 However, Simmel does not embrace the retreat into oneself as Gurlitt does. He describes such a retreat as an inevitable byproduct of the metropolis, not as a successful means of escape. In contrast to Gurlitt, he stands at a remove, like a disinterested observer, claiming that because “such forces of life have grown into the roots and into the crown of the whole of the historical life in which we … belong …, it is not our task either to accuse or to pardon, but only to understand.”16 Simmel notes the move towards interiority, but he sees this move less as a solution for the individual threatened by the metropolis and more as a symptom of the same. It is a reflection of a fundamental historical change in human existence. I cite Simmel and Gurlitt here because the differences and similarities in their approaches to the metropolis are significant for German realism and for Raabe in particular. Like the realists of the nineteenth century, both Simmel and Gurlitt recognize that the changes of modernity embodied in the city threaten an earlier way of life and an earlier notion of self. Yet Gurlitt and Simmel differ in their response to these changes. Gurlitt feels that through a retreat not only to architectural but also to mental interiority, individuals can counter the influence of these changes. For Simmel, however, these changes reflect greater historical forces, and the most that we can do is observe them rather than change them. For Gurlitt, the individual escapes external circumstances through the content of his or her thought, whereas for Simmel, external circumstances have an inescapable impact on the individual. Gurlitt and Simmel represent two directions in response to these historical changes, responses that extend beyond social philosophy and influence the literature of the period. They represent two fundamental approaches that we also find in realist literature in general and in Raabe in particular: on the one hand there is an escapist perspective that denies the changes associated with modernism and strives to retain or regain a lost ideal of place by resorting to interiority, the imagination and nostalgia; on the other hand is a more resigned, even accepting, perspective that acknowledges the changes associated with modernism. Rather than lament a lost ideal of place, the latter approach chronicles, catalogues and describes modern space. Such positions are staked out in German realism, where various authors attempt to come to terms with the changes associated with modernity. This is in part a temporal contrast, with one pole predominating in early realism and the other predominating in late realism. Early realist authors take great pains to instigate reflection about place, yet rather than argue overtly for external changes (housing reform, 15 Simmel, “The Metropolis and Mental Life,” 422. 16 Ibid., 423–4.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  77 city planning etc.), their novels describe locales in great detail, and these locales encourage readers to reflect on dwelling and on their own sense of place. That is, early realists propose an escape to cognitive interiority similar to that which Gurlitt advocates. The late stages of German realism, however, reflect a dramatically different stance. Although authors still assert a desire for the experience of place to be one of groundedness—of continuity with one’s heritage and with one’s future, and of certainty with respect to one’s role in society’s hierarchy—they also assert that this experience is no longer possible under prevailing social conditions. For these later realists, attempts to create an interior experience of place through literature or other means are necessarily flawed and cannot compensate for the lost ability to experience place. Social factors are too powerful for cognitive activity alone to counter them. One can only mourn the lost sense of place and rescue portions of it in the experience of urban modernity. These two tendencies are evident in Raabe’s first and last completed novels, The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane and The Files of Birdsong. Raabe’s career spanned the latter half of the nineteenth century and his novelistic production outstripped that of most of his realist contemporaries. I do not give an exhaustive account of his career here; instead, by focusing on the beginning and the end of his career, we find a trajectory that mirrors the trajectory of a literary movement as a whole. In The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane one encounters a sense of place that is centered and, although threatened, relatively stable. The implicit assumption is that identity is grounded in a specific place. The text attempts to convey and even recreate this sense of place within creative fiction. By the end of Raabe’s career, however, and as shown in The Files of Birdsong, stable, centered places yield to a notion of lost place, and characters face a dilemma: they may choose to bind themselves to a sense of place and consequently to confining social structures, or they may opt to free themselves from such confining social structures but, as a consequence, simultaneously lose all connection to place. Place and autonomy have become incompatible. Raabe presents neither alternative as appealing, leaving the modern subject torn between freedom paired with a lack of connection on the one hand and connection paired with restrictive social obligations on the other. The changing conception of place in Raabe’s literary career mirrors the changing conception of place in the epoch of German realism as a whole. While there are not yet any studies in English dedicated to the topic of space and place in Raabe, scholars have addressed the topic in German. Fritz Martini was one of the first to do so. In his inaugural dissertation of 1934 he notes that, from Raabe’s perspective, the division between city and country had become a question not only of modernity, but also

78  Out of Place of the German soul; and, moreover, that the metropolis was threatening the German spirit with desolation.17 The current study cites Martini and those who follow him in this line of analysis in an effort to make both Raabe and this thematic focus more available to an English-speaking audience. In addition, whereas the existing research on this topic tends to focus on specific types of places or architectural configurations of space (such as interiors, the metropolis and travel narratives), the present study focuses on the philosophical conception of place as well as on a sense of how this conception changed in the course of Raabe’s career. Specifically, it sees Raabe within larger tendencies—escapism on the one hand and resigned acceptance on the other—that characterized both German realism and the latter half of the nineteenth century in German lands.

Heidegger on Place

Raabe’s relationship to place becomes clearer in reference to phenomenological approaches to place such as Martin Heidegger’s, approaches that answer a modern crisis of place by focusing less on the material circumstances of dwelling and more on ontology, on the act of dwelling as a mode of being. In his essay “Building Dwelling Thinking” (1951), delivered to an audience of architects in Germany after the Second World War, Heidegger downplays social and political issues such as class differences, homelessness, overcrowding and lack of affordable housing in order to define dwelling as a mode of being: “The way in which you are and I am, the manner in which we humans are on the earth, is Buan, dwelling. To be a human being means to be on the earth as a mortal. It means to dwell.”18 Dwelling and being are inseparable. Dwelling is a holistic experience, in which residing, creating and preserving are inextricably connected as being. If humans begin to reflect on the act of dwelling, they will be motivated to dwell in a more holistic manner and will feel a call to dwell, to exist more meaningfully: “Yet as soon as man gives thought to his homelessness, it is a misery no longer. Rightly considered and kept well in mind, it is the sole summons that calls mortals into their dwelling.”19 Heidegger welcomes 17 Fritz Martini, Die Stadt in der Dichtung Wilhelm Raabes, 12, 13. 18 Heidegger, “Building Dwelling Thinking,” in Poetry, Language, Thought, trans. Albert Hofstadter, 145–61 (New York: Harper & Row, 1971), 147. “Die Art, wie du bist und ich bin, die Weise, nach der wir Menschen auf der Erde sind, ist das Buan, das Wohnen. Mensch sein heißt: als Sterblicher auf der Erde sein, heißt: wohnen.” Martin Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” in Gesamtausgabe, I. Abteilung, Vol. 7, Vorträge und Aufsätze, 145–64, (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 2000), 149. 19 Heidegger, “Building Dwelling Thinking,” 161. [emphasis Heidegger] “Sobald der Mensch jedoch die Heimatlosigkeit bedenkt, ist sie bereits kein Elend mehr. Sie

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  79 homelessness as an invitation to truly think about dwelling, about being. Building and dwelling are not separate, but belong together; and thinking is not only integrally connected with them, but also a necessary precondition to them. Only in thinking about dwelling can one begin to truly dwell. For Heidegger, dwelling is ontological, and it occurs only when one gives thought to being—that is, it is primarily a cognitive, reflective activity and secondarily a physical, experiential activity. Heidegger associates the modern plight of dwelling not with external circumstances, but with an age-old cognitive failure: The real plight of dwelling is indeed older than the world wars with their destruction, older also than the increase of the earth’s population and the condition of the industrial workers. The real dwelling plight lies in this, that mortals ever search anew for the nature of dwelling, that they must [first] learn to dwell.20 Regardless of the era or the circumstances, humans long constantly for a sense of home because we have not learned how to dwell. From this perspective, place is always lost and we will always long for an ideal place to which we can never return. Karsten Harries rephrases Heidegger’s assertion as “what matters is not to return home, but to long for home.”21 To dwell properly, one must be aware both of one’s own longing for this ideal as well as of its elusiveness. Heidegger invests the act of dwelling with existential significance: “What then does ich bin [I am] mean? The old word bauen, to which the bin belongs, answers: ich bin, du bist means: I dwell, you dwell.”22 Heidegger finds that the German verb sein [to be], shares a common root, Buan, with the verb bauen [to build]. Building and dwelling are ist, recht bedacht und gut behalten, der einzige Zuspruch, der die Sterblichen in das Wohnen ruft.” Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” 163–4. 20 Martin Heidegger, “Building Dwelling Thinking,” 161. [Change in translation mine, emphasis Heidegger] “Die eigentliche Wohnungsnot ist auch älter als die Weltkriege und die Zerstörungen, älter auch denn das Ansteigen der Bevölkerungszahl auf der Erde und die Lage des Industrie-Arbeiters. Die eigentliche Not des Wohnens beruht darin, daß die Sterblichen das Wesen des Wohnens immer erst wieder suchen, daß sie das Wohnen erst lernen müssen.” Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” 163. 21 Karsten Harries, “In Search of Home,” in Bauen und Wohnen. Martin Heideggers Grundlegung einer Phänomenologie der Architektur / Building and Dwelling. Martin Heideggers Foundation of a Phenomenology of Architecture, ed. Eduard Führ, 101–20 (Münster: Waxman, 2000), 114. 22 Heidegger, “Building Dwelling Thinking,” 147. “Was heißt dann: ich bin? Das alte Wort bauen, zu dem das ‚bin’ gehört, antwortet: ‚ich bin,’ ‚du bist’ besagt: ich wohne, du wohnst.” Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” 149.

80  Out of Place manifestations of what it means to be human. Heidegger equates being human (in the sense of being from Being and Time) with dwelling. One can only be when one dwells, and one only dwells when one builds, an act Heidegger sees as denoting both constructing and preserving.23 Hence, dwelling is much more than passively occupying a space: it is a complex, rich activity. Heidegger emphasizes the complexity of dwelling by describing it as a preservation of an original unity that he names “the fourfold,” a unity of “earth and sky, divinities and mortals … together in one.”24 That is, true dwelling preserves the “fourfold” by uniting four phenomena: the earth in its acts of bearing and blossoming; the heavens in the weather, in celestial bodies and in the passage of seasons and time; the divine in those moments that point towards the supernatural; and the mortal in an awareness of death. The fourfold, taken as a whole, represents the range of human experience. It is, for all intents and purposes, another word for the experience of being.25 True dwelling unifies and protects this range of experience and it does so, according to Heidegger, by preserving its Wesen [essence] in objects: “Rather, dwelling itself is always a [sojourn among] things. Dwelling, as preserving, keeps the fourfold in that with which mortals stay: in things.”26 True dwelling cannot be separated from the experience of the material world. Dwelling is intentional; it entails preserving the unity of the fourfold in the tangible objects that make up our world. Or, in Heidegger’s words: “Dwelling preserves the fourfold by bringing the [essence] of the fourfold into things,”27 and it does this in the act of building—that is, by preserving what is living and by constructing 23 Heidegger, “Building Dwelling Thinking,” 149. Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” 151. 24 Heidegger, “Building Dwelling Thinking,” 149–50. “das Geviert,” “Erde und Himmel, die Göttlichen und die Sterblichen in eins.” Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” 151–2. 25 Burkhard Biella writes: “Insofern können wir das Geviert als eine gleichursprüngliche, Welt strukturiende Einheit auffassen, in der sich der Mensch als Sterblicher situiert findet, d.h. die Struktur des Gevierts gilt sowohl für das faktische als auch für das existentiale Seinkönnen, wodurch sich in Ergänzung zu Heideggers Konzeption weitere Differenzierungen ergeben.” “Ein Denkweg an den anderen Anfang des Wohnens. Eine Interpretation von Heideggers Vortrag ‘Bauen Wohnen Denken,’” in Bauen und Wohnen. Martin Heideggers Grundlegung einer Phänomenologie der Architektur / Building and Dwelling. Martin Heideggers Foundation of a Phenomenology of Architecture, ed. Eduard Führ, 53–77 (Münster: Waxman, 2000), 62. 26 Heidegger, “Building Dwelling Thinking,” 151. [Change in translation mine] “Das Wohnen ist vielmehr immer schon ein Aufenthalt bei den Dingen. Das Wohnen als Schonen verwahrt das Geviert in dem, wobei die Sterblichen sich aufhalten: in den Dingen.” Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” 153. 27 Heidegger, “Building Dwelling Thinking,” 151. “Das Wohnen schont das Geviert,

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  81 with what isn’t.28 For Heidegger, true dwelling is building: it entails an interactive relationship and even a sense of proprietorship. In a 1967 version of the essay, Heidegger used the German Eigentümliches [what belongs exclusively to oneself] and Eigenen [what is one’s own] to replace “essence” when describing the essence of the fourfold.29 This is notable, for both terms share the root eigen, which suggests a type of ownership or property (one thinks of another German word drawn from the same root: Eigentum [property, possessions, whether natural—i.e. “one’s own blood”—or acquired]). Dwelling thus entails a proprietary relationship between human experience and the material world. With true dwelling, one recognizes that there is something in things that belongs to human experience. This notion permeates Raabe’s work. In the context of dwelling among things, Heidegger defines Ort [place]. Dwelling occurs in relation to an object, and this relationship— the investment of human experience in objects—characterizes the concept of place that one finds in Raabe’s early works. Heidegger uses the German equivalent of “place” [Ort] later in the essay, when he talks about the function of buildings and dwellings. He describes a bridge as an example of a building that gathers [versammelt] the fourfold.30 In this act of gathering, the bridge becomes a place: “Thus the bridge does not first come to a location [Ort] to stand in it; rather, a location [Ort] comes into existence only by virtue of the bridge.”31 Stated differently, places are created by the gathering of complex human experience (“the fourfold”) around an object, not simply by the object’s existence in space, or, as Heidegger states: “Accordingly, spaces [Räume] receive their being [Wesen] from locations [Orte] and not from ‘space’ [Raum].”32 Rooms or spaces within a place obtain their essence from their connection to the fourfold, not from their spatial configuration. Heidegger thus contrasts place and space: place is bound to and preserves human experience, whereas space is simply extension: indem es dessen Wesen in die Dinge bringt.” Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” 153. 28 Heidegger, “Building Dwelling Thinking,” 151. Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” 153. 29 Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” 153n. 30 Heidegger, “Building Dwelling Thinking,” 153. Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” 155. 31 Heidegger, “Building Dwelling Thinking,” 154. “So kommt denn die Brücke nicht erst an einen Ort hin zu stehen, sondern von der Brücke selbst her ensteht erst ein Ort.” Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” 156. 32 Heidegger, “Building Dwelling Thinking,” 154. “Demnach empfangen die Räume ihr Wesen aus Orten und nicht aus ‘dem’ Raum.” Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” 156.

82  Out of Place distances to be traveled through, intermediary voids to be filled, or mathematical and geometric possibilities in multiple dimensions.33 Places are spaces where dwelling occurs, and dwelling entails building—that is, preserving and constructing in and with space. Space requires human interaction to become place. And so Heidegger asserts that true building—that is, creation and preservation of places—must begin from an understanding of dwelling: “Only if we are capable of dwelling, only then can we build.”34 Heidegger concludes the essay by pointing out that thinking belongs to dwelling just as much as building does, that true dwelling involves both thinking and building and that neither alone constitutes dwelling.35 With this, he reflects on the contemporary housing situation in Germany, indicating that humans must first learn how to dwell before they can resolve a housing crisis. The housing crisis is a call to reflect on dwelling, and only in doing so can humans dwell properly. Heidegger acknowledges external factors such as homelessness, apartment shortages and architecture as affecting human experience—his essay was presented to a gathering of architects, after all. Yet ultimately he devalues these external factors in favor of a focus on being itself. He implies that reflecting upon the act of dwelling will enable humans to dwell better, in spite of their external circumstances. I recount Heidegger’s essay in detail because a number of points from his essay are essential for a discussion of place in German realism and in Raabe. German realists express a notion of place that points toward what Heidegger describes almost a century later. Fritz Martini, commenting on realist literature, observes: Space gives the reason for life, the connecting consciousness of a community, in a certain fundamental sense, the obligatory task of existence. One is born into it in order to fulfill it. The space in which one lives gives a law of existence. … The reality of the space that surrounds one is not an object, but rather a sustaining and meaning-giving condition of one’s existence. One only lives when one feels oneself related to a community that expresses itself in nature, custom, or historically or sociologically unified space.36 33 Heidegger, “Building Dwelling Thinking,” 154–5. Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” 156–7. 34 Heidegger, “Building Dwelling Thinking,” 160. “Nur wenn wir das Wohnen vermögen, können wir bauen.” Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” 162. 35 Heidegger, “Building Dwelling Thinking,” 161. Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” 163. 36 Martini, Die Stadt in der Dichtung Wilhelm Raabes, 8.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  83 Existence, for realists, was bound to place, to a lived interaction with space. Although they may not link the experience of place to ontology exactly as Heidegger does, it is clear that it has comparable significance to them, that place is bound to being. Heidegger’s connection of dwelling to being allows us to understand the significance of the perceived loss of place for German realists. As in Heidegger, place is irretrievably lost for realists, particularly late realists such as Raabe at the end of his career. It cannot offer refuge from the forces of modernity. Realists sense the loss of true dwelling—that is, of the bond between human experience and the material world, a bond that was at one time proprietary. The sense that one dwells among things, that one invests them with the essence of being or with human significance, is likewise disappearing. In the face of the functional differentiation that drives modernity, a practice that disperses and scatters, German realists sense a loss of a place that could gather experience together in the manner that Heidegger’s bridge does. Drawing on Heidegger’s understanding of dwelling as being, we understand the significance of this crisis for realists: loss of place means loss of the ability to dwell in an existential sense. For realists, a sense of place bound to cultivation, preservation and memory is slipping away. They sense a shift away from a world where internal processes such as cognition, reason and emotion were intricately connected to the external world, and a shift toward a world where these are now separate. Social and material forces shape the modern individual more than does one’s experience of place. To assert oneself against these external forces requires extricating oneself from one’s attachment to things and places. Stated otherwise, the modern individual faces a dilemma that Heidegger portrayed in Being and Time. As Harries describes it: “Heidegger places at the origin of Dasein [Being] an uncanny freedom. Freedom and home call us in opposite directions.”37 To be in the modern world is to be in tension between freedom and dwelling. This tension becomes explicit in Raabe’s later texts. As Heidegger’s essay implies, when the bond between human experience and the material world is not preserved, we need to relearn how to dwell, for we experience space instead of place. Heidegger’s emphasis on thinking and reflection as the means to learn how to dwell will be tested in realism. As I will show, realists explore whether cognitive activity alone is adequate to transform spaces into places. Thinking and representation are not adequate to establish a sense of being. Although they still hold an appeal for early realists, late realists assert that material and social circumstances determine how one

37 Harries, “In Search of Home,” 102.

84  Out of Place dwells, that they shape one’s very existence, and that reflecting on being will not, in and of itself, allow for true dwelling. The trajectory of Raabe’s (and of German realism’s) relationship to place begins in a position very close to Gurlitt’s and reflects Heidegger’s emphasis on cognitive activity in dwelling: it recognizes the perceived loss of a certain experience of place and dwelling and attempts to conserve or resuscitate this experience of place by preserving it in narrative. The end point of this trajectory, however, is much closer to Simmel’s perspective and to Heidegger’s implicit awareness of the tension between freedom and dwelling. In the later stages of realism, Raabe still refers to notions of dwelling and place similar to Heidegger’s, but he portrays these as either illusory or outdated. Thinking and literary representation are no longer adequate solutions to the loss of place. Place is irretrievably lost and cannot be redeemed under prevailing circumstances. External economic and social conditions now limit one’s ability to dwell and experience place. As a result, Raabe portrays the modern world as a space where place has become forever lost, where external circumstances shape a modern subject who cannot be grounded in place.

Raabe and Place

The most striking similarity between The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane and The Files of Birdsong is the importance of locale and ultimately of place in each, for Raabe foregrounds the relationship of individuals to their material locale. In each text, a connection to place allows for a more fluid relationship to time; in both texts, narrators move freely between past and present events, occasionally blurring the two.38 It is as if the connection to place were more powerful than the connection to time, as if multiple times were somehow embedded in specific places. Brief plot summaries of each text demonstrate how Raabe creates places that integrate disparate times and how the characters’ relationships to place are of central importance to Raabe. The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane is organized centrifugally around Johannes Wachholder, an aging bachelor, and the narrow Sparrow Lane where he resides. Wachholder reflects on his friends and neighbors, on past and present events, and on places near and far (an excursion to the countryside, a friend in Munich, a forest village of the past etc.). The supposed main plot relates how Wachholder’s childhood friends, Franz and Marie, marry, but then die shortly after Marie gives birth to a daughter, Elise, whom 38 Jeffrey Sammons notes, regarding Die Akten des Vogelsangs: “Krumhardt shifts between the frame of the narrative present and the narrated past no fewer than sixty times.” Wilhelm Raabe. The Fiction of the Alternative Community (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1989), 312.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  85 Wachholder subsequently adopts. A few years later, new neighbors, Frau Berg and her son, Gustav, move in. Gustav turns out to be a long-lost relative of Elise. Their families had been separated when Gustav’s ancestor seduced and subsequently abandoned Elise’s ancestor. We watch as Elise and Gustav become friends and eventually marry, ultimately healing the wounds of their families’ past. Insofar as the narrative concludes by reuniting the lost families in a marriage, it is a traditional, unremarkable plot that offers a clear sense of closure. Yet the narrative stance—constantly reflecting on the action within the story and on the act of writing, jumping between present and past, and veering off on tangents—recalls Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (1759) in that it makes it difficult to follow this simple plot and does not offer uncomplicated closure. However, each of Wachholder’s physical or cognitive excursions ends with him returning to his apartment and relationships in Sparrow Lane, thus allowing Sparrow Lane itself to integrate the various narrative strands. In addition, the numerous subplots direct the reader’s attention to matters seemingly unrelated to the love story.39 Wachholder tells of his neighbor, Wimmer, a journalist who is ultimately deported for his politically provocative pieces, and who then settles into a married bourgeois lifestyle in Munich. After Wimmer moves away, his friend Strobel moves into his apartment and subsequently contributes to Wachholder’s Chronicle. Both Wimmer and Strobel offer social commentary that the narrator acknowledges, but that he never seems to take to heart. Social criticism in the text remains subdued or implied rather than explicit or confrontational.40 Similar commentary is offered by the Karsten family, also residents of the Lane, who lose three sons fighting for an ideal of Germany that has now been lost, and by Fräulein Rosalie, the impoverished dancer and fellow Lane resident who must dance for the queen while her own child lies dying. These seemingly unrelated narrative strands draw readers’ attention away from the romances between Franz and Marie and subsequently Elise and Gustav, and indicate that Raabe is pointing to something more 39 Leo Lensing asserts that the novel “can be understood much more profitably as a montage of shorter narratives without a dominant episode or a pronounced linear development.” ”Fairy Tales in the Novel: Generic Tension in Wilhelm Raabe’s Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse,” in Wilhelm Raabe. Studien zu seinem Leben und Werk, (eds) Lensing and Werner, 14–43 (Braunschweig: pp-Verlag, 1981), 16. Volker Klotz describes the narrative as “ein Ensemble der vielfältigen Gassenschicksale, die, obzwar sie sich um die Familiengeschichte lagern, eigengesetz­ liche und eigenwertig sich behaupten.” Die erzählte Stadt, 170. 40 Georg Lukács, for example, notes the absence of “einer oppositionell auftretenden Gestalt, ... einer solch offenen und starken Kritik” in Raabe’s works. “Wilhelm Raabe,” in Raabe in neuer Sicht, ed. Hermann Helmers, 44–73 (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1968), 51.

86  Out of Place than romance or individual character development in his narrative. The connecting element of these divergent strands is the mundane bourgeois life within the Lane. The narrative strands leave the reader with two impressions: that the primary purpose of any social concerns the narrative represents is to add local color to Wachholder’s depiction of Sparrow Lane; and that this Lane is indeed the universe condensed into a point, as Wachholder asserts. In The Files of Birdsong, published forty years later, Karl Krummhardt, a successful civil servant and father, offers a first-person reflective narrative, written as a series of files recounting his early friendship with two neighborhood children, Helene Trotzendorff and Velten Andres. The story begins with displacement, for the adult Karl receives a letter from Helene, informing him that Velten has died,41 and inviting him to visit her in Berlin. Once there, he meets with Helene, who tells him of her and Velten’s past and asks him to record their history. He returns home again and begins the narrative that comprises the eponymous files of Birdsong. In it we learn that Velten Andres, as his name suggests, is an outsider figure (German anderes means “other,” while the name Velten refers to the devil42) who falls in love with Helene, but whose marriage proposal is rejected in favor of marriage to a wealthy American. Velten subsequently renounces all connections to place and property and leaves Birdsong, first for Berlin and then to travel the world. He returns home only sporadically. On his final visit he burns most of the objects in his mother’s house and then invites his neighbors to plunder what remains. He ultimately dies in a sparse apartment in Berlin. Karl, meanwhile, must reflect on the familial, financial and societal obligations that bind him to a sense of place and to a highly restrictive bourgeois lifestyle. As Wolfgang Preisendanz notes, Karl stands in a dialogical relationship between text and author, past and present, such that he must conduct a dialogue with himself, 41 Frauke Berndt’s interpretation of the novel builds on this to assert that “Der Tod ist also Möglichkeit und Bedingung des erinnernden Erzählens,” and that the Akten is actually a Totenklage. Anamnesis. Studien zur Topik der Erinnerung in der erzählenden Literatur zwischen 1800 und 1900 (Moritz – Keller – Raabe) (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1999), 318–19. Wieland Zirbs makes a similar observation: “Karl mußte, wie sich an dieser Stelle eindeutig belegen läßt, die ihn betreffende, im Schreiben gestaltete Todeserfahrung aussetzen, um eine ‘reale’ Beinahe-Todeserfahrung zu bestehen.” Strukturen des Erzählens, 143. 42 “Velten steht nicht nur für die Kurzform von Valentin, sondern bedeutet eine lautliche Variation von ‘Voland’ oder ‘Valand,’ wie sie im Niederdeutschen für den Teufel gebrauchlich war.” Christoph Zeller, “Zeichen des Bösen. Raabes ‘Die Akten des Vogelsangs’ und Jean Pauls ‘Titan,’” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1999): 112–43, 114. See also Roebling, Wilhelm Raabes doppelte Buchführung, 111–12, for a more detailed discussion of the etymology behind Velten’s name.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  87 with others, and with the past.43 Between these two extremes of displacement, as embodied by Velten, and confinement to a place, as embodied by Karl, we encounter other characters who emphasize the connection (or lack thereof) to place: the neighbors in Birdsong who offer a type of surrogate family for Karl and the other children; the de Beaux family in Berlin, remnants of the French migration to Berlin under the Elector Friedrich Wilhelm, who preserve their French heritage in the midst of a German metropolis; and Mrs Fencing Master Feucht, whose time-capsule-like apartment in Berlin preserves the long-past romantic era. The narrative of The Files of Birdsong is similar to that of The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane in that it interrupts a more or less chronological narrative with frequent leaps in time, jumping from Birdsong to Berlin and to America. Whereas the plot of this narrative is much more cohesive than that of The Chronicle, the relationship to place in The Files is much less so. Rolf-Dieter Koll contrasts these two notions of place by describing a notion of place that stops time and that has three-dimensional qualities (in The Chronicle) with a notion of place that is wholly aperspectival (in The Files).44 The new experiences of place, as set out in the previous chapter, are represented as the loss of a clear sense of orientation or perspective. Just as each novel brings together disparate periods of time, so too does each allow the relationship to place to take center stage. Character development and romance, often themes of the nineteenth-century novel, are of secondary importance. Rather than focus on character development to drive the plot, Raabe gives characters in these texts more or less fixed personality types, which they then live out to their fullest extremes. In The Files of Birdsong, an older Helene speaks about the relationship of her younger self to her present self: “Was ich geworden bin, ist aus mir selber, nicht von meiner armen Mutter her und noch weniger von meinem Vater. In unserm Vogelsang unter unserm Osterberge war ich dieselbe, die ich jetzt war” (BA19, 401–2). [What I have become comes from myself, not from my poor mother and even less from my father. In our Birdsong beneath our Osterberge I was the same person as I was now.]45 External influences, whether familial or environmental, do not change her. Instead, she claims continuity of character from childhood 43 Wolfgang Preisendanz, “Die Erzählstruktur als Bedeutungskomplex der ‘Akten des Vogelsangs,’” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft 1981, Revisionen. Festschrift zum 150. Geburtstag Wilhelm Raabes (1981): 210–24, 214, 216. 44 Rolf-Dieter Koll, Raumgestaltung bei Wilhelm Raabe (Bonn: Bouvier, 1977), 90. 45 All parenthetical textual references to Raabe cite volumes 1 and 19 of the Braunschweig Edition of his complete works, with volume and page numbers. Translations of Raabe are my own. Wilhelm Raabe, Sämtliche Werke, ed. Karl Hoppe, vols. 1 and 19 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1965 and 1957).

88  Out of Place to adulthood, where the adult self is merely an intensified expression of what was already evident in the child. In contrast to the consistency we find in the characters’ personalities, in both texts we see changes in the characters’ relationships to place over the course of the narrative; specifically, we see repeated instances of displacement. In The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane, several characters, including the narrator, move in or out of their apartments in the course of the narrative; several of the narrator’s friends are forced to leave Berlin for political reasons; one of the characters recalls at length the occupation of Berlin by French troops under Napoleon; and the narrative concludes by highlighting a family whose economic circumstances compel them to leave Germany and move to America. Similarly, in The Files of Birdsong, we follow the three main characters from their childhood village of Birdsong, which is ultimately swallowed up by a nearby Residenzstadt [capital]:46 one character moves to America and the other two initially remain together to study in Berlin, but then part ways as one returns to the Residenzstadt near Birdsong and the other travels the world. The novel concludes in a small apartment in Berlin, an almost surreal place that somehow sustains meaning in a modern world where meaning is vanishing. Each of Raabe’s texts responds to the ascendancy of the metropolis in Germany and builds upon a notion of place comparable to Heidegger’s, a philosopher for whom the experience of place is an experience of dwelling among things, of investing the material world with being—that is, with human experience, emotion and energy. Place gathers experience and preserves it. For Raabe, place is inextricably bound to memory.47 The experience of place begins, conceptually, within oneself, and then influences the external world. Near the end of The Files of Birdsong, the narrator writes: “Der Menschheit Dasein auf der Erde baut sich immer von neuem auf, doch nicht von dem äußersten Umkreis her, sondern stets aus der Mitte.” (BA19, 404). [Humanity’s existence on earth reconstructs itself over and over again, yet not from the farthest periphery, but instead constantly from the center.] Human experience, specifically the experience of place, is not the product of external forces, but of grounded, inner experience—or, at least, such was the conviction that prevailed in early German realism. In late realism, this perspective is modified, even criticized, just as readers have a somewhat critical 46 Wilhelm Emrich reads this destruction of the town of Vogelsang as the destruction of the entire western culture. “Personalität und Zivilisation in Wilhelm Raabes ‘Die Akten des Vogelsangs,’” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1982): 7–25, 10. 47 Klotz notes this about Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse: “Extensiv herrscht das Einst vor—verständlich genug bei einem Chronisten, der über sein Alter sagt: ‘es ist die Zeit, wo die Erinnerung an die Stelle der Hoffnung tritt.’” Die erzählte Stadt, 169.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  89 distance from the narrator of The Files of Birdsong who makes the pronouncement above. A sense of place retreats under the onslaught of modernity in its many manifestations: capitalism, industrialization, urbanization, commodification of space, and so on (see chapter 1 for more historical detail). In the light of these changes, realists first try to preserve but ultimately relinquish a notion of place that no longer fits their world. Or, stated in terms of the theorists discussed at the beginning of this chapter, we see here the shift from an escapism bound to interiority and stability (as described by Gurlitt) to a realism focused on exteriority and transience (as described by Simmel).

Embedding Place: The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane

Raabe preserves this older notion of place in The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane by embedding places: that is, by setting places within a frame that lends them the appearance of stability and that also offers continuity between past and present. Many scholars have observed this. Martini claims that Raabe searched for the metropolis and found the idyll.48 Helmut Richter states that Raabe imposes a small-town atmosphere onto scenes of Berlin life.49 It is clear that the city found within Sparrow Lane is an antidote to the modern metropolis. Yet this is not only a regressive escape through nostalgia. For Raabe, his narrator, Wachholder, successfully creates a sense of place within a world that is shifting from place to space. He asserts that place can exist within modern space. Early on in the chronicle, Wachholder contrasts the older part of the city, in which he lives and in which the story is set, with the modern metropolis that has grown up around it: Ich liebe in großen Städten diese ältern Stadtteile mit ihren engen, krummen, dunkeln Gassen, in welche der Sonnenschein nur verstohlen hineinzublicken wagt: ich liebe sie mit ihren Giebelhäusern und wundersamen Dachtraufen, mit ihren alten Kartaunen und Feldschlangen, welche man als Prellsteine an die Ecken gesetzt hat. Ich liebe diesen Mittelpunkt einer vergangenen Zeit, um welchen sich ein neues Leben in liniengraden, parademäßig aufmarschierten Straßen und Plätzen angesetzt hat, und nie kann ich um die Ecke meiner Sperlingsgasse biegen, ohne den alten Geschützlauf mit der Jahreszahl 1589, der dort lehnt, liebkosend mit der Hand zu berühren. Selbst die Bewohner des ältern Stadtteils scheinen noch ein originelleres, sonderbareres Völkchen zu sein, als die Leute der modernen Viertel. Hier in diesen winkligen 48 Martini, Die Stadt in der Dichtung Wilhelm Raabes, 27. 49 Helmut Richter, “Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse,” in Raabe in neuer Sicht, ed. Hermann Helmers, 312–16 (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1968), 312.

90  Out of Place Gassen wohnt das Volk des Leichtsinns dicht neben dem der Arbeit und des Ernsts, und der zusammengedrängtere Verkehr reibt die Menschen in tolleren, ergötzlicheren Szenen aneinander als in den vornehmern, aber auch öderen Straßen. (BA1, 16) In large cities I love these older parts of town with their narrow, crooked, dark alleys, into which the sun dares to glance only furtively: I love them with their gabled houses and wondrous eaves, with their old canons and culverins [muskets] that have been placed on the corners as curbstones. I love this midpoint of a past time, around which a new life has settled in streets and squares that are deployed in a straight-lined and parade-like manner, and I can never turn the corner of my Sparrow Lane without caressingly touching with my hand the old gun barrel with the year 1589 that leans there. Even the residents of the older part of town appear to be a more peculiar, stranger crowd than the people of the more modern quarters. Here in these angular alleys, the people of frivolousness live close together with those of work and seriousness, and the crowded-together traffic rubs people against each other in wilder, more entertaining scenes than in the more distinguished, but also more desolate streets. Raabe couches a lost ideal within a modern metropolis: the old within the new, the personal and connected within the impersonal and isolated, the organic and crooked within the geometric and straight, uniqueness within uniformity, plenitude within bleakness, a society of cross-class interaction within a society grounded in rigidly hierarchical class differentiations. The old society offers a sense of security and protection, as signified by the guns and cannons set as curbstones on the corners of the houses. Wachholder does not associate these weapons explicitly with destruction, war or danger, but they do reflect his and Raabe’s defensive posture toward the metropolis and the encroachment of modernity associated with it.50 They reaffirm the sense of safety and connection within this embedded neighborhood, as evidenced by the narrator’s affectionate touch of a gun barrel with the year 1589 imprinted on it. It is as if they protect this unique place from 50 “Raabe steht gleichsam ständig in Verteidigungsstellung gegen den Angriff der Neuzeit und Großstadt.” Martini, Die Stadt in der Dichtung Wilhelm Raabes, 51. “Er schildert von vornherein einen Defensivkampf, dessen höchstes Ziel nicht weiter gesteckt sein kann als: einen Winkel zu finden, in dem sich die echten Kräfte der inneren Menschlichkeit unverzerrt und ungebrochen entfalten können.” Lukács, “Wilhelm Raabe,” 52.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  91 the incursions of modernity. Even the sun cannot shine its full light here—it peeks in only furtively. Wachholder, whose name suggests guarding (the German word wachen means “to keep watch, guard”) has created a protected, embedded place by excluding the outside.51 Insofar as Raabe’s embedded place preserves a distant past in the present, it differs from the embedded or framed narratives frequently used by other German realists (such as Theodor Storm and Conrad Ferdinand Meyer). Whereas other realists use embedded and framed narratives to establish narrative continuity with a distant past in a manner such that the distant past is recalled but simultaneously recognized as irretrievably absent, Raabe sets his embedded place not in an irretrievably lost past, but in a past that still exists in the narrative present. Like Wachholder, who walks from “the streets and squares that are deployed in a straight-lined and parade-like manner” of the modern metropolis only to turn the corner of Sparrow Lane, so too does Raabe bring his readers from a contemporary place to a past place. And just as the gun barrel both marks this past place and symbolically protects it from the incursions of modernity, so too does the device of embedding this past place spatially within a present place protect it from modern assaults on place. In fact, as Hermann Meyer notes, Raabe gives this embedded place much more emphasis and definition than he gives the surrounding metropolis, so much so that Meyer describes it as an island in a sea of fog.52 And Klotz argues that the novel is actually not about a city at all, but that the lane functions more as an oppositional zone to the city rather than as an alley that bears the imprint of the city’s influence.53 This is not to say that Raabe ignored the onslaught of modernity in his narrative. There is ample textual evidence that Raabe’s narrator is aware of the changes around him, but he treats these for the most part in general terms, leaving them on the periphery of his ideal place, as if holding on to his unique place might somehow counter the forces of modernity. The book begins: Es ist eigentlich eine böse Zeit! Das Lachen ist teuer geworden in der Welt, Stirnrunzeln und Seufzen gar wohlfeil. Auf der Ferne liegen blutig dunkel die Donnerwolken des Krieges, und über die Nähe haben 51 Klotz notes: “So ist der Standort des Erzählers durchaus privat, das heißt: er sondert sich ab, er schließt aus.” Klotz highlights the image of the narrator looking out of his window to emphasize that there is yet another layer between the narrator and the external, urban world. Die erzählte Stadt, 174–6. 52 Hermann Meyer, “Raum und Zeit in Wilhelm Raabes Erzählkunst,” in Raabe in neuer Sicht, ed. Hermann Helmers, 98–129 (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1968), 105. 53 Klotz, Die erzählte Stadt, 192.

92  Out of Place Krankheit, Hunger und Not ihren unheimlichen Schleier gelegt; – es ist eine böse Zeit! (BA1, 11) These are indeed bad times! Laughter has become costly in the world, frowning and sighing rather inexpensive. In the distance the thunderclouds of war lie bloodily and darkly, and disease, famine and privation have laid their veil over what lies near – these are bad times! This bleak assessment of his era stands in stark contrast to the description of Sparrow Lane that he gives only a few pages later (cited above). Yet it is also so general (war, sickness, hunger and peril were not exclusive to the 1850s) that it might apply to almost any century in the history of the German lands. At this point, there is less a detailed engagement with the ills of the era and more a desire to flee from them. Scholarly efforts to assert that Raabe represented the modern city in detail here are not convincing. Sabine Becker argues that Raabe could not keep out the metropolis and its influence in the Chronicle,54 but this argument rests on aesthetic qualities of the text and its structure (narrative interruptions, free thematic associations, mosaiclike structure, etc.) and not on details represented in the text. Other scholars, such as Klotz, point out that Wachholder makes little attempt to understand the external phenomena of the city beyond representing them as an incomprehensible yet stimulating confusion of the senses.55 There are, admittedly, moments in the text where the ills particular to Raabe’s day become more apparent. Wachholder’s friend Wimmer is forced to leave Berlin because of his inflammatory political writings: “‘Meine Herren,’ schrie, einen gestempelten Bogen schwingend, der Doktor, ‘ausgewiesen!’” (BA1, 69). [“Gentlemen,” screamed the doctor, brandishing a stamped sheet of paper, “deported!”] In addition, Wachholder’s schoolteacher friend Roder must flee to America for similar reasons: “sie haben ihn im Jahr Achtzehnhundertundneunundvierzig nach Amerika gejagt, sie fürchteten sich gewaltig vor ihm” (BA1, 122). [they chased him to America in 1849, they feared him tremendously.] Wachholder points to the political repression and censorship following the Revolutions of 1830 and 1848, although he seems reluctant to

54 See Sabine Becker, “Chronist der städtischen Moderne. Wilhelm Raabes Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse,” in Raabe-Rapporte. Literaturwissenschaftliche und literaturdidaktische Zugänge zum Werk Wilhelm Raabes, ed. Sigrid Thielking, 81–104 (Wiesbaden: Deutscher Universitätsverlag, 2002), 87, 88. 55 Klotz, Die erzählte Stadt, 177.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  93 address them openly.56 Similarly, Raabe introduces one of his era’s social problems through the cobbler family from Sparrow Lane we encounter with Wachholder at the end of the novel. This cobbler’s family is forced to move to America because of economic circumstances—circumstances that reflect the changing modes of production accompanying the arrival of industrial capitalism, where cottage industry succumbed to larger-scale, industrialized production. In each of these situations, economic and political changes associated with modernity produce displacement through the loss of a connection to an idyllic place. Wachholder writes: Es ist nicht mehr die alte germanische Wander- und Abenteuerlust, welche das Volk forttreibt von Haus und Hof, aus den Städten und vom Lande, die den Köhler aus seinem Walde, den Bergmann aus seinem dunkeln Schacht reißt, die den Hirten herabzieht von seinen Alpenweiden und sie alle fortwirbelt, dem fernen Westen zu: Not, Elend und Druck sind’s, welche jetzt das Volk geißeln, daß es mit blutendem Herzen die Heimat verläßt. (BA1, 166) It is no longer the old Germanic Wanderlust and adventurousness that drives the people away from house and farm, from cities and from the country, that tears the charcoal burner from his forest and the miner from his dark shaft, that draws the shepherd down from his alpine meadows and whirls them all away toward the far West: it is privation, misery and pressure that now plague the people, so that they depart their homeland with a bleeding heart. Wachholder identifies displacement, the departure from one’s home or homeland, as a salient problem of his era. Germans are not pursuing romantic Wanderlust; they are being driven from their homeland by “privation, misery and pressure.” Although these causes are as general as those described in the novel’s opening paragraph, in the context of the displaced cobbler’s family, the reader now sees them in terms particular to the time, as results of industrialization and the transition from a feudalistic to a capitalistic economic system.57 But his awareness of this problem in its particularity is more the exception than the rule 56 Georg Lukács observes that Raabe criticized the political, social and moral degradation that resulted from ascendant capitalism and Bismarck-Hohenzollern imperialism, but that he saw a way out only for individuals, never for society as a whole. “Wilhelm Raabe,” 50, 52. 57 “Vielmehr beruht Raabes Popularität weitgehend darauf, daß er die kapitalistische Wirklichkeit leidenschaftlich, aber nur gefühlsmäßig und subjektiv ablehnte.” Ibid., 59.

94  Out of Place for Wachholder, for before meeting this family he states: “Lange, lange Jahre hatte ich in dieser Gasse gewohnt, täglich fast war ich vor diesem Hause, vor diesen trüben Fenstern vorbeigegangen, und heute, am letzten Tage, den die arme hier wohnende Familie dahinter zubringt, steige ich zum ersten Male die feuchten Stufen hinab zu ihr” (BA1, 165–6). [For many long years I had lived in this lane, almost daily I had passed by this house, by these dreary windows, and today, on the last day that the poor family living here will spend behind them, I climb down the damp steps to them for the first time.] Wachholder did not see, and perhaps did not want to see, this indigent family living within the idyllic Sparrow Lane portrayed by his narrative. Wachholder’s experience of place contrasts with the painful experience of some of his neighbors: he experiences a connection to place, but they experience the loss of this connection. Wachholder creates a type of small town within a city, and portrays this small-town life as the preserver of authentic Germen spirit.58 Yet in instances such as these, the reader learns that Wachholder’s idyll is not reliable and that the narrator is all too willing to gloss over the threats to his idyll from modernity. Helmut Richter, equating Raabe with Wachholder, attributes this not only to Raabe’s sympathy for individuals, but also to his failure to recognize these threats as symptoms of the larger socio-economic forces associated with modernity.59 This is certainly true for Wachholder, but there are instances, discussed later in this chapter, in which Raabe distances himself from Wachholder, indicating that he may indeed recognize the threatening forces of modernity. To counter the threats of modernity, Wachholder embeds place not only geographically (a small town within a larger city), but also textually: “Ich schreibe keinen Roman und kann mich wenig um den schriftstellerischen Kontrapunkt bekümmern; was mir die Vergangenheit gebracht hat, was mir die Gegenwart gibt, will ich hier, in hübsche Rahmen gefaßt, zusammenheften” (BA1, 15). [I am not writing a novel and can concern myself little with literary counterpoint; what the past has brought to me, what the present gives me, I will bind together here in a pretty frame.] The “pretty frame” suggests not only the binding of the text into a volume, but also the structural stability of a frame. With this, Wachholder refers not only to a narrative frame, a device common in German realism, but also to the text as giving a frame, a place, for past and present experience. He treats the text itself as a place, as a refuge from these “bad times.” 58 Martini notes that in his preference for the small town and his view of it as the site of fulfilled living, Raabe is more Biedermeier than realist. Die Stadt in der Dichtung Wilhelm Raabes, 43, 44. 59 Richter, “Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse,” 316.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  95 One can find a place-like refuge from the vicissitudes of modernity in writing and reading a text. At the conclusion of the paragraph that begins, “These are indeed bad times!” (cited earlier), Wachholder refers to atmospheric influences (rain, fire, reflecting light) and states: “alles trug dazu bei, mich die Welt da draußen ganz vergessen zu machen und mich ganz in die Welt von Herz und Gemüt auf den Blättern vor mir zu versenken” (BA1, 11). [everything contributed to making me forget the world outside and immersing myself in the world of heart and soul on the pages before me.] For Wachholder, the text offers a refuge from the world outside, a place where heart and soul dominate. It is a place to forget the outside and to become lost. He repeatedly refers to the contrast between the outside world and the text: “Es soll draußen sehr kalter Winter sein. … Ich kann nicht sagen, daß ich viel davon wüßte. In diesen vergilbten Blättern hier vor mir ist es sonniger Frühling und blühender Sommer. Es macht mir Freude, mich darin zu verlieren, und ich erzähle deshalb weiter” (BA1, 62) [It is said to be very cold winter outside. … I cannot say that I would know much about that. In these yellowed pages here before me it is sunny spring and blossoming summer. It is a joy for me to get lost therein, and so I will continue to narrate]; and “Das war ein Sommertag im Walde, den ich hier aufzeichne in einer öden kalten Winternacht” (BA1, 92) [That was a summer’s day in the forest that I’m writing down here on a bleak, cold winter’s night]. The text offers a place that, although referencing the world outside the text, often stands in contrast to this world; it frames this world and lends it stability. Writing offers Wachholder the chance to forget the challenges and dangers brought on by modernity. As Wachholder writes: “Was kann ein Chronikenschreiber bei so bewandten Umständen Besseres tun, als sein Haus einzig und allein zum Gegenstand seiner Aufzeichnungen zu machen und die große Welt draußen, die allgemeine Gassengeschichte, gehen zu lassen, wie sie will?” (BA1, 92). [What can a chronicler amid such circumstances do better, than to make his house singularly and alone the object of his chronicling and to leave the great world outside, the general story of the lane, to fare as it will?] Wachholder creates a type of textual interiority: his house is the subject of his writing to the exclusion of the world outside. In fact, as both Meyer and Klotz have noted, not only does Wachholder’s apartment become an interior space, but so too does the Lane itself.60 It is a place protected by the frame of narrative, and, as such, the narrative resonates strongly with the genre of the idyll.61 This structural frame functions much like the

60 Meyer, “Raum und Zeit in Wilhelm Raabes Erzählkunst,” 105. Klotz, Die erzählte Stadt, 173. 61 Meyer, “Raum und Zeit in Wilhelm Raabes Erzählkunst,” 108.

