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TLRH | Jean Paul, Maria Wutz and the Wellness unto Death

Tuesday, 1 December 2020, 4 – 5pm

TLRH |  Jean Paul, Maria Wutz and the Wellness unto Death

A talk by Dr Daragh Downes (TCD Department of Germanic Studies) as part of the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies Research Seminar Series, hosted by Trinity Long Room Hub.

“How gentle and sea-still your life and death were, you cheery little schoolmaster Wutz!” Thus opens Leben des vergnügten Schulmeisterlein Maria Wutz in Auenthal (Life of the Cheery Little Schoolmaster Maria Wutz in Auenthal) (1791), the novella with which Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (1763-1825) broke through as a fiction writer of uncanny power and originality. This paper explores the curious workings of the title character’s hedonic system, in which an a priori commitment to good cheer is sponsored by a host of existential techniques—and egocentric delusions. It will be argued that Wutz, far from offering an uncomplicatedly affectionate portrayal of a life lived in idyllic parochial quietism, in fact contains elegiac and critical dimensions that give us the clue as to its true motivation: alienated autobiography.

Dr. Daragh Downes is an Assistant Professor in German at Trinity College Dublin and currently working on a book-length study of Jean Paul.

Please register here.

Campus Location: Online
Accessibility: N/A
Room: Online
Event Type: Lectures and Seminars
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost: Free but registration is required
Contact Name: Dr Clemens Ruthner
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