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Kerstin Wiedemann

Intertextuality as a form of networking: references to George Sand (1804-1876) in some novels by contemporary women

Creating intertextual links to the works of George Sand seems to be a characteristic of the female reception of the famous French novelist in 19th-century Germany. Intertextuality seen as a deliberately chosen narrative strategy constitutes an important form of “creative reception” (Genevray 2003) and marks a certain number of female novels of this period, connecting them to a model which their authors nevertheless rarely evoke openly.

Inspired by recent works in narrative and gender (Nünning/Ansgar 2004) my contribution will point out the links between the use of different types of intertextuality in female novels and the creation of a trans-national network of literary references. It is based on examples taken from so-called “social novels” by women, in particular Louise Otto (1819-1895), Luise Mühlbach (1814-1873) and Ida von Düringsfeld (1815-1876), who all published during the stirred period preceding the revolution of 1848. The intertextual means used by the novelists and the ways in which they evoke the person and the works of George Sand show their trying to base the authority of this new genre in a famous name, in order to integrate themselves into the literary field of this period.

SvD, April 2008

  • Conferences > NEWW international conferences > Chawton 2008 > Wiedemann

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