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The theme of alienation in the prose works of Peter Weiss Vance, Kathleen Ann 1980

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THE THEME OF ALIENATION IN THE PROSE WORKS OF PETER WEISS by KATHLEEN ANN VANCE B.A., State U n i v e r s i t y of New York at Buffalo, 1969 M.A., C a l i f o r n i a State University at Sacramento, 1972 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF GERMANIC STUDIES We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA January 1980 (c) Kathleen Ann Vance, 1980 In presenting this thesis in partial fulf i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of Brit ish Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make i t freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. I t is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Germanic Studies Department of The University of Brit ish Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date January 24, 1980 DE-6 B P 75-51 1 E Abstract The theme of a l i e n a t i o n i n the prose works of Peter Weiss i s the focus of t h i s study. Each chapter provides an examination of t h i s theme from a p a r t i c u l a r perspective for each work. The f i r s t work, Per Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers, i s considered as i t examines the phenomenology of a l i e n a t i o n i n a d e t a i l e d analysis of the characters' pursuit of occupations devoid of s o c i a l meaning. The second of Weiss's works, Abschied von den E l t e r n , looks at the recurrence of the theme of a l i e n a t i o n i n Weiss's portrayal of the narrator's r e c o l l e c t i o n of h i s childhood experiences. In Fluchtpunkt the focus i s the dilemma of the a l i e n a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l i n the midst of p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l upheaval with p a r t i c u l a r emphasis placed on the a l i e n a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l from the objective world and the subjective s e l f . In Das Gesprach der d r e i Gehenden the ontology of a l i e n a t i o n i s discussed i n terms of the characters' attempts to locate themselves i n time and place through the use of s o c i a l r i t u a l . In Die Asthetik des Widerstands the ideology of a l i e n a t i o n i s examined i n terms of the narrator's commitment to p r i n c i p l e s which require the assumption of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r one's actions i n the context of a larger world. The conclusion i s that, for Weiss, the attempt to recover a sense of s e l f i n connection with the world i s to i n t e n s i f y the extent of one's separation from that world. Research Supervisor i i i Contents Page Abstract , , i i Acknowledgement ............................................ i v Introduction 1 Chapter 1. Der Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers: the phenomenology of a l i e n a t i o n 6 2. Abschied von den E l t e r n : the recurrence of a l i e n a t i o n , 55 3. Fluchtpunkt: the dilemma or the persistence of a l i e n a t i o n .. 103 4. Das Gesprach der d r e i Gehenden: the ontology of a l i e n a t i o n , 146 5. Die Asthetikldes Widerstands: the ideology of a l i e n a t i o n 168 Conclusion , 216 Notes , ......... 219 Select Bibliography 223 Acknowledgement I wish to express my thanks and appreciation to Professor Mark Boulby for h i s i n s i g h t and understanding as a d i s s e r t a t i o n d i r e c t o r . I would l i k e to thank the S o c i a l Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for i t s f i n a n c i a l support and the I n t e r l i b r a r y Loan D i v i s i o n of the Main L i b r a r y at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia for i t s kind assistance i n l o c a t i n g and obtaining source materials. In addition, I would l i k e to express my gratitude to my husband and my son for t h e i r patience and support. 1 Introduction I have chosen to study the prose works of Peter Weiss i n order to explore the theme of a l i e n a t i o n . A l i e n a t i o n , a pervasive feature of twentieth-century l i f e , concerns, i n the context of Weiss's works, the r e l a t i o n s h i p s , or rather the d i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s , between an i n d i v i d u a l and the world. The prose works were selected i n p a r t i c u l a r because the i n d i v i d u a l i s more f u l l y portrayed i n them than i n Weiss's dramas. I have not included Das Duell i n t h i s study because i t i s a t r a n s l a t i o n into German from the Swedish; i s , as an early work, not comparable i n q u a l i t y to the other prose works; and i s more appropriate to a study which focuses on Peter Weiss's development. The works chosen include: Der Schatten des- Korpers des  Kutschers (1960), Abschied von den E l t e r n (1961), Fluchtpunkt (1962), Das Gesprach der d r e i Gehenden (1963), and PiexAsthetik  des Widerstands (1978). The f i r s t work, Per Schatten des  Korpers des Kutschers, examines the phenomenon of a l i e n a t i o n and p a r t i c u l a r l y the preoccupation of i n d i v i d u a l s with themselves to the exclusion of the world. In t h i s work the phenomenon of a l i e n a t i o n i s portrayed, and may well be regarded, as an " e x i l e from the community." While the characters maintain occupations l i k e those which are found i n everyday l i f e (doctor, t a i l o r , w r i t e r ) , t h e i r occupational a c t i v i t i e s are directed only toward themselves. Weiss's characterizations i n t h i s work portray a 2 world i n which the experience of a l i e n a t i o n i s t o t a l . In Abschied von den E l t e r n the narrator attempts to reconstruct h i s childhood i n order to r e a l i z e the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of freedom which are s t i l l denied him. He discovers that the creation of t h i s alienated world involves the i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n of early experiences of powerlessness and inadequacy. His decision i s to focus on aspects of the s e l f which allow f o r freedom and autonomy. These aspects are revealed to him as he becomes aware that the world of his childhood i s capable of being challenged, j'.s. i s open to r e v i s i o n . In Fluchtpunkt the world i s transformed by the narrator into a world of victims who r e f l e c t h i s own experiences. However, i n the process of th i s transformation the narrator is alienated both from the objective world and from aspects of the s e l f which would allow him to assume a ro l e other than that of a v i c t i m among others. I t becomes increasingly evident i n Das Gesprach der d r e i  Gehenden that the manner i n which i n d i v i d u a l s and the world reinfo r c e each other i n t h e i r a l i e n a t i o n r e s u l t s i n figures who dishonor the forms of s o c i a l r i t u a l s and f a i l to derive meaning from them. In t h i s sense these figures are very much relat e d to the characters i n Der Schatten des Korpers des  Kutschers i n that t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s deny the meaning of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Weiss's l a t e s t prose work, Die Xsthetik des Widerstands, i s the attempt to reconstruct a world i n which art and p o l i t i c s , i n d i v i d u a l dreams and v i s i o n s of community form i n t e g r a l parts of 3 the whole. In a l l of these works the theme of a l i e n a t i o n i s woven into the i n d i v i d u a l figure's r e l a t i o n s h i p to the world. I t i s a world characterized by a preoccupation with the s e l f ; c r u e l t y , i n t e n t i o n a l and non-intentional; meaninglessness; and separation from one's neighbors. The f i n a l novel dispels any i l l u s i o n that a l i e n a t i o n i s completely overcome by an i d e o l o g i c a l posture. In undertaking t h i s study i t has been necessary to come to terms with two s p e c i f i c issues. F i r s t , there are the problems associated with ideology i n l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m and, second, the problems of the r o l e of autobiography i n Weiss' s prose works. 1 Ideology i s important to deal with because, for most c r i t i c s , Weiss's allegiance to a p a r t i c u l a r i d e o l o g y — s o c i a l i s m — e l i c i t s from them a strong " d o c t r i n a l " response: they f e e l compelled (as do most of us) to enter the debate and to agree or disagree with the p a r t i c u l a r ideology on p o l i t i c a l or substantive grounds. These c r i t i c s , as diverse as Otto F. Best and Reinhold Grimm, thus have a tendency to use l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m of Weiss's works as a vehicle for advancing t h e i r own views and assumptions. In t h i s they appear to f a l l into the trap of "doctrinalism" which I would suggest turns serious l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m into serious polemics. I t may render l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m mute but i t does add much to the volume of p o l i t i c a l debate. This "doctrinalism" has the e f f e c t of entrapping such c r i t i c s i n the underlying d u a l i s t i c assumptions which such "Great Debates" between competing ideologies i n s p i r e . These underlying assumptions—good versus e v i l , i n t e r n a l versus external, fathers 4 versus sons—do of course pervade Weiss's works. They can be the objects of study as can any set of assumptions which constitute a world view i n an author's works. For t h i s reason, I have concerned myself i n examining Weiss's prose works with ideology as a form, as a way of viewing the world, rather than with an evaluation of s p e c i f i c doctrine. The presupposition i n th i s study i s that the world of Weiss's f i c t i o n may be considered separate from the author's p o l i t i c a l decisions. The second issue i s concerned with the r o l e of autobiography in Weiss's works. There i s a tendency on the part of some l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s to f a l l into the trap of what I c a l l "psychological reductionism." This approach to l i t e r a t u r e would assume that Weiss's works are merely a modestly embellished account of events i n his own l i f e . Much of the j u s t i f i c a t i o n for drawing p a r a l l e l s between such events and h i s prose works r e l i e s on interviews with the author and on h i s essays i n which he ref e r s to such events. Unfortunately, most of these c r i t i c s i n order to draw such p a r a l l e l s (or p a r a l l e l s between Weiss's psychological "experiences" and h i s prose works) assume that Weiss i s "honest" about such events. There i s no guarantee that he i s being "honest" i n any conventional sense. In any event, this approach to l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m appears to have a good deal more to do with h i s t o r y and psychology and less to do with l i t e r a t u r e . These d i f f i c u l t i e s suggest that i t i s appropriate to consider the characters i n Weiss'.s works as e n t i r e l y f i c t i o n a l , not to be i d e n t i f i e d with the author himself. In regard to the format of the i n v e s t i g a t i o n , the theme of 5 a l i e n a t i o n i s discussed on four d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s . The objective l e v e l involves the d e s c r i p t i o n of the behavior of people i n t h e i r everyday l i v e s and i s i l l u s t r a t e d by the examination of Der  Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers as i t concerns the phenomenology of a l i e n a t i o n . The r e f l e c t i v e l e v e l involves the d e s c r i p t i o n of the way people examine why they behave the way they do and i s i l l u s t r a t e d by Abschied von den E l t e r n and Fluchtpunkt as they concern a l i e n a t i o n as a recurrent dilemma. The e x i s t e n t i a l l e v e l involves an examination of the questions which people pose concerning t h e i r fundamental experiences and corresponds to Das Gesprach der d r e i Gehenden with i t s consideration of the ontology of a l i e n a t i o n . The l a s t l e v e l i s i n t e r p r e t a t i v e or a d e s c r i p t i o n of the way people behave i n regard to how they perceive they behave. This l e v e l corresponds to the discussion of the ideology of a l i e n a t i o n i n Die Asthetik  des Widerstands. The " l e v e l s " are merely a conceptual framework and represent differences i n emphasis. 6 Chapter 1 Der Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers: the phenomenology of a l i e n a t i o n The ce n t r a l theme of Peter Weiss's n a r r a t i v e , Der Schatten des  Korpers des Kutschers, i s that of a l i e n a t i o n . The concern of the novel i s with a l i e n a t i o n as a phenomenon, that i s , with a l i e n a t i o n as i t i s experienced by the characters i n r e l a t i o n s h i p to themselves, to one another, and to the world about them. The following study consists of an examination of the characters of Der Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers i n order to i d e n t i f y and elucidate the central theme of the novel. Der Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers i s the d e s c r i p t i o n , by the narrator, of l i f e on an i s o l a t e d farmstead. The narrator l i v e s on the farmstead with the T a i l o r , the Captain, the Doctor, Herr Schnee, the Housekeeper, the Farmhand, and the family which consists of the Father, Mother, Son, and Infant. The only character i n the novel who does not l i v e there, the Coachman, arrives at the farmstead toward the end of the n a r r a t i v e . The narrator keeps a written record of h i s observations of l i f e on the farmstead, and i t i s t h i s written record which forms the text of the novel. This unusual r e l a t i o n s h i p between the narrator and the text i s pointed out by Rose Z e l l e r i n her study "Peter Weiss: Per Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers. Erzahler und Autor": 7 Der Erzahler dieses Textes t r i t t a l s ein Mann auf, dessen Beschaftigung das Schreiben i s t . Peter Weiss s t e l l t ihn a l s den Verfasser h i n , indem er ihn seine Arbeitsweise, die Bedingungen, unter denen er schreibt, die Schwierigkeiten und Widerstande, die b e i der Abfassung seines Berichts auftreten, den Verlauf und ^ die F o r t s c h r i t t e seines Unternehmens sch i l d e r n l a s s t . Weiss's use of the narrator as the f i c t i o n a l author of the text accounts for much of the complexity of the novel. As Rose Z e l l e r has suggested i n the passage c i t e d above, the narrator i s the author not merely i n the sense that the text i s the record of h i s observations but also i n the deeper sense that the keeping of that record i s the occupation of the narrator within the novel. Thus, the narrator keeps a record of his observations and he observes i n order to record. I t i s t h i s intimate connection between the narrator's observing and the act of recording those observations which suggests a l i n k between the act of recording and the narrator's observations. At one point i n the n a r r a t i o n the narrator explains why he has chosen the woodpile as h i s post of observation for the scenes which follow":" Mit dem B l e i s t i f t die Geschehnisse vor meinen Augen nachzeichnend, um damit dem Gesehenen eine Kontur zu geben, und das Gesehene zu verdeutlichen, also das Sehen zu einer Beschaftigung machend, s i t z e i c h neben dem Schuppen auf dem Holzstoss, dessen knorplige, mit Erde, Moos und welkem Laub beklebte Wurzelstucke einen b i t t e r e n , morschen Geruch ausstromen. ,Yon meinem erhohten S i t z aus (iberblicke i c h . . . In this case the act of observing and the act of recording occur at the same time. Rose Z e l l e r draws attention to t h i s passage from the novel i n order to emphasize the programmatic nature of the narrator's observations: 8 Der Erzahler hat seiner Beobachtungsstudie ein ganz bestimmtes Programm zugrunde gelegt: er w i l l "dem Gesehenen und Gehbrten Wortreihen nachformen, . . . um damit dem Gesehenen eine Kontur zu geben und das Gesehene zu verdeutlichen, also das Sehen zu einer Beschaftigung machend." (p. 646) Much of Helmut Luttmann's study of Der Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers i n Die Prosawerke von Peter Weiss i s concerned with e x p l i c a t i n g the programmatic nature of the narrator's acts of observing and recording his observations. Since Luttmann's study involves an exhaustive compilation of textual evidence for a l l his assertions regarding the a c t i v i t i e s of the narrator, I s h a l l merely summarize Luttmann's fi n d i n g s . Liittmann re f e r s to the method of the 3 narrator as an "Auspragung der Wahnehmungsweise." According to Liittmann, the narrator purports to r e g i s t e r the t o t a l i t y of h i s observations. Thus, Liittmann explains the narrator's preference for observation posts such as the top of the woodpile: such a vantage point provides the narrator with an overview of the e n t i r e scene. This vantage point also allows the narrator to record the scene while he i s observing i t (see pp. 12-13). The narrator i s not only concerned with r e g i s t e r i n g the t o t a l i t y of h i s observations but i s also, according to Liittmann, concerned with r e g i s t e r i n g them o b j e c t i v e l y : Fur den Erzahler des Schattens sind d i e Hauptkriterien bei der v i s u e l l e n Erfassung seiner Umwelt: O b j e k t i v i t a t und T o t a l i t a t . Beide Faktoren bedingen s i c h gegenseitig und fiihren i n der jeweiligen Beobachtungssituation zu einer Systematisierung der Sehweise. (p. 31) Liittmann points out that even i n cases where the narrator i s unable to record his observations at the same time i n which he i s making them, the narrator nonetheless records only what he has seen at the time of his observations. For example, Liittmann considers the scene from the novel i n which the Farmhand i s unloading sacks of coal from 9 the Coachman's wagon. The narrator records t h i s a c t i v i t y as a series of d i s c r e t e actions: "In die Kniebeuge gehend, driickte der Hausknecht seinen Rucken gegen den Sack, hob seine Hande uber die Schultern, senkte s i e hinter die Schultern herab, packte den Sack, s t r a f f t e die Beine, beugte s i c h , den Sack auf dem Rucken festhaltend, vor und . . . " (p. 93). I t i s clear that the Farmhand i s bending down i n order to pick up the sacks, a f a c t which even i f i t i s not clear to the narrator at the time of his observing of the Farmhand's movements must be obvious to him at the time of his recording of the scene since he has by then witnessed the r e s u l t s of the Farmhand's actions, that i s , seen the en t i r e wagon unloaded. However, to ascribe purpose to the Farmhand's actions i s to provide those actions with a subjective i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Thus, according to Liittmann, the narrator only records that which he t e c h n i c a l l y saw and thus preserves his o b j e c t i v i t y (see p. 24). In t h i s manner, the same values of " O b j e k t i v i t a t " and " T o t a l i t a t " which determine, for example, the narrator's choice of an observation post, also influence the record he makes of his observations. Through showing the a p p l i c a b i l i t y of these values to both the narrator's observations and the record of those observations Liittmann i s able to l i n k the narrator's observations with the act of recording them. Otto F. Best i n h i s study of Der Schatten- des Korpers des  Kutschers i n Peter Weiss: Vom e x i s t e n t i a l i s t i s c h e n Drama zum  marxistischen Welttheater. Eine k r i t i s c h e Bilanz re f e r s to such a method as an extreme form of Naturalism i n i t s a t t e n t i o n to i n t r i c a t e d e t a i l and i n i t s avoidance of i n t e r p r e t a t i v e information: "Peter Weiss' Methode, die man mit A l f r e d Doblin 10 'streng, k a l t b l i i t i g ' nennen konnte, i s t demnach nichts anderes a l s eine Fortfiihrung dessen, was Flaubert, Spielhagen begannen, was den Naturalismus, den Expressionismus und Futurismus trug und im 'nouveau roman' unserer Zeit w e i t e r w i r k t . F r o m t h i s passage i t i s clear that Best, unlike Liittmann and Z e l l e r , i d e n t i f i e s the narrator with Weiss. Z e l l e r , Best, and Liittmann have a l l been keenly aware of the l i n k between the narrator's observations and the act of recording them. This f a s c i n a t i o n with the narrative technique of the novel (which i s re l a t e d to the tendency of current l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m to "rediscover" the relevance of the modes of narration) has caused these c r i t i c s and others to pay less a t t e n t i o n to the other characters of the novel than would otherwise be the case. Rose Z e l l e r suggests even that since the novel i s formed according to the programmed observations of the narrator and therefore has no p l o t per se, aspects of character which would be of i n t e r e s t i n a t r a d i t i o n a l n arrative are of no i n t e r e s t here: Die geschilderten Personen fungieren nicht a l s Akteure im Ablauf einer e i n h e i t l i c h e n Handlung. Ihre Beziehungen zueinander i n t e r e s s i e r e n n i c h t . Ihre Erlebnisse werden nicht v e r a r b e i t e t . Der Erzahler erzahlt keine Geschichte. Stattdessen hat er hier offenbar die Absicht, seine Umwelt i n der Art einer Studie auf exakteste Weise zu beschreiben . . . (p. 645) Thus, according to Z e l l e r , the programmatic nature of the narrator's record, h i s "Studie," renders the other characters i n the novel of l i t t l e consequence. This i s a contention with which I would ser i o u s l y disagree. In t h e i r concentration upon the f i g u r e of the narrator, Liittmann and Z e l l e r themselves imply aspects of the novel which would seem to suggest that more attention should be given to the other characters of the novel. Rose Z e l l e r points to the ways i n which the a r r i v a l of the Coachman i s foreshadowed i n the text through the t i t l e of the novel, through the attention drawn to the empty seat at table which the Coachman i s l a t e r to occupy, and through a series of sexual motifs. The foreshadowing of the a r r i v a l of the Coachman i s evidence for Z e l l e r of an " a u t h o r i a l " presence. In s t r e s s i n g the f i c t i o n a l nature of the narrator, Z e l l e r i s able to point to ways i n .which the programmatic nature of the narrator's observations i s used by the author to achieve c e r t a i n e f f e c t s of t r a d i t i o n a l f i c t i o n : "Mit der von seinem Erzahler betriebenen Art des Sehens versucht der Autor offenbar, ahnliche Anteilnahme, Empfindungen und Spannungen im Leser hervorzurufen, wie s i e i n t r a d i t i o n e l l e n Erzahlungen von der Handlung erweckt werden" (p. 655). In other words, c e r t a i n e f f e c t s produced within the scope of the narrator's program cannot themselves be accounted for by that program but rather indicate an "author"-consciousness which Weiss permits at times to emerge and become a concrete a d d i t i o n a l voice i n the narration. In his compilation of textual evidence to describe the systematic nature of the narrator's observations and act of recording them, Liittmann emphasizes a number of cases i n which the system followed by the narrator cannot account for the text i t s e l f . One such case considered by Liittmann i s the passage i n the text i n which the Doctor's room i s described i n minute d e t a i l (see pp. 61-63). The f a c t that the narrator i s able to observe the entire room at a quick glance and then, sometime l a t e r , able to give a complete inventory of the enti r e room leads Liittmann to the conclusion that the narrator possesses "ein 'iibermenschliches' Erinnerungsvermogen" along with "eine 'iibermenschliche' Beobachtungsgabe" (p. 83). Another case of some importance considered by Liittmann i s the p a r t i a l r e n d i t i o n of conversations overheard by the narrator which cannot be explained by h i s physical distance from or ina t t e n t i o n to the speakers. For example, the words of the Father i n the room of the Housekeeper are not completely given even though he i s shouting and the narrator i s i n the same room with him. The reply of the Farmhand concerning how so many sacks of coal could have possibly f i t t e d i n the wagon i s not given i n i t s e n t i r e t y even though i t i s given i n answer to a question posed by the narrator himself, thus a t t e s t i n g to the narrator's i n t e r e s t i n the response. For Liittmann, the impartial rendering of conversations by the narrator appears not as description but as symbolism. He concludes, "Vielmehr scheinen s i e mir symbolhaft eine sehr tiefreichende K l u f t zwischen dem Erzahler und den iibrigen Personen anzuzeigen, eine K l u f t , iiber die hinweg e i n so elementares Kommunikationsmittel wie die Sprache nur schadhaft zu ihm dringt" (p. 39). These cases i n which the system followed by the narrator cannot account f o r the text suggest to