96  Out of Place weaponry in the citation earlier, offering protection against modernity to a long-lost place. The place preserved by Wachholder is bound to the past. This is the third type of embedding Raabe performs: he embeds place not only geographically (a street within a city) and textually (a place within a text), but also temporally. Place is place from a past time. Along these lines, Georg Lukács asserts that Raabe’s political-historical utopia is built upon the dream of the renewal of free medieval cities.62 But place is not only a past era, it is also place in the time of an individual’s past experience. Place is intricately connected to memory; for Wachholder, memory provides continuity for human existence: Die Erinnerung ist das Gewinde, welches die Wiege mit dem Grabe verknüpft, und mag das dunkle, stachlichte Grün des Leidens, des Irrtums noch so vorwaltend sein, niemals wird’s hier und da an einer hervorleuchtenden Blume fehlen, bei welcher wir verweilen und flüstern können: “Wie lieblich und heilig ist diese Stätte!” (BA1, 150) Memory is the thread that binds the cradle with the grave, and however dominant the dark, prickly green of sorrow, of error may be, we will never be short of a radiant flower, over which we can tarry and whisper: ‘How lovely and sacred is this site!’ In this passage, Wachholder not only suggests that memory binds together the multiple periods and experiences of life, but also refers to those moments to which one returns and on which one dwells as Stätte [a place or an abode]. This is an important feature of Raabe’s text and of his relationship to place: places are inextricably bound with memory, such that place and memory become inseparable. Memory preserves a sense of place; memory makes spaces into places. Throughout the text, one finds numerous instances where things and spaces take on significance through memory. On climbing the stairs to his former apartment, Wachholder reflects: Wie oft bin ich einst diese steilen, engen Treppen hinauf- und hinabgeklettert, jetzt einen Haufen Bücher unter dem Arm, jetzt einen, wie ich glaubte, Furore machen sollenden Leitartikel in der Rocktasche. Wie oft haben Mariens kleine Füße diese schmutzigen Stufen betreten, wenn sie mit Franz zu einem prächtigen Teeabend kam, dem ich immer mit so untadelhafter, hausväterlicher Würde vorzustehen wußte! Wie ich dann 62 Lukács,”Wilhelm Raabe,” 49.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  97 ihr helles Lachen, welches die feuchten, schwarzen Wände so fröhlich wiedergaben, erwartete; wie sie so reizend über meine verwilderte Stube spötteln konnte und dann trotz aller meiner vorherigen stundenlangen Bemühungen erst durch fünf Minuten ihrer Anwesenheit einen menschlichen Aufenthaltsort daraus machte! (BA1, 32–3) How often I have climbed up and down these steep, narrow stairs, now a pile of books under my arm, then a lead article that should, I believed, cause a sensation, stuck in my coat pocket. How often have Marie’s small feet stepped upon these dirty steps when she came with Franz to a sumptuous evening tea, which I always knew to lead with such impeccable, patriarchal dignity. How I then awaited her bright laughter, which the damp, black walls returned so cheerfully; how she could sneer so delightfully about my unkempt parlor and then, in spite of my previous hour-long efforts, could make, through just five minutes of her presence, a human residence out of it! The stairs have great significance for Wachholder, but this significance is not bound to their appearance or their material substance. Instead, their significance resides solely in Wachholder’s memories. Clearly, for another individual, they would not have the same significance. Yet for Wachholder they evoke events, individuals and relationships that lie in his past. As this instance demonstrates, memory—insofar as it brings collectively into the present moment the emotions experienced in association with those steps at different points in the past—makes space into a place; the stairs become a repository of Wachholder’s memories. This resonates with Heidegger’s notion of place as a “sojourn among things,” for the narrator invests locales and objects with affective force.63 Raabe preserves a notion of place by embedding it within space, text and memory—place is protected within a triple frame. In preserving place, Raabe allows himself to make bold claims for it and to assert a degree of universality for it. The narrator’s most significant, even audacious claim is that place takes on a representative function. In Raabe’s conception, just as the experience of place is bound closely to the most fundamental human experiences, so too does the experience of a single place become representative of the experience of the 63 Along similar lines, Julia Bertschik notes: “Auf diesem Hintergrund entsteht auch bei Raabe eine Treue zu den ‘Bruchstücken der Dingwelt,’ indem Alltagsgegenstände zu Emblemen des Eingedenkens und zu einer melancholischen Atmosphäre der Vergänglichkeit erweitert werden.” Maulwurfsarchäologie (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1995), 93.

98  Out of Place universe. Wachholder describes this as the universe concentrating itself in a single point. While looking through a window he finds a bubble in the glass, which magnifies his view: Auf einmal fiel mein Blick auf eines jener kleinen Bläschen, die sich oft in den Glasscheiben finden. Zufällig schaute ich hindurch nach meiner kleinen Putzmacherin, und – ich begriff, daß das Universum sich in einem Punkt konzentrieren könne. So ist es auch mit diesem Traum- und Bilderbuch der Sperlingsgasse. Die Bühne ist klein, der darauf Erscheinenden sind wenig, und doch können sie eine Welt von Interesse in sich begreifen für den Schreiber und eine Welt von Langeweile für den Fremden, den Unberufenen, dem einmal diese Blätter in die Hände fallen sollten. (BA1, 18) At once my view fell upon one of those small bubbles that are often found in glass panes. Coincidentally I looked through it towards my little cleaning woman, and – I comprehended that the universe could concentrate itself in a single point. So it is also with this dream- and picture-book of Sparrow Lane. The stage is small, those who appear on it are few, and nonetheless they can encompass a world of interest for the writer and a world of boredom for the outsider, the unbidden one, into whose hands these pages might fall. The universe is concentrated in a single point, visually in the glass bubble, and experientially in the book that Wachholder writes. Wachholder uses metaphors of place (“the stage” and “a world”) to describe his text, and he implies that this textual place has representative value for the entire world. Of course, like the experience of place bound to memory, this is subjective, even hermetic. Those not initiated into this experience of place will overlook this representative function. In other words, only those who appreciate the particularity of place will recognize the universal meaning connected to this text. Wachholder offers us a type of hermetic universalism: it is not that a point truly represents the entire universe, but instead that one finds one’s own universe within a single point. Wachholder is eager to tout the representative nature not only of his text, but also of the places he describes in it. He writes: Die Geschichte eines Hauses ist die Geschichte seiner Bewohner, die Geschichte seiner Bewohner ist die Geschichte der Zeit, in welcher sie lebten und leben, die Geschichte der Zeiten ist die Geschichte der Menschheit, und die Geschichte der Menschheit ist die Geschichte

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  99 – Gottes! Wohin führt uns das? Kehren wir schnell um und steigen wir die Treppen hinunter in das unterste Stockwerk. (BA1, 92) The narrative of a house is the narrative of its inhabitants, the narrative of its inhabitants is the narrative of the time in which they lived and live, the narrative of these times is the narrative of humanity, and the narrative of humanity is the narrative – of God! To where does that lead us? Let us turn around quickly and climb down the stairs into the lowest floor of the house. Wachholder moves from a particular place to its inhabitants, from them to the era they live in, and from that to a universal history of humanity, and ultimately to a history of God. By extension, the narrative of a house is the narrative of God. One finds resonance here with Heidegger’s notion of dwelling as preserving the fourfold unity of human experience: of earth and heaven, mortality and divinity. Wachholder extracts from his limited experience with a limited, embedded space a model for all other places in the universe.64 This hermetic universalism becomes nearly hegemonic in imposing its qualities of place on all others. Wachholder is justified in embedding place, in cordoning it off from the threats of modernity, for only in this embedded place does he claim to find universality that transcends its embeddedness. Like Heidegger, Wachholder privileges the subjective, cognitive experience of place over external influences or social factors that might affect one’s experience of place. As a result, this narrative about a small group of people in a narrow alley of Berlin addresses issues on a much larger scale. Near the midpoint of the text, Wachholder shares the narrative of Frau Karsten, the oldest resident of their apartment house. She recounts the French occupation of Berlin under Napoleon, how her husband predicted that the French would be driven out, how she lost two sons who fought for the German cause, how years later a memorial plaque was mounted in the nearby Sophienkirche [Church of Sophia, named after Sophie Luise, wife of Frederick I of Prussia] to honor the fallen, and how one day her husband could no longer bear to see the plaque. One inhabitant listening to Frau Karsten’s tale claims that he knows why her husband could no longer endure the sight of the plaque, and 64 Klotz makes a similar observation about Raabe’s representative claims: “Raabes Neigung zum Exemplarischen, die ihn dazu anhält, dem unheimlichen Stadtchaos vom Erzähler her ein Ordnungsgerüst zu unterstellen, prägt den Roman allenthalben. Sie äußert sich fast durchweg in Personifikationen, die das bunte Vielerlei auf wenige, knappe Nenner bringen sollen.” Die erzählte Stadt, 184.

100  Out of Place others join him in saying that they know, too; the reader, however, is never told what the reason is (although we might assume it is political disappointment and resignation after the failed Revolution of 1848). The narrator states that he knows, too, and then says: “‘In dem Wissen liegt die Zukunft – Gott segne das Vaterland!’ Und dann … kam die Meisterin mit den Kartoffeln” (BA1, 104). [“In this knowledge lies the future – God bless the Fatherland!” And then … came the master’s wife with the potatoes.] This national political commentary grows out of what at first appears to be a mundane recounting of a personal history. Wachholder emphasizes this link between the particular and the universal—or, here, between the mundane and the national—with the last phrase. From a prophetic pronouncement about the future of Germany and a blessing on the Fatherland, the narrator shifts to the arrival of the potatoes. This anticlimactic shift is both humorous and telling. The juxtaposition of an ideal such as Vaterland with the immediate reality of warm potatoes indicates that the particular overshadows the general, that the concern for food outweighs the need for a national ideal. In this moment, Raabe implicitly criticizes how Germans behaved after 1848, suggesting that individuals are so concerned with the particular (here the potatoes) that they forget the universal (or the Vaterland). The particular is bound to the universal, but excess focus on the particular occurs to the detriment of the universal. We find a similar instance later in the text when Wachholder’s neighbor, Strobel, contributes a section to Wachholder’s Chronicle. Strobel recounts a trip to the countryside along the Weser river. While sitting by the river, a steamboat named the Hermann (after the ancient Germanic hero) paddles by, ferrying a group of emigrants who sing “Was ist des Deutschen Vaterland?” [What is the German’s Fatherland?], a nationalistic poem by Ernst Moritz Arndt that appeals for a unified Germany. Prompted by the contrast between displaced emigrants and the connection to place evident in their nationalistic song, Strobel looks out at the landscape and in his imagination peoples it with figures from the past, specifically from Hermann’s defeat of the Romans under Varus. He then looks for a monument to Hermann, a symbol of national unity that was under construction at the time, and to get a better view, climbs a nearby beech tree. Yet he cannot see the monument and instead sees only the Christoffel in nearby Kassel, a monument to Hercules (modeled on Saint Christopher, from whom it received its name) and symbolically a monument to the power of local princes rather than to a unified Germany. In climbing down from the tree, Strobel injures his thumb. He reports his reaction: “‘Das hat man davon,’ brummte ich, während ich mir das Blut aus dem aufgeritzten Daumen sog, ‘das hat man davon, wenn man sich nach deutscher Größe umguckt: einen Dorn stößt man sich in den Finger, die Hosen zerreißt man, und zu sehen kriegt man nichts

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  101 als – den großen Christoffel’” (BA1, 149). [“That’s what you get for it,” I grumbled, as I sucked the blood from my slit-open thumb, “that’s what you get for it, when you look around for German greatness: you poke a thorn in your finger, you tear your pants to shreds, and you aren’t able to see anything other than – the great Christoffel.”] Again, a jarring and even humorous shift from the immediate and mundane—a cut finger, torn pants and a view of the Christoffel—to the abstract and the national—the ideal of a unified Germany—characterizes Raabe’s notion of place. The painful details in the particular instance point to the painful situation on a national level. One looks for the greatness of a national ideal, but finds only painful particularity. As Barker Fairly states of The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane: “Thus the book is more than a picture of Sparrow Lane; it is also a picture of Germany, modestly drawn, but not accidentally.”65 The relationship between the particular and the general is important here, for this relationship will change in The Files of Birdsong. In The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane the particular is part of the universal in a relationship that is more metonymical than metaphorical: the particular and the general are related more through their continuity than through their similarity.66 Contiguity, not separation, is the fundamental character of this relationship. For Raabe, the experience of place does not point to an experience of the universe beyond place. Instead, the experience of the universe is bound to a particular place—or, stated otherwise, the place contains the universe. Because place contains the universe for Raabe, the experience within this embedded place is valuable in and of itself—it does not require a universe outside of itself to validate it or give it meaning. The result is a close bond between place and experience, in which place represents a gathering or accretion of experience, as in Heidegger’s notion of dwelling as gathering. In fact, this is the point of the entire narrative: to gather and collect experience, to bring it together in one place. This is evident in the final pages of the text. Wachholder reflects on the marriage of Gustav and Elise and writes: Und als das junge Herzchen an meiner Brust pochte, auf der andern Seite Gustav mir den Arm um die Schulter legte, als Helene weinend 65 Barker Fairley, Wilhelm Raabe. An Introduction to his Novels (London: Oxford, 1961), 185. 66 For more on the difference between metonymy and metaphor, see Roman Jakobson, “Two Aspects of Language and Two Types of Disturbance,” in On Language, (eds) Linda Waugh and Monique Monville-Burston, 115–33 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1990), particularly 129–33. Jakobson argues that metonymical constructions underlie literary realism.

102  Out of Place der jungen Braut den Kranz in die Locken drückte, da war es mir, als sei nun ein langes dunkles Rätsel gelöst, und ich senkte das Haupt vor der geheimnisvollen Macht, welche die Geschicke lenkt und ein Auge hat für das Kind in der Wiege und die Nation im Todeskampf. Wie die Fäden laufen mußten, um hier in der armen Gasse sich zusammenzuschürzen zu einem neuen Bunde! (BA1, 169) And as the young heart beat on my breast, on the other side Gustav laid his arm around my shoulder, as a crying Helene pressed the wreath into the curls of the young bride, then it was for me as if a long, dark mystery had been solved, and I lowered my head before the mysterious power that directs fates and has an eye for the child in the cradle and the nation in a death struggle. How the threads had to run to be tied together here in this poor lane into a new bond! The moment of revelation for the narrator, when the puzzle or cipher that is his text finally achieves resolution, occurs in a commonplace literary convention: a couple marries at the end of a story. Yet the language describing this resolution employs terms of gathering and binding in a specific place: the threads came together to form a new bond “in this poor lane.” The child in the cradle and the nation in its fight for survival are bound together by a mysterious power that finds focus and expression in a particular place—in Sparrow Lane. The plot of the text focuses on the gathering of experience into this one place. Other, more traditional plots—such as those based on character development, on a conflict between characters, or on a troubled romance—play little role here. Although characters age and grow, we see little true development or change. Although we see different characters interact with each other, there is no real conflict, other than in childhood play. Instead, we see the contrasting personalities of Gustav and Elise brought together in marriage. And although there is a marriage at the end, there is little sense in the course of the narrative that this relationship had significant hurdles to overcome. Instead, the two children knew each other from a young age and were fast friends from early on, conspiring together against their respective parent or guardian. The challenge to overcome lies not in their relationship, but in the past—a past in which Gustav’s ancestor seduced Elise’s ancestor, provoking her ultimate suicide. Gustav and Elise’s marriage consequently mends the breach between these two families, but it offers little new development in their present lives. Instead, it highlights the place where they came together, Sparrow Lane, as the site and means of this reunion. This embedded place becomes the site of gathering, of

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  103 protection against the outside, and a guarantor of connection with the universe.

Narrative Strategies of Place

The creation of such a safe, embedded place in the midst of its disappearance hearkens back to the genre of the fairy tale, and it is not coincidental that Wachholder invokes this genre repeatedly. He begins the narration by claiming: “Jetzt ist die Zeit für einen Märchenerzähler, für einen Dichter” (BA1, 13). [Now is the time for a fairy tale teller, for a poet.] Later, when Strobel characterizes his Chronicle as a Kinderbaukasten [children’s building block set], Wachholder welcomes this comparison and then asserts: “Ich werde von der Vergangenheit im Präsens und von der Gegenwart im Imperfektum sprechen, ich werde Märchen erzählen und daran glauben, Wahres zu einem Märchen machen und zuerst – die bekritzelten Blätter des Meisters Strobel der Chronik anheften!” (BA1, 142). [I will speak of the past in the present tense, and of the present in the imperfect tense, I will tell fairy tales and believe them, make truth into a fairy tale and first – attach the scribbled pages of Meister Strobel to the chronicle!] Wachholder describes his work as a fairy tale, which might seem strange for a realist text. After all, we find no wicked stepmothers, witches or similar supernatural antagonists and no sign of the magic usually required to overcome such antagonists. The relatively conservative formal nature of the traditional fairy tale—it begins with a position of stability, then sends the hero or heroine into an unstable situation, and finally allows the hero or heroine to regain stability (usually through marriage) at the end of the tale67—is not mirrored here, or at least not in this configuration. For although a young couple is married at the end of the narrative, the couple never has to prove itself or face obstacles, as would be necessary in a fairy tale. But, given these examples, a question arises: in what way is this text connected to the genre of the fairy tale? In what way does this realist text depict not only “reality,” but also a type of social imaginary? If one reads fairy tales purely in terms of their relationship to the outside world, as an escapist genre, as a flight into the imagination and away from the vicissitudes of the real world, then one can read Wachholder’s Chronicle as a fairy tale, as does Leo Lensing. He argues that Wachholder “employs the fairy tale as a means of distancing 67 This is a simplified and condensed recounting of Vladimir Propp’s structural analysis of fairy tales. Propp asserts that all fairy tales are structurally similar (they are “of one type in regard their structure” [23]) and that they all have a strict sequence of possible events or functions that is always identical [22]. Morphology of the Folktale, 2nd edn., trans. Laurence Scott, ed. Louis A. Wagner (Austin, TX: University of Texas, 1968).

104  Out of Place himself from the melancholy of the present. The realistic and historical impulses of the novel are here preempted by the will to transform the oppressive reality of the present into the idyllic world of the fairy tale.”68 The fairy tale offers a safe textual place, a realm of the imagination that often stands in direct contrast to the world outside. But this superficial similarity is not the only similarity between the fairy tale and Wachholder’s Chronicle. Formally, there is a degree of similarity between the two that scholars such as Lensing have not addressed. If one views The Chronicle only in terms of the young couple, as described above, then there is little plot similarity between the fairy tale and The Chronicle. Yet if one includes the family history related by Wachholder (Gustav’s grandfather’s seduction and then subsequent abandonment of Elise’s grandmother), then a similarity to the formal structure of the fairy tale becomes more evident. Where the fairy tale usually deals with individuals within a single lifespan, The Chronicle treats families across generations. From this familial and generational perspective, The Chronicle bears strong formal resemblance to a fairy tale. An idyllic life in the woods for Elise’s grandmother, Luise, is destroyed; she kills herself, and Gustav’s grandfather, Graf Seeburg, leaves to wander the world. In this moment we find the initial constellation of the fairy tale, a secure home that is disrupted or that a character abandons.69 Yet it will take two generations and significant travels to remedy this disruption and to re-establish harmony between the two families. This multigenerational perspective makes evident the formal similarities between the plot of a fairy tale and one of the main plots of The Chronicle, but it also indicates other significant similarities. Specifically, whereas the re-establishment of harmony at the end of a fairy tale is usually facilitated by magic, here Wachholder attributes the resolution to a “mysterious power,” something like fate, that guides the fortunes of humanity at large. In contrast to the fairy tale of the early nineteenth century, this is not a magical force that an individual can wield; instead, it transcends individuals and generations, and can often be destructive, as Wachholder describes: “aber die unsichtbare Hand, welche die gewaltigen Blätter des Buches Welt und Leben eins nach dem andern umwendet, mit ihren zertretenen Generationen, gemordeten Völkern und gestorbenen Individuen, will es anders als der kleine nachzeichnende Mensch” (BA1, 124). [but the invisible hand, which turns over the tremendous pages of the book of the world and life one after the other, with their downtrodden generations, murdered peoples, and deceased individuals, desires things differently than the small, mimicking 68 Lensing, “Fairy Tales in the Novel,” 25. 69 To read more about the initial situation of a fairy tale and the events or functions that follow it, see Propp, Morphology, 25–36.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  105 human.] Magical powers no longer reside within human reach, as they did only decades earlier. Instead, there is a force, an “invisible hand,” that controls fate and often destroys humans (at another point, Wachholder describes its actions as “Immer zertrümmern, zertrümmern!” [BA1, 165] [Always destroying, destroying!]). Wachholder has adapted the fairy tale genre to the realities of the mid-nineteenth century: social, historical and economic forces (intimated in the “invisible hand”) now trump individuality, and human development occurs on a different scale—it takes place over generations, not within an individual’s lifespan. It is significant not only that this supernatural force controls fate, but also that it manifests itself in specific places, here Sparrow Lane and Germany. This is evident in the narrative’s concluding sentence: “Seid gegrüßt, alle ihr Herzen bei Tage und bei Nacht; sei gegrüßt, du großes, träumendes Vaterland; sei gegrüßt, du kleine, enge, dunkle Gasse; sei gegrüßt, du große, schaffende Gewalt, die du die ewige Liebe bist! – Amen! Das sei das Ende der Chronik der Sperlingsgasse!” (BA1, 171). [Greetings, all you hearts by day and by night; greetings, you great, dreaming fatherland; greetings, you small, narrow, dark lane; greetings, you great, creative power, you, who are eternal love! – Amen! Let that be the end of the Chronicle of Sparrow Lane!] In a near prayer, signaled by the “Amen,” Wachholder binds together individual hearts, the German fatherland, Sparrow Lane, and an enormous creative force, which he labels “eternal love.” For Wachholder, this mystical force is bound to and manifested within a specific place. In creating a narrative that resonates with the genre of the fairy tale, Wachholder embeds the magical and fantastical elements of this genre, now transformed into a larger sense of fate, within the concept of place. Place contains the essence of universal and individual experience. The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane conveys a sense of place that is embedded and shielded from the outside world and that at the same time is connected to and represents the entire universe. It manifests the driving force within the universe and is the site where disparate threads are gathered together and bound harmoniously. Yet this notion of place, as embedded and shielded as it may seem, does not enjoy a wholly carefree existence. I have referred to some of these threats earlier, specifically those associated with the modernization of Germany: capitalism, industrialization, urbanization, etc. Yet there is an additional threat, namely the narrative itself. Wachholder is an endearing narrator, but he is often prone to sentimentalism and is not wholly reliable. On several occasions, Raabe indicates to the reader that Wachholder’s narrative should be viewed with a degree of skepticism. Wachholder’s neighbor Strobel reads part of the chronicle and comments: “Nehmen Sie’s nicht übel, aber manchmal gleicht Ihre

106  Out of Place Chronik doch dem Machwerk eines angehenden literarischen Lichts, das sich mit Rousseau getröstet hat: Avec quelque talent qu’on puisse être né, l’art d’écrire ne s’apprend pas tout d’un coup” (BA1, 141). [Don’t take it badly, but sometimes your chronicle seems like the concoction of a budding literary light, that consoled itself with Rousseau: “With whatever talent one may have been born, the art of writing cannot be learned in one stroke.”] Strobel accuses Wachholder of dilettantism, of foisting imperfect writings on his audience prematurely. Consequently Raabe compels us to question Wachholder’s abilities as a narrator. Similarly, when Wachholder discovers the destitute cobbler’s family at the end of the narrative, he states that he walked by their windows for years without knowing of their existence. The reader can’t help but wonder if there aren’t other elements of Sparrow Lane—of this “universe in a point”—that Wachholder might have overlooked. Moments such as these encourage readers to approach Wachholder’s narrative with a degree of skepticism, and, by extension, to wonder if the places he creates in this narrative are truly as stable and secure as he portrays them. Raabe’s narrative technique is surprisingly self-aware and modern when compared to those of many of his contemporaries, yet this approach also qualifies his assertions about the possibility of stable and secure places; although the narrative content attempts to communicate and preserve a stable, embedded place, the narrative technique calls the success of this endeavor into question.

From The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane to The Files of Birdsong

In the forty years that separated the publication of The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane from The Files of Birdsong, the relationship between individuals and place in German lands changed radically. As mentioned in the first chapter, these changes could be seen most clearly in Berlin. Major cities grew dramatically due to an influx of population from rural and agrarian areas. Along similar lines, feudal organizations of space gave way to organizations of space that favored capitalist exchange. Cottage industries, in which workplace and dwelling place were unified, gave way to the ever-increasing prominence of the factory system, in which workplace and dwelling place were separate. Additionally, as space and place became valued for their economic benefit, entrepreneurs began to speculate on real estate, leading first to a real estate boom and then to a dramatic crash in the 1870s. Place had become a commodity to trade, not an object for attachment. It was a space to pass through, not a site in which to put down roots or develop connections. As stated earlier, one cannot speak about the German relationship to place in the late nineteenth century without acknowledging the significance of the fact that Germany first became a nation in the year 1871. For decades prior, the idea of a German nation was only an abstraction,

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  107 an ideal. Given that the site of the national founding was actually at the Palace of Versailles in France, it appears that the newly united Germany was as much an abstract, portable idea as it was a geographical location. On a national level, the unification of Germany may have strengthened German identity, but it also proved that national identity was not bound to place: one could be German without living in Germany. I mention these various historical details to highlight the degree to which perceptions of place had changed for Germans in the four decades between publication of these two texts. Place was no longer viewed as a permanent object, but an abstract and portable concept; it was no longer seen as a site of personal identity, but a commodity and a political object; it was no longer a site for holistic dwelling and living, but a site for a functionally differentiated mode of living. During the 1850s an appeal to a unified and identity-preserving notion of place may have seemed naïve, but it still might have seemed plausible. By the 1890s such a notion of place was no longer possible for the majority of Germans. This led to a shift in German realism, which in earlier stages had attempted to idealize and make poetic the simple truths of bourgeois reality. Later, as Eberhard Geisler notes, the most characteristic development in the nineteenth-century novel became the experience of a breakdown in the view of life and the world as coherent totalities.70 Raabe’s work reflects this change. As Manfred Kindermann argues: “Wilhelm Raabe can with good reason be classified in a new phase of ‘realist’ narrative, ‘critical realism’: this recognizes the experienced world as partially inhumane and no longer idealizable.”71 This shift in realist thought is evident in Raabe’s later work, specifically as it represents place. Fritz Martini notes that after Meister Autor (1874), the city as Raabe portrays it no longer represents life in its various manifestations, but now represents the forces and tendencies of modernity.72 This is certainly due in part to external changes in Germany, but it also may be attributed in part to Raabe’s own philo70 Eberhard Geisler, “Abschied vom Herzensmuseum. Die Auflösung des Poetischen Realismus in Wilhelm Raabes Akten des Vogelsangs,” in Wilhelm Raabe. Studien zu seinem Leben und Werk, (eds) Lensing and Werner, 364–80 (Braunschweig: pp-Verlag, 1981), 365. 71 Manfred Kindermann, “Subjektkonstitution als Entfremdung,” Implizites psychologisches Wissen in Raabes Roman ‘Die Akten des Vogelsangs,’” Jahrbuch der Raabe Gesellschaft (2000): 103–21, 104. Eberhard Geisler makes a similar assertion: “Raabe sagt, mit anderen Worten, in den Akten der Hoffnung des Poetischen Realismus ab, es könne realistisch geschrieben, d.h. auf die konkrete gesellschaftliche Realität eingegangen und dabei zugleich das eine oder andere Moment noch möglicher Poesie, d.h. einer gelungenen Lebenseinheit, aufgezeigt werden.” “Abschied vom Herzensmuseum,” 377. 72 Martini, Die Stadt in der Dichtung Wilhelm Raabes, 29.

108  Out of Place sophical development, specifically the development resulting from his encounters with Schopenhauer’s philosophy and pessimism.73 This shift is most evident in his last completed work, The Files of Birdsong.

Relinquishing Place: The Files of Birdsong

What was insinuated in the narrative stance of The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane becomes the primary subject matter of The Files of Birdsong. In The Files, Raabe relinquishes the sense of place that The Chronicle works so hard to preserve, and in doing so he relinquishes many of the claims bound to place. One has the impression that the narrator longs for an experience of place like the one Heidegger idealizes, but that, as in Heidegger, such a place is irretrievably lost. Whereas a degree of embedding or framing was necessary to preserve a sense of place in The Chronicle, in The Files of Birdsong the instability of both the narrative and spatial frames means that a sense of place can be preserved only by creating bonds and connections that constrain individuals. The result is that individuals face a painful choice: either relinquish place and the sense of humanity connected with it or hold on to place and find constraint, confinement and alienation from the modern world. Various individuals in the novel represent these extremes. On the one hand we find Velten Andres and Helene Trotzendorff, who attempt to relinquish all attachments to place yet find themselves drawn to it again and again. On the other hand we find Mrs Fencing Master Feucht, whose apartment preserves Jena romanticism and the early nineteenth century, yet is wholly disconnected from the modern metropolis in which it is located. She is, in a sense, confined to both the past and to this place, unable to enter the modern world. The narrator, Karl Krumhardt, embodies the tension between these two poles, at times longing for the freedom that Velten embodies and at others clinging to his own connections to home, hearth and family. The necessity of relinquishing place produces a torn subject who must decide between two equally unappealing alternatives. Even in its late stages, German realism sustains a tension between an escapist notion of place and a resigned acceptance of modernism. Yet by this point the tension is painful, even unsustainable. The threatened but stable sense of place in The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane gives way to multiple manifestations of displacement in The Files of Birdsong. The small neighborhood of Birdsong that once provided a sense of community and identity to our narrator has been wholly subsumed into the nearby metropolis by the time of narration. Krumhardt writes:

73 Ibid., 31–2.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  109 Ja, über den Schreibtisch weg sehe ich heute (nicht mit leiblichen Augen) auf unsern alten Kirchhof im Vogelsang, wo sie den Rat und die Rätin Krumhardt, den Doktor und die Frau Doktern Andres und den Nachbar Hartleben so nachbarschaftlich nebeneinander gebettet haben und wo wir, meine Kinder, mein Weib und ich, wo Velten Andres und Helene Trotzendorff nicht ihre Ruhestätten bei ihren besten Erziehern finden werden. Jetzt liegt auch er schon zwischen Backsteinmauern und Zement-Kunsthandwerk, der Friedhof des Vogelsangs; damals lag er noch vollständig im Grün, und eine lebendige Hecke ging um ihn her. (BA19, 240) Yes, I look (not with physical eyes) over and beyond my desk today at our old churchyard in Birdsong, where they laid to rest Councilor and Mrs Councilor Krumhardt, Doctor and Mrs Doctor Andres, and neighbor Hartleben so neighborly next to each other, and where we, my children, my wife and I, where Velten Andres and Helene Trotzendorff will not find their final resting places next to their best teachers. Now it also already lies between brick walls and cement handicraft, the cemetery of Birdsong; then it lay completely in greenness and a living hedge encircled it. The narrator himself is removed from his childhood neighborhood— he sees it only in memory, but “not with physical eyes.” Unlike Wachholder, for whom memories were bound to places and objects still present to him, memory is now the only means available to sense a connection to place. The image of the cemetery similarly emphasizes the separation from place: what was once green and living is now gray, cold and industrialized. There are places of rest for the previous generation, but the current generation, including the narrator and his family, has been displaced, even in death. They have no “resting places,” suggesting that they are forever displaced, that place is irretrievably lost. And the town itself, rather than being preserved within the city as it was in The Chronicle, has lost its character, as individual homes give way to bricks and cement. This is only one of many manifestations of displacement in the text. Various characters in the text, for example, also embody displacement in one form or another. The des Beaux family, whom Velten befriends in Berlin, are descendents of “diese alten Hugenotten des Edikts von Nantes in der Mark Brandenburg” [these old Huguenots of the Edict of Nantes in the Mark of Brandenburg] and proof that “Religiosität und Geschäftssinn nicht feindliche Geschwister sind” (BA19, 319) [religiosity and business sense are not inimical siblings]. In 1685, Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg, also known as the Great Elector, signed the Edict of Potsdam, a response to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in France.

110  Out of Place The Edict of Potsdam invited French Huguenots to escape religious persecution and settle in Brandenburg, and tens of thousands of them streamed into Berlin. This was not done solely for the ideal of religious tolerance; the Huguenots also boosted Prussia’s mercantile economy and brought new skills and trades to Prussia. Raabe therefore cites this historical change in Berlin’s population, driven by both religious and economic motivation, as yet another example of displacement. Velten describes this Huguenot family, nearly 200 years after their immigration to Prussia, as keepers of French culture in the middle of Prussia’s metropolis: Wie mir scheint, hat die ganze Familie ein gut Stück Romantik aus der Langue d’Oc in den märkischen Sand durch die Jahrhunderte hineingerettet. Die Gesellschaft gehört zu der noch immer so genannten französischen Kolonie, und ich benutze die Gelegenheit, mein Französisch zwischen Leon und Leonie aufzupolieren. (BA19, 273) As it appears to me, the whole family has preserved through the centuries a good portion of romanticism from the Langue d’Oc and brought it into the sand of the Mark [of Brandenburg]. This family belongs to what is still called the French Colony, and I am using the opportunity to brush up on my French between Leon and Leonie. The des Beaux family has preserved Romantic culture in the Mark of Brandenburg; they form a colony, a group geographically removed from their cultural, national, and linguistic origin. That their children still speak enough French for Velten to practice his language skills indicates that something of this culture has been preserved in the colony. The colony represents a type of modern displacement—a culture displaced to a location from which it did not originate, comparable to German emigrants of the nineteenth century—but here it also represents an older connection to place, something much more akin to the embedded places one finds in The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane. Krumhardt describes how the des Beaux house has not only a salon but also a library and “in diesem nüchternen Berlin des achtzehnten und neunzehnten Jahrhunderts, heraus wie aus dem siebenzehnten Säkulum und in den Einzelheiten noch viel weiter zurück in den Zeiten und Historien, sein Museum” (BA19, 288) [in this sensible Berlin of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, drawn as if out of the seventeenth century and in its details even much farther back into times and histories, its museum]. The library contains a museum, a collection of objects that represent “a sojourn among things,” to use Heidegger’s language. These objects

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  111 preserve the des Beaux family’s connection to a distant place, just as objects did for Wachholder and his immediate place in The Chronicle. Yet this strangely embedded colony—this experience of place that is out of place—suffers additional displacement in the course of the narrative as the narrator’s generation, Leon and Leonie, distance themselves from their original sense of place. Leonie leaves Berlin to serve as a nun in a convent in Kaiserswerth (in German Lorraine), and Leon gives his children German and English forenames (Fritz and Vicky) rather than French ones. In addition, Leon’s children have lost the connection to things that would affirm a sense of place: “und das Eigentum ihrer Vorfahren väterlicher Seite hat kaum noch viel Bedeutung für sie. Was in der Dorotheenstraße noch pietätvoll zusammengetragen worden war, das dient in der jetzigen Villa des Beaux in den Gemächern nur noch hie und da zur Zier” (BA19, 386) [and the property of their ancestors on the paternal side has hardly any meaning for them anymore. What had been brought together reverently in the Dorotheenstraße now serves in chambers of the current Villa des Beaux here and there only as decoration]. A connection of things with memory has been lost: things are only decoration and no longer bind this family to their heritage. Even the embedded place of the French colony has been displaced. A similarly embedded, preserved place is found with the des Beaux family’s neighbor in the back building of their apartment house, Mrs Fencing Master Feucht, a widow who lived with her husband in Jena during the halcyon days of the romantic era. Mrs Fencing Master Feucht’s apartment resembles a museum, even a shrine to this lost place and era. It is as if the outside world of the modern Prussian metropolis does not exist. Krumhardt describes her apartment: Die ganze Welt kam hier gar nicht in Betracht; aber in ganz Deutschland gab es kein Witwenstübchen, das diesem glich. Mitten in diesem Berlin diese ganze deutsche Jugend, soweit sie sich in Jena und auf ihren Verbindungsbildern zusammengefunden hatte! Alle Wände damit bedeckt; – dazwischen, wo nur ein Räumchen, alles voll von Schattenrissen mit allen Couleuren an Mütze und Band. Waffentrophäen statt des Spiegels, Schläger und Stulpen und was sonst dazu gehört, wo nur noch was aufzuhängen war. Keine Ritterdame des romantischsten Mittelalters hatte je zu der Ausstattung ihres Ahnensaales und ihrer Kemenate so gepaßt wie die Frau Fechtmeisterin Feucht zu dem Schmuck und der Zierde ihres Altweiberstübchens, wie gesagt: mitten in diesem Berlin! (BA19, 281) The whole world was excluded here; but in all of Germany there was no widow’s chamber that compared to this one. In the middle of this

112  Out of Place Berlin this complete German youth, as far as it had come together in Jena and in her pictures of the student associations! All walls covered with them; – in between, where only a tiny space remained, everything full of silhouettes with all the colored uniforms of cap and sash. Trophy weaponry instead of a mirror, swords and shields and whatever else belongs with it, wherever there was room to hang up anything else. No knightly lady of the romantic Middle Ages suited the décor of her ancestral hall and her lady’s chamber as Mrs Fencing Master Feucht did the emblazonment and ornament of her old woman’s little room, as I said: in the middle of this Berlin! The narrator emphasizes twice the embedded nature of place: “in the middle of this Berlin.” Yet this embedded location stands in stark contrast to the metropolis outside; it represents a clean break from it. Whereas embedded places in The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane represent the universe in a single point and maintain a link to the city outside them, the embedded location here represents a link to an irretrievably past time. This time is so foreign to the present that it might as well be in the medieval period (hence the comparison to a “knightly lady of the romantic Middle Ages”). Phrases such as “The whole world was excluded here” and the suggestion that no other widow’s apartment in Germany could compare to this one also indicate the separateness and uniqueness from the world outside of this place. The house number, “0” (BA 19, 389), likewise indicates that this place holds no value for the modern era. This single point does not represent the rest of the universe. Mrs Fencing Master Feucht stands in direct contrast to the other characters of the novel: where they travel or change residences, she remains in one place, and where they adapt to the changes brought by time, she holds fast to a past era. Both her late husband’s title and the decorative weaponry in her apartment suggest a tenacious, even martial stance against modernity.74 At the end of the narrative, Krumhardt suggests that she alone is able to maintain a relationship to place (expressed in the following passage with the term Eigentum [property]): “Die Frau Fechtmeisterin Feucht allein von uns allen hatte ihr Eigentum noch vollständig beisammen” (BA19, 391). [Mrs Fencing Master Feucht alone of us all still had her property completely gathered together.] Although the narrator asserts that the widow alone maintains a relationship to place, the reader recognizes that even this relationship 74 “Indem die Witwe unter dem ‘Titel ‘Fechtmeisterin’ festhält an der vergangenen ‚Burschenherrlichkeit,’ gibt sie diesen Kampfgeist weiter.” “Der Innenraum wird durch die kämpferischen Konnotationen der Fechtmeisterin und der Löwenkinder Leon und Leonie zumindest appellativ geöffnet zur Gesellschaft.” Roebling, Wilhelm Raabes doppelte Buchführung, 130, 131.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  113 requires qualification. At the end of the narrative we learn that Helene Trotzendorff, in her own effort to preserve place, has bought the building in which Mrs Fencing Master Feucht resides. This act does not highlight the permanence and security of Mrs Fencing Master Feucht’s connection to place, but instead emphasizes that place has become a commodity and can be bought and sold, regardless of an individual’s connection to it. Helene buys this place precisely because it is vulnerable, because, like all other places within a capitalist society, it does not have stability. Her ownership and connection to this place will be temporary as well.75 Even the most stable places succumb to displacement in this narrative. The affective ties to place—the emotions and memories that connect people to places and things—have become subordinate to the economic ties to place. In other words, economic and social concerns have taken on increased prominence since The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane, and they have dislodged place as a ground for identity in The Files of Birdsong. This is evident in the narrator’s language, for Krumhardt phrases the connection that humans feel to place and to things in terms of property, specifically with the terms Eigentum [property] and Besitz [possessions]. One finds these terms frequently in the narrative, and many other indirect references to ownership figure prominently. While Krumhardt is still a youth, his parents decide to move out of the neighborhood of Birdsong and into the nearby capital. Their motivations for moving are the changes to the neighborhood of Birdsong (“Freilich rückt uns hier das Neue zu arg auf den Leib, und wo man aus dem Fenster guckt, ist es das Alte nicht mehr” [BA19, 322] [Of course what is new is closing in on us too severely, and wherever one looks out the window it is no longer familiar]), as well as Karl’s future prospects (“Aber er ist ja richtig, das schlechte Tanzlokal, das da dicht an unserer grünen Hecke aufgewachsen ist, passt nicht einmal mehr zu unseren Verhältnissen, also zu unserem Karl seinen gar nicht” [BA19, 322] [But it is true, the wretched dance-hall that has grown up so close to our green hedge no longer suits even our circumstances, and certainly not those of our Karl]). We learn later in the narrative that they move from their own home to a rented apartment (Mietwohnung [BA19, 334]): they have lost a relationship to place grounded in ownership. At numerous points 75 Joachim Müller describes Helene’s purchase of the building as an act of selfdeception: “der Kauf des Hauses, womit Helene ihr Recht auf Velten äußerlich festhalten will, muß angesichts der unaufhaltsamen Veränderung der Welt im kleinen wie im großen, in den Menschen wie in den Sachen, in der Berliner Studentenstube wie im heimatlichen Vogelsang, als kramphafte Selbsttäuschung anmuten; so hat es wohl der Dichter gemeint.” “Das Zitat im epischen Gefüge. Die Goethe-Verse in Raabes Erzählung ‘Die Akten des Vogelsangs,’” in Raabe in neuer Sicht, ed. Hermann Helmers, 279–3 (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1968), 292–3.

114  Out of Place in the narrative, Krumhardt identifies individuals who relinquish property ownership: the Trotzendorffs rent an apartment in Birdsong in contrast to the homeowners around them; Krumhardt’s neighbor, Hartleben, sells more and more of his property in the course of the narrative; and Velten Andres rents an apartment and travels the world, after giving away the home his family owned. Karl’s father sees the practical advantages to such a loss of property, but Karl’s mother admits that an emotional loss accompanies this practical improvement of circumstances: “aber weißt du, Mann, es wird mir doch sein als wie damals, wo man den Sargdeckel auf unser kleines Mädchen legen wollte und ich auch nicht glauben konnte, dass es möglich und nötig sei. Kein eigenes Waschhaus mehr und keinen Platz zum Wäschetrocknen im eigenen Garten!” (BA19, 322). [but do you know what, my husband, for me it will be like when they wanted to close the coffin lid on our young girl and I, too, could not believe that it was possible and necessary. No washhouse of our own any more and no place to dry the washing in our own yard!] Karl’s mother compares the loss of a place of her own to the death of her daughter. Raabe did not use such a comparison lightly. He had lost his own teenage daughter in June of 1892 and described the impact as follows: “und so liegt nun mein junges schönes Kind zwischen Allem was bis jetzt noch gesund und frisch in mir war und dem was übrig geblieben ist. Das ist eine Schranke, die sich nicht wieder niederlegen lässt.” [and so now my young beautiful child lies between everything that until now was still healthy and fresh in me and whatever else is left. That is a barrier that won’t be able to be lowered again.]76 Just as Raabe views his daughter’s death as a separation from all that is alive in him, so too does Karl’s mother construe her separation from her home as a similar loss. Clearly, the loss of property is more than an economic loss for her—it is a personal loss. This indicates that some emotional component of ownership cannot be divorced from a sense of material ownership and possession. And this is how Karl Krumhardt defines Eigentum: as an emotional connection to things and places. As Velten burns his family’s possessions, he states: “Ja, ich heize in diesem Winter mit meinem hiesigen Eigentum an der wohlgegründeten Erde, mit meinen Habseligkeiten aus dem Vogelsang” (BA19, 371) [Yes, I’m heating this winter with my own property here from the well-grounded earth, with my belongings from Birdsong] (emphasis added); the narrator then comments: “Er sprach das Wort ‘Hab-Seligkeiten’ in einer Weise aus, die man im Werkeltagsverkehr nicht zu hören bekommt” (BA19, 371). [He pronounced the word ‘belongings’ in a way that one 76 Raabe to Edmund Sträter, 5. Juli, 1892. Wilhelm Raabe, Sämtliche Werke. Ergänzungsband 2, ed. Karl Hoppe (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1975), 330.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  115 does not hear in workday interactions.] (Note that Raabe has divided the word Habseligkeiten into a hyphenated compound—“Hab-Seligkeiten”—in the sentence where Krumhardt comments on Velten’s pronunciation. This could not be rendered in English.) Velten’s unusual pronunciation of the word, Habseligkeiten, which translates as “belongings” or “property,” emphasizes the two semantic components of the word: haben [having] and Seligkeit [bliss].77 With Velten’s emphasis on the two components, the word implies that happiness and possession are inextricably connected. This is evident in a nearby passage, in which Krumhardt describes how Velten, in burning the contents of his mother’s home, frees himself “nicht von den Sachen, sondern von dem, was in der Menschen Seele sich den Sachen anhängt und sie schwer und leicht, kurz, zu dem macht, was wir anderen im Leben ein Glück oder ein Unglück zu nennen pflegen” (BA19, 370) [not from things, but from that part of the human soul that adheres to things and makes them complex and simple, in short, makes them into what we others are used to calling happiness or unhappiness in life]. Happiness and unhappiness are inextricably bound to a sense of possession and ownership. The word Eigentum expresses the connection to things, places and people that creates happiness. It conflates emotional connection with economic and legal possession. And so Velten’s mother can speak of her son (BA19, 316) and Karl Krumhardt can speak of his wife and family (BA19, 343, 348, 383–4) as “property” [Eigentum]. Similarly, Karl refers to the des Beaux family’s inheritance of French cultural objects (BA19, 386) and to Mrs Fencing Master Feucht’s museum-like holdings in her apartment (BA19, 391) as “Eigentum,” and Velten refers to his family possessions with the same term (BA19, 371). W. T. Webster reads the term as reflecting “the individual’s need to establish … some feeling of stability and security.”78 Marianne Wünsch, in one of the more thorough analyses of the term, contrasts the use of Besitz and Eigentum in the nineteenth century: whereas Besitz suggests ownership and a personal connection, Eigentum connotes ownership only in legal terms, and the loss of personal connection.79 According to Wünsch, the term Besitz can apply 77 As Joachim Müller notes “im Gegensatz zur korrekten Etymologie, wonach die Endung -selig ein wortbildendes abstraktes Suffix ist, das nichts mit dem Adjektiv selig zu tun hat, assoziiert dies eben Velten, doch es zugleich ironisch aufhebend. Der Sinn wäre etwa: mögen andre mit ihrer Habe selig sein, er, Velten, setzt sich über solche Gefühlsbindung an Ererbtes hinweg.” “Das Zitat im epischen Gefüge,” 286. 78 W. T. Webster, “Social Change and Personal Insecurity in the Late Novels of Wilhelm Raabe,” in Formen Realistischer Erzählkunst. Festschrift für Charlotte Jolles, ed. Jörg Thunecke, 233–43 (Nottingham: Sherwood Press Agencies, 1979), 240. 79 See Marianne Wünsch, “Eigentum und Familie. Raabes Spätwerk und Realismus.” Jahrbuch der deutschen Schillergesellschaft 31 (1987): 248–66, particularly 248–50.

