Zeichen und Zeit
'Sign and Time' identifies crucial components of the 19th century conception of realism and reconstructs their interplay in narrative texts written between 1840 and 1910. Selective analyses of texts by Storm, Fontane etc. are undertaken with a view to highlighting what they have to tell us about the history of discourse(s). Semiologically, realism is notable for the way it plays off the linguistic against the graphic, metonymy against metaphor, and rails against the hazards of visual kinds of imagination. This can be interpreted as a response to the increasing competition from other media, more precisely as a species of literary self-referentiality in the face of the advent of film and the attendant awareness of the psychological and evocative limits necessarily imposed on this kind of literature.
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