„Jean-Paulian Night” in the Works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Bolesław Prus and Thomas Mann Cover Image

„Noc jeanpaulowska” u Fiodora Dostojewskiego, Bolesława Prusa i Thomasa Manna
„Jean-Paulian Night” in the Works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Bolesław Prus and Thomas Mann

Author(s): Aneta Mazur, Sabina Brzozowska
Subject(s): Essay|Book Review |Scientific Life
Published by: Instytut Badań Literackich Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: Jean Paul Richter; Jean-Paul's “Siebenkäs"; “The Atheist’s Dream”; Fyodor Dostoevsky; Thomas Mann; Bolesław Prus

Summary/Abstract: The fragment of the novel by Jean Paul Richter “Siebenkäs (Blumen-, Frucht- und Dornenstücke oder Ehestand, Tod und Hochzeit des Armenadvokaten F. St. Siebenkäs im Reichsmarktflecken Kuhschnappel“ <”Flower, Fruit, and Thorn Pieces; or, the Married Life, Death, and Wedding of Siebenkäs, Poor Man’s Lawyer”>,1796–1797), known as "The Atheist’s Dream," the full German original title being “Rede des toten Christus vom Weltgebäude herab, dass kein Gott sei” (“Speech of the Dead Christ from the Universe that there is no God”), presents one of the most important romantic night-visions: in metaphysical dimension it presents a terrifying Apocalypse without God, and a luciferic destruction of cosmic perpetual matter; in aesthetic dimension it indicates a triumph of liberated phantasmagorical imagination. Intentional or accidental traces of “Jean-Paulian night” are found in the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky (Ippolit’s “confession” from “The Idiot,” 1869; the short story “Bobok,” 1873), in the short story by Bolesław Prus (“Pleśń świata” <”Mould of the World”>, 1884) and in Thomas Mann’s (Castorp’s “snow” vision from “Der Zauberberg” <”The Magic Mountain”>, 1924). Eschatological or cosmic visions of the characters (narrators) produced as a result of demonic temptation of imagination present a dehumanised world of chaos and death subordinated to biological determinism and, as in Jean Paul Richter, constitute a kind of worldview shock autotherapy.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 61-80
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Polish