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Die Vernetzung der Dinge

Globales Denken bei Stifter, Raabe und Fontane

Roman Lach

Pages 47 - 59

Around the middle of the 19th century an enthusiasm for metaphors of networking emerged that seems to be connected both to the invention of the telegraph as a means of global communication and to climatological knowledge and magnetic experiments in the natural sciences. Furthermore, the metaphor of the network can be connected to conceptions of causal connections going back to the philosophy of Enlightenment. In this way, the metaphor of “Zusammenhang der Dinge” is linked to thinking in global spaces. In particular authors who are critically rejected by the proponents of the doctrine of “poetischer Realismus”, such as Adalbert Stifter or Wilhelm Raabe, show an affinity for a “telegraphic” symbolism of networks and for writing styles that implement a connection of remote objects. With regard to Theodor Fontane, however, we can find a peculiar ambivalent stance ranging from images of networking up to network skepticism.


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