Germanic Languages and Literatures
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Chair and Committee
While today the word "illustration" often evokes children's books, in late nineteenth-century Germany illustrated literature was a serious, albeit embattled, literary mode for adults. Informed by book history and image-text studies, I argue that book illustration provides insights into how literary works were read and re-interpreted in the second half of the nineteenth century. My study examines six illustrated book editions by three German authors: Wilhelm Raabe, Theodor Storm, and Eugenie Marlitt. In the case of Wilhelm Raabe, I focus on two novels--Chronik der Sperlingsgasse: 1856) and Horacker: 1876)--which were published as illustrated editions in the same series in 1877 and 1876, respectively. In the case of Theodor Storm and Eugenie Marlitt, I examine two illustrated editions of each author's most popular work, namely Storm's Immensee: 1850; illustrated 1857, 1887) and Marlitt's Goldelse: 1866; illustrated 1871, 1890). Conceiving illustrations as an embedded narrative, I argue that every illustration represents an interpretation of the text it accompanies. These illustrations in turn influence how a later generation of readers encounters and understands the text. I contextualize these close readings through analyses of the polemical debates for and against illustration recorded in the literary, art, and family magazines of the period. In particular, I analyze how illustration was contested in explicitly gendered and nationalistic terms, with the illustration of Goethe's works serving as frequent catalyst for these debates.
Peterson, Shane D., "Picturing the Text: Illustrated Editions of Marlitt, Raabe, and Storm in the Age of the Industrial Book: (1857-90)" (2012). All Theses and Dissertations (ETDs). 975.
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