Liittmann that "der Erzahler eine f i k t i v e Gestalt i s t , von einem Autor erfunden, und dass der Autor diese Gestalt Grenzen iiberschreiten l a s s t , die er i h r zunachst selbst gezogen hat" (p. 83). Liittmann further observes that even when observations are made i n accordance with the l i m i t s 13 set by the narrator through h i s own program of systematically recording h i s observations, t h e i r f u l l s i g n i f i c a n c e can only be apparent to the author. For example, the fa c t that the narrator l i v e s on the top f l o o r of the house implies a symbolic distance between the narrator and the other persons l i v i n g there. In l i g h t of this evidence, Liittmann concludes the following":" Wahrend der Erzahler auf die Oberflache der Erscheinungen verwiesen b l e i b t , zeigt der Autor deren Hintergrund. Auch durch diesen Unterschied wird dem Leser der f i k t i v e Charakter des Schattens zum Bewusstsein gebracht, und es wird ihm g l e i c h f a l l s , wenn auch i n d e u t l i c h beschranktem Masse, eine Erwartung e r f i i l l t , die er t r a d i t i o n e l l e r w e i s e immer an die (erzahlende) L i t e r a t u r noch s t e l l t , die Erwartung namlich, dass bestimmte Elemente des Dargestellten eine vibergreifende, ihre blosse Erscheinungsform transzendierende Bedeutung besitzen. Insofern i s t auch dieses Werk nicht r a d i k a l von einer herkommlichen Erzahlweise abgeschnitten. (p. 85) This would imply that i t might be h e l p f u l to examine the characters of the novel as though the narrator were one of these characters. Explanations of the characters of Der Schatten des Korpers  des Kutschers, when they appear at a l l i n the c r i t i c a l l i t e r a t u r e , tend to be i n the form of p a r a l l e l s drawn to Weiss's other works or to consist l a r g e l y of a cataloguing of textual d e s c r i p t i o n . An example of the use of p a r a l l e l s to Weiss's other works to explain the characters of Per Schatten des Korpers des  Kutschers i s to be found i n RvCC. Perry's "Weiss's Per Schatten  des Korpers des Kutschers: A Forerunner of the Nouveau Roman?" which contains p a r a l l e l s drawn between the characters i n t h i s novel and those i n Weiss's Fluchtpunkt. Perry introduces these 14 p a r a l l e l s w i t h a g e n e r a l r e m a r k r e g a r d i n g t h e a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l n a t u r e o f W e i s s ' s D e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s : " L i k e a l l W e i s s ' s w o r k s , D e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s s t a n d s i n c l o s e c o n n e c t i o n w i t h h i s p e r s o n a l h i s t o r y a n d h i s own e x p e r i e n c e o f l i f e . " ^ T h i s r e m a r k w o u l d s e e m t o i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e u s e o f p a r a l l e l s t o e x p l a i n c h a r a c t e r s i n D e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s i s b a s e d u p o n a n a p p r e c i a t i o n o f a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l e l e m e n t s a s i n t e g r a l t o a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e w o r k s o f P e t e r W e i s s . P e t e r W e i s s ' s t w o m o s t o b v i o u s l y a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l w o r k s a r e A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n a n d F l u c h t p u n k t . I n a d i r e c t r e f e r e n c e t o t h e s e two w o r k s , O t t o F . B e s t p o i n t s o u t t h e f o l l o w i n g i n h i s s t u d y o f W e i s s ' s w o r k s : Wenn e s g e s t a t t e t i s t , h e u t e i m 20. J a h r h u n d e r t n o c h e i n m a l d a s v i e l z i t i e r t e , z e r r e d e t e W o r t G o e t h e s v o n d e r " g r o s s e n K o n f e s s i o n " z u g e b r a u c h e n , z u w e l c h e r s e i n e D i c h t u n g e n B r u c h s t u c k e s e i e n , s o g i l t d a s f r a g l o s n u r f i i r w e n i g e A u t o r e n u n s e r e r Z e i t i m g l e i c h e n M a s s e w i e f i i r P e t e r W e i s s . ( p . 37) I n o t h e r w o r d s , Incidents a n d c h a r a c t e r s i n A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n a n d F l u c h t p u n k t a r e v i e w e d a s b a s e d u p o n W e i s s ' s own p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s . T h e p r e s e n c e i n D e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s d e s  K u t s c h e r s o f c h a r a c t e r s a n d i n c i d e n t s s i m i l a r t o t h o s e f o u n d i n A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n a n d F l u c h t p u n k t i s a t t r i b u t e d t o t h e f a c t t h a t t h e s o u r c e o f s u c h i n c i d e n t s r e m a i n s t h e s a m e , n a m e l y W e i s s ' s own p e r s o n a l l i f e . H o w e v e r , n o t a l l i n c i d e n t s a n d c h a r a c t e r s f r o m A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n a n d F l u c h t p u n k t r e c u r i n D e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s , a n d e v e n t h o s e w h i c h d o r e c u r a r e m e r e l y s i m i l a r a n d n o t t h e s a m e . My o b j e c t i o n t o t h e d r a w i n g o f p a r a l l e l s b e t w e e n t h e w o r k s t o e x p l a i n i n c i d e n t s a n d 15 c h a r a c t e r s i n D e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s i s t h a t s u c h a v i e w h e l d b y B e s t a n d P e r r y e v a d e s t h e o b v i o u s q u e s t i o n o f t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e s e i n c i d e n t s a n d c h a r a c t e r s f o r t h e s p e c i f i c w o r k b y W e i s s i n w h i c h t h e y o c c u r . T h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e s e i n c i d e n t s a n d c h a r a c t e r s c a n n o t a u t o m a t i c a l l y b e a s s u m e d t o b e t h e same f o r a l l t h e w o r k s b e c a u s e o t h e r w i s e t h e y w o u l d r e c u r w i t h o b v i o u s r e g u l a r i t y a n d u n i f o r m i t y , w h i c h t h e y d o n o t . A m o r e d e t a i l e d r e f e r e n c e t o P e r r y ' s s t u d y " W e i s s ' s D e r S c h a t t e n - d e s K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s : A F o r e r u n n e r o f t h e N o u v e a u R o m a n ? " s h o u l d f u r t h e r c l a r i f y my o b j e c t i o n s t o t h e u s e o f p a r a l l e l s t o W e i s s ' s o t h e r w o r k s t o e x p l a i n t h e c h a r a c t e r s i n D e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s  d e s K u t s c h e r s . I n h i s s t u d y o f t h e n o v e l P e r r y d r a w s a p a r a l l e l b e t w e e n H e r r S c h n e e , t h e c o l l e c t o r o f s t o n e s i n D e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s  d e s K u t s c h e r s , a n d H i e r o n y m u s , t h e c o l l e c t o r o f f r a g m e n t s f r o m b o o k s , c a t a l o g u e s , a n d n e w s p a p e r s i n F l u c h t p u n k t . P e r r y r e f e r s t o a n u m b e r o f o t h e r " m a n i c c o l l e c t o r s " i n W e i s s ' s w r i t i n g s a n d c o n c l u d e s t h a t " H e r r S c h n e e w o u l d t h u s s e em t o b e a p r o j e c t i o n f r o m t h e s e r e a l - l i f e f i g u r e s " ( p . 2 1 7 ) . P e r r y a l s o p o i n t s o u t t h e r e s e m b l a n c e o f t h e i s o l a t e d f a r m s t e a d i n D e r S c h a t t e n d e s  K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s w i t h t h e i s o l a t e d l u m b e r camp i n t h e N o r t h o f S w e d e n d e s c r i b e d i n F l u c h t p u n k t , F r o m t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e l u m b e r c a m p i n F l u c h t p u n k t P e r r y c o n c l u d e s t h a t t h e camp c o o k i s t h e " p r o t o t y p e o f t h e H a u s h a l t e r i n " i n D e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s  d e s K u t s c h e r s ( p . 2 1 7 ) . W h i l e a n u m b e r o f " m a n i c c o l l e c t o r s " do a p p e a r i n W e i s s ' s w o r k s a n d H e r r S c h n e e i s a n e x a m p l e o f s u c h a c o l l e c t o r , t h e m e r e d r a w i n g o f a p a r a l l e l b e t w e e n H e r r S c h n e e i n 16 Per Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers and Hieronymus i n . " Fluchtpunkt does not i n i t s e l f c l a r i f y the s i g n i f i c a n c e of Herr Schnee i n the novel i n which he appears. The categorization of these characters as "manic c o l l e c t o r s " merely serves to point out t h e i r s i m i l a r i t i e s and does not f i n a l l y explain the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the characters in either work. The drawing of p a r a l l e l s between the characters i n Der Schatten des Korpers des  Kutchers and other characters i n Weiss's works a c t u a l l y removes from scrutiny the c e n t r a l issue i n a study of character i n the novel. This issue would concern the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the characters i n regard to the larger themes of the work and would consider the r e l a t i o n s h i p s of the characters to themselves, one another, and to the world about them. In regard to the larger themes of the novel, formulation of those themes also r e l i e s p r i n c i p a l l y upon p a r a l l e l s drawn to Weiss's other works. This treatment of theme i s p a r t i c u l a r l y noticeable i n Liittmann's study of Der Schatten des Korpers des  Kutschers since his discussion of the novel i n a l l i t s other aspects i s almost e x c l u s i v e l y based upon textual observation. Liittmann r e f e r s to the d e s c r i p t i o n i n Fluchtpunkt of a farmstead i n Sweden as "ein Ort der Verbannung, der Verdammnis." In order that the s i m i l a r i t y between the d e s c r i p t i o n of the farmstead i n Fluchtpunkt and that i n Der Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers may be more e a s i l y discerned, the appropriate passages i n the two novels are c i t e d . The passage from Fluchtpunkt i s as follows: Die Tiir des A b t r i t t s hing schief i n den Angeln und ein Biindel langer Bohnenstangen stand i n der Ecke, neben dem S c h l e i f s t e i n . Hinter dem S t a l l war ein Gehege fii r 17 die Schweine, und ich sah ihre schnuppernden feuchten Riissel zwischen den Balken und horte, wie ihre Fiisse im Matsch wiihlten und ihre borstigen Leiber s i c h am Holz rieben. Immer wenn ich mich h i e r a u f h i e l t , war mir, als konnte i c h ewig hier bleiben. Es war ein Ort der Verbannung, der Verdammnis, e i n Ort, der an ein B i l d erinnerte, das Swedenborg von seiner Vorstellung der Holle aufgezeichnet hatte. The farmstead i n Der Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers i s described as follows: Durch die halboffene Tiir sehe i c h den lehmigen, aufgestampften Weg und die morschen Bretter um den Schweinekofen. Der Riissel des Schweines schnuppert i n der bre i t e n Fuge wenn er nicht schnaufend und grunzend im Schlamm wiihlt. . , . Dies sind die Gerausche; das Schmatzen und Grunzen des Schweineriissels, das Schwappen und Klatschen des Schlammes, das borstige Schmieren des Schweineriickens an den Brettern . , . (p. 7) Liittmann considers the s i m i l a r i t y between the two passages to be so s t r i k i n g that he concludes "es scheint mir durchaus ge r e c h t f e r t i g t zu sein, wenn man dies Fluchtpunkt-Zitat zur Erhellung des friiheren Werkes heranzieht" (p. 93). Considering Fluchtpunkt as a de s c r i p t i o n of Weiss's l i f e i n e x i l e , Liittmann then views the characters i n Der Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers as exiled to the i s o l a t e d farmstead of the novel. Since any of the p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l conditions which may have resulted i n the e x i l e of the characters to the farmstead remain u n i d e n t i f i e d i n Der Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers, Liittmann defines e x i l e i n the following manner: "Im Schatten erscheint es a l s ein e x i s t e n z i e l l e r Zustand, und nicht a l s eine h i s t o r i s c h determinierte S i t u a t i o n " (p. 93). However, Liittmann does not elaborate on any of the p a r t i c u l a r s of t h i s " e x i s t e n z i e l l e r 18 Z u s t a n d " a s i t i s p o r t r a y e d i n t h e n o v e l . O t t o F . B e s t a l s o r e f e r s t o t h e f a r m s t e a d d e s c r i b e d i n F l u c h t p u n k t a s a n " O r t d e r V e r b a n n u n g , d e r V e r d a m m n i s " a n d m a k e s t h i s r e f e r e n c e t h e f o c a l p o i n t o f h i s d i s c u s s i o n o f D e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s . F o r B e s t i t i s t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e " O r t d e r V e r b a n n u n g " w h i c h e x p l a i n s t h e r o l e o f t h e n a r r a t o r i n t h e n o v e l : " N i c h t m e h r m i t dem B l i c k d e s l e i d e n d B e t r o f f e n e n w i r d d i e H o l l e g e s e h e n : s i e w i r d v e r m e s s e n , a u f g e l o s t i n d i e G r o t e s k e , e n t l a r v t . D i e S p r a c h e i s t dem A u t o r M i t t e l , s i c h d i e W e l t v om L e i b e z u h a l t e n , a l s K u n s t " ( p . 4 2 ) . I t s h o u l d b e e m p h a s i z e d h e r e a g a i n t h a t f o r B e s t W e i s s a n d t h e n a r r a t o r a r e o n e a n d t h e s a m e . T h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e n o v e l f o r B e s t l i e s i n t h e n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e , i n " d e r a b s u r d i s t i s c h e n t i b e r s p i t z u n g d e r n a t u r a l i s t i s c h e n T e c h n i k . . . i n d e r m a n i s c h - k i i h l e n N o t i e r u n g v o n A b l a u f e n , d e r E n t b l o s s u n g d e r P o r e n e i n e r R e a l i t a t , d e r e n i i b e r w a l t i g e n d e N a h e A h n u n g u n d W i s s e n b e s t a t i g t , A n g s t u n d E k e l h e r v o r r u f t " ( p . 5 3 ) . I t i s t h i s v e r y n a r r a t i v e t e c h n i q u e i n i t s s u s e o f d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n a n d l a c k o f i n t e r p r e t a t i v e i n f o r m a t i o n w h i c h r e n d e r s , f o r B e s t , t h e w o r l d d e s c r i b e d i n t h e n o v e l " e i n O r t d e r V e r d a m m n i s . " B e s t e l a b o r a t e s u p o n t h i s w o r l d : " S i e C t h i s m i n u t e l y d e s c r i b e d w o r I d ] b i e t e t s i c h d a r , w i e o b e n g e z e i g t w u r d e , n a c k t , f r e m d , z e r s t i i c k e l t , h e r a u s g e r i s s e n a u s dem f r e u n d l i c h e n P a n o r a m a v o n T r a d i t i o n u n d m e n s c h l i c h e r G e m e i n s a m k e i t " ( p . 5 1 ) . T h e w o r l d o f D e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s may b e d e s c r i b e d a s " h e r a u s g e r i s s e n a u s dem f r e u n d l i c h e n P a n o r a m a v o n T r a d i t i o n u n d m e n s c h l i c h e r G e m e i n s a m k e i t , " b u t i t i s n o t u n p o p u l a t e d a n d t h e n a r r a t o r i s o n l y o n e o f i t s i n h a b i t a n t s . I f t h i s w o r l d i s a n " O r t d e r V e r b a n n u n g , d e r V e r d a m m n i s , " i t i s p r e s u m a b l y s u c h f o r a l l i t s i n h a b i t a n t s . I n o r d e r t o d e r i v e s i g n i f i c a n c e f r o m s u c h a d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h i s w o r l d i n F l u c h t p u n k t , i t w o u l d s e e m a p p r o p r i a t e t o e x a m i n e t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s o f a l l t h e c h a r a c t e r s o f t h e n o v e l t o t h e w o r l d a b o u t t h e m . P e r r y a l s o r e f e r s t o t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e f a r m s t e a d i n F l u c h t p u n k t a n d c o n c l u d e s t h a t " W e i s s ' s l i k e n i n g t h i s p l a c e t o H e l l l e a d s u s b a c k t o a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f h i s e a r l i e r t e x t a s a w h o l e , a n d t e m p t s u s t o s p e c u l a t e o n t h e m e a n i n g o f t h e w o r l d d e s c r i b e d i n i t " ( p . 2 1 8 ) . P a r a l l e l s d r a w n b e t w e e n W e i s s ' s t e x t s may s e r v e a s p a r t i c u l a r l y f r u i t f u l g r o u n d s f o r s p e c u l a t i o n o n t h e m e a n i n g o f t h e w o r l d i n D e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s , a n d t h o s e p a r a l l e l s a c h i e v e r e l e v a n c e b y a m o r e d e t a i l e d e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e t w e e n t h e c h a r a c t e r s who m a k e u p t h i s w o r l d . L u t t m a n n ' s e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s o f t h e n o v e l c o n s i s t s l a r g e l y o f a c a t a l o g u i n g o f t e x t u a l d e s c r i p t i o n . L i i t t m a n n r e m a r k s u p o n t h e f a c t t h a t w h i l e t h e f a m i l y m e m b e r s a r e d e s i g n a t e d b y t h e i r p o s i t i o n i n t h e f a m i l y ( F a t h e r , M o t h e r , S o n , a n d I n f a n t ) , t h e o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s a r e d e s i g n a t e d a c c o r d i n g t o o c c u p a t i o n . L i i t t m a n n n o t e s , " D i e g e n e r e l l e K e n n z e i c h n u n g d e r P e r s o n e n m a c h t d i e s e A r t d e s B e n e n n e n s v e r s t a n d l i c h , d e n n s i e l a s s t j e d e n v o n i h n e n a l s T y p u s e r s c h e i n e n " ( p . 8 5 ) , L i i t t m a n n p r o c e e d s t o a s s e m b l e t h e t e x t u a l r e f e r e n c e s f o r e a c h c h a r a c t e r , n o t i n g t h e s p e c i f i c t y p e , o r i n some c a s e s , a n t i - t y p e , t o w h i c h e a c h b e l o n g s . F o r e x a m p l e , i n r e g a r d t o H e r r S c h n e e , t h e c o l l e c t o r o f s t o n e s , L i i t t m a n n n o t e s , " S c h n e e v e r k o r p e r t d e n T y p d e s e l e g a n t e n P r i v a t m a n n e s u n d S a m m l e r s , d e r z . B , imme r e i n e n s i l b e r n e n N a g e l r e i n i g e r b e i s i c h t r a g t . . . " ( p . 8 8 ) . I n t h i s s e n s e , 20 L u t t m a n n ' s u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s o f D e r S c h a t t e n d e s  K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s p a r a l l e l s t h a t o f R . C . P e r r y i n h i s s t u d y o f t h e n o v e l . I n h i s s t u d y P e r r y d e f i n e s t h e c h a r a c t e r s a s f o l l o w s : " t h e c h a r a c t e r s h a v e l i t t l e i n common w i t h r e a l p e o p l e — t h e y a r e e x a g g e r a t e d t y p e s , e a c h w i t h o n e o r t w o s p e c i a l a t t r i b u t e s o r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s w h i c h s e r v e t o d e f i n e t h e m " ( p . 2 1 8 ) . P e r r y c o m p a r e s t h e D o c t o r who c a n n o t h e a l h i m s e l f a n d t h e T a i l o r w h o s e c l o t h e s a r e a p a t c h w o r k o f r a g s w i t h " f a i r y - t a l e o r p a r a b l e f i g u r e s " ( p . 2 1 8 ) . P e r r y ' s u s e o f t h e w o r d " t y p e , " t h e n i ' r e f e r s t o a l i t e r a r y c o n v e n t i o n , w h e r e b y c h a r a c t e r s a r e d e s c r i b e d t h r o u g h o n e o r two a t t r i b u t e s r a t h e r t h a n t h r o u g h a f u l l e r c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . L i i t t m a n n a l s o e m p l o y s t h e t e r m " T y p u s " i n t h i s m a n n e r a s i s c l e a r f r o m t h e f o l l o w i n g s t a t e m e n t i n w h i c h h e c o n t r a s t s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i n D e r S c h a t t e n  d e s K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s w i t h t h a t i n o t h e r l i t e r a r y w o r k s : " D i e r e l a t i v s e l b s t a n d i g u n d s o u v e r a n a g i e r e n d e P e r s o n l i c h k e i t , w i e s i e f u r b e s t i m m t e B e r e i c h e t r a d i t i o n e l l e r L i t e r a t u r k e n n z e i c h n e n d w a r , f i n d e t s i c h u n t e r i h n e n Camong t h e i n h a b i t a n t s o f t h e f a r m s t e a d ] n i c h t m e h r " ( p . 8 9 ) . I n s u m m a r i z i n g t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s t o o n e a n o t h e r , L i i t t m a n n c o n c l u d e s t h e f o l l o w i n g : " I n i h r e r U n f a h i g k e i t , i h r e n T y p u s z u v e r l a s s e n , b l e i b e n d i e s e P e r s o n e n e i n a n d e r f r e m d " ( p . 9 1 ) . T h e i n a b i l i t y o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s t o f r e e t h e m s e l v e s f r o m t h e t y p i c a l ( " i h r e n T y p u s z u v e r l a s s e n " ) i s h e r e a n e x i s t e n t i a l p r e d i c a m e n t , a n d i n t h i s s e n s e i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o u n d e r s t a n d " T y p u s " a s a l i t e r a r y c o n v e n t i o n . F r o m t h e f o r e g o i n g i t i s a p p a r e n t t h a t t h e r e i s a t h e o r e t i c a l c o n f u s i o n i n v o l v e d i n 21 the use of "Typus" to describe also an e x i s t e n t i a l state ("bleiben diese Personen einander fremd"). This confusion extends to Liittmann's reference c i t e d e a r l i e r to e x i l e as an " e x i s t e n z i e l l e r Zustand." Liittmann's a t t r i b u t i o n of e x i s t e n t i a l states to types i s due to his confusion i n l e v e l s of a n a l y s i s . This t h e o r e t i c a l obscurity i s what A l f r e d North whitehead c a l l e d the " f a l l a c y of misplaced concreteness," meaning the t r a n s f e r r a l of terms developed at one l e v e l of abstraction to define events at another l e v e l . The error involved i n Liittmann's use of the term "Typus" i s that he has applied a term which refe r s to a l i t e r a r y convention employed by the author i n portraying character to the states of being of the characters i n the novel i t s e l f . Thus, Liittmann's use of types to summarize the textual descriptions of each character i n Per Schatten des Korpers des  Kutschers remains an inadequate explanation of the characters of the novel. In order to examine the characters of the novel a t t e n t i o n w i l l now be turned toward the character of the T a i l o r . Liittmann r e f e r s to the T a i l o r as an anti-type i n the sense that he fashions his own c l o t h i n g out of rags, and as a clown-figure i n his movements and general appearance. The narrator r e f e r s to the T a i l o r as having been given h i s name by the other people at the farmstead "weil er sich aus a l t e n Stoffetzen seine Kleider selbst naht" (p. 13). What follows i s a d e s c r i p t i o n of the T a i l o r ' s d i f f i c u l t i e s which Liittmann r e f e r s to as a "Clownsnummer" (p. 89): Der Schneider erschien auf der Kiichentreppe und kam 22 auf den A b t r i t t zu, i n P a n t o f f e l n , auf den Zehenspitzen v o r s i c h t i g um d i e P f i i t z e n s t e l z e n d , den Kopf t i e f herabgesenkt, d i e P f e i f e im Mund. I c h rSusperte mich und er fuhr auf. Wie immer wenn er unvermutet einem der ubrigen Gaste begegnet, g e r i e t er i n einen Zustand v o l l i g e r F a s s u n g s l o s i g k e i t ; d i e P f e i f e f i e l ihm aus dem Mund und indem er s i c h biickte und nach i h r tappte, f i e l e n ihm auch d i e B r i l l e n g l a s e r von diinnem Draht zusammengehalten, von der Nase. Seine Hande wiihlten i n dem g e l b l i c h e n Lehmwasser; i c h kam ihm zur H i l f e , r e i c h t e ihm d i e B r i l l e und d i e P f e i f e und eine Weile versuchte er, s i c h d i e B r i l l e a l s P f e i f e i n den Mund zu stecken und s i c h d i e P f e i f e a l s B r i l l e auf d i e Augen zu setzen, b i s e n d l i c h d i e GegenstSnde i h r e n zubehorigen P l a t z gefunden h a t t e n ; Tropfen des aufgeweichten Lehms rannen ihm iiber das Gesicht. Er w o l l t e s i c h umwenden und zur i i c k l a u f e n doch er kam n i c h t vom F l e c k , seine Hande schlugen abwechselnd auf und ab und wanden s i c h ineinander. . . . (p, 13) The T a i l o r ' s predicament i s caused then by an unexpected encounter w i t h one of the other i n h a b i t a n t s of the farmstead: "wie immer wenn er unvermutet einem der ubrigen Gaste begegnet, g e r i e t er i n einen Zustand v o l l i g e r F a s s u n g s l o s i g k e i t . " Before he i s dist u r b e d by the presence of another person, the T a i l o r i s c a r e f u l l y n e g o t i a t i n g h i s passage around the mud. The precarious and somewhat c o n t r i v e d way i n which he negotiates t h i s journey i s emphasized i n the use of the word " s t e l z e n d . " I t i s the a r t i f i c i a l i t y of h i s movements that renders him so v u l n e r a b l e to a ttack. When he i s s u r p r i s e d by h i s encounter w i t h the na r r a t o r a chain of events occurs i n which a l l h i s appurtenances begin to a t t a c k him: the d e l i c a t e balancing of h i s pipe and eyeglasses n e c e s s i t a t e d by the forward t i l t i n g of h i s head to negotiate h i s path through the mud i s upset. J u s t as he i n i t i a l l y t r i e s to put h i s glasses i n h i s mouth and h i s pipe before h i s eyes, so when the n a r r a t o r leaves him the d e l i c a t e balance of motion i n i t i a l l y necessary f o r h i s n e g o t i a t i o n of h i s 23 p a s s a g e t h r o u g h t h e mud h a s d e g e n e r a t e d i n t o w i l d b u t i n e f f e c t i v e m o t i o n s : h e i s s t u c k i n t h e m u d . T h e r e i s a s e c o n d r e f e r e n c e i n t h e t e x t t o t h e m a n n e r i n w h i c h t h e T a i l o r ' s e l a b o r a t e l y e x e c u t e d m o t i o n s c o n f o u n d h i m , a n d a g a i n i t i s t h e a r t i f i c i a l i t y o f t h e s e m o t i o n s w h i c h f i n a l l y c a u s e s t h e d i s t o r t i o n . T h e n a r r a t o r d e s c r i b e s t h e m o t i o n s o f t h e T a i l o r a t t a b l e — a n d t h e n a r r a t o r e m p h a s i z e s t h a t t h e p r e s e n c e o f o t h e r s i s n o t p r o b l e m a t i c a l i n t h e same m a n n e r h e r e s i n c e i t i s e x p e c t e d — a s " B e w e g u n g e n d i e s o d u r c h d a c h t s i n d , d a s s s i e s t a n d i g i i b e r s i c h s e l b s t h i n a u s s t e i g e n , g r o s s e B o g e n , v e r s c h n o r k e l t e A r a b e s k e n u n d f u c h t e l n d e W i n k e l b e s c h r e i b e n d " ( p . 