Dialogue and Narrative Design in the Works of Adalbert Stifter

Brigid Haines
13 January 1992
162 pp
Paperback: 978-0-947623-44-9

Brigid Haines focuses on the crucial interplay between dialogue and narrative in Adalbert Stifter's works and relates this to their overall structure. Stifter, a conservative and often didactic writer, is nevertheless shown to present a complex view of reality which incorporates subjective and sometimes subversive voices. In Der beschriebene Tännling the characters' utterances relativize the narrator's apparently objective account, while in the Bildungsroman Der Nachsommer one subjective voice succeeds in calling into question the validity of the tightly-woven rhetorical creed on which the novel is based. Stifter achieved a more open form in his final novel, Die Mappe meines Urgroßvaters, which articulates honestly his own doubts about the adequacy of human communication and understanding.