116  Out of Place not only to material objects but also to immaterial objects, specifically to relationships.80 Besitz ultimately serves as a tool to help manage and give meaning to existence.81 Eigentum, on the other hand, shifts these personal relationships to the realm of social and legal obligation, so that a sense of individual meaning gives way to the importance of the item within a social structure. For Wünsch, Raabe demonstrates the demise of Besitz and the ascendance of Eigentum, with a particular focus on what is lost in this transition.82 Along similar lines, Peter Sprengel, relying on Marx, describes how such Eigentum is lost in bourgeois society of the nineteenth century, how the objective value of goods replaces the subjective connection to objects.83 While I agree with Wünsch that Raabe highlights this loss of connection and meaning due to the forces of modernity, I would argue that he is not as consistent as she asserts in distinguishing between these two terms. In the situation above, Velten uses the word Eigentum to refer to what Wünsch would label Besitz—he destroys those things to which he has a personal connection, thereby transforming Besitz into Eigentum, according to Wünsch’s terminology. What is significant here is that the change in relationship to property resulting from the ascendance of modernism accompanies a change in the relationship to place. This connection to things (which features so prominently in The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane) is lost for Karl’s mother when the family moves from an owned home to a rental apartment: she has lost the connections and bonds that bring her happiness. A connection to place is a proprietary relationship; to feel bound to a place is to have Eigentum.84 Yet it is also what Velten sees as a confining burden from which he tries to free himself. He sees these connections and bonds as oppressive and restrictive. For this reason, he wishes to die “so eigentumslos als möglich” (BA19, 351) [as propertyless as possible]. Thus 80 Ibid., 255. For a feminist interpretation of the term, see Roebling, Wilhelm Raabes doppelte Buchführung, 115–24. 81 Ibid., 257. 82 Ibid., 266. 83 Peter Sprengel, “Interieur und Eigentum. Zur Soziologie bürgerlicher Subjektivität bei Wilhelm Raabe,” Jahrbuch der Jean-Paul Gesellschaft 9 (1974): 127–76, 139. 84 As Andrea Gnam asserts: “Der Anspruch mit großen Gesten dem Tod ins Angesicht zu sehen und dadurch ‘Eigentum’ an der Welt zu gewinnen, kann in Raabes Texten nur geltend gemacht werden von denjenigen, die authentisch einem Ort verhaftet sind.” Andrea Gnam, “Melancholische Topographie aus Fluchtlinien und Orgen: Vom unwiederbringlichen Zauber heimatlicher Festungen. Zu Wilhelm Raabes Die Akten des Vogelsangs und Unruhige Gäste,” in Raabe-Rapporte. Literaturwissenschaftliche und literaturdidaktische Zugänge zum Werk Wilhelm Raabes, ed. Sigrid Thielking, 105–18 (Wiesbaden: Deutscher Universitätsverlag, 2002), 115.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  117 characters in the text find themselves facing a dilemma: either relinquish Eigentum and the sense of humanity and well-being connected with it, or hold on to Eigentum and find themselves constrained and confined, lost to the modern world. Raabe shows each alternative alone to be unacceptable, as each involves a degree of self-delusion. The narrative demonstrates, on the one hand, that it is impossible to free oneself from such connections, as Velten aims to do; and on the other hand, it is futile to assert one’s own freedom and autonomy while holding fast to one’s Eigentum. Characters cannot assert a meaningful sense of place in a world where property has become a commodity, where modern transportation and communication transform the relationship between individuals and place. Hence both the assertion of place and the effort to free oneself from it may be said to require self-delusion. This self-delusion produced by changing times is evident in the brief epigram that opens the narrative: “Die wir dem Schatten Wesen sonst verliehen, / sehn Wesen jetzt als Schatten sich verziehen” (BA19, 212). [We who have at other times given being to shadow, now see beings move away as shadows.] This citation from Adelbert von Chamisso’s romantic tale, Peter Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte (1813), suggests a contrast between a past and present time: in the past, “we” lent shadow a sense of being, but in the present “we” see beings move away like shadows. Where there was once being in everything, including shadows, it now slips away as beings become shadows. What was once essential and meaningful is now ephemeral and transitory. The image of Schatten [shadows] appears repeatedly in the narrative to emphasize this ephemerality. One of the signs of the encroaching industrialized city in Birdsong is the large shadows the new constructions cast on the old neighborhood: “Schon der Schatten allein, den mir da hinten die neue Feuermauer auf meine Rosenplantage wirft, verdirbt mir das ganze Pläsir an der Liebhaberei” [BA19, 321]. [Even the shadow alone that the new firewall back there casts on my rose plantings ruins for me all pleasure in that pastime.] Mrs Fencing Master Feucht’s shrine-like apartment contains “die ungezählten Schattenbilder vergangener Burschenherrlichkeit” (BA19, 391) [the countless silhouettes of the past glory of student associations], here associating the shadows (in silhouette form) with a past time lacking current relevance. Velten’s mother worries that his attempts to woo Helene are “doch nichts weiter als ein Märchengespinst, ein höhnisch-hübsches Schattenspiel an der Wand” (BA19, 314) [but nothing more than a fairy tale fabrication, a scornfully beautiful shadow play on the wall]. Here, shadows indicate self-delusion, the attainment of an impossible dream. Similar references to fantasy and delusion appear frequently in allusions to literary genres that mark themselves as patently fictional, most frequently to the theatre and to the fairy tale. Here, as in The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane, the fairy tale is coded as a realm of

118  Out of Place fantasy, as distant from present reality. We learn that both the narrator and the des Beaux children refer to growing up in “einem stillen Märchenwinkel” (BA19, 287) [a quiet fairy tale corner] or in a “Kindermärchenwinkel” [children’s fairy tale corner], referred to also as “unserm frühern Zauberreich” (BA19, 298) [our former magic realm]. Krumhardt compares Mrs Fencing Master Feucht to “eine märchenerzählende Großmutter” (BA19, 391) [a fairy tale-telling grandmother] and calls the time spent in Berlin with her and the des Beaux children “wie ein fremdländisches Märchen” (BA19, 396) [like a fairy tale from a foreign land]. These references to fairy tales evoke a past time and an ideal place, a realm of childhood fantasy and dreams that stands in contrast to a bleaker present. As in The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane, these fairy tale references also refer to a structural model, to a past time that is now lost. Yet unlike in The Chronicle, this past ideal cannot be regained. There is no restitution of harmony or the fairy tale ideal at the end of The Files of Birdsong, and in this regard the two works are dramatically different. Whereas The Chronicle appeals to the fairy tale at a structural level, suggesting that an ideal place can be regained, The Files disavow such attainment and view past ideals as irretrievably lost. To look to fairy tales is to delude oneself about the present, to live in a fantasy world of the past, much as does Mrs Fencing Master Feucht. There is another instance in which the narrative indicates that delusion plays a significant role in modern life. This occurs shortly after the funeral for Krumhardt’s father, as the narrator waits for Velten, who promised to visit him: und – ich hatte im Auf- und Abschreiten durch das Zimmer Momente, in welchen ich nicht mehr an ihn [Velten] glaubte und einen Eid über seine Rückkehr in die Heimat nicht zu den Akten abgegeben haben würde. Als er dann in der Dämmerung kam, fand er mich über dem Reichsstrafgesetzbuch, dem Paragraphen: Fahrlässiger Meineid und in der kopfschüttelnden Gewißheit, daß die meisten Justizverbrechen hierbei begangen werden. (BA19, 344) and – while pacing back and forth in the room I had moments in which I no longer believed in him and would not have added to the files an oath about his return home. As he then came in the twilight, he found me bent over the imperial penal code, the paragraph on perjury, and in the head-shaking certainty that most infractions of justice occur in this way. This reference to perjury is not coincidental, even if it is somewhat ambiguous. The reader is uncertain as to who the actual perjurer would

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  119 be in this case. Would it be Velten, whom Karl feared had broken his oath to return home? Or would it be Karl, who would have omitted such an oath in his files rather than report that Velten broke it? It is interesting that the narrative never answers these questions. Instead, the reader is left with the possibility that the files might have been perjured, that the narrative may not be reliable. This moment of uncertainty in the text is one of many where the narrative calls itself into question, where Raabe invites us to consider that even this narrative participates in the delusions and deceptions that pervade the book.85 The implication of these various types of deception and delusion for an understanding of place in Raabe is that past notions of place now have no more validity than a shadow or a fairy tale. To assert such a sense of place is to perjure oneself. This insight about self-deception is double-edged in its criticism: it not only portrays outdated notions of place as disingenuous and deceptive, but it also undermines a modern belief that one can live without place, without the connections implied in that term. The novel shows that both approaches involve a degree of self-delusion. The first notion—that one can hold on to the connections associated with place—finds frequent expression within the narrative. Early in the novel, Karl Krumhardt states: “Geschwister habe ich nicht gehabt. … Den Ersatz hierfür lieferte die Nachbarschaft, und zwar in ergiebigster Weise” (BA19, 218). [I didn’t have any siblings … The replacement for this was delivered by the neighborhood, and indeed in a most generous manner.] It becomes clear in the course of the novel that with the term Nachbarschaft [neighborhood], the narrator refers not only to the other children in the neighborhood, but also to the specific places they shared. Place serves a function similar to family in that it connects and binds, giving one a sense of ownership and identity. As Hubert Ohl observes, it preserves history in space. In fact, Ohl argues, it is precisely this connection that gives place its meaning, its dimensional depth.86 One sees that this is interconnectedness not only of people, but also of places. After describing the “Zusammenwohnen” [living together] and “Anteilnehmen” [sympathy] (BA19, 218) among his neighbors, Karl describes the same thing occurring with places:

85 Wieland Zirbs also discusses the fact that The Files reflect Karl’s self-deception: “Karl kann nur das geschriebene Wort zwischen sich und Velten setzen, er kann seinen Jugendträumen nur die Illusion einer gefestigten, in der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft fest verankerten Aktenwelt entgegentürmen. Dies ist seine Selbsttäuschung zu Beginn des Schreibens. ...” Strukturen des Erzählens, 152. 86 Hubert Ohl, Bild und Wirklichkeit. Studien zur Romankunst Raabes und Fontanes (Heidelberg: Lothar Stiehm, 1968), 147.

120  Out of Place Auch Gärten, die aneinandergrenzten und ihre Obstbaumzweige einander zureichten und ihre Zwetschgen, Kirschen, Pflaumen, Äpfel und Birnen über lebendige Hecken weg nachbarschaftlich austeilten, gab es da noch zu unserer Zeit, als die Stadt noch nicht das “erste Hunderttausend” überschritten hatte. (BA19, 219) There were even gardens which bordered on each other and which reached their fruit tree branches to each other and distributed their damask plums, cherries, plums, apples and pears over living hedges in a neighborly manner, in our time, when the city had not yet exceeded the “first hundred thousand.” These places border on each other; the anthropomorphic trees reaching across living hedges to share their fruit suggest an interconnectedness that offers both abundance and life. The sense of neighborhood and connection derives not only from the neighbors, but also from nature and the place itself; or, at least, it did before the city increased in population. The connection to place is evident not only with Karl, but also with Velten, the outsider who ultimately desires to relinquish all Eigentum. During his studies in Berlin he returns to Birdsong and visits a childhood haunt with Karl. He sees a tree in which his love interest, Helene, had become caught years ago: “Der Ast oben war es, Karlos! Da hatte sie sich verklettert, hing, klammerte sich an und kreischte. … Das war der meinige—mein Ast meine ich!” (BA19, 299-300). [That branch up there was it, Karlos! There she had climbed too high, hung, clung and shrieked. … That was mine – my branch, I mean!] This place, or tree branch, represents Velten’s connection to his love object, Helene. This place has become Velten’s property, his Eigentum, as the possessive adjective mein [my] suggests. In fact, he connects his own identity and his understanding of humanity to this place: “Wißt ihr, Kinder, so ist der Mensch: diesen Baum und, was dran hing und hängt, werde ich bei keiner Lebens- Haupt- und Staatsaktion mehr los: es ist das erstemal gewesen, daß ich des Menschen Unzulänglichkeit auf dieser Erde auch an mir die Erfahrung gebracht habe” (BA19, 300). [Do you know, children, this is how humans are: I will never rid myself of this tree and what hung and hangs on it, no matter how big a deal I make of it: it was the first time that I experienced the inadequacy of humans on this earth in myself.]87 For 87 Raabe’s wordplay is difficult to capture here: the term “Haupt- und Staatsaktion” translates idiomatically as “to make a federal case of” / “to make a big deal of something,” but literally the German term Aktion can mean both an action or a campaign, as well as a stock or financial holding. As at other points in the

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  121 Velten, this place symbolizes human inadequacy in general and his own imperfection in particular. It is as if his imperfection were bound to this tree. This is significant, for Velten casts his relationship to place less in terms of positive meaning and connection and more in terms of failure and inadequacy. The tree represents his failure. Rolf-Dieter Koll views the act of “verklettern” [climbing to where one is trapped]—an act to which Velten refers—as symptomatic of a failed relationship to place, an inability to find one’s way within a specific spatial structure.88 Velten maintains a negative connection to place—the place represents failure for him—but it is an intense connection nonetheless. Note that this connection to place is not a connection to nature of the sort that compels one to flee societal and cultural concerns, such as one would find in the romantic period. On the contrary, the connection to place is always social. This is evident in a passage in which Karl finds Velten and Helene sitting on a bench on a hillside. He writes: Da Neumond im Kalender stand, so war der Abend ziemlich dunkel. Die vereinzelten Sterne oben zählten nicht; nur die Lichter der Stadt in der Tiefe und die Gaslaternen ihrer Straßen und Plätze gaben einen bemerkenswerten Schein. … Im Walde war es still; wildes Getier, das nächtlicherweile in ihm aufgewacht wäre und sich bemerkbar gemacht hätte, gab’s nicht mehr drin; die Fledermäuse, die ihre Kreise um uns zogen, zählten nicht; ihre weichen Fittiche störten den Frieden der Natur nicht. Nur vom Bahnhof her dann und wann das Pfeifen und Zischen einer Lokomotive, und aus den drei Bier- und Konzertgärten der letzte Wiener Walzer, der Einzugsmarsch aus dem Tannhäuser und der Hohenfriedberger harmonisch ineinanderdudelnd und den Abendfrieden hier oben wenig störend. (BA19, 255) Since a new moon was listed in the almanac, the evening was rather dark. The isolated stars above didn’t count; only the lights of the city below and the gas lanterns of its streets and squares gave off a noticeable shine. … In the forest it was quiet; wild animals that would have awakened nocturnally in it and made themselves noticeable were no longer there; the bats that made circles around us didn’t count; their soft wings did not disturb the peace of nature. text, Velten links existential issues to economic issues, implicitly criticizing bourgeois society. 88 “Was ist ‘verklettern?’ Ist es nicht grundsätzlich ein Sich-nicht-mehr-Zurechtfinden in einer Menge von Dingen, die in bestimmter Weise räumlich angeordnet sind? Ist es nicht im Grunde ein Scheitern an einer bestimmten räumlichen Struktur?” Rolf-Dieter Koll, Raumgestaltung bei Wilhelm Raabe (Bonn: Bouvier, 1977), 88.

122  Out of Place Only from the train station now and then the whistling and hissing of a locomotive, and from the beer and concert gardens the last Viennese waltz, the marriage march from Tannhäuser and the Hohenfriedberger [a military march] harmoniously droning over each other and little disturbing the peace of the evening up here. Nature, or what is left of it, is insignificant here precisely because it does not intrude: one does not notice its lights or its sounds. The lights from the city, however, are “noticeable,” as are the sounds of the train station and the beer and concert garden, whereas those of the flying bats are not. They “didn’t count.” The three children sit out in nature—a nature that has already been cultivated with benches and walking paths and is now bereft of “wild animals”—and notice not nature, but signs of human society. Meaning and significance are clearly bound to human interactions with a locale, not to nature. This connection to locale and to people through a locale occurs repeatedly in the narrative. One finds it again with the des Beaux family and Mrs Fencing Master Feucht in Berlin. Velten states: Siehst du Karl, man findet überall die Leute, zu denen man paßt. Wie wir hier zusammenhocken, wir vier jetzt, ist das nicht grade dasselbe, wie damals, als wir drei aus dem Vogelsang auf dem Osterberge im Wald lagen und das niedliche Residenznest unter uns hatten? Haben wir heute abend nicht ebenso dies Berlin unter uns? (BA19, 290) You see, Karl, one finds everywhere the people to whom one is suited. The way we are crouching together here, the four of us now, isn’t that exactly the same as back then, as the three of us from Birdsong lay on the Osterberg in the forest and had the cute capitol nest beneath us? Don’t we also have this Berlin beneath us today in the same way? The reader understands that this is a commentary on the affinity Velten feels not only with the people, but also with the place. A few pages earlier, Karl said in relation to these Berliner acquaintances: “Man kann bei dem, was man ‘von den Leuten meint,’ auch ein Gefühl haben von ihrer Umgebung, welches vollständig dazu gehört und nicht davon zu trennen ist” (BA19, 286). [With what one ‘thinks of people,’ one can also have a sense of their environment, which belongs completely to that [opinion] and is not to be separated from it.] When we think of others, we cannot dissociate them from the environment in which they live, and so a sense of belonging and connection to others is also bound to a connection and belonging to place. One finds a similar sense of place

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  123 preserved in Velten’s mother’s house as well as in Mrs Fencing Master Feucht’s apartment at the end of the narrative.89 Yet as meaningful as these places are to the characters in the narrative, they are not without problems. In The Files of Birdsong, to assert a connection to place is also to restrict oneself, to connect oneself inextricably with others and with things. Velten’s mother remains in her house despite the increasing industrialization of her neighborhood and the loss of her previous neighbors. She says: Manchmal in dem jetzigen Lärm dort um mich her, wenn ich so von meinem Strickzeug am Fenster aufsehe, kommt es mir doch wirklich vor, als gehöre auch ich nicht mehr dahin: aber ich habe es ihm ja versprochen, daß er mich jederzeit dort in seines Vaters und seinem eigenen alten Wesen noch vorfinden soll, und so muß ich noch etwas bleiben. (BA19, 337) Sometimes in the current noise there around me, when I look up from my knitting at the window, it truly seems to me as if I, too, would no longer belong there: but I promised him that he would be able to find me at any time there in his father’s and his own old place, and so I must stay a while longer. She is confined to her home by a promise to provide a place for her son. Even though she no longer feels a sense of belonging, her relationship with her son is intertwined with this place (symbolized by her knitting). In fact, she uses the German word Wesen—literally “being”—to convey the meaning “place.” Being and place are inextricable. A connection to individuals and place is a two-way bond, one that constrains and restricts. Velten states this most clearly while sitting in the tree that he claims as his own: “So halten wir uns für frei und werden an Ketten geführt. Und die eisernen sind nicht die unzerreißbarsten: jeder im Spinnweb zappelnde Brummer kann darüber nachsagen” (BA19, 300). [So we consider ourselves free and we are led in chains. And the iron ones are not the most unbreakable: every insect wriggling in a spider’s web can say something about that.] Velten sees connections as confining. We believe ourselves free, but are in fact restricted, like an insect trapped in a spider’s web. This concept of restriction appears repeatedly in the narrative in the image of a Griff [a grip or grasp]. The narrator experiences the force of 89 Peter Sprengel describes Mrs Fencing Master Feucht’s apartment as an interior space that stands in contrast to the sobering reality of the present outside it. “Interieur und Eigentum,” 169.

124  Out of Place this grip from his family: Karl describes his father’s influence on him with this image. He recalls “das Nachgefühl seiner grimmigen, aber treuen Faust an meinem Arm” [the impression of his enraged but loyal fist on my arm] and “jenen guten Griff” [that good grasp] (BA19, 254), which he claims to feel even while writing his files (BA19, 254).90 Karl likewise describes an inheritance that he will leave for his children, his “Erbteil,” which they will then grasp: “Ich habe und halte meiner Kinder Erbteil. Das Spielzeug des Menschen auf Erden, das ja auch einmal meinen Händen entfallen wird, wollen sie aufgreifen, und ich – ich fühle mich ihnen gegenüber dafür noch verantwortlich!” (BA19, 345). [I have and am holding my children’s inheritance. The plaything of humans on the earth, that one day will also fall out of my hands, they want to take it up, and I – I feel responsible to them for this.] His sense of obligation to his children binds him to collect material things for them, and as they grasp (“aufgreifen”) these objects, they too become bound to them. In each of these instances, we see that connections to places, things and people are also bonds—a firm grasp or grip that constrains an individual. To live with a connection to place and with a connection to others is to live with restriction, confinement and obligation. Heidegger’s tension between freedom and home is manifest here. To phrase this differently: a sojourn among things is also an imprisonment by things. Velten Andres, the outsider to Birdsong and Karl’s bourgeois world, recognizes these restrictions and sets out to free himself from them. He represents the alternative opposed to preserving place—namely, relinquishing it, freeing oneself from all Eigentum. In many regards, Velten embodies modernity in its extremes: he is isolated, displaced, void of deep connections. This was evident in passages cited earlier, so I mention only a few more here. A well-known passage in the text is a citation from Goethe that Velten makes into his motto: Sei gefühllos! Ein leichtbewegtes Herz Ist ein elend Gut Auf der wankenden Erde. (BA19, 352) Be without feeling! An easily swayed heart Is a miserable possession On this unsteady earth. 90 See Manfred Kindermann, who argues that “Der Roman zeigt, daß die Vision bürgerlicher Totalität nur auf der völligen Vatertreue beruht.” “Subjektkonstitution als Entfremdung,” 121.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  125 Scholars have made much of Velten’s efforts to renounce feeling in order to conquer “an easily swayed heart,” and I would connect this desire to rid oneself of feelings to a desire to rid oneself of connections.91 But equally important in this passage, and often overlooked, is the reference to the unsteady or vacillating earth:92 it suggests that the desire to rid oneself of feelings arises from an unstable relationship to place. Velten expresses the desire to free himself from place frequently and in various ways, whether in the desire for Diogenes’ ascetic life in a barrel (BA19, 260), in the hope for a lonely death on the uninhabited pacific island, Salas y Gomez (BA19, 296), or in his inability to settle on a single profession (“Er, mein Freund, ist in seinem Leben alles gewesen: Gelehrter, Kaufmann, Luftschiffer, Soldat, Schiffsmann, Zeitungsschreiber – aber gebracht hat er es nach bürgerlichen Begriffen zu nichts” [BA19, 318]. [He, my friend, was everything in his life: scholar, salesman, airshipman, soldier, sailor, newspaper journalist – but in bourgeois terms he achieved nothing.]) He shuns contemporary efforts to build a connection to place. This is clearest in the most striking event of the novel: Velten’s destruction of his mother’s home. After Velten’s mother dies, he returns to Birdsong to dispose of both her estate and his relationship to place. Velten burns the contents of his mother’s house (his “Erbteil” [inheritance] or “Hausrat” [furniture/ furnishings] [BA19, 368]), those items “wovon sich andere Leute nur sehr schwer, und wenn es gar nicht anders geht, und manchmal nur mit Tränen in den Augen trennen” (BA19, 371) [from which other people separate themselves only with great difficulty, and when there is absolutely no other way, and sometimes only with tears in their eyes].93 After burning all that had meaning for him, he invites the neighborhood in to plunder the remaining household items, gives the key to one neighbor and the door to another, and leaves Birdsong, never to return. Krumhardt contrasts his own bourgeois existence with Velten’s during this scene: 91 Wilhelm Emrich reads Velten’s “Besitzlosigkeit” as “eine wahre, siegreiche Weltüberwindung” and that, as this mantra from Goethe suggets, Velten achieves “absolute Freiheit der Person.” “Personalität und Zivilisation in Wilhelm Raabes ‘Die Akten des Vogelsangs,’” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1982): 7–25, 12, 14. For Joachim Müller, however, the Goethe passage stands as a foil to Velten's demise, indicating that he could not live up to the ideal stated in this quote. “Das Zitat im epischen Gefüge,” 281. 92 W. T. Webster reads this image as a metaphor for existential insecurity: “For Raabe, the sensation of the unsettled Earth underlies the whole of human experience.” “Social Change and Personal Insecurity in the Late Novels of Wilhelm Raabe.” 242. 93 Frauke Berndt’s Lacanian interpretation reads this moment as a destruction of the mother-imago and thus reconciliation with the father. Anamnesis, 399.

126  Out of Place Und dann war es doch wieder ein anderer Übergang aus meinem ruhigen, behaglichen Heim, von dem Kamin, wo mein Weib mit ihrem Kindchen an der Brust auf niedrigem Schemel leise ihr Wiegenlied sang, zu dem Ofen im Vogelsang, vor dem der wunderliche Freund sich frei machte—nicht von den Sachen, sondern von dem, was in der Menschen Seele sich den Sachen anhängt und sie schwer und leicht, kurz, zu dem macht, was wir anderen im Leben ein Glück oder ein Unglück zu nennen pflegen. (BA19, 369–70) And then it was again a different transition from my quiet, comfortable home, from the chimney, where my wife, with her small child at her breast, sang a lullaby while sitting on a low stool, to the oven in Birdsong, in front of which this strange friend set himself free—not from things, but from that part of the human soul that hangs onto things and makes them complex and simple, in short, makes them into what we others are used to calling happiness or unhappiness in life. Velten liberates himself from an unspecified connection of the human soul to things, from a sense of place. He attains a sense of freedom only by relinquishing place, a sense of home. This moment epitomizes Velten’s strivings to separate himself from all attachments to things and locales. His strivings are diametrically opposed to bourgeois society’s efforts to connect to place, as is evident in the phrase “we others.” The narrator draws his readers in with the “we,” and then allies them against Velten’s strivings by identifying them as “others,” unlike him. Velten’s efforts to separate himself from place—mocking traditional bourgeois culture, traveling the world and burning his inheritance— are both constant and extreme, and the narrator indicates that they are not wholly successful. As much as Velten tries to distance himself from Eigentum, a sense of place, and connections to others, he cannot escape them completely. Krumhardt suggests this both subtly and explicitly. When Krumhardt enters the home and witnesses Velten destroying his own property, Karl says: “Es ist unheimlich warm bei dir, Velten!” (BA19, 370). One could translate this phrase as, “It’s uncannily warm in your place, Velten!,” but a more literal reading of the term, “unheimlich,” drawing on Freud, would render it as “It is un-homely warm in your place, Velten!” This “un-” prefix can be read in two ways. It is easiest to read as a negation: that through burning these objects that provide a connection to place, Velten has made this home a non-home. He has deprived it of its function as a place. But one can also read it, as Freud does, as a mark of repression, that the “un-” points to something that

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  127 was once there and was repressed, but that reappears in distorted form.94 Velten tries to repress a sense of place, of home, but he finds it reappearing in numerous forms; he never fully relinquishes a sense of place. When Karl visits the apartment where Velten died, he looks around and notes that he “empfand nichts von einer Befreiung von der Schwere des Erdendaseins in dieser Leere, sondern im Gegenteil den Druck der Materie schwerer denn je auf der Seele” (BA19, 400) [sensed nothing of liberation from the gravity of earthly existence in this emptiness, rather the opposite, the oppressiveness of matter weightier than ever upon the soul]. Velten has not escaped connections to or the burden of the material world; instead, he has only intensified these connections. This is also evident in the image of the Griff [the grip or grasp] that— as discussed above—Krumhardt associates with a connection to place and family. Krumhardt observes that Velten, like those confined and restricted by place, is both the subject and object of a gripping. Velten feels this grip from at least two different individuals. The first is his love interest, Helene. He states: Übrigens haben wir, Lenchen und ich … eine Wette auf dem Osterberge draufhin gemacht, wer von uns beiden den festesten Griff habe und den andern zu sich holen werde. Selbstverständlich und naturgemäß hat sie gegenwärtig die obere Hand, und ich werde es meiner Alten zu Hause nicht ersparen könne: ich muß hinüber zu ihr nach Amerika. (BA19, 291) Incidentally, we made, Lene and I, … a bet on the Osterberg as to which of the two of us had the tightest grip and would fetch the other to himself or herself. Of course and naturally she has the upper hand at the moment, and I won’t be able to save my old mother at home from it: I have to go over to America after her. Velten loses in this competition—his Griff is weaker and so he is “gripped” by Helene. His apparent restlessness and constant travels turn out to be less the utter relinquishing of connections and more the effort to follow one single connection, namely his connection to Helene. Helene admits as much to Krumhardt after Velten’s death, stating: da er mich nicht aus seinem Eigentum an der Welt loswurde, mußte er ja allem Besitz entsagen, alles Eigentum von sich stoßen und hat – doch vergeblich den Vers dort an die Wand geschrieben! Es war ja auch nur 94 See Sigmund Freud’s essay “Das Unheimliche,” in Gesammelte Werke. Chronologisch Geordnet, (eds) Anna Freud et al., Vol. 12. Werke aus den Jahren 1917–1920, 227–68 (London: Imago Publishing, 1947), 231, 237.

128  Out of Place ein törichter Knabe, der mit seinem leichtbewegten Herzen zuerst in jenen nichtigen Worten Schutz vor sich selber suchte! (BA19, 401) Since he did not get rid of me from his property in this world, he had to renounce all possessions, thrust all property away from himself, and wrote – unavailingly that verse over there on the wall! He, too, was only a foolish boy, who with his easily swayed heart first sought refuge from himself in those empty words! She refers here to the “Sei gefühllos!” passage from Goethe, cited earlier, which Velten had written on the wall of the apartment where he died. Helene sees this verse, like Velten’s other efforts to relinquish all possessions, as a symptom of a deeper attachment to one possession, namely Helene. She suggests that he, like those living with a notion of place, also deceives himself. He is connected to Helene, and he cannot escape this bond.95 Whereas Heidegger asserts that we must work consciously to cultivate a bond to place and things, and through them to being, Raabe suggests that such a bond is both inevitable and inescapable. A similar, albeit briefer, connection occurs shortly after Velten burns his mother’s house. He meets German Fell, who plays an ape in a traveling theater troupe housed next door. Velten is impressed by “seinen unheimlichen Wandnachbar aus dem Théâtre-Variété” (BA19, 381) [his uncanny immediate neighbor from the Variety Theater], and feels an affinity with him. German Fell turns down an offer of friendship, however, stating: “Auf bürgerlich festen Boden hilft wohl keiner dem anderen wieder hinunter; aber reichen wir uns wenigstens die Hände von Zweig zu Zweig. Mein Herr, ich danke Ihnen” (BA19, 381). [Neither of us will likely help the other down onto firm bourgeois ground again, but let’s at least reach our hands out to each other from branch to branch. Sir, I thank you.] They shake hands, after which Karl comments: Er tat mir in tiefster Seele leid, und zu helfen war ihm nicht: er hatte aus seinem verödeten Vaterhause den Nachbar im Gezweig des Baums Yggdrasil mit sich auf allen seinen ferneren Wegen durch das Dasein zu schleppen. Mich und mein zitterndes, ihre Angst und ihre Tränen 95 In this light, one must reject simplistic interpretations of Velten such as Horst Daemmrich’s, which views Velten’s death as a self-sacrifice that allows him to transcend the world in death: by dying, Velten “remains true to himself. And as he travels through the hell of an ever-changing shadowy existence, he reminds his friends of past ideals, love, and human integrity.” Wilhelm Raabe (Boston: Twayne, 1981), 150.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  129 hinunterschluckendes Weibchen mochte er schon loswerden aus der Erinnerung an seinen letzten Abend zu Hause; aber Herrn German Fell nicht. Der blieb ihm drin! – (BA19, 383) I was sorry for him in my deepest soul, and he couldn’t be helped: from his desolate father’s house he had to drag his neighbor in the branches of the tree Yggdrasil with him on all of his distant paths throughout his existence. He was able to rid himself of the memory of me and my trembling wife, who swallowed her fear and her tears, during his last evening at home; but not Mr German Fell. He would stay with him! After his effort to free himself from all connections to place and people, Velten finds himself bound to another person. His sensed affinity with the equally “un-canny” or ”un-homely” German Fell becomes a bond. He must drag German Fell with him throughout his existence; they are now “neighbors” in the tree Yggdrasil which, in Norse mythology, is the tree connecting heaven and earth. Velten cannot extricate himself from connections to other people or to the material world. German Fell is interesting in this context, for he represents an intermediate state, in which one can somehow live in the bourgeois world, but be free of its bonds.96 Jeffrey Sammons sees Fell in a very positive light—“Perhaps, therefore, he is meant to be not a grotesque mirror of Velten’s fate, but a pointer to a possible road that Velten does not take”97—and one might, along these lines, argue that German Fell offers a way out of having to choose between Raabe’s incompatible polarities of connection and freedom. But the text does not support such an optimistic interpretation. It is not insignificant that German Fell plays an ape—he is somehow less than human, just as Velten’s efforts to free himself of these bonds makes him inhuman.98 Mrs Fencing Master Feucht observes: “Um ein festes Herz zu kriegen, hat er sich zu einem Tier, zu einem Hund gemacht; – sehen Sie sich nur bei ihm um, Herr Oberregierungsrat” (BA19, 400) [To gain a firm heart, he made himself into an animal, into a dog;—look around in his place, Mr Senior Privy Councilor.] Raabe implies that 96 “Als ‘Affendarsteller beider Hemisphären,’ als ‘Mittelglied’ hat er (wie der halb Pferd, halb Mensch darstellende Satyr) Zugang zu beiden Bereichen, dem menschlichen und dem tierischen.” Roebling, Wilhelm Raabes doppelte Buchführung, 169. 97 Sammons, Wilhelm Raabe. The Fiction of the Alternative Community, 310. 98 Roebling asserts: “Velten hat—pointiert und metaphorisch überzogen gesagt—den Schritt vom Halbaffen, vom Satyr zum Menschen nicht vollzogen.” Wilhelm Raabes doppelte Buchführung, 146.

130  Out of Place efforts to relinquish a connection to place or to others are dehumanizing and ultimately futile. One cannot escape such connections—these connections constitute our humanity. To abdicate them is to abdicate one’s humanity. Or, as Wilhelm Emrich describes Raabe’s position: “Ultimately there is no modern form of life at all that is now possible to live. … What would still be possible to live, those are the forms of life of animals, apes, and the insane.”99 Fell embodies the conflicting paradigms of the novel without offering a tenable resolution to this conflict.100 The result is that Raabe portrays a notion of humanity in crisis at the end of the nineteenth century.101 On the one hand, humans long for places and objects to connect to, but such connections also bring restrictions, confinement and, ultimately, frustration. On the other hand, those who long to escape this connection to places and objects, to free themselves from the bonds that constitute humanity in this society, not only find themselves incapable of doing so but also end up, like Velten and German Fell, becoming something other than human.102 One sees the contrast in these two positions in the des Beaux siblings, Leon and Leonie, who become a banker and a nun respectively. As Eberhard Geisler notes, they reflect the inability to unify both materialism and meaning at the end of the nineteenth century.103 German Fell captures this contrast when he describes watching Velten burn his house and belongings: “auch einmal wieder einer, der aus seiner Haut steigt, während die übrigen nur daraus fahren möchten!” (BA19, 381). [and once again here’s another who climbs out of his skin, while everyone else would 99 Wilhelm Emrich, “Personalität und Zivilisation in Wilhelm Raabes ‘Die Akten des Vogelsangs,’” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1982): 7–25, 25. 100 Roebling, Wilhelm Raabes doppelte Buchführung, 172. 101 Michael Limlei describes this as “die Sackgasse der entmenschten Verhältnisse.” “Die Romanschlüsse in Wilhelm Raabes Romanen Stopfkuchen und Die Akten des Vogelsangs,” in Wilhelm Raabe. Studien zu seinem Leben und Werk, (eds) Lensing and Werner, 342–64 (Braunschweig: pp-Verlag, 1981), 355. And Georg Lukács states: “Raabes Helden stehen der kapitalistischen Wirklichkeit allein gegenüber. Wenn ihnen die Flucht in ein ‘Luftschloß’ nicht gelingt—und auf jedes Luftschloß fällt der Schatten von Selbsttäuschung und Lebenslüge—, müssen sie sich der Wirklichkeit anpassen oder zugrunde gehen.” “Wilhelm Raabe,” 63. 102 Hubert Ohl describes this as “die hinter den Erscheinungen der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft liegende Grundfrage—wie in einer auf Rationalisierung und Verdinglichung aller Lebensbereiche zielenden Gesellschaft mit allen ihren Zwängen von Anpassung und Konformität unbedingtes Selbstsein der Person möglich sei,” and asserts that this is the chief concern of Raabe’s later works. “Eduards Heimkehr oder Le Vaillant und das Riesenfaultier. Zu Wihelm Raabes ‘Stopfkuchen,” in Raabe in neuer Sicht, ed. Hermann Helmers, 247-78 (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1968), 275. 103 Geisler, “Abschied vom Herzensmuseum,” 372. Jeffrey Sammons makes a similar observation in Wilhelm Raabe, 309.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  131 like to jump out of it!] German Fell plays off of the German expression, aus der Haut fahren, [to jump out of one’s skin, to become enraged or agitated], and contrasts the frustration implied in this experience with the attempt to climb out of one’s skin—that is, to shed one’s humanity. German Fell implies that both alternatives leave humans bereft of their humanity, symbolized by their skin; humans can choose either to renounce their humanity voluntarily or to have it driven from them by external circumstances. Irmgard Roebling characterizes this position between unappealing alternatives as melancholic, referring to the early modern trope in both visual art and literature.104 This stands in dramatic contrast to The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane, where an embedded place preserves humanity against external threats, allowing the narrator to assert a belief in the positive power of eternal love. In this context, the narrator’s position in The Files of Birdsong deserves more attention. Karl Krumhardt occupies an intriguing space between these alternatives. On the one hand, he represents the bourgeois lifestyle that clings to places and objects but is also restricted by them. As discussed earlier, he feels obligated both to his family and to their material possessions—obligated, that is, to leave his children an inheritance. On the other hand, he feels an equally strong pull from Velten and the way of life he represents. Krumhardt becomes more and more aware of this through the act of narration: Wie habe ich dieses Manuskript begonnen, in der festen Meinung, von einer Erinnerung zur andern, wie aus dem Terminkalender heraus, nüchtern, wahr und ehrlich farblos es fortzusetzen und es zu einem mehr oder weniger verständig-logischen Abschluß zu bringen! Und was ist nun daraus geworden, was wird durch Tag und Nacht, wie ich die Feder von neuem wieder aufnehme, weiterhin daraus werden? Wie hat dies alles mich aus mir selber herausgehoben, mich mit sich fortgenommen und mich aus meinem Lebenskreise in die Welt des toten Freundes hineingestellt, nein, – geworfen! Ich fühle seine feste Hand auf meiner Schulter, und sein weltüberwindend Lachen klingt mir fortwährend im Ohr. [BA19, 304] How I began this manuscript in the firm idea of proceeding from one memory to another, as if from an appointment calendar, in a sober, true, and honestly colorless manner, and of bringing it to a more or less sensible-logical conclusion! And what has now become of it, what will become of it through day and night, as I again take up my pen? How this all has lifted me out of myself, taken me along 104 Roebling, Wilhelm Raabes doppelte Buchführung, 172.

132  Out of Place with it and placed me, no – thrown me out of my life circle into the world of my dead friend! I feel his firm hand on my shoulder, and his world-conquering laugh rings continually in my ear. Krumhardt began these files, at the prompting of Helene, with the intention of describing his history with Velten in sober and honest terms, which he equates with chronology. Clearly, he equates order with truth and logic. Yet he notices that the more his narrative deviates from order and the more it departs from a traditional chronological narrative, the stronger Velten’s hold on him becomes. Again the image of the grip or grasp appears, this time with Velten’s firm hand on Karl’s shoulder. Note that at an earlier point in the narrative, Karl implies that Velten’s grip was even stronger than Karl’s father’s (“aber [er] faßte mich mit noch fast schärferm Griff als mein Vater am Arm” [BA19, 257] [but he grasped my arm with an almost even stricter grip than my father]). Karl is thus in the grip not only of his family, the bourgeois world, and the place he longs for, but also in the grip of Velten, the antithesis of the bourgeois world. Karl is a torn subject, longing for two incompatible ways of life. This is an interesting state, for it is not simply a resignation to an unappealing external reality, an attitude often associated with German realism. Instead it is an open tension, a longing for both sides, with a simultaneous recognition that neither is fulfilling or even wholly possible while maintaining one’s humanity.105 Although Krumhardt ends the narrative by returning home to his family, it is clear that he sees his family as connected to both Velten and Helene: Die Akten des Vogelsangs bilden ein Ganzes, von dem ich und mein Haus ebensowenig zu trennen sind wie die eiserne Bettstelle bei der Frau Fechtmeisterin Feucht und die Reichtümer der armen Mistreß Mungo. Der Menschheit Dasein auf der Erde baut sich immer von neuem auf, doch nicht von dem äußersten Umkreis her, sondern stets aus der Mitte. In unserm deutschen Volke weiß man das auch eigentlich im Grunde gar nicht anders. (BA19, 404) 105 Eberhard Geisler likewise asserts that Raabe “gelangt ... hier zu der Konsequenz, der Erkenntnis des Bruchs standzuhalten und beides als Nicht-Versöhntes darzustellen. Der ihm selbst teuren Vorstellung einer Literatur, die von einer prästabilierten Harmonie des Daseins ausgehen und sich der Schau eines einheitlichen Lebensgrunds ... gibt er damit endgültig den Abschied.” “Abschied vom Herzensmuseum,” 378. Peter Sprengel, in a similar vein, asserts, “Raabes Standort ist nur aus der dialektischen Spannung zwischen dieser ... ‘Besitzfreudigkeit’ aus menschlicher Verantwortung des Bürgers und der ‘Eigentumsmüdigkeit’ des außerbürgerlichen ‘Unmenschen’ zu begreifen.” “Interieur und Eigentum,” 176.

Wilhelm Raabe and Modernity  133 The files of Birdsong constitute a whole, from which I and my house are just as inseparable as are the iron bedstead by Mrs Fencing Master Feucht and the riches of poor Mistress Mungo. Humanity’s existence on earth reconstructs itself over and over again, yet not from the farthest periphery, but instead constantly from the center. Among our German people one does not know anything different. Krumhardt posits a whole that contains numerous places and objects: his home, the iron bed in which Velten slept, and the wealth of Helene (Mistress Mungo). The transition from this sentence to the next is, however, somewhat abrupt. After speaking of a whole comprised of contrary tendencies, he speaks about human existence in general terms that resonate with Heidegger’s (as discussed at the beginning of this chapter) and that echo the passage in The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane asserting that the universe could concentrate itself in a single point. Here he asserts that human existence rebuilds itself repeatedly, but never from the outside, rather always from a center. The reader must ask what connects these two sentences. The opposition of center and periphery evoked in the second sentence does not quite line up with the oppositions of bourgeois and non-bourgeois that we see in the Krumhardt/Velten and Helene dynamic. Rather, it seems that Krumhardt posits his text as a center, “a whole” that includes these opposed tendencies. For Krumhardt it posits a productive tension, one that might offer change in the future. Raabe thus offers a degree of hope for change in Germany’s future, not in the resignation so commonly associated with German realism but in the productive engagement of the opposite poles represented in this wholeness. The dilemma of place faced by late realists—hold to place and lose autonomy or relinquish place and lose humanity—cannot be overcome in favor of either alternative alone, but only by a sustained tension between the two. Raabe does not offer insight into what the result of such a dialectic might look like or what transformations it might bring, but one can guess that its ideal would offer a degree of humanity with both a connection to place and some degree of freedom from it.


Raabe’s literary career evidences a shift in his stance towards place. His change in stance reflects larger shifts in how Germans conceived of place and space during the late nineteenth century in response to the onset of modernity. As discussed at the beginning of this chapter, the shift in perceptions of the metropolis was one manifestation of this larger transformation, and it is clear that in both texts discussed here the metropolis embodies modernity and its changed relationship

134  Out of Place to place for Raabe. His initial response to modernity is to preserve a concept of place very similar to Gurlitt’s notion and to Heidegger’s unattainable ideal by embedding it textually, spatially and in memory. By the end of his career, however, he recognizes that an intimate or personal experience of place has been lost, that attempts to connect to it yield only confinement and restriction, but that humans simultaneously long for a connection to place, even in their efforts to free themselves from it. Yet, as with Simmel, this recognition is less an effort to change the forces that have led to this historical transformation than an observation of them. Simmel claims that because “such forces of life have grown into the roots and into the crown of the whole of the historical life in which we … belong …, it is not our task either to accuse or to pardon, but only to understand.”106 Raabe can neither valorize nor condemn this lost past, nor the conflicting tensions associated with place in the modern era. Instead, like Simmel, he takes a distanced stance towards them: he neither accuses nor pardons, but attempts only to understand.

106 Simmel, “The Metropolis and Mental Life,” 423–4.

3.  Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen


In contrast to earlier realists such as Wilhelm Raabe, Theodor Fontane saw the vicissitudes of modernity not as impending, but as present. His major literary works appeared later in his career than did Wilhelm Raabe’s, and he wrote the majority of his novels after he had turned sixty, when Raabe had written nearly half of his best-known novels. Fontane worked for many years as a journalist and in the process polished his skills at a kind of writing in which reportage and detailed descriptions of place and space figured prominently. Yet he did not begin writing his major novels until the late 1870s, after many of the dramatic demographic, architectural and social transformations in Berlin discussed in chapter 1 had already taken place. Since he spent most of his life in Berlin (other than a period as a foreign correspondent in England), he would have witnessed these changes firsthand and on a regular basis. As a result, his works focus not on preserving a sense of place threatened by modernity, as early works of Raabe and early realists tend to, but instead represent the impact of modernity on place as a given, a tendency more typical of later realists. Hence Fontane represents dynamic places in his novels—that is, places that are sites of conflict, transition, and historical change. He imagines the modern experience of place. This thesis concerning place runs counter to the arguments presented by much scholarship on Fontane. Numerous scholars have recognized the important function of place in Fontane’s novels while at the same time devaluing it. For them, place in Fontane reflects a static, nostalgic or even regressive worldview. Bruno Hillebrand, comparing Fontane with authors such as Proust, Kafka and Dostoevsky, states that “in the case of Fontane, the reader is given the most well-rounded and also certainly the most

136  Out of Place satisfying concept of space.”1 A few pages later, however, Hillebrand indicates that the role of place becomes progressively more incidental for Fontane and that the relationship of characters to place likewise declines after Vor dem Sturm (1878).2 He asserts that place has no value of its own in Fontane’s novels; instead, it serves only a functional role.3 Russell Berman recognizes the importance of place for Fontane, but describes it as a defense mechanism against the dynamic forces of modernity: “The author tries to maintain literary communication in the context of social destabilization by insisting at least on the stability of place.”4 Randall Holt focuses on Fontane’s near-obsessive attention to place details in the novel Irrungen Wirrungen: “In marked contrast to the experience of error and confusion suggested by the novel’s title, this topographical specificity attempts to provide a sense of stability perceived as absent in the social realm.”5 And Klaus Scherpe, who offers one of the more theoretically sophisticated engagements with the concepts of place and space in Fontane, similarly argues that a grounding in place is essential for Fontane’s characters in his “wellordered narrative topography:” “In Fontane’s narrative cosmos, which is constantly filled with the knowledge of a place, one does not distance oneself with impunity from one’s hereditary, one’s own place.”6 In other words, a stable, clearly-defined place is the norm against which all other experiences of place in Fontane must be measured. Along these lines, Naomi Ritter’s study of the house motif in German literature finds in the proletarian homes in Fontane’s novel Irrungen Wirrungen an ideal of independence, naturalness, sincerity and warmth that contrasts with the artificial and lifeless apartments of

1 Bruno Hillebrand, Mensch und Raum im Roman. Studien zu Keller, Stifter, Fontane (Munich: Winkler, 1971), 7. All translations of secondary literature are my own, unless otherwise noted. 2 “Bei Fontane ist es progressiv ein akzidenteller Raum—die Perspektive hat sich zunehmend ins rein Menschliche verlagert, der gegenständliche Umweltbezug der Personen nimmt deutlich ab seit ‚Vor dem Sturm.’” Ibid., 10. 3 Ibid., 233. 4 Russell A. Berman, The Rise of the Modern German Novel: Crisis and Charisma (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986), 143. 5 Randall Holt, “History as Trauma: The Absent Ground of Meaning in Irrungen, Wirrungen,” in New Approaches to Theodor Fontane: Cultural Codes in Flux, ed. Marion Doebeling, 99–115 (Columbia, S.C.: Camden House, 2000), 100–1. 6 Klaus Scherpe, “Ort oder Raum? Fontanes literarische Topographien” in Theodor Fontane, am Ende des Jahrhunderts. Internationales Symposium des Theodor-FontaneArchivs zum 100. Todestag Theodor Fontanes, 13–17. September 1998 in Potsdam, (eds) Hanna Delf von Wolzogen and Helmuth Nürnberger, Vol. 3. Geschichte. Vergessen. Großstadt. Moderne, 161–9 (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2000), 168.

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 137 the nobility.7 Most recently, James N. Bade asserts a more nuanced view, stating that the “most important function of the landscape depictions in Fontane’s novels is … that of symbolic and leitmotival allusion,”8 allowing Fontane’s places to bear multiple meanings. But he also asserts that Fontane’s “landscape descriptions are integrated perfectly into the thematic, symbolic, leitmotival and narrative context of his fiction.”9 In doing so, he downplays the tensions implicit in Fontane’s representations of place and highlights instead how these representations support an overall theme of the narrative. To summarize, much Fontane scholarship tends to view his representations of place as stable and his focus on local detail as a guarantor of an intimate connection to place and as reinforcement for the major themes of his novels. It sees place as playing solely a functional role: namely, to provide a background of stability against a changing world. A noteworthy exception to this trend in Fontane scholarship is Karla Müller’s 1986 monograph, Schloßgeschichten10 [Castle Stories], which has unfortunately received only minimal attention from Fontane scholars. Müller sees in Fontane’s representations of place (specifically his castles) fundamental structural features that characterize his novels. She describes these as a sequence of different phases, based on a fundamental opposition between stasis and dynamism, understood as motion or a standstill within the historical process.11 The different phases described by Müller elucidate Fontane’s own development,12 but the more far-reaching impact of her study for understanding place in the nineteenth century lies in the dynamic model of place she identifies in Fontane. Müller’s detailed analyses indicate that, for Fontane, place was not static and stable, not merely incidental, and not purely functional. She demonstrates that the role of place in his novels reflects deeper thematic and structural concerns and is inextricably bound to issues such as marriage and romance, religion, death, class and politics. 7 Naomi Ritter, House and Individual: The House Motif in German Literature of the 19th Century (Stuttgart: Akademischer Verlag Hans-Dieter Heinz, 1977), 84. 8 James N. Bade, Fontane’s Landscapes (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2009), 17. 9 Ibid., 18. 10 Karla Müller, Schloßgeschichten: Eine Studie zum Romanwerk Theodor Fontanes (Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 1986). 11 “als Abfolge von Stadien auf der Basis der grundlegenden Opposition von ‘Statik’ und ‘Dynamik,’ verstanden als Stillstand oder Fortbewegung im geschichtlichen Prozeß.” Ibid., 134. 12 She names them “Absonderung,” “Zwiespalt,” and “Entwirklichung.” For a more detailed discussion of these phases, see the chapter titled “Literarische, wirkliche und Pseudo-Schlösser” in Müller, Schloßgeschichten, 125–38.

138  Out of Place In the current chapter, Müller’s focus on dynamic places in Fontane serves as a jumping-off point for situating Fontane’s notion of place within a larger theoretical debate between phenomenological and materialist approaches to place. I relate this theoretical debate to historical debates on place, specifically to debates among Fontane’s contemporaries on housing reform. Finally, I conclude by demonstrating how Irrungen Wirrungen (1888)13 envisions a dynamic notion of place, one that reflects the story at the heart of the novel—not the story of a failed relationship, but the story of irrevocable historical change. In this novel, Fontane represents the transformation of one concept of place into another, a type of historical displacement, and in doing so he resolves conflicts between the phenomenological and materialist approaches to space. Fontane does not voice an opinion as to which social group, which location or which epoch is superior to others (i.e. nobility vs. bourgeois vs. proletariat; city vs. country; or pre-industrial Prussia vs. modern Berlin); rather, he chronicles the change from one to another by identifying the dynamic forces embedded within places and links these forces to historical change.

Theoretical Context: Dynamic and Stable Perspectives of Place

The term “place” has multiple valences, as indicated in the introduction. I reference two contrasting approaches in philosophy and theory, approaches that embody the tension between political and phenomenological conceptions of place. I refer specifically to Marxistinfluenced, post-structural concepts of smooth and striated spaces and to phenomenological studies of place and displacement. A poststructural approach is developed and discussed by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1980, 1987 English translation), while the phenomenological study I discuss is Edward Casey’s 1993 monograph, Getting Back into Place. Casey presents a more stable notion of place, whereas Deleuze and Guattari’s conception is more dynamic and subject to politics and history. I contrast these two approaches in greater detail to demonstrate what is at stake in Fontane’s representations of place and to show that his representations of place engage issues central to current debates about place. Casey’s study draws on the work of phenomenologists before him (such as Martin Heidegger, Gaston Bachelard and Maurice MerleauPonty), as well as the work of geographer Yi-Fu Tuan. Tuan defines 13 I refer to the German rather than the English title of the novel throughout, as the German includes both the sense of confusion as well as a sense of wandering that no single English translation has captured.

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 139 place as “a special kind of object” and continues: “It is a concretion of value, though not a valued thing that can be handled or carried about easily; it is an object in which one can dwell.”14 Tuan relies on a notion of place embraced by Heidegger, for whom dwelling combines multiple relations and experiences,15 in which dwelling is a holistic relationship to a location. Building on Tuan and Heidegger, Casey develops a definition of place that allows for the cultural and political construction of place; he defines place as “what takes place between body and landscape.”16 Casey states that places “are cultural entities from the start.”17 They are not simply spatial positions that can be mapped and inhabited; they are locations bound to history, society, and politics: “The cultural dimension of place—along with affiliated historical, social, and political aspects and avatars—… contributes to the felt density of a particular place, the sense that it has something lasting in it.”18 For Casey, place contrasts with space: space is undifferentiated, void, infinitely divisible and separate from experiencing beings, whereas place suggests uniqueness, familiarity, duration, connection and finite human interaction. As mentioned in the introduction, Casey argues that in the modern era, “the uniformity of space and the equability of time have replaced, or more exactly displaced, the priority of place.”19 He locates the beginnings of the modernist disruption and fragmentation of place into space and time during the Enlightenment.20 In modernity, place has split into time and space, with time dominating space, resulting in modernist phenomena of alienation and of longing for absent sources of identity.21 The individual lacks totality and becomes painfully aware of his/her own fragmented nature. Casey states: “To be dis-placed is therefore to incur both culture loss and memory loss resulting from the loss of the land itself, each being a symptom of the disorientation 14 Yi-Fu Tuan, Space and Place (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1977), 12. 15 Martin Heidegger, “Bauen Wohnen Denken,” in Gesamtausgabe. I. Abteilung, vol. 7, Vorträge und Aufsätze, 145–64, (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 2000), 153. 16 Edward S. Casey, Getting Back into Place. Toward a Renewed Understanding of the Place-World (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993), 29. 17 Ibid., 30. 18 Ibid., 33. 19 Ibid., 38. 20 Casey highlights the invention of the chronometer during this era. The chronometer allowed navigators to determine latitude and longitude—that is, to determine a location in space by means of time. For Casey, this discovery is representative of the rising dominance of time over space and place. See Casey, Getting Back into Place, 3–6. 21 Ibid., 38–9.