2 4 ) . L i i t t m a n n p o i n t s t o t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e T a i l o r ' s m o t i o n s a s " e i n M e r k m a l d e s H a r l e k i n s a u s d e r P a n t o m i m e " ( p . 8 9 ) . Wha t L i i t t m a n n f a i l s t o n o t e i s t h a t , a c c o r d i n g t o t h e t e x t u a l d e s c r i p t i o n , w h a t i s c o m i c a b o u t t h e T a i l o r ' s m o v e m e n t s i s t h a t i n t h e i r c o n t r i v a n c e t h e y s o o u t r e a c h t h e i r o r i g i n a l f u n c t i o n a s t o a c h i e v e a n i n d e p e n d e n c e a n d d i s t a n c e f r o m t h e i r o r i g i n a t o r w h i c h b e c o m e s s e l f - m o c k i n g . I t i s i n t h i s s e n s e o f b e i n g s e l f - m o c k i n g t h a t t h e T a i l o r i s a c l o w n - f i g u r e . J u s t a s i n t h e i n c i d e n t i n w h i c h h e i s s t u c k i n t h e mud a n d h i s f i n a l w i l d g e s t i c u l a t i o n s a r e a m o c k e r y o f t h e c o n t r i v e d w a y h e s e t a b o u t h i s i n i t i a l j o u r n e y i n o r d e r t o a v o i d t h e m u d , s o h e r e h i s e x a g g e r a t e d m o t i o n s m o c k t h e i n i t i a l s e l f - c o n s c i o u s a t t e m p t t o c o n t r o l h i s m o v e m e n t s . L u t t m a n n ' s f a i l u r e t o a n a l y s e t h e s o u r c e o f t h e c o m i c i n t h e T a i l o r ' s m o v e m e n t s i s o n l y p o i n t e d o u t b e c a u s e o f t h e p a r a l l e l w h i c h e x i s t s b e t w e e n my u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e T a i l o r a n d L u t t m a n n ' s a n a l y s i s o f t h e c o m i c e l e m e n t s i n v o l v e d i n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s s e l f - - c o n s c i o u s a t t e m p t t o r e c o r d h i s o b s e r v a t i o n s . I n r e g a r d t o t h e c o m i c e l e m e n t s o f 24 the narrator's record of h i s observations, Liittmann remarks, "Als eine fast permanente Erscheinung l e i t e t s i e Cthe humor ] s i c h aus der systematischen Pedanterie der Wahrnehmung und Darstellung her sowie aus der damit verbundenen Diskrepanz zwischen dem Aufwand an Worten und der Banalitat dessen, was mit ihnen e r f a s s t wird" (p. 103). Just as the; motions of the T a i l o r at table are humorous because of the discrepancy between t h e i r elaborate, t h e a t r i c a l complexity and t h e i r o r i g i n a l intent, i . e . , to enable the passage of food around the table; so the humor of the narration, as Liittmann defines i t , r e s u l t s from the discrepancy between "dem Aufwand an Worten und der Banalitat dessen, was mit ihnen e r f a s s t wird." The tendency of the T a i l o r ' s movements i n th e i r a r t i f i c i a l i t y i s to end up as a mockery of th e i r o r i g i n a l intent either i n t h e i r inappropriateness, as i n the case of h i s interchanging his glasses with his pipe or i n the t h e a t r i c a l nature of h i s motions ,at table, or to end i n a state of suspended motion as i s the case where he i s stuck i n the mud. A further example of t h i s tendency of the T a i l o r ' s elaborate motions to end i n a state of suspended animation i s furnished by the narrator's d e s c r i p t i o n of the T a i l o r ' s attempts at eating. As the narrator describes the mouths of each of the people around the table, he characterizes the mouth of the T a i l o r as follows: "der Mund des Schneiders, gewahlt aufklappend und sich erweiternd zur Maulstarre" (p. 26). The narrator also describes the T a i l o r ' s appearance as clown-like: To the l e f t of the Farmhand at the other side of the table " s i t z t der Schneider, i n seinem fadenscheinigen, zusammengeflickten Anzug, scheckig 25 w i e e i n H a x l e k i n " ( p . 2 4 ) . T h e T a i l o r ' s s u i t i s a l s o a p p a r e n t l y a l w a y s c o m i n g a p a r t a t t h e s e a m s , b e c a u s e h e s p e n d s m o s t o f h i s t i m e s t i t c h i n g i t t o g e t h e r . The n a r r a t o r e x p r e s s e s h i s s u r p r i s e t h a t t h e T a i l o r e a t s a l m o s t a s m u c h a s t h e F a r m h a n d " o b g l e i c h d e r S c h n e i d e r n i c h t w i e d e r H a u s k n e c h t d e n g r o s s t e n T e i l d e s T a g e s i m F r e i e n u n d m i t k b r p e r l i c h a n s t r e n g e n d e n A r b e i t e n v e r b r i n g t , s o n d e r n n u r i n d e r S t u b e i i b e r s e i n e n F l i c k e n h o c k t , , . " ( p , 2 5 ) , I n t e g r a l t o a n a p p r e c i a t i o n o f t h e T a i l o r i s t h e a w a r e n e s s t h a t a l t h o u g h h e was g i v e n h i s name b y t h e o t h e r g u e s t s b e c a u s e h e s ews h i s own c l o t h i n g , t a i l o r i n g i s i n f a c t h i s o c c u p a t i o n i n t h e s e n s e t h a t i t o c c u p i e s m o s t o f h i s t i m e . R o s e Z e l l e r i n h e r c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f t h e p e r s o n s o f t h e n o v e l a t f i r s t r e m a r k s t h a t a l l t h e p e o p l e a t t h e f a r m s t e a d a r e p o s s i b l y a l i t t l e mad " w e i l s i e s o m e r k w i i r d i g e D i n g e t u n " a n d c o n s i d e r s t h e T a i l o r ' s f a s h i o n i n g o f " H a r l e k i n s k l e i d e r a u s S t o f f r e s t e n " a s e x e m p l a r y o f t h i s m a d n e s s ( p . 6 4 4 ) . H o w e v e r , s h e t h e n r e c o n s i d e r s h e r p o s i t i o n a n d n o t e s t h a t t h e c h a r a c t e r s n e e d n o t b e j u d g e d i n s a n e . I n r e g a r d t o t h e T a i l o r , s h e n o t e s , " i n e i n e r Z e i t d e r A r m u t K l e i d e r a u s F l i c k e n z u s a m m e n z u s e t z e n . . . d a s a l l e s i s t s o s i n n l o s n i c h t . . . " ( p . 6 4 4 ) . E v e n p e o p l e who r e f a s h i o n t h e i r c l o t h i n g o u t o f r a g s b e c a u s e o f a d v e r s e c i r c u m s t a n c e s d o n o t s p e n d a l l t h e i r d a y s d o i n g s o . Wha t i s u n u s u a l a b o u t t h e T a i l o r , i f o n e w e r e t o m a k e r e f e r e n c e s t o p e r s o n s i n t h e e v e r y d a y w o r l d , i s t h a t h e i s a t a i l o r who i s h i s o n l y c l i e n t . Wha t i s h u m o r o u s a b o u t t h i s f i g u r e i s t h a t a s a c l i e n t h e h a s a n i n c o m p e t e n t t a i l o r . I t i s t h e f a c t t h a t h i s o c c u p a t i o n c o n s u m e s h i s t i m e a n d h i s a c t i o n s t h a t i s r e m a r k a b l e . A s i s a t t e s t e d t o b y t h e T a i l o r ' s 26 obsession with his c l o t h i n g and with his movements, i t i s not a preoccupation with s e l f but a preoccupation with an objective extension of s e l f i n terms of his physical appearance and self-image. The T a i l o r ' s s o c i a l l i f e consists l a r g e l y of playing cards with the Farmhand. He engages i n this a c t i v i t y during the s o c i a l i z i n g i n the foyer (see p. 37) and the gathering i n the Housekeeper's room (see p. 78). The mannerisms of the T a i l o r even during card playing r e t a i n t h e i r exaggerated q u a l i t y as i n the following description where they are contrasted to those of the Farmhand: "Dann ordnen sie die Karten i n der Hand, worauf der Hausknecht . . . eine Karte hervorzieht und s i e mit Wucht auf den Boden w i r f t , und der Schneider, hockend mit iibereinandergeschlagenen Beinen, dieselbe Geste, doch ..-•...it? a u s f i i h r l i c h e r , noch einmal v o l l z i e h t " (p. 37). The only words spoken by the T a i l o r , except for those shouted i n unison with several others when the Housekeeper and the Mother are locked i n the closet and those addressed to the Doctor, are the names of cards which he c a l l s out i n the course of the game i n the Housekeeper's room (see p. 78). The card game i s the only form of s o c i a l intercourse i n which the T a i l o r i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y engaged as emphasized i n the manner i n which he i s summoned to the game i n the foyer by the Farmhand. The narrator describes the i n i t i a t i o n of the game i n the following fashion: "Aus dem Schatten unter der Treppe kommen Gerausche die auf eine Veranderung der Lage hindeuten und ich sehe j e t z t dass der Schneider, wahrscheinlich kriechend, sich dem Hausknecht genahert hat und dies wahrscheinlich x^eil der Hausknecht ihn mit einem Kartenspiel herbeigewinkt hat" (p. 37). I t seems p a r t i c u l a r l y appropriate that the main form of s o c i a l a c t i v i t y engaged i n by the T a i l o r should consist of a series of separately executed movements. On the basis of these observations regarding the T a i l o r , the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the T a i l o r to himself, to the other characters, and to the world about him may be characterized as estranged. The fac t that he i s a t a i l o r who i s h i s only c l i e n t indicates that the p a r t i c u l a r i t y of his occupation i s i t s d e f i n i t i v e lack of s o c i a l relatedness. This lack of s o c i a l relatedness i n h i s primary occupation i s i l l u s t r a t i v e of h i s estrangement from the world about him. That he i s only induced to leave his i s o l a t e d corner of the room to play cards, an a c t i v i t y that centers around inanimate objects, i s d e s c r i p t i v e of his estrangement from the other people at the farmstead. Both the way i n which he completely loses control when he encounters h i s fellow guests and the way i n which he attempts excessive control over h i s movements when the encounter with others i s expected indicates that he i s so estranged from those around him that the presence of others alienates him from h i s own actions and objects. This a l i e n a t i o n i s comically apparent when the T a i l o r ' s own pipe and glasses seem to assume a l i f e of the i r own i n r e t r i b u t i o n against him. Just as the T a i l o r i s h i s own c l i e n t , so the Doctor i s h i s own patient. The Doctor i s not only his own patient, but also his only patient. This self-absorption of the Doctor's occupation i s suggested i n the conversation between the Doctor and the T a i l o r 28 during the gathering i n the room of the Housekeeper. When the T a i l o r complains to the Doctor about h i s bad back, the Doctor responds with a self-diagnosis (see p. 73). The Doctor i s completely swathed i n bandages and even wears dark glasses. The fact that the Doctor i s almost completely covered with bandages i s emphasized by the narrator's phrase describing the Doctor's hand': "die Hand des Doktors mit Verbandsschlingen zwischen jedem Fingeransatz" (p. 24). The way i n which a l l these bandages serve to nearly immobilize the Doctor i s apparent i n the descriptions of his d i f f i c u l t i e s i n eating and drinking. Everyone at the table i s able to drink normally except the Doctor, "der nur den Mundspalt, diinn wie eine Messerkerbe, an den Wassertropfen netzt" (p. 27). The Doctor's d i f f i c u l t i e s i n eating are i l l u s t r a t e d i n the narrator's de s c r i p t i o n of the Doctor chewing h i s food: "der Doktor wiirgend, ohne die Zahne zu riihren, mit der Zunge das Essen am Gaumen zerdrvickend" (p. 26). His bandaged state renders the manipulation of inanimate objects extremely d i f f i c u l t as i s apparent i n the way i n which he must hold h i s cup: "der Doktor driickt den Becher zwischen die f r e i e Hand und die Hand die den L o f f e l h a l t und i n gemeinsamer Anstrengung klemmen die Hande den Becher dem Mund entgegen . . . " (p. 28). As the Doctor's manipulation of the inanimate world i s constricted by h i s many bandages, so h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p to the other guests i s i n h i b i t e d by h i s preoccupation with h i s wounds. During the s o c i a l i z i n g i n the foyer, the narrator notes the Doctor's a c t i v i t i e s with the following d e s c r i p t i o n : "riicklings an den Schirmstander gestiitzt, i s t der Doktor zu sehen . . . mit 29 d e r e i n e n H a n d d e n V e r b a n d am G e l e n k d e r a n d e r e n H a n d a b w i c k e l n d " ( p , 3 7 ) . T h e e v e n i n g f o r t h e D o c t o r c o n s i s t s o f t h e u n w r a p p i n g o f h i s b a n d a g e s o t h a t a t e v e n i n g ' s e nd h i s w o u n d i s f i n a l l y r e v e a l e d : " d e r D o k t o r l o s t , m i t v e r z e r r t e m M u n d , d a s l e t z t e S t u c k d e s V e r b a n d e s v o m H a n d g e l e n k u n d b l i c k t a u f d i e s i c h t b a r g e w o r d e n e f l a m m e n d r o t e H a u t . . . " ( p . 3 8 ) . A t t h e s o c i a l g a t h e r i n g i n t h e r o o m o f t h e H o u s e k e e p e r t h e D o c t o r ' s m a i n a c t i v i t y c o n s i s t s o f t h e u n w r a p p i n g o f t h e b a n d a g e a r o u n d h i s h e a d u n t i l h e h a s u n c o v e r e d " e i n e b r e i t e , s c h w a r e n d e W u n d e " ( p . 7 8 ) . T h i s o b l i v i o u s n e s s o f t h e D o c t o r t o o t h e r s i s f u r t h e r e m p h a s i z e d t h r o u g h h i s i n a t t e n t i o n t o t h e c o m m o t i o n i n t h e H o u s e k e e p e r ' s r o o m o v e r t h e b r e a k i n g o f t h e m u s i c b o x ( s e e p . 7 7 ) . L a t e r o n i n t h e same e v e n i n g w h e n t h e M o t h e r a n d t h e H o u s e k e e p e r a r e t r a p p e d i n t h e c l o s e t , t h e D o c t o r d o e s n o t e v e n t u r n t o w a r d t h e c l o s e t d o o r a n d d u r i n g t h e e n s u i n g t u m u l t s i t s " u n b e t e i l i g t i n s e i n e m S t u h l " ( p . 8 5 ) . T h e d u a l u s e o f t h e D o c t o r ' s r o o m a s b o t h h i s r e s i d e n c e a n d s u r g e r y i l l u s t r a t e s t h e s y n t h e s i s b e t w e e n h i s l i f e a n d l i v e l i h o o d . T h e f u t i l i t y o f t h e D o c t o r ' s m e d i c a l o p e r a t i o n s i s a p p a r e n t i n h i s r e m a r k s t o t h e n a r r a t o r i n w h i c h h e c l a i m s t o h a v e c u t " b i s a u f d i e K n o c h e n " a n d c omes t o t h e r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t t h e s o u r c e o f i n f e c t i o n " s i t z t n o c h t i e f e r " ( p . 5 9 ) . H i s m e d i c a l e x e r c i s e s a r e h a m p e r e d f u r t h e r b y v i s i o n s o i m p a i r e d t h a t h e m u s t w o r k i n t h e d a r k ( s e e p . 6 0 ) . G i v e n t h e a b o v e e x a m p l e s , a p a t t e r n e m e r g e s w h i c h s u g g e s t s t h a t f o r t h e D o c t o r t h e w o r l d o f s e l f h a s a b s o r b e d i n t o i t t h e w o r l d a b o u t h i m . A l l r e l a t i o n s h i p s t o t h e w o r l d o f o b j e c t s a n d t o o t h e r p e r s o n s a r e i n e x t r i c a b l y l i n k e d t o h i s b a n d a g e s , h i s w o u n d s , h i s t r e a t m e n t s . G i v e n t h i s p r e o c c u p a t i o n , t h e D o c t o r ' s i n a b i l i t y t o a d e q u a t e l y t r e a t h i s own w o u n d s i n d i c a t e s t h a t t h e D o c t o r ' s e s t r a n g e m e n t f r o m h i s w o r l d , l i k e t h a t o f t h e T a i l o r , e x t e n d s t o a n e s t r a n g e m e n t f r o m h i m s e l f . H e r r S c h n e e o c c u p i e s m o s t o f h i s t i m e c o l l e c t i n g s t o n e s . He h a s c o l l e c t e d t h r e e t h o u s a n d s e v e n h u n d r e d a n d s e v e n t y - t w o s t o n e s ( s e e p . 3 6 ) . T h e a c t i v i t i e s o f H e r r S c h n e e a r e d e s c r i b e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r a s f o l l o w s : G r o s s e M e n g e n v o n S t e i n e n h a t e r s c h o n i m L a u f e d e r Z e i t a u s d e r E r d e g e g r a b e n u n d u n t e r s u c h t , z a h l r e i c h e S t e i n e d i e e r a l s u n a n w e n d b a r b e t r a c h t e t e , h a t e r m i t e i n e m S c h u b k a r r e n z u e i n e m H a u f e n h i n t e r dem H o l z s c h u p p e n g e f a h r e n , a n d e r e S t e i n e , d e n e n e r s e i n S t u d i u m w i d m e t , h a t e r i n s e i n Z i m m e r h i n a u f g e t r a g e n wo e r s i e i n R e g a l e n , d i e r i n g s u m d i e Wande a u s f i i l l e n , v e r w a h r t . ( p p . 1 2 - 1 3 ) A s H e r r S c h n e e i s a b s o r b e d i n t h e c o l l e c t i o n o f s t o n e s , s o t h e C a p t a i n i s a b s o r b e d i n t h e c l e a n i n g o f h i s s w o r d . T h e i r • r e l a t i o n s h i p t o e a c h o t h e r a n d t o t h e o t h e r g u e s t s i s b e s t i l l u s t r a t e d i n t h e e p i s o d e d u r i n g t h e e v e n i n g s o c i a l a c t i v i t y i n t h e f o y e r i n w h i c h t h e C a p t a i n s hows h i s s w o r d t o t h e F a t h e r a n d H e r r S c h n e e . H e r r S c h n e e t h e n b r i n g s o u t some s t o n e s f r o m h i s p o c k e t " u n d h a l t s i e i i b e r d i e S a b e l s c h e i d e , u n t e r d i e B l i c k e d e s H a u p t m a n n s u n d d e s V a t e r s " ( p . 3 2 ) . S o c i a l i n t e r c o u r s e f o r t h e C a p t a i n a n d H e r r S c h n e e c o n s i s t s o f s h a r i n g o b j e c t s o f t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e o c c u p a t i o n : t h e s t o n e s and t h e s w o r d . T h u s , t h e i r s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s m e r e l y s e r v e a s f u r t h e r e v i d e n c e f o r t h e i r s e l f - a b s o r p t i o n . N o w h e r e i n t h e n a r r a t i v e i s t h i s m o r e c l e a r l y s u g g e s t e d t h a n i n t h e e p i s o d e d u r i n g m e a l t i m e i n w h i c h t h e T a i l o r l o s e s h i s t o o t h . T h e e p i s o d e i s r e c o u n t e d b y t h e 31 narrator as follows: Er [_the T a i l o r ] h i e l t den Zahn vor s i c h hin und s t a r r t e ihn an. Der Hauptmann sagte, e i n Zahn. Auch die Haushalterin sagte, e i n Zahn. Herr Schnee streckte die Hand liber den Ti s c h unter d i e Hand des Schneiders die den Zahn h i e l t und sagte, mir geben. Der Schneider senkte den Zahn i n die Hand Schnees herab, Schnee fiihrte den Zahn zu s i c h heran, wischte ihn mit seinem Taschentuch ab, betrachtete ihn und l i e s s ihn i n die Brusttasche seiner Jacke g l e i t e n , wobei er sagte, auch Zahne i n meiner Sammlung. Der Schneider legte die Brotscheibe die er schon e r g r i f f e n hatte, wieder zuriick und sass nun unbeweglich da. Der Hausknecht ass unbekiimmert weiter. Der Doktor kaute miihsam an seinem Brot. Herr Schnee ass weiter. Die Haushalterin ass weiter. Der Hauptmann ass weiter. Ich ass weiter, um das p l o t z l i c h aufsteigende Gefiihl der Unendlichkeit dieses Morgens zu ersticken. (p. 67) Not only i s Herr Schnee only capable of r e l a t i n g to the world i n terms of h i s own occupation, but that occupation seems capable of embracing any novel s i t u a t i o n . The T a i l o r , d i s p l a y i n g again the tendency of events i n h i s case to end i n a state of suspended animation, merely holds up the tooth and stares at i t . The Captain and the Housekeeper name the object as though that were s u f f i c i e n t to define the event i n a l l i t s importance, i . e . , as though the tooth i t s e l f rather than the l o s i n g of the tooth were the event. Herr Schnee, i n f a c t , acts out th e i r d e f i n i t i o n of the event by appropriating the object into his c o l l e c t i o n , that i s , by r e l a t i n g to any event i n the manner to which he i s accustomed. The T a i l o r i s s t i l l i n a state of suspended animation: "Der Schneider legte die Brotscheibe die er schon e r g r i f f e n hatte, wieder zuriick und sass nun unbeweglich da. " The Farmhand, the Doctor, Herr Schnee, and the Housekeeper continue eating. That the Farmhand i s completely oblivious to the event i s noted i n the 32 words "ass unbekiimmert welter," That the event has no e f f e c t on the Doctor i s noted i n the fa c t that he eats with the same d i f f i c u l t y as always: "Der Doktor kaute muhsam an seinem Brot." The r e p e t i t i o n of the phrase "ass weiter" for the Housekeeper and the Captain stresses the r e p e t i t i v e nature of the meal despite the unexpected event. The r e p e t i t i v e nature of the meal i s emphasized again by the narrator's "Ich ass weiter" and defined as such by his own explanation, "um das p l o t z l i c h aufsteigende Gefuhl der Unendlichkeit dieses Morgens zu erst i c k e n . " The humor i n t h i s e n t i r e scene l i e s i n the repetitiveness of the b i z a r r e responses of the characters. There has h i t h e r t o been no mention of teeth i n Herr Schnee's c o l l e c t i o n and there i s no reason for anyone to assume that a c o l l e c t o r of stones would also be a c o l l e c t o r of teeth. It i s b i z a r r e that Herr Schnee c o l l e c t s teeth and that the c o l l e c t i o n of the tooth passes without notice. The e n t i r e moment becomes suspended i n time just as the T a i l o r ' s movements are suspended i n space. The suspension i n time i s not due just to the repetitiveness i n the actions but also to the way i n which novelty i s subsumed by them. Liittmann's suggestion that Herr Schnee's tooth c o l l e c t i o n i s i n keeping with h i s name, his physical features (pale f a c e ) , and his i n t e r e s t i n white stones (see p. 88) only serves to emphasize the a r b i t r a r y nature of the c r i t e r i a applied by Schnee to the appropriateness of objects for h i s c o l l e c t i o n . The a r b i t r a r i n e s s of the c r i t e r i a also accounts for the suggestion that any novel event i s somehow capable of being subsumed by Herr Schnee's propensity for c o l l e c t i n g . Furthermore, the c o l l e c t i n g of the 33 t o o t h s u g g e s t s t h a t H e r r S c h n e e ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e p e o p l e a b o u t h i m a n d t o t h e o b j e c t s i n h i s w o r l d i s s o e s t r a n g e d t h a t p e o p l e a n d o b j e c t s a r e o n l y v i e w e d b y h i m i n r e g a r d t o t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h t h e y a r e o c c u p a t i o n a l l y u s e f u l . T he p r i m a r y a c t i v i t i e s e n g a g e d i n b y t h e M o t h e r c o n s i s t o f t h e f e e d i n g a n d c a r e o f h e r i n f a n t a n d t h e s h a r i n g o f v i e w s o n c h i l d c a r e , f o o d a n d c l o t h i n g w i t h t h e H o u s e k e e p e r . T h e f i r s t g l i m p s e o f t h e f a m i l y i n t h e n a r r a t i v e i s g i v e n i n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f . h i s v i e w o f t h e f a m i l y t h r o u g h t h e o p e n w i n d o w o f t h e i r r o o m . He s e e s t h e f o l l o w i n g : : d i e M u t t e r . . . m i t e n t b l o s s t e r B r u s t u n d a n d e r B r u s t d e n S a u g l i n g " ; d e r V a t e r am T i s c h i n d e r M i t t e d e s Raumes s t e h e n d , d i e H a n d e z u F a u s t e n g e b a l l t , v o r s i c h a u f d i e T i s c h p l a t t e g e s t i i t z t . . . u n d i h m g e g e n i i b e r , n i c h t s i t z e n d , s o n d e r n i n d e r K n i e b e u g e h o c k e n d , d e r S o h n , d a s K i n n a u f d i e T i s c h k a n t e g e p r e s s t , d i e S c h u l t e r n b i s z u d e n O h r e n h i n a u f g e z o g e n , i n d e n Mund d e s V a t e r s h i n e i n s t a r r e n d . ( p . 1 4 ) T h e S o n ' s a b j e c t p o s t u r e i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e F a t h e r i s e v i d e n c e o f t h e e x t e n t o f t h e c o n t r o l w h i c h t h e F a t h e r e x e r c i s e s o v e r h i m . T h e m i l i t a n t s t a n c e o f t h e F a t h e r , " d i e H a n d e z u F a u s t e n g e b a l l t , " e x p r e s s e s h i s t e n d e n c y t o r e s o r t t o v i o l e n c e i n o r d e r t o m a i n t a i n t h i s c o n t r o l . T h i s t e n d e n c y o f t h e F a t h e r t o r e s o r t t o v i o l e n c e i s f u r t h e r a t t e s t e d t o b y t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e s o u n d s h e a r d f r o m t h e f a m i l y ' s r o o m d u r i n g t h e e v e n i n g m e a l : " w o r a u f e i n a n d e r e s G e r a u s c h e r k l a n g , w i e v o n e i n e m a u f e i n e n K o r p e r h a r t n i e d e r f a h r e n d e n R i e m e n , m e h r m a l s w i e d e r h o l t , b i s e s w i e d e r s t i l l w u r d e " ( p . 