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Carlos Juan Finlay, Albert F.A. King und die Storm ‚Bros‘

Theodor Storms Novelle ‚Schweigen‘ und die Wissensgeschichte vektorieller Infektionen

Yahya Elsaghe

Pages 21 - 42

The novellas of Theodor Storm, who for family reasons was comparatively well informed about the medicine of his time, respond in many ways and with astonishing immediacy to the scientific and particularly the infectiological progress – especially to the ‘bacteriological revolution’, which took place during his later years. Of foremost relevance for this is the novella Schweigen. It mentions the solution of an infectological problem, which Storm’s brother had failed to solve in his dissertation on malaria. Almost as soon as Carlos Juan Finlay had first and tentatively formulated the groundbreaking concept of vectorborne disease, Schweigen deployed the concept in a neurasthenicist’s figure of speech in a way which almost forces the novella’s readers (and the protagonist’s wife) to dismiss it as mere imagination. Thus, the novella always reflects the radical epistemological breakthrough and the resistance with which this revolution has to contend.


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