Fall 2023 Lecture Series

Ideologies of Economy. Narrative Subversion in German Poetic Realism

Sebastian Meixner
Universität Zürich
November 6, 2023
4:30 – 6:00 pm
205 East Pyne
Man wearing top hat leaning against wall with water reflecting in background

A still from Saskia Walker’s Soll und Haben. Revision (2012) with permission from Saskia Walker.

The talk will explore Gustav Freytag’s bestseller Soll und Haben (1855) and its colonial economies. Although the novel seems to advocate a strict set of values and constructs the other on a finely graded scale, its narrative means subvert this set of values and its assertions. One reason for the novel’s great success may lie not in its ideological thrust, but in its ultimately subversive narrative complexity.

Sebastian Meixner is Oberassistent at the University of Zurich and principal investigator of his research group “Poetics of Abundance” funded through the Swiss National Science Foundation.