2 8 ) . L a t e t h a t e v e n i n g t h e n a r r a t o r a c t u a l l y w i t n e s s e s t h e b e a t i n g o f t h e S o n b y t h e F a t h e r , a n d i t i s c l e a r t h a t s u c h a b e a t i n g i s a common o c c u r e n c e ( s e e p p . 3 9 - 4 0 ) . T h e 34 F a t h e r ' s p r o c l i v i t y t o w a r d v i o l e n c e i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n h i s c o n v e r s a t i o n a f t e r h e h a s s e n t h i s s o n o n t h e l o n g j o u r n e y t o t o w n t o h a v e t h e m u s i c b o x r e p a i r e d w h i c h t h e s o n h a s j u s t b r o k e n : " u n d a u s d e n B e m e r k u n g e n d i e d e r V a t e r . . . . v e r l a u t e n l i e s s , w a r z u v e r s t e h e n , d a s s e r v o n P r i i g e l s t r a f e n , S p i e s s r u t e n l a u f e n , E r h a n g u n g e n , E n t h a u p t u n g e n , E i n k e r k e r u n g e n , E r t r a n k u n g e n , V e r b r e n n u n g e n u n d V e r b a n n u n g e n s p r a c h " ( p . 7 7 ) . I t i s c l e a r f r o m t h e r e f e r e n c e s i n t h e F a t h e r ' s c o n v e r s a t i o n t o a c t s o f v i o l e n c e s u c h a s " E n t h a u p t u n g e n " w h i c h a r e n o t n o r m a l l y a c c e p t a b l e a s d i s c i p l i n a r y m e t h o d s t o b e u s e d o n c h i l d r e n t h a t t h e F a t h e r ' s r e s o r t t o v i o l e n c e i n c o n t r o l l i n g h i s s o n i s e x p r e s s i v e o f a f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h m o r e g e n e r a l f o r m s o f p u n i t i v e , v i o l e n t b e h a v i o r . J u s t a s H e r r S c h n e e ' s c o l l e c t i o n o f s t o n e s i s e n l a r g e d t o i n c l u d e t e e t h , s o t h e F a t h e r ' s c o n c e r n w i t h t h e b e a t i n g o f h i s s o n i n v o l v e s a p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h o t h e r f o r m s o f v i o l e n c e a s w e l l . H o w e v e r , d e s p i t e t h e F a t h e r ' s p r o c l i v i t y t o w a r d v i o l e n c e , t h e S o n ' s b e a t i n g o c c u r s i n a s p e c i f i c c o n t e x t a n d i t i s t h i s c o n t e x t w h i c h i s t o b e e x a m i n e d h e r e . D u r i n g t h e s o c i a l i z i n g i n t h e f o y e r , t h e s u g g e s t i o n i s made t h a t t h e S o n m i g h t h e l p H e r r S c h n e e i n h i s a c t i v i t i e s . T h e F a t h e r i s i n t e r e s t e d s i n c e h e s e e s h i s s o n a s " z u n i c h t s n u t z e " ( p . 3 5 ) . He c a l l s t h e s o n i n t o t h e r o o m a n d i t i s c l e a r f r o m h i s w o r d s t h a t h e v i e w s t h i s a s t h e c h a n c e o f t r a n s f o r m i n g h i s s o n f r o m a p a s s i v e l o a f e r i n t o a p r o d u c t i v e member o f t h e s o c i e t y o f t h e f a r m s t e a d : " N u t z e n , H e r r n S c h n e e s T a t i g k e i t , l a n g e g e n u g z u g e s e h n " ( p . 3 6 ) . H e r r S c h n e e a s s u r e s t h e m t h a t a s a l a r y i s i n v o l v e d — " a u c h m i t L o h n r e c h n e n " ( p . 3 6 ) — a n d i t i s c l e a r t h a t t h e S o n i s t o b e 35 i n i t i a t e d i n t o a d u l t h o o d t h r o u g h h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a n a d u l t a c t i v i t y . T h e f a c t t h a t t h e v e n t u r e c o n s t i t u t e s a r i t e d e  p a s s a g e f o r t h e S o n i s e m p h a s i z e d b y t h e C a p t a i n ' s u s e o f r i t u a l t o c l o s e t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n : D e r H a u p t m a n n h a t d i e S c h e i d e d e s S a b e l s a u s d e r H a n d d e s V a t e r s h e r a u s g e z o g e n , e r h e b t d i e S c h e i d e u n d s c h l a g t d a m i t l e i c h t a u f d i e n i e d e r h a n g e n d e S c h u l t e r d e s S o h n e s , w a h r e n d d e s s e n h a l t d i e M u t t e r n o c h d e n J a c k e n s a u m d e s S o h n e s f e s t u n d d e r Z e i g e f i n g e r d e s V a t e r s i s t n o c h i m K n o p f l o c h d e r J a c k e d e s S o h n e s v e r h a k t . ( p . 37) T h e p o s t u r e o f t h e M o t h e r a n d o f t h e F a t h e r a t t h e same t i m e a t t e s t s t o t h e d u r e s s u n d e r w h i c h t h e r i t u a l i s c o n s u m m a t e d . T h e b e a t i n g t h e s o n r e c e i v e s l a t e r t h a t n i g h t f u r t h e r a t t e s t s t o t h e f o r c e n e c e s s a r y t o p e r s u a d e h i m t o f o l l o w h i s p a r e n t ' s w i s h e s . B y t h e f o l l o w i n g m o r n i n g o r d e r i s r e s t o r e d : " D i e B e w e g u n g e n d e s V a t e r s s i n d k r a f t i g u n d e r w a r t u n g s v o 1 1 , w a h r e n d d i e H a l t u n g d e s S o h n e s S c h w a c h e u n d E r g e b u n g a u s d r i i c k t . . . " ( p . 49). T h e u s e o f t h e w o r d " e r w a r t u n g s v o l l , " i n l i g h t o f t h e r i t u a l e n a c t e d t h e e v e n i n g b e f o r e , e x p r e s s e s t h e e x p e c t a t i o n s o f a f a t h e r f o r h i s s o n a s h i s s o n t a k e s h i s f i r s t s t e p i n t o t h e w o r l d o f a d u l t h o o d . T h e c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f t h e p o s t u r e o f t h e S o n a s e x p r e s s i n g " S c h w a c h e u r i d E r g e b u n g " i s e v i d e n c e o f h i s r e p r e s s e d d i s i n c l i n a t i o n t o e n g a g e i n t h e a c t i v i t i e s o f t h e a d u l t w o r l d . T h e S o n ' s e n g a g e m e n t i n t h e a c t i v i t i e s o f t h e a d u l t w o r l d c o n s i s t s o f t h e a i d i n g o f H e r r S c h n e e i n t h e c o l l e c t i o n o f s t o n e s . H e r r S c h n e e ' s c o l l e c t i o n e x i s t s f o r h i m s e l f a l o n e ; h e i s t h e s o l e a p p r a i s e r o f h i s c o l l e c t i o n . H e r r S c h n e e ' s o c c u p a t i o n i s t h u s m a r k e d b y t h e same s i n g u l a r l a c k o f s o c i a l r e l a t e d n e s s a s t h a t o f t h e T a i l o r 36 who i s t h e s i n g l e c l i e n t f o r t h e p r o d u c t s o f h i s o c c u p a t i o n . T h e S o n ' s i n v o l v e m e n t i s o f l i t t l e h e l p t o H e r r S c h n e e . T h e S o n ' s a t t e m p t s t o t r a n s p o r t t h e s t o n e s b y w h e e l b a r r o w a c r o s s t h e y a r d a r e m a r k e d b y f a i l u r e ; e a c h t i m e t h e w h e e l b a r r o w t i p s o v e r a n d t h e s t o n e s a r e dumped o v e r t h e y a r d . T h e S o n ' s a s s i s t a n c e i n i n i t i a l l y l o a d i n g t h e w h e e l b a r r o w w i t h s t o n e s wa s s u p e r f l u o u s s i n c e H e r r S c h n e e i n s i s t e d o n p e r f o r m i n g e a c h t a s k i n v o l v e d r i g h t a l o n g w i t h t h e S o n s o t h a t H e r r S c h n e e " s e l b s t d i e S c h a u f e l h o b , d e r e n G e w i c h t d u r c h d i e A r m e d e s S o h n e s n o c h e r s c h w e r t w u r d e , u n d d i e S c h a u f e l i n d e n S c h u b k a r r e n a u s l u d , w o b e i e r d i e a n d e r S c h a u f e l h a n g e n d e n H a n d e u n d A r m e d e s S o h n e s m i t s i c h r i s s " ( p . 5 1 ) . T h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h H e r r S c h n e e p e r f o r m s t h e t a s k s r i g h t a l o n g w i t h t h e S o n i n d i c a t e s t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h t h e t a s k i n v o l v e d i s H e r r S c h n e e ' s t a s k a n d n o t t h a t o f t h e S o n . T h e o n l y s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e S o n ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n H e r r S c h n e e ' s a c t i v i t i e s i s i n t e r m s o f a r i t e d e p a s s a g e i n t o t h e a d u l t s o c i e t y o f t h e f a r m s t e a d . C o n s i d e r i n g t h e a c t i v i t i e s o f t h e a d u l t s o f t h i s w o r l d , t h e r i t e d e p a s s a g e i s s u c c e s s f u l l y e x e c u t e d t h r o u g h t h e S o n ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s s e l f - a l i e n a t i n g a c t : h e i s s u c c e s s f u l l y i n i t i a t e d i n t o t h e e s t r a n g e d w o r l d o f t h e a d u l t s . T h e S o n a g a i n c o n f r o n t s t h i s e s t r a n g e d w o r l d o f t h e a d u l t s d u r i n g t h e s o c i a l g a t h e r i n g h e l d i n t h e H o u s e k e e p e r ' s r o o m . T h e c o n f r o n t a t i o n , w h i c h i s d i s a s t r o u s i n i t s c o n s e q u e n c e s , f o r m s o n e o f t h e m o s t h u m o r o u s s c e n e s i n t h e n o v e l . T h e S o n , l i k e t h e n a r r a t o r , s t a n d s n e a r t h e w i n d o w a p a r t f r o m t h e r e s t o f t h e c o m p a n y a n d a s t h e o u t s i d e r a c t s a s t h e c a t a l y s t f o r t h e e v e n t s w h i c h f o l l o w : h i s o v e r w i n d i n g o f a m u s i c b o x i n i t i a t e s a c h a i n o f 37 e v e n t s i n w h i c h t h e e n t i r e p a r t y i s t h r o w n i n t o c o n f u s i o n b y t h e H o u s e k e e p e r , H o w e v e r , t h e r o l e p l a y e d b y t h e S o n i n i n i t i a t i n g t h e d i s a s t e r d o e s n o t i m p l y t h a t h e i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r i t s i n c e t h e p r e l u d e t o t h e e v e n t i s d e s c r i b e d i n s u c h a w a y a s to, make t h e d i s a s t e r a p p e a r i n e v i t a b l e . T h e n a r r a t o r f i r s t d e s c r i b e s t h e p a t h t a k e n b y e a c h o f t h e g u e s t s i n e n t e r i n g t h e r o o m f o r t h e p a r t y . T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n — i n a s e n t e n c e o ne a n d a h a l f p a g e s i n l e n g t h , l i s t i n g a l l t h e f u r n i s h i n g s o f t h e r o o m a s t h e g u e s t s p a s s b y t h e m — i s s u p p l e m e n t e d b y a n e v e n m o r e e x h a u s t i v e i n v e n t o r y o f t h e r o o m . T h e l i s t o f f u r n i s h i n g s i n c l u d e s a l l t h e i t e m s w h i c h a r e l a t e r t o p r o v e p r o b l e m a t i c a l : t h e i r o n w h i c h f a l l s o n H e r r S c h n e e ' s f o o t a s t h e H o u s e k e e p e r a t t e m p t s t o r e a c h t h e m u s i c b o x ; t h e g l a s s e s w h i c h s p i l l t h e i r c o n t e n t s o v e r s e v e r a l g u e s t s ; t h e c u r t a i n s w h i c h l a t e r f a l l d o w n a s a r e s u l t o f t h e S o n ' s p u l l i n g a t t h e m ; t h e p l a n t e r w h i c h i s k n o c k e d t o t h e f l o o r w h e n t h e c u r t a i n s f a l l d o w n ; t h e m u s i c b o x w h i c h t h e S o n o v e r w i n d s ; a n d t h e c l o s e t d o o r b e h i n d w h i c h t h e M o t h e r a n d t h e H o u s e k e e p e r l a t e r a r e t r a p p e d . H o w e v e r , n o d i s t i n c t i o n i s made i n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n b e t w e e n t h e s e o b j e c t s i n t h e r o o m a n d a n y o f t h e o t h e r f u r n i s h i n g s l i s t e d b y h i m . T h e e f f e c t o f s u c h a u n i f o r m i t e m i z i n g o f a l l t h e f u r n i s h i n g s o f t h e r o o m i s t o make t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n a p p e a r a s a n i n v e n t o r y o f u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d , p o t e n t i a l d i s a s t e r . L i i t t m a n n d i s c u s s e s t h e n a r r a t o r ' s a t t e m p t s i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n s o f r o o m s t o d e p i c t a l l t h e o b j e c t s w i t h i n h i s v i e w a s p r o d u c i n g a n " E i g e n a k t i v i t a t d e r D i n g e " ( p . 20) i n t h a t t h e p a s s i v e r o l e a s s u m e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r i n r e f u s i n g t o g r a n t a n y o n e o b j e c t i m p o r t a n c e o v e r a n y o t h e r a n d i n r e l i n q u i s h i n g p r e d o m i n a n c e 38 over any of the objects places the narrator i n the p o s i t i o n of subordination to these objects. In regard to the s p e c i f i c instance of the party i n the Housekeeper's room Liittmann concludes: Und a l l e Personen, ausser dem beobachtenden Erzahler der mit dem Sohn am Rande des Zimmers steht, begeben s i c h i n diese Dingwelt h i n e i n und handeln darin, als ware ihnen die Verfiigungsgewalt iiber s i e gegeben. In dieser K o n s t e l l a t i o n entwickeln die Dinge eine besondere E i g e n a k t i v i t a t , und so i s t die Serie der "Katastophen" unvermeidlich. (p. 20) However I would contend that objects appear animated because the people are made to appear as inanimate objects, as items to be d i s t r i b u t e d — " v e r t e i l t " (p. 69)—among the tables and chairs, whenever the guests attempt to exert control over the s i t u a t i o n they only create further d i s a s t e r : i t i s the Housekeeper's attempt to r e t r i e v e the music box which a c t u a l l y p r e c i p i t a t e s the o r i g i n a l d i s a s t e r . When the Farmhand, the Father and the Captain f i n a l l y do force the closet door open with a crowbar, the Mother and the Housekeeper push i t down onto the Father's head. The guests appear to be helpless because they are portrayed as objects i n a contest with the other objects of t h e i r immediate environment. In such a contest they are outnumbered, and the outcome i s for t h i s reason i n e v i t a b l e . Thus, i t i s a d i s a s t e r i n which a l l those affected are "innocent" victims, none of whom, with the possible exception of the Son who alone i s held accountable for h i s actions and forced to make the long t r i p to town to have the music box repaired, suffers irreparable damage. Accordingly i t i s the p o s i t i o n of the Son as an outsider (and hence punished victim) which detracts from the humor of the 39 s i t u a t i o n . The narrator's chief a c t i v i t y consists of the recording of his observations of l i f e on the farmstead. As has e a r l i e r been noted i n regard to the l i n k between the narrator's observations and h i s act of recording them, the record of the narrator r e f l e c t s his attempt to observe o b j e c t i v e l y the events of h i s world i n th e i r t o t a l i t y . The act of recording f o r the narrator i s an attempt to order the world about him as he observes i t . Just as the T a i l o r fashions his own clothing out of b i t s and pieces of his world, so the narrator i s occupied with the ordering of the events of h i s world into a wr i t t e n text. The narrator's occupation i s evidence of an estrangement from the world about him, from the other persons on the farmstead, and from himself. The narrator's ordering of the events of h i s world r e f l e c t s an estrangement from that world to the degree that h i s a c t i v i t i e s render him incapable of acting on the world about him. The narrator's diminished capacity to act on the world about him may be i l l u s t r a t e d through reference to h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of h i s walk through the farmhouse to his room. The narrator's passage through the farmhouse i s marked by a d e s c r i p t i o n of each object which passes into h i s view. Because the narrator i s merely describing each object as i t appears i n h i s view, a l l objects are viewed from the same perspective and are of equal importance. The narrator's passage down the h a l l i s described by him as having been executed with greater ease than his e a r l i e r passage through the kitchen and the foyer: "Der schmale Lciufer zieht s i c h von der Treppe aus durch den F l u r , seine schwarzen Kanten gleichen 40 Schienen, und im Dahinschreiten war mir als r o l l t e i c h i n einem Wagen bis vor die Dachstiege h i n " (p. 17), Liittmann concludes the following i n regard to the r e l a t i v e ease of the narrator's walk down the h a l l : "Diese p l b t z l i c h e L e i c h t i g k e i t der Bewegung e r k l a r t s i c h daraus, dass der Erzahler auf diesem F l u r l e d i g l i c h sechs g l e i c h a r t i g e 'braune Tiiren mit Messingklinke und : ; Schliisselloch' . • . zu beachten hat: s i e konnen pauschal wahrgenommen werden" (p. 19). In other words, the uniformity of the objects which pass into the narrator's view on h i s walk down the h a l l makes his walk down the h a l l much easier than his walk through the kitchen and foyer, since both these rooms are f i l l e d with a v a r i e t y of objects. Since none of the objects i n the kitchen or foyer i s an obstacle i n the sense of p h y s i c a l l y impeding his passage through the room, the narrator's greater d i f f i c u l t y i n passing through these rooms must l i e i n h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p to these objects. The narrator's ordering of these objects whereby each i s described as i t appears i n h i s view so that each object i s of equal importance does not allow the narrator to exert s u f f i c i e n t control over these objects. Thus, these objects are able to impinge upon h i s movements to the extent that the r e l a t i v e ease of his movements i s controlled by them. The extent to which the narrator f e e l s himself to be c o n t r o l l e d by the objects i n h i s world i s indicated i n the manner i n which he attempts to escape t h i s world. In an a c t i v i t y which the narrator terms the "Erdenken von B i l d e r n , " the narrator places grains of s a l t i n his eyes. He describes how t h i s procedure a f f e c t s his perception of his room: u n d s e l b s t w e n n d i e s e r Raum n i c h t s a n d e r e s e n t h S l t a l s e i n e n T i s c h . , e i n e n S t u h l , e i n e n W a s c h t i s c h u n d e i n B e t t , u n d w e n n a u c h a n d e r e i n e n s c h r a g e n Wand n i c h t s a n d e r e s v o r h a n d e n i s t a l s d i e F e n s t e r l u k e i i b e r dem T i s c h , u n d a n d e r g e g e n i i b e r l i e g e n d e n s e n k r e c h t e n Wand n u r e i n e T i i r , u n d a n d e n b e i d e n a n d e r e n , d u r c h d a s D a c h a b g e w i n k e l t e n Wanden n i c h t s , s o s t o s s t s i c h m e i n B l i c k d o c h n o c h a n d i e s e n B e g r e n z u n g e n u n d f e s t e n F o r m e n ; m i t d e n T r a n e n l o s e i c h s i e a u f . ( p . 1 8 ) E v e n t h e o b j e c t s i n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s s p a r s e l y f u r n i s h e d r o o m a r e v i e w e d a s a h i n d r a n c e t o h i m , a n d t h e n a r r a t o r m u s t p u t f o r e i g n o b j e c t s i n t o h i s e y e s i n o r d e r t o c o u n t e r a c t t h e c o n t r o l t h e o b j e c t s i n h i s r o o m e x e r c i s e o v e r h i m . I n t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f o n e o f h i s v i s i o n s , t h e n a r r a t o r d e s c r i b e s a f e e l i n g s i m i l a r t o t h a t w h i c h h e e x p e r i e n c e s d u r i n g h i s w a l k d own t h e h a l l w a y : " e s w a r a l s s a s s e i c h , b e q u e m z u r i i c k g e l e h n t , i n e i n e m A u t o m o b i l , e i n e m O m n i b u s ( d a s F a h r z e u g w a r n i c h t z u s e h e n , e s b e s t a n d n u r a u s e i n e m G e f u h l d e s F a h r e n s , d e s D a h i n g l e i t e n s ) . . . " ( p . 5 6 ) . T h e s i m i l a r i t y o f t h i s f e e l i n g o f t h e n a r r a t o r e x p e r i e n c e d d u r i n g h i s v i s i o n w i t h h i s e x p e r i e n c e d u r i n g t h e w a l k d o w n t h e h a l l s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e n a r r a t o r ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e o b j e c t s i n t h e w o r l d o f h i s v i s i o n r e m a i n s u n c h a n g e d f r o m h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e o b j e c t s h e w i s h e s t o e s a p e : h i s p o s t u r e e x p r e s s e s a s i m i l a r p a s s i v i t y i n r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e w o r l d a b o u t h i m . D u r i n g o n e o f h i s v i s i o n s , t h e n a r r a t o r a t t e m p t s t o r e a c h o u t t o t h e f i g u r e o f a w o m a n : " s e i n e N a h e w a r s o s t a r k s p u r b a r , d a s s i c h d i e V o r s p i e g e l u n g m i t e i n e r W i r k l i c h k e i t v e r w e c h s e l t e u nd e i n e h e f t i g e B e w e g u n g m i t m e i n e n A r m e n v o l l f i i h r t e , w o m i t i c h u n m i t t e l b a r d a s B i l d z e r r i s s " ( p . 2 0 ) . T h e n a r r a t o r i s a s i n c a p a b l e o f a c t i n g u p o n t h e w o r l d o f h i s v i s i o n s a s h e i s u p o n t h e w o r l d a b o u t h i m . 42 T h e n a r r a t o r ' s a c t i v i t i e s i n r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e o t h e r p e r s o n s o n t h e f a r m s t e a d a r e s u b s u m e d u n d e r h i s o c c u p a t i o n : h e v i e w s t h e m m u c h a s h e o b s e r v e s t h e o b j e c t s i n h i s w o r l d a n d s t a n d s i n a s i m i l a r r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e m . F o r e x a m p l e , i n t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f h i s w a l k t h r o u g h t h e f a r m h o u s e r e f e r r e d t o i n t h e p r e c e e d i n g p a r a g r a p h , t h e H o u s e k e e p e r i s d e s c r i b e d i n t h e same m a n n e r a s t h e u t e n s i l s i n t h e k i t c h e n . I n t h e same m a n n e r i n w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r ' s p e r s p e c t i v e r e n d e r e d a l l o b j e c t s o f e q u a l i m p o r t a n c e , h i s p e r s p e c t i v e r e n d e r s p e r s o n s a n d o b j e c t s o f e q u a l i m p o r t a n c e . J u s t a s t h e D o c t o r ' s p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h h i s w o u n d s i n h i b i t e d h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o o t h e r s , s o t h e n a r r a t o r ' s o c c u p a t i o n h a m p e r s h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e o t h e r p e r s o n s o n t h e f a r m s t e a d . w h e n e v e r t h e n a r r a t o r d o e s a s s u m e a m o r e a c t i v e r o l e t h a n t h a t o f d e t a c h e d o b s e r v e r i n r e g a r d t o t h e o t h e r p e r s o n s , t h e e f f e c t o f h i s a c t i o n s i s t o i n s u r e t h e r e c u r r e n c e o f t h e a c t i v i t y i n w h i c h h e h a s i n t e r v e n e d . T h e n a r r a t o r w a t c h e s t h r o u g h t h e k e y h o l e w h i l e t h e S o n i s b e i n g b e a t e n b y t h e F a t h e r , He f i n a l l y e n t e r s t h e r o o m a t t h e b e h e s t o f t h e M o t h e r a n d h e l p s h e r t o p u t t h e F a t h e r t o b e d . T h e e f f e c t o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s i n t e r v e n t i o n a t t h i s t i m e i s t o i n s u r e t h e F a t h e r ' s r e c o v e r y s o t h a t h e c a n p r e s u m a b l y b e a t h i s s o n t h e n e x t n i g h t . A f t e r t h e c o l l a p s e o f t h e F a t h e r d u e t o a h e a r t a t t a c k b r o u g h t a b o u t b y t h e b e a t i n g a d m i n i s t e r e d t o h i s s o n , t h e S o n l o o k s t o w a r d t h e k e y h o l e : "seinC t h e S o n ' s ] B l i c k h a t t e s i c h j e t z t vom V a t e r a b g e w e n d e t u n d r i c h t e t e s i c h a u f d a s S c h l i i s s e l l o c h i n d e r T u r , a l s kbnne e r m e i n e n B l i c k i n d e r D u n k e l h e i t h i n t e r dem S c h l i i s s e l l o c h e r k e n n e n " ( p , 4 5 ) , T h e S o n ' s l o o k , s i n c e i t o c c u r s a f t e r t h e b e a t i n g , may b e u n d e r s t o o d b o t h 43 i n t e r m s o f a p l e a f o r a s s i s t a n c e f o r h i s f a t h e r a n d a l s o a s a l o o k o f r e c r i m i n a t i o n d i r e c t e d a t t h e n a r r a t o r f o r n o t h a v i n g i n t e r v e n e d e a r l i e r s o a s t o p r e v e n t b o t h t h e b e a t i n g a n d t h e F a t h e r ' s c o l l a p s e . E a c h t i m e t h e S o n t i p s o v e r t h e w h e e l b a r r o w i n t r a n s p o r t i n g t h e s t o n e s a c r o s s t h e y a r d , t h e n a r r a t o r h e l p s h i m r e l o a d t h e w h e e l b a r r o w s o t h a t p r e s u m a b l y t h e S o n w i l l h a v e t h e c h a n c e t o r e e n a c t h i s f a i l u r e i n d e f i n i t e l y . T h e n a r r a t o r i s s o e n e r v a t e d b y t h e r e p e t i t i v e n e s s o f t h e f a i l u r e w i t h t h e w h e e l b a r r o w t h a t h e l e a v e s o f f d e s c r i b i n g i t a n d t u r n s t o a r e c o u n t i n g o f a n o t h e r o n e o f h i s v i s i o n s . Wha t i s s t r i k i n g a b o u t t h e n a r r a t o r ' s b o r e d o m i s t h a t , b e c a u s e o f t h e m a n n e r o f h i s i n t e r v e n t i o n w h i c h i n s u r e s t h e r e c u r r e n c e o f t h e a c t i v i t y i n w h i c h h e i n t e r v e n e s , i t i s s e l f - i n d u c e d . S i m i l a r l y , w h e n t h e D o c t o r comes t o t h e n a r r a t o r ' s r o o m , t h e n a r r a t o r t a k e s h i m b a c k t o b e d a n d g e t s h i m up f o r b r e a k f a s t i n t h e m o r n i n g s o t h a t h e c a n b e g i n h i s d a y a n d h i s t r e a t m e n t s a l l o v e r a g a i n . J u s t a s t h e D o c t o r t r e a t s h i s w o u n d s b y i n f l i c t i n g g r e a t e r w o u n d s u p o n h i m s e l f , s o t h e n a r r a t o r a c t s i n s u c h a way a s t o i n s u r e t h a t t h e v e r y r e p e t i t i v e n e s s o f t h e e v e n t s w h i c h h e s u f f e r s t o d e s c r i b e w i l l c o n t i n u e . To t h e e x t e n t t h a t t h e n a r r a t o r ' s a c t i o n s i n s u r e t h e r e c u r r e n c e o f t h e a c t i v i t i e s i n w h i c h h e i n t e r v e n e s , t h e s e a c t i o n s s u g g e s t m o r e t h a n j u s t h i s e s t r a n g e m e n t f r o m t h e o t h e r p e r s o n s o n t h e f a r m s t e a d : t h e y s u g g e s t a n e s t r a n g e m e n t f r o m t h e s e l f a s w e l l . T h a t t h e n a r r a t o r i s h i m s e l f a l i e n a t e d f r o m h i s o c c u p a t i o n i s c l e a r f r o m t h e w a y i n w h i c h h e d e s c r i b e s how h e c o n t i n u e s t o w r i t e . o b g l e i c h i c h d e u t l i c h d i e G e g e n k r a f t i n m i r v e r s p i i r e d i e m i c h f r u h e r d a z u z w a n g , m e i n e V e r s u c h e a b z u b r e c h e n u n d d i e m i r a u c h j e t z t b e i j e d e r W o r t r e i h e d i e i c h dem 44 G e s e h e n e n u n d G e h o r t e n n a c h f o r m e e i n f l i i s t e r t , d a s s d i e s e s G e s e h e n e u n d G e h o r t e a l l z u n i c h t i g s e i um f e s t g e h a l t e n z u w e r d e n u n d d a s s i c h a u f d i e s e W e i s e m e i n e S t u h d e n , m e i n e h a l b e N a c h t , j a , v i e l l e i c h t m e i n e n g a n z e n T a g v o l l i g n u t z l o s v e r b r i n g e ; a b e r d a g e g e n s t e l l e i c h f o l g e n d e F r a g e , w a s s o l i i c h s o n s t t u n ; u n d a u s d i e s e r F r a g e e n t w i c k e l t s i c h d i e E i n s i c h t , d a s s a u c h m e i n e u b r i g e n T a t i g k e i t e n o h n e E r g e b n i s s e u n d N u t z e n . b l e i b e n . ( p . 