Fatologische Räume – Topographie in Heimito von Doderers ‚Die Wasserfälle von Slunj‘
Pages 311 - 327
For Heimito von Doderer topographies played a decisive role in his works. In particular his last finished novel ‚Die Wasserfälle von Slunj‘ / ‚The Waterfalls of Slunj‘ (1963) is the product of reconsiderations of his earlier aesthetic notions which were consequential for his technique of spatial representation. Doderer creates here a texture of at first hidden connections which is representative of the fateful combination of spaces, actions and people. Thus, the superficially realistic narrative world may be transcended with the goal of achieving a ‘primary reality’ the protagonists have to strive for through ‘apperception’. The position of a figure, the relationship and the perception of its surroundings illustrate its status within the process of ‘Menschwerdung’. For the purpose of analyzing Doderer’s use of topographical features this essay applies Gilles Deleuze’s and Felix Guattari’s concepts of ‘smooth’ and ‘striated’ spaces, and other connected concepts put forth by the authors’ ‚A Thousand Plateaus‘ (1980). The article shows the ambivalent position of Doderer’s art: as a combination of conservative epistemology and the awareness of advanced aesthetical techniques indicating his ambition to emphasize flexibility, openness, and the withdrawal of authorial voice and guidance.