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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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Transitions and Slippages of Mimesis in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “Der goldene Topf,” “Die Fermate,” and “Das öde Haus”

Transitions and Slippages of Mimesis in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “Der goldene Topf,” “Die Fermate,” and “Das öde Haus”

Chapter:
(p.96) Chapter Five Transitions and Slippages of Mimesis in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “Der goldene Topf,” “Die Fermate,” and “Das öde Haus”
Source:
E. T. A. Hoffman
Author(s):

Beate Allert

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781786941213.003.0006

The fifth essay essay offers a reassessment of the role of mimesis in three works. In “The Abandoned House” the observer transgresses the privacy of humans where customary modes of communication fail, while a mirror image seems to come alive for the observer and lures him into investigating some mysterious events regarding an abandoned building. In the two earlier narratives, “The Golden Pot” and “The Prolonged Note,” the imaginary world of fiction and art presents itself as a safe space, rescuing the artist from the much-feared notion of the so-called “real.” Nevertheless, the essay suggests that although “The Abandoned House” offers some moments where “transgressions,” i.e., movement across the boundaries, between art and reality, produce sensations of harmony and balance, it warns that the imagination can also become tainted with reality. The term “transgression” fluctuates in tone and meaning, and depends on the reader’s ability to read Hoffmann’s tales in their multiple contexts. It concludes that “Hoffmann subverts the debate about mimesis and the presentation of the marvelous, and reverses the relations between the fictional and the real, so that the hidden and the previously dark and forbidden come to the fore.

Keywords:   mimesis, dream, reality and art, the marvelous, imagination, The Abandoned House, The Golden Pot, The Prolonged Note

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