4 8 ) H o w e v e r , i n t h i s c a s e t h e n a r r a t o r i s a l i e n a t e d f r o m h i s o c c u p a t i o n t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t h e v i e w s t h e s u b j e c t o f t h a t o c c u p a t i o n as i n a p p r o p r i a t e , i . e . , " a l l z u n i c h t i g . . . um f e s t g e h a l t e n z u w e r d e n . " The s u g g e s t i o n o f t h e s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n i n v o l v e d i n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s a c t s o f i n t e r v e n t i o n i s t h a t t h e n a r r a t o r h i m s e l f i s i m p l i c a t e d , t h a t i t i s n o t t h e o b j e c t o f h i s o c c u p a t i o n t h a t i s i n a p p r o p r i a t e b u t t h e o c c u p a t i o n i t s e l f . T h e i m p l i c a t i o n i s t h a t t h e w a y i n w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r o r d e r s t h e w o r l d t h r o u g h t h e r e c o r d i n g o f h i s o b s e r v a t i o n s i s i t s e l f d e f i c i e n t . T h e d e f i c i e n c y o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s o r d e r i n g o f t h e w o r l d b e c o m e s a p p a r e n t t o h i m w h e n h e i s f a c e d w i t h e v e n t s f o r w h i c h h e c a n n o t a c c o u n t . T o w a r d s t h e e nd o f t h e n a r r a t i v e , t h e C o a c h m a n a r r i v e s a n d h e a n d t h e F a r m h a n d u n l o a d s e v e r a l s a c k s o f c o a l f r o m t h e w a g o n i n t o t h e c e l l a r o f t h e f a r m h o u s e . The. n a r r a t o r c a n n o t u n d e r s t a n d how s o many s a c k s o f c o a l c o u l d : h a v e f i t t e d i n t h e w a g o n . He q u e s t i o n s t h e C o a c h m a n a n d t h e F a r m h a n d b u t i s d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h t h e i r r e s p o n s e s : D o c h a u c h d i e s g e n i i g t e m i r , s e l b s t w e n n s o w o h l d i e W o r t e d e s K u t s c h e r s w i e a u c h d i e W o r t e d e s H a u s k n e c h t s e i n i g e s e n t h i e l t e n d a s d e r W a h r h e i t e n t s p r e c h e n m o c h t e , n i c h t a l s E r k l a r u n g ; u n d a u c h h e u t e , d r e i T a g e u n d d r e i N a c h t e s p a t e r , h a b e i c h n o c h k e i n e E r k l a r u n g g e f u n d e n f i i r d e n u n v e r h a l t n i s m a s s i g g r o s s e n U n t e r s c h i e d z w i s c h e n d e r R a u m g r b s s e d i e d i e K o h l e n i m Wagen z u r V e r f i i g u n g . h a t t 45 u n d d e r R a u m g r b s s e i n . d e r s i e s i c h i m K e l l e r a u s b r e i t e t e n , ( p . 9 6 ) A f t e r a t h r e e d a y h i a t u s d u r i n g w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r i s u n a b l e t o w r i t e , h e r e s u m e s h i s o c c u p a t i o n w i t h a d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e c o p u l a t i o n b e t w e e n t h e C o a c h m a n a n d t h e H o u s e k e e p e r . A s i n t h e c a s e o f t h e u n l o a d i n g o f t h e s a c k s o f c o a l w h e r e t h e n a r r a t o r c o u l d d e s c r i b e t h e n u m b e r o f s a c k s b e i n g u n l o a d e d b u t c o u l d n o t a c c o u n t f o r t h e n u m b e r , s o t h e n a r r a t o r c a n d e s c r i b e t h e c o p u l a t i o n o f s h a d o w s b u t c a n n o t a c c o u n t f o r t h e a c t i v i t y . A s t h e D o c t o r wa s f a c e d w i t h t h e f u t i l i t y o f c o n t i n u i n g h i s o p e r a t i o n s i n t h e d a r k , s o t h e n a r r a t o r i s f a c e d w i t h t h e f u t i l i t y o f c o n t i n u i n g t o r e c o r d a c t i v i t i e s f o r w h i c h h e c a n n o t a c c o u n t . T h e F a r m h a n d i s c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e p h y s i c a l u p k e e p o f t h e p r o p e r t y a s e v i d e n c e d i n h i s t a s k s o f s a w i n g w o o d a n d p l o w i n g t h e f i e l d s . H i s c o n v e r s a t i o n s c e n t e r a r o u n d t h e w e a t h e r a n d t h e f a r m a n i m a l s . T h e H o u s e k e e p e r i s c h a r g e d w i t h t h e m a i n t e n a n c e o f t h e h o u s e h o l d a n d h e r c o n v e r s a t i o n s w i t h t h e M o t h e r a r e m o s t l y a b o u t f o o d and f a s h i o n . L i i t t m a n n r e g a r d s t h e a c t i v i t i e s o f t h e F a r m h a n d a n d o f t h e H o u s e k e e p e r a s r e l a t i v e l y m e a n i n g f u l i n c o m p a r i s o n t o t h e a c t i v i t i e s o f t h e o t h e r p e r s o n s a t t h e f a r m s t e a d : N u r d i e b e i d e n erstenC t h e H o u s e k e e p e r ! a n d t h e F a r m h a n d ~] u n d d i e M u t t e r , d i e f u r d i e F a m i l i e k o c h t u n d n a h t u n d d e n S a u g l i n g v e r s o r g t , g e h e n e i n e r s i n n v o l l e n B e s c h a f t i g u n g n a c h . D i e i i b r i g e n P e r s o n e n , d . h . a l l g e m e i n g e s p r o c h e n : d i e G a s t e , a r b e i t e n e n t w e d e r g a r n i c h t o d e r b e t a t i g e n s i c h a u f e i n e s i n n l o s e W e i s e : S c h n e e s a m m e l t S t e i n e , o h n e d a s s man e r f i i h r e , w e s h a l b u n d n a c h w e l c h e n K r i t e r i e n e r d i e s t u t (man v e r m u t e t a l l e r d i n g s . , d a s s e r m o n o m a n i s c h n u r e t w a s W e i s s e s z u s a m m e n h a u f t ) ; d e r S o h n h i l f t i h m b e i d e i s e r T a t i g k e i t ; d e r H a u p t m a n n p f l e g t e i n e n S a b e l , d e n e r n i c h t m e h r b e n u t z t ; d e r S c h n e i d e r s e t z t s e i n e K l e i d u n g a u s F l i c k e n z u s a m m e n ; u n d d e r D o k t o r f i i g t s i c h 4 6 m i t s e i n e n S e l b s t o p e r a t i o n e n n u r n o c h s c h l i m m e r e W u n d e n z u , a l s e r s i e z u v o r s c h o n b e s e s s e n h a t , ( p p . 91-^92) T h a t t h e n a r r a t o r i s a l s o t o b e i n c l u d e d among t h e s e g u e s t s i s e m p h a s i z e d b y L i i t t m a n n l a t e r i n h i s s t u d y : " D e r E r z a h l e r b e f i n d e t s i c h d e m z u f o l g e g e n e r e l l i n d e r g l e i c h e n L a g e w i e d i e u b r i g e n G a s t e , d e n n a u c h s e i n e T a t i g k e i t e n s i n d e n t w e d e r s i n n l o s o d e r d o c h u n m i t t e l b a r d u r c h d i e S i n n l o s i g k e i t b e d r o h t " ( p . 9 7 ) . H o w e v e r , a s a n a n a l y s i s o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s i n d i c a t e s , n o n e o f t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s i s d e v o i d o f m e a n i n g . A l l o f t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s a r e m e a n i n g f u l i n t h e s e n s e t h a t t h e y e x p r e s s s t a t e s o f b e i n g w h i c h a r e t o t a l l y a l i e n a t i n g . T h e S o n ' s a s s i s t a n c e o f H e r r S c h n e e i n t h e c o l l e c t i n g o f s t o n e s i s m e a n i n g f u l a s a r i t e d e p a s s a g e i n t o t h e a l i e n a t e d w o r l d o f t h e a d u l t s . T h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e F a t h e r i s n o t t h a t h e d o e s n o t w o r k a t a l l b u t r a t h e r t h a t h e d o e s p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e a c t i v i t i e s o f t h i s w o r l d : h e p a r t i c i p a t e s i n t h e s e a c t i v i t i e s t h r o u g h h i s s o n . T h e T a i l o r , t h e D o c t o r , a n d H e r r S c h n e e e a c h a c t a s t h e c o n s u m e r s o f t h e p r o d u c t s o f t h e i r own l a b o r : t h e T a i l o r i s h i s own c l i e n t , t h e D o c t o r i s h i s own p a t i e n t , a n d H e r r S c h n e e i s h i m s e l f t h e o n l y a p p r a i s e r o f h i s own c o l l e c t i o n . Wha t i s s t r i k i n g a b o u t t h e i r o c c u p a t i o n s i s t h e i r d e f i n i t i v e l a c k o f s o c i a l r e l a t e d n e s s . T h e n a r r a t o r i s n o t s o much c o n f r o n t e d w i t h t h e m e a n i n g l e s s n e s s o f h i s a c t i v i t i e s a s h e i s w i t h t h e i r f u t i l i t y . I n h i s o i n a b i l i t y t o a c c o u n t f o r t h e u n l o a d i n g o f t h e s a c k s o f c o a l a n d f o r t h e c o p u l a t i o n o f t h e C o a c h m a n a n d t h e H o u s e k e e p e r t h e n a r r a t o r e x p e r i e n c e s t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h h i s e s t r a n g e m e n t f r o m t h e w o r l d a b o u t h i m r e n d e r s h i s o c c u p a t i o n f u t i l e . T h e q u e s t i o n , w h i c h L i i t t m a n n c o n f u s e s i n h i s 47 d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n m e a n i n g f u l a n d m e a n i n g l e s s a c t i v i t i e s , i s w h e t h e r o r n o t t h e H o u s e k e e p e r , t h e F a r m h a n d , a n d t h e M o t h e r a r e a n y t h e l e s s a l i e n a t e d b e c a u s e t h e p r o d u c t s o f t h e i r l a b o r a c c r u e t o o t h e r p e o p l e . I n h i s s t u d y o f D e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s , R. C . P e r r y s u g g e s t s t h e f o l l o w i n g a s a p o s s i b l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s a n d t h e i r s i t u a t i o n : A p o s s i b l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e c h a r a c t e r s a n d t h e i r s i t u a t i o n i s t h a t t h e y r e p r e s e n t a s o r t o f g r o t e s q u e " E n d s t a t i o n " o f b o u r g e o i s l i f e ( t h e r e d u c t i o a d a b s u r d u m o f t h e b o u r g e o i s i e i s t h e m a i n t h e m e o f W e i s s ' s p l a y D i e V e r s i c h e r u n g , w h i c h was w r i t t e n a b o u t t h e same t i m e a s D e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s ) . ( p . 2 1 8 ) L i i t t m a n n a l s o c o n s i d e r s t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f s u c h a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n a n d r e j e c t s i t f o r t h e f o l l o w i n g r e a s o n s : W o l l t e man d i e P e n s i o n a l s e i n M o d e l l d e r b i i r g e r l i c h e n G e s e l l s c h a f t a n s e h e n , d a n n w i i r d e h i e r m i t i i b e r d i e s e G e s e l l s c h a f t e i n v e r n i c h t e n d e s U r t e i l a b g e g e b e n w e r d e n , d e m z u f o l g e e i n e M i n d e r h e i t a r b e i t e t u n d d i e M a j o r i t a t e i n p a r a s i t a f - s i n n l o s e s L e b e n f i i h r t . D i e s e D e u t u n g s m o g l i c h k e i t s c h e i n t m i r n i c h t v b l l i g d e r G r u n d l a g e z u e n t b e h r e n . A b e r zum e i n e n w a r e d i e s M o d e l l z u s c h l i c h t u n d r e a l i t a t s f e r n , a l s d a s s e s o h n e g r a v i e r e n d e V o r b e h a l t e b e t r a c h t e t w e r d e n k o n n t e ; u n d zum a n d e r e n w a r e e i n s o l c h e r A n g r i f f a u f d i e b i i r g e r l i c h e G e s e l l s c h a f t v o n dem A u t o r P e t e r W e i s s e r s t n a c h d e s s e n P a r t e i n a h m e f i i r d e n S o z i a l i s m u s i n d e r M i t t e d e r 6 0 e r J a h r e z u e r w a r t e n g e w e s e n , n i c h t a b e r i n d e s s e n w e i t g e h e n d n o c h u n p o l i t i s c h e r P h a s e , i n d i e a u c h d i e E n t s t e h u n g d e s S c h a t t e n s f a l l t . ( p . 92 ) T h u s , L i i t t m a n n c o n t e n d s t h a t i f t h e f a r m s t e a d i s t o b e c o n s i d e r e d a m o d e l f o r s o c i e t y a t a l l , t h e n s o c i e t y m u s t b e j u d g e d t o b e c o m p o s e d o f a w o r k i n g m i n o r i t y a n d a p a r a s i t i c m a j o r i t y . T h i s c o n t e n t i o n i s r e l a t e d t o L i i t t m a n n ' s a s s u m p t i o n t h a t t h e a c t i v i t i e s o f t h e H o u s e k e e p e r , t h e F a r m h a n d , a n d t h e M o t h e r a r e m e a n i n g f u l , 48 while those of the remaining characters are not,. As I have indicated, the a c t i v i t i e s of none of the characters seem to be devoid of meaning, and there i s no suggestion i n the text that the a c t i v i t i e s of the three characters mentioned by Liittmann are to be construed as more meaningful than those of the others. For t h i s reason, Luttmann's judgment concerning the composition of society appears highly questionable. However, even i f one were to accept Luttmann's contentions regarding the configuration of t h i s bourgeois society ("die biirgerliche G e s e l l s c h a f t " ) , the argument i s suspect. This becomes clear when one considers Luttmann's statement concerning Weiss's " s o c i a l i s m . " Although a c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e toward bourgeois society i s c e r t a i n l y a necessary condition for "Parteinahme fiir den Sozialismus," "Parteinahme fiir den Sozialismus" i s not a necessary condition for a c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e toward bourgeois society. Furthermore, not a l l attacks on bourgeois society are p o l i t i c a l so that whether or not Weiss wrote the novel during h i s "unpolitische Phase" i s i r r e l e v a n t . The degree to which t h i s model of bourgeois society i s " s c h l i c h t und r e a l i t a t s f e r n " i t s e l f acts as a l i m i t i n g f actor of the extent to which such a c r i t i c i s m i s p o l i t i c a l . Luttmann's argument that the model i s too " r e a l i t a t s f e r n " i s also i n t e r e s t i n g because i t suggests that the farmstead can not be construed to r e f l e c t s o c i a l r e a l i t y regardless of i t s configuration. The model i t s e l f may be considered to be " r e a l i t a t s f e r n " i n the sense that i t i s the e x i s t e n t i a l states of the characters which are depicted. However, insofar as these e x i s t e n t i a l states are portrayed phenomenologically, that i s , through the experiences of 49 the characters of the world about them in their respective occupations, this model is not "realitatsfern" but stands in direct relationship to the realities they experience. The question then is to what extent the realities experienced by the characters reflect the real i t i e s of modern society. A number of c r i t i c s , including Liittmann, have a tendency to regard Weiss's later works as mainly concerned with man's general social condition while they regard his early works as extremely limited portrayals of social reality. Such a view appears to entail an oversimplification of both the early and later works. It is in the context of this problem that I would like to consider an essay by Marx concerning the nature of capitalist society. I have chosen this essay because i t suggests a configuration of the world which is not totally unlike that experienced by the characters in Der Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers and because as an early essay by Marx i t is more descriptive than proscriptive and considers alienation not only in terms of man's relationship to the marketplace but also to his being. The relationship between alienation and capitalism i s discussed by Marx in "Ausziige aus Mills 'Elemens d'economie politique.'" In this essay Marx argues that the capitalist economy is based on the exchange of products produced by individuals for their exchange value ("Tauschwert"). An individual produces in order to satisfy his own personal needs. Moreover, because of private property, the need of an individual is expressed in terms of his exclusive possession of that product, that i s , the product which he produces is produced for himself only, without reference to 50 t h e n e e d s o f o t h e r s , T r a d i t i o n a l e c o n o m i c t h e o r y w o u l d m a k e a d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n t h e p r o d u c t p r o d u c e d t o m e e t a n i n d i v i d u a l ' s own n e e d s a n d a p r o d u c t p r o d u c e d i n " s u r p l u s " o f a n i n d i v i d u a l ' s n e e d s . A c c o r d i n g t o t r a d i t i o n a l t h e o r y , i t i s . t h e " s u r p l u s " p r o d u c t w h i c h i s t r a d e d i n t h e m a r k e t p l a c e . T h i s " s u r p l u s " p r o d u c t i s a s s u m e d t o h a v e b e e n p r o d u c e d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e n e e d s o f o t h e r s r a t h e r t h a n s o l e l y a c c o r d i n g t o t h e n e e d s o f t h e p r o d u c e r . T h e p r o d u c e r w o u l d t h e n b e a s s u m e d t o h a v e e n t e r e d i n t o a s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e p u r c h a s e r s o f h i s " s u r p l u s " p r o d u c t i o n , a s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p w h i c h i s e n a c t e d i n t h e m a r k e t p l a c e . H o w e v e r . ; M a r x m a i n t a i n s t h a t t h e p r o d u c t p r o d u c e d b y t h e i n d i v i d u a l f o r t h e m a r k e t p l a c e d o e s n o t r e p r e s e n t a " s u r p l u s " ( " M e h r p r o d u k t i o n " ) o f h i s p r o d u c t i o n . S u c h a p r o d u c t i s r a t h e r , a c c o r d i n g t o M a r x , t h e p r o d u c t w h i c h t h e p r o d u c e r h o p e s t o a c q u i r e t h r o u g h h i s " s u r p l u s " p r o d u c t i o n : " I c h p r o d u z i e r e d e r W a h r h e i t n a c h e i n e n a n d r e n G e g e n s t a n d , d e n G e g e n s t a n d d e i n e r P r o d u k t i o n , d e n i c h g e g e n d i e s M e h r a u s z u t a u s c h e n g e d e n k e , e i n A u s t a u s c h , d e n i c h i n G e d a n k e n s c h o n v o l l z o g e n h a b e . " ^ T h e s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n p r o d u c e r a n d p u r c h a s e r i s t h u s , a c c o r d i n g t o M a r x , " a u c h e i n b l o s s e r S c h e i n " b e c a u s e t h e e x c h a n g e w h i c h o c c u r s i n t h e m a r k e t p l a c e i s n o t o n e i n w h i c h t h e p r o d u c e r f u l f i l l s t h e n e e d s o f t h e p u r c h a s e r , i s n o t a " w e c h s e l s e i t i g e E r g a n z u n g " b u t i s r a t h e r a " w e c h s e l s e i t i g e P l i i n d e r u n g " i n w h i c h t h e p r o d u c e r n o t o n l y d i v e s t s h i m s e l f o f h i s o w n p r o d u c t i n o r d e r t o f u l f i l l h i s p e r s o n a l n e e d s b u t a l s o d i v e s t s t h e p u r c h a s e r o f h i s p r o d u c t ( p . 4 6 0 ) . I n o t h e r w o r d s , e a c h p r o d u c e r p r o d u c e s a c c o r d i n g t o h i s own n e e d s a n d n o t a c c o r d i n g t o t h e n e e d s o f 51 a n y o n e e l s e . S u c h p r o d u c t i o n i s " k e i n e P r o d u k t i o n d e s M e n s c h e n f i i r d e n M e n s c h e n a l s M e n s c h e n , d . h . k e i n e g e s e l l s c h a f t l i c h e P r o d u k t i o n " ( p . 4 5 9 ) . T h e l a n g u a g e s p o k e n b e t w e e n t h e s e a l i e n a t e d i n d i v i d u a l s — a l i e n a t e d i n t h e s e n s e t h a t t h e i r p r o d u c t i o n c o n s i s t s o f t h e i r d i v e s t i n g e a c h o t h e r o f t h e i r o w n p r o d u c t s — i s t h e l a n g u a g e o f t h e e x c h a n g e o f t h e i r p r o d u c t s : " D i e e i n z i g v e r s t a n d l i c h e S p r a c h e , d i e w i r z u e i n a n d e r r e d e n , s i n d u n s r e G e g e n s t a n d e i n i h r e r B e z i e h u n g a u f e i n a n d e r " ( p . 4 6 1 ) . M a r x m a k e s t h e t r a n s i t i o n f r o m a l i e n a t e d p r o d u c t i o n t o n o n - a l i e n a t e d p r o d u c t i o n t h r o u g h t h e n o t i o n o f " m e d i a t i o n . " E m b o d i e d i n h i s n o t i o n o f " m e d i a t i o n " i s a p r i n c i p l e o f r e c i p r o c i t y w h e r e b y o n e ' s i n d i v i d u a l p r o d u c t s a r e p l a c e d i n t h e s e r v i c e o f c o m m u n i t y . B y p l a c i n g h i s p r o d u c t s i n t h e s e r v i c e o f c o m m u n i t y t h e p r o d u c e r p r o d u c e s b o t h f o r h i m s e l f a n d f o r t h e o t h e r s i n c e c o m m u n i t y , u n l i k e t h e m a r k e t p l a c e , i n v o l v e s a r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e n e e d s o f b o t h p r o d u c e r a n d c o n s u m e r a n d h e n c e a n a p p r e c i a t i o n o f v a l u e w h i c h , i n c o n t r a s t t o e x c h a n g e v a l u e , r e f l e c t s t h o s e n e e d s . T h e p r o d u c e r t h e n e x p e r i e n c e s h i m s e l f i n a q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e c o n s u m e r . I n r e g a r d t o t h e c o n s u m e r h e b e c o m e s a m e d i a t o r ( " M i t t l e r " ) b e t w e e n h i m a n d h i s h u m a n i t y ( " G a t t u n g " ) : f i i r d i c h [ [ t h e c o n s u m e r ] d e r M i t t l e r z w i s c h e n d i r u n d d e r G a t t u n g g e w e s e n z u s e i n , a l s o v o n d i r s e l b s t a l s e i n e E r g a n z u n g d e i n e s e i g n e n W e s e n s u n d a l s e i n n o t w e n d i g e r T e i l d e i n e r s e l b s t g e w u s s t u n d e m p f u n d e n z u w e r d e n , a l s o s o w o h l i n d e i n e m D e n k e n w i e i n d e i n e r L i e b e m i c h b e s t a t i g t z u w i s s e n . . . ( p . 