The Fontane workshop : manufacturing realism in the industrial age of print / Petra S. McGillen.

McGillen, Petra (Petra S.) [Browse]
New York, NY : Bloomsbury Academic, 2019.
xvii, 309 pages : illustrations (black and white) ; 22 cm.


  • New directions in German studies ; v. 26. [More in this series]
  • New directions in German studies ; vol. 26
Summary note
"With an innovative approach that combines material media history, media theory, and literary poetics, this book reconstructs the great German writer Theodor Fontane's creative process. Petra McGillen follows Fontane into the engine room of his text production. Analyzing a wealth of unexplored archival evidence--which includes a collection of the author's 67 extant notebooks, along with an array of other 'paper tools,' such as cardboard boxes, envelopes, and slips--McGillen demonstrates how Fontane compiled his realist prose works. That is, he assembled them from premediated sources, literally with scissors and glue, in an extraordinarily inorganic and radically intertextual manner that turned 'writing' into a process of ongoing remix. By exploring the far-reaching implications of Fontane's creative practices for our understanding of his authorship, originality, and poetics, this book opens up a completely new way to think about his works and, by extension, 19th-century literary realism. This conceptualization of authors' notebooks as creative tools makes a substantial contribution to scholarship on the history of writing media in several disciplines, from German studies and literary studies to media history, and to our understanding of the relationship between mass media and literary creativity in the late 19th century"-- Provided by publisher.
Extensive and substantial revision of author's thesis (doctoral)--Princeton University, 2012, titled Original compiler : notation as textual practice in Theodor Fontane.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Introduction : remediating copy and paste -- Media-historical coordinates : literature in the industrial age of print -- Biography vs. autobiography : the making of a compiler -- A living archive : generating input -- The manufacture of literature : generating output -- Coda : the calculated novel : Mathilde Möhring's "uncreative" writing.
  • 9781501351587 ((hardback : : alk. paper))
  • 1501351583
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