Call for Papers

While most considerations of time and literature focus on historical time, this panel examines the other end of the spectrum: suddenness, the moment, the smallest possible unit of time and its literary realization. Examples reach from the deus ex machina in the classical drama to the sudden hit of the earthquake in Kleist’s Das Erdbeben in Chili to literary moments of immediacy, disruption, and shock. While Karl-Heinz Bohrer has done important work and provided the theoretical framework of suddenness with his book Plötzlichkeit. Der Augenblick des ästhetischen Scheins, suddenness is not often considered in literary criticism.

This panel examines the possibilities and limitations of suddenness as a concept in literary analysis and interpretation. It invites contributions on literary works and theories of time in literature or philosophy that bring the concept of suddenness into dialog with existing literary “time” theory (Weinrich, Bakhtin, Genette), “time” philosophy (Bergson, Husserl, Heidegger), and literary texts in narrative, drama, and poetry.

Send 300-word abstracts in German or English to Thomas Herold ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>) by September 15, 2010.

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Acting Assistant Editor:  Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
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