4 6 2 ) I n o t h e r w o r d s , t h e p r o d u c t p r o d u c e d i n t h e s e r v i c e o f c o m m u n i t y d o e s n o t s e r v e t o a l i e n a t e t h e c o n s u m e r f r o m h i s p r o d u c t b u t 52 rather supplements the value of that product. If one furthermore accepts the assumption that man i s s o c i a l by nature, then that production could a l s o be construed to be necessary to the other's sense of well-being. This assumption regarding man's s o c i a l nature also underlies Marx's judgment that only the producer who produces i n the service of community a c t u a l l y produces a product which r e f l e c t s his r e a l needs and h i s true s e l f : i n meiner Produktion meine I n d i v i d u a l i t a t , i h r e Eigentiimlichkeit vergegenstandlicht und daher sowohl wahrend der T a t i g k e i t eine i n d i v i d u e l l e Lebensausserung genossen, a l s im Anschauen des Gegenstandes die i n d i v i d u e l l e Freude, meine Personlichkeit a l s gegenstaridliche, s i n n l i c h anschaubare . . . Macht zu wissen . . . (p. 462) It i s , then, not only the i n d i v i d u a l ' s needs but the "exchange" between i n d i v i d u a l s based upon t h e i r r e c i p r o c a l needs which increases the value of a product. This value i s objective to the extent that when products are produced the producer recognizes the s o c i a l use to which they w i l l be put. In t h i s context, there i s no "surplus": there can only be i n d i v i d u a l and s o c i a l needs which are met. The i n d i v i d u a l producer i s thus aware of the s o c i a l relatedness of his product, of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between himself and others. This r e l a t i o n s h i p allows the producer to a f f i r m his existence as a s o c i a l b e i n g — " i n meiner i n d i v i d u e l l e n T a t i g k e i t unmittelbar mein wahres Wesen, mein menschliches, mein Gemeinwesen bestatigt und v e r w i r k l i c h t zu haben" (p. 462). Marx o f f e r s the following d e s c r i p t i o n of t h i s "Gemeinwesen" i n a c a p i t a l i s t society i n which man's s o c i a l being consists of the alienated r e l a t i o n s h i p s between i n d i v i d u a l s i n the marketplace 53 rather than of the r e c i p r o c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p which occurs i n community: Es hangt nicht vom Menschen ab, dass dies Gemeinwesen sei oder nic h t ; aber solange der Mensch sich nicht a l s Mensch erkennt und daher die Welt menschlich o r g a n i s i e r t hat, erscheint dies Gemeinwesen unter der Form der Entfremdung. Weil sein Subj ekt, der Mensch, ein sic h selbst entfremdetes Wesen i s t . . . . Es i s t daher e i n identischer Satz, dass der Mensch s i c h selbst entfremdet, und dass die Gesellschaft dieses : entfremdeten Menschen die Karikatur seines wirklichen  Gemeinwesens, seines wahren Gattungslebens s e i , dass daher seine T a t i g k e i t als Qual, seine eigne Schopfung ihm als fremde Macht, sein Reichtum a l s Armut, das Wesensband, was ihn an den andren Menschen kniipft, a l s ein unwesentliches Band und vielmehr die Trennung vom andren Menschen als sein wahres Dasein, dass sein Leben als Aufopfrung seines Lebens, dass die Verwirklichung seines Wesens als Entwirklichung seines Lebens, dass seine Produktion als Produktion seines Nichts, dass seine Macht iiber den Gegenstand als die Macht des Gegenstandes iiber ihn, dass er, Herr seiner Schopfung, als der Knecht dieser Schopfung erscheint. (p. 451) Alienated man l i v e s i n an alienated society because a society i s no more than the s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s of i t s members. The inclusiveness of this a l i e n a t i o n as i t permeates the society i n which alienated man finds himself then serves to d i s t o r t man's own image of himself and of h i s world. I t i s due to t h i s d i s t o r t i o n that man views society, not as created by him as an expression of h i s own alienated and hence, according to Marx, f a l s e sense of s e l f ; but as an outside force which alienates him. Society i s then viewed as the source of a l i e n a t i o n rather than as the expression of the estranged r e l a t i o n s h i p s of i t s members. As the source of a l i e n a t i o n society becomes a threat to the i n d i v i d u a l s e l f with the r e s u l t that man comes to perceive h i s s o c i a l l i f e as demanding s e l f - s a c r i f i c e ("als Aufopfrung seines 54 Lebens") instead of providing a means to self-expression, Man's re l a t i o n s h i p to persons and to objects i n h i s world is-1 likewise d i s t o r t e d since he comes to view those relationships as non-essential to the s e l f and therefore a r b i t r a r y because they are not perceived to be of h i s own c r e a t i o n . Marx's view,oon the other hand, i s that while man does not choose to be a s o c i a l being he does create the r e l a t i o n s h i p s which i n turn determine h i s perceptions of himself, of others and of the things surrounding him. An examination of the characters of Der Schatten des Korpers  des Kutschers indicates that the s i n g u l a r i t y of the a c t i v i t i e s of the characters l i e s i n the fact that each acts as the consumer of the products of h i s own labor. What i s s t r i k i n g about t h e i r occupations i s their d e f i n i t i v e lack of s o c i a l relatedness. In l i g h t of the foregoing analysis of a l i e n a t i o n i n a c a p i t a l i s t society, the characters may be said to be doubly alienated from the s e l f i n the sense that the exchange of products occurs within the s e l f . As the examination of the characters has shown, the degree to which the characters are self-absorbed i n t h e i r occupations measures the extent to which they are estranged from themselves, from each other, and from the world about them. I t i s this a l i e n a t i o n which i s the e x i s t e n t i a l condition of the characters, and t h e i r e x i l e i s an e x i l e from community, 55 Chapter 2 Abschied von den E l t e r n : the recurrence of a l i e n a t i o n Peter Weiss's narrative, Abschied von den E l t e r n , consists of the narrator's r e c o l l e c t i o n s of h i s early childhood and adolescence. The narrative i s largely an account of the narrator's estrangement from the world of his parents and closes with his leave-taking of them upon h i s reaching adulthood. Ian H i l t o n characterizes the narrative as follows i n h i s study Peter Weiss:  A Search for A f f i n i t i e s : "From the s t a r t i t i s an account of extreme alienation."''" The r e c o l l e c t i o n s of the narrator are themselves occasioned by the death of his parents, a recent, f i n a l departure which i s the continuation of the narrator's estrangement from them and th e i r world into h i s adulthood. The narrative occasioned by death i s not so much an account of as i t i s an accounting for extreme a l i e n a t i o n . The n a r r a t i v e i s d e s c r i p t i v e l y explanatory: the recurrence of a l i e n a t i o n i s i d e n t i f i e d as patterns of responses to s e l f and world and i s revealed through his r e l a t i o n s h i p to h i s childhood experiences. Abschied von den E l t e r n opens with the r e f l e c t i o n s of the narrator upon the death of both his parents. These r e f l e c t i o n s of the narrator serve as the extension of e a r l i e r r e f l e c t i o n s upon h i s parents. The narrator states, "Ich habe oft versucht, 56 m i c h m i t d e r G e s t a l t m e i n e r M u t t e r u n d d e r G e s t a l t m e i n e s V a t e r s 2 a u s e i n a n d e r z u s e t z e n , p e i l e n d z w i s c h e n A u f r u h r u n d U n t e r w e r f u n g . " T h e d e g r e e o f a b s t r a c t i o n e v i d e n c e d i n t h e r e f e r e n c e o f t h e n a r r a t o r t o t h e " G e s t a l t m e i n e r M u t t e r " a n d t h e " G e s t a l t m e i n e s V a t e r s " i n d i c a t e s t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h t h e a t t e m p t o f t h e n a r r a t o r t o come t o t e r m s w i t h h i s p a r e n t s h a s b e e n a r e f l e c t i v e p r o c e s s . I n h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e t e x t , L i i t t m a n n r e m a r k s u p o n t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e n a r r a t o r o f h i m s e l f a s " p e i l e n d z w i s c h e n A u f r u h r u n d U n t e r w e r f u n g " a s i n d i c a t i n g " d a s s d a s N a c h d e n k e n 3 j e w e i l s e i n e s t a r k e m o t i o n a l e K o m p o n e n t e e n t h i e l t . " P e r h a p s m o r e i m p o r t a n t i n t h i s r e s p e c t i s t h e i n d i c a t i o n t h a t t h e t e r m s u p o n w h i c h a r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e n a r r a t o r a n d h i s p a r e n t s i s d e f i n e d a r e o f s u c h a n a d v e r s a r y n a t u r e t h a t r e b e l l i o n o r s u b m i s s i o n a p p e a r t o t h e n a r r a t o r t o b e t h e o n l y m o d e s o f r e s p o n s e p o s s i b l e f o r h i m . T h e n a r r a t o r e m p h a s i z e s t h a t a l l a t t e m p t s t o come t o t e r m s w i t h h i s p a r e n t s h a v e f a i l e d : " N i e h a b e i c h d a s W e s e n d i e s e r b e i d e n P o r t a l f i g u r e n m e i n e s L e b e n s f a s s e n u n d d e u t e n k o n n e n " (pr 7) . T h e n a r r a t o r e m p h a s i z e s t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e a s " P o r t a l f i g u r e n " o f h i s l i f e . T h e d e a t h o f h i s p a r e n t s m a r k s t h e c u l m i n a t i o n o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s a t t e m p t s t o c ome t o t e r m s w i t h t h e m : " B e i i h r e m f a s t g l e i c h z e i t i g e n T o d s a h i c h , w i e t i e f e n t f r e m d e t i c h i h n e n w a r " ( p . 7). D e a t h , w i t h i t s f i n a l i t y , i s u l t i m a t e s e p a r a t i o n : i n d e a t h i t b e c o m e s c l e a r t h a t a l l a t t e m p t s a t r e c o n c i l i a t i o n a r e f u t i l e . T h e i r r e v e r s i b i l i t y o f t h i s e s t r a n g e m e n t b e t w e e n t h e n a r r a t o r a n d h i s p a r e n t s i s d e s c r i b e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r i n h i s r e c o l l e c t i o n o f h i s t r i p t o B e l g i u m t o r e c l a i m h i s f a t h e r ' s b o d y : " v o r m i r l a g d e r L e i c h n a m e i n e s M a n n e s i n d e r F r e m d e , n i c h t m e h r e r r e i c h b a r . . . " ( p , 9 ) , T h e c o r p s e o f t h e f a t h e r i s t h e s y m b o l f o r t h e n a r r a t o r o f d e a t h ' s f i n a l s e p a r a t i o n , a s " P o r t a l f i g u r e n " s u g g e s t f o r h i m t h e f i r s t a c t o f s e p a r a t i o n w h i c h m a r k s t h e b e g i n n i n g o f h i s l i f e . T h e f a t h e r ' s d e a t h i s s e e n b y t h e n a r r a t o r a s t h e f i n a l c o n f i r m a t i o n o f t h e e s t r a n g e m e n t b e t w e e n t h e m . T h e f a t h e r ' s l a s t b u s i n e s s t r i p t o B e l g i u m i s d e s c r i b e d a s o n e o f many a b s e n c e s . T h e n a r r a t o r r e c a l l s a l l t h e t r i p s a n d t h e h o t e l r o o m s i n h i s f a t h e r ' s l i f e a n d i m a g i n e s h i s f a t h e r i n t h e s e h o t e l r o o m s s t u d y i n g t h e p i c t u r e s o f h i s c h i l d r e n a n d f a n t a s i z i n g a c l o s e r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e m . I n a c t u a l i t y n o c o m m u n i c a t i o n e x i s t e d b e t w e e n f a t h e r a n d c h i l d r e n . I n r e c a l l i n g s c e n e s f r o m h i s c h i l d h o o d t h e n a r r a t o r l a t e r c h a r a c t e r i z e s h i s f a t h e r a s f o l l o w s : " V o n m e i n e m V a t e r w u s s t e i c h n i c h t s . D e r s t a r k s t e E i n d r u c k s e i n e s W e s e n s w a r s e i n e A b w e s e n h e i t " ( p . 4 4 ) . L i i t t m a n n p o i n t s o u t t h e d o u b l e s e n s e i n w h i c h t h e f a t h e r ' s " A b w e s e n h e i t " r e f e r s b o t h t o h i s p h y s i c a l a b s e n c e d u r i n g i n n u m e r a b l e b u s i n e s s t r i p s a n d t o t h e g e n e r a l u n r e s p o n s i v e n e s s o f h i s p e r s o n a l i t y ( s e e p . 1 9 3 ) . A s t h e f a t h e r ' s p h y s i c a l a b s e n c e d u r i n g h i s many b u s i n e s s t r i p s a c c e n t u a t e d h i s f i g u r a t i v e a b s e n c e f r o m t h e h o m e , s o h i s d e a t h c o n f i r m s t h e d e p t h o f t h e e s t r a n g e m e n t b e t w e e n h i m s e l f a n d t h e n a r r a t o r . A s t h e p h y s i c a l f i n a l i t y o f t h e f a t h e r ' s d e a t h m a r k s t h e n a r r a t o r ' s f u l l r e a l i z a t i o n o f t h e e x t e n t o f t h e e s t r a n g e m e n t b e t w e e n t h e m , t h e d i v i s i o n o f t h e e s t a t e b e t w e e n f a m i l y m e m b e r s i s a f i n a l c o n f i r m a t i o n o f t h e p r o f o u n d s p i r i t u a l d i s l o c a t i o n o f t h e f a m i l y . T h e d i s s o l u t i o n o f t h e f a m i l y i s f i n a l i z e d w i t h 58 the d i v i s i o n of the estate, a d i v i s i o n which the narrator describes as follows: "Eine Schandung und Zers-tampf ung fand s t a t t , v o l l von Untertonen des Neids und der Habgier, obgleich wir nach aussen hin einen freundlich iiberlegenen Ton besten Einvernehmens zu wahren suchten" (p. 13). "Schandung" and "Zerstampfung" are .. very v i o l e n t terms to be used i n the context of the d i v i s i o n of a family estate. In his summary of h i s father's l i f e , the narrator emphasizes the importance of the home i n terms of the e f f o r t expended by his father, through the long period of emigration and the war, i n order to maintain a household which afforded him no pleasure i n return. The f u r n i t u r e i s described by the narrator as "von der Hand unsrer Mutter ein Leben lang gehiitet und gepflegt" and i n the course of the d i v i s i o n of the household goods the narrator f e e l s the presence of his mother: "Da war mir, a l s offnete sich die Tiir und meine Mutter erschiene, fassungslos i n das geisterhafte Treiben i h r e r Kinder starrend" (pp. 13-15). Thus, the violence with which the home i s dissembled is juxtaposed to the tenacity with which the parents had preserved i t . The narrator describes the moving of the f u r n i t u r e by the chi l d r e n as they divide up the family goods as the dismantling of an order of things which previously had been regarded by them as i n v i o l a t e (see p. 13). The "Untertonen des Neids und der Habgier" which act as a source for th i s violence are p a r t i a l l y explained i n the narrator's d e s c r i p t i o n of the value of the various furnishings to each of the chi l d r e n ; each piece of f u r n i t u r e i s connected with t h e i r memories of the home. The 59 source of the greed of the chil d r e n and t h e i r h o s t i l i t y toward the home i s explained l a t e r in-the text when the narrator contrasts the parents' care with the children's ingratitude. The parents t r i e d to supplement t h e i r concern for t h e i r c h i l d r e n with g i f t s on each s p e c i a l family occasion but "immer waren die Geschenke f a l s c h , s o v i e l wir auch bekamen, immer standen wir da mit unzufriedenen, nach Mehr fragenden Blicken. Das was wir haben wollten'bekamen wir nic h t , und wir wussten nicht, was wir haben wollten" (p. 98). The de s c r i p t i o n suggests the chil d r e n desired to possess the elusive element which was never a part of homelife and desired to destroy the very order which prevented that element from being r e a l i z e d i n family l i f e . Although the c h i l d r e n had thus long f e l t excluded from the home, i t s d i s s o l u t i o n upon the death of the parents marks the loss of whatever security i t afforded them and formalizes the end of t h e i r a s s o c i a t i o n with each other. The h o s t i l i t y toward the home i s released, however, with the death of the parents. The release of t h i s h o s t i l i t y r e s u l t s i n the depredation of the home and i n the degradation of the c h i l d r e n as expressed i n the jux t a p o s i t i o n of the fate of the parents with the l o t of the survivors: "Die Urnen von Vater und Mutter standen nebeneinander i n der schwarzen, feuchten Erde des Friedhofs, und wir Geschwister hockten zwischen den Bruchstiicken des zerstbrten Heims . . . " (p. 14). The violence with which the family home i s dissembled by the survivors suggests the degree to which the physi c a l d i s l o c a t i o n of the family unit confirms the existence of a more profound s p i r i t u a l d i s l o c a t i o n . The existence of the s p i r i t u a l d i s l o c a t i o n 60 is also attested to by the nature of the n a r r a t o r 1 s sorrow upon his parents' death: Die Trauer, d i e mich iiberkam, g a i t nicht ihnen Qhis parents ] , denn sie kannte i c h kaum, die Trauer gait dem Versaumten, das meine Kindheit und Jugend mit gahnender Leere umgeben hatte. Die Trauer gait der Erkenntnis eines ganzlich missgliickten Versuchs von Zusammenleben, i n dem die M i t g l i e d e r einer Familie ein paar Jahrzehnte lang beieinander ausgeharrt hatten. Die Trauer ga i t dem Zuspat, das uns Geschwister am Grab iiberlagerte und das uns dann wieder auseinandertrieb, ein jedes i n sein eigenes Dasein. (p. 7) The concern of the narrator i s neither for his parents nor for h i s family. The g r i e f of the narrator i s rather concerned with the loss of the p o s s i b i l i t y of a f u l f i l l e d childhood and family l i f e . With the physical d i s l o c a t i o n of the family u n i t the narrator proceeds with his f i r s t r e c o l l e c t i o n of h i s childhood and begins a series of r e c o l l e c t i o n s which form the main body of the text. The narrator begins with his memories of the various houses occupied by the family. While describing the view from the foyer of one of the houses he alludes to periods i n his adult l i f e i n which a lapse i n control causes him to again experience "die H i l f l o s i g k e i t , das A u s g e l i e f e r t s e i n und die blinde Auflehnung aus jener Z e i t , i n der fremde Hande mich bandigten, kneteten und vergewaltigten" (p. 15). S t r i k i n g i n t h i s f i r s t r e c o l l e c t i o n i s the violence which the narrator experienced as a c h i l d and to which he s t i l l f e e l s himself subject. Later upon describing the "selbstgewahltes E x i l " he found i n the garden of his home while a c h i l d , the narrator remarks upon the persistence of a pattern evinced by t h i s childhood preference into adulthood: 61 D a s A b g e s c h i e d e n e u n d G e h e i m n i s v o l l e , d a s V e r s t e c k t s e i n m i t m i r s e l b s t , m i t m e i n e n S p i e l e n , d a s i s t n o c h v o r h a n d e n u n d r e g t s i c h i n d i e s e r S t u n d e , e s i s t z u v e r s p u r e n j e d e s m a l w e n n i c h i n m e i n e A r b e i t e i n d r i n g e . I c h w a r m e i n e i g e n e r H e r r , i c h s c h u f m i r s e l b s t d i e W e l t . D o c h i r g e n d w o l a g d i e V o r a h n u n g d e s R u f s , d e s R u f s d e r g l e i c h e r k l i n g e n , d e r i i b e r d e n G a r t e n h i n a u f m i c h z u r o l l e n w i i r d e . I r g e n d w o l a g imme r d i e E r w a r t u n g d i e s e s R u f s , b i s i n d e n h e u t i g e n T a g d r i n g t d i e E r w a r t u n g d e s R u f s v o r , b i s i n d e n h e u t i g e n T a g d r i n g t d i e F u r c h t , d a s s a l l e s g l e i c h z u e n d e s e i n k b n n e . ( p . 1 9 ) I n t h e g a r d e n a n d i n t h e s u m m e r h o u s e t h e n a r r a t o r h a s t h e c a p a c i t y t o f e e l a n d t o a c t . He d e s c r i b e s t h e s e n s u a l i n t i m a c y h e e x p e r i e n c e d t h e r e i n r e l a t i o n s h i p t o h i s e n v i r o n m e n t a n d c o n t r a s t s t h i s t o t h e a t m o s p h e r e o f h i s home w h e r e " d a s D u m p f e , d a s E i n g e s c h l o s s e n e " ( p . 1 8 ) i n h i b i t s t h e p e r c e p t i o n o f h i s s u r r o u n d i n g s . I n t h e s u m m e r h o u s e t h e n a r r a t o r ' s a c t i v i t i e s , l i k e h i s f e e l i n g s i n t h e g a r d e n , a r e i n h a r m o n y w i t h h i s e n v i r o n m e n t a s i s i n d i c a t e d b y t h e f r e e d o m o f m o v e m e n t h e e x p e r i e n c e s t h e r e ( s e e p p . 1 8 - 1 9 ) . L i i t t m a n n d e s c r i b e s t h e g a r d e n a s " e i n A n a l o g o n zum G a r t e n E d e n " ( p . 2 0 2 ) i n t h e s e n s e o f t h e h a p p i n e s s t h e c h i l d f i n d s t h e r e a n d i n t h e c r e a t i v e r o l e t h e c h i l d e n a c t s t h e r e . L i i t t m a n n c o m p a r e s t h e m o t h e r ' s c a l l t o t h e c h i l d i n A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n w i t h G o d ' s c a l l t o Adam i n G e n e s i s a f t e r t h e F a l l , a l t h o u g h h e c a n f i n d n o r e f e r e n c e t o a n y t r a n s g r e s s i o n o n t h e p a r t o f t h e c h i l d w h i c h w o u l d b e c o m p a r a b l e t o t h a t c o m m i t t e d b y A d a m : " A l l e r d i n g s w i r d a n d i e s e r S t e l l e d e s A b s c h i e d s v o n k e i n e m V o r g a n g b e r i c h t e t , d e r a l s P a r a l l e l e z u dem b i b l i s c h e n S i i n d e n f a l l b e t r a c h t e t w e r d e n k b n n t e ; d a s K i n d i s t n u r m i t s e i n e n S p i e l e n b e s c h a f t i g t " ( p p . 2 0 2 - 0 3 ) . N o n e t h e l e s s , L i i t t m a n n s e e s a p a r a l l e l b e t w e e n t h e r o l e p l a y e d b y t h e m o t h e r a n d t h a t p l a y e d b y God i n t h e 62 " V e r t r e i b u n g a u s dem P a r a d i e s " ( p , 2 0 3 ) , R e m a r k i n g u p o n t h e f a c t t h a t t h e m o t h e r i s p o r t r a y e d a s " a l l m a c h t i g u n d g o t t a h n l i c h " ( p . 2 0 3 ) , L i i t t m a n n c o n c l u d e s t h a t t h e m o t h e r ' s c a l l t o t h e c h i l d t o come o u t o f t h e g a r d e n c o r r e s p o n d s t o G o d ' s e x p u l s i o n o f Adam f r o m E d e n . L i i t t m a n n p o i n t s o u t t h a t t h e m o t h e r i s a l s o d e s c r i b e d a s a " m y t h i s c h e S c h r e c k e n g e s t a l t m i t W o l f s - - u n d S c h l a n g e n a t t r i b u t e n " ( p . 2 0 3 ) . F o r L i i t t m a n n t h i s d e p i c t i o n s u g g e s t s t h e t r a u m a t i c n a t u r e o f t h e c h i l d ' s e x p e r i e n c e . H o w e v e r , t h e d e p i c t i o n o f t h e m o t h e r a s h a v i n g " S c h l a n g e n a t t r i b u t e " m o r e c o n c r e t e l y s u g g e s t s a n i d e n t i t y b e t w e e n t h e m o t h e r a n d t h e s e r p e n t i n t h e b i b l i c a l s t o r y j u s t a s t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e m o t h e r a s " a l l m a c h t i g " i m p l i e d , f o r L i i t t m a n n , t h a t h e r r o l e p a r a l l e l e d t h a t p l a y e d b y G o d . I f t h e m o t h e r i s a l s o t o b e i d e n t i f i e d w i t h t h e s e r p e n t , t h e n t h e " P a r a l l e l e z u dem b i b l i s c h e n S i i n d e n f a l l " i s t h e c h i l d ' s h e e d i n g o f h i s m o t h e r ' s c a l l . A l l t h e c h i l d ' s e f f o r t s t o r e s i s t h i s m o t h e r ' s c a l l a r e f u t i l e a n d t h e c h i l d i s o v e r c o m e w i t h f e a r f o r t h e e f f e c t o f t h e c a l l i s l i k e n e d t o d e a t h : " I c h v e r s u c h t e o f t , m i c h a n d e r s z u n e n n e n , d o c h w e n n d e r R u f m e i n e s e i n z i g e n Namens a u f m i c h z u f l o g , s c h r e c k t e i c h z u s a m m e n , w i e e i n e H a r p u n e s c h l u g e r i n m i c h e i n , i c h k o n n t e i h m n i c h t e n t g e h e n " ( p p . 1 9 - 2 0 ) . T h e g a r d e n i s l i f e f o r t h e c h i l d i n t e r m s o f t h e c r e a t i v e i n t i m a c y t h r o u g h w h i c h h e e x p e r i e n c e s h i s w o r l d , a n d t h e c a l l o f t h e m o t h e r a s e m p h a s i z e d i n t h e m e t a p h o r o f t h e h a r p o o n i s a c a l l t o d e a t h . T h e f e a r o f t h e c h i l d o f t h e c a l l f r o m w h i c h t h e r e i s n o e s c a p e c o r r e s p o n d s t o t h e f e a r o f t h e a d u l t " d a s s a l l e s g l e i c h z u e n d e s e i n k o n n e " ( p , 1 9 ) . I n t h e c a s e o f t h e a d u l t t h e c a l l f r o m h i s w o r k i s t h e t h r e a t o f 63 the cessation of c r e a t i v i t y which i s likened to death. The c h i l d ' s r e t r e a t to the garden i s an attempt to create a world i n which he_ f e e l s at home. The narrator's a r r i v a l at h i s parents' house i s defined by him as an i n t r u s i o n : "Wie ein boser Geist war ich i n dieses Heim gekommen, i n einer Blechbticb.se liegend, von meiner Mutter getragen, empfangen von wilden Kesselschlagen, vom beschwbrenden Geschrei meiner S t i e f b r i i d e r " (p. 16). As the c h i l d ' s presence i n the home i s characterized as an i n t r u s i o n , so the mother's a c t i v i t i e s i n the home are i n t r u s i v e i n the l i f e of her c h i l d as when she destroys h i s stamp c o l l e c t i o n i n order to maintain order. The d e s c r i p t i o n of the man shot from the roof of the house, a probable reference to the "Strassenkampfe" of 1918 or 1919 (Liittmann, p. 114), reinforces the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the world as threatening to the c h i l d . The l i n k between the c h i l d ' s a l i e n a t i o n from the home and h i s retreat to the garden i s summarized by the narrator: "Das Haus b l e i b t mir fremd, i n seinem Innern finde i c h mich nicht zurecht, doch den Garten nehme ich an mich . . . " (p. 18). Liittmann describes the ch i l d ' s e x i l e to the garden as furnishing him with a "Schutz- und Schonraum" which i s necessary for him "weil das gefangnishafte Haus oder Heim die Selbstverwirklichung nicht erlaubt" (p. 222). The c h i l d ' s r e t r e a t i n t o the garden, then, i s a response to h i s a l i e n a t i o n from the home, a home which Liittmann characterizes as "das gef angnishaf te Haus" and which may be characterized as a l i e n a t i n g i n the sense that the narrator f e e l s himself to be an intruder while at the same time perceiving his family as i n t r u s i v e i n his l i f e and the world as threatening. 