140  Out of Place wrought by relocation.”22 Displacement creates a loss of culture and of memory and it engenders a sense of nostalgia. To describe Casey’s theory as a stable view of place is admittedly reductive. Casey offers a rich catalogue of the varieties of experience of place. The notion of place he describes allows for humans to interact with place and for one’s relationship to place to shift continuously; his notion of place is anything but static. The main thrust of Casey’s argument, however, is to assert the primacy of place over time, to assert that the experience of place is more fundamental than the experience of time, and to note that we experience time only in relation to place.23 In this sense, then, Casey privileges place as that which, although certain to change, must have some degree of consistency and constancy in order for us to speak about it as changing. This notion of place as a linguistic and imaginative construct is conservative in that it grounds place in a primary experience that one forever attempts to recover. I label his theory of place as stable or static in the sense that although our experience of a place might change in time, its status as a place cannot change or be questioned. I interpret Casey as arguing that we may become displaced (separated from the place to which we feel bound), but that this displacement does not alter the place’s status as a place for us. Because he values emplacement over displacement, Casey implicitly privileges some historical periods and phenomena over others (for example, the “emplacement” of the pre-modern world over the “displacement” of the modern world). His theory offers a forceful description of modern experience in terms of displacement. Casey’s argument can be contrasted with that of Deleuze and Guattari, who in A Thousand Plateaus speak of two dramatically different experiences of space, which they label as smooth and striated spaces.24 Deleuze and Guattari use certain terminology differently from the way Casey does. What they label space is not pure space as Casey would define it—that is, an impersonal void not yet filled by affect. For Deleuze and Guattari, space is always bound to human experience, specifically to culture and politics. Or, to use Casey’s terminology, there is no space that is not in some way inhabited, that is not already place. The main concern for them, however, is the kind of space one chooses to inhabit. 22 Ibid., 37. 23 “Instead, place is a primus inter pares, a first among equals; and the same holds true for the relationship between place and space.” Ibid., 13. 24 They adapt these terms from Pierre Boulez, who originally used them to describe music. See Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 477.

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 141 Striated space is the space of the state apparatus, a stable space based on ordered structures; Deleuze and Guattari compare this type of space to a woven cloth. It is measurable, hierarchical space, where movement is teleological, from one specific point to another; it is space that allows for “progress,” logic and rationality. It is homogenous, sedentary, and often associated with large cities.25 In contrast to striated space is smooth space, the space of the nomad, or what Deleuze and Guattari label “the war machine.” It is exterior to the state apparatus and its order; instead of having an ordered, stable structure, such as a woven cloth, it is neither homogenous nor ordered, but an aggregate of entangled fibers.26 It is comparable to fabrics such as felt. Such space is not measurable, but flowing, changing and formless. Individuals in this space are not sedentary, but constantly moving; their movement is not goal oriented, as in striated space, but along an indefinite line (or “line of flight”), where points mark only temporary stops, not beginnings and endings. There is no progress in smooth space, only becoming, a non-teleological type of transformation that is ever open to new and unlikely possibilities. Whereas striated space is grounded in visual perception, smooth space relies on non-visual or haptic perception. Smooth space and striated space are admittedly abstract concepts and difficult to pinpoint precisely as historical phenomena, and in this regard they are much less precise than Casey’s terminology. Although Deleuze and Guattari offer various historical examples, these are often described in such broad terms as to lose any specificity. Their description of the nomad, for example, seems more idealized than real: “But the nomad goes from point to point only as a consequence and as a factual necessity; in principle, points for him are relays along a trajectory. . . . The nomadic trajectory … distributes people (or animals) in an open space, one that is indefinite and noncommunicating.”27 There is as little support for this assertion as there is for the opposite assertion by Yi-Fu Tuan: “For nomads the cyclical exigencies of life yield a sense of place at two scales: the camps and the far larger territory within which they move.”28 Like the phenomenologists, Deleuze and Guattari construct ideal concepts of place and space that may or may not relate directly to historical reality. However, I find the two types of space useful insofar as Deleuze and Guattari focus not on these types separately, but on their interaction:

25 For more detail, see Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, chapters 12 and 14 (351–423 and 474–500). 26 Ibid., 475. 27 Ibid., 380. 28 Tuan, Space and Place, 182.

142  Out of Place What interests us in operations of striation and smoothing are precisely the passages or combinations: how the forces at work within space continually striate it, and how in the course of its striation it develops other forces and emits new smooth spaces. Even the most striated city gives rise to smooth spaces: to live in the city as a nomad, or as a cave dweller. Movements, speed and slowness, are sometimes enough to reconstruct a smooth space. Of course, smooth spaces are not in themselves liberatory. But the struggle is changed or displaced in them, and life reconstitutes its stakes, confronts new obstacles, invents new paces, switches adversaries.29 Clearly, Deleuze and Guattari do not believe it is possible, or even desirable, to inhabit only one type of space at the expense of the other, for “the two spaces in fact exist only in mixture: smooth space is constantly being translated, transversed into striated space; striated space is constantly being reversed, returned to a smooth space.”30 In other words, their model maps abstract tendencies of smoothness and striation onto space, not to argue for their actual existence as material phenomena, but to discuss the moments when these two tendencies come into conflict with each other, moments of historical change and transformation. For Deleuze and Guattari, space is dynamic; it is constantly changing as a result of history. Their model enables us to discuss social and historical changes in one’s relation to place in a way that Casey’s model does not. Casey’s model gives more precise tools for discussing the phenomenon of displacement itself, whereas Deleuze and Guattari provide tools for discussing the changing relationship to place in the light of historical and social change. Bourgeois realists engage both phenomena—displacement and historical social change—in a literary medium. As such, realist literature mediates the conflicts between these two competing approaches in ways that lived experience might not. Nonetheless, literary treatments of place resonate with debates about place that occurred in Berlin during the latter half of the nineteenth century.

Historical Context: Displacement and Housing Reform

During the latter half of the nineteenth century, as discussed in chapter one, Berlin experienced a population boom: the population increased to over one million in 1877 from just under 775,000 in 1870. By 1888, when Irrungen Wirrungen was published, Berlin’s population had increased

29 Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, 500. 30 Ibid., 474.

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 143 to over 1.4 million.31 This population boom, fueled by immigration, created a housing shortage that was most acute in the early 1870s, but that continued throughout the latter half of the century. The most obvious manifestation of this shortage were the infamous Berliner Mietskasernen, which allowed owners to pack a large number of inhabitants onto a single plot of land. The net effect of the housing crisis was that Berliners had less and less space to call their own—they could not help but feel out of place. For a sizeable segment of the population, place was not a stable basis for meaning and experience; instead, it was ephemeral, a commodity that could be exchanged. The housing situation became particularly acute in the 1870s, after the real estate and stock market crash of 1873.32 The official response to this crisis reflects both Casey’s dismay at a sense of displacement, as well as the state apparatus’s emphasis of order in “striated spaces,” as discussed by Deleuze and Guattari. As mentioned earlier, the director of the city statistical office, Dr. H. Schwabe, complained of the fact that “on average 20,000 Berliner families drifted around on furniture carts” [durchschnittlich 20,000 Berliner Familien auf dem Möbelwagen herumtreibt].33 This constant flux of people so offends his Prussian sense of structure and stability that he proposes “a wandering gypsy household” as “a model of order and comfort” in comparison to the disrupted lives of city dwellers.34 Schwabe combines detailed statistics and bourgeois ideology to argue that the nature of dwelling had been lost in the Berlin of the late nineteenth century. A dwelling was no longer personal property, nor a place to ground one’s identity; it had become only a transitory commodity. Schwabe perceived this lack of stability as a threat to the state. As was discussed in chapter one, there were two fundamental responses to this change in the experience of place. Both shared the belief that transformations of place threatened the stability of 31 Statistisches Jahrbuch der Stadt Berlin. 34. Jahrgang, enthaltend die Statistik der Jahre 1915 bis 1919, ed. H. Silbergleit (Berlin: P. Stankiewicz’ Buchdruckerei, 1920), 3–4. 32 See Charlotte Jolles, “‘Berlin wird Weltstadt.’ Theodor Fontane und der Berliner Roman seiner Zeit,” in Berlin. Literary Images of a City. Eine Großstadt im Spiegel der Literatur, (eds) Glass, Rösler and White (Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, 1989), 50–69. Jolles provides an overview of the historical situation of German Realism and links it to literary developments, specifically the rise of “Berlin novels” in the 1880s. She notes of Berlin during this era: “Aber diese Weltstadt zeigte ein doppeltes Gesicht: wirtschaftlichen Glanz und neuen Reichtum, grenzenlose Armut und moralische Versumpfung” (52). 33 H. Schwabe, “Das Nomadenthum in der Berliner Bevölkerung,” in Berliner Städtisches Jahrbuch für Volkswirtschaft und Statistik, vol. 1, ed. Dr H. Schwabe, 29–37 (Berlin: Leonhard Simion, 1874), 32. 34 Ibid., 32.

144  Out of Place conservative state authority. A liberal bourgeois response, reflecting a notion of place similar to Casey’s, attempted to preserve or recreate the experience of place—that is, to make place stable in the face of historical change. A more radical approach, perhaps a precursor to Deleuze and Guattari, recognized that historical and social developments had transformed the experience of place and viewed such change as inevitable. Place was dynamic and would reflect historical change. Examples of the liberal bourgeois response were given in chapter 1. Recall that reformers such as Victor Aimé Huber and Julius Faucher asserted that the solution to pervasive displacement was to make residents into property owners.35 Similar to Casey, they felt that a sense of place was grounded in a sense of connection to that place. Yet whereas for Casey this connection is emotional and psychological, for the bourgeois reformers it was primarily financial. The radical approach, in contrast, may be understood by looking at some of Friedrich Engels’ writings. Marxist theory of the time conceived of the housing problem as subordinate to social forces and historical change. In 1872 and 1873, Engels published a series of three articles in the journal Volksstaat under the title “Zur Wohnungsfrage” [“On The Housing Question”]. In these articles, Engels assails a previous set of articles on the housing question, in which bourgeois socialists or liberals advocate improving the housing situation of the lower classes through individual ownership, single-family homes, and so on. He argues that private ownership of a dwelling is not the solution for the proletariat. Rather than allowing unskilled workers the mobility they need to pursue the shifting job market, private ownership ties them to a single location.36 Whereas bourgeois reformers tried to address only the housing problem, Engels saw the housing problem as a symptom of a larger social change: “Um dieser Wohnungsnoth ein Ende zu machen, giebt es nur ein Mittel, das: die Ausbeutung und Unterdrückung der arbeitenden Klasse durch die herrschende Klasse überhaupt zu beseitigen.”37 [In order to put an end to this housing shortage there is only one means: to 35 For a detailed introduction to these reform movements, see Johann Friedrich Geist and Klaus Kürvers, Das Berliner Mietshaus, 1740–1862, (Munich: PrestelVerlag, 1980), specifically chapter 12, “Die Familienhäuser—Teil IV. Die Entwicklung einer Sozialpolitik zur Beherrschung des Proletariats,” 370–463. For additional treatment of some of the reformers, see Werner Hegemann, ed., Der Städtebau. Nach den Ergebnissen der allgemeinen Städtebau-Ausstellung in Berlin nebst einem Anhang: Die Internationale Städtebau-Ausstellung in Düsseldorf, Erster Teil [von zwei] (Berlin: Ernst Wasmuth, 1911). 36 Friedrich Engels, “Zur Wohnungsfrage,” in Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels Gesamtausgabe (Mega), ed. Institut für Marxismus-Leninismus, Erste Abteilung, vol. 24, 3–81 (Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1984), 35. 37 Ibid., 7 (emphasis Engels).

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 145 abolish altogether the exploitation and oppression of the working class by the ruling class.] Engels’ detailed economic arguments refute liberal bourgeois housing reforms and assert that gradual changes associated with supply and demand are the only means that present society has to solve such a problem—yet his arguments also note that such solutions are inadequate. He then describes how a social revolution would solve this problem: Wie eine soziale Revolution diese Frage lösen würde, hängt nicht nur von den jedesmaligen Umständen ab, sondern hängt auch zusammen mit viel weiter gehenden Fragen, unter denen die Aufhebung des Gegensatzes von Stadt und Land eine der wesentlichsten ist. … Soviel aber ist sicher, daß schon jetzt in den großen Städten hinreichend Wohngebäude vorhanden sind, um bei rationeller Benutzung derselben jeder wirklichen ‘Wohnungsnoth’ sofort abzuhelfen. Dies kann natürlich nur durch Expropriation der heutigen Besitzer resp. durch Bequartierung ihrer Häuser mit obdachlosen oder in ihren bisherigen Wohnungen übermäßig zusammengedrängten Arbeitern geschehen.38 How a social revolution would solve this question depends not only on the circumstances which would exist in each case, but is also connected with still more far-reaching questions, among which one of the most fundamental is the abolition of the antithesis between town and country. … But one thing is certain: there are already in existence sufficient buildings for dwellings in the large cities to remedy immediately any real “housing shortage,” given rational utilization of them. This can naturally only take place by the expropriation of the present owners and by quartering in their houses the homeless or those workers excessively overcrowded in their former houses. For Engels, certain historical changes necessitate a changed experience of place. He envisions a social revolution producing a wholesale and even forcible transformation of place, an expropriation by the state. His scathing critique of bourgeois solutions to the housing problem mentions Julius Faucher by name and asserts that liberal reformers maintain all the evils of present-day society while trying to abolish them.39 For Engels, the current housing crisis is a logical consequence of the development of industrial capitalism, and only by transforming the socio-economic system itself will society resolve the housing crisis. Place, for Engels, is like society: it is historically conditioned. Engels 38 Ibid., 21. 39 Ibid., 31.

146  Out of Place favors a socially and politically transformative model of space over striated, hierarchical spaces. I highlight these two approaches to housing reform because I see in them two differing perspectives towards place. For the liberal bourgeois reformers, the experience of place should be stable. Any change in the experience of place threatens social upheaval (as both Huber and Schwabe suggest), and preserving an older concept of place would prevent chaos and revolution. For the Marxists, however, the experience of place is dynamic, an ever-changing product of the socioeconomic order in which one lives. Place changes in conjunction with larger socio-historical transformations. The bourgeois model views place in absolute terms: either one has a sense of place and hence feels ownership, belonging, permanence, health and a sense of home; or one has lost this sense, and so feels disenfranchised and displaced, the victim of ephemerality, sickness, homelessness and, ultimately, chaos, a sentiment echoed in Casey’s model of place. The Marxists view place in more relative terms: the experience of place is not necessarily good or bad in and of itself, but is a reflection of the contemporary socio-economic order. Changes in the socio-economic order necessitate changes in the experience of place. This shares with Deleuze and Guattari a recognition of the political implications bound to differing models of place: a more stable, striated concept of space is more closely bound to a hierarchical socio-political structure, whereas a more fluid concept of space allows more room for individuality and threatens the socio-political structure. Fontane witnessed firsthand in Berlin and London the displacement that engendered the debates discussed above. We know that, while on a trip with the housing reformer Julius Faucher, he saw the miserable living conditions of numerous working families in London. However, his writings do not champion the cause of the victims of the housing crisis in either Berlin or London.40 As Jörg Thunecke states, Fontane was unable “to free himself from an aestheticizing stance in the description of social and political phenomena.”41 Thunecke’s assertion typifies much Fontane scholarship, for many scholars find in Fontane 40 Jörg Thunecke finds that Fontane refrained from commenting on these social ills in his journalistic writings from London, not to mention in his literary work. See “‘Von dem was er sozialpolitisch war, habe ich keinen Schimmer.’ Londoner ‘Kulturbilder’ in den Schriften Theodor Fontanes und Julius Fauchers,” in Exilanten und andere Deutsche in Fontanes London, (eds) Peter Alter and Rudolf Muhs, 340–69 (Stuttgart: Verlag Hans-Dieter Heinz, Akademischer Verlag Stuttgart, 1996), 358–9. Thunecke’s article offers more detail about Faucher’s personal background as well as a contrast of Faucher’s and Fontane’s thoughts on the housing issue. 41 Thunecke, “Von dem was er sozialpolitisch war,” 353.

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 147 an emphasis on the aesthetic at the expense of the political. For this reason, critics align him with a liberal bourgeois perspective of place. The danger in doing so, however, is that positing aesthetics as opposed to politics, or even as a form of bourgeois politics, does not address the role that aesthetics plays in the imaginative ordering of human space. In this chapter, I argue for a different understanding of Fontane’s representation of place. Thunecke’s assertion, like much Fontane ­scholarship, risks painting him as an aesthetic escapist from material reality. I believe, however, that Fontane is not simply aestheticizing the sense of displacement that surrounded him— that is, he is not making it harmless through artistic representation. Fontane’s representations of place are not escapist; they do not ignore the sense of displacement that characterized Berlin of the 1870s as much as they identify it without emphasizing its pathology. Fontane represents historical and social conflicts in terms of place, but refuses to valorize one side of the conflict over the other. Or, as Lukács reads him: Fontane “portrays what is odious about his times in the way it deserves” and “although his world-view remains confined to the private and the personal—he does not succumb to the temptation of appearing to ‘deepen’ these inevitable conflicts while actually distracting attention from the main idea by treating them as pathological.”42 He is less a bourgeois moralist and more a chronicler of historical change. He employs aesthetic constructions to observe and ultimately reconfigure our imaginative ordering of space. In Irrungen Wirrungen, Fontane portrays the phenomenon of displacement in a German metropolis of the late nineteenth century. The novel has a strikingly unremarkable plot. Set against the background of Berlin in the 1870s, it relates how the baron Botho von Rienäcker and the seamstress Lene Nimptsch fall in love, have a relationship, and then separate when social convention and financial pressures force them to marry partners more appropriate to their respective social stations: for Botho, his cousin Käthe von Sellenthin, also from the nobility, and for Lene, a budding industrialist, Gideon Franke. The novel is bifurcated both in its treatment of the two protagonists and in its representation of place: it presents a more stable notion of place at the outset when the two characters are together, but it ultimately undermines this sense of stability to present a more dynamic notion of place when they are apart. In Casey’s terms, we recognize how Fontane attempts to create a perceived “density of place” in Irrungen Wirrungen through three approaches: by offering detailed description of places and the sense 42 Georg Lukács, German Realists in the Nineteenth Century, trans. Jeremy Gaines and Paul Keast, ed. Rodney Livingstone (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1993), 333.

148  Out of Place of connection characters have to them; by contrasting this sense of connection with indicators of displacement; and by demonstrating how social norms are inscribed in places to such a degree that places themselves reinforce social structures.43 Regarding the relationship of place to historical change, I find Deleuze and Guattari more effective in describing the modern relationship to place represented by Fontane. For as much as places reinforce social codes, they also index contradiction and conflict, specifically the conflicts accompanying industrial capitalism and ascendant modernity. When analyzed more closely, places become not locations of refuge and security, but sites of divergence and conflict in which the smooth and the striated are in constant struggle. Although these tendencies are evident at a subtle level throughout the novel, they are clearest in passages presenting two brief moments (to be discussed at the end of the chapter) when Fontane represents transitional spaces or passages between striated and smooth spaces. These spaces allow becomings and transformations, but do not determine what these transformations will be. They are dynamic spaces that point to an uncertain future.

Stable Places in Irrungen Wirrungen

Fontane would probably have agreed with the geographer Yi-Fu Tuan, who writes: “A function of literary art is to give visibility to intimate experiences, including those of place.”44 Fontane’s novels revel in descriptions of place, most frequently in Berlin and its surrounding environs of the Mark of Brandenburg, through which he had wandered and about which he had written prolifically. In the foreword to his multi-volume local travel narrative, Wanderungen durch die Mark Brandenburg [Walks through the Mark of Brandenburg] (1862–89), Fontane recounts his motivation to write about his own environments: “I wandered through the Mark and found it richer than I had dared to hope. Every inch of earth came to life and produced figures … an abundance confronted me, towards which I have the distinct feeling, that I will never be even close to being able to master it.”45 A similar attitude towards place is found in Fontane’s novels, which draw our 43 See Randall Holt, who argues that “reference to nonliterary realities outside the text is employed to prevent the collapse of meaning within it. Although Fontane relies upon this proliferation of detail, of description, throughout his oeuvre, in Irrungen, Wirrungen, he attempts figuratively to prescribe order and meaning through the excessive specificity of social space.” “History as Trauma,” 100. 44 Tuan, Space and Place, 162. 45 “Ich bin die Mark durchzogen und habe sie reicher gefunden, als ich zu hoffen gewagt hatte. Jeder Fußbreit Erde belebte sich und gab Gestalten heraus ... ein Reichtum ist mir entgegengetreten, dem gegenüber ich das bestimmte Gefühl habe, seiner niemals auch annähernd Herr werden zu können.” Theodor Fontane, Sämtliche Werke, ed. Edgar

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 149 attention to unfamiliar spaces and make them places for us. Fontane does so in Irrungen Wirrungen, although he draws our attention not to a single concept of place, but to two competing concepts of place. The first predominates for the first half of the novel, as long as Botho and Lene are together; it is an idyllic, almost fairy-tale notion of space, where characters have a deep affective attachment to place but simultaneously believe that “paradise” and similar ideal spaces exist outside of social reality. A different notion of place exists simultaneously, however, and after Botho and Lene’s separation we see it take hold. In this second, less ideal and more pragmatic notion, there is no place outside of social reality and place is not stable or inextricably bound to human affect; instead, place reflects social and historical change and is determined by influences such as the rise of industrial capitalism and the ensuing urbanization of Germany. Characters conceive of the first, ideal type of place as stable; the second, pragmatic conception of place is dynamic. Fontane associates the stable notion of place with a sense of nostalgia, of longing for an irretrievable past whose traces persist in the present. The novel’s opening sentence indicates that the reader will learn about a place that is no longer known: “An dem Schnittpunkte von Kurfürstendamm und Kurfürstenstraße, schräg gegenüber dem ‘Zoologischen,’ befand sich in der Mitte der siebziger Jahre noch eine große, feldeinwärts sich erstreckende Gärtnerei …” (95).46 [In the middle of the 1870s, just at the crossing of the Kurfürstendamm and the Kurfürstenstraße, diagonally across from the “Zoological,” could still be found a large vegetable garden, stretching a distance away from the street (3).]47 Fontane gives the reader a definite location, landmarks that would have been current in the 1880s (the street names, the zoological garden, etc.), but he implies with the past tense befand [could be found] and the adverb noch [still] that the garden no longer exists. Fontane wrote Irrungen Wirrungen in the mid and late 1880s, but he chose to set it in the Berlin of a decade earlier. In this opening scene, we see that it is not only the lost era that Fontane highlights, but also the places within this era. In other words, Fontane both creates a sense of place and simultaneously acknowledges the loss of this place. The reader begins with a sense of nostalgia, a symptom of displacement. Gross, vol. 9 (Munich: Nymphenburger Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1959), 7. [My translation]. 46 All parenthetical references cite volume 3 of the Nymphenburger Fontane: Theodor Fontane, Sämtliche Werke, ed. Edgar Gross, vol. 3 (Munich: Nymphenburger Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1959). 47 Translations of Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen cite Theodor Fontane, Delusions, Confusions and The Poggenpul Family, trans. William L. Zwiebel, ed. Peter Demetz, (New York: Continuum, 1989). Permission courtesy of Continuum.

150  Out of Place In his description of this place, Fontane draws our attention to the smallest, seemingly insignificant details that are not only visual (the half-torn clock-face, the tower, the occasional flock of pigeons, the fruit trees [95]), but also auditory (the barking of a dog [95]). The reader quickly intuits that each of these seemingly insignificant details of place bears great significance. Only after giving this lengthy description of this place does Fontane introduce us to its inhabitants, as if the place itself were more significant than the characters. For Fontane, place is more than a setting: it becomes a character in its own right. This is evidenced by detailed descriptions he gives to each of the places in the novel, not only by the opening Schloß [castle] but also by Botho’s apartment and Hankels Ablage [Hankel’s Depot], a holiday destination where Botho and Lene hope to escape the restrictions of life in the city. The descriptions of the paintings on the walls, of the insects flying inside, of the spatial layout of the furniture and rooms, and of the drafts, breezes and light that penetrate each of these spaces are so exhaustively detailed that the reader is compelled to regard the details as inviting interpretation.48 In describing them so fully, Fontane creates an affective relationship to these places for the reader. These places become sites of connection and of security, where meaning is certain because it is bound to a locale.49 As Botho says of the place by Frau Nimptsch’s hearth: “Ich kenne keinen Herd, auf den ich so gern sähe; immer Feuer, immer Wärme. Ja, Mutterchen, es ist so; hier ist es am besten” (108). [I don’t know of another hearth that I’d rather look on. Always a fire, always nice and warm. Yes indeed, old girl, this is the place for me (19).] Botho suggests that this hearth has enduring warmth that makes it “the best” and the “place for [him].” This place, like others in the novel, provides stability and meaning. It is as if Fontane attempts to recreate a sense of place in literature to compensate for the perceived loss of place in the world outside it.50 In this regard, his effort is 48 In a letter of July 13, 1887, to Friedrich Stepany, Fontane writes: “Gott, wer liest Novellen bei die Hitze, wer hat jetzt Lust und Fähigkeit auf die hundert und, ich kann dreist sagen, auf die tausend Finessen zu achten, die ich dieser von mir besonders geliebten Arbeit mit auf den Lebensweg gegeben habe.” Theodor Fontane, Dichter über ihre Dichtungen II, ed. Richard Brinkmann (Munich: Heimeran Verlag, 1973), 363. See James N. Bade’s recent monograph, Fontane’s Landscapes, for more detailed discussions of the symbolism and cultural relevance of each of the places represented in Fontane’s novel. 49 Berman makes a similar argument: “The author tries to maintain literary communication in the context of social destabilization by insisting at least on the stability of place.” The Rise of the Modern German Novel, 143. 50 Randall Holt states: “In marked contrast to the experience of error and confusion suggested by the novel’s title, this topographical specificity attempts to provide a sense of stability perceived as absent in the social realm.” “History as Trauma,” 100–1.

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 151 conservative and nostalgic:51 he tries to recreate places that have disappeared (i.e. Berlin of the 1870s) and endow them with the perceived “density of place” described by Edward Casey. Fontane repeatedly asserts the significance of places. Places in the novel are inscribed with social norms that remind those dwelling in them of their connection to society; they reinforce social values and encourage conformity; they are both determined and determining. In this manner, place reflects its connection to a hierarchical social structure. This is evident at numerous points in the novel. Early in the novel, Botho, Lene and Frau Dörr go on a walk towards Wilmersdorf. They choose the path that is “der einsamste Weg, um vieles stiller und menschenleerer als drei, vier andere, die parallel mit ihm über die Wiese hin auf Wilmersdorf zu führten” (134) [the most isolated path, by far quieter and more empty than three or four others, which ran parallel to it across the field towards Wilmersdorf (50)]. Yet this isolated, even indirect and liminal, route contains countless reminders of society. The three characters see women beating carpets in the distance (134), reminding them not only of menial labor, but also of the class distinctions that separate those who have to beat carpets and those who, like Botho, have the leisure to speculate on “den Wert oder Unwert der Teppiche” (134) [the value or worthlessness of the carpets (50)]. They then come across a rubble pile from a sculptor’s studio and notice it contains an angel’s head. A discussion ensues as to whether it is an angel or a cupid, indicating that this seemingly insignificant object evokes conflicting norms of love and sexuality. Next they walk across a field strewn with catkins from poplar trees. These natural objects are quickly incorporated into a societal context when Frau Dörr asks: “weißt du denn, daß sie jetzt Betten damit stopfen, ganz wie mit Federn? Und sie nennen es Waldwolle” (135). [Do you know that they stuff beds with that nowadays, just like feathers. They call it wood wool (51).] A natural object has led to observations on commerce and marketing and, again, to sexual mores (it is noted that Frau Dörr prefers firmer beds: “und wenn es denn so wuppt …” (135) [and when it really gets bouncing … (51)]). Several other details of place, including non-visual elements (such as the sound of the open-air bowling alley [136]), remind them that place, even when apparently isolated and marginal, is socially embedded. For Fontane, place affirms that one is bound to and cannot escape society. Place offers stability. In fact, place offers so much stability that it can be confining. This is evident when Botho and Lene attempt to escape social scrutiny with a 51 Patricia Howe notes: “Memory may indeed supersede historical time as the structural principle behind the novel.” “Reality and Imagination in Fontane’s Irrungen, Wirrungen,” in German Life and Letters 38, no. 4 (July 1985): 346–56, 348.

152  Out of Place brief excursion to Hankel’s Depot, a getaway just outside of Berlin. For this excursion, Lene does not care where they go, as long as it is away from a place that confines them and reminds them of social norms: “Ihr lag nur daran, mal hinauszukommen und in Gottes freier Natur, möglichst fern von dem großstädtischen Getreibe, mit dem geliebten Manne zusammen zu sein. Wo, war gleichgültig” (143). [The only thing that mattered to her was to get out in the open for a change, as far as possible from the bustle of the city in God’s free and open spaces, and to be together with the man she loved. Where was unimportant to her (61).] Lene is not fleeing to a place, but from place itself. The implication of “Gottes freier Natur” [God’s free and open spaces or, literally, God’s free nature] is that there will be a space in which individuals answer only to God, not to society and not to the laws of the city. Fontane proves this notion of place to be false. Even before Botho’s friends and their mistresses arrive, Botho and Lene experience numerous phenomena in this new place that remind them of their connection to society and its norms. These reminders include the flowers they pick in the meadow; their interactions with the innkeeper; and the paintings in their bedroom. In each instance, they find meaning and social significance in these elements of place. This is not, however, because these elements of place are inherently significant, but because Botho and Lene feel compelled to establish a connection to them—to make them places—and thus cannot help but imbue them with social significance. They associate each of the flowers they have picked with a different character trait and bind them together into a bouquet with one of Lene’s hairs, taking what had been “God’s free nature,” making it theirs, and giving it social significance. In addition, on the morning after their night at the inn, Lene and Botho observe a woman scrubbing pots from the kitchen, and Lene finds meaning in this everyday, supposedly meaningless, sight: “Weißt du, Botho, das ist kein Zufall, daß sie da kniet; sie kniet da für mich, und ich fühle deutlich, daß es mir ein Zeichen ist und eine Fügung” (157). [You know, Botho, it’s not just chance that she’s kneeling there. She’s kneeling there for me. I feel clearly that it’s a sign for me, an act of fate (77).] Lene finds a sign, even fate, in this mundane sight. Botho, surprised at this, asks what this sign means; but the lovers are interrupted by the innkeeper before Lene can answer. In this scene, Fontane does not specify the meaning associated with these mundane experiences. One might speculate that Lene sees in this woman a representative of her own class.52 While this may be correct, I want to go 52 Compare here the interpretations of Georg Lukács, who sees Lene as a representative of the proletariat, and Walter Müller-Seidel, who rejects the assertion that she is a representative of her class. Georg Lukács, Deutsche Realisten des 19. Jahrhunderts (Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, 1952), 303 and Walter Müller-Seidel,

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 153 further and assert that Fontane points here not only to the specific class and social associations evoked by this image, but also to the fact that his characters make associations at all. Botho and Lene cannot help but search for meaning in the places they visit; and, in doing so, they bind these places to social structures. In representing such a scene, Fontane demonstrates how places are created, how humans cannot help but invest affective and symbolic energy into their physical environment. Humans seek stability and meaning in place. I refer to another instance where the ubiquity of socially constructed places is evident, where even supposedly natural places reinforce socially determined meaning. Upon receiving a letter from his mother challenging him to choose a bride, Botho saddles his horse and decides to “ausreiten” (169) [to ride (91) or, literally, to ride out or away]. He does not specify the destination; it is as if he were attempting again to flee a place rather than to find one. He rides out to the Jungfernheide, and then beyond into farm fields and a lightly wooded area: “Hier, im Schatten eines der älteren Bäume, stand ein kurzes, gedrungenes Steinkreuz, und als er näher heranritt, um zu sehen, was es mit diesem Kreuz eigentlich sei, las er: ‘Ludwig v. Hinckeldey, gest. 10. März 1856’” (170). [Here, in the shadow of one of the older trees, stood a short, low-set stone cross, and as he rode closer to see what this cross actually stood for, he read: Ludwig v. Hinckeldey, Died, 10 March 1856 (92).] Botho finds Hinckeldey’s grave in a supposedly natural setting. The grave reminds Botho of social obligation. Hinckeldey, the former police president of Berlin known for outlawing dueling, died while defending his honor in a duel (Botho describes his death as a “Standesmarotte” (171) [a class whim (93)]). To uphold the rules of his social order, Hinckeldey violated a criminal law that he had created. This place reminds Botho of his own social obligations. In reflecting on Hinckeldey, he comes to the conclusion “daß das Herkommen unser Tun bestimmt. Wer ihm gehorcht, kann zugrunde gehn, aber er geht besser zugrunde als der, der ihm widerspricht” (171) [that our background determines our actions. Whoever obeys that may fall, but he will fall in a better way than whoever contradicts it (93)]. Botho resigns himself to abide by the norms of his class and social group, even if it proves the undoing of his own happiness. The motivation for this resignation is not only the letter from his mother and ensuing selfreflection, but also his encounter with a place where he finds meaning and significance. Places reinforce social codes and reflect a hierarchical structure within society. Being bound to place means being bound to the social structures of society. This reading of place as confining, as restrictive stability, has a counterpart—namely the longing for a place that would be stable yet Theodor Fontane: Soziale Romankunst in Deutschland, zweite Auflage (Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1980), 267.

154  Out of Place not restrictive. One finds frequent references to ideal, mythical and magical places—places where one might somehow ground oneself but escape society. The references to Hankel’s Depot as a paradiselike escape (156), to Botho’s failure to distinguish reality from a fairy tale-like notion of place— “Schloß Avenel” (132) [Castle Avenel (48)], and to the American West as an escape from Prussian mores, the “diggings” on the Sacramento (220)—all indicate that characters believe that an ideal place must exist, where one can both find stability and escape confinement. I do not analyze these instances in detail, as others have done so;53 I point only to the fact that Fontane presents characters who long for ideal places. As much as they long to create meaning within the places they inhabit, characters appear to yearn even more for places that would free them from the restrictions of their current places.

Displacement in Irrungen Wirrungen

Although Fontane portrays characters with strong affective connections to place and represents the interconnectedness of place and social conventions, he also emphasizes the emphemerality of both real and ideal places. Additionally, he directs attention to the fact that lost, absent or altered places evoke not only nostalgia, but also a sense of displacement. Fontane demonstrates a dynamic engagement with the material processes underway in Germany, where the imaginative realm of literature allows him to treat displacement not as reflecting an “either/or” of space vs. place, but instead as pointing toward a dynamically shifting sign-system, where displacement points not only to loss but also to change. His interest in displacement is conveyed on three levels: on a concrete level in which he makes passing references to historical developments we associate with displacement (i.e. overcrowding, immigration, changing homes); on a more abstract level in which he explores less literal types of displacement; and on a narrative level, in which the narrator keeps the reader at a distance from the characters and plot of the novel. On the concrete level, Fontane’s references to some of the social symptoms associated with displacement are milder than what one would find in Fontane’s naturalist contemporaries, but these references are still readily apparent. Fontane alludes to the nomadic nature of the population in Berlin (a description also in Dr Schwabe’s writings) by including two instances where characters move from one dwelling to another: Lene and Frau Nimptsch to the Luisenufer and Botho and Käthe to their new apartment. However, unlike the “nomads” in Schwabe’s article, Fontane’s characters are motivated by romantic and 53 See Howe, “Reality and Imagination,” 346–56, and Cordula Kahrmann, Idyll im Roman. Theodor Fontane (Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 1973).

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 155 relationship considerations rather than by cost, change in employment or some other material factor. In addition, Fontane briefly references the increase in population density, for opposite the Jakobi churchyard, where Frau Nimptsch lay buried, Botho notices “hohe Mietskasernen” (211) [tall tenements (141)], symbols of the contemporary housing crisis. Fontane mentions these, but offers no commentary, as if the reader would understand their significance. He also references the high percentage of non-native Berliners, alluding to the fact that immigration has contributed to population growth: in his ride to visit Frau Nimptsch’s grave, Botho is chauffeured by a Silesian. When asked about his origin, the coachman confirms that he is Silesian and states: “Die meisten sind. Aber ich bin schon lange hier und eigentlich ein halber Richtiger-Berliner” (208). [Most of us are. But I been here a long time now and I’m really halfways a real Berliner (138).] Although Fontane references the growth of the immigrant population in Berlin, discussed in chapter 1, he does not dwell on this issue. In each of these instances, Fontane refers to these social phenomena of displacement, but he refrains from passing judgment on them. Fontane’s more abstract references to displacement are found as early as the novel’s second paragraph, in which Lene, as the positive embodiment of modernity,54 can be seen to incorporate displacement. The quiet of the garden scene is “nur noch von der Stille des von der alten Frau Nimptsch und ihrer Pflegetochter Lene mietweise bewohnten Häuschens übertroffen” (95) [was exceeded only by that of the little house itself, rented and occupied by Frau Nimptsch and her foster daughter, Lene (4)]. Two elements are important in this sentence. First, Frau Nimptsch is Lene’s guardian, not her mother.55 The plot does not require such a relationship; Fontane could just as easily have made Frau Nimptsch Lene’s mother, with no change in the novel’s development. And yet although Lene is not biologically related to Frau Nimptsch, she refers to Frau Nimptsch consistently as “mother.” Fontane indicates that the traditional determinants of belonging (such as a biological relationship) are being replaced by other, more arbitrary and transferable relationships (such as habitual or emotional attachment), where familial relationships are defined by affect, not property. Second, Lene and Frau Nimptsch rent their house—they have no permanent claim on it. Their relationship to their dwelling is tenuous and dependent on a 54 Georg Lukács states: “so verkörpert und verlebendigt Lene Nimptsch das beste an Fontanes Moral und Weltanschauung, ja geht über deren allgemeinen Horizont hinaus.” Deutsche Realisten, 303. 55 Patricia Howe notes: “Lene Nimptsch is not, whoever else she may be, Lene Nimptsch, for her mother is not her mother and she, more romantically, is ‘bloß angenommen.’” “Reality and Imagination,” 350.

156  Out of Place steady income, which for women of their class was not always certain. The reader soon learns, however, that this tenuous relationship with one’s dwelling is not simply a matter of class, for Botho’s family is also threatened with losing its estate. In chapter 7, Botho’s uncle Osten visits him, reminding him not only of his obligation to marry within his class, but also that this marriage is necessary to save his family estate from financial ruin. He describes how Botho’s family has lost a great portion of its estate, piece by piece: “Dein Großvater hat die Heide runterschlagen lassen, und dein Vater selig … hat die fünfhundert Morgen Bruchacker an die Jeseritzer Bauern parzelliert, und was von gutem Boden übriggeblieben ist, ist nicht viel, und die dreißigtausend Taler sind auch längst wieder fort” (128). [Your grandfather had the moor cleared and your late father … divided up the five hundred acres of marshland and sold it to the Jeseritz peasants. And what’s left of good ground isn’t much and those thirty thousand Taler are long gone as well (42).] One would expect Botho’s family to have a firm relationship to place—after all, they have owned an estate for generations. Yet this relationship is tenuous, threatened by financial pressures. They have sold portions of their estate over the years and they risk losing the estate entirely if their financial situation does not improve; they have taken something that would in earlier generations have been considered nearly as inalienable as one’s own flesh and turned it into a commodity. They, like characters of all classes and social groups in the novel, risk losing a place that was secure. The traditional means of establishing relationships to places and people are undergoing significant transformations, and the result is a sense of displacement. Specifically, one notes an increasing sense of arbitrariness or detachment, a sense that the “rules” that govern human experience are not irrefutable laws but are now social contracts that may be changed or lost. Fontane reveals how Botho, just below the surface, is as unmoored as Lene. Just as there is no guarantee that her family will remain intact, there is likewise no guarantee that he can keep his property or maintain his social status. And just as there is no guarantee of these things, there is also no obligation to follow the traditional social code—one could, in this instance, consider marrying below one’s social station. Displacement expresses not only a threatened relationship to place, but also a similarly threatened relationship to social order. This sense of displacement appears throughout the novel. When Botho and Lene are in Hankel’s Depot, they believe they have found a safe refuge until they learn that the Depot is a popular excursion destination among Berliners; for Botho, the prospect of being disturbed by a boatload of Berliners “wäre dann freilich die Vertreibung aus dem Paradiese” (156) [would really be an expulsion from paradise (76)]. This primordial displacement occurs very soon thereafter, when Botho

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 157 and Lene are surprised by a visit from his military comrades and their mistresses. Their paradise is ruined; instead of a place where they can be open and sincere about their relationship, they find themselves in a game of assumed identities and deception.56 Similarly, in the novel’s final chapter, Käthe tells Botho of her trip to Schlangenbad and about the social gatherings there. “Und nun will ich dir auch die Geschichte von der Russin auserzählen, die gar keine Russin war” (230). [And now I’ll finish telling you the story of that Russian woman, who actually wasn’t Russian at all (165).] Käthe identifies a woman by her relationship to a place (Russia), but indicates that she is not actually from this place. And so before Käthe’s story has begun, the reader senses a type of displacement, the sense that someone is not in her proper place; a Russian should be from Russia. The Prussian ladies nickname the Russian woman “die Pompadour” [Madame Pompadour] after Louis XV’s lover, implying that she is in Schlangenbad for the sake of romantic liaisons, not for a health treatment. In a testy interchange over dinner, the Prussian ladies imply that the woman is out of place, not only geographically, but also socially—her morals are out of place in their world. Generalin Wedell states, supposedly speaking about fashion, but referring to the “Russian:” “Als ich noch jung war, gab es noch Pompadours, aber heute gibt es keine Pompadours mehr” (230). [When I was still young we still had Pompadours, but these days there aren’t any Pompadours any more (165).] The “Russian,” however, replies: “Nur sonderbar, als die Pompadours abgelöst wurden, kamen die Reticules an die Reihe, die man dann später die Ridicules nannte. Und solche Ridicules gibt es noch” (230–1). [Only it’s strange, isn’t it, when the Pompadours were replaced, the reticules came in, and people started calling them ridicules. And ridicules like that are with us still (165).] In this barbed exchange, ostensibly about fashion accessories (Pompadours and Reticules were two types of bags), each group accuses the other of being temporally out of place. The Generalin Wedell’s morals conflict with those of the “Russian” woman because they are outdated, even ridiculous. The result—Generalin Wedell stands up and leaves the table—is literal displacement and portrays a historical change that runs opposite to the historical change indicated by the initial wordplay; it enacts the displacement of the older, Prussian society by a rising generation with different social mores. Fontane points to the fact that displacement is not only spatial, but also temporal. He portrays characters who are living on the cusp of an epochal change, where some are outdated and 56 Müller-Seidel also observes: “Es wird deutlich, dass es das Paradies, das man erhofft hatte, nicht gibt. Die Gesellschaft ist überall; die Idylle wird widerlegt. Weder hier noch an irgendeinem Ort sonst ist die Natürlichkeit menschlicher Verhältnisse zu realisieren.” Theodor Fontane, 266.

158  Out of Place others are before their time. No one can be secure in his or her place because place itself is subject to time. Place has become dynamic and unstable. This role reversal or place reversal typifies the modern condition as represented in the novel. Characters who think themselves emplaced find themselves displaced; those without place see new places opening up for them. It is at this point where Casey’s theory becomes less useful. For as much as Fontane’s novel describes and even creates a sense of place, even if only nostalgically, the places it represents are never harmonious and settled, but always in conflict and turmoil. This is evident in the opening sentence of the novel, cited earlier, that describes the tower and house as located on the intersection of two streets (“Kurfürstendamm und Kurfürstenstraße”), a location that indicates multiple possible directions for movement. We learn in the subsequent paragraph that the tower is nicknamed the “Schloß” (96) [castle (4)]; as such it embodies a conflict between an appearance of nobility and the reality of petty bourgeois existence. The opening scene highlights a place of contradictions, of concealments (the smaller house concealing the tower), and of varying possible directions for motion. Fontane sets the initial place of the novel on an intersection of two streets; he similarly inscribes the other places in his novel with contradictions and conflicts. Just as this house can be approached from various directions, so do places in Irrungen Wirrungen offer multiple perspectives: instead of lending a stable identity, they question and even disrupt stable identities, resonating with Deleuze and Guattari’s understanding of place as a conflict between the forces of smoothness and striation. Fontane’s novel envisions unstable identities and conflicted places as defining features of modernity. Finally, Fontane asserts a type of displacement through the form of his narrative. The reader encounters a narrator who is at times removed and at times a close confidant. Henry Garland writes: “The reader is constantly admitted to the author’s confidence, but rarely becomes conscious of it.”57 At the same time that we as readers become close to the narrator, we also find ourselves distanced from the figures and the action of the novel. When the narrator describes Botho and Käthe’s new apartment, he writes: “In der damals noch einreihigen Landgrafenstraße hatte Käthes Mama mittlerweile die Wohnung eingerichtet” (178). [On Landgrafenstraße, which in those days still had only one row of houses, Käthe’s Mama had in the meantime readied their apartment (101).] In this passage, the words “damals noch” [in those days still] establishes a distance between the time of the narrator and the time of 57 Henry Garland, The Berlin Novels of Theodor Fontane (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), 276.

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 159 the characters. In this instance, readers find themselves allied temporally with the narrator more than with the characters. The narrator distances himself and his audience from the actions and characters in the novel. This distancing, whether temporal or otherwise, creates a sense of irony and prevents us from identifying too closely with any one figure, but instead provides a sense of objectivity. As Fritz Martini notes about Fontane: “His humorous irony was a form to distance himself and [the figures in his novels] into an objectifyingly balanced arrangement, to see individual and social change ‘factually’ in the relativity of real life.”58 Fontane’s ironic stance keeps the reader distant from the figures and events in the narrative and thus less emotionally involved, it prevents an unbalanced identification with one party over another. When Käthe sends Botho postcards from her trip to Schlangenbad, the narrator allows us not only to read the postcards, but also to see Botho’s response: Ganz Käthe. Welch Talent für die Plauderei! Und ich könnte mich eigentlich freuen, daß sie so schreibt, wie sie schreibt. Aber es fehlt etwas. Es ist alles so angeflogen, so bloßes Gesellschaftsecho. Aber sie wird sich ändern, wenn sie Pflichten hat. Oder doch vielleicht. Jedenfalls will ich die Hoffnung darauf nicht aufgeben. (201) That’s Käthe. What a talent for chatter! I should really be pleased that she writes the way she does. But there’s something lacking. It’s all so flighty, so much mere social prattle. But she’ll change when she’s got obligations. At least maybe she will. Anyhow, I won’t give up hoping that she does. (128) The narrator allows us to hear Botho’s comments to himself without offering us any direction on how to interpret them. The comments show not only that Botho finds Käthe’s writing superficial and flighty, but also that Botho himself can be judgmental and controlling: he hopes that she will change to fit his expectations. In this brief passage, the narrator shows readers both sides of this marriage, both Botho’s and Käthe’s weaknesses. Readers cannot side wholly with a single figure; they have lost a place of certainty from which to view the relationship. Such narrative displacement repeatedly draws readers’ attention to the distance between characters and the narrator and, by extension, between the narrator and the author. These respective distances mean that there is no privileged or purely objective vantage point for the 58 Fritz Martini, Deutsche Literatur im bürgerlichen Realismus, 1848–1898 (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1962), 65. [My translation]

160  Out of Place reader, no place for moral certainty. Instead, readers can, with a degree of objectivity, see the facts of a situation and the respective subjective viewpoints of characters and the narrator. This relativizing stance in Fontane’s narration is a structural form of displacement, a refusal to give readers a stable place from which to determine an absolutely correct perspective. It undermines any sense of stability and emphasizes instead the shifting perspectives in the novel.

Dynamic Places in Irrungen Wirrungen

As evidenced in the opening paragraph of the novel, Fontane inscribes places with multiple valences. The so-called “castle” evokes nobility in its name and general form, but its location and run-down condition reflect the lower classes. Similarly, a flock of pigeons evokes the natural world, whereas the tower and dwelling point to a constructed environment and to a structured society. The aural perception of the dog’s barking contrasts with the striking visual images. Fontane inscribes these three conflicting pairs (upper and lower classes, nature and culture, aural and visual) into the opening scene, and he continues in a similar manner throughout the novel. He portrays each place as a space in which opposing forces meet, not as a settled and harmonious refuge. Insofar as the novel is about place, then, it is not about the singular character or qualities of a specific place, but about the simultaneous presence of conflicting forces that lead to a transformation in place. Fontane represents the shifting sense of place that characterized his era. For him, place is not a stable, reliable ground for meaning. Instead, it is a site of conflict, struggle, and ultimately of transformation. Most characters in the novel do not initially recognize this, however, and the dynamic nature of place remains limited to the narrator’s ironic tone until the second part of the novel, after Botho and Lene separate. With this separation, the characters have chosen social obligations over love and pragmatism over idealism; the characters’ changing perception of place reflects this shift. Characters begin to see dynamic places where opposing forces are in conflict and where historical change becomes manifest. This is evident in two stages: initially, historical change and the conflicting forces that engender it are evident from the opening sentences of the novel at a narrative level, but the protagonists do not see it; in the latter half of the novel, however, they finally begin to recognize these dynamic places. To analyze the conflict and historical change embedded in place, I focus on one of the many binary pairings evoked by Fontane’s places—that is, a pair of conflicting terms mentioned by Engels: the conflict between city and country. Fontane not only inscribes this and other binary oppositions into places throughout the novel, but he also repeatedly undermines any sense of hierarchy within such binaries.

