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Literaturwissenschaft und der ‚eudaimonic turn‘ Beitrag

Unzeitgemäße Betrachtungen zum Lebenswissen der Literatur und zu Axel Hackes ‚Wozu wir da sind‘ als literarisches Gedankenexperiment für ein gelungenes Leben

Vera Nünning, Ansgar Nünning

Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift, Volume 70 (2020), Issue 1, Page 53 - 83

A series of theoretical reorientations has not only reshaped the study of culture and the humanities, these ‘cultural turns’ (Doris Bachmann-Medick) have also had an impact on the trajectory of literary studies. Taking its cue from one of the most recent turns that have been proposed, viz. the so-called ‘eudaimonic turn’ (James O. Pawelski and D.J. Moores), this essay argues that literary studies have good reasons to involve themselves more strongly than hitherto in the interdisciplinary discussion on what constitutes a good life, and that literature itself creates important life-knowledge and cultural models of what a good life could look like. Literary works delineate aesthetically created thought experiments that test different models of viable or good forms of life (section 2). The knowledge of literature, however, does not entail explicit or normative recommendations on how to lead one’s life, but is based more on the aesthetic forms and literary techniques used for representing forms of life. These hypotheses are explored in section 3 by means of an exemplary analysis of Axel Hacke’s latest book ‚Wozu wir da sind. Walter Wemuts Handreichungen für ein gelungenes Leben‘ (2019). The essay attempts to show that a reorientation towards the poetics and thematic of a good life or eudaimonia opens up not only new research questions and trajectories for literary studies but also affords an opportunity to increase the social and practical relevance of a form of literary studies that gravitate towards life sciences (section 4). A short epilogue in a more personal and subjective vein concludes this essay with reflections on the question of what professors and universities are there for.


Unreliable Narration als Schlüsselkonzept und Testfall für neue Entwicklungen der Postklassischen Narratologie: Ansätze, Erklärungen und Desiderata Beitrag

Vera Nünning

Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift, Volume 63 (2013), Issue 1, Page 135 - 160

During the last fifteen years or so, unreliable narration has not only developed into a phenomenon of scholarly interest and narratological inquiry; it also captures the imagination of the public, who avidly read stories or watch films which feature unreliable narrators. From the point of view of literary studies, the topic is particularly interesting because it is not only situated at the interface of different narratological approaches, but also at the crossroads where narratology, theories of fictionality, ethics, and interpretation meet. Giving an overview and discussion of recent research developments with regard to unreliability, this essay attempts to show that an exploration of this key concept can provide valuable insights into the advantages and the possible limitations and blind spots of those approaches. Looking at unreliable narration as a test-case for the various postclassical approaches, the article discusses the advances made in the reconceptualization of unreliable narration in e.g. cognitive narratology, feminist narratology, and transgeneric and intermedial studies of unreliable narration, while also offering a brief overview of new research questions and horizons that have opened up as well as some desiderata and suggestions for future research on unreliabile narration.

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Narrative der Krise