64 If the garden represents the possibility of fulfillment for the child in terms of the intimacy he experiences there with his environment, then the alienation of the child from himself occurs when he heeds his mother's c a l l . Otto Best refers to the child's acceptance of his name in answering the c a l l as "Namensgebung als erste Vergewaltigung.Of more importance than Best's emphasis upon an identity imposed upon the child as an act of violence is the manner in which the child's heeding of the c a l l renders him an accomplice to this act. As the child in his complicity is diminished in stature the world looms proportionately larger. It is this experience of the world that remains with the narrator as an adult and which is expressed by the narrator in the following manner: Flusternd rufe ich mich an mit meinem eigenen Namen, und erschrecke mich damit, es i s t als kame der Name weit von aussen her auf mich zu, aus der Zeit in der ich noch formlos war. Und dann fiihle ich die rasende, ohnmachtige Wut, das Antoben gegen etwas Unangreifbares, gegen etwas unendlich Uberlegenes, und dann wird mein Gestammel von einer unsichtbaren Hand erstickt. Da i s t das Gesicht meiner Mutter. (p. 20) The narrator is sufficiently alienated from himself that he no longer regards his own name as belonging to him, as part of himself. With the narrator's recollection of his mother's c a l l to him from the garden the alienation of the narrator from himself is revealed as an internalization of a childhood experience. The weakness of the self experienced by the child in heeding his mother's c a l l is projected into adulthood as impotence before an omnipotent world which suffocates the self. A better understanding of the child's complicity involved in 65 answering h i s mother's c a l l may be reached through an examination of the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the garden as a "selbstgewahltes E x i l " (p. 18), Best points out the implications of the narrator's designation of the garden, not as a "Zuflucht," but as an " E x i l , " an "Ort der Verbannung": "Dieses Bewusstsein, ausgeschlossen, anders zu sein, und zugleich i n eine R o l l e , eine fremdbestimmte Norm gezwungen zu werden, von welcher der Name e i n T e i l i s t , l a s s t ihn seinen Namen ignorieren, s i c h taub s t e l l e n " (pp. 26--27). I would suggest that i n the use of the term "refuge" the emphasis i s on the q u a l i t i e s of the place; i n the term " e x i l e " the emphasis i s on the fact that one's presence i n that place i s determined by one's r e l a t i o n s h i p to the homeland. Best's reference to "eine fremdbestimmte Norm" suggests the degree to which the child's being i n the garden i s dependent upon the mother. However, as the term " E x i l " implies the power of the home, so the cha r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the e x i l e as "selbstgewahltes" implies the ;: power of an autonomous s e l f . While the power of the home i s over t l y recognized when the c h i l d heeds his mother's c a l l , the ch i l d ' s answering of the c a l l involves a betrayal of the autonomous s e l f . This betrayal requires the complicity of the c h i l d and i s thus s e l f - b e t r a y a l . The tension of dependency and autonomy r e f l e c t e d i n the designation of the garden as a "selbstgewahltes E x i l " i s r e l a t e d to what H i l t o n terms the "polar idea" found i n Weiss's work. H i l t o n elaborates upon this "polar idea" i n the following: The polar idea of l i g h t and darkness, l i f e and death, 66 t h e s e n s e o f b e l o n g i n g a n d n o t - ^ b e l o n g i n g , t h e d e s i r e f o r f r e e d o m a n d t h e f e a r o f i t , f i n d s a m p l e e x p r e s s i o n i n t h e p a r e n t - c h i l d r e l a t i o n s h i p , i n t h e s y m b o l o f t h e womb, i n t h e e n c h a n t e d d r e a m o f e s c a p e , , . o f i s o l a t i o n ( t h e f a i r g r o u n d s c e n e i n A b s c h i e d v on - d e n E l t e r n ) : y e t i n e a c h i n s t a n c e a t t h e v e r y moment o f f e e l i n g l i b e r t y t h e r e i s t h e a c c o m p a n y i n g " b u r d e n s o m e h e a v i n e s s o f b e i n g s u c k e d d o w n i n t o t h e v o r t e x , " F r o m t h e m o m e n t a r y e c s t a t i c f e e l i n g o f w e i g h t l e s s n e s s s u s p e n d e d a l o f t a b o v e t h e f a i r g r o u n d h e p l u n g e s d o w n b a c k i n t o t h e c r o w d b e l o w ; f r o m f l e e t i n g t h o u g h t s o f d e a t h h e i s j e r k e d b a c k t o t h e a c t u a l i t i e s o f h i s p o s i t i o n w i t h i n t h e s t o n y womb o f t h e c i t y t h a t was p u l s a t i n g l i f e . ( p . 6 8 ) I n t h e f a i r g r o u n d s c e n e t o w h i c h H i l t o n r e f e r s , t h e n a r r a t o r d e s c r i b e s t h e f r e e d o m h e e x p e r i e n c e d a s a c h i l d o n o n e o f t h e r i d e s , " N u r e i n e n k u r z e n A u g e n b l i c k h i e l t s i c h d e r Wagen i n d e r S c h w e b e , e h e e r i n d i e T i e f e k i p p t e , d o c h d i e s e r A u g e n b l i c k g e n i i g t e , um m i c h e i n e k s t a t i s c h e s G e f i i h l v o n F r e i h e i t e r l e b e n z u l a s s e n " ( p . 2 8 ) . The f r e e d o m i n i s o l a t i o n e x p e r i e n c e d b y t h e c h i l d i n t h e f a i r g r o u n d i s c o m p a r a b l e t o t h e a u t o n o m y i n e x i l e e x p e r i e n c e d b y t h e c h i l d i n t h e g a r d e n : t h e m o t h e r ' s c a l l t o t h e c h i l d t o come o u t o f t h e g a r d e n i s t h e e n d o f t h e r i d e . H i l t o n ' s s e c o n d r e f e r e n c e t o A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n i s t o t h e s u i c i d e w i t n e s s e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r i n P r a g u e . T h e n a r r a t o r d e s c r i b e s t h e b o d y a s i t f e l l t o t h e s t r e e t a s " d e r d u n k l e F e t z e n " w h i c h l i e s " e r s t a r r t , w i e e i n E m b r y o i n d e r g r o s s e n G e b a r m u t t e r a u s S t e i n " ( p . 1 5 9 ) . I m a g i n i n g h i m s e l f a s t h e v i c t i m i n a r e p l a y o f t h e s u i c i d e , t h e n a r r a t o r v i e w s d e a t h a s a n a l i e n f o r c e w h i c h b o t h s e i z e s h i m a n d e n t i c e s h i m : " u n d e n k b a r w a r d i e s e r S p r u n g , w e n n n i c h t d e r T o d z u r W o l l u s t g e w o r d e n w a r e " ( p . 1 6 1 ) . T h e i m a g e o f t h e womb i s r e p e a t e d i n t h e s e c o n d d e s c r i p t i o n i n w h i c h h e p o r t r a y s h i m s e l f a s l y i n g " z e r s c h l a g e n 67 i n der steinernen Gebarmutter der Stadt" (p, 161), The i n i t i a l leap, however, i s described by the narrator i n si m i l a r terms-as his f e e l i n g i n the garden as a c h i l d : "Im a l l e r e r s t e n I n t e r v a l l nach dem Grenzpunkt, von dem aus keine Riickkehr mehr moglich war, f l o g i c h wie im Traum, mir war, als konne ic h aufwarts f l i e g e n , l e i c h t wie ein Vogel, i c h wiirde steigen und steigen, mit ausgebreiteten Armen . . . " (pp. 160-161). In this sense, the stony womb of the c i t y i s the source of death, not "pulsating l i f e , " and i t i s from f l e e t i n g thoughts of l i f e that the narrator i s brought back to an awareness of his p o s i t i o n . Liittmann analyses the narrator's d e s c r i p t i o n of the suicide i n terms of the Freudian postulates of a "Todes- und Li e b e s t r i e b " (see p. 163). S p e c i f i c a l l y i n regard to the text, without recourse to Freud, the image of the stony womb as death may be viewed as re l a t e d to the portrayal of the mother's c a l l to her c h i l d to come out of the garden as a c a l l to the death i n l i f e which the home represents for the narrator. The c a l l of the mother receives i t s counterpart i n the narrative with the narrator's r e c o l l e c t i o n of his a n t i c i p a t i o n of his own c a l l i n g . He describes how a chance observation of a Fassadenkletterer presents him with a new sense of p o s s i b i l i t y for the future, with the "Vorahnung einer Berufung" (p. 25), This experience forms the basis for the narrator's "Sehnsucht nach einer selbststandigen Leistung" (p. 25). In r e l a t i n g h i s f e e l i n g s while watching the Fassadenkletterer the narrator stresses that he himself f e l t the "Schwache im Magen und i n den Kniekehlen, und einen K i t z e l i n den Fusssohlen" and thus became 68 aware "dass dies a l l e s dazugehorte , < . dass d i e Furcht der eigentliche Anlass zu dieser Leistung war, dass man mit der Anspannung des Kletterns die Furcht uberwinden w o l l t e " (p, 25), The fear faced by the Fassadenkletterer i s reminiscent of the fear faced by the narrator whenever he i s at work, "dass a l l e s g l e i c h zuende sein kbnne" (p. 19). The compulsion exercised by fear as "der eigentliche Anlass zu dieser Leistung" i s comparable to the function of death as an a l i e n force i n the case of the suicide. However, i n the case of the Fassadenkletterer, i t i s controlled f l i g h t as opposed to the f l i g h t of the s u i c i d a l leap. Giinter Dallmann in h i s review of Abschied considers the p l i g h t of the Fassadenkletterer to be symbolic of that of the a r t i s t : "der von Hemmungen b e f r e i t e Kunstler besiegt a l l e Versuchung, das Gleichgewicht zu v e r l i e r e n . " ^ I t i s clear both from the . references to the narrator's paintings and writings i n the text i t s e l f and from the autobiographical elements of the narrative (see Liittmann, pp. 113-16) that the vocation of the narrator i s that of a r t i s t . Thus, I would suggest that the work which the narrator defines as "das Verstecktsein mit mir s e l b s t " (p. 19) i s his a r t. The Fassadenkletterer maintains his balance through s e l f - c o n t r o l ; the concern of the narrator i s with self-possession. Noteworthy i n the narrator's f i r s t r e c o l l e c t i o n was the violence to which the c h i l d i s a v i c t i m and the adult a v i c t i m , also. S t r i k i n g i n the narrator's r e c o l l e c t i o n of his f i r s t e x i l e and of his mother's c a l l is the manner i n which the weakness of the c h i l d f e l t i n his i n a b i l i t y to r e s i s t responding to his mother's c a l l i s f i r s t i n t e r n a l i z e d by the c h i l d and i s then externalized by the adult i n his a l i e n a t i o n from himself and from the world, an a l i e n a t i o n which, posits the world as an a l i e n force which threatens the " l i f e " of the s e l f . Concerning the narrator's r e c o l l e c t i o n s of scenes from his childhood and adolescence, Liittmann remarks upon the f a c t that the authenticity of the r e c o l l e c t i o n s themselves are never brought into question. According to Liittmann, the narrator's attitu d e toward his past consists of an "Ordnen von etwas urspriinglich Ungeordnetem" (p. 119). While admitting that he i s r e c a l l i n g events which occurred several decades before, the narrator states, " i c h kann s i e C h i s childhood} j e t z t mit durchdachten Worten schildern, ich kann sie zergliedern und vor mir ausbreiten, doch als i c h sie erlebte, da gab es kein Durchdenken und kein Zergliedern, da gab es keine iiberblickende Vernunft" (p. 33). Thus, the narrator has gained a c e r t a i n detachment from the events of his childhood which allows him to describe and to organize them. For Liittmann, the assumption i m p l i c i t i n the narrator's attitude toward the events of h i s childhood i s that the past i s d i r e c t l y accessible to him, that i s that the narrator's past i s i d e n t i c a l with h i s memory of i t . I t i s t h i s assumption which Liittmann considers questionable--"kaum g e r e c h t f e r t i g t " (p. 119). In h i s e x p l i c a t i o n of the text Liittmann u t i l i z e s two categories to d i f f e r e n t i a t e elements i n the narrator's r e c o l l e c t i o n s involved i n the reenactment of emotions f e l t i n the past from elements i n the r e c o l l e c t i o n s which r e f l e c t a r a t i o n a l ordering of past experience. Liittmann terms these two 70 categories "das A f f e k t i v e " and "das Rationale." By way of i l l u s t r a t i o n Liittmann r e f e r s to the following d e s c r i p t i o n i n the text of the narrator''s f l i g h t from school "Doch vorm Schultor f l o h i c h zuriick . . , i c h kann es j e t z t s c h i l d e r n , i c h kann es j e t z t uberblicken, es war der erste Schultag, es war der Anfang, es war der Anfang der Panik, i c h wollte mich nicht fangen lassen . . . " (p, 34). Liittmann remarks, "Diese Reihe kurzer Hauptsatze versucht die panikhafte Atemlosigkeit des Kindheitserlebnisses unmittelbar zur Anschauung zu bringen (p. 121). Nonetheless, as Liittmann observes, the narrator i s able to order the event so that "Das A f f e k t i v e und das Rationale verbinden s i c h h i e r ; und dies g i l t — i n einem jeweils anderen 'Mischungsverhaltnis'--fur a l l e T e i l e des Abschieds" (pp. 121-22). In an e a r l i e r reference to the narrator's r a t i o n a l ordering of his experiences, Liittmann observes the following: "Infolge der z e i t l i c h e n Distanz hat s i c h der Erzahler, p o i n t i e r t gesprochen, vom Objekt des Geschehens zum verstehenden Subjekt der Ereignisse gewandelt" (p. 1.19). The '"Mischungsverhaltnis"' of emotional and r a t i o n a l elements suggests, although Liittmann himself does not draw t h i s i mplication, that because the narrator i s s t i l l subject to the threat of being the object of past experiences the narrator's r a t i o n a l ordering of these experiences represents an attempt to meet this threat by r e c o n s t i t u t i n g the past i n order to control the present, In a further consideration of the text, Liittmann observes that the r e c o l l e c t i o n s of the narrator are set f o r t h i n chronological order with l o g i c a l t r a n s i t i o n s between r e c o l l e c t i o n s . Liittmann remarks, "Diese Folge von Erinnerungen wird aber keineswegs durch jene spontan-assoziatiye Sprunghaftigkeit bestimmt, die zumeist fiir den inneren Monolog c h a r a k t e r i s t i s c h i s t " (p. 132). The dominant form of the narrative, according to Liittmann, i s the scene. The scene, as Liittmann understands i t , i s meant to be representative so that "die einmalige Szene transparent wird fiir das mehrfach s i c h Abspielende" (p. 134). Liittmann views the characters i n the narrative, other than the narrator, as representative types displaying what Liittmann r e f e r s to as a c e r t a i n " F u n k t i o n a l i t a t . " Liittmann explains what he means by " F u n k t i o n a l i t a t " i n reference to the p o r t r a y a l of the character Margit. As Liittmann points out, the narrator does not give an adequate d e s c r i p t i o n of the appearance or personality of Margit, "obwohl das Madchen eine sehr wesentliche R o l l e i n dessenC the narrator's ] Entwicklung s p i e l t , " because such a d e s c r i p t i o n would be superfluous i n l i g h t of the purely physical r e l a t i o n s h i p between Margit and the narrator (p. 185). The chronological ordering of the r e c o l l e c t i o n s and the p o r t r a y a l of other characters i n terms of the r o l e they play i n the narrator's development seem to me to imply that the focus of the narrator i s the d e s c r i p t i o n of a developmental process i n which the d i s c r e t e events r e c o l l e c t e d are relevant only as they symbolize elements within that process. As i s implied i n Luttmann's analysis of the "'Mischungsverhaltnis'" of the "Afektive" and "Rationale," the r e c o l l e c t i o n s of the narrator are themselves occasioned by the persistence of f e e l i n g s o r i g i n a t i n g i n the past into the present, experiences which Liittmann r e f e r s to as not "'bewaltigt,'" Thus, 72 Liittmann speaks of the r e c o l l e c t i o n s as "Traumata," For Liittmann, the mother's c a l l to the c h i l d from the garden constitutes such a trauma: "Diese abrupte Beendigung seines Gliickzustandes hat traumatischen Charakter; das beweist nicht z u l e t z t die bewusst erfahrene psychische Fortwirkung dieses Kindheitserlebnisses b i s i n das Erwachsendasein des Erzahlers h i n e i n " (p. 122), Liittmann then characterizes the en t i r e text i n t h i s manner: Bedenkt man, dass—wovon spater noch gesprochen werden s o i l — d i e s e Kindheit massgeblich durch traumatische Erfahrungen bestimmt wird, so darf man wohl die Behauptung wagen, dass die a f f e k t i v e Gebundenheit des Erzahlers an seine Vergangenheit massgeblich durch diese Traumata bedingt i s t , die nie "bewaltigt" wurden, so wie die Gesamtheit der Erlebnisse, die im Abschied d a r g e s t e l l t werden, offenbar nicht "bewaltigt" worden i s t . Insofern kann die Tatsache, dass der Erzahler au s f i i h r l i c h von seiner Vergangenheit s p r i c h t , nachdem er durch den Tod der E l t e r n die F r e i h e i t dazu erlangt hat, a l s eine Art Autotherapie, a l s eine Moglichkeit zur Selbstheilung verstanden werden. (pp. 122-23) Since a trauma i s by d e f i n i t i o n any emotional experience or shock which has a l a s t i n g psychic e f f e c t , Liittmann's explanation of trauma i n terms of the narrator's childhood experience of h i s mother's c a l l i s e s s e n t i a l l y c i r c u l a r . In d e f i n i n g the narrator's experiences as "Traumata," Liittmann focuses on these experiences as d i s c r e t e events having a l a s t i n g e f f e c t on the l i f e of the narrator. However, Liittmann's q u a l i f i c a t i o n of these experiences as not "'bewaltigt'"—and according to Liittmann the f a c t that these experiences are not "'bewaltigt'" constitutes the reason for the narrator's record of his r e c o l l e c t i o n s of these experiences—suggests that the s i g n i f i c a n c e of these events l i e s with the process through which they continue to exert t h i s e f f e c t . 73 Of i n t e r e s t , t h e n , i s n o t s o m u c h t h a t t h e n a r r a t o r " a u s f u h r l i c h v o n s e i n e r V e r g a n g e n h e i t s p r i c h t " b u t r a t h e r t h e p r o c e s s w h e r e b y t h e r e c o l l e c t i o n o f t h e p a s t b e c o m e s a n e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e p r e s e n t . I n t h i s s e n s e L u t t m a n n ' s o r i g i n a l q u e s t i o n r e g a r d i n g t h e a u t h e n t i c i t y o f t h e r e c o l l e c t i o n s t h e m s e l v e s i s m i s l e a d i n g : t h e q u e s t i o n p r e s u p p o s e s a p a s t made u p o f d i s c r e t e e v e n t s s u f f i c i e n t l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d f r o m t h e p r e s e n t t h a t t h e p r e s e n t may p r o v i d e a f r a m e o f r e f e r e n c e b y w h i c h t h e e v e n t s o f t h e p a s t may b e a u t h e n t i c a t e d . A s i s c l e a r f r o m L u t t m a n n ' s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f t h e p a s t f o r t h e n a r r a t o r a s n o t " ' b e w a l t i g t , " ' a d u l t h o o d f o r t h e n a r r a t o r i s s o m a r k e d b y t h e p e r s i s t e n c e o f e x p e r i e n c e s f r o m c h i l d h o o d t h a t n o c l e a r s e p a r a t i o n b e t w e e n c h i l d h o o d a n d a d u l t h o o d e x i s t s f o r h i m . L u t t m a n n ' s q u e s t i o n r e g a r d i n g t h e a u t h e n t i c i t y o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s r e c o l l e c t i o n s i s a l s o e x t r a n e o u s t o t h e t e x t b e c a u s e t h e t e x t i s s o l e l y t h e n a r r a t i o n o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s r e c o l l e c t i o n s a n d a s s u c h t h e s e r e c o l l e c t i o n s f o r m t h e o n l y c o n s i s t e n t h a p p e n i n g . I n H i l t o n ' s w o r d s , A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n , l i k e W e i s s ' s o t h e r n a r r a t i v e s , i s " o n e l o n g m o n o l o g u e i n e f f e c t " ( p . 2 8 ) . O t t o B e s t , i n h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e t e x t , e m p h a s i z e s t h e s e l f - p r e o c c u p a t i o n o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s r e c o l l e c t i o n s : " E i n M e n s c h g i b t R e c h e n s c h a f t i i b e r d i e w i d e r s p r i i c h l i c h e N a t u r , d i e e r i n s i c h e n t d e c k t e , m i t d e r e r s i c h imme r w i e d e r a u s e i n a n d e r s e t z t e u n d d i e i h m , z u r i i c k b l i c k e n d , f i i r M i l i e u u n d E p o c h e r e p r a s e n t a t i v e r s c h e i n t " ( p . 2 5 ) . I t s a u t h e n t i c i t y , t h e n , f o r B e s t c o n s i s t s o f t h e " W a h r h a f t i g k e i t s u b j e k t i v e r R i i c k h a l t l o s i g k e i t " ( p , 2 5 ) . B e s t c l a s s i f i e s t h e n o v e l a s " B e k e n n t n i s l i t e r a t u r " i n i t s 74 "Verzicht auf den Versuch, die Vergangenheit i n toto zu rekonstruieren, das B i l d von Kindheit, Jugend und fruhem Mannesalter 'objektiv' wiederzugeben . . . " (p. 25). Best elucidates further: "Im Bekenntnis wird Gestalt, was f i i r den Erzahler a l s Erwachsenen noch relevant, was,in seiner Gegenwart als Vergangenheit lebendig i s t , pragend und gepragt" (p, 25). Best speaks of Abschied von den E l t e r n as "Selbstanalyse mit Beichte" (p. 25). I would agree with Best i n regard to his conclusion that the narrative gives form to that which survives from childhood to adulthood. However, the designation of the narrative as "Selbstanalyse mit Beichte" i n i t s emphasis upon the narrative as subjective analysis ignores the degree to which the narrative i s as much concerned with the manner i n which the objective world determines the l i m i t s and nature of the subjective state. This disagreement may be explained by reference to Best's analysis of the narrator's r e c o l l e c t i o n s of his experiences at school. Best concludes regarding the narrator's account of his school experience: "Mit dem ersten Schultag s t e i g e r t sich die Furcht zur Panik, die i n Bildern der Obsession Gesicht gewinnt" (p. 27). The world through which the c h i l d must pass on the way to school i s depicted., by the narrator as menacing: i t i s f i l l e d with f i g h t i n g b i r d s , men with knives and s c a r - l i k e faces, and various tormented creatures (see pp. 36-37). Best i d e n t i f i e s the coachman who appears i n t h i s scene with the figure of the Kutscher who, "geheimnisvoll und drohend," dominates the world portrayed i n Weiss's Der Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers 75 (p. 27). Best concludes, "Fremdheit, Angst, Bedrohung erganzen einander, die Bild e r der Innenwelt erfahren keine Erlosung i n den Ereignissen der Aussenwelt, beide potenzieren und spiegeln einander" (p. 27). According to Best's summary of the narrator's school experience, the schoolroom is transformed into a "Folterkammer" (p. 27). The focus of the narrator's account of the child's walk to school i s upon the expectations of the c h i l d which, as Best points out, are r e f l e c t e d i n the c h i l d ' s perceptions of his surroundings. According to Best's conclusion regarding the manner i n which the perceptual state of the narrator and the events of the world r e i n f o r c e one another, the classroom would become a torture chamber only because i t i s there that the subjective expectations of the c h i l d are met and h i s panic thereby rendered j u s t i f i a b l e . However, Best omits from h i s discussion any consideration of the classroom i t s e l f . The e f f e c t of such an omission i s to imply that for Best the events of the world are themselves reducible to an examination of the subjective state of the narrator. I t i s clear from the narrator's d e s c r i p t i o n of his running away from school on the f i r s t day that i n t h i s case i t i s h i s response to rather than his awareness of the threatening nature of the s i t u a t i o n which d i f f e r e n t i a t e s him from the other chi l d r e n . The narrator r e c a l l s that a l l the children carry a "Tiite" for the f i r s t day of school and "die Furcht vor der Schule i s t k l e b r i g und suss vom Geschmack der Himbeerbonbons" (p. 34). The narrator runs away from school and his mother brings him back to the classroom late "und der Lehrer offnete die Tiir von 76 innen, und drinnen . . . waren a l l e zur Gemeinschaft zusammengeschlossen und i c h war der Zuspatgekommene" (p.- 35). The c h i l d ' s attempt to run away from school p a r a l l e l s h i s e a r l i e r attempts to escape his mother i n the summerhouse except that i n t h i s case escape i s his objective, The narrator describes his temporary refuge and states, "und allmahlich beruhigte sic h mein Atem und i c h fiihle mich sicher, und eine Weile bin i c h f r e i und losgelost von a l i e n Bedrohungen . . . " (p. 34), As indicated i n the account of the r i t u a l of the "Tiite," a l l the c h i l d r e n are i n need of consolation. Common to a l l the c h i l d r e n i s t h e i r fear of the school, and as i s implied by the narrator's d e s c r i p t i o n of himself as an outsider, "der Zuspatgekommene" i n contrast to the "Gemeinschaft" within, the source of t h i s "Gemeinschaft" formed by the other c h i l d r e n i s the repression of t h e i r fear. The narrator, i n his i n a b i l i t y to repress his fears, serves as a threat to t h i s community and by so doing serves as a release for the community's anxieties. The narrator notes his r o l e when he remarks, "Dass a l l e iiber mich lachten bewies, dass ich komisch war, und so grinste i c h auch, und dies, dass ic h andere erheitern konnte, war eine gute Gabe" (p. 37). His threat to the community i s indicated by the mutual p a r t i c i p a t i o n of teacher and students i n h i s punishment: "Die Klasse war eine einzige, dicke, blutdiirstige S t i l l e " (p. 38). The punishment ( l i k e many of the punitive r i t u a l s which pervade the world of Kafka's writings) i s construed to require the cooperation of the v i c t i m . The narrator describes his punishment as a public procedure i n the course of which he i s required to hold out his hand to be beaten. The a t t e m p t s o f t h e n a r r a t o r t o withdraw h i s h a n d d u r i n g t h i s p u n i s h m e n t a r e r e m i n i s c e n t o f h i s a t t e m p t s t o i g n o r e h i s m o t h e r ' s c a l l i n t h e g a r d e n ( " s i c h t a u b s t e l l e n " ) . The n a r r a t o r e m p h a s i z e s t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h i s e x p e r i e n c e f o r h i s s c h o o l y e a r s : " D i e s w a r e s , was i c h i n d e r S c h u l e l e r n t e , w i e man d i e H a n d u n t e r d e n R o h r s t o c k d e s L e h r e r s h i e l t " ( p . 