Poetik und Historik
Proceeding from a critique of existing theories on the fantastic and the historical novelo that have largely guided previous research on the Jewish author Leo Perutz (1882-1957), the present study attempts to pursue new avenues of inquiry. The analysis of "Die Dritte Kugel" (1915) and "Nachts unter der steinernen Brücke" (1953) points up both the range and the consistency of Perutz' conception of the historical novel. Drawing on Christian and Jewish theology, Perutz constructs an image of the world in which the protagonists invariably fail to achieve their ends. They are doomed by the 'logic of history' and their efforts end in their own destruction. In complete reversal of Hegel's dictum history is seen to operate via the 'ruse of unreason'.
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