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 161 This tendency, which Walter Müller-Seidel labels “leveling” or “egalitarianism” [Gleichmacherei],59 is a fundamental feature of the novel. In this particular binary opposition, Fontane shows that supposedly urban places actually resemble the country, and that agrarian and natural places likewise resemble the city. Fontane refrains from giving either side of this conflict dominance over the other, but shows that both opposites are inextricably bound to each other. At one point Botho comments on the similarity between the petty bourgeois “castle” in Berlin belonging to Lene’s neighbors, the Dörrs, and his family’s country estate: “Ich hatte sentimentale Gedanken und dachte nach Haus hin an unseren Küchengarten in Schloß Zehden, der genau so daliegt wie dieser Dörrsche, dieselben Salatbeete mit Kirschbäumen dazwischen, und ich möchte wetten, auch ebensoviele Meisenkästen. Und auch die Spargelbeete liefen so hin” (116–17). [I was getting sentimental notions and thinking of our vegetable garden back home at Castle Zehden. It’s just like Dörrs’ here, the same lettuce beds with cherry trees in between, and I’ll bet even the same number of nesting boxes for titmice. Even the asparagus beds are laid out the same (28).] For Botho, the city garden of the Dörrs is virtually identical, both in content and structure, to the garden on his family’s estate.60 With this passage, Fontane subverts the distinction between the two, implying that the division between city and country is not wholly clear. Similarly, when Botho and Lene take an excursion to Hankel’s Depot, they do so to escape to “Gottes freier Natur, möglichst fern von dem großstädtischen Getreibe” (143) [as far as possible from the bustle of the city in God’s free and open spaces (61)], but Fontane demonstrates that this idealized notion of nature and separation from the city is only a delusion. When Botho asks about the resort’s name, the difference between city and country vanishes. His host explains what the label “Depot” means: “Aus- und Einladestelle. Das ganze Stück Land hier herum” – und er wies nach rückwärts – “war nämlich immer ein großes Dominium und hieß unter dem Alten Fritzen und auch früher schon unter dem Soldatenkönige die Herrschaft Wusterhausen. Und es gehörten wohl an die dreißig Dörfer dazu, samt Forst und Heide. Nun sehen Sie, die 59 Ibid., 257. 60 Walter Hettche writes: “Gerade auf einem Gebiet, an dem etwa im Naturalismus die Standesunterschiede besonders sinnfällig werden, wird in Fontanes Roman die grundsäztlize Ähnlichkeit zwischen dem Leben in den oberen und dem in den unteren Ständen erkennbar.” “Irrungen, Wirrungen. Sprachbewußtsein und Menschlichkeit: Die Sehnsucht nach den ‘einfachen Formen,’” in Interpretationen. Fontanes Novellen und Romane, ed. Christian Grawe, 136–56 (Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam jun., 1991), 144.

162  Out of Place dreißig Dörfer, die schafften natürlich was und brauchten was, oder was dasselbe sagen will, sie hatten Ausfuhr und Einfuhr, und für beides brauchten sie von Anfang an einen Hafen- oder Stapelplatz und konnte nur noch zweifelhaft sein, welche Stelle man dafür wählen würde. Da wählten sie diese hier, diese Bucht wurde Hafen, Stapelplatz, ‘Ablage’ für alles, was kam und ging.” (150) “Loading and receiving post. This whole bit of land around here” —he pointed backwards as he spoke—“was always a large crown domain under Old Fritz and even before that, under the Soldier King, it was called the Wusterhausen Estate. There were probably about thirty villages that belonged to it, forests and fields included. Well, you see, those thirty villages, they naturally produced quite a bit, and they needed quite a bit, too, or to put it differently, they had their exports and imports. And from the very beginning they needed a port or marketplace for both and it was only a question of what spot they would pick for it. Well, this place right here is the one they picked. This inlet became a port, marketplace, a ‘depot’ for everything that came or went.” (69) The host’s description contrasts with the naturalness and seclusion that Lene and Botho had envisioned in Hankel’s Depot. The presumably isolated resort functioned at one time like a harbor, even a city, for it was based on commerce, exchange, and frequent interaction of large groups of people and commodities. In this regard, it mirrored Berlin, one of the largest river ports in Germany. Hence the seclusion and distance from the bustle of the metropolis is only a delusion. Fontane reinforces this not only by describing the boatloads of Berliners who visit regularly, but also by having Botho’s comrades and their mistresses appear to drive the couple out of paradise. The distinction between city and country becomes vague. Finally, after receiving a letter from his mother asking him to end his bachelorhood and choose either Lene or Käthe as a wife, Botho takes a long ride (mentioned earlier). While on this ride, Botho recognizes that he is a product of his social group—“daß das Herkommen unser Tun bestimmt” (171) [Our background determines our actions (93)]—and that he must remain true to his social group and marry his wealthy cousin. Yet to reach this realization he rides out into nature, first by the Jungfernheide (169), a training ground for Prussian troops at the time, then to a more agricultural area (“Ackerland”) (170), then to a lightly wooded area where he finds Hinckeldey’s grave (170), and finally into a large field where he sees a factory and workers eating their lunch (171). Each of these natural areas has been domesticated to some degree and manifests the presence of human society. Yet for Botho they are pristine

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 163 nature. This is evident in his view of the factory workers at lunch (as reported by the narrator): Botho, “der sich den Sinn für das Natürliche mit nur zu gutem Rechte zugeschrieben, war entzückt von dem Bilde, das sich ihm bot, und mit einem Anfluge von Neid sah er auf die Gruppe glücklicher Menschen” (171) [who only too rightly had ascribed to himself a sense for the unsophisticated, was enchanted at the sight, which opened before him. With a touch of envy he looked at the group of happy people (93)]. A group of factory workers on a timed lunch break would usually evoke associations of modernity and the metropolis, but Botho equates them with naturalness (“das Natürliche”—note that the English translation, “unsophisticated,” elides this explicit reference to nature) and is “enchanted” by this image to such an extent that he envies these people. Here, Botho clearly conflates city and country. He sees in these Berlin workers a “natural” principle of “Arbeit und täglich Brot und Ordnung” [Work, daily bread and order], and surmises that “Ordnung ist viel und mitunter alles” (171). [Order means a great deal, sometimes it’s everything (93).] He projects onto them the same principles that justify the marriages of the Prussian nobility. He finds a uniform principle motivating nature, the industrial world, and the social realm of the nobility. The irony evident in this passage typifies the irony found throughout the novel on the narrative level. Here it suggests that the narrator questions the unity that Botho finds—namely, that factory workers on a timed lunch break are somehow natural—and, by extension, the social order associated with it. With these and similar instances, Fontane presents supposedly distinct categories of place—city and country—as confused and in conflict. Characters believe they have found only one when they actually see elements of both. Fontane does not represent this conflict as a unidirectional dominance (of the city over the country, or the country over the city), as Randall Holt argues; he sees the problem of the novel as the encroachment of modernity in the form of the city.61 As appealing as arguments such as Holt’s may be to our modern and postmodern perspectives, they do not reflect the actual historical situation in which Fontane wrote. The landed nobility still held the most political power in Berlin up until the 1890s. Bismarck’s constitution ensured the nobility a place in political life for the duration of the imperial period, and developments after unification only strengthened aristocratic pre-eminence. The middle class fortified aristocratic rule not only by emulating aristocratic values and pastimes, but also by collaborating politically with 61 “Botho had formerly sought an alternative to the disturbances of modernity outside the imperial center, at its outskirts, but these disturbances are increasingly experienced there as well, as the center expands its social and cultural hegemony toward the margins.” Holt, “History as Trauma,” 106.

164  Out of Place the aristocracy.62 In other words, if there was a direction to dominance or influence at the time, it was of the landed estates over the city. Yet Fontane does not represent the dominance of the landed nobility as monolithic.63 The aristocracy was an agrarian and rural group, not industrial and urban, and its dominance in a modern city could be of only limited duration. Fontane recognizes this, and he describes Berlin in the novel as balanced on a threshold between the older, rigid social order of the landed aristocracy and the liberal social tendencies of the modern metropolis.64 Fontane represents the city in flux, a place in constant transition. Deleuze and Guattari refer to such phenomena as passages or combinations, where one type of space is converted and transformed into the other. Moments of conflict in Fontane develop Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of smooth and striated space, intimating passages or combinations. Fontane’s narrator stands at a liminal position in this period of transition: he looks backwards and recognizes that past traditions have become outdated, but he also looks forward and displays awareness that impending changes have not yet taken hold.65 Fontane not only represents these conflicts embedded in places, but on at least two occasions he also represents transitions towards smooth spaces, spaces that would escape the striated, hierarchical structure of so many other places in the novel. In these moments, Fontane points to the conflict between two types of place, and, going beyond that, he opens up a new type of space, a space of historical change.66 These places are unlike any other in the novel, in that they 62 See Katherine Roper, German Encounters with Modernity. Novels of Imperial Berlin (New Jersey: Humanities Press International, Inc., 1991), 185. 63 As Karl S. Guthke notes: “Also: den Verlierern im gesellschaftlichen Wandel, den Aristokraten, scheint Fontanes Sympathie nicht unbedingt zu gelten; sie werden diskret ins Lächerliche gezogen. Gilt seine Sympathie folglich dem Neuen, den Aufsteigenden? Auf den ersten Blick gewiß. Aber sein unbestechlicher Sinn sieht Komik auch auf der Gegenseite.” “Gideon ist nicht besser als Botho. Gesellschaftlicher Wandel in Fontanes Irrungen, Wirrungen,” in Das Schwierige neunzehnte Jahrhundert, (eds) Barkhoff, Carr, and Paulin, 287–99 (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 2000), 296. 64 As Müller-Seidel states: “Noch befinden wir uns in der Regierungszeit Bismarcks, blicken wir auf den zeitgeschichtlichen Kontext unserer Erzählung. Der Abbau der Standesunterschiede und Klassengegensätze wird zwar von der aufbegehrenden Sozialdemokratie gefordert, aber an dem noch vorhandenen Dreiklassenwahlrecht in Preußen änderten solche Forderungen nichts.” Theodor Fontane, 253. 65 Müller-Seidel comments that Fontane “allenfalls zur Hälfte aus den Traditionen zu verstehen ist, die auch ihn bestimmt haben; zur anderen Hälfte sind es die nach vorwärts gerichteten Entwicklungen, in denen er denkt.” Ibid., 269. 66 Berman states: “Fontane recognizes a new social presence, and although he profoundly fears it, he knows that the anachronistic categories of culture need to give way to realistic observation and empirical experience.” The Rise of the

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 165 reflect neither binary conflicts nor social hierarchies, but are instead much closer to what Deleuze and Guattari would define as smooth spaces—spaces that are not homogenous, where hierarchy disappears and characters lose their sense of direction, and where movement exists for movement’s sake. Such spaces appear in the novel only after Botho and Lene relinquish their ideal notion of place and part ways—that is, after they acknowledge and satisfy the demands of the striated society in which they live. One of these spaces appears just before Lene sees Botho and Käthe together for the first time. After shopping in the city, Lene passes by a weekly market at Magdeburger Platz and is captivated by the scene there: Die Sonne tat ihr wohl, und das Treiben auf dem Magdeburger Platze, wo gerade Wochenmarkt war und alles eben wieder zum Aufbruch rüstete, vergnügte sie so, daß sie stehen blieb und sich das bunte Durcheinander mit ansah. Sie war wie benommen davon und wurd’ erst aufgerüttelt, als die Feuerwehr mit ungeheurem Lärm an ihr vorbeirasselte. (179) The sun did her good and the bustle on the Magedburger Platz, where it had been market day and everyone was now getting ready to shut up shop, so pleased her that she remained standing for a while, looking on at the colorful commotion. It was as if she were mesmerized by it all, and not until the fire brigade clattered past with a tremendous uproar did she arouse herself. (103) This scene has no significant function within the plot of the novel: Fontane could have had Lene walk on to see Botho and Käthe without inserting this moment, and her shock in seeing them would have been just as great. Yet the narrator highlights her momentary captivation with the commotion of the marketplace—she is distracted to the point of reverie. Fontane does not invest this scene with the binary conflicts of class, social groups, nature and culture, as he does with so many others in the novel. Instead, we are given only a bustle of people engaged in commercial activity in the middle of a city. This dynamic recalls Deleuze and Guattari’s statements about smooth spaces in the midst of the supposedly striated capitalist metropolis: “It is as though, at the outcome of the striation that capitalism was able to carry to an unequaled point of perfection, circulating capital necessarily recreated, reconstituted, a sort of smooth space in which the destiny of human beings is recast.”67 Or, phrased differently: “Even the most striated Modern German Novel, 139. For Berman, this new social presence is “the culture of political realism” (138). 67 Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, 492.

166  Out of Place city gives rise to smooth spaces: to live in the city as a nomad, or as a cave dweller.”68 In this brief moment, Lene experiences a smooth space created by capitalist exchange. She is temporarily freed, like a nomad, from the striation of city life. This temporary freedom intensifies the contrasting sense of limitation and restriction she feels when she subsequently encounters Botho and Käthe. A similar scene occurs with Botho, when he brings flowers to Frau Nimptsch’s grave. He passes through a section of Berlin, “der ihn durch seine bunte, hier und da groteske Szenerie von seinen bisherigen Betrachtungen abzog” (210) [which drew him from his former reflections by its profuse and colorful scenery, which here and there bordered on the grotesque (139)]. The following description of the city stands in stark contrast to images of the city elsewhere in the novel. Its paratactic, almost collage-like, structure could have come from an early twentiethcentury text. Botho sees a fence and behind it a variety of booths, pavilions and portals, all covered with signs: All das konnte nicht verfehlen, auf jeden hier des Weges Kommenden einen Eindruck zu machen, und diesem Eindruck unterlag auch [Botho], der von seiner Droschke her, unter wachsender Neugier, die nicht endenwollenden und untereinander im tiefsten Gegensatze stehenden Anpreisungen las und die dazu gehörigen Bilder musterte. “Fräulein Rosella das Wundermädchen, lebend zu sehen; Grabkreuze zu billigsten Preisen; amerikanische Schnellphotographie; russisches Ballwerfen, sechs Wurf zehn Pfennig; schwedischer Punsch mit Waffeln; Figaros schönste Gelegenheit oder erster Frisiersalon der Welt; Grabkreuze zu billigsten Preisen; Schweizer Schießhalle.” (210) All of this could not fail to make an impression on anyone who came this way, and [Botho] too succumbed. With increasing curiosity, he mustered the seemingly endless and wildly contrasting slogans along with the pictures which complemented them: “Fräulein Rosella, the Wonder Girl, Alive and on the Spot!; Grave Monuments at Lowest Prices; American High Speed Photography; Russian Pitchball, six throws for ten pfennig; Swedish Punch with Waffles; Figaro’s Finest or the Hairstyling Salon of the World; Grave Monuments at the Lowest Prices; Swiss Shooting Gallery.” (139–40) Fontane bombards Botho and the reader with a variety of stimuli, after which he has Botho caught in a traffic jam, behind a wagon full of glass shards (211). The scene is devoid of hierarchies or 68 Ibid., 500.

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 167 binary groupings. Fontane uses the term Gegensätze [contrasts], but the number of elements present makes any binary pairings impossible. It is a montage-like representation of the capitalist metropolis. As he did in describing Lene’s experience, Fontane notes in this instance only that the experience leaves an indistinct impression on the viewer, from which he or she, like Lene, must recover: “Botho, der diese Stelle wohl seit Jahr und Tag nicht passiert hatte, las alles mit ungeheucheltem Interesse, bis er nach Passierung der ‘Heide,’ deren Schatten ihn ein paar Minuten lang erquickt hatte … in den Hauptweg einer sehr belebten … Vorstadt einbog” (210, 211). [Botho, who had not passed this spot in years, read it all with unfeigned interest, until after crossing the heath whose shadows had for a few minutes refreshed him, he now turned beyond the latter onto the main road of a lively suburb (140).] Unlike the sight of the factory workers at lunch, this scene does not lead Botho to reflect on the social hierarchy that binds him; instead it elicits only sincere interest and growing curiosity. This image of the city stands in stark contrast to the idyll of the factory workers on their break, as well as to the other highly figurative elements that Botho encounters on this symbolic journey to the underworld.69 Now he sees not order or symbolism, but the complete lack of either order or hierarchy. Contemplating the broken glass, Botho muses, “Glück und Glas” (211) [Luck and glass (141)]. This expression refers to the saying Glück und Glas, wie leicht bricht das [Happiness and glass, how easily they break]; Botho sees in these glass shards his shattered happiness. In addition, the shards reflect the gradually crumbling order of the Prussian landed elite and their impending loss of power in Berlin. In this scene, Fontane gives the reader a glimpse of momentary disorder and of the metropolis that Berlin will soon become. He intimates the accompanying decline of the Prussian nobility and its social codes in this metropolis. In each of these two scenes, Fontane’s characters confront smooth spaces of urban capitalism, spaces that are variable or dynamic insofar as they have not yet been fixed within a striated system. In these spaces, Fontane represents the possibility of future transformations, of change and becoming, but he does not give this future a specific form.70 These spaces produce experiences and impressions, not clearly-defined economic, social, or political structures. In these two moments, Fontane 69 “Fontane overlays this journey to the kingdom of death with allegorical allusions: the heat is hellish, the coachman knows Botho’s name, the salesgirl at the florist’s is described as one of the Parcae, and Botho is caught behind a carriage full of broken glass.” Berman, The Rise of the Modern German Novel, 158. 70 Berman states this differently, but I believe the conclusion is similar: “Whereas Soll und Haben intended to teach the reader how to interpret the world as the locus of orderly meaning, Irrungen Wirrungen demonstrates the contingency of meaning and the necessary arbitrariness of order.” Ibid., 147.

168  Out of Place comes closest to creating smooth spaces within the novel. He recognizes that place as experienced previously was disappearing, and that a new experience of place would arise from bourgeois capitalism. The modern experience of place is one of erring and confusion, which one finds in a literal translation of the novel’s title: Irrungen has a spatial meaning and can imply wanderings or aberrations. Note that the most recent English translation of the novel titles it “On Tangled Paths,” suggesting spatial confusion, an emphasis that earlier translations of the title such as Delusions, Confusions overlook.71 Fontane recognizes a type of disorientation and a displacement from what Deleuze and Guattari call striated space. In Irrungen Wirrungen, however, he points to these moments but backs away from them quickly, allowing dynamic and disorienting places to be subsumed rapidly into a hierarchic, ordered world.72 Yet these moments of smooth space presage his later work, specifically his final novel, Der Stechlin (1897), where a place (Lake Stechlin) is a place of becoming, associated with political revolution and societal transformation. The hints of this notion of place, already embedded in Irrungen Wirrungen, undermine the assertion that Fontane was silent on issues of housing and displacement. Fontane recognized the contemporary phenomenon of displacement; but his response to it was not to recreate nostalgically a lost ideal of stable places, as some assert,73 but rather to show that such places already bore in them the seeds of future conflicts and that smooth spaces (spaces of revolution and transformation) were beginning to appear. In Irrungen Wirrungen, then, dynamic places emerge representing not stability and order, but instability and transformation. And it is with this recognition that one must read the conclusion of the novel. As Karl Guthke asserts, Botho’s claim that “Gideon is better than Botho” (167) is, at a narrative level, ironic.74 True, the social class 71 Theodor Fontane, On Tangled Paths, transl. Peter James Bowman (London: Angel Books, 2011). 72 For Lukács, Fontane offers us moments of prophecy, prophecy of a political future that lies outside of his poetic and political ken: “Mit alledem prophezeit der alte Fontane hier ebenfalls – ohne sich darüber auch nur entfernt im klaren zu sein— seinem Bismarckschen Preußen-Deutschland ein neues Jena. Es ist freilich eine passive, eine skeptisch-pessimistische Prophezeiung. Die Kräfte der deutschen Erneuerung liegen völlig außerhalb seines dichterischen Horizontes.” Deutsche Realisten, 306. 73 Garland states that Fontane “conjures up a nostalgic vision of a semi-rural existence, humble yet with a specific individuality, something which at the time of writing (1887) has already been swept away by the voracious expansion of Berlin.” Henry Garland, The Berlin Novels of Theodor Fontane (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), 100. Berman sees this in political terms: “Fontane’s treatment of the 1870s in Irrungen Wirrungen thus represents a reminiscence and examination of the liberalism that failed.” The Rise of the Modern German Novel, 153. 74 Guthke, “Gideon ist nicht besser als Botho,” 298.

Dynamic Places in Theodor Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen 169 that Gideon represents will soon come to dominate the class that Botho represents. But Fontane does not value the dominance of one over the other as much as he emphasizes the transition from one to the other, a transition reflected in the changing experience of place. Irrungen Wirrungen represents the dynamic nature of place and thus does not value a single place or epoch over another, but instead highlights change itself as embedded within place.

4.  Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander1

The forces that transformed Berlin and the German lands in the latter half of the nineteenth century also transformed neighboring Switzerland. Between 1800 and 1900 the population of Switzerland more than doubled.2 The city of Zürich also expanded during this time, both in population and in size. From 1850 to 1888 the population increased from 17,040 to 27,644.3 In 1893, the Zürich city limits were expanded with the result that the population increased from 24,400 in 1880 to 150,700 in 1900.4 In 1866 and 1874, new, more liberal laws granted the Swiss Nieder­lassungs­freiheit, the freedom to move and settle where they chose. The promises of better work opportunities and better pay in industrial jobs, often unfulfilled, attracted country dwellers to the city.5 The increase in the population of Zürich evidences an increase in the number of people who had changed their connection to place. Specifically, the growth in the population of Zürich was the result not only of expanded city limits, but also of an expanding immigrant population, both from inside and outside Switzerland. In the canton of Zürich, the per cent of the population who were not citizens of


Special thanks to Tilman Heueis, who did historical and secondary research for this chapter. Unless otherwise noted, all translations in this chapter are my own. 2 Ulrich Im Hof, Geschichte der Schweiz und der Schweizer, vol. 3 (Basel: Helbig und Lichtenhahn, 1986), 84. 3 Hans-Peter Bärtschi, Industrialisierung, Eisenbahnschlachten und Städtebau. Die Entwicklung des Zürcher Industrie- und Arbeiterstadtteils Aussersihl. Ein vergleichender Beitrag zur Architektur- und Technikgeschichte (Basel: Birkhäuser, 1983), 222. 4 Hanno Helbing, Hans C. Peyer and Walter Schauferlberger, (eds), Handbuch der Schweizer Geschichte, vol. 2 (Zürich: Verlag Berichthaus, 1977), 1094. 5 See Bärtschi, Industrialisierung, 239–40.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 171 the canton6 rose from 6.2 per cent of the population in 1836 to 25.6 per cent in 1888.7 The decreased attachment to place associated with immigration was evident not only in migration to the cities, but also in emigration from Switzerland. Between 1850 and 1888 more than 200,000 Swiss left their homeland for other countries, either in Europe or overseas.8 As in Berlin, modernity brought about not only increased mobility, but also decreased attachment to a specific place. A significant contributor to this sense of mobility was the railway system. At the same time that it created a unified national spirit, it also loosened the bonds between individuals and their cantons and regions. Murray Luck describes this as follows: Not until 1846 did a national spirit begin to emerge. Before 1848, very few Swiss would think of Switzerland as native land. His loyalties and his Heimat-consciousness focused upon his canton and his local community. But it would be ridiculous to think of 22 separate railway systems serving 22 separate cantons with the legislation, and possibly the technology, differing from one canton to the next. Not until August 1847 did the first intra-Swiss railway commence service. It extended from Zurich to Baden—a distance of 22 km, a travelling time of 45 minutes and at a passenger cost of 1.60 francs for first class accommodations. This constituted the first stage in the Swiss Northern Railway system.9 The railway system in Switzerland paved the way for the unity of a constitutional government: by connecting multiple locales and regions, it helped further a sense of nation as an abstract place that transcended individual locales by requiring a sense of uniformity, both in technology and administration. However, the sense of nation as place engendered by the railway was more of an imagined community (to 6 The actual term for a citizen of a canton is heimatberechtigt, meaning those who were entitled to a claim on a home or homeland. Because non-citizens of a canton were not heimatberechtigt, even if they came from another canton in Switzerland, they did not have the same claim on social services or rights as those who were. For a discussion of homelessness in nineteenth-century Swiss literature, see Rémy Charbon, “Fremde im eigenen Land: Heimatlose in der Schweizer Literatur des 19. Jahrhunderts,” in Begegnung mit dem “Fremden”: Grenzen – Traditionen – Vergleiche; Akten des VIII. Internationalen GermanistenKongresses, Tokyo 1990, ed. Eijiro¯ Iwasaki, vol. 11, 160–8 (Munich: Iudicium, 1991). 7 Im Hof, Geschichte der Schweiz, 89. 8 Ibid. 9 Murray J. Luck, ed., A History of Switzerland: The First 100,000 Years: Before the Beginnings to the Days of the Present (Palo Alto, CA: Society for the Promotion of Science and Scholarship, 1985), 419.

172  Out of Place borrow Anderson’s term10) and less bound to the real locales in which individuals dwelt. As such, it ultimately weakened the connection to local communities. As in the case of Berlin, an important factor in this weakening of the connection to place was the commodification of space. Space, both near and far, became less a source of identity and more a commodity to be traded. Like Raabe and Fontane,11 Gottfried Keller witnessed these effects of burgeoning industrialism, capitalism, urbanism and similar forces associated with modernity. Yet he did not do so only in Berlin, where he spent a formative period of his artistic and intellectual career and where he wrote his first novel, Der Grüne Heinrich [Green Henry], from 1850–55. He also saw these phenomena in Zürich, where he spent the majority of his active writing years. Keller observed a larger trend towards financial speculation, which he criticizes in his final novel, Martin Salander (1886). Financial speculation in Switzerland had at least two significant real-world consequences in relation to place and space: on the one hand, finance allowed the Swiss to transcend their national borders (which had been set in 1815); on the other hand, finance resulted in a reduced or absent emotional connection to place. In addressing the role of finance in expansion beyond Switzerland’s national borders, Im Hof describes how the Swiss used their banking and trade connections to participate in international capitalism and explains the international reach of Swiss financial and entrepreneurial ventures as a “veiled colonialism.”12 Keller situates Martin Salander against this background in the opening pages, where we learn that the protagonist has just returned from an entrepreneurial venture in Brazil; the geographical limitations that previously reinforced a sense of place yield to the power of international trade and finance. In his later works, Keller empties place of the affect and the mythological force it has in both his earlier works and in works of his contemporaries. Keller’s conception of place in Martin Salander can best be described as emptied out of meaning. To elucidate this, I draw on Walter Benjamin’s concept of the allegorical: place resembles a souvenir more than a source of identity; it repeatedly manifests a tension, or an erstarrte Unruhe [petrified unrest], between being a commodity and 10 For a more detailed treatment of this term, see Benedict R. Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983). 11 Georg Lukács links Keller to these and other German authors: “He was just as much a German writer as Rousseau, who came from Geneva, was a French author.” German Realists in the Nineteenth Century, trans. Jeremy Gaines and Paul Keast, ed. Rodney Livingstone (Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1993), 168. Deutsche Realisten des 19. Jahrhunderts (Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, 1952), 157. 12 Im Hof, Geschichte der Schweiz, 82.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 173 a source of meaning; and, along with other characters and objects in the novel, is subject to repetition, replication and reproduction. This chapter will interpret the novel in this light.13 As many Keller scholars assert, Keller addresses the historical circumstances of late nineteenth-century Zürich in Martin Salander.14 Fritz Martini asserts that he does so by emphasizing place, by focusing less on tumultuous changes and more on static conditions: “Keller did not portray developments, but rather conditions in epic spatial images.”15 Similarly, Margarete Merkel-Nipperdey argues that Martin Salander is a Zeitroman [social novel, literally novel of time] in which space is the structuring principle; in other words, temporal events are intricately interconnected with their representation in space and place. Like Martini, she views time in terms of conditions rather than transformations.16 There is a tension in both Martini and MerkelNipperdey’s assertions, however, for although they focus on place as representing conditions rather than transformations, they do so with a keen awareness of the background of social transformations against which the novel is set; past and future transformations are implicit in the conditions represented by Keller. I would modify their assertions and argue that Keller does indeed emphasize place in this novel, even using it as a structuring principle, but that this supposedly static concept stands in tension with the socio-historical transformations that inform the novel and that Keller cannot avoid completely. Hence, repre13 Although I will engage secondary literature on Keller and Martin Salander, I do not offer a detailed summary of scholarship on this novel, as that would exceed the scope of this chapter. For those interested in a brief overview of the scholarship on this novel, see Eva Graef, “Martin Salander.” Politik und Poesie in Gottfried Kellers Gründerzeitroman (Würzburg: Königsghausen & Neumann, 1992), 4–6. 14 See Rudolf von Passavant, Zeitdarstellung und Zeitkritik in Gottfried Kellers “Martin Salander” (Bern: Francke, 1978), for a detailed discussion of the historical circumstances represented in Martin Salander. See also Karol Szemkus, “Der Übergang zur industriellen Gesellschaft und der Kampf gegen die Zeit – ‘Das verlorene Lachen’ und ‘Martin Salander,’” in Gesellschaftlicher Wandel und sprachliche Form. Literatursoziologische Studie zur Dichtung Gottfried Kellers (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1969), 89. Ulrich Kittstein likewise argues that there are many allusions to events in the 1870s and early 1880s in Zürich. See “Martin Salander,” in Gottfried Keller, ed. Kittstein (Stuttgart: Reclam, 2008), 182–97, particularly 183–4. Margarete Merkel-Nipperdey, in Gottfried Kellers “Martin Salander.” Untersuchungen zur Struktur des Zeitromans (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1959), also argues for a relation to Keller’s time, but in much more abstract, much less precise terms. 15 Fritz Martini. “Gottfried Keller,” in Deutsche Literatur im bürgerlichen Realismus, ed. Fritz Martini, 2nd edn. (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1981), 607. 16 Merkel-Nipperdey, Gottfried Kellers “Martin Salander,” 12.

174  Out of Place sentations of place in this novel give a sense of both stasis and change in relation to socio-historical circumstances. I find this phenomenon best described in the term erstarrte Unruhe—a term mentioned above as part of Walter Benjamin’s terminology, but which Benjamin borrowed from Keller.17 Keller portrays how places within Switzerland became less a source of emotional and psychological identity and more a commodity. With the changing economic climate, more individuals migrated from the country to the city; Rudolf von Passavant sees the Weidelich family in Martin Salander as exemplary of this phenomenon.18 The rising tide of immigration to the cities increased the need for dwelling space, and so real estate became an ideal vehicle for financial speculation, particularly for the petty bourgeoisie.19 Banks played an important role in extending credit to real estate investors. Hans-Peter Bärtschi, in a detailed study of the Zürich industrial suburb Aussersihl, notes that between 1860 and 1889, cash down payments on properties in this area decreased from 19.8 per cent to 10.2 per cent of the property value. In other words, 80–90 per cent of these properties were financed by significant debt,20 so that banks owned more of the properties than individuals did. As in Berlin, place became a commodity from which one could derive financial gain, but in which one need not necessarily have a significant emotional, psychological or even monetary investment. This phenomenon appears in Martin Salander: well into the novel, the protagonist is astonished to learn that his nemesis, Louis Wohlwend, currently resides in a property that Salander himself helped finance. Wohlwend is surprised that Martin doesn’t know this and exclaims: “Wie, du kennst deine Häuser nicht? Martin, du bist bei Gott großartig!” (244). [What? You don’t know your own houses? Martin, you are, by God, amazing! (188).]21 Here Keller criticizes the ­speculative 17 Benjamin derives this term, erstarrte Unruhe, from a Gottfried Keller poem, “Verlorenes Recht, verlorenes Glück.” See Walter Benjamin, The Writer of Modern Life. Essays on Charles Baudelaire, trans. Howard Eiland, Edmund Jephcott, Rodney Livingston and Harry Zohn, ed. Michael W. Jennings (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard, 2006), 267n. 30. 18 “Jakob und Amalie Weidelich gehören offenkundig zu jener ländlichen Schicht, die durch den Aufschwung von Industrie, Handel und Verkehr aus ihrer herkömmlichen Umgebung gerissen worden ist.” Von Passavant, Zeitdarstellung und Zeitkritik, 88. 19 Bärtschi, Industrialisierung, 233 20 Ibid. 21 All parenthetical references cite Gottfried Keller, Sämtliche Werke. HistorischKritische Ausgabe, ed. Walther Morgenthaler. vol. 8, Martin Salander, (eds) Binder, Grob, Stocker and Morgenthaler (Zürich: Stroemfeld, 2004) [German Original]. Gottfried Keller, Martin Salander, trans. Kenneth Halwas (London: John Calder, 1963) [English Translation]. Permission courtesy of Alma Classics. Changes to this translation will be noted in brackets.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 175 mindset that leads to Salander’s detachment from properties he owns. He is not much different from Wohlwend in that he relates to places in terms of their financial value, not in terms of psychological or emotional connection. Keller critiques the situation in Switzerland during this period: place had become an object of financial speculation, devoid of use value or meaning.

Place and Home

As in Berlin, the middle and upper classes of Zürich were concerned in general about the displaced lower classes and in particular about the effect of limited or poor housing opportunities on the burgeoning proletariat. Bärtschi traces the gradual urbanization of Zürich, specifically of its Aussersihl section, and notes both the increase in Mietskasernen like those found in Berlin and the geographical stratification of classes that ultimately led to a breakdown in the sense of community.22 Contemporaries of Keller also recognized the implications of these developments for the relationship to place. In an 1868 volume, Untersuchung und Bericht über die Lage der Fabrikarbeiter, erstattet an die Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft des Kantons Zürich [Investigation into and Report on the Situation of Factory Workers, Presented to the Non-Profit Society of the Canton of Zürich], Victor Böhmert draws a stark contrast between city and country in terms of living situations: The living conditions of the factory workers are on average much better in the country than in the cities, where rents have reached such heights that workers with low salaries have to get by with narrow, dull rooms without fresh air and light. Unfortunately, such poor apartments with their bad air and uncleanliness also tend to depress morality to a lower level and to eradicate the beautiful concept of domesticity from the life of a worker. It is only too easy to explain when such places are more preferably exchanged for the tavern.23 Clearly, Böhmert’s concern here is not only that the workers have substandard housing, but also that this environment will produce undesirable social consequences such as drunkenness. At a later point in the volume, he cites Dr Achille Penot, a housing reformer in Mulhouse:

22 See Bärtschi, Industrialisierung, 220–365. 23 Victor Böhmert, Beiträge zur Fabrikgesetzgebung. Untersuchung und Bericht über die Lage der Fabrikarbeiter, erstattet an die Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft des Kantons Zürich (Zürich: Schabelitz’sche Buchhandlung, 1868), 68.

176  Out of Place The comfort and cleanliness of an apartment has a much greater influence on the morality and happiness of a family than one might think. Whoever, upon returning from work, enters a miserable, dirty, disorderly apartment, in which disgusting air prevails, will not feel himself at home in the same, and instead will spend the greater part of his free time in the tavern. The family becomes foreign to him; he accustoms himself to disastrous expenditures, which his loved ones sense only too soon and that only lead to misery. If we, in contrast, offer these same men clean, friendly apartments, if we give each a small garden in which he finds pleasant, productive activity, where he—in expectation of the modest harvest—learns to recognize the true value of the feeling of property as providence has given it to us—have we not then collaborated in the most satisfying way in the solution of one of the most important social problems? Have we not then contributed to the reinforcement of the sacred family bonds and thus performed a great service for the very important worker class as well as for human society in general?24 Penot—and Böhmert in citing him affirmatively—not only indicates that a worker’s connection to his residence will influence his behavior, but also argues that those concerned with social problems must start with the workers’ residences if they desire to see social changes. Like the housing reformers in Berlin, housing reformers in Switzerland saw place as a battleground for social mores. Changing individuals’ relationships to place was a means of power and social control, a way to produce behavior that the middle and upper classes found desirable. In his study, Böhmert offers his own list of best practices, which consist primarily in enabling workers to build and/or purchase their own homes at reasonable prices rather than having the government or charitable institutions build special homes for them.25 Keller’s novel focuses almost exclusively on the bourgeoisie, so there is little evidence of concern for housing reform for the lower classes. But the issues related to housing reform appear frequently. On the one hand, we see Martin’s investment in housing construction in which he has very little emotional or psychological stake; housing has become a purely speculative, financial matter for him, as discussed earlier. On the other hand, when Julian and Isidor Weidelich are incarcerated, their parents wonder from where their sons inherited their criminal traits. Martin’s wife, Marie, thinks to herself: “Das fehlte auch noch, … daß das arme Volk nachgrübeln soll, woher es die Übel geerbt habe, 24 Ibid., 141–2. 25 See Ibid., 142–5.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 177 ob von väterlicher oder mütterlicher Seite, die ganz neu in seinen breiten Ackergrund gesäet worden!” (316–17). [As if we needed that, too … that the poor folk should speculate on how it inherited this evil—which was sown recently in its soil—whether from the paternal or maternal side!] Marie attributes the antisocial tendencies of the Weidelich twins not to genetics, but, by implication, to their environment, specifically to the influence of their parents who, in striving to excel in bourgeois society, caused this evil. This same causal thinking—namely, their conviction that one’s environment has a strong impact on one’s character— motivates the housing reformers cited above. While writing Martin Salander, Keller himself would have been keenly aware of the impact that environment has on an individual. He began work on the novel in 1881, although it was not completed until 1886. In 1882, Keller had to move from a house known as the Bürgli [little fortress]—a house on a hill with a scenic view in the Enge section of Zürich—into an apartment in the city. His publisher, Julius Rodenberg, describes this move not long after Keller’s death: Grudgingly he moved from the height of his hill in Enge where he had an incomparably beautiful view from his windows, to this apartment in which he never felt at home. It probably happened at the request of his sister, for whom the house in Enge lay too far from the city and who always tyrannized her brother a bit.26 Similarly, in a letter of November 21, 1882, to Wilhelm Petersen, Keller writes: We live now in the area across from the ‘Bürgli,’ ZeltwegHottingen, in a built-up suburban street with front yards, so that the houses are not built together. Yet a view and the sky have been lost, and I am looking to see if I might not find a small residence in the open. Something like a country house was not to be had for the money that I can expend; everything that is new construction, that is not intended specifically for rich people, has too small rooms, and where something good that is old becomes free, then one always comes too late. Our nest belongs to those boring points of expansion, to which from all sides, in spite of all crises, new hordes of idle and non-idle people flock.

26 See Journal entry of Julius Rodenberg, May 26, 1890, in Gottfried Keller, Sämtliche Werke. Historisch-Kritische Ausgabe, ed. Walther Morgenthaler, vol. 24, Martin Salander. Apparat zu Band 8, (eds) Binder, Grob, Stocker and Morgenthaler (Zürich: Stroemfeld, 2004), 560.

178  Out of Place The move was a great distress for me, and I lost almost two months to it.27 Clearly, Keller is not happy with this move and would prefer a different residence. He associates his new apartment with the expanding population of Zürich, with “hordes” of workers moving to the city, and with the financial pressures of belonging to a lower class; he could not afford to live in a home in the country. For most of the writing of Martin Salander, Keller would have been reminded on a daily basis that he was displaced, that the place in which he resided restricted his view, that he was not where he wanted to be. Thus the increasing sense of displacement—both in Keller’s personal experience and in Switzerland in general during the nineteenth century—serves as an important context for understanding the representation of place in Martin Salander.

Place in Keller’s Works

To understand the unique role of place in Martin Salander, it is important to situate it against the role of place in the rest of Keller’s oeuvre. Many of Keller’s texts evidence a firm grounding in a sense of place.28 In his first novel, Der grüne Heinrich (1854/1855), written in Berlin, the protagonist narrates his childhood in Zürich, followed by his young adult years spent in Munich, where he strives to establish himself as a painter. The novel ends with the protagonist returning home to Zürich upon his mother’s death. He offers vivid descriptions of place at every stage of his journey, whether it is his childhood room, his visits to cousins in the countryside, his miserable artist’s apartment in Munich, or his mother’s apartment. Keller’s own inclinations toward the visual arts are evident in the lush, visual descriptions he offers. The reader senses that place is more than a setting, that the narrator invests each place with meaning and connection to some aspect of his life. As Bolliger states: “Landscape is for Keller almost always the home of the human soul.”29 27 Gottfried Keller, Mein lieber Herr und bester Freund. Gottfried Keller im Briefwechsel mit Wilhelm Petersen, ed. Irmgard Smidt (Stäfa [Zürich]: Th. Gut & Co., 1984), 218. 28 For a more detailed treatment of place in Keller, see Bruno Bolliger, Mensch und Landschaft. Eine Studie zu den Werken Gottfried Kellers (Aarau: Sauerländer, 1961). Bolliger mentions Martin Salander only in passing. 29 Ibid., 35. Bruno Hillebrand makes a similar claim about place in Keller’s earlier works, asserting that space has become the fundamental condition of an untroubled relationship of humans to being. Bruno Hillebrand, Mensch und Raum im Roman. Studien zu Keller, Stifter, Fontane (Munich: Winkler, 1971), 109.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 179 The same could be said about Keller’s two major collections of novellas, Die Leute von Seldwyla [The People of Seldwyla] (1856/1874–75) and Züricher Novellen [Zürich Novellas] (1877), in which Keller describes places in great detail and lends them symbolic value. One thinks of the Paradiesgärtchen [Paradise Garden], a tavern in the novella “Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe” [“A Village Romeo and Juliet”], where the collapsing building and fading frescoes of angels point to the fading power of both eschatological narratives and belief in an afterlife during the nineteenth century; or of the two castles in “Hadlaub,” representing not only two branches of a family but also two approaches to politics, history and art. In “Der Schmied seines Glückes” [“The Smith of his Fate”], Keller indicates that place, even when constructed artificially, has social value and power: a young journeyman finds a place whose meaning is an artificial construct, insofar as the master of the house has established himself socially by fabricating his genealogy and by decorating his home with portraits of fictitious ancestors. In these novella collections, place serves not only a symbolic, but also a structural, function: specifically, it unifies these otherwise disparate narratives. The novellas cover various time periods and introduce both historical and fictional characters. They range in tone from the humorous to the serious: some portray romance, others education, others political allegory, others historical commentary. The only feature linking the tales in each collection is their connection to a place, either Seldwyla or Zürich. In this way, Keller imbues place with a unifying function: it binds together different individuals, different historical moments, and different thematic material. In these earlier texts, place is a source of both individual and national identity; it offers meaning and a sense of connection. Even in the last of the Seldwyla novellas, “Das verlorene Lachen” (1873/74) [“The Lost Smile”], written closest to the time of Martin Salander, the concept of place holds fast to the model described above. Readers note that many of the socio-political concerns apparent in Martin Salander are also evident in this earlier novella: industrialization and its impact both on people and on the environment; a church alienated from people in the modern world; and political movements and leaders that deviate from and even contradict their own ideals, to name but a few. Yet in spite of these telltale signs of modernity, Keller invests places with symbolic value, such as the large oak tree (the “thousand-year oak”) that Jukundus fights to preserve against the ravages of industrialization. Although “Das verlorene Lachen” criticizes aspects of modernity in ways that appear again in Martin Salander (and also in works of German naturalism), it did not garner the same

180  Out of Place criticism (namely, of being unpoetic) that Martin Salander did.30 I would argue that the discrepancy in how the works were received is linked to the discrepancy in how place is represented in each: representation of place in “Das verlorene Lachen” hews more closely to the symbolic sense of place found in Keller’s earlier texts than it does to the concept of place found in Martin Salander, in which place has lost its symbolic function. As Adolf Muschg states: “And when [Keller] spoke of the failure of the book, he thought of the suspicion under which he suffered: he had only confirmed for himself and others the irretrievability of his object,” that is, of an ideal place, an ideal Switzerland.31 In this respect, I distance myself from critics such as Ritchie, who argue that Keller adopted modern stylistic techniques in his final novel, but that the “content and purpose of his work remained essentially unchanged.”32 Instead, this reading builds on interpretations such as Gerhard Kaiser’s, which contrasts Martin Salander with Keller’s earlier works in its relation to language and finds not coherence, but rupture and disorder: “In contrast to the highly organized and integrated cocoon of the novella cycle stands a novelistic mass, in which the referential and symbolic network has grown through the substratum like a mycelium [a branching, thread-like fungus].”33 Bruno Bolliger also recognizes such a change in conception of place from the early to the later Keller, even if he does not pursue it in detail in his discussions of Martin Salander; he states: “in Keller’s oeuvre from the earliest to the 30 See Marie von Frisch-Exner’s letter to Keller of 5 November 1886, in which she criticizes her contemporary readers: “Nach Manchem, was um uns her über den Roman gesprochen wurde zu schließen dürften Viele das Poetische darin nicht herausfinden können.” [According to some of what has been said around us about the novel, there are many who are unable to find the poetic in it]. In Gottfried Keller, Sämtliche Werke. Historisch-Kritische Ausgabe, ed. Walther Morgenthaler, vol. 24, Martin Salander. Apparat zu Band 8, (eds) Binder, Grob, Stocker, and Morgenthaler (Zürich: Stroemfeld, 2004), 535. Gunter H. Hertling argues against this assessment of the novel by highlighting poetische Silberblicke [poetic squintings], moments when Keller draws readers’ attention to the poetic. See “Poetische ‘Silberblicke’ (GK) innerhalb nüchterner Gegenwartsrealistik: Gottfried Kellers Zeitroman ‘Martin Salander’ (1886),” in Poetische Wirklichkeitsgestaltung: Essays zum Erzählwerk Gottfried Kellers und Konrad Ferdinand Meyers (Berlin: Weidler, 2007), 9–46. 31 Adolf Muschg, “Gottfried Keller: Martin Salander,” in Zu Gottfried Keller, ed. Hartmut Steinecke (Stuttgart: E. Klett, 1984), 158–66, 162–3. 32 J. M Ritchie, “The Place of ‘Martin Salander’ in Gottfried Keller’s Evolution as a Prose Writer,” in Modern Language Review 52 (1957): 214–22, 214. Although I follow Ritchie in many other points of his analysis, I contest his overarching premise that the shift in the final novel is purely stylistic. 33 Gerhard Kaiser, “‘Martin Salander’ oder die Muse des Realismus,” in Gottfried Keller: das gedichtete Leben, ed. Gerhard Kaiser, 578-97 (Frankfurt am Main: Inserl, 1981).

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 181 latest works a decisive transformation for German intellectual history takes place, which can be identified particularly well as a transformation of the landscape imagery.”34 In the preliminary plans for Martin Salander, it is evident that place played a key role in the novel. In his initial conception of the novel, Keller wanted to title it Excelsior, a Latin term indicating constant ascent.35 In keeping with this title, the plot of the novel was supposed to culminate in a near-catastrophe on a mountain—that is, in an elevated place, where multiple social groups (socialists, the degenerate younger generation and the pious) converge in separate excursions. In notes from 1883, Keller writes: Culminationspunkt. Zusammentreffen der verschiedenen symptomatischen Momente mit dem Naturphänomen auf dem Berge. … Alles kommt auf dem brennenden Bergvorsprung, der von dem reißenden Gewitterregen angeschwollenen Bergbächen abgeschnitten ist, zusammen und dem Untergang nahe. Rechtliche u. hülfsfähige Männer finden sich doch noch in den Landesfalten genug vor und bringen Rettung. Reinigende Wendung.36 Point of culmination. Conjunction of the different symptomatic moments with the natural phenomenon on the mountain. … Everyone comes together on the burning mountain’s edge, which is cut off by the streams swollen from torrential rains, and they near their demise. Enough upright and helpful men can be found in the folds of the country and bring rescue. A cleansing turn. Place plays an essential role in this proposed plot and resonates with earlier representations of place in Keller. Here a place tied to Swiss national identity, a mountain, serves to unite the various factions of modernity. The parallels to the legend of Switzerland’s beginnings are hard to overlook: the three original Swiss cantons were, according to legend, united on the Rüetli, a meadow on the side of a mountain above Lake Lucerne. The saviors who bring rescue in Keller’s plan come out of the folds or creases 34 Bolliger, Mensch und Landschaft, 8. 35 See Gottfried Keller, Sämtliche Werke. Historisch-Kritische Ausgabe, ed. Walther Morgenthaler, vol. 24, Martin Salander. Apparat zu Band 8, (eds) Binder, Grob, Stocker, and Morgenthaler (Zürich: Stroemfeld, 2004), 362–3. For a more detailed analysis of this term and its function in the novel, see Rolf Zuberbühler, “‘Exzelsior’: Idealismus und Materialismus in Kellers und Fontanes politischen Altersroman ‘Martin Salander’ und ‘Der Stechlin,’” in Gottfried Keller und Theodor Fontane: Vom Realismus zur Moderne, (eds) Ursula Amrein and Regina Dieterle, vol. 6, 87–112 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2008). 36 Keller, Martin Salander. Apparat zu Band 8, 383.

