Is the Zerfall der Werte an Essay? Essayismus and its consequences on theory in Die Schlafwandler (H. Broch)

Vincent Ferré 1
1 Fabula
LIS - Lettres, Idées, Savoir
Abstract : How are we to consider Hermann Broch's theory of values in "Die Schlafwandler"? The answer is at least partly to be found in the analysis of the nature of the "Zerfall der Werte" itself, of the theory contained in the novel - which raises the question of Essayismus This paper will focus, first, on the reasons why the Zerfall der Werte chapters have been considered as an "essay", through a comparison with essays published in Europe during the 1910's-1930's, to establish what these and the "essayistic" sequences in Die Schlafwandler have in common, and the differences between the latter and the narrative; yet it will become evident that one cannot conclude that the "essayistic" chapters belong to a genre other than the novel in which they are inserted. Consequently, the question of the fictional nature of the Zerfall der Werte chapters will here be raised, first through an analysis of the unique I which is in charge of the story and the essayistic discourse in Die Schlafwandler, then of the examples borrowed by the "essayistic" sequences from the stories.
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Vincent Ferré. Is the Zerfall der Werte an Essay? Essayismus and its consequences on theory in Die Schlafwandler (H. Broch). Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies, Dec 2005, Vienne, Austria. pp.en ligne. ⟨halshs-00772849⟩

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