Skip to content

Paradoxie der Krise:

Reprasentationen der (Nicht-)Ereignishaftigkeit von Krisen im literarischen Erzahlen ohne Plot – vom Modernismus bis zur Gegenwart

Alexander Scherr

Pages 297 - 314

Abstract: Assuming that pandemic crises are often characterized by a paradoxical tension between eventfulness and uneventfulness, the present article examines the potential of plotless novels in relation to hegemonic and medially shaped crisis narratives. It argues that such novels challenge plot-based narrativity by modelling crises through literary means that call attention to the unplottable features of crises (such as uncertainty, contingency, latency, and everyday presence). The article offers a reading of Virginia Woolf’s ‚To the Lighthouse‘ (1927), arguing that the novel narrates and reconfigures two crises of its immediate historical context which, in addition to the reperspectivizing of the First World War, include an invisible yet omnipresent pandemic threat. Positioning Woolf’s text as a prototypical modernist representative of plotless narrativity, the article identifies some of the key functions of this mode of writing; moreover, it traces continuities and modifications of plotless fiction in early 20th- and early 21st-century works of Anglophone and German-language crisis literature.


Export Citation