182  Out of Place of the countryside, indicating that they, unlike their modern counterparts, are still bound to and enveloped by place. With this dramatic solution, Keller implies that refuge from the forces of modernity is to be found in connection to place and that only those with this connection can withstand the onslaught of both natural and historical change. It also evidences what Georg Lukács describes as “the deep attachment [Keller] felt towards Swiss democracy, whose natural roots were still largely intact.”37 In his initial conception of the novel, Keller deemed Switzerland as a place capable of tempering the forces of modernity. Yet the final version of Martin Salander is strikingly different. There is no sense of ascent, no mountain where a final conflict culminates, no upright country men to rescue the rest of society from the forces of modernity. Instead, the plot of Martin Salander, like those of the other novels in this study, is remarkably uneventful.38 Martin Salander returns from seven years pursuing capitalistic ventures in Brazil only to find that his nemesis, Louis Wohlwend, has swindled him out of his earnings. Salander again leaves his family behind to spend three more years in Brazil, where he earns enough money to establish himself and his family financially upon his return to Münsterburg. The narrator then traces Salander’s participation in the political life of Münsterburg, his daughters’ engagements and marriages to Julian and Isidor Weidelich, the breakup of these marriages due to Julian’s and Isidor’s incarceration for embezzlement, his temporary infatuation with Louis Wohlwend’s sister-in-law Myrrha, and, finally, the return from studies abroad of Martin’s son Arnold, who, with his friends, promises a new generation of steady political and moral leadership. The spatial image that Keller chooses for the conclusion of his narrative is not a mountain but a ship, deliberately sailing forward into the future, repaired and directed by Martin’s son: Ruhig fuhr nun das Schifflein Martin Salanders zwischen Gegenwart und Zukunft dahin, des Sturmes wie des Friedens gewärtig, aber stets mit guten Hoffnungen beladen. Manches Stück mußte er noch als gefälschte Ware über Bord werfen; allein der Sohn wußte unbemerkt die Lücken so wohl zu verstauen, daß kein Schwanken eintrat und das Fahrzeug widerstandsfähig blieb den bösen Klippen gegenüber, welche bald hier, bald dort am Horizont auftauchten. (353) 37 Lukács, German Realists, 165. Lukács, Deutsche Realisten, 155. 38 Merkel-Nipperdey argues that the plot is focused more on simultaneity (different elements being next to each other in space and time) than progress (events occurring in a specific succession), so that individual scenes in the novel could be interchanged without affecting the overall structure significantly. See Gottfried Kellers “Martin Salander,” 105.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 183 Quietly now the little ship of Martin Salander sailed along ready for storm and peace, but always laden with good hopes. Many an item he had to throw overboard as a counterfeit: however, the son knew how to restore the cargo so that the gaps were unnoticeable and so that no roll would set in and the vessel would remain seaworthy, resisting the evil cliffs which, now here, now there, appeared on the horizon. (271) The noticeable shift away from the mountain scene evident in this passage indicates a changing relationship to place. Even when threatened by a storm, a mountain conveys a much more stable sense of place than does a moving ship. No longer is there a connection to a locale, as there was in the image of the mountain with the upstanding men found in the folds of the countryside. No longer is there an image of a united group saved by the good men of the country. Instead the image is highly individualized, focused on Martin Salander, his family, and their efforts to avoid the dangerous cliffs that occasionally appear on the horizon. Keller’s novel focuses less on the relationship of the individual to the city (as do Fontane’s and Raabe’s texts) and more on the relationship of the individual to an ever-shrinking community. The deep bonds to place and larger community have disappeared. Keller was unhappy with the novel’s conclusion and blamed this in part on the publication deadlines set by the Deutsche Rundschau, where the novel first appeared in serial form.39 He claimed that he would write a continuation of the novel, focusing on Arnold Salander, Martin’s son,40 but this never came to pass, nor are there any indications that he ever began such a continuation.41 In the end, Keller chose to conclude the novel in a manner dramatically different from what 39 In a letter of 3 September 1886, to Wilhelm Hertz, he writes: “Sodann aber ist der Schluß des Buches fraglich geworden. Die ursprünglichen tendirten Schlußkapitel fanden in der Rundschau nicht mehr Raum, damit September der Jahrgang abgeschlossen wird, was ich nicht bedacht hatte. Ich brach deshalb an geeigneter Stelle ab” [And so the conclusion of the book became questionable. The originally intended final chapters could no longer fit in the Rundschau because the year’s publication concludes in September, which I hadn’t thought of. I thus broke off at an appropriate point]. Keller, Martin Salander. Apparat zu Band 8, 522. 40 See his letter of 9 June 1888, to Sigmund Schott: “wenn ich mich besserer Gesundheit erfreue, [werde ich] sehr wahrscheinlich einen weiter Band unter dem Titel ‘Arnold Salander’ schreiben, wozu das Material da ist” [Once I enjoy better health, I will very likely write another volume titled “Arnold Salander,” for which the material is here]. Keller, Martin Salander. Apparat zu Band 8, 557. 41 See Jakob Baechtold’s letter of 12 August 1890, to Wilhelm Hertz. Baechtold surveys Keller’s unpublished writings for possible posthumous publication and asserts: “Keine Fortsetzung zu ‘Salander,’ keine Novelle” [No continuation of “Salander,” no novella]. Keller, Martin Salander. Apparat zu Band 8, 561.

184  Out of Place he had first planned—a manner that not only downplays the sense of place, but also destabilizes it. The novel diverges dramatically from its author’s originally stated intention. Whether or not Keller intended it, his novel takes readers from a world of coherence, stability, and community into a world of disruption, fluidity, and isolation. In this regard the novel moves from a realist practice that resists modernity and the changes associated with it to one that accepts it as already present.42 Realism in this late stage—as represented by the later Raabe, Fontane and Keller—no longer attempts to create ideal or symbolic places that would preserve a bygone era within the world of modernity or that might somehow resist modernity. Instead, it acknowledges the arrival of modernity and represents the particular losses as well as the potentials and changes associated with this new era. Keller can no longer create a credible fiction of a world where coherent individual and group identity is grounded in place. Instead, he represents a world where capitalism dominates, where it drains a common sense of meaning from the experience of place and where it undermines previously shared values and a sense of community and identity.

Walter Benjamin and Allegory

To describe this new experience of the world, I draw on Walter Benjamin’s concept of allegory. In the following paragraphs, I offer a brief summary of this concept. I do not aim to analyze the term in all of its complexity,43 but I hope to show how this concept will be useful in understanding features of Keller’s novel. Benjamin knew Keller’s texts and wrote a brief review essay when a new edition of Keller’s works appeared. He recognized in Keller’s prose a stronger affinity to antiquity and the baroque than to Keller’s contemporaries, an affinity that implicitly criticized his era more than 42 As Bernd Neumann asserts: “The literary historical truth of Salander lies … therein, that it makes clear the point in time at which poetic Realism as a principle of representation became outdated due to socio-historical reasons.” Gottfried Keller. Eine Einführung in sein Werk (Königstein/Ts.: Athenäum, 1982), 299. 43 Readers interested in relatively brief introductions to this term and some of its complexities might consult: Bainard Cowan, “Walter Benjamin’s Theory of Allegory,” in New German Critique 22 (Winter 1981): 109–22; Lloyd Spencer, “Allegory in the World of the Commodity: the Importance of Central Park,” in New German Critique 34 (Winter 1985): 59–77; and Azade Seyhan, “Allegories of History: The Politics of Representation in Walter Benjamin,” in Image and Ideology in Modern/Postmodern Discourse, (eds) David B. Downing and Susan Bazargan, 231–48 (Albany: SUNY Press, 1991). I draw on these studies in the following paragraphs.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 185 supported it. He saw Keller’s humor not as superficial ornamentation, but as deeply bound to his melancholic-choleric being.44 Benjamin’s interpretation initiated a tradition of Keller reception that spanned decades. Theodor Adorno, influenced by Benjamin’s reading of Keller, offered a brief assessment of Martin Salander in his essay “Über epische Naivetät” [“On Epic Naiveté”] (1943), in which he asserted that epic naiveté—a narrative technique that undermines bourgeois rationality by dwelling on detailed descriptions—characterizes Keller’s prose and that Keller offers the beginnings of a critique of bourgeois society.45 Adorno’s epic naiveté, like Benjamin’s concept of allegory, focuses on the disruption of dialectics. In 1992, John Pizer takes up Adorno’s assessment of Martin Salander and argues that in the novel, Keller prefigures the rupture described by Adorno in his later work Negative Dialektik [Negative Dialectics]. He portrays the novel’s structure “as inscribed by duplication, fungibility, and a non-traditional dialectic.”46 Eva Graef, in the same year, finds in Martin Salander the “tireless self-destruction of the Enlightenment” as Horkheimer and Adorno describe it.47 This strand of Keller interpretation emphasizes the lack of teleology and resolution in Keller and focuses instead on how Keller disrupts dialectics that tend towards totalities and resolutions. This stands in contrast to more traditional scholarship, which tends to find totalities and even utopias contained in the novel. In contrast to these traditional approaches, I highlight Keller’s representation of place as allegory. Benjamin’s concept of allegory is perhaps best understood in reference to the concept of the symbol. In his treatise Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels [On the Origin of German Tragic Drama] (1925), Benjamin contrasts allegory in the baroque era with the symbol in the romantic era. For the romantics, the symbol represented a totality of symbol and referent, an immanence of meaning to be experienced at that moment. In contrast, allegory represented the disruption of such totalities, the separation of the immediately experienced world from the realm of the abstract, the conceptual and even the divine. Benjamin describes allegory less as a genre and more as a mode of perceiving and experiencing the world. He attributes the prominence 44 Walter Benjamin, Gesammelte Schriften, (eds) Rolf Tiedemann and Hermann Schweppenhäuser, 7 vols., Vol. 2.1 (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1991), 287. 45 See Theodor Adorno, “Über epische Naivetät,” in Schriften II. Noten zur Literatur, ed. Rolf Tiedemann, 34–40 (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1984), especially pages 36–7. 46 John Pizer, “Duplication, Fungibility, Dialectics and the ‘Epic Naiveté’ of Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander,” in Colloquia Germanica 25 (1992): 1–18, 3. 47 Eva Graef, “Martin Salander.” Politik und Poesie in Gottfried Kellers Gründerzeitroman (Würzburg: Königsghausen & Neumann, 1992), 82.

186  Out of Place of this mode during the baroque period to the historical context, where the Reformation, in distinguishing the spiritual from the temporal role of the church, removed the spiritual from daily life and objects: “Human actions were deprived of all value. Something new arose: an empty world.”48 Allegory is the awareness of and focus on this empty world, on the inability to unite immediate experience with conceptual wholeness as romantics claimed the symbol could. It is a way of seeing that differs fundamentally from the romantic mode, one that focuses on corpses, ruins, and other signs of death and ephemerality. Benjamin states: “The experience of allegory, which holds fast to ruins, is properly the experience of eternal transience.”49 Benjamin pursued this study of allegory not only in the baroque era, but also in the nineteenth century, specifically in his essay “Zentralpark” [“Central Park”] and in his incomplete Passagenwerk [The Arcades Project], where his Marxist turn is evident. In these texts, Benjamin updates the notion of allegory for capitalist modernity. He states that “Allegory is the armature of modernity”50—it is the protective shell of and the very structure underlying modern experience. Benjamin saw historical circumstances similar to the baroque in the nineteenth century, specifically a diminishing sense of value and meaning. Yet this was due less to changes in religion and theology and more to the rise of capitalism, as mass production and commodification drained objects of their uniqueness: “The allegories stand for that which the commodity makes of the experiences people have in this century.”51 Allegories now function not in a religious but in a capitalistic context, where use value and lived experience yield to the power of market forces. Whereas during the baroque period allegory concentrated on external objects in response to the loss of the spiritual component in daily life, allegory in the modern era focuses on the loss of the value inherent in objects in modern capitalist society. In Marxist terms, the 48 Walter Benjamin, The Origin of German Tragic Drama, trans. John Osborne (New York: Verso, 1998), 138–9. “Jeder Wert war den menschlichen Handlungen genommen. Etwas Neues entstand: eine leere Welt.” Benjamin, Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 1.1, 317. 49 Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin (Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1999), 348. “Die Erfahrung der Allegorie, die an den Trümmern festhält, ist eigentlich die der ewigen Vergängnis.” Benjamin, Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. 5.1, 439. 50 Benjamin, The Writer of Modern Life, 159. Benjamin, Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. 1.2, 666. “Die Allegorie ist die Armatur der Moderne.” Benjamin, Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 1.2, 681. 51 Benjamin, The Arcades Project, 348. “Die Allegorien stehen für das, was die Ware aus den Erfahrungen macht, die die Menschen dieses Jahrhunderts haben.” Benjamin, Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. 5.1, 413.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 187 commodity functions by draining the use value of and labor invested in an object and focusing instead on the relationship of the commodity to other goods in a market; its value is purely relational, not innate. Allegory dwells on objects drained of meaning and recognizes them as commodities, melancholically reflecting on their lost value. Allegory in the nineteenth century focuses on an emptied-out inner world, not on external objects (as had baroque allegory). Benjamin writes: “In the nineteenth century, allegory withdrew from the world around us to settle in the inner world. The relic comes from the cadaver; the souvenir comes from the defunct experience.”52 Where the relic or ruin represents the death or corpse at the center of baroque allegory, the souvenir or memento represents the loss of experience and meaning in objects that characterized nineteenth-century allegory. Memory plays an important role in allegorical experience, but memory cannot restore the past. Instead, it is like a souvenir: it is a reminder of the past, but it also highlights one’s distance from that past and the absence of that past experience. Allegory highlights the tension between absence and presence embodied by the souvenir; it focuses on objects and experiences that emphasize simultaneous separation and connection, awareness of loss, and memory of (or at least a longing for) presence. The tension between lost value and a longing for value becomes a significant feature of allegory for Benjamin. He states: “Allegory holds fast to the ruins. It offers the image of petrified unrest.”53 Allegory is a sustained tension between absence and presence; as such, it is petrified or paralyzed unrest—a phrase that suggests a tension between stasis and motion. In this regard, allegory assumes a temporal dimension and manifests itself in temporal phenomena of petrified unrest. Benjamin speaks of the sense of eternal return of the same and connects it with the attempt to unify antinomic poles: “Eternal recurrence is an attempt to combine the two antinomic principles of happiness: that of eternity and that of the ‘yet again.’”54 Repetition of sameness appeals to both the 52 Benjamin, Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 1.2, 681. Benjamin, The Writer of Modern Life, 159. “Die Allegorie hat im neunzehnten Jahrhundert die Umwelt geräumt, um sich in der Innenwelt anzusiedeln. Die Reliquie kommt von der Leiche, das Andenken von der abgestorbenen Erfahrung her.” Benjamin, Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. 1.2, 681. 53 Benjamin, The Writer of Modern Life, 143–4. “Die Allegorie halt an den Trümmern fest. Sie bietet das Bild der erstarrten Unruhe.” Benjamin, Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 1.2, 666. 54 Benjamin, The Writer of Modern Life, 161. “Die ewige Wiederkunft ist ein Versuch, die beiden antinomischen Prinzipien des Glücks mit einander zu verbinden: nämlich das der Ewigkeit und das des: noch einmal.” Benjamin, Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. 1.2, 682–3.

188  Out of Place eternal—that is, the never-changing, ever-presence of the same—and the temporal—that is, the reminder with each new repetition that time has passed. It sustains a tension similar to that between presence and absence. At the same time, it also points to the developing technologies of mass production: “The doctrine of eternal recurrence as a dream of the immense discoveries imminent in the field of reproduction technology.”55 The perceived repetition of sameness, whether historical or otherwise, reflects the capitalist technology of mass-produced commodities, where repetition diminishes value instead of increasing it. This repetition of sameness and the tension between stasis and change that it embodies will be significant for the following analysis of Martin Salander. I draw on Benjamin’s notion of the allegorical because it provides a useful tool for interpreting the relationship to place found in Martin Salander and, on a larger scale, a mediating term between extreme models of place: an idealized utopia arising from personal connection on the one hand and a restricting and oppressive tool of power on the other. Allegory acknowledges that place is caught up in structures of economic and political power, yet it likewise acknowledges the ideal of place by acknowledging its absence: ideal place exists as a nostalgic residue. Keller’s earlier works and even his early plans for Martin Salander manifest a relation to place that aligns more closely with the romantic notion of the symbol as Benjamin describes it. Place is a source of meaning and identity; place provides continuity and connection; it structures both the text and the world. Place is the ground for rich, and often humorous, experience. Yet in Martin Salander place has lost this symbolic function and the relationship to place has become allegorical. Place is emptied out of meaning; it resembles a souvenir more than a source of identity; it repeatedly manifests a tension, an erstarrte Unruhe, between being a commodity and a source of meaning; and, along with characters and objects in the novel, place is subject to repetition, replication and reproduction.

The Allegorical Perspective in Martin Salander: Marie’s Märchen

Early in Martin Salander, Keller indicates that this novel is different from his previous works, for here we find a fairy tale, a genre that in nineteenth-century German culture was typically associated with romanticism. Although fairy tale elements appear frequently in Keller,

55 Benjamin, The Writer of Modern Life, 158. “Die Lehre von der ewigen Wiederkehr als ein Traum von den bevorstehenden ungeheuren Erfindungen auf dem Gebiete der Reproduktionstechnik.” Benjamin, Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. 1.2, 680.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 189 there are no typical fairy tales as such.56 What is even more remarkable, however, is the nature of this fairy tale, for rather than reflect romantic or even early realist ideals, it evidences an allegorical worldview. Insofar as Benjamin defined the allegorical by contrasting it with the romantics’ use of the symbolic, we could say that the allegorical appears in Martin Salander precisely where one might least expect it: in a fairy tale. As reviewed in Chapter 2, the fairy tale genre traditionally draws on magic and supernatural forces to overcome situations of uncertainty and ultimately to reinforce social order: a simpleton battles insurmountable difficulties to eventually marry a princess and win a kingdom, a young girl overcomes challenges to marry a prince, etc. Fairy tales tend to restore order and stability in a life that has become unstable.57 Yet Keller breaks with this convention and offers an allegorical fairy tale. In the third chapter, Marie Salander and her children watch helplessly as patrons of their family restaurant consume the last of the family’s food. In an effort to distract her children from their hunger, Marie draws their attention to a rainbow outside the window and makes up a fairy tale about it. I cite this fairy tale at length because it is integral to understanding the novel. Although it might appear of secondary importance in the economy of the novel, it highlights the contrast between Keller’s perspective in earlier works and his perspective in this one. Marie tells her children about die Erdmännchen und -weibchen, die so alt werden, daß sie eine kleine Unsterblichkeit auf ihren Buckelchen haben, natürlich nur im Verhältnis; denn sie sind nicht größer als ein mittlerer Finger. So um tausend Jahre herum sollen sie alt werden. Wenn sie nun merken, daß ihr Geschlecht ausstirbt in einer Gegend, so kommen die letzten hundert Leutchen in den besten Feierkleidern zusammen und halten ihren ewigen Abschiedsschmaus unter einem Regenbogen oder vielmehr im Erdgeschoß desselben, das ein wahrer Zaubersaal ist. Seht nur, ihr könnt’s von außen merken, wie das inwendig in allen Farben glitzern muß! Auch noch aus einem andern Grunde sollen sie einen solchen Abschied feiern; nämlich wenn das große Volk im Lande anfängt 56 Even his tale “Spiegel, das Kätzchen” (which contains fairy tale elements such as a talking cat, a witch and a wizard) is, from a structural perspective, less a fairy tale than it is a combination of an animal fable and a trickster tale. 57 “Fairy tales, which speak in a language well understood in the modern world, remain relevant because they allude to deep hopes for material improvement, because they present illusions of happiness to come, and because they provide social paradigms that overlap nearly perfectly with daydreams of a better life.” Ruth Bottigheimer, Fairy Tales. A New History (Albany: State University of New York, 2009), 13.

190  Out of Place auszuarten und dumm und schlecht zu werden und die gescheiten Leutlein unten ein betrübtes Ende voraussehen, dann beschließen sie auszuwandern und dem Ende aus dem Wege zu gehen. Auch dann kommen sie in vielen Regenbogen zusammen und sind noch ein Stündchen vergnügt. Sei dem wie ihm wolle, so weiß ich nicht, welchen Anlaß wir hier vor uns haben. Es wird sich wohl um ein Aussterben handeln, und da sind es, wie gesagt, höchstens hundert Männlein und ihre Frauen, die dort sind. (35–6) the little men of the earth and their wives, who become so old that on their little backs they carry a small immortality, relatively speaking, naturally, because they are no bigger than the middle finger. It’s said that they live to be a thousand years old. Whenever they notice that their race is dying out in one place then the last one hundred little people, dressed in their holiday clothes, gather together and hold their farewell banquet under a rainbow, or rather on the first floor of it which is a real magic hall. Look, you can see from here how the inside of it must glitter with all its colours! Then too, they are supposed to celebrate their departure for another reason: whenever the big people in the land begin to degenerate and become stupid and evil, and when the sensible little people down below foresee a troublesome end, they decide to emigrate in order to avoid that fate. Inside many rainbows they then make merry for one more time. Be that as it may, I don’t know what this occasion is, probably it’s a matter of dying out; and then, if that’s it, there will be at the most a hundred little men and their women gathered. (29) She continues to describe the little people who attend the feast, the golden dishes on which they eat, and, in particular detail, the food they enjoy. She then narrates how they all depart, leaving behind them the tables with everything on them and goes on: Ein einziges lediges Weiblein, das allerjüngste von etwa zweihundert Jahren, was bei unsereinem einer Person von ungefähr zwanzig Jahren gleichkäme, ist noch dageblieben. Es hat die Pflicht, das ganze Geschirr zu reinigen, trocken zu reiben und in eine eiserne Truhe zu verschließen, die sie an der Stelle, wo der Regenbogen stand, in den Boden vergräbt. … Was tut aber nun das letzte Weiblein? Es nimmt das Säcklein, worein sein eigenes Goldschüsselchen gewesen, auf den Rücken, einen Stecken zur Hand und wandert seelenallein in die Ferne, um einem andern Volk dieser Art das Gedächtnis des ausgestorbenen zu überbringen. Es soll schon vorgekommen sein, daß eine solche Person sich in der Fremde noch glücklich verheiraten konnte bei einem jüngeren Geschlechte. (37–8)

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 191 A solitary unmarried little woman who, at the very youngest, is two hundred years old, and who, if one of our kind, might be about twenty years of age, still remains. She has the responsibility of washing all the dishes and cutlery, drying and locking them in an iron trunk which she buries in the ground at the place where the rainbow stood. … What about the last little woman? She puts on her back the little sack containing her own gold dish, takes a staff in her hand and, a solitary soul, wanders into the distance in order to bring to other people of her kind the remembrance of their dead race. It is said that such persons [could] marry into a younger [race] in a [foreign country]. (30–1)58 Unlike the structure of a traditional fairy tale, the structure of this fairy tale does not move from instability to stability; instead, it highlights dissolution, displacement and even extinction.59 Either the little people of the earth are dying out or the big people of the land are degenerating, but in either case something is lost. This fairy tale highlights loss and death. It also indicates a ruptured connection to place—the gnome-like people gather because they are going to emigrate, to leave a place. Even the one woman left behind ends up wandering away. As such, the tale is about both the loss of place and the loss of a society. As J. M. Ritchie notes, Keller abandons not only the language of the fairy tale in Martin Salander, but also “the old Märchenland” [fairy-tale land].60 This tale does not restore stability, but instead disrupts it. Martin returns after the Märchen and appears to restore order and provide stability, but Gerhard Kaiser labels this moment of Martin’s return as the “the breaking open of a fissure that runs through the entire novel, where he himself in all hopelessness seeks fairy tale consolation.”61 Even the marriage mentioned at the end of the tale—traditionally a marker of attained stability in a fairy tale—is implied only as a possibility rather than as something definitively achieved by the fairy tale’s protagonist. The phrase “it is said” [es soll schon vorgekommen sein] indicates narrative distance from this closure: the narrator states this possibility, as if a culminating marriage were a formal necessity of the fairy tale genre; but, by speaking of marriage as only a possibility and by situating its realization at a geographical distance from where the woman currently lives, the narrator does not imply that the woman indeed marries within the tale. 58 Change in translation mine. 59 Muschg also reads this tale as an example of Keller’s despair about the future of his homeland. See “Gottfried Keller: Martin Salander,” in Zu Gottfried Keller, ed. Hartmut Steinecke,158–66 (Stuttgart: E. Klett, 1984), 165–6. 60 Ritchie, “The Place of ‘Martin Salander,’” 215. 61 Kaiser, “‘Martin Salander’ oder die Muse des Realismus,” 597.

192  Out of Place In these regards, then, this fairy tale falls more in the tradition of the Antimärchen [anti–fairy tale], a tradition that precedes Keller in authors such as Ludwig Tieck (“Der blonde Eckbert” [“Blonde Eckbert”]) and Georg Büchner (the “Großmutter Märchen” [Grandmother fairy tale] in his drama, Woyzeck).62 Such anti–fairy tales not only have less than happy endings, they also usually critique larger philosophical assumptions and the worldviews on which fairy tales are based. This is certainly the case here: Keller’s fairy tale concludes with a tone of melancholy and memory, key features of Benjaminian allegory. The little woman is “a solitary soul” [seelenallein], devoid of meaningful connection to others. She relinquishes her connection to a homeland, wandering into a foreign country. Yet she simultaneously brings with her objects that will remind others of this once living race—objects that, by causing others to remember, establish a connection between present and past at the same time as they emphasize the separation between the two. In these acts, the woman embodies the tension that Benjamin describes in the term erstarrte Unruhe. She sustains a relationship with the past through memory and through objects such as the gold dishes, yet she also distances herself from the past by moving away from the place where a harmonious community existed. The relation to allegory becomes even more interesting as Marie connects the Märchen to her contemporary world. After telling the children this tale, Marie recalls a special dish-shaped golden coin, given to her as a christening gift and possessing familial significance, which she could sell in order to obtain much-needed money. As she reflects on this, she identifies with the woman in the fairy tale: Sie wunderte sich, daß sie nicht früher an diese Zuflucht gedacht. Beinahe kam sie sich vor, als ob sie das ausgewanderte Erd- oder Bergweibchen wäre, das im fremden Lande ein Trüppchen Kinder erworben hat und nun die ererbte Goldschüssel verkaufen muß, um sie füttern zu können. (39) She wondered why she had not thought of this last resort earlier. It almost seemed to her as if she were the little earth or mountain woman who had travelled to strange lands and had acquired a little troop of children and now was obliged to sell the inherited gold dish in order to obtain food. (31) 62 My interpretation of this fairy tale stands in contrast to Hertling’s: whereas Hertling considers the fairy tale as part of the poetic world and sees a rupture between its content and the content of the novel, I find continuity between the negative content of the fairy tale and the content of the novel. Hertling, “Poetische ‘Silberblicke,’” 27–8.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 193 Jeong-Hee Bae argues that this continuation of the Märchen in Marie’s mind emphasizes Marie’s charitable nature, which stands as a utopian alternative to the materialism that pervades the remainder of society represented in the novel.63 Marie indeed stands in contrast to Wohlwend, the Weidelichs, and the other superficial and scheming individuals in the novel, yet I do not see the utopian moment to which Bae appeals. The significance of this conclusion to the fairy tale—and of Marie’s response to it—is that what was once valued as a cherished personal treasure is now viewed as a commodity to be sold. The golden dish of the fairy tale is connected to memory and, if it were not sold, it would preserve the memory of the little mountain people for future generations. Similarly, we read about Marie’s coin: “Solche Münzaltertümer wurden ehedem gern in wohlbestehenden Familien aufbewahrt und als besondere Gunst nur etwa zu Patengeschenken verwendet” (38). [In former days such antiquities were preserved jealously in old established families and, as a special kindness, perhaps, used only as a g ­ odfather’s c­ hristening gift (31).] Clearly, the coin represents a significant connection to the past, to preserving what is lost, and to establishing one’s identity within history. Yet the emphasis in the citation above is less on Marie’s kindness and more on her sense of having no choice but to convert the coin into money: that is, a coin with personal value will be exchanged for coin with monetary value. The fundamental material necessities of sustaining life take precedence over the symbolic necessities for reinforcing identification and connection. Converting this very personal object into an impersonal currency suggests that the item has lost personal value and uniqueness and has now become a commodity. Marie’s fairy tale reflects an allegorical view of the world. Individuals have lost their connection to place—they wander away from the places where a community was grounded. They maintain memories of these places through specific objects, but even these objects have lost value and become commodities. This worldview pervades the novel. The novel represents the increased loosening of the bonds to place and concludes with a notion of place that is unstable and constantly in motion at the same time as it represents a longing for a degree of stability.

Repetition and Displacement

In Der grüne Heinrich, Heinrich Lee must resolve the challenge of displacement; he spends most of the novel away from his mother and his home, but returns in the end. Yet in Martin Salander, displacement 63 Jeong-Hee Bae, Erfahrung der Moderne und Formen des realistischen Romans. Eine Untersuchung zu soziogenetischen und romanpoetologischen Aspekten in den späten Romanen von Raabe, Fontane und Keller (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2000), 181.

194  Out of Place is the enduring premise of the narrative, not a condition that can be overcome.64 Keller emphasizes this sense of displacement at the beginning of the novel.65 The first paragraphs introduce us to a man, who, because we do not learn his name until the end of the chapter, has a generic quality—he could represent any man from this era. The narrator describes how the man walks “gleich einem, der am Orte bekannt und seiner Sache sicher ist” (5) [like one who is known in the place and certain he is right].66 The simile “gleich einem” [like one] suggests, however, that a discrepancy between appearance and reality is possible, and the reader encounters this same discrepancy throughout the novel. As if to reinforce this, the next sentence states: Dennoch mußte er bald anhalten, sich besser umzusehen, da diese Straßenanlagen schon nicht mehr die früheren neuen Straßen waren, die er einst gegangen; und als er jetzt rückwärts schaute, bemerkte er, daß er auch nicht aus dem Bahnhofe herausgekommen, von welchem er vor Jahren abgefahren, vielmehr am alten Ort ein weit größeres Gebäude stand. (5) [Nonetheless] he was soon compelled to stop a moment in order to orient himself. He noticed that the layout of the streets was no longer that which he had known and had travelled in earlier days; now, as he looked back towards the railway he observed that the building from which he had just emerged was not the one from which he had departed some years ago. The old station no longer existed but in its place stood a much larger building. (5) Keller begins the novel with a loss in certainty about place. A man returns to a city he thought was familiar only to find himself distanced and estranged. His memory of the streets and of the train station stands in contrast to their current configuration. He searches fruitlessly for the paths to his family’s home, for these paths “lagen auch weiterhin unter staubigen oder mit hartem Kies beschotterten Fahrstraßen begraben” (6) [lay buried under dusty or gravel-surfaced roads (5)]. Familiar place is buried for the protagonist; modernism (in the form of gravelsurfaced roads) has relegated it to the realm of memory and excluded 64 Bruno Hillebrand sees the two novels as polar opposites. Mensch und Raum im Roman, 116. And J. M. Ritchie states that “The basic situations at the end of Der grüne Heinrich and the beginning of Martin Salander are the same.” See “The Place of ‘Martin Salander’ in Gottfried Keller’s Evolution As a Prose Writer,” 217. 65 Karol Szemkus makes a similar observation in “Der Übergang zur industriellen Gesellschaft und der Kampf gegen die Zeit,” 91. 66 My translation.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 195 it from present experience.67 The novel begins by drawing the reader’s attention to the ephemerality of place, suggesting that the protagonist’s previous relationship to place has changed. It conveys this message repeatedly and never offers an alternative place as a safe, stable ground for identity. This is, as Bernd Neumann notes, a dialectic between soulless modernism and a past connection to home, a tension sustained throughout the novel.68 Keller underscores the sense of displacement by repeating or replicating events that represent the changing relationship to place. Repetition, like mass production in Benjamin’s view, drains an event or a place of its unique quality, emptying out some sense of value. Shortly after his return, Salander learns that he has been swindled and so decides to return to Brazil to again earn a small fortune. His willingness to leave home again so quickly and for an extended period of time suggests that financial concerns are more important to him than his immediate connection to home or family. His ultimate return from Brazil at the beginning of chapter 6 is thereby rendered less eventful. This emphasizes that departure and return have become commonplace, and that Martin’s ties to place, like those in the society around him, are loosening. Similarly, when Martin returns from Brazil the first time, he notices that the trees in front of his home have been cut down. The land was cleared to make way for new building plots that never materialized; the promise of economic gain, ultimately unfulfilled, had led to the destruction of nature. A similar scene repeats itself later in the novel, when Martin visits the home of his son-in-law Isidor and comments on the forest covering the hills above it. Isidor informs him that loggers will soon cut it down for a nice profit to the landowners, to which Martin responds: “Sind Sie bei Trost?” rief Salander. “Ihre Buchen schützen ja allein Haus und Garten samt der Wiese vor den Schlamm und Schuttmassen, die der abgeholzte Berg herunterwälzen wird!” “Das ist mir Wurst!” erwiderte der jugendliche Notar in nachlässigem Tone. “Dann zieht man weg und verkauft den ganzen Schwindel! Es ist ja langweilig, immer am gleichen Ort zu hocken!” (220) “Are you mad?” cried Salander. “Your beeches protect the house 67 Graef analyzes the historical situation of the city of Zürich and asserts that “At the time of his return at the beginning of the novel, the heyday of the city is already history and available to Salander only through its monuments.” “Martin Salander,” 51. 68 Neumann, Gottfried Keller, 271.

196  Out of Place and garden together with the meadow from the mud and rubble which the mountain will hurtle downward after it has been stripped of trees!” “I don’t care!” the youthful notary answered in a careless voice, “then we’ll move away and sell the whole humbug. It’s monotonous to squat always in the same place.” (169–70) Keller reproduces the deforestation that Martin encountered on his return from Brazil, this time within Salander’s own family. Again, the land’s value is as a commodity rather than as a place. By repeating this scenario, Keller not only highlights the pervasiveness of this mindset but also suggests that such events are more and more frequent, that they are no longer unusual. The loss of place becomes less and less significant. This is evident in Isidor’s final sentences in the above passage, where he equates a connection to place with boredom and monotony rather than meaning. This citation emphasizes that repeated acts of loosening the connection to place have drained it of its meaning. Yet it also emphasizes that such acts do not lead to a new condition of “placelessness” that is somehow as stable as the previous grounding in place. The resulting threat of a mudslide or landslide indicates that acts loosening the connection to place are ultimately self-destructive, just as Julian’s and Isidor’s deceptive political and financial dealings prove to be self-destructive. In repeatedly portraying these moments of self-destructive relinquishing of place, Keller gives his readers an allegorical perspective, one that focuses on “petrified unrest,” a transformation that is never complete and that yields only ephemerality. These types of repetitions abound in Martin Salander,69 and they are often related to place: one thinks of the acts of departing and returning and of deforestation, discussed above; of financial deceptions and swindles, which are often associated with certificates of property holding; of failure to recognize the nature of one’s own connection to place (i.e. Martin’s mischaracterization of the Swiss forest before he and his family encounter Wohlwend fishing for crabs); and of the staged repetition of the twins’ political pact during the wedding. In addition to these repetitions, there are numerous instances in the novel where repetition or replication undermines uniqueness and value. The most obvious example is the Weidelich twins, Julian and Isidor, who are nearly identical: Martin can’t distinguish between them (101 [German], 69 See Ritchie, 219ff. for additional discussion of the multiple repetitions and duplications in the novel, including at the level of phrases and vocabulary. Ritchie reads these as Keller’s stylistic imitation of contemporaries such as Zola, Daudet and Spielhagen. See Ritchie, “The Place of Martin Salander in Gottfried Keller’s Evolution As a Prose Writer,” 219.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 197 78 [English]). They marry Salander’s two daughters, Setti and Netti, whom Arnold at one point in the novel jokingly labels “Snetti” (126 [German], 97 [English]), insinuating that the two are actually one. In both instances the nearly identical nature of each sibling pair suggests an individual who has been replicated, hence calling the uniqueness of individuality into question. Pizer labels this “a general depersonalization within an increasingly faceless … society,” and Neumann links this loss of individuality to the loss of political morality, implicitly suggesting that duplication of individuals produces duplicitous behavior.70 The replication of an original unity suggested by the twins and sisters maps itself onto spaces and places in the novel. The choirs at the wedding of the twins and Salander’s daughters stand in two opposing groups (169 [German], 130–1 [English]), their spatial separation resonating with their lack of musical harmony. Similarly, although Julian and Isidor make their individual appearances as different from each other as possible when they begin their political careers, we see that their houses are located in similar settings: both are at the foot of a mountain and both are visible from the hills above their parents’ home: Wenn die Eltern Weidelich zu einer gewissen Jahreszeit des Abends, bei schönem Wetter, die Anhöhen über dem Zeisighofe bestiegen, so konnten sie in der Ferne die weißen Mauern und die Fenster beider Häuser im Scheine der niedergehenden Sonne schimmern und funkeln sehen. (139) At a certain season of the year and in the evening during nice weather whenever the elder Weidelichs climbed the heights above the Finch, they could see in the distance the white walls and the windows of both houses shimmering and sparkling in the light of the setting sun. (108) This passage is noteworthy, for it treats the two houses as one. The houses are united not only by the single viewpoint of the parents, but also by the fact that they both have white walls and windows that sparkle. In addition, they function grammatically as the same object in the sentence. Both the grammar and the content of this sentence again highlight the tension between uniqueness and replication as it is mapped onto two specific places. Similar replications occur throughout the novel—as evidenced by, for example, the fountain in front of the Weidelichs’ house, where two metal spouts replaced the single gun barrel that previously poured 70 Pizer, “Duplication, Fungibility, Dialectics and the ‘Epic Naiveté’ of Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander,” 6. Neumann, Gottfried Keller, 283.

198  Out of Place water. Such instances use repetition to divide unity and deplete its uniqueness. Just as replication and reproduction in Benjaminian allegory drain meaning from an object, so do the replications and repetitions in the novel empty modern experience, particularly the experience of place, of its uniqueness and meaning.

Critique of the Idyll

In Martin Salander, Keller links the loss of spatial meaning to another literary genre, the idyll.71 The idyll as a genre is defined less by form than by content: it often describes pastoral or rustic life, showing humans experiencing happiness in harmony with a natural environment distant from a modern urban space. In many ways, the idyll represents an ideal of place that Keller perceives as lost, and in this regard Martin Salander might be read as an anti-idyll, just as Marie’s tale is an anti-Märchen. In Martin Salander, the reader frequently encounters scenarios that appear idyllic at first glance, but after closer analysis turn out to be the opposite—what Eva Graef labels as “systematically broken idylls.”72 Whereas Bruno Hillebrand argues that, in contrast to Keller’s earlier works, ideal landscapes and places no longer appear in Martin Salander, I assert that Keller still evokes them, but that he disrupts them each time he does so.73 Keller shows that the idyll has been displaced from the modern world; the idyll is the ruins of a bygone era, something like the souvenir in Benjamin’s notion of allegory. After learning that Louis Wohlwend has swindled him out of his Brazilian earnings, Martin takes his family on a walk in the forest. Keller offers detailed descriptions of natural places, and these descriptions point towards a moment of idyllic fulfillment as the family approaches a small pool in the forest stream, hoping to find rest and refreshment. Marie Salander recognizes this as an opportunity to distance herself from the pressures of the modern, capitalist world: “Auch Frau Marie pries das Tälchen und eilte rüstig den abschüssigen, von Gestein unterbrochenen Pfad hinunter. Seit langer Zeit war es ihr nicht vergönnt gewesen, sich in freier Natur zu bewegen ohne einen andern Zweck 71 For a different analysis of Keller’s critique of the idyll in Martin Salander, see Friedrich Hildt, Gottfried Keller: literarische Verheißung und Kritik der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft im Romanwerk (Bonn: Bouvier, 1978), 211–19. Hildt bases his analysis on Schiller’s conception of the idyll and focuses more on the contrast between an ideal and material reality, between public and private, and less on the role of place. 72 Graef, “Martin Salander,” 117. 73 Hillebrand maintains that Keller lost his creative instinct, his primary sense of a sensual world in Martin Salander and that there is only one successful spatial representation in the novel, namely Amalie Weidelich’s funeral. Mensch und Raum im Roman, 118, 120.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 199 als die Bewegung selbst” (63). [Marie also praised the beauty of the glen and hurried down the steep rock-strewn path. For a long time she had not been able to wander the countryside [with no purpose other than movement itself] (49).]74 Marie clearly views this as an opportunity to escape the constant demands of urban capitalist society, where every movement must have a purpose or accomplish some financial aim. Keller prepares the reader for a harmonious idyll. Yet the family rounds a bend and to their chagrin not only finds that the pool is occupied by a crab catcher, but also recognizes that the crab catcher is none other than Louis Wohlwend, Salander’s nemesis. In the brief and ultimately caustic exchange that follows, Wohlwend invokes the idyll to explain his presence there: “Du weißt, Freund Martin, daß ich von jeher einem edeln Idealismus gehuldigt; der kommt mir nun zu gut und läßt mich an so idyllischen Gegenständen Trost suchen, wie sie sich hier darbieten!” (64). [From earlier times you know, my friend, that I believed in noble idealism; that is of benefit to me now and allows me to search for idyllic, consoling objects such as are offered here! (50).] Wohlwend identifies the idyllic quality of this scene—humans and nature in harmony—and he associates it with a noble idealism. Yet both the idyll that Wohlwend enjoys and the one that the Salander family anticipated are destroyed as Marie Salander castigates Wohlwend and states that a conversation about his affairs is not appropriate for her children’s ears. Both Wohlwend and the Salanders leave this encounter not with a sense of harmony, but with a reminder of their conflict and of the demands of the outside world.75 The escape into nature results in a reminder of unresolved economic tension, an erstarrte Unruhe. A similar anti-idyll greets Salander and his wife when they pay a surprise visit to their daughter Setti in her new home. Keller describes the Salanders’ approach to the home: Als sie die liebliche Lage des Hauses in dem lichten Buchenbestande, der es zur Hälfte umgab und vom Finkenschlag widerhallte, mit neuem Wohlgefallen erblickten, sagte Martin Salander: “Es müßte doch nicht mit rechten Dingen zugehen, wenn in diesem idyllischen Frieden ein ernstliches Unheil gedeihen könnte! Wie reinlich ist der Kies auf dem ganzen Platz geharkt; und auch das Parkgehölz ist in sauberstem

74 Change in translation mine. 75 See Hildt, Gottfried Keller: literarische Verheißung und Kritik der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft im Romanwerk, 271–5 (n. 167) for a detailed discussion of this scene. Hildt likewise asserts that “schließlich wird die Idylle genau dadurch gründlich zerstört, daß mit Wohlwend als Personifikation in sie einbricht, was sie vergessen machen wollte: die Widerwärtigkeiten des gesellschaftlichen Verkehrs” (275n. 167).

200  Out of Place Zustande, und darüber weg sieht man noch eine mächtige Kronenfülle des eigentlichen Forstes sich links die Höhe hinanziehen!” (212) As they caught sight of the lovely setting in the thin grove of young beeches which surrounded half of the house, and which echoed and re-echoed with the warbling of finches, Martin Salander said with renewed delight: “It wouldn’t be natural for some disaster to thrive in this idyllic peace! Look how cleanly the gravel is raked everywhere, and the grove is also in the neatest possible condition and up above, on the left, a great abundance of tree-tops in the true forest can be seen marching up the mountain slope.” (164) Martin labels the scene as idyllic, and the characteristic features of an idyll are indeed present: Martin’s description depicts not only a beautiful natural scene where birds and trees apparently blend in with the house, but also a scene in which— as Salander has taken the time to note—even the domesticated part of nature, the gravel and the grove, are in the neatest possible condition. It would appear that humans and nature live in harmony. This stands in stark contrast to what Salander and his wife quickly find—that there is indeed a disaster, that Setti’s marriage is failing, and that her husband, Isidor, is accumulating wealth illegally. In addition, they learn, as cited earlier in this chapter, that the trees on the hillside will soon be logged and sold for profit. The idyllic appearance is only a façade, and apparent harmony with nature conceals a desire for profit. Yet there are elements in this passage indicating that even the façade of this idyll is itself unstable. Martin invokes idyllic peace by contrasting it with something that “wouldn’t be natural” or, more literally, “incorrect things” [nicht mit rechten Dingen]. In addition, the raked gravel and the perfectly groomed grove attest less to the harmony of humans with nature and more to the subjugation of nature by humans—“nature” is a product of human society. As Martin refers to the “true forest” (“des eigentlichen Forstes”), he suggests a distinction between the artificial grove and true nature, indicating that supposed harmony with nature is not complete. In a move typical of the allegorical worldview, he subtly highlights the distinction between the realm of the ideal and the realm of the real. Keller repeatedly destroys idylls in Martin Salander, as evidenced in these stark contrasts between appearance and reality, and in doing so he distances himself from realist practices of his predecessors and of earlier stages in his own career. Scholars such as Bernd Neumann assert that the fundamental principle of this novel is the rupture of poetic

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 201 appearance.76 Scholarship on German realism frequently highlights the contrast between Schein and Sein [appearance and reality] that is evident in so many texts of this era. Yet the Schein/Sein distinction in Martin Salander is more extreme than what was typical for realists, insofar as this novel juxtaposes appearance and a much harsher reality than that of earlier realist practice, one emptied of meaning. Keller’s contemporaries and Keller himself often contrast appearance with reality to emphasize a world that is socially determined, where meaning is grounded in social norms and relations. Yet here Keller presents a deceptive, self-interested, materialist world, one where even social norms and relations succumb to profit motives.77 Keller’s contrasting of appearance and reality does not reinforce a specific sense of reality—be it grounded in a sense of place, morals, relationships or something else—but instead questions the very basis of reality; his contrasts bemoan the loss of an ideal and emphasize the ideal’s separation from the world. In contrast to many preceding realist texts, this novel has a decidedly allegorical tone. This allegorical disruption of the idyll occurs at numerous points throughout the novel. Some have focused on the poetic and idyllic nature of such moments to emphasize the aesthetic qualities of the novel and have argued that it represents a longing for an ideal unity.78 However, these moments never stand on their own as an aesthetic totality, for Keller repeatedly disrupts their unity. I highlight one more instance of this. Toward the end of the novel, while pursuing a relationship with Wohlwend’s sister-in-law Myrrha, Salander attends a number of public festivals and celebrations. In one of these scenes, Keller describes in great detail a chalice of wine that stands before Salander: Die Abendsonne, welche eben unter die betreffende Festhalle hereinschien, spiegelte an der vergoldeten Innenwand eines großen Ehrenpokales, der vor ihm stand, mit rotem Weine frisch versehen, und der Goldschein leuchtete mit unbeschreiblichem Zauber in die durchsichtige Purpurflut. Martin heftete seine Augen auf das funkelnde Farbenbild, das, ur­­­­ plötzlich aus offenem Himmel gekommen, seine Gedanken zu besiegeln schien wie ein flammendes Siegelwachs. Ein rötlicher Schimmer aus 76 Neumann, Gottfried Keller, 296. 77 Martini notes that Keller’s disillusionment with the economic and social circumstances turned into a skeptical and grimly critical view of the public realm: “Die Veränderungen der gesellschaftlichen und wirtschaftlichen Zustände, die seinem Idealbild einer nationalen Demokratie wenig entsprachen, lösten des alternden Keller Desillusion zu einer skeptisch-grimmigen Klarsicht gegenüber der problematischen Realität des Öffentlichen aus.” “Gottfried Keller,” 606. 78 See Hertling, “Poetische ‘Silberblicke,” 32–3.

202  Out of Place dem Becher spazierte sogar über sein begeistertes Gesicht, was eine ihm gegenübersitzende anmutige Frau wahrnahm und es ihm sagte mit der Mahnung, er solle sich still halten, denn er sähe jetzt hübsch aus. Geschmeichelt hielt er ein Weilchen das Gesicht unbeweglich still, bis auf demselben der Abglanz zu flimmern begann, gleich dem Wein in dem Pokale. Denn es lief eine schwache Erschütterung durch den langen schmalen Tisch herauf, welche auch den Inhalt des Bechers bewegte. (267–8) The setting sun, which just shone in on the banqueting hall, sparkled on the gilded inside of a large chalice which stood before him, freshly filled with red wine, and the sheen of the gold glistened with indescribable magic in the transparent purple flood. Martin fastened his eyes on those sparkling colours which had suddenly appeared out of an open sky and seemed to stamp his thoughts as if with flaming sealing wax. A reddish gleam strode out of the beaker and over his inspired face. One of the charming women sitting opposite him noticed this and mentioned it to him with the warning that he ought not move since he looked very handsome now. Flattered, he held his face in a fixed position for a while until the reflection began to flicker exactly like the wine in the cup, for a slight shaking went up and down the width and breadth of the small table which shook the contents of the goblet. (205) Although this scene is in many ways not an idyll—it is set not in nature, but in a public setting—it contains many key elements of the idyll. The wine suggests a domestication of nature, and the sun shining through the wine reflects a harmony of the natural world with the domestic world of humans. In fact, the gold in the chalice suggests at first that nature and the economic world are in harmony. Furthermore, the reflection of the wine on Martin’s face would seem to suggest a harmony between the natural world and the inner human world—that human emotions and nature are in harmony. This passage typifies Keller’s assault on the idyll and the ideal in the novel, for whenever he creates an ideal place—an ideal harmony between individual and environment—he quickly disrupts it; as Friedrich Hildt states: “Implied harmony becomes untenable, idyllic moments are based narratively on meager reality.”79 The most important part of this passage is not the warm reflection of the sun, but the flickering of this 79 Hildt, Gottfried Keller: literarische Verheißung und Kritik der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft im Romanwerk, 219.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 203 reflection as a result of the table shaking. The reader quickly learns that the table shakes because police have come to arrest one of the festival guests for embezzlement; again, an idyllic scene is disrupted by the consequences of greed and materialism.80 Such moments are distinctly allegorical and emphasize that the idyll belongs to a bygone era—that even if encountered temporarily, it can no longer be sustained. Keller excludes the idyll from the realm of lived experience and relegates it to the realm of nostalgia.

