Chapter

Mignon in Germany

Terence Cave

in Mignon's Afterlives

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604807
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731624 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604807.003.0003
Mignon in Germany

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The opening section of this chapter is devoted to Mignon’s afterlives in Goethe’s own writing, in particular an episode of memory and mourning in Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre. Her appearances in the Lehrjahre are then discussed with regard to the convergences and dissonances between Mignon’s strand of the plot and Wilhelm’s, and the relation of Mignon’s songs to their narrative context. German novels of the earlier nineteenth century that feature one or more Mignon-like characters, by Novalis, Brentano, Eichendorff, Immermann, and Mörike, are then considered, together with two novellas by Stifter: linking themes include female adolescence, idealization, and abjection, generational change, the bed-trick, the supernatural, and the feral child. The chapter ends with a survey of the Mignon postcards that became fashionable at the turn of the twentieth century.

Keywords: memory; mourning; female adolescence; idealization and abjection; generational change; bed-trick; supernatural; feral child; German Romanticism; postcards

Chapter.  25565 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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