Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2010

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Germanic Languages and Literatures

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



The premise of this dissertation is the mutually beneficial relationship shared by literary modernism and the emerging neurological discourse in the setting offin-de-siècleViennese coffeehouses. However, although it has been demonstrated that Carl Wernicke can briefly be situated in the time and place of study, the awareness among the authors selected for this dissertation of the Wernicke era of aphasiology and the medical reflection upon the Sprachkrise that it offered is largely imaginary. In other words, the literary and medical discourses offin-de-siècleVienna in truth do not share a causal relationship but rather are similar and complementary outcomes of a shared time and place. Nevertheless, the major findings of this dissertation include the identification and description of the use of the signs of aphasia—anomia, agrammatism, echolalia, stutter, and silence—in the works of Oskar Kokoschka, Georg Trakl, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Karl Kraus. These findings in turn help to explicate Allan Janik and Stephen Toulmin's designation of the selected authors as critical modernists and do so by establishing a metaphorical framework for a quality of their works that is distinctly non-metaphorical, that is, corporeal.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Paul M Lutzeler

Committee Members

Lutz P Koepnick, Lynne Tatlock, Jennifer Kapczynski


Permanent URL:

Available for download on Thursday, May 15, 2110