Displacement and Ubiquity: The Sameness of Place

Keller maps the petrified unrest of the allegorical worldview onto places and relationships to places. Salander represents a point between two epochs, where neither epoch is fully at home. As Gerhard Kaiser notes: “Martin Salander stands on the threshold of an epoch, which appears in the horizon of the novel as between rural and urban civilization, between agrarian-artisanal living space and a realm of commerce that extends worldwide, between a sensually experienceable, honest natural economy and an abstract, exchange economy susceptible to manipulation.”81 This quotation from Kaiser maps Salander’s intermediate position between epochs onto different worlds and different types of geography. His liminal position manifests itself most specifically in a sense of displacement, of simultaneously belonging everywhere and nowhere. The tension between a more universal sense of place and a lack of connection to a particular place is evident throughout the novel, but is particularly noteworthy towards the end, where Martin and his son, Arnold, discuss their devotion to their country. Arnold, returning from overseas, states: “Ich bin nun froh, daß ich endlich wieder da bin, … es ist doch am besten in der Heimat” (337). [I’m happy that I’m finally back, … it’s best, after all, in one’s native land (258).] Arnold professes a close connection to place, to his Heimat or homeland. Yet his family quickly questions this assertion, informing him that he has come at a difficult time for his country, to which Arnold replies that his country has endured many difficult times and has somehow still survived. He then states: “Ich habe, obgleich noch jung, ein ziemliches Stück von der Welt gesehen und das Sprichwort: ‘C’est partout comme chez nous’ würdigen gelernt. Wenn wir nun etwa in ein schlechtes Fahrwasser geraten, so müssen 80 Friedrich Hildt finds this typical of the festivals in the novel and notes, “Disillusion becomes the obligatory structural feature of the festivals.” Gottfried Keller: literarische Verheißung und Kritik der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft im Romanwerk, 63. 81 Gerhard Kaiser, “‘Marienfrau’ und verkehrte Männerwelt. Gottfried Kellers verkanntes Alterswerk Martin Salander,” in Der unzeitgemäße Held in der Weltliteratur, ed. Gerhard Kaiser, 149–73 (Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1998), 156.

204  Out of Place wir eben hinauszukommen suchen und uns inzwischen mit der Umkehrung jenes Wortes trösten: Es ist bei uns, wie überall!” (337). [I have, although still young, seen a considerable portion of the world and I’ve learned to appreciate the proverb C’est partout comme chez nous. If, perhaps, we now fall into troubled waters then we just have to try to get out of them, and in the meantime console ourselves with the inversion of the proverb: Everything is the same here as it is everywhere else (258).] After previously professing his love of his homeland, Arnold creates a tension between particularity and universality, between forming an individual connection to a unique place on the one hand, and subsuming oneself into a larger community that is housed more in the imagination than in a specific place on the other. He asserts the sameness of a variety of places and then inverts the comparison (it’s the same everywhere else as here / it’s the same here as everywhere else). Karol Szemkus sees this as Keller expanding the landscape of his earlier narratives to one where local particularity finds general representation, yet in the effort to reconcile the local and the general, this landscape frees itself from local narrowness and cosmopolitanism.82 This repetition of equality between particular and universal ultimately drains a sense of uniqueness and value from place: place is now simply the background for a universal experience. Local place now has become universal “everywhere else” and the difference between the two that would make local place unique disappears. Arnold’s patriotism and devotion to his homeland become less a matter of the quality of his homeland and more a matter of coincidence, of where he happened to have been born and raised. Here Keller represents a modern condition as optimistically as possible. In the modern world, where place has lost its uniqueness and has been drained of its value as anything other than a commodity, one can still sustain a relationship to specific places not because of their inherent value, but because one chooses to do so. Yet as positive as this representation of the sameness of place may seem, Keller also recognizes its negative side: universal sameness drains the value from individual particularity. He represents the negative side of this modern relationship to place in the figure of Louis Wohlwend. In Wohlwend’s relationship to place, the tension between particular and universal has given way to a universal relationship to place, where place is no longer unique. When Martin first learns that he has probably lost his Brazilian earnings to Wohlwend, he states: “Es scheint, daß jeder Mensch einen Ölgötzen hat, der allerorts wieder dasteht und ihm entgegenglotzt” (24). [It seems that everybody has a Nemesis who stands everywhere and stares him in 82 Szemkus, “Der Übergang zur industriellen Gesellschaft und der Kampf gegen die Zeit – ‘Das verlorene Lachen’ und ‘Martin Salander,’” 89.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 205 the face (20).] Salander describes Wohlwend’s negative influence in terms of ubiquity; he always stands in front of Martin, no matter where Martin is. It is not simply that he always has a negative influence on Martin, but also that he always occupies the place opposite Martin. Wohlwend does not have a relationship to a particular place, but only to those places occupied by Martin. Wohlwend is somehow ubiquitous, at least from Martin’s perspective. Bernd Neumann links this ubiquity to the ubiquity of capital, for he asserts that Wohlwend has traded his homeland for the world of international commerce: “Louis Wohlwend no longer possesses a fatherland, his home is the international monetary market.”83 Wohlwend is at home wherever there is money. His ubiquity is evident again when Salander confronts him about the scandal and Wohlwend defends himself: “Bitte, nicht schimpfen! noch bin ich nicht fallit! Und nie gewesen! Und wenn ich es wäre, so stehe ich in der Hut der Gesetze und des Rechtes und ist überall mein Haus meine Burg!” (51). [Please, don’t scold! … I’m not bankrupt yet! I never have been. And if I were I’d stand under the protection of the law and justice. My house is my castle [everywhere]! (40)].84 Wohlwend’s use of the word überall [everywhere] to modify the phrase “my house is my castle” is noteworthy. The addition of “everywhere” transforms the phrase “my home is my castle” from an expression pertaining to the speaker’s individual relationship to his specific home to an articulation of a universal, ubiquitous right. Even when appealing to particularity, Wohlwend binds himself to ubiquity. Similarly, Myrrha (Wohlwend’s sister-in-law, with whom Martin Salander becomes infatuated) represents a lack of connection to place. Just as Marie employed the genre of a fairy tale to convey an allegorical viewpoint, and just as the numerous near-idylls in the novel ultimately question the genre of the idyll, so too does Myrrha, whom Salander associates with Hellenic and antique ideals of beauty, undermine the ideals of neo-classicism (German Klassik)85 and replace them with allegory. Along these lines, Gerhard Kaiser reads her as an “insane Muse of a poetic Realism that can no longer make its poetic quality thematic.”86 Stated otherwise, her beauty embodies the poetic ideals of German realism, but her insanity indicates that these ideals are no longer viable in the modern world. Through her, Keller critiques the 83 Neumann, Gottfried Keller, 281. 84 Change in translation mine. 85 Rudolf von Passavant notes that it is less Klassik itself that Keller criticizes and more the reception of the German Klassik by the German bourgeoisie of the late nineteenth century. Von Passavant, Zeitdarstellung und Zeitkritik in Gottfried Kellers “Martin Salander,” 103. 86 Kaiser, “‘Martin Salander’ oder die Muse des Realismus,” 588.

206  Out of Place fundamental principles of German realism. After following Martin’s infatuation through several chapters, the reader learns that Myrrha is feeble-minded. This is evident when Arnold speaks with her (Martin, however, never has a real conversation with her) and asks her how she likes Switzerland: “Mir gefällt es nirgendwo! bin ich nur schön, aber nicht ganz gescheit, sagte mein Vater seliger, und Herr Volvend-Glavicz sagt, bin ich auf den Kopf gefallen, aber Heiraten macht gesund!” (344–5). [I like it nowhere! I beautiful but not quite clever, so say Father, may soul rest in peace, and Mr Volvend-Glavicz say I fall on head but marriage make me sound (264).] Keller contorts her grammar to reflect not only her foreignness, but also her cognitive deficits. What is most significant in this passage, though, is that Myrrha dissociates herself from all connection to place—she does not like to be anywhere.87 The reason is that Wohlwend now treats her as a commodity: her beauty should attract a husband for her and a fortune for him. Myrrha is not at home anywhere because she will be a commodity no matter where she goes. Like Wohlwend, she has lost connection to a specific place and has a certain universal, placeless quality about her. We see this loss of connection to specific place at numerous other points in the novel: the Weidelich twins no longer stay at home overnight after the development of railroads; one of them abandons Switzerland when his embezzlements are discovered; and Wohlwend flees Switzerland early in the novel, and again at its end, when his deceptions are uncovered. Each of these figures no longer feels bound to a specific place as a source of identity. Although Martin and Arnold stand in contrast to this—they maintain a connection to locality, even if in tension with the larger, more abstract sense of place—Keller demonstrates that their relationship to place is not without problems. When Salander reads about embezzlement in both western and eastern regions of Switzerland, he comments: “Es ist zwar nicht eidgenössisch gedacht, … aber ich bin doch froh, daß diese traurigen Sachen nicht in unserm Kanton vorgefallen sind!” (269). [Of course, it’s not a patriotic thought, … but nevertheless, I’m pleased that these unhappy events have not happened in our canton (206–7).] Salander narrows his definition of countrymen from the national to the cantonal level, assuming that the ills that have befallen the nation will not reach his canton. The subsequent paragraphs indicate that this is an act of self-delusion, for we learn quickly that the same problems of greed and deception indeed run rampant in Salander’s canton. Keller thereby rejects the possibility of complete attachment to a specific locality at the expense of connections to any others. Instead, 87 The sense of being a foreigner everywhere is reflected in contemporary literature by the figure of the vagabond. See Charbon, “Fremde im eigenen Land,” 167.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 207 he appeals to the tension between locality and universality that Arnold asserts. To compromise this tension by relinquishing connection either to a particular or to a larger, more abstract community, is dangerous. Keller’s allegorical view of place recognizes this tension between the abstract and the local and underscores the difficulties associated with it.

Lack of Resolution: Petrified Unrest

In Martin Salander Keller portrays a society in which relationship to place has changed. The novel demonstrates that an exclusive, unique and enduring connection to one’s own locale is no longer viable in the modern world. Yet it also attempts to preserve a unique relationship to place in some manner. In this sense it is, as Eva Graef asserts, a representation not of complete destruction, but of decay and decline.88 Keller represents this decay and decline in geographic terms when he describes the rash of embezzlements that plague Switzerland. He describes them as a sickness, stating: “Und die schlimme Krankheit durchzog das ganze Land, ohne Ansehen der Konfessionen oder der Sprachgrenzen. Nur etwa im Gebirge, wo die Sitten einfacher geblieben und das bare Geld oder Geldwert seltener, war nicht viel davon zu hören” (271). [And that pernicious disease spread through the entire land without regard to religion or language barriers. Only, perhaps, in the mountains where the customs had remained more simple and the cash or the value of money were rare not much was heard of (208).] Here Keller maps temporal distinctions onto places—the mountains represent the past, pre-capitalist world, where mass-produced commodities and fiat currency have not yet found a foothold. Yet the rest of the land is afflicted by the sickness of modern capitalism. Neither language nor religion keeps individuals free from this modern illness; geography, their location in space, determines whether or not they succumb. This is particularly interesting in the light of Keller’s earlier plans for the novel, where a large catastrophe would occur on the edge of a mountain and the people from the country would rescue the modern people. Here, too, we see geography or topography (specifically, individuals’ connection to place) determining whether they need to be saved or whether they offer salvation. Clearly, place figures fundamentally in Keller’s thinking about the transition to modernity. Yet since the catastrophe never occurs in the final version of the novel, there is no longer a dramatic need for salvation. Instead of rescue and reconciliation, Keller offers only separation, a pronounced distinction between city and country. He identifies implicitly the distinction between country and 88 Graef, “Martin Salander.” Politik und Poesie in Gottfried Kellers Gründerzeitroman, 105.

208  Out of Place city as one of the fundamental tensions of modernity, and leaves the capitalist place of modernity in tension with the pre-capitalist place. He does not resolve the situation and offer rescue; he only represents this tension and offers it for the reader to observe. This reading stands in contrast to interpretations such as Hertling’s that assert Keller’s use of this dialectic in a didactic-pedagogical mode in order to avert through literature the socio-cultural decline associated with modernism. There is no indication in the novel that a resolution of the problems in bourgeois society could be averted by an appeal to the poetic.89 Similar images of tension without resolution—of petrified unrest— appear at crucial moments in the novel. While planning his daughters’ wedding, Salander first proposes a wedding breakfast in the middle of the railroad station, with commuters passing by: “Im Saale der Bahnhofswirtschaft wird die Morgensuppe genossen, mitten im Verkehr des reisenden Publikums, ein Bild des rastlosen Lebens” (163). [The breakfast is eaten in the hall of the railway station, right in the midst of the passing travelers—a picture of [restless] life (126).]90 This image conveys stasis (a wedding party sitting and breakfasting) in the midst of constant, multidirectional yet collectively directionless motion, countless travelers on their way to disparate destinations. It embodies the clash between the private and the public, between sedentariness and incessant motion, and characterizes in many ways the tensions of modern life and the tensions evident in the term “petrified unrest.” Although the Salander family ultimately chooses another venue for the wedding breakfast, the proposal suggests the extent to which the restlessness of modern public life is entangled with the most significant details of private life. Perhaps the most-discussed and best-known image in this regard is Arnold’s metaphor of the beetle running on a round tabletop. Before his sisters’ wedding, Arnold writes a letter home and recounts meeting the father of one of his fellow students. The father offered a skeptical assessment of the young students’ desire for political and social change, indicating that each generation wants to change the way the previous generation did things, but does not know what shape this change should take; successive generations continue to change without making meaningful progress. Arnold then writes: In diesem Lichte gesehen, sei der Fortschritt nur ein blindes Hasten nach dem Ende hin und gleiche einem Laufkäfer, der über eine runde Tischplatte wegrenne und, am Rande angelangt, auf den Boden falle, oder höchstens dem Rande entlang im Kreise herumlaufe, wenn er 89 See Hertling, “Poetische ‘Silberblicke,’” 44, where he argues that Keller highlights rather than resolves these contrasts. 90 Change in translation mine.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 209 nicht vorziehe, umzukehren und zurückzurennen, wo er dann auf der entgegengesetzten Seite wieder auf den Rand komme. Es sei ein Naturgesetz, daß alles Leben, je rastloser es gelebt werde, um so schneller sich auslebe und ein Ende nehme; daher, schloß er humoristisch, vermöge er es nicht gerade als ein zweckmäßiges Mittel zur Lebensverlängerung anzusehen, wenn ein Volk die letzte Konsequenz, deren Keim in ihm stecke, vor der Zeit zu Tode hetze und damit sich selbst. (160) Seen in this light progress is only a blind rushing towards the end. It resembles a ground-beetle running over a round tabletop, and having arrived at the edge falls to the floor or, at the most, runs along the edge in a circle if it does not prefer to turn around and run back, in which case it then comes again to the edge on the opposite side. It is a natural law that all life consumes itself and comes to an end faster the more restlessly it is being lived; therefore, he concluded humorously, if a nation chases itself to death, prematurely forcing out its utmost potentialities, he could not consider it merely an expedient means for extending life. (124) Arnold offers an image of restlessness, of motion that lacks a meaningful direction: if the beetle runs in a single direction, it falls. If it runs around the edge of the table or reverses its original path, it only returns to its starting point. Its running ultimately serves to waste away the beetle’s energy, to “chase itself to death.” With this image of the beetle, Keller again reflects an allegorical worldview that highlights unresolved tension between irreconcilable opposites. Here he posits progress and stasis as wholly incompatible, yet portrays neither alternative as appealing in isolation. In spite of the humorous tone of the passage, Keller’s evident lack of faith in historical progress is hard to miss.91 Arnold subtly ridicules his father’s belief in political change, suggesting that motion and activity yield no result other than expending energy. Keller here spatializes the relationship to historical transformation: he equates the failure to make meaningful changes with the failure to move out of a specific place. The notion of petrified unrest suggests a relationship to place that is in constant tension, where individuals are in constant motion, struggling to break away from place, but who are nonetheless constrained in one place. The circularity implicit in the beetle’s running around the tabletop also suggests a cyclical view of history, one found elsewhere in the novel. 91 See Graef, “Martin Salander.” Politik und Poesie in Gottfried Kellers Gründerzeitroman, 97–8, for a reading of this passage that situates it against the historical understanding of Keller’s contemporary, Jakob Burckhardt.

210  Out of Place When Salander’s daughters explain that they differentiate between the Weidelich twins by examining their unusually shaped earlobes, Arnold remarks: “‘Wissenschaftlich höchst merkwürdig!’ erklärte der Bruder mit schalkhafter Trockenheit, ‘das sind einfach entweder die Überbleibsel einer untergegangenen Form oder die Anfänge einer neuen, zukünftigen!’” (101). [“That’s quite exceptional scholarship!” their brother exclaimed with dry humour. “They are simply either the survivors of an extinct race or the first of a new one to come!” (79).] Arnold’s humor here resonates with his later image of the beetle running in circles, for while the strangely formed earlobes may distinguish the twins from each other, they do not distinguish each of the historical eras. On the contrary, Arnold suggests that these earlobes—and by extension the twins and their behavior, which later manifests itself as deceptive and self-serving—may represent either a new era or one long past and extinct; the co-existence of the alternatives—extinct versus new—suggests that what is new is only a repetition of what was once already present. This viewpoint, although humorous, is also allegorical, for it highlights a tension between stasis and change that Keller portrays as inherent to modernity.92 And so it is no surprise that the novel lacks a satisfying resolution. Readers never see the dramatic catastrophe and rescue scene on the mountain that was originally planned. Nor do we see a dramatic confrontation between Salander and Wohlwend, even though Salander now has proof of Wohlwend’s misdeeds. There are no indications of revolution, conflict or historical change. Even the gathering of Arnold and his friends at the conclusion of the novel serves not to prophesy or agitate historical change—“keiner tat sich als Lehrer oder Prophet hervor” [350] [no one boasted like a teacher or prophet (269])—but only teaches Martin that these are “männliche Jünglinge …, die sich die Welt offen behielten und nicht in einen Tabaksbeutel stecken ließen” (350–1) [manly youths who kept the world open and would not have it stuck into a tobacco pouch (269)]. Praise indeed, but far from an indication of change or transformation. Instead, Keller highlights the openness of the youth, their willingness to accept the tensions within the world without seeking easy resolutions. And so the novel concludes on a note of “more of the same,”93 with Martin sailing towards his future 92 Keller found this sense of transition and ephemerality reflected in the most mundane events. In a letter of 17 September 1886, to Wilhelm Hertz, Keller writes: “Wir leben in allen Dingen im Uebergang. So eben wird die ganze Straße, an der ich wohne, behufs irgend einer Röhrenleitung neu aufgerissen.” (531) [In all things we live in transition. And so the street on which I live is being torn up again in the service of some pipe system]. Keller, Martin Salander. Apparat zu Band 8, 531. 93 Merkel-Nipperdey asserts that Keller expects nothing new of Arnold—that the narrator does not look to the future, but only to the past. See Gottfried Kellers “Martin Salander,” 137.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 211 while Arnold minimizes the damage of his father’s inevitable selfdeceptions. As Fritz Martini notes, the problems of the time have not been overcome,94 and as Eva Graef asserts, the novel produces not a harmonic synthesis of all private and public concerns, but their subversion and destruction.95 Rudolf von Passavant describes this most harshly as “a total capitulation of the author before the identified problems of his era.”96 The dramatic difference between the novel’s actual conclusion and Keller’s initial conception of its conclusion, as well as his repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the former, point to a tension within Keller himself, to an inability to find a clean resolution to the historical problems addressed in Martin Salander. There is no evidence that he acted on his professed intention to write a continuation of the novel, focused on Arnold; Keller was either unable or unwilling to resolve the tensions in his text. In this regard, Martin Salander, as an unresolved engagement with the vicissitudes of modernity, represents both in its subject matter and in its form an allegorical worldview, where petrified unrest is the dominant mode of experience. Eva Graef describes this as follows: “Keller connects two things in Salander’s blind simplicity, which is framed simultaneously as the credible steadfastness of a true idealist: on the one hand the knowledge of the incompatibility of the old values with the new era, on the other hand, the conviction that society in the last third of the nineteenth century must be measured against them.”97 It is interesting, particularly in the context of the understanding of place in German realism, that Keller concludes the novel with the nautical imagery cited earlier in this chapter. The narrator describes both Salander and Wohlwend with ship metaphors. The decision to close with nautical imagery rather than with the originally planned conflict on the mountain is significant, for instead of representing a people connected to the country and to the land, the narrator focuses on people who are no longer connected to a permanent place at all: place has become unmoored. A similar image is found in Keller’s earlier novella, “Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe” [“A Village Romeo and Juliet”], where the lovers choose a barge to celebrate their final night together before committing suicide. The barge suggests their lack of 94 Martini, “Gottfried Keller,” 610. 95 Graef, “Martin Salander.” Politik und Poesie in Gottfried Kellers Gründerzeitroman, 88. 96 Von Passavant, Zeitdarstellung und Zeitkritik in Gottfried Kellers “Martin Salander,” 135. 97 Graef, “Martin Salander.” Politik und Poesie in Gottfried Kellers Gründerzeitroman, 75.

212  Out of Place connection to the land—in contrast to their fathers, who were both farmers—and mirrors their inability to live within society. In Martin Salander, the protagonist is not a social outcast, as were the young lovers. But he is no longer represented as grounded in a specific place; instead, his identity is associated with a ship, a place that does not have a fixed geographical location and, according to the metaphor in the text, is constantly in motion. In this context it is relevant that water images abound in the text: the ship that carries Martin back from Brazil, the fountain at the Zeisig, where Martin first fails to recognize his own son, the poisoned groundwater that killed Martin’s parents, the fountain outside his own house where he spies on his daughters as they are courted by the Weidelich twins, the river into which Amalie Weidelich throws her hat as she collapses after learning about her sons’ misdeeds.98 The water imagery is polyvalent, for it is associated with both death and life. But it is never associated with certainty, and in this regard it is significant that Keller’s final gesture towards place is towards this polysemous symbol associated with fluidity, uncertainty and change. The connection to place in modernity has become fluid for Keller. Place is no longer singular, consolidated, unified and stable, but is instead a broken, diffuse ideal rife with unresolved tension. Like the narrative technique in the novel, which displays tension by using diverse and incompatible modes of perception,99 the relationship to place can no longer be unified for Keller. It is evident that he wishes this to be otherwise, that he longs for a world where individuals ground their identity in a connection to place. But it is also evident that he sees no way to realize such an ideal, that place has lost its hold on individual identity with the onset of modernity.100 The tension between 98 Bernd Neumann likewise traces this symbolic line through the text, reading the earlier instances of water as foreshadowing of the novel’s failure to find resolution. Gottfried Keller. Eine Einführung in sein Werk, 276. Richard Leister, in a close reading of the forest scene in Martin Salander, traces how the movement of the Salander family prefigures the movement of the water in the stream. “The Essential Quality of Spatial Depictions in Gottfried Keller’s Prose Fiction,” in The Germanic Review 52.3 (1982): 107–14, 112. 99 See Graef, “Martin Salander.” Politik und Poesie in Gottfried Kellers Gründerzeitroman, 129–31. 100 Martini describes it as follows: “Aus der Enttäuschung des Künstlers und des Moralisten spricht die Trauer des Abschieds angesichts einer unbekannten und gefürchteten Zukunft.” “Gottfried Keller,” 610. Hildt assesses the conclusion in similar terms: “So zwingt ihn die geschichtliche Entwicklung der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft in eine Aporie. Einerseits beharrend auf dem allgemeinen Anspruch ihrer Ideale, andererseits sensibel für deren reale Negation, vermag er es nicht, diesen Widerspruch zu lösen.” Gottfried Keller: literarische Verheißung und Kritik der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft im Romanwerk, 232.

Allegorical Place in Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander 213 these two incompatible poles characterizes the allegorical worldview and sets Keller’s final novel apart from his earlier literary production as well as from many previous works of German realism. However unintentionally, Keller prepared the way for German modernism of the twentieth century.

Conclusion: Place Today—Politics and Humanity

By the end of the nineteenth century, the individual’s relationship to place had changed in the German literary imagination. Raabe’s texts show that place and autonomy had become incompatible; the modern subject is torn between freedom paired with a lack of connection on the one hand and connection paired with restrictive social obligations on the other. In Fontane’s novel, place was transformed from a source of security and identity to a product of economic and political forces. Along similar lines, Gottfried Keller’s final novel illustrates that place had become allegorical in Benjamin’s sense of the word: emptied out of meaning, more fluid than stable, caught in a petrified unrest between being a commodity and a source of meaning. Common to each of these three realists is the sense that place was no longer a phenomenon linked to individual experience and meaning, but rather bound more to external forces. With the rise in nineteenth-century German lands of the economic, political, demographic and social conditions that engendered high modernism of the early twentieth century, the experience of place becomes less an experience that affirms the subject in his or her individuality and more an experience that views the subject as a product of larger social, political and economic structures. Place and subjective identity have been divorced. Hence, literary representations depicted individuals as out of place, both spatially and temporally. Spatially, individuals could not find a place that offered identity as well as freedom, a sense of meaning and significance outside of socio-economic forces. Efforts to imagine such a place ultimately failed, as in Velten Andres’ futile efforts to free himself from place in Raabe’s novel, in Fontane’s depiction of Botho and Lena’s interrupted visit to Hankel’s Depot, or in Keller’s unsuccessful plan for the conflicts in his novel to find resolution on a mountainside. These failed efforts to find an ideal locale produced a sense of temporal exhaustion as well. This was a sense of resignation, the belief that place

Conclusion 215 no longer held currency and that efforts to regain it were futile. From Frau Fencing Master Feucht’s preservation of German romanticism in Raabe’s Akten des Vogelsangs [Files of Birdsong], to Generalin Wedell’s efforts to assert an outdated morality in Fontane’s Irrungen Wirrungen [Delusions Confusions], to Myrrha as the feeble-minded representative of outdated classical ideals in Keller’s Martin Salander, these texts link efforts to turn back to the past with isolation, obsolescence and instability. Late realism relegated ideal places to remote areas, void of human contact, or to an irretrievable past. This tendency is evident in Theodor Fontane’s final novel, Der Stechlin [The Stechlin] (1897), which I discuss briefly to emphasize how, by the end of the century, representation of place had changed from the early realists such as Stifter and the young Raabe. Fontane’s novel describes Lake Stechlin, a mystical place that contrasts with the displacing forces of modernity around it. Fontane invests this fictional place with so much relation and connection to other places that there is ironically no room left for humans. Place becomes a means of connection and a site of transformation, but humans are incidental to it. Fontane described the plot of the novel in a letter to Adolf Hoffmann: “But the story that is told. What a sham! At the end an old man dies and two young people get married; that is essentially all that happens in 500 pages. There’s nothing to find of complications and resolutions, of conflicts of the heart or conflicts at all, or of tension and surprises.”1 In other words, little of historical significance happens, other than the socialists’ defeat of the landed aristocracy in an election. Fontane stated: “Individuals meet on the one hand on an old-fashioned estate in Brandenburg, on the other in a newfangled count’s house in Berlin, and discuss thoroughly God and the world. Everything is conversation, dialogue, in which the characters present themselves and with them the story.”2 The setting shifts between various places—the old aristocratic country estate, the new urban dwelling of a baron, a dilapidated convent of aging nuns—and the novel associates each with phenomena of displacement such as the waning landed aristocracy and Berlin’s growing immigrant population. Places in 1

Fontane an Adolf Hoffmann (Berlin, Mai/Juni 1897). Cited in Theodor Fontane, Dichter über ihre Dichtungen, ed. Richard Brinkmann, 2 vols., Vol. 2 (Munich: Heimeran, 1973), 474. “Aber die Geschichte, das, was erzählt wird. Die Mache! Zum Schluß stirbt ein Alter, und zwei Junge heiraten sich; – das ist so ziemlich alles, was auf 500 Seiten geschieht. Von Verwicklungen und Lösungen, von Herzenskonflikten oder Konflikten überhaupt, von Spannungen und Überraschungen findet sich nichts.” [My translation] 2 Ibid., 474–5. “Einerseits auf einem altmodischen märkischen Gut, andrerseits in einem neumodischen gräflichen Hause (Berlin) treffen sich verschiedene Personen und sprechen da Gott und die Welt durch. Alles Plauderei, Dialog, in dem sich die Charaktere geben, und mit ihnen die Geschichte.” [My translation]

216  Out of Place the novel mark their own ephemerality, serving only as a background for the numerous conversations that occur in them. The exception to this treatment of places is the representation of The Stechlin, a lake on the Stechlin family estate. Fontane imbues this place with mystical significance. He emphasized the importance of this lake to the novel in a letter to Carl Lessing: “The novel is about this lake, even though it only appears at the beginning and the end with about 5 lines. It is the leitmotif.”3 The novel begins with a description of the lake, which culminates in the following: Alles still hier. Und doch, von Zeit zu Zeit wird es an eben dieser Stelle lebendig. Das ist, wenn es weit draußen in der Welt, sei’s auf Island, sei’s auf Java, zu rollen und zu grollen beginnt oder gar der Aschenregen der hawaiischen Vulkane bis weit auf die Südsee hinausgetrieben wird. Dann regt sich’s auch hier, und ein Wasserstrahl springt auf und sinkt wieder in die Tiefe. Das wissen alle, die den Stechlin umwohnen, und wenn sie davon sprechen, so setzen sie wohl auch hinzu: “Das mit dem Wasserstrahl, das ist nur das Kleine, das beinah Alltägliche; wenn’s aber draußen was Großes gibt, wie vor hundert Jahren in Lissabon, dann brodelt’s hier nicht bloß und sprudelt und strudelt, dann steigt statt des Wasserstrahls ein roter Hahn auf und kräht laut in die Lande hinein.” Everything is silence here. Yet from time to time at this very spot things do get lively. That happens when far off in the outside world, perhaps in Iceland or in Java, a rumbling and thundering begins, or when the ash rain of the Hawaiian volcanoes is driven far out over the southern seas. Then things start heaving at this spot, too, and a waterspout erupts and then sinks down once more into the depths. All of those living around Lake Stechlin know of it and whenever they bring it up they’re almost always likely to add, “That business about the water jet’s hardly anything at all, practically an everyday occurrence. But when something big’s going on outside, like a hundred years ago in Lisbon, then the water doesn’t just seethe and bubble and swirl around. Instead, when the likes of that happens, a red rooster comes up in place of the geyser and crows so loudly it can be heard over the whole countryside.”4 3 Fontane an Carl Robert Lessing (Karlsbad, 8. Juni, 1896). Ibid., 471. “Um diesen See handelt es sich, trotzdem er nur zu Anfang und zu Ende mit etwa 5 Zeilen vorkommt. Er ist das Leitmotiv.” [My translation] 4 Theodor Fontane, Der Stechlin (Frankfurt: Insel, 1975), 11. Theodor Fontane, The Stechlin, trans.William L. Zwiebel (Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1995), 1. All translations of Der Stechlin cite this translation. Permission courtesy of Camden House.

Conclusion 217 The lake is connected to distant corners of the earth and produces a sign (either a waterspout or a loudly crowing red rooster) to indicate that something has changed in the outside world. Yet the message conveyed by Fontane’s Lake Stechlin is not immediately legible. It indicates that something has happened, but does not convey what has happened. Nor do we know for whom this message is intended. Despite its illegibility, and despite its infrequent appearance in the text, the lake is the predominant leitmotif of the novel according to Fontane. The lake represents a connection with the outside world. In a discussion with the baron’s daughter Melusine, Woldemar Stechlin claims that the lake has “Weltbeziehungen, vornehme, geheimnisvolle Beziehungen” [Connections with the world …, high-placed, mysterious connections],5 and continues that: Er steht mit den höchsten und allerhöchsten Herrschaften, deren genealogischer Kalendar noch über den Gothaischen hinauswächst, auf du und du. Und wenn es in Java oder auf Island rumort oder der Geiser mal in Doppelhöhe dämpft und springt, dann springt auch in unserm Stechlin ein Wasserstrahl auf, und einige (wenn es auch noch niemand gesehen hat), einige behaupten sogar, in ganz schweren Fällen erscheine zwischen den Strudeln ein roter Hahn und krähe hell und weckend in die Ruppiner Grafschaft hinein. Ich nenne das vornehme Beziehungen. It is on a close personal basis with the highest and most exclusive circles, those whose genealogical pedigree far exceeds anything you’ll find in the Alamanac de Gotha. Because when things start rumbling out in Java or in Iceland, or some geyser starts steaming and shoots up twice its normal height, then a jet of water shoots up in our Stechlin as well, and there are some—even if no one has ever seen it yet—some [who] even say that in really important cases a red cockerel appears amidst the waves and crows clear and far to awaken the whole of Ruppin County. I call those highplaced connections.6 Throughout the novel, Fontane emphasizes the demise in modernity of “connections” or relationships and the “personal basis” that the lake preserves. The telegraph, invoked in the poles that frame the landscapes elsewhere in the novel, reduces not only levels of formality but also a sense of belonging and connectedness. Similarly, the burgeoning democratic system, reflected in the socialists’ election victory, breaks down the relations between classes and social groups which had 5 Der Stechlin, 159 / The Stechlin, 111. 6 Ibid.

218  Out of Place previously served as sources of identity and security. Fontane demonstrates that the new means of connecting the world by technology and politics disrupt relationships as they were previously constituted. He counters the dissociation of physical place and social place with a concrete, natural place that is laden with associations and connections—hence the significance of Lake Stechlin, a specific place where one is also connected to the most important events in the world. Yet the nature of this connection is unclear. On a semantic level, one is connected to a place, but cannot interpret the information it brings from distant sources. And on a phenomenological level, one recognizes that human experience plays little or no role in this connection. The anthropomorphic language associated with the lake—“close personal basis,” “genealogical calendar”—suggests human interactions, yet we learn that humans do not have to be present for these connections to occur. Woldemar implies that no one has actually seen the renowned rooster. It is as if places in nature are connected to each other in a social manner, yet are wholly independent of human society, as if this connectedness survives only in nature and has become lost for humans. The concluding sentence of Fontane’s novel—“es ist nicht nötig, daß die Stechline weiterleben, aber es lebe der Stechlin” [It is not necessary that the Stechlins live on forever, but long live the Stechlin]7—reaffirms this idea. It recognizes the inevitability of the changes associated with modernity, but it also expresses a nostalgic and perhaps futile desire that a sense of place, connection and habitation will somehow withstand the revolutions of modernity. It does so, however, by indicating that the individuals involved, the Stechlins, are not necessary to such a notion of place: only the place itself, here in the form of this mystical lake, can preserve connectedness. In the lake, Fontane saves a concept of place by shifting from an individual, human scale to a geological, worldwide scale that eclipses individuals. Fontane’s Der Stechlin is an endpoint for German realism’s relationship to place. It represents place and human experience as wholly separate. With the ascendance of modernity, efforts to retain an earlier conception of place or to find an ideal place result in the loss of something essentially human—either a sense of freedom or human beings themselves, as in Der Stechlin. That humanity gets lost in the very efforts meant to preserve it reflects the perception that, in realism, an intimate connection to place disappeared from embodied experience and was relegated to the realm of representation. Place could endure only in an idealized, nostalgic portrayal, an inferior compensation for the perceived loss of connection to locale. Stated differently, the identificatory function of place gave way to the ideological construction and control of space. The bond between 7

Der Stechlin, 459 / The Stechlin, 329.

Conclusion 219 individuals and place loosened, even ruptured, as evidenced in Fontane’s Stechlin, yet the bond between place and concerns such as politics, economics, and society became ever stronger. The tensions and forces involved in this shift during realism played out in the subsequent century, and place became less a reflection of the subject and more a reflection of the society. That the individual connection to place has been lost is evident in Heidegger’s stance in “Bauen Wohnen Denken” [“Building Dwelling Thinking”] where he posits an individual, identificatory conception of place (however ideal and unattainable) as distinct from the prevailing notion of place at the time of his essay’s publication (1951). Heidegger asserts that the real housing crisis is not a product of housing shortages (a social, economic, and political phenomenon), but of a lack of knowing how to dwell—that is, of how to develop a relationship to place on an individual level, to experience being. Heidegger sets himself against interpretations of space as a product of social, economic and political forces. The “spatial turn” of the late twentieth century also grew out of the tendency in late realism to regard place as bound primarily to political, social and economic forces. This trend has been most evident among Marxist or Marxist-influenced scholars. Michel Foucault in Discipline and Punish (1975, trans. 1978) describes how a city would be divided and surveyed during the plague to prevent the spread of the disease, or how Jeremy Bentham creates a space with the panopticon where prisoners internalize their own surveillance. In both instances, Foucault traces “the penetration of regulation into even the smallest details of everyday life through the mediation of the complete hierarchy that assured the capillary functioning of power; not masks that were put on and taken off, but the assignment to each individual of his ‘true’ name, his ‘true’ place, his ‘true’ body, his ‘true’ disease.”8 Along with body, identity and pathology, place becomes a tool of power at the smallest, “capillary” level. Similarly, Henri Lefebvre asserts in The Production of Space (1974, trans. 1991) that space is one of the tools that a hegemonic class employs to ensure its dominance: “(Social) space is a (social) product. … the space thus produced also serves as a tool of thought and of action; that in addition to being a means of production it is also a means of control, and hence of domination, of power; yet that, as such, it escapes in part from those who would make use of it.”9 Place is a social construction and it reflects and enforces the class relations of its era. 8 Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish. The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Vintage Books, 1979), 192. 9 Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1991), 26.

220  Out of Place Yet Lefebvre is somewhat more nuanced than Foucault in this regard, as he allows that the dominant power never manages to master it completely, as Foucault implies is the case. Lefebvre also distinguishes more carefully between “spatial practice,” “representations of space” and “representational spaces” to demonstrate how power functions within the different types of space and how these are interrelated.10 Edward Soja, another significant figure in the “spatial turn,” likewise recognized the bond between space and power. His work in the early 1970s analyzed the political organization of space “as a product of the attempt by human societies and their institutions to control and direct the key political processes of competition, conflict and cooperation.”11 In his later work he builds on this more traditional Marxist approach and engages with Foucault and, in particular, with Lefebvre to deconstruct historicism by spatializing history—that is, by highlighting the essential role that space played in the formation of cities, states and the world.12 I list these various theorists briefly to highlight a commonality shared by such approaches to space and place. For as diverse as these theories are, they each echo an understanding of space as a means of constriction, subjugation and control. In experiencing space, individuals experience their confinement within a discourse, a class hierarchy, or some other system of power. There are some critics, however, who have attempted to modify this understanding, to find a way to make space not only restricting, but also liberating or even revolutionary. These include Deleuze and Guattari (discussed in chapter 3) and Michel de Certeau. Deleuze and Guattari’s differentiation between striated and smooth spaces identifies smooth spaces as allowing—however temporarily—escape from and disruption of the hierarchical systems reflected in the striated spaces; smooth spaces disrupt the kinds of spaces described by Foucault and Lefebvre. De Certeau describes the relationship of space and power in terms of strategies and tactics. For De Certeau, strategies are “actions which, thanks to the establishment of a place of power (the property of a proper), elaborate theoretical places (systems and totalizing discourses) capable of articulating an ensemble of physical places in which forces are distributed.”13 Places are the sites of power that enable strategies, 10 Ibid., 33. 11 Edward W. Soja, The Political Organization of Space, Commission on College Geography, Resource Paper No. 8 (Association of American Geographers: Washington, DC, 1971), 37. 12 See, for example, Edward W. Soja, Postmodern Geographies. The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory (New York: Verso, 1989). 13 Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Rendall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984), 38.

Conclusion 221 and strategies work to expand and disseminate this power in other places. The counterpart to strategies are tactics, which de Certeau associates with the use one makes of the place, system or strategy in which one is bound. A tactic is defined as “a calculated action determined by the absence of a proper locus. … it must play on and with a terrain imposed on it and organized by the law of a foreign power.”14 Tactics allow an individualized response that can temporarily disrupt places of power: “It must vigilantly make use of the cracks that particular conjunctions open in the surveillance of the proprietary powers. It poaches in them. It creates surprises in them. It can be where it is least expected. It is a guileful ruse.”15 For de Certeau, power is associated with space, whereas the temporary disruption of power is bound to action—that is, to time.16 Such actions subvert place as a tool of power. I find Deleuze and Guattari and de Certeau intriguing because their approaches reflect a desire to redeem for place a moment of autonomy, a means to escape restriction and political control. It is a more optimistic expression of the same longing in German realism, without the sense of resignation. For Deleuze and Guattari and de Certeau, being out of place gives individuals the potential to effect change or at least to subvert the dominant power. These theorists find in place the possibility for resistance and thus for a degree of meaning, individuality or autonomy that other theorists associated with the “spatial turn” might neglect. The tension within political theories of place reflects a larger debate between political approaches to place and phenomenological approaches to place (as represented by Heidegger, Tuan and Casey) discussed elsewhere in this study. On the one hand, place is a product of and a tool for power to control individuals; on the other, it is associated with meaning, identity, memory, ideals and autonomy. In these two poles, there is a contrast between a form of materialism and a type of idealism, a conflict that motivated German realist literary production. The struggle between these extremes reflects an effort to recognize individual experience and the longing for meaning and ideals, while at the same time acknowledging the pressures of class, economics and changing demographic relationships. Raabe, Fontane and Keller each represented the pull of these conflicting forces and represented the tension between them in their novels. Whether in Karl Krumhardt’s vacillations between Velten Andres’ nomadic asceticism and the demands of his own bourgeois family, in Botho von Rienäcker’s concession to the forces of his 14 Ibid., 37. 15 Ibid. 16 Ibid., 38–9.

222  Out of Place aristocratic background even as he sees a modern world eclipsing his way of life, or in Marie Salander’s anti-fairy tale of a magical people who try to preserve bygone eras in souvenir-like objects, each author portrayed individuals coming to terms with the vicissitudes of modernity. They recognized the inevitability of historical change, but still yearned to preserve a degree of humanity. Although German realists were unable to resolve this conflict adequately, their focus on place highlighted this tension, which has since become fundamental to our modern and post-modern world. The debates about place that we now witness in analyses of nationalism, transnationalism, urban centers and environmental concerns (to name but a few) seem unique to our world, yet they are the extension of a trajectory that was already evident in German realism, in which place, as a source of identification and meaning, gives way to space as a site of external control and lost individuality.


Adorno, Theodor. “Über epische Naivetät.” In Schriften II. Noten zur Literatur, edited by Rolf Tiedemann, 34–40. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1984. Ames, Eric, Marcia Klotz and Lora Wildenthal, (eds) Germany’s Colonial Pasts. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska, 2005. Anderson, Benedict R. O’G. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. New York: Verso, 2006. Arendt, Dieter. “Auf der Bühne des Welttheaters.” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1983): 7–32. Auerbach, Berthold. Ausgewählte Werke. 3 vols. Berlin: P. Oestergaard, 1912. Auerbach, Erich. Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature. Translated by Willard R. Trask. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953. Augé, Marc. Non-Places. An Introduction to Supermodernity. Translated by John Howe. New York: Verso, 2008. Bade, James N. Fontane’s Landscapes. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2009. Bae, Jeong-Hee. Erfahrung der Moderne und Formen des realistischen Romans: Eine Untersuchung zu soziogenetischen und romanpoetologischen Aspekten in den späten Romanen von Raabe, Fontane und Keller. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2000. Bärtschi, Hans-Peter. Industrialisierung, Eisenbahnschlachten und Städtebau: Die Entwicklung des Zürcher Industrie- und Arbeiterstadtteils Aussersihl; Ein vergleichender Beitrag zur Architektur- und Technikgeschichte. Basel: Birkhäuser, 1983. Beck, Ulrich. Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. Translated by Mark Ritter. London: Sage Publications, 1992. Becker, Sabine. “Chronist der städtischen Moderne: Wilhelm Raabes Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse.” In Thielking, Raabe-Rapporte, 81–104. Benjamin, Walter. The Arcades Project. Translated by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999. —Gesammelte Schriften. Edited by Rolf Tiedemann and Hermann Schweppenhäuser. 7 vols. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1991. —The Origin of German Tragic Drama. Translated by John Osborne. New York: Verso, 1998. —The Writer of Modern Life: Essays on Charles Baudelaire. Edited by Michael W. Jennings. Translated by Howard Eiland, Edmund Jephcott, Rodney Livingston and Harry Zohn. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006.

224 Bibliography Bennett, Benjamin. “The Absence of Drama in Nineteenth-Century Germany.” In German Literature of the Nineteenth Century, 1832–1899, edited by Clayton Koelb and Eric Downing, 157–81. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2005. Berman, Russell A. The Rise of the Modern German Novel: Crisis and Charisma. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986. Berndt, Frauke. Anamnesis: Studien zur Topik der Erinnerung in der erzählenden Literatur zwischen 1800 und 1900 (Moritz – Keller – Raabe). Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1999. Bertschik, Julia. Maulwurfsarchäologie. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1995. Biella, Burkhard. “Ein Denkweg an den anderen Anfang des Wohnens. Eine Interpretation von Heideggers Vortrag ‘Bauen Wohnen Denken.’” In Bauen und Wohnen. Martin Heideggers Grundlegung einer Phänomenologie der Architektur / Building and Dwelling. Martin Heideggers Foundation of a Phenomenology of Architecture, edited by Eduard Führ, 53–77. Münster: Waxman, 2000. Böhmert, Victor. Beiträge zur Fabrikgesetzgebung: Untersuchung und Bericht über die Lage der Fabrikarbeiter, erstattet an die Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft des Kantons Zürich. Zürich: Schabelitz’sche Buchhandlung, 1868. Bolliger, Bruno. Mensch und Landschaft: Eine Studie zu den Werken Gottfried Kellers. Aarau: Sauerländer, 1961. Bottigheimer, Ruth. Fairy Tales. A New History. Albany: State University of New York, 2009. Brand, Jürgen. “Strukturelle Symmetrien in Raabes ‘Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse.’” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1983): 49–58. Brinkmann, Richard. Wirklichkeit und Illusion: Studien über Gehalt und Grenzen des Begriffs Realismus für die erzählende Dichtung des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1966. Casey, Edward S. The Fate of Place. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. —Getting Back into Place: Toward a Renewed Understanding of the Place-World. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993. Certeau, Michel de. The Practice of Everyday Life. Translated by Steven Rendall. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984. Chandler, Tertius. Four Thousand Years of Urban Growth: An Historical Census. Lewiston, NY: St. David’s University Press, 1987. Charbon, Remy. “Fremde im eigenen Land: Heimatlose in der Schweizer Literatur des 19. Jahrhunderts.” In Begegnung mit dem “Fremden:” Grenzen – Traditionen – Vergleiche; Akten des VIII. Internationalen Germanisten-Kongresses, Tokyo 1990, edited by Eijiroˉ Iwasaki, 160–8. Vol. 11. München: Iudicium, 1991. Chickering, Roger. We Men Who Feel Most German: A Cultural Study of the Pan-German League, 1886–1914. Boston: George Allen & Unwin, 1984. Clauswitz, Paul. Die Städteordnung von 1808 und die Stadt Berlin. Berlin: Julius Springer, 1908. Reprint, Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1986. Cosgrove, Denis. Mappings. London: Reaktion Books, 1999. Cowan, Bainard. “Walter Benjamin’s Theory of Allegory.” New German Critique, no. 22 (1981): 109–22. Cusack, Andrew. The Wanderer in Nineteenth-Century German Literature. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2008. Daemmrich, Horst S. “Realismus.” In Geschichte der deutschen Literatur 3. Vom Realismus bis zur Gegenwartsliteratur, edited by Ehrhard Bahr, 1–88. 2nd edn. Tübingen: A. Francke Verlag, 1998. —Wilhelm Raabe. Boston: Twayne, 1981.

Bibliography 225 Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Translated by Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987. Denkler, Horst. “‘In Berlin nicht zu ermitteln’: Berlin im Leben Wilhelm Raabes.” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1988): 9–23. Di Maio, Irene S. “Nochmals zu den ‘Akten’: Sphinx, Indianerprinzessin, Nilschlange.” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1987): 228–42. Döring, Jörg and Tristan Thielman, (eds) Spatial Turn: Das Raumparadigma in den Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2008. Downing, Eric. Double Exposures: Repetition and Realism in Nineteenth-Century German Fiction. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000. Eberstadt, Rudolph. “Berliner Communalreform.” In Preußische Jahrbücher. Vol. 70, edited by Hans Delbrück, 577–610. Berlin: Georg Reimer, 1892. —Handbuch des Wohnungswesens und der Wohnungsfrage. 2nd edn. Jena: Gustav Fischer, 1910. Emrich, Wilhelm. “Personalität und Zivilisation in Wilhelm Raabes ‘Die Akten des Vogelsangs.’” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1982): 7–25. Engels, Friedrich. “Zur Wohnungsfrage.” In Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA), edited by Institut für Marxismus-Leninismus, 3–81. Vol. 24. Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1984. Fahrni, Dieter. Schweizer Geschichte: Ein historischer Abriss von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart. Zürich: Pro Helvetia, 1982. Fairley, Barker. Wilhelm Raabe: An Introduction to his Novels. London: Oxford, 1961. Fehl, Gerhard. “Englischer Arbeiterwohnungsbau und Berliner Baublockreform um 1890.” In Berlin: Von der Residenzsstadt zur Industriemetropole. Vol. 1, Aufätze: Die Entwicklung der Industriestadt Berlin: das Beispiel Moabit, edited by Karl Schwarz, 279–303. Berlin: Gesellschaft von Freunden der Technischen Universität Berlin in Verbindung mit der Universitätsbibliothek der TUB/Abt. Publikationen, 1981. Finney, Gail. “Poetic Realism, Naturalism, and the Rise of the Novella.” In Koelb and Downing, German Literature of the Nineteenth Century, 117–36. Fisher, Jaimey and Barbara Mennel, (eds) Spatial Turns. Space, Place, and Mobility in German Literary and Visual Culture. New York: Rodopi, 2010. Folkers, Gernot. Besitz und Sicherheit: Über Entstehung und Zerfall einer bürgerlichen Illusion am Beispiel Goethes und Raabes. Kronberg/Ts.: Scriptor Verlag, 1976. Fontane, Theodor. Delusions, Confusions and The Poggenpul Family. Edited by Peter Demetz. Translated by William L. Zwiebel. New York: Continuum, 1989. —Dichter über ihre Dichtungen II. Edited by Richard Brinkmann. München: Heimeran Verlag, 1973. —On Tangled Paths. Translated by Peter James Bowman. London: Angel Books, 2011. —Sämtliche Werke. Vol. 3. Edited by Edgar Gross. München: Nymphenburger Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1959. —Sämtliche Werke. Vol. 9. Edited by Edgar Gross. München: Nymphenburger Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1963. —Der Stechlin. Frankfurt: Insel, 1975. —The Stechlin. Translated by William L. Zwiebel. Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1995. —“Unsere lyrische und epische Poesie seit 1848.” In Deutsche Annalen zur Kenntnis der Gegenwart und Erinnerung an die Vergangenheit, edited by Karl Biedermann, 353–77. Leipzig: Avernarius & Mendelssohn, 1853.

