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E. T. A. HoffmanTransgressive Romanticism$
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Christopher R. Clason

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941213

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941213.001.0001

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E.T.A. Hoffmann and the Bamberg Theater

E.T.A. Hoffmann and the Bamberg Theater

Chapter:
(p.81) Chapter Four E.T.A. Hoffmann and the Bamberg Theater
Source:
E. T. A. Hoffman
Author(s):

Frederick Burwick

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781786941213.003.0005

The fourth chapter illustrates how Hoffmann’s aesthetic ideas evolved during his Bamberg period, working in the theater. It emphasizes Hoffmann’s use of liminality in his representation of space on the stage, one of the hallmarks of his prose literary works. Hoffmann’s theater backgrounds customarily establish an audience’s visual perspective into a portal (window, door, tunnel, etc.) that opens into more complex spaces, often behind a wall or some other opaque obstruction; the point-of-view invites the audience to imagine what a transgression (in the sense of “passage from one space to another”) into the space may reveal. Furthermore, Burwick shows that aspects of Hoffmann’s treatment – for example, by representing, in a separate space on the stage, a crypt into which a character may “transgress” when he dies in the final scene – offer yet another sort of “transgression.”

Keywords:   drama, stage, theater, dramatic technique, passage, space

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