226 Bibliography Foucault, Michel. The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978–1979. Edited by Michel Senellart. Translated by Graham Burchell. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. —Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Translated by Alan Sheridan. New York: Vintage Books, 1979. François, Louise von. Die letzte Reckenbürgerin. Berlin: Deutsche Buch-Gemeinschaft, 1926. Freytag, Gustav. Soll und Haben. Leipzig: Manuscriptum, 2002. Friedrichsmeyer, Sara, Sara Lennox and Susanne Zantop, (eds) The Imperialist Imagination: German Colonialism and Its Legacy. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1998. Furst, Lillian R. All is True: The Claims and Strategies of Realist Fiction. Durham: Duke University Press, 1995. Garland, Henry. The Berlin Novels of Theodor Fontane. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980. Geisler, Eberhard. “Abschied vom Herzensmuseum: Die Auflösung des Poetischen Realismus in Wilhelm Raabes Akten des Vogelsangs.” In Lensing and Peter, Wilhelm Raabe: Studien zu seinem Leben und Werk, 364–80. Geist, Johann Friedrich and Klaus Kürvers. Das Berliner Mietshaus I: 1740–1862. München: Prestel-Verlag, 1980. —Das Berliner Mietshaus II: 1862–1945. München: Prestel-Verlag, 1993. Gnam, Andrea. “Melancholische Topographie aus Fluchtlinien und Orgen: Vom unwiederbringlichen Zauber heimatlicher Festungen; Zu Wilhelm Raabes Die Akten des Vogelsangs und Unruhige Gäste.” In Thielking, Raabe-Rapporte, 105–18. Gotthelf, Jeremias. Jeremias Gotthelfs Werke. Edited by Walter Muschg. 20 vols. Basel: Birkhäuser, 1948. Gradmann, Stefan. Topographie / Text: Zur Funktion räumlicher Modellbildung in den Werken von Adalbert Stifter und Franz Kafka. Frankfurt: Anton Hain, 1990. Graef, Eva. “Martin Salander”: Politik und Poesie in Gottfried Kellers Gründerzeitroman. Würzburg: Königsghausen & Neumann, 1992. Gurlitt, Cornelius. Im Bürgerhause: Plaudereien über Kunst, Kunstgewerbe und Wohungs-Ausstattung. Dresden: Gilbers’sche Königl. Hof-Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1888. Guthke, Karl S. “Gideon ist nicht besser als Botho: Gesellschaftlicher Wandel in Fontanes Irrungen, Wirrungen.” In Das schwierige neunzehnte Jahrhundert, edited by Jürgen Barkhoff, Gilbert Carr and Roger Paulin, 287–99. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 2000. Gutzkow, Karl. “Der Roman des Nebeneinander.” In Romanpoetik in Deutschland: Von Hegel bis Fontane, edited by Hartmut Steinecke, 113–16. Gunter Narr Verlag: Tübingen, 1984. Haas, Rosemarie. “Einige Überlegungen zur Intertextualität in Raabes Spätwerk: Am Beispiel der Romane ‘Das Odfeld’ und ‘Die Akten des Vogelsangs,’” Jahrbuch der Raabe Gesellschaft (1997): 103–22. Harenberg, Bodo, ed. Die Chronik Berlins. 2nd edn. Dortmund: Chronik Verlag, 1991. Harries, Karsten. “In Search of Home.” In Bauen und Wohnen. Martin Heideggers Grundlegung einer Phänomenologie der Architektur / Building and Dwelling. Martin Heideggers Foundation of a Phenomenology of Architecture. Edited by Eduard Führ. 101–20. Münster: Waxman, 2000. Hegemann, Werner, ed. Der Städtebau nach den Ergebnissen der allgemeinen Städtebau-Ausstellung in Berlin nebst einem Anhang: Die Internationale StädtebauAusstellung in Düsseldorf. Vol. 1. Berlin: Ernst Wasmuth, 1911.

Bibliography 227 —Das steinerne Berlin: Geschichte der größten Mietskasernenstadt der Welt. Berlin: Verlag von Gustav Kiepenheuer, 1930. Heidegger, Martin. “Bauen Wohnen Denken.” In Gesamtausgabe, I. Abteilung. Vol. 7, Vorträge und Aufsätze, 145–64. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 2000. —“Building Dwelling Thinking.” In Poetry, Language, Thought, translated by Albert Hofstadter, 145–61. New York: Harper & Row, 1971. Helbling, Hanno, Hans C. Peyer and Walter Schauferlberger, (eds) Handbuch der Schweizer Geschichte. Vol. 2. Zürich: Verlag Berichthaus, 1977. Helmers, Hermann, ed. Raabe in neuer Sicht. Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1968. Helmers, Hermann. “Die Verfremdung als epische Grundtendenz im Werk Raabes.” Jahrbuch der Raabe Gesellschaft (1963): 7–30. Henderson, W.O. The German Colonial Empire: 1884–1919. London: Frank Cass, 1993. Hertling, Gunter H. “Poetische ‘Silberblicke’ (GK) innerhalb nüchterner Gegenwartsrealistik: Gottfried Kellers Zeitroman ‘Martin Salander’ (1886).” In Poetische Wirklichkeitsgestaltung: Essays zum Erzählwerk Gottfried Kellers und Konrad Ferdinand Meyers, edited by Gunter H. Hertling, 9–46. Berlin: Weidler, 2007. Herzberg, Ursula. Geschichte der Berliner Wohnungswirtschaft unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der gemeinnützigen (Klein-) Wohnungswirtschaft. PhD diss., Freie Universität Berlin, 1957. Hettche, Walter. “Irrungen, Wirrungen: Sprachbewußtsein und Menschlichkeit; Die Sehnsucht nach den ‘einfachen Formen.’” In Interpretationen: Fontanes Novellen und Romane, edited by Christian Grawe, 136–56. Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam, 1991. Hildt, Friedrich. Gottfried Keller: Literarische Verheißung und Kritik der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft im Romanwerk. Bonn: Bouvier, 1978. Hillebrand, Bruno. Mensch und Raum im Roman: Studien zu Keller, Stifter, Fontane. Munich: Winkler, 1971. Holt, Randall. “History as Trauma: The Absent Ground of Meaning in Irrungen, Wirrungen.” In New Approaches to Theodor Fontane: Cultural Codes in Flux, edited by Marion Doebeling, 99–155. Columbia, SC: Camden House, 2000. Holub, Robert C. Reflections of Realism: Paradox, Norm and Ideology in NineteenthCentury German Prose. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991. Howe, Patricia. “Reality and Imagination in Fontane’s Irrungen, Wirrungen.” German Life and Letters 38, no. 4 (July 1985): 346–56. Im Hof, Ulrich. Geschichte der Schweiz und der Schweizer. Vol. 3. Basel: Helbig und Lichtenhahn, 1986. Jakobson, Roman. “Two Aspects of Language and Two Types of Disturbance.” In On Language, edited by Linda Waugh and Monique Monville-Burston, 115–33. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990. Kahrmann, Cordula. Idyll im Roman: Theodor Fontane. Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 1973. Kaiser, Gerhard. “‘Marienfrau’ und verkehrte Männerwelt: Gottfried Kellers verkanntes Alterswerk Martin Salander.” In Der unzeitgemäße Held in der Weltliteratur, edited by Gerhard Kaiser, 149–73. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1998. —“‘Martin Salander’ oder die Muse des Realismus.” In Gottfried Keller: Das gedichtete Leben, edited by Gerhard Kaiser, 578–97. Frankfurt am Main: Insel, 1981. Kant, Immanuel. Kritik der reinen Vernunft. Edited by Raymund Schmidt. Hamburg: Felix Meiner: 1990.

228 Bibliography Keller, Gottfried. Martin Salander. Translated by Kenneth Halwas. London: John Calder, 1963. —Mein lieber Herr und bester Freund: Gottfried Keller im Briefwechsel mit Wilhelm Petersen. Edited by Irmgard Smidt. Stäfa (Zürich): Th. Gut & Co., 1984. —Sämtliche Werke: Historisch-Kritische Ausgabe. Edited by Walther Morgenthaler. Vol. 8, Martin Salander, edited by Thomas Binder, Karl Grob, Peter Stocker and Walther Morgenthaler. Zürich: Stroemfeld, 2004. —Sämtliche Werke: Historisch-Kritische Ausgabe. Edited by Walther Morgenthaler. Vol. 24, Martin Salander: Apparat zu Band 8, edited by Thomas Binder, Karl Grob, Peter Stocker and Walther Morgenthaler. Zürich: Stroemfeld, 2004. Kindermann, Manfred. “Subjektkonstitution als Entfremdung. Implizites psychologisches Wissen in Raabes Roman ‘Die Akten des Vogelsangs.’” Jahrbuch der Raabe Gesellschaft (2000): 103–21. Kittstein, Ulrich. “Martin Salander.” In Gottfried Keller, edited by Ulrich Kittstein, 182–97. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2008. Klotz, Volker. Die erzählte Stadt: Ein Sujet als Herausforderung des Romans von Lesage bis Döblin. München: Carl Hanser Verlag, 1969. Knoll, Arthur J. and Lewis H. Gann, (eds) Germans in the Tropics: Essays in German Colonial History. New York: Greenwood, 1987. Koelb, Clayton, and Eric Downing, (eds) German Literature of the Nineteenth Century, 1832–1899. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2005. Koll, Rolf-Dieter. Raumgestaltung bei Wilhelm Raabe. Bonn: Bouvier, 1977. Königlich Preußischer Minister der öffentlichen Arbeiten, ed. Berlin und seine Eisenbahnen: 1846–1896. Vol. 1. Berlin: Julius Springer, 1896. Kontje, Todd, ed. A Companion to German Realism, 1848–1900. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2002. Korff, Gottfried and Reinhard Rürup, (eds) Berlin, Berlin: Die Ausstellung zur Geschichte der Stadt. Berlin: Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1987. Krug, Wilhelm Traugott. Allgemeines Handwörterbuch der philosophischen Wissenschaften nebst ihrer Literatur und Geschichte. Vol. 1, A bis E. Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus, 1827. Kwon, Son-Hyoung. “Wilhelm Raabe als Schriftsteller des Grotesken: Zum Hochzeitsfest in ‘Christoph Pechlin’ und dem Plünderungsfest in ‘Die Akten des Vogelsangs.’” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1999): 71–94. Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space. Translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1991. Leister, Richard. “The Essential Quality of Spatial Depictions in Gottfried Keller’s Prose Fiction.” The Germanic Review 52, no. 3 (Summer 1982): 107–14. Lekan, Thomas. “German Landscape: Local Promotion of the Heimat Abroad.” In The Heimat Abroad: The Boundaries of Germanness, edited by Krista O’Donnell, Renate Bridenthal, and Nancy Reagin, 141–66. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2005. Lensing, Leo A. “Fairy Tales in the Novel: Generic Tension in Wilhelm Raabe’s Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse.” In Lensing and Peter, Wilhelm Raabe: Studien zu seinem Leben und Werk, 14–43. —“A Report on Raabe Scholarship in the United States: Dissertations and Books 1950–1981.” In Lensing and Peter, Wilhelm Raabe: Studien zu seinem Leben und Werk, 521–39. Lensing, Leo A. and Hans-Werner Peter, (eds) Wilhelm Raabe: Studien zu seinem Leben und Werk. Braunschweig: pp-Verlag, 1981.

Bibliography 229 Limlei, Michael. “Die Romanschlüsse in Wilhelm Raabes Romanen Stopfkuchen und Die Akten des Vogelsangs.” In Lensing and Peter, Wilhelm Raabe: Studien zu seinem Leben und Werk, 342–64. Lorenz, Albert. “Raabe und Berlin.” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1961): 40–52. Luck, J. Murray. A History of Switzerland: The First 100,000 Years; Before the Beginnings to the Days of the Present. Palo Alto, CA: Society for the Promotion of Science and Scholarship, 1985. Ludwig, Otto. Shakespeare-Studien: Mit einem Vorbericht und sachlichen Erläuterungen von Moritz Heydrich. Halle: Hermann Desenius, 1901. Lukács, Georg. Deutsche Realisten des 19. Jahrhunderts. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, 1952. —German Realists in the Nineteenth Century. Translated by Jeremy Gaines and Paul Keast. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993. —“Wilhelm Raabe.” In Helmers, Raabe in neuer Sicht, 44–73. Maatje, Frank C. “Der Raum als konstituierendes Moment in Wilhelm Raabes ‘Hungerpastor.’” In Helmers, Raabe in neuer Sicht, 185–91. Marschalck, Peter. Deutsche Überseewanderung im 19. Jahrhundert: Ein Beitrag zur soziologischen Theorie der Bevölkerung. Stuttgart: Klett, 1973. Martini, Fritz, ed. Deutsche Literatur im bürgerlichen Realismus. 1848–1898. Stuttgart: Metzler, 1962. Martini, Fritz. “Gottfried Keller.” In Deutsche Literatur im bürgerlichen Realismus, edited by F. Martini, 557–610. 2nd edn. Stuttgart: Metzler, 1981. —Die Stadt in der Dichtung Wilhelm Raabes. Greifswald: E. Panzig & Co., 1934. Marx, Karl. “Alienation and Social Classes.” In The Marx-Engels Reader, edited by Robert C. Tucker, 133–5. 2nd edn. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1978. Mason, Eve. Stifter: Bunte Steine. London: Grant & Cutler, 1986. McDonald, Edward. “The Family Legacy of Values as the Redemptive Rock of Ages in Stifter’s Granit.” Modern Language Studies 24, no.2 (Spring, 1994): 75–98. Merkel-Nipperdey, Margarete. Gottfried Kellers “Martin Salander:” Untersuchungen zur Struktur des Zeitromans. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1959. Meyer, Conrad Ferdinand. Sämtliche Werke in zwei Bänden. München: Winkler, 1968. Meyer, Hermann. “Raum und Zeit in Wilhelm Raabes Erzählkunst.” In Helmers, Raabe in neuer Sicht, 98–129. Meyer, Sven. “Narreteien ins Nichts: Intertextualität und Rollenmuster in Wilhelm Raabes ‘Die Akten des Vogelsangs.’” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1999): 95–111. Müller, Joachim. “‘Die Pechbrenner’ und ‘Kalkstein.’ Strukturanalysen einer Urfassung und einer Endfassung der Bunten Steine.” Vierteljahrsschrift des Adalbert Stifter-Institut des Landes Oberösterreich 15, no. 1 (1966): 1–22. —“Das Zitat im epischen Gefüge: Die Goethe-Verse in Raabes Erzählung ‘Die Akten des Vogelsangs.’” In Helmers, Raabe in neuer Sicht, 279–93. Müller, Karla. Schloßgeschichten: Eine Studie zum Romanwerk Theodor Fontanes. Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 1986. Müller-Seidel, Walter. Theodor Fontane: Soziale Romankunst in Deutschland. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1980. Muschg, Adolf. “Gottfried Keller: Martin Salander.” In Zu Gottfried Keller, edited by Hartmut Steinecke, 158–66. Stuttgart: E. Klett, 1984. Naranch, Bradley D. “Inventing the Auslandsdeutsche: Emigration, Colonial Fantasy, and German National Identity, 1848–71.” In Ames, Klotz and Wildenthal, Germany’s Colonial Pasts, 21–40.

230 Bibliography Neumann, Bernd. Gottfried Keller: Eine Einführung in sein Werk. Königstein/Ts.: Athenäum, 1982. Ohl, Hubert. Bild und Wirklichkeit: Studien zur Romankunst Raabes und Fontanes. Heidelberg: Lothar Stiehm, 1968. —“Eduards Heimkehr oder Le Vaillant und das Riesenfaultier: Zu Wihelm Raabes ‘Stopfkuchen.’” In Helmers, Raabe in neuer Sicht, 247–78. Passavant, Rudolf von. Zeitdarstellung und Zeitkritik in Gottfried Kellers “Martin Salander.” Bern: Francke, 1978. Peter, Hans-Werner. “Bericht über die Raabeforschung in Deutschland (1968–1981).” In Lensing and Peter, Wilhelm Raabe: Studien zu seinem Leben und Werk, 540–58. Pfau, Thomas. “Between Sentimentality and Phantasmagoria: Germany Lyric Poetry, 1830–1890.” In Koelb and Downing, German Literature of the Nineteenth Century, 207–48. Pizer, John. “Duplication, Fungibility, Dialectics and the ‘Epic Naiveté’ of Gottfried Keller’s Martin Salander.” Colloquia Germanica 25 (1992): 1–18. Preisendanz, Wolfgang. “Die Erzählstruktur als Bedeutungskomplex der ‘Akten des Vogelsangs.’” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft: Revisionen; Festschrift zum 150. Geburtstag Wilhelm Raabes (1981): 210–24. Propp, Vladimir. Morphology of the Folktale. Edited by Louis A. Wagner. Translated by Laurence Scott. Austin, TX: University of Texas, 1968. Prutti, Brigitte. “Zwischen Ansteckung und Auslöschung. Zur Seuchenerzählung bei Stifter – Die Pechbrenner versus Granit.” Oxford German Studies 37, no.1 (2008): 49–73. Raabe, Wilhelm. Sämtliche Werke. Vol. 1. Edited by Karl Hoppe. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1965. —Sämtliche Werke. Vol. 19. Edited by Karl Hoppe. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1957. —Sämtliche Werke: Ergänzungsband 2. Edited by Karl Hoppe. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1975. Ribbe, Wolfgang, ed. Geschichte Berlins. 2 vols. München: Beck, 1987. Richter, Helmut. “Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse.” In Helmers, Raabe in neuer Sicht, 312–16. Rigby, Kate. Topographies of the Sacred. The Poetics of Place in European Romanticism. Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 2004. Ritchie, Alexandra. Faust’s Metropolis: A History of Berlin. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1998. Ritchie, J. M. “The Place of ‘Martin Salander’ in Gottfried Keller’s Evolution as a Prose Writer.” Modern Language Review 52 (1957): 214–22. Ritter, Naomi. House and Individual: The House Motif in German Literature of the 19th Century. Stuttgart: Akademischer Verlag Hans-Dieter Heinz, 1977. Roebling, Irmgard. “Berliner Luft. Oder: Von Vögeln, Frauen, Philobaten in Raabes poetischem Universum.” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1987): 205–27. —Wilhelm Raabes doppelte Buchführung: Paradigma einer Spaltung. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1988. Roper, Katherine. German Encounters with Modernity: Novels of Imperial Berlin. New Jersey: Humanities Press International, Inc., 1991. Royer, Jean. “Leonie des Beaux und ihr Lied: Von Südfrankreich nach Berlin.” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1987): 243–55. Ruge, Arnold. “Idealismus und Realismus im Reich des Ideals – Als Vorläufer zu Schillers Hundertjährigem Geburtstage.” In Deutsches Museum: Zeitschrift für

Bibliography 231 Literatur, Kunst und öffentliches Leben. 8. Jahrgang, no. 15, edited by Robert Prutz. Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus, 1858. Sagarra, Eda. Tradition and Revolution: German Literature and Society 1830–1890. New York: Basic Books, 1971. Sammons, Jeffrey L. Wilhelm Raabe: The Fiction of the Alternative Community. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989. Sargent, Howard. “Diasporic Citizens. Germans Abroad in the Framing of German Citizenship Law.” In The Heimat Abroad: The Boundaries of Germanness, edited by Krista O’Donnell, Renate Bridenthal and Nancy Reagin, 17–39. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2005. Schaffner, Martin. Die demokratische Bewegung der 1860er Jahre: Beschreibung und Erklärung der Zürcher Volksbewegung von 1867. Basel: Helbing & Lichtenhahn, 1982. Scherpe, Klaus. “Ort oder Raum?: Fontanes literarische Topographien.” In Theodor Fontane, am Ende des Jahrhunderts: Internationales Symposium des TheodorFontane-Archivs zum 100. Todestag Theodor Fontanes, 13–17 September 1998 in Potsdam, edited by Hanna Delf von Wolzogen and Helmuth Nürnberger. Vol. 3, Geschichte, Vergessen, Großstadt, Moderne, 161–9. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2000. Schmidt, Julian. Bilder aus dem geistigen Leben unserer Zeit. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, 1870. —“Der neueste englische Roman und das Princip des Realismus.” In Roman und Romantheorie des deutschen Realismus, edited by Hans-Joachim Ruckhäberle and Helmuth Widhammer, 207–14. Kronberg: Athenäum Verlag, 1977. Schwabe, H. “Das Nomadenthum in der Berliner Bevölkerung.” Berliner Städtisches Jahrbuch für Volkswirtschaft und Statistik, edited by Dr H. Schwabe, 29–37. Vol. 1. Berlin: Leonhard Simion, 1874. Seyhan, Azade. “Allegories of History: The Politics of Representation in Walter Benjamin.” In Image and Ideology in Modern/Postmodern Discourse, edited by David B. Downing and Susan Bazargan, 231–48. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1991. Simmel, Georg. “The Metropolis and Mental Life.” In The Sociology of Georg Simmel, edited and translated by Kurt H. Wolff, 409–24. New York: The Free Press, 1950. Soja, Edward W. The Political Organization of Space, Resource Paper No. 8. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Geographers, 1971 —Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory. New York: Verso, 1989. Spencer, Lloyd. “Allegory in the World of the Commodity: The Importance of Central Park.” New German Critique 34 (Winter 1985): 59–77. Sprengel, Peter. “Interieur und Eigentum: Zur Soziologie bürgerlicher Subjektivität bei Wilhelm Raabe.” Jahrbuch der Jean-Paul Gesellschaft 9 (1974): 127–76. Statistisches Jahrbuch der Stadt Berlin: 34. Jahrgang, enthaltend die Statistik der Jahre 1915 bis 1919. Edited by H. Silbergleit. Berlin: P. Stankiewicz’ Buchdruckerei, 1920. Stifter, Adalbert. Werke und Briefe: Historisch-Kritische Gesamtausgabe. Edited by Alfred Doppler and Wolfgang Frühwald. Vol. 2. Stuttgart: Verlag W. Kohlhammer, 1982. Storm, Theodor. Sämtliche Werke in zwei Bänden. München: Winkler, 1951. Struck, Wolfgang. “See- und Mordgeschichten: Zur Konstruktion exotischer Räume in realistischen Erzähltexten.” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1999): 60–70.

232 Bibliography Swales, Martin and Erika Swales. Adalbert Stifter: A Critical Study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984. Szemkus, Karol. “Der Übergang zur industriellen Gesellschaft und der Kampf gegen die Zeit – ‘Das verlorene Lachen’ und ‘Martin Salander.’” In Gesellschaftlicher Wandel und sprachliche Form: Literatursoziologische Studie zur Dichtung Gottfried Kellers, edited by Karol Szemkus, 73–105. Stuttgart: Metzler, 1969. Tang, Chenxi. The Geographic Imagination of Modernity. Geography, Literature, and Philosophy in German Romanticism. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008. Thielking, Sigrid, ed. Raabe-Rapporte: Literaturwissenschaftliche und literaturdidaktische Zugänge zum Werk Wilhelm Raabes. Wiesbaden: Deutscher Universitätsverlag, 2002. Thienel, Ingrid. Städtewachstum im Industrialisierungsprozeß des 19. Jahrhunderts: Das Berliner Beispiel. Vol. 39. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1973. —“Verstädterung, städtische Infrastruktur und Stadtplanung: Berlin zwischen 1850 und 1914.” In Zeitschrift für Stadtgeschichte, Stadtsoziologie und Denkmalpflege 4, no.1 (1977): 55–84. Thunecke, Jörg. “‘Von dem was er sozialpolitisch war, habe ich keinen Schimmer’: Londoner ‘Kulturbilder’ in den Schriften Theodor Fontanes und Julius Fauchers.” In Exilanten und andere Deutsche in Fontanes London, edited by Peter Alter and Rudolf Muhs, 340–69. Stuttgart: Akademischer Verlag Hans-Dieter Heinz, 1996. Tuan, Yi-Fu. Space and Place. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1977. Twellmann, Marcus. “Bleibende Stelle: Zu Stifters ‘Granit.’” Zeitschrift für Deutsche Philologie 126, no. 2 (2007): 226–43. Voigt, Paul. Grundrente und Wohungsfrage in Berlin und seinen Vororten. Edited by Institut für Gemeinwohl zu Frankfurt a. M. Vol. 1. Jena: Gustav Fischer, 1901. Warf, Barney and Santa Arias. The Spatial Turn: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Routledge: New York, 2009. Webster, W. T. “Social Change and Personal Insecurity in the Late Novels of Wilhelm Raabe.” In Formen Realistischer Erzählkunst: Festschrift für Charlotte Jolles, edited by Jörg Thunecke, 233–43. Nottingham: Sherwood Press Agencies, 1979. Wietog, Jutta. “Berliner Wohnverhältnisse bis zur Gründung des Kaiserreiches.” In Berlin: Von der Residenzsstadt zur Industriemetropole. Vol. 1, Aufätze: Die Entwicklung der Industriestadt Berlin: das Beispiel Moabit, edited by Karl Schwarz, 273–8. Berlin: Gesellschaft von Freunden der Technischen Universität Berlin in Verbindung mit der Universitätsbibliothek der TUB/Abt. Publikationen, 1981. Wünsch, Marianne. “Eigentum und Familie: Raabes Spätwerk und Realismus.” Jahrbuch der deutschen Schillergesellschaft 31 (1987): 248–66. Zantop, Susanne. Colonial Fantasies: Conquest, Family, and Nation in Precolonial Germany, 1770–1870. Durham: Duke, 1997. Zeller, Christoph. “Zeichen des Bösen: Raabes ‘Die Akten des Vogelsangs’ und Jean Pauls ‘Titan.’” Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft (1999): 112–43. Zirbs, Wieland. Strukturen des Erzählens: Studien zum Spätwerk Wilhelm Raabes. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1986. Zuberbühler, Rolf. “‘Exzelsior’: Idealismus und Materialismus in Kellers und Fontanes politischen Altersroman ‘Martin Salander’ und ‘Der Stechlin.’” In Gottfried Keller und Theodor Fontane: Vom Realismus zur Moderne, edited by Ursula Amrein und Regina Dieterle, 87–112. Vol. 6. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2008.


Adorno, Theodor 13, 14, 185 alienation 10, 27, 108, 139 allegory Baroque and modern 186–7 definition of 184–8, 198 as erstarrte Unruhe 31, 172, 174, 187–8, 192, 199, 203, 207–13 in Martin Salander 30, 188–93, 196, 201, 203, 205, 209–10, 211, 214 modernity and 186–7 as souvenir 30, 172, 187–8, 198, 222 symbol and 180, 185–6, 188–9 Allgemeiner Deutscher Sprachverein 55 Anderson, Benedict 53, 171–2 anti-fairy tales 192, 198, 222 anti-idyll 157n. 56, 198, 199, 205 see also idyll Antimärchen see anti-fairy tales aristocracy 21–2, 47, 59–60, 163–4 conflict with the bourgeoisie 9, 21–2, 47, 138, 158, 160 decline of 9, 21, 164, 167, 215 modern financial 61 see also class Arminius (Comtess Adelheid Dohna-Doninski) 68–70 Arnim, Bettina von 59 Auerbach, Berthold (“Der Tollpatsch“) 20

Auerbach, Erich (Mimesis) 3, 11–12 Augé, Marc 2n. 1, 4n. 3 Bade, James N. 137, 150n. 48 Bärtschi, Hans-Peter 174–5 “Bauen, Wohnen, Denken” see Heidegger Baugesellschaften see building societies Beck, Ulrich 2n. 1 belonging, sense of see place Benjamin, Walter 6, 30, 172, 174, 184–9, 192, 195, 198, 214 The Arcades Project [Das Passagenwerk] 186 Central Park [Zentralpark] 186 On the Origin of German Tragic Drama [Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels] 185 see also allegory Berlin 29, 112, 122, 215 changes in the experience of place and 32–71, 106, 135 city planning in 39–41, 46–7, 51, 66–70 city wall 33, 37–8, 73 Fontane in 28–9, 135, 146 geographic expansion of 36–7 historical change in 32–53, 59–71, 106–7, 138, 147, 164, 167 housing crisis in 45–50, 74, 142–3 see also housing

234 Index immigration to 34–5, 37, 65, 109–10, 143, 155, 215 see also immigration Keller in 28, 172, 178 legal reforms in 34, 60 population density 49–50, 66, 155 population distribution, geographic 38 population growth of 33–7, 56, 106, 110, 142–3, 155 Raabe in 28–9, 73 river port 162 three-class voting system [Dreiklassenwahlrecht] in 60–1 see also city Berlin Non-Profit Building Society [Berliner gemeinnützige Baugesellschaft] 62–6 see also building societies; Huber Berman, Russell A. 13, 14, 136 Besitz see possessions biopower see Foucault Bismarck, Otto von 58, 93n. 56, 164n. 64, 168n. 72 German unification and 11, 163 Böhmert, Victor 175–6 Bottigheimer, Ruth 189n. 57 bourgeoisie conflict with the aristocracy 9, 21–2, 47, 138, 158, 160 conflict with the proletariat 9, 146 identity and place 29, 126, 144, 146 ideology 12–13, 21–2, 60, 62–6, 68, 107, 143–5 restrictions of 86, 124, 129, 131–2 see also class bourgeois realism see realism Brandenburg, Mark of 109–10, 148 Brinkmann, Richard 13 Büchner, Georg 192 “Building, Dwelling, Thinking” see Heidegger

building societies 42, 62 Berliner Gemeinnützige Baugesellschaft 62–6 see also Huber Deutscher Zentralbauverein 44 Quistorp, Heinrich 44 Bunte Steine see Stifter capitalism ideology 13, 21, 184 industrial 7, 9, 10, 12, 32–40, 74, 89, 93, 146, 148, 172 modernity and 186–8, 198, 207–8 shift from feudalism to 9, 12, 32–8, 74, 106, 149, 186, 207–8 urban 165–7, 199 Carstenn-Lichterfelde, Johann Anton Wilhelm von 43–4 Cartesian space 4, 5, 6 Casey, Edward 31, 142, 144, 151 place and space 7, 8–9, 53–4, 138–40, 147, 158 Certeau, Michel de 220–1 Chickering, Roger 55 citizenship Heimatberechtigte 171n. 6 in Berlin 60–1 in Switzerland 170, 171 laws 54–5, 60 national identity and 54–5 Schutzverwandten 60 city country and 10, 21, 77, 145, 160–4, 175, 182–3, 207–8 impersonal nature of 74–5, 78, 90 interiority as a response to 70, 75–6 planning 39–41, 46–7, 51, 62, 66–70 as symbol of modernity 74–6, 89–91, 108, 133, 163–4 class, classes 10, 31, 39, 55, 153, 156 analysis of 12–13, 144–6

Index 235 distinctions between 60–1, 63–5, 85, 90, 151, 152–3, 168–9, 175–6, 219–20 mixing of 33, 66–9, 90, 160 working see proletariat see also aristocracy; bourgeoisie; proletariat colonialism 56–8, 172 colonial societies 55, 58–9 financial, in Switzerland 172 Colorful Stones see Stifter commodity 3, 31, 156, 186–8, 193, 206, 207, 214 place as 29, 32, 35, 38, 40–6, 65, 106–7, 113, 143, 172, 174, 196, 204, 214 see also place; space Cosgrove, Dennis 4n. 4 Cusack, Andrew 5 dehumanization 10, 65, 78, 107, 115, 117, 126, 129–31, 133, 186, 197, 215–18 Deleuze, Gilles, and Guattari, Félix 138, 148, 220, 221 passages 164, 168 smooth space 30, 140–2, 146, 158, 165, 168 striated space 140–2, 143, 146, 158, 168 delusion 117–19, 161–2, 206 Delusions Confusions see Irrungen Wirrungen Denkler, Horst 73 differentiation functional 7, 9, 38–40, 69, 83, 107 of place and space 5, 6–7, 9, 38–40 displacement 1, 138–40, 142, 143–8, 175 in Berlin 32–71 in Fontane 30, 138, 149, 154–60, 168, 215 in Keller 178, 191, 193–207

in modernity 2–3, 6, 7, 14 in Raabe 86, 88, 93, 108–13, 124 symptoms of 8, 78, 149, 154 see also place; space Dohna-Doninski, Comtess Adelheid (Arminius) 68–70 Dorfgeschichte 20–1 Downing, Eric 14 Dreiklassenwahlsystem 60–1, 164n. 6 Eberstadt, Rudolph 33n. 2, 39–40, 41–2, 46n. 47, 49n. 53, 50–2, 70 Eigentum see possessions emigration 54–7, 100, 110, 171, 190–1 Engels, Friedrich 31, 62, 160 “Zur Wohnungsfrage” 144–6 erstarrte Unruhe see allegory fairy tale [Märchen] genre of 103, 189 in Keller 154, 188–93, 205, 222 in Fontane 149, 154 in Raabe 103–5, 117–18 in Stifter 23–4 see also anti-fairy tales Faucher, Julius 31, 43, 66, 68, 144, 145, 146 feudalism 40, 43, 69 and rise of industrial capitalism 9, 32–8, 74, 93, 106, 207–8 Fichte, Johann Gottlieb 15 Finney, Gail 12 Fisher, Jaimey and Mennel, Barbara 4, 6 Fontane, Theodor 11, 28–9, 135–8 aesthetics and politics in 146–7 dynamic places in 30, 135–8, 147–8, 149, 154, 158, 160–9 Irrungen Wirrungen 30, 147–69 Julius Faucher and 66 on realism 16–17 stable places in 30, 135–7, 147–54, 160, 214

236 Index Der Stechlin 31, 168, 215–19 Wanderungen durch die Mark Brandenburg 148 see also Berlin; displacement; fairy tale; narrative Foucault, Michel 3, 4, 31, 63, 219, 220 biopolitics 63 Founder’s Crash [Gründer-Krach] 42, 44, 45, 106, 143 fragmentation, experience of 8–9, 25, 53, 69, 139 François, Louise von (Die letzte Reckenbürgerin) 21–2 Frankfurt School 13, 14, 185 Freytag, Gustav (Soll und Haben) 21 Friedrich Wilhelm (Elector of Brandenburg) 87, 109 Furst, Lilian 13, 18–19 Geisler, Eberhard 107, 130, 132n. 5 German Poetic Realism see realism German identity 54–7 Auslandsdeutsche 56–7 Auswanderer 56 German cultural associations 57 German national and linguistic societies 55 Germany 3–4 capitol of united 32 citizenship in 54–7 as an ideal 11, 53–9, 85, 100–1, 106–7 as Kulturnation 55, 57 nationalism and 10–11, 53, 85, 100–1 political and economic situation of 2, 12 unification of 10–11, 53, 57, 101, 106–7, 171 urban growth in 32–3, 35, 88, 149 see also colonialism; German identity; nation

Gleichmacherei see Müller-Seidel Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von 124, 128 Gotthelf, Jeremias (“Die Schwarze Spinne“) 11, 20–1 Graef, Eva 185, 195n. 67, 198, 207, 209n. 91, 211 Gründer-Krach [Founder’s Crash of 1873] 42, 44, 45, 106, 143 Grunholzer, Heinrich 59–60 Guattari, Félix see Deleuze Gurlitt, Cornelius 31, 74–7, 84, 89, 134 Gutzkow, Karl 17–18, 21 Harries, Karsten 79, 83 Hebbel, Friedrich 11 Hegel, G. W. F. 2, 15 Hegemann, Werner 32n. 1, 70 Heidegger, Martin 31, 133, 221 “Building, Dwelling, Thinking” [“Bauen Wohnen Denken”] 7–8, 70, 78–84 dwelling 78–81, 82, 99, 101, 139, 219 dwelling as a sojourn among things 80, 97, 110, 124, 128 fourfold unity [das Geviert] in 78, 80n. 25, 99, 139 place and 7–8, 81–2, 88 place as lost 79, 108, 219 tension between freedom and home in 83, 124 Heimat 10, 20, 56–7, 171, 203 Heimatliteratur 10 Hertling, Gunter 180n. 30, 192n. 62, 208 Hillebrand, Bruno 3n. 2, 135–6, 178n. 29, 194n. 64, 198 Hinckeldey, Karl Ludwig Friedrich von 73, 153, 162 history cyclical view of 209–10 Marxist model of 12, 13, 144–6

Index 237 space and 5, 6, 32–71, 119, 148–9, 220 tendencies in the nineteenthcentury 5, 32–71, 106–7, 173 see also Berlin Hobrecht, James, city plan by 40–1, 46–7, 51, 67–8, 69 Hoffmann, Carl Wilhelm 62, 64 Holt, Randall 136, 148n. 43, 150n. 50, 163 Holub, Robert 13, 14 homelessness see housing Horkheimer, Max 13, 14, 185 housing apartment occupancy 45–6, 49–50 homelessness 8, 50, 59, 78–9, 82, 145, 146n. 6 reform 61–70, 138, 142–6, 175–6, 177 reformers 61–2, 66, 70, 175 see also Arminius; Eberstadt; Faucher; Huber; Schmoller shortage 7–8, 50, 82, 143, 144, 145, 219 sleepers [Schlafleute] 45 Huber, Victor Aimé 31, 62–5, 144, 146 see also Berlin Non-Profit Building Society Huguenots 109–10 human 68, 80 experience 7, 31, 78, 80–3, 88, 97, 99, 140, 156, 218 relationships 75, 218 see also dehumanization idealism 3, 15–19, 23, 28, 160, 199, 211, 221 see also materialism identity place dissociated from 1, 2, 8, 25, 28, 29, 30–1, 43, 53–9, 71, 107–8, 113, 139, 143, 158, 172, 174, 184, 188, 195, 206, 212, 214, 221

place as source of 2, 10, 21, 26, 28, 30, 77, 119–20, 179, 181, 188, 221 see also German identity; place ideology 31 bourgeois 12–13, 21–2, 62–6, 68, 107, 143–5 control of space and 31, 60, 61–6, 68, 175–6, 218 idyll 20, 22–3, 89, 93–5, 149, 167, 198–203 see also anti-idyll immigration 34–5, 37, 54–5, 65, 110, 143, 155, 170–1, 174, 215 individuality 221 loss of 31, 74–6, 83, 105, 139, 197, 214, 222 see also dehumanization; human; identity industrialization, rise of 9–10, 12, 32, 38–9, 70–1, 93, 109, 117, 179 interiority response to the metropolis 75–7, 89 textual 95 Jakobson, Roman 14, 101n. 66 Kaiser, Gerhard 180, 191, 203, 205–6 Kant, Immanuel 15 Critique of Pure Reason 9 Keller, Gottfried 28, 172–3 allegorical perspective in 30–1, 172–3, 188–213 Der grüne Heinrich 28, 172, 178, 193 “Hadlaub” 179 Die Leute von Seldwyla 28, 179–81 Martin Salander 30–1, 172–5, 176, 178–85, 188–213, 214 move from the Bürgli 177–8 place in the works of 178–84 preliminary plans for Martin Salander (Excelsior) 181–4, 207, 210–11, 214

238 Index “Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe” 179, 211 “Der Schmied seines Glückes” 179 tension between abstract and local in Martin Salander 203–7 “Das verlorene Lachen” 179–81 Züricher Novellen 179 see also Berlin; displacement; fairy tale; idyll; narrative; Zürich Klotz, Volker 73, 85n. 39, 91, 92, 95 Krug, Wilhelm Traugott 15 Kulturnation 55, 57 Langhans, Carl Ferdinand 46 Lefebvre, Henri 3, 4, 31, 219–20 Lekan, Thomas 57 Lensing, Leo 85n. 39, 103–4 Lichterfelde see Carstenn-Lichterfelde Ludwig, Otto 16 Lukács, Georg 12, 85n. 40, 90n. 50, 93n. 56, 96, 130n. 101, 147, 152n. 52, 155n. 54, 168n. 72, 172n. 11, 182 Märchen see fairy tale Marschalck, Peter 56 Martini, Fritz 77–8, 82–3, 89, 90n. 50, 94n. 58, 107, 159, 173, 201n. 77, 211, 212n. 100 Marx, Karl 2, 3, 10, 116 Marxism, Marxist 3, 7, 10, 12–13, 138, 144, 146, 186–7, 219–20 materialism 3, 15–19, 23, 61, 130, 138, 193, 201, 203, 221 see also idealism Meiners, Christoph 54 Mennel, Barbara and Fisher, Jaimey 4, 6 Merkel-Nipperdey, Margarete 173, 182n. 38, 210n. 93 melancholy 131, 185, 187, 192

metropolis see city Meyer, Conrad Ferdinand 91 “Hohe Station“ 22–3 Meyer, Hermann 91, 95 Mietskasernen 41, 47–51, 59, 62, 66–9, 143, 155, 175 modernity 2, 25, 124, 155, 158, 163, 172, 210–11 allegory and 186–7 city as symbol of 74–6, 89–91, 107–8, 133, 163–4 Germany and 2, 12, 106 realism and 12, 14, 28, 76–7, 83, 108, 184 resistance to 90–1, 94–6, 99, 112–13, 134, 182, 184, 218 second modernity 2n. 1, 2–4 space and place in 6–8, 29, 32–71, 89, 116, 135, 139–40, 171, 204, 212, 218 supermodernity 2n. 1, 2–4 Müller, Karla 137–8 Müller-Seidel, Walter 152n. 52, 157n. 56, 161, 164nn. 64, 65 Muschg, Adolf 180, 191n. 59 naiveté, epic see Adorno Naranch, Bradley 56–7 narrative frame 20, 21, 23–5, 91, 94–5, 108 technique in Fontane 154, 158–60, 163 technique in Keller 185, 191, 212 technique in Raabe 73, 84n. 38, 85–7, 92, 94, 103–6 narrator, unreliable 73, 94, 105–6, 118–19 nation as imagined community 53–9, 101, 106–7, 171–2 see also Anderson German 10–11, 12, 32, 53–4 nationalism 10–11, 100 Swiss 171–2, 181

Index 239 see also Germany; Switzerland Neumann, Bernd 184n. 42, 195, 197, 200, 205, 212n. 98 Niederlassungsfreiheit 170 nostalgia 8, 10, 25, 28, 29, 71, 76, 89, 135, 140, 149, 154, 188, 203, 218 see also displacement novel 17–18, 76–7, 87, 107, 135–7, 148 social (Zeitroman) 19, 21, 173 novella 21, 22, 23, 179 Ohl, Hubert 119, 130n. 102 Passavant, Rudolf von 173n. 14, 174, 205n. 85, 211 perjury 118–19 petrified unrest see allegory Pizer, John 185, 197 place 1–2, 4–5 allegorical 172, 184, 188, 195, 195–6, 198, 204 belonging and 2, 8–10, 53, 57, 81, 114–15, 122–3, 146, 217 as a character in literature 6, 18–19, 150 as a commodity 29, 32, 35, 40–6, 65, 106–7, 113, 143, 172, 174, 196, 204, 214 see also commodity definition of 6–7, 81–2, 138–9 differentiated 9, 29, 32, 38–40, 106–7 dynamic 30, 135, 137–8, 142, 144, 146–8, 158, 160–9 embedded 89–103, 105, 110–12, 134 historical change of 2, 6–7, 9, 26, 28–9, 32–71, 74–6, 89, 93, 106–8, 116, 134, 138, 142, 145–6, 157, 160–3, 173–4, 207, 218–19 loss of (perceived) 2, 5–8, 10, 19, 23, 28–30, 32, 35, 71, 76–7, 79,

83–4, 94, 108–9, 113, 134, 143, 180, 188, 193, 198, 204, 212, 218–19 as a means of control 29, 31–2, 59–71, 176, 218–20, 221 memory and 88–9, 96–7, 187, 192–3, 221 ownership and 44–5, 60–1, 62–5, 68, 81, 113–16, 144, 146, 174–5 see also possessions phenomenological theories of 4–5, 7, 78–84, 138–40, 221 political theories of 4, 138, 140–2, 144–6, 219–21 portable 29, 32, 53–9, 106–7, 211 as restrictive 29–30, 32, 46–53, 71, 77, 87, 123–9, 131, 134, 151–3, 188 as social 28, 30, 39, 77, 121–2, 148–9, 151–3, 179, 218, 219 source of identity 2, 10, 21, 26, 28, 30, 77, 119–20, 179, 181, 188, 221 stable 19, 30, 77, 106, 113, 135–7, 138–41, 146, 147–54, 160, 183, 214 as tension 17–23, 25, 31, 108, 129, 130–4, 172–3, 188, 203–9, 212, 221 text as 17–18, 30, 77, 94–5, 104 as universal 97–103, 105, 203–4 see also displacement; space possessions [Eigentum and Besitz] 44–5, 60–1, 62–5, 68, 81, 113–16, 120, 125n. 91, 128, 144, 146, 174–5 post-modernism 2, 140–2, 219–22 proletariat alienation of 10 conflict with the bourgeoisie 9, 70, 146 disenfranchisement of 61, 145 efforts to control 60–6, 69, 176

240 Index relationship to place 38, 65, 69, 144, 175 rise of 9–10, 175, 178 see also class Propp, Vladimir 103n. 67 Quistorp, Heinrich 44 Raabe, Wilhelm 28, 30, 214 The Chronicle of Sparrow Lane [Chronik der Sperlingsgasse] 28, 30, 72, 84–107 embedded places in 89–103, 105, 108, 110–12, 134 escapism and resignation in 76–8, 88–9, 107–8, 132, 133 The Files of Birdsong [Die Akten des Vogelsangs] 72, 86–9, 108–33 lack of character development in texts of 87–8, 102 Meister Autor 107 modernity and 74–7, 89–91, 93–6, 99, 107–8, 112–13, 116, 124, 133–4, 135 see also modernity see also Berlin; displacement; fairy tale; narrative; narrator railway in Berlin 52–3 national unity and 171–2 in Switzerland 171–2, 208 real estate crash 42, 44, 45, 106, 143 speculation see speculation realism (German poetic realism, bourgeois realism) 3–4, 11–19, 218 escapism and 76–8, 89, 108 exhaustion and 214–15 Marxist interpretations of 12–13 modernity and 12, 14, 28, 76–7, 83, 108, 184 objectivity and 16–17

place in 19–28, 71, 82–3, 107–8, 135 resignation and 76–8, 89, 107–8, 132–3, 184 Schein und Sein in 201 as spatial 17–19 as tension 3, 13–15, 17–23, 31, 132, 142, 219, 221 Reform of 1850, Prussian Agrarian 34 repetition 14, 31, 173, 187–8, 193–8, 204, 210 Revolution of 1848 11, 12, 43, 56, 60, 62, 100 Richter, Helmut 89, 94 Rigby, Kate 5–6 Ritchie, J. M. 180, 191, 194n. 64, 196n. 69 Ritter, Naomi 136 Roebling, Irmgard 72n. 3, 73n. 6, 112n. 74, 129n. 96, 129n. 98, 131 romanticism 11, 87, 108, 110, 111–12, 121 place in 5–6 symbol in 185–6, 188, 189 Ruttmann, Walter (Berlin. Die Symphonie der Großstadt) 6 Sammons, Jeffrey L. 84n. 38, 129 Sargent, Howard 54–5 Scherpe, Klaus 136 Schinkel, Karl Friedrich 46, 73 Schlafleute see housing Schmidt, Julian 15, 16 Schmoller, Gustav 70 Schopenhauer, Arthur 15, 108 Schwabe, Dr. H. 44–5, 47, 74, 143, 154 Simmel, Georg 31 “Metropolis and Mental Life” 74–6, 84, 89, 134 sleepers see housing society

Index 241 depersonalization of 74, 197 nature and 122, 151, 160, 162–3, 199, 200, 218 restriction from 126, 130, 151–4, 165, 199 Soja, Edward 4, 31, 220 souvenir see allegory space 3–5, 31–2, 51, 76, 82–3, 106, 138–40, 146–7, 172–3, 219–22 differentiation of 6–7, 9, 38–40 smooth and striated see Deleuze see also Cartesian space; commodity; differentiation; place spatial turn 4, 219–21 speculation financial 172 real estate 40–4, 50, 106, 174 trade vs. value 41–2 Stadtbahn 52 Sterne, Laurence (Tristram Shandy) 85 Stifter, Adalbert 11, 215 Colorful Stones [Bunte Steine] 23 “Granite” [“Granit”] 23–8 “The Pitch Burners” [“Die Pechbrenner”] 24, 25, 27 Storm, Theodor 21, 22, 91 “Abseits” 22–3 Immensee 21 Der Schimmelreiter 22 suburbs 38, 43–4, 174, 177 growth of 36, 40 Switzerland 170–3 Democracy in 182 founding of 181 housing reform in 175–6 Niederlassungsfreiheit in 170 Railway system 171–2 see also citizenship; colonialism; Zürich

Tang, Chenxi 5 Thienel, Ingrid 38n. 22, 39, 40 Thunecke, Jörg 146–7 Tieck, Ludwig 192 transportation 74, 117 need for efficient 37, 51–2, 62, 66 Pferdebahn 51 Stadtbahn 52 see also railway Treitschke, Heinrich von 70 Trivialliteratur 10 Tuan, Yi-Fu 6–7, 138–9, 141, 148, 221 urbanization in Berlin 32–53, 59–71 industrialization and 2, 10, 149 in Zürich 170–2, 175 value 3 exchange 43, 46, 186–7 speculation 41–2 use 43, 46, 186–7 Vaterland 100, 105 see also Germany; nation Voigtland 59 Volk 53, 55 Wilhelm I, Kaiser 62 Wünsch, Marianne 115–16 Zantop, Susanne 54, 57, 58 Zeitroman see novel Zürich 19, 28, 170–5, 177–9 expansion of city limits in 170–1, 178 population of 170–1 see also Switzerland; urbanization