3 8 ) . L i i t t m a n n c o m m e n t s o n t h e a d v e r s a r y n a t u r e o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e n a r r a t o r a n d h i s c l a s s m a t e s i n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f h i m s e l f a s " d e r Z u s p a t g e k o m m e n e " : " W i e d e r u m s i n d d i e R o l l e n a n t a g o n i s t i s c h e r A r t : h i e r d i e G e m e i n s c h a f t u n d d o r t d e r A u s s e n s e i t e r " ( p . 2 0 7 ) . N e g l e c t e d i n L u t t m a n n ' s a n a l y s i s , h o w e v e r , i s a n a d e q u a t e e x p l a n a t i o n f o r t h e p a r t i c u l a r p u n i s h m e n t c h o s e n . I f s e e n a s a r i t u a l a c t , t h i s p u n i s h m e n t , i n o r d e r t o b e e f f e c t i v e , r e q u i r e s t h a t t h e v i c t i m t h r o u g h some f o r m o f " a d m i s s i o n " a s s u r e t h e c o m m u n i t y t h a t i t s f i n d i n g o f " g u i l t " i s o b j e c t i v e . A s a n a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t , t h e v i c t i m o f t h e p u n i s h m e n t t h e r e b y a c c e p t s t h i s o b j e c t i v e j u d g m e n t a n d d e m o n s t r a t e s t h a t h e h a s i n t e r n a l i z e d n o t a n a d v e r s a r y r e l a t i o n s h i p b u t a r e l a t i o n s h i p i n w h i c h t h e i n d i v i d u a l a n d t h e c o m m u n i t y r e c i p r o c a t e . T h i s r e q u i r e s t h a t t h i s i n d i v i d u a l h a s s u f f i c i e n t l y i n t e r n a l i z e d t h e s e n t i m e n t s o f t h e c o m m u n i t y a n d i t s p r e s c r i b e d r i t u a l f o r m s . W i t h o u t s u c h a n " a d m i s s i o n " ( t h e h o l d i n g o u t o f o n e ' s h a n d ) t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p w o u l d s i m p l y b e a n a d v e r s a r y o n e a n d L u t t m a n n ' s a n a l y s i s w o u l d b e c o r r e c t . I n h e e d i n g h i s m o t h e r ' s c a l l t o come o u t o f t h e g a r d e n t h e c h i l d r e s p o n d s t o h i s own d e p e n d e n c y o n t h e m o t h e r . T h e r e c i p r o c a t i o n o f t h e c h i l d w i t h t h e m o t h e r i n v o l v e s a b e t r a y a l 78 o f a n i n d e p e n d e n t l i f e t h e c h i l d h a s f o u n d i n t h e g a r d e n . S i m i l a r l y , i n b e c o m i n g a n a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t i n h i s own p u n i s h m e n t , t h e c h i l d a t s c h o o l r e s p o n d s t o t h e t h r e a t o f p h y s i c a l f o r c e t h r o u g h w h i c h h i s d e p e n d e n c y u p o n t h e c o m m u n i t y i s e x p r e s s e d . L i i t t m a n n a s s u m e s t h a t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h i s c o m m u n i t y a n d t h e n a r r a t o r i s a n a d v e r s a r y o n e . T h e r o l e p l a y e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r a s a t h r e a t t o t h e c o m m u n i t y d o e s p r e s u p p o s e h i s a l i e n a t i o n f r o m t h a t c o m m u n i t y . I t a l s o s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e c o m m u n i t y i s v u l n e r a b l e a n d t h a t t h e n a r r a t o r h a s t h e c a p a c i t y t o w i t h s t a n d i t s r e j e c t i o n o f h i m . T h u s , t h e p u n i s h m e n t i n v o l v e s b o t h a d e n i a l o f t h e c o m m u n i t y ' s v u l n e r a b i l i t y a n d t h e n a r r a t o r ' s i n t e g r i t y : h e i s f o r c e d t o d e f e r t o a r i t u a l i n w h i c h h e i s d e m e a n e d a n d h i s s e l f h o o d s y m b o l i c a l l y d e s t r o y e d . A c o m m u n i t y o r s o c i e t y i s a l i e n a t i n g t o t h e d e g r e e t h a t i t m u s t u t i l i z e f o r c e t o e l i c i t t h e o b e d i e n c e o f i t s m e m b e r s . B y d e f e r r i n g t o i t s w i s h e s a n d o f f e r i n g h i m s e l f u p f o r p u n i s h m e n t , t h e n a r r a t o r i s f o r c e d t o a c t a s i f t h a t c o m m u n i t y w e r e n o t a l i e n a t i n g , a s i f t h e c o m m u n i t y w e r e d o i n g h i s b i d d i n g a n d a c t i n g o n h i s b e h a l f . F o r t h e n a r r a t o r t o a c t i n t h i s way i s t h u s t o l i e n o t o n l y a b o u t t h e n a t u r e o f t h e c o m m u n i t y b u t a l s o a b o u t i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o i t s m e m b e r s , T h u s , t h e c o m m u n i t y w i t h w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r i s r e u n i t e d i s a l i e n a t i n g . I t i s t h i s a l i e n a t i o n w h i c h i n f o r m s i t s s e n t i m e n t s a n d r i t u a l a c t s a n d w h i c h i s c o n s e q u e n t l y i n t e r n a l i z e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r i n h i s a c c e p t a n c e o f i t s j u d g m e n t w h e n h e h o l d s o u t h i s h a n d t o b e p u n i s h e d . T h e n a t u r e o f t h i s r i t u a l a c t o f p u n i s h m e n t may b e f u r t h e r c l a r i f i e d b y a r e f e r e n c e t o a n o t h e r s c e n e i n A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n , w h i c h i n v o l v e s t h e f a t h e r ' s p u n i s h m e n t o f h i s s o n . 79 The father's actions i n th i s scene are described by the narrator as follows: Endlich kam er ins Zimmer gestiirzt, l i e f auf mich zu, packte mich, und legte mich iiber sein Knie. Da er nicht stark war, taten seine Schlage nicht weh. Qualvo bis zum Brechreiz war nur die demiitigende Gemeinschaft i n der wir uns befanden. Er auf mich einschlagend, i c h jammernd, lagen wir i n einer sehreckhaften Umarmung iiber einander. Ich schrie um Verzeihung und er sc h r i e unzusammenhangende Worte, und weder wusste er, warum er mich schlug, noch wusste i c h , warum ich geschlagen wurde, es war eine Ritualhandlung, von unbekannten hbheren Machten aufgedrangt. (p, 105-06) The union of the father with hi s son, "die demiitigende Gemeinschaft," prefigures the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of the family after the c h i l d has been punished. The aftermath of the punishment consists of the consoling of the father for having f u l f i l l e d h i s obl i g a t i o n and the reu n i t i n g of father, mother and c h i l d as part of "der kranke Familienfrieden" (p. 106). As i n the case of the child's punishment at school through which he i s reconciled with an a l i e n a t i n g community, the son through his p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n his punishment i s reunited with a family which i s t o t a l l y a l i e n a t i n g . The a l i e n a t i o n of father and son from the, physical a f f e c t i o n they f e e l toward each other i s alluded to by the narrator i n the implied eroticism of the r i t u a l act i n which they are depicted " i n einer schreckhaften Umarmung." The punishment i t s e l f i s described as an imposition upon the par t i c i p a n t s by an outside force. The father's exhaustion and need for consolation emphasizes his dependency on the mother. The narrator states that the father's involvement occurs at the behest of the mother:-"Die Beziehung i n die mein Vater im Heim zu mir t r a t war eine 8 0 e r z w u n g e n e . A u f d a s D r a n g e n d e r M u t t e r h i n m a c h t e e r s i c h z u w e i l e n z u e i n e r z i i c h t i g e n d e n I n s t a n z , d i e s e i n e m z u r t i c k h a l t e n d e n W e s e n n i c h t e n t s p r a c h " ( p p . 1 0 4 - 0 5 ) . A s t h e f a t h e r ' s a s s u m p t i o n o f t h e r o l e o f d i s c i p l i n a r i a n i s d e s c r i b e d a s p h y s i c a l l y e x h a u s t i n g , s o h i s r o l e a s p r o v i d e r f o r t h e f a m i l y i s d e p i c t e d a s e q u a l l y t a x i n g . I n t h i s r o l e t h e f a t h e r i s d e p e n d e n t u p o n t h e f a c t o r y , a d e p e n d e n c y w h i c h i s p a r t i c u l a r l y a p p a r e n t w h e n t h e f a m i l y i s i n e x i l e . T h e n a r r a t o r d e s c r i b e s o n e s u c h i n c i d e n t w h e n h i s f a t h e r a s k s t h e n a r r a t o r t o a c c o m p a n y h i m t o a b u s i n e s s a p p o i n t m e n t . W h i l e a t h i s f a t h e r ' s o f f i c e , t h e n a r r a t o r b e c o m e s a w a r e o f t h e v u l n e r a b i l i t y o f h i s f a t h e r w h o s e p o s i t i o n i n t h e f i r m i s a c t u a l l y t h a t o f a s u b o r d i n a t e ( s e e p p . 1 1 2 - 1 3 ) . T h e h u m i l i a t i o n t h e f a t h e r s u f f e r s i n t h i s r o l e i s e x p r e s s e d i n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f h i s f a t h e r ' s r e c e p t i o n a t t h e b u s i n e s s a p p o i n t m e n t : " M i t s e i n e r H a n d b e k l o p f t e e r m e i n e n V a t e r , w i e man e i n P f e r d b e k l o p f t , l e i t e t e i h n a n e i n e n T i s c h , w i e an e i n e K r i p p e , h a l f i h m , d i e M u s t e r t a s c h e z u e n t l e e r e n " ( p . 1 1 4 ) . T h e f a t h e r i s r e f e r r e d t o a s b e i n g t r e a t e d l i k e a " b e a s t o f b u r d e n " a n d i s t h u s p e r c e i v e d a s a v i c t i m o f t h e r o l e h e a s s u m e s . T h e n a r r a t o r d e s c r i b e s t h e s i m i l a r t r e a t m e n t o f h i m s e l f a n d h i s c o - w o r k e r s i n a L o n d o n s t o r e : W i r s a s s e n i m A b t r i t t , d e s s e n Wande v o l l g e k r a t z t w a r e n m i t B i l d e r n v o n F r u c h t b a r k e i t s s y m b o l e n , u n d d e s s e n B o d e n v e r s c h m i e r t w a r v o n S p e i c h e l , U r i n u n d z e r t r e t e n e n Z i g a r e t t e n . H i e r s a s s e n w i r v o r g e n e i g t , u n d a u s d e n Z e l l e n r i n g s u m d r a n g e i n S t o h n e n u n d u n a r t i k u l i e r t e s S t a m m e l n , i n e i n e m Z u s t a n d v o n T r a n c e s a s s e n w i r i m R a u s c h e n u n d T r o p f e l n d e r W a s s e r l e i t u n g e n , u n d a u f u n s e r e n S c h u l t e r n t r u g e n w i r d a s r i e s i g e , i i b e r l a d e n e H a u s . M i t t a g e s p r a n g e n w i r d i e s c h r a g e n L a u f g a n g e h i n a u f z u r S t r a s s e , v o r b e i a n d e r S t e m p e l u h r , d e r e n Z a h n e k l i n g e l n d i n u n s r e K a r t e n h a c k t e n , D r a u s s e n 81 schlugen wir uns durch. d i e Mauern der Fahrzeuge, fochten Stierkampfe aus mit deh Automobllenj hieben mit den Fausten auf d i e brummenden m e t a l l i s c h e n T i e r e e i n , warfen uns i n das Krachen und K r e i s e l n der F u t t e r s t e l l e n , f r a s s e n K a r t o f f e l n i n abgestandenem F e t t , Bohnen und Stiicke von fasrigem Speck. Enge unterm Kragen, Wlirgen im Magen. (pp, 121-22) As the store i s viewed from the p e r s p e c t i v e of the l a v a t o r y , so the employees are seen as r e d u c i b l e to t h e i r alimentary f u n c t i o n s . The world outside the s t o r e i s viewed as an extension of the s t o r e : the "Stempeluhr, deren Zahne k l i n g e l n d i n unsre Karten hackten" corresponds to "die brummenden m e t a l l i s c h e n T i e r e , " which confront the workers w i t h a corresponding h o s t i l i t y . As the workers are reduced to t h e i r p h y s i c a l f u n c t i o n s , the world i s reduced to i t s mechanical f u n c t i o n s . Both workers and machines are c h a r a c t e r i z e d as animals and thus share equal status i n the world. Liittmann p o i n t s out the comic elements of t h i s scene i n the use of " k l a n g l i c h e Elemente (Lautmalerei, A l l i t e r a t i o n , Assonanz und Reim)" and a l s o i n the "Tiermetaphorik" and comes to the f o l l o w i n g c o n c l u s i o n : "So werden d i e s o z i a l d e p r a v i e r t e n Warenhausangestellten a l s komische Opfer i h r e r Lebensbedingungen v o r g e f i i h r t " (p. 154). The v i c t i m i z a t i o n of the workers to which Liittmann r e f e r s p a r a l l e l s the scene i n which the f a t h e r i s portrayed as a v i c t i m of the r o l e he assumes. I n the case of the f a t h e r the comic elements are tempered by the i m p l i e d sympathy of the n a r r a t o r w i t h the v i c t i m . The mother's a c t i v i t i e s are elsewhere i n Abschied von  den E l t e r n a t t r i b u t e d to a combination of h e r i t a g e and her own i n g e n u i t y . The n a r r a t o r gives an account of the s t r i c t n e s s of the mother's upbringing: her f a t h e r used to crack a whip over h i s 82 d a u g h t e r s ' h e a d s a t m e a l t i m e t o i n s u r e t h a t t h e y s a t up p r o p e r l y . The m o t h e r e x p r e s s e s h e r a p p r o v a l o f s u c h a d i s c i p l i n e d c h i l d h o o d a n d c o m m e n t s , " s i e h a t m i c h s t a r k g e m a c h t " ( p . 4 5 ) . The n a r r a t o r a l s o s u g g e s t s t h a t h i s m o t h e r ' s r e n u n c i a t i o n o f h e r t h e a t r i c a l c a r e e r f o r t h e s e c u r i t y o f t h e home c o n t r i b u t e d t o h e r d i f f i c u l t i e s : " L a g n i c h t d e r G r u n d i h r e r s p a t e r e n U n a u s g e g l i c h e n h e i t d a r i n , d a s s s i e s i c h i h r e m e i g e n t l i c h e n W i r k u n g s g e b i e t e n t z o g e n h a t t e " ( p . 4 6 ) . The e x t e n t o f t h e i n v e s t m e n t s h e h a s made i n h e r s o n i s c l e a r i n h e r a d m o n i s h m e n t t o h i m : " D u d a r f s t m i r k e i n e S c h a n d e m a c h e n , s a g t e s i e . I c h l e i d e s c h l a f l o s e N a c h t e d e i n e t w e g e n , i c h b i n v e r a n t w o r t l i c h f i i r d i c h , w e n n d u n i c h t s k a n n s t , d a n n f a l l t d a s a u f m i c h z u r i i c k , l e b e n h e i s s t a r b e i t e n . . . " ( p p . 6 6 - 6 7 ) . A s i n t h e c a s e o f h e r a d m o n i s h m e n t s t o h e r s o n t o f i n i s h h i s w o r k t h e m o t h e r ' s a c t i v i t i e s a r e g e n e r a l l y i n t r u s i v e i n h i s l i f e . T he j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r h e r i n t r u s i v e n e s s u s u a l l y i n v o l v e s q u e s t i o n s o f h y g i e n e o r , a s i n t h e c a s e o f h e r a d m o n i s h m e n t s c i t e d h e r e , c o n v e n t i o n a l m o r a l c o n c e r n s . A s i n t h e i n s t a n c e o f t h e f a t h e r ' s e x h a u s t i o n d u r i n g h i s p u n i s h m e n t o f h i s s o n , t h e m o t h e r ' s d r e a d o f i m p e n d i n g c o l l a p s e i s i n d i c a t i v e o f t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h s h e i s a l s o a l i e n a t e d f r o m h e r s e l f a n d h e r a c t i o n s . T h e n a r r a t o r r e f e r s t o t h i s a s p e c t o f h i s m o t h e r ' s l i f e a s " d i e F u r c h t v o r m V e r s t u m m e n u n d E r l a h m e n " f r o m w h i c h s h e h a s a l w a y s s u f f e r e d a n d w h i c h s h e h a s a l w a y s r e s i s t e d . I t i s t h i s f e a r " d i e s i e h e r r s c h s i i c h t i g u n d z o r n i g m a c h t e , u n d d i e s i e z u w e i l e n i i b e r w a l t i g t e m i t j M h e n O h n m a c h t s a n f a l i e n " a n d w h i c h c a u s e s h e r t o c o l l a p s e , " w i e v o n e i n e m f u r c h t b a r e n H i e b g e t r o f f e n " ( p . 1 0 0 ) . T h e v i o l e n c e t o w h i c h 83 t h e m o t h e r f e e l s h e r s e l f s u b j e c t i s a p p a r e n t i n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s a c c o u n t o f o n e o f h e r d r e a m s . I n t h e d r e a m s h e ±$. l e d b y h e r m o t h e r i n t o a r o o m i n w h i c h e a c h p e r s o n c o n f r o n t s a n e a g l e : " J e d e r i m Raum e i n g e s c h l o s s e n e M e n s c h w u r d e z u i h m [ [ t h e e a g l e ] g e f i i h r t u n d d e r A d l e r f u h r g a n z l a n g s a m m i t s e i n e r K r a l l e i n d e s s e n Mund u n d r i s s i h m d i e Z u n g e h e r a u s . A u c h i c h w u r d e h i n g e f i i h r t . M i t e i n e m l a u t e n S c h r e i b i n i c h a u f g e w a c h t " ( p p , 100-01) , T h e m o t h e r i s s o a l i e n a t e d f r o m h e r s e l f t h a t s h e p e r c e i v e s h e r own b o d y a s u n d e r s i e g e b y a p o w e r f u l o u t s i d e f o r c e . I t i s e v i d e n t f r o m h e r d r e a m t h a t t h e t h r e a t r e p r e s e n t e d b y t h e e a g l e - — t h e l o s s o f a t o n g u e , t h e human a t t r i b u t e o f s p e e c h , o f i n d i v i d u a t i o n ^ i s c o m p a r a b l e t o t h e l o s s o f a u t o n o m o u s s e l f e x p e r i e n c e d b y h e r s o n w h e n h e i s c a l l e d f r o m t h e g a r d e n . B o t h b e c o m e v i c t i m s o f f o r c e s b e y o n d t h e i r c o n t r o l . S i m i l a r l y , t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s o f t h e " R i t u a l h a n d l u n g " o f t h e s o n ' s p u n i s h m e n t a r e r e v e a l e d t o b e v i c t i m s . T h e f a t h e r a n d m o t h e r , who m i g h t o t h e r w i s e b e a s s u m e d t o b e i n c o n t r o l s i n c e t h e y a r e t h e p e r p e t r a t o r s o f t h e p u n i s h m e n t , a r e t h e m s e l v e s r e v e a l e d t o b e d o m i n a t e d b y a f o r c e b e y o n d t h e m s e l v e s . I n h e r e n t i n t h e n a t u r e o f t h e r i t u a l o f p u n i s h m e n t a n d t h e " G e m e i n s c h a f t " o f t h e f a t h e r , m o t h e r a n d s o n o c c a s i o n e d t h r o u g h t h e e n a c t m e n t o f t h i s r i t u a l i s t h e s u g g e s t i o n t h a t i t i s t h r o u g h t h e p r o j e c t i o n o f t h e i r m u t u a l a l i e n a t i o n t h a t t h e f a m i l y d e r i v e s i t s i d e n t i t y . T h e n a r r a t o r h i m s e l f c o m m e n t s o n t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h h e h a s i n t e r n a l i z e d t h e a l i e n a t i o n o f h i s p a r e n t s : " U n d d i e V e r s p e r r t h e i t h a b e i c h i n m i r i i b e r n o m m e n . I n m i r i i b e r n o m m e n h a b e i c h d a s M i s s v e r s t a n d n i s m e i n e r E l t e r n . D i e B e f a n g e n h e i t m e i n e r E l t e r n 84 wurde zu meiner eigenen Befangenheit. Ihre Stimmen leben i n mir" (p. 98). The influence of the family i s compounded through i t s a l l i a n c e with other s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s which the narrator confronts. The narrator indicates i n the following the complicity of the mother and the school: Da war ich wieder der missgliickte Schiiler, der eingesperrt im Zimmer sass, und das warme, brodelnde Leben draussen war unerreichbar. Da sass meine Mutter neben mir und verhorte mich, und i c h konnte nichts. Schwein h e i s s t pig, pig kommt von picken, pick, pick, > pick, und s i e umfasste meinen Nacken und driickte meine Nase ins Vokabelheft, pick, pick, pick, so wirst du d i r s wohl merken. (p. 99) The tortuous r e p e t i t i o n of the word "pick" i s a r i t u a l of punishment. The a l l i a n c e between the mother and those forces i n the world which the narrator perceives as threatening to him is most c l e a r l y evident when the narrator, upon returning home to Sweden, discovers that h i s mother has destroyed a l l h i s paintings to save th e i r home. The narrator explains that h i s mother has taken an ax to a l l his paintings as a "Schutzmassnahme" since she feared that the paintings would cause problems at the border: "Sie hatte das Heim gerettet, die B i l d e r , Ausdruck einer Krankheit, mussten geopfert werden" (p. 164). The implication i s that the mother was able to anticipate the objections of the custom o f f i c i a l s to her son's paintings because i n fac t the objections were her own. S i m i l a r l y , the father's suggestion that the son leave school i n order to go to work and enter into the "Reali t a t des Daseins" invokes f o r the narrator the sense of a larger conspiracy between his father, the school and the factory: "Die Drohung, hinaus ins Leben treten zu miissen, war nur eine Fortsetzung der langen Wanderung durch Klassenraume und hallende 8 5 K o r r i d o r e , d o r t w u r d e n w i r j a v o r b e r e i t e t , z u T i i c h t i g k e i t u n d V e r a n t w o r t u n g , w i e e s h i e s s , v o n L e h r e r n , d e r e n G e i s t e r l o s c h e n w a r " ( p . 6 9 ) . T h e r e a r e o c c a s i o n s , h o w e v e r , w h e n t h e w o r l d o f h i s p a r e n t s i s c h a l l e n g e d b y a f a r d i f f e r e n t w o r l d . One s u c h o c c a s i o n i n v o l v e s t h e n a r r a t o r ' s e x p e r i e n c e o f F r i t z W . , a f r i e n d o f t h e f a m i l y . T h e n a r r a t o r c omes home o n e d a y f r o m s c h o o l t o r e p o r t t h a t h e i s n o t t o b e p r o m o t e d . F r i t z W. i s v i s i t i n g w i t h t h e n a r r a t o r ' s p a r e n t s . T h e n a r r a t o r h u m o r o u s l y r e l a t e s h i s p e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e i m p e n d i n g d i s a s t e r . He t r i e s t o d e l a y r e t u r n i n g home b u t h e s t a t e s t h a t h e r e a l i z e s h e f i n a l l y h a s t o g o h o m e " w e i l i c h n i c h t d i e K i i h n h e i t h a t t e , m i c h a l s S c h i f f s j u n g e n a c h A m e r i k a a n h e u e r n z u l a s s e n " ( p . 5 8 ) . When h e d o e s a r r i v e h o m e , h e r e p o r t s t h a t h i s f a t h e r p e r c e i v e s h i s d i s c o m f o r t a n d l o o k s a t h i m " a l s s e h e e r a l l e s U n h e i l d e r W e l t h i n t e r m i r a u f g e t u r m t " ( p . 5 9 ) . F r i t z W. i s a b l e t o a v e r t t h e d i s a s t e r : " N i c h t v e r s e t z t , g e n a u w i e i c h , r i e f e r , i c h b i n v i e r m a l s i t z e n g e b l i e b e n , a l l e b e g a b t e n M a n n e r s i n d i n d e r S c h u l e s i t z e n g e b l i e b e n " ( p . 5 9 ) . T h i s r e s p o n s e f o r t i f i e s t h e s o n ' s p o s i t i o n a n d d i s a r m s t h e p a r e n t s s i n c e t h e y c a n no l o n g e r c h a r g e t h e i r s o n w i t h h i s f a i l u r e w i t h o u t i m p l i c a t i n g t h e f r i e n d w h o s e s u c c e s s t h e y s o a d m i r e . F r i t z W. a s s u m e s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e n a r r a t o r ' s n o t b e i n g p r o m o t e d b y r e a s s u r i n g h i m t h a t f a i l u r e i s a common e x p e r i e n c e r a t h e r t h a n a n e x p e r i e n c e w h i c h i s o l a t e s a n d a l i e n a t e s h i m f r o m o t h e r s . F r i t z W. t h e n r e c a s t s t h e e x p e r i e n c e t h r o u g h a n a p p e a l t o t h e v e r y e l e m e n t s o f t h e p a r e n t s ' w o r l d w h i c h i m p o s e d j u d g m e n t o n t h e n a r r a t o r . T h e n a r r a t o r i s r e l e a s e d f r o m w h a t h e e x p e r i e n c e d a s a n a l l - i n c l u s i v e 86 world that trapped him and judged him d e f i c i e n t . He i s released because he sees an ordering of the universe which allows him freedom to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the world as a successful actor rather than as a v i c t i m . The other incident involving F r i t z W. occurs when the narrator's family v i s i t s F r i t z W.'s family. F r i t z W.'s c h i l d r e n are running around naked i n the grass while the narrator i s dressed up i n h i s best c l o t h i n g . F r i t z W. undresses the narrator and the narrator experiences f o r the only time i n h i s childhood "eine Ahnung von korperlicher F r e i h e i t " (p. 57). The clo t h i n g worn by the narrator symbolizes the aspects of h i s parents' world which prevent him from experiencing what the narrator elsewhere terms "das warme, brodelnde Leben" (p. 99). The narrator comments on the s i g n i f i c a n c e of these two incidents involving F r i t z W.: Diese beiden Begegnungen mit F r i t z W waren die Glanzstunden meiner Kindheit, s i e zeigen mir, wie anders mein Leben, unter anderen Bedingungen, hatte verlaufen konnen, und s i e zeigen mir den Schatz von unverbrauchter Freude, der i n mir war, und der immer noch i n mir l i e g t , unter Geschwiiren und Verfilzungen. (p. 59) At h i s parents' death the narrator defines h i s mourning i n regard to "dem Versaumten, das meine Kindheit und Jugend mit gahnender Leere umgeben hatte" (p. 7). His experiences with F r i t z W. and attendant discovery of the "Schatz von unverbrauchter Freude, der i n mir war" suggest that the p o s s i b i l i t y of a f u l f i l l e d childhood for the narrator i s i t s e l f l i m i t e d by the constraints of the world of h i s parents as opposed to the challenges to that world presented by F r i t z W. The narrator's reference to the 87 " S c h a t z v o n u n v e r b r a u c h t e r F r e u d e . . . d e r imme r n o c h i n m i r l i e g t " e m p h a s i z e s t h e c o n t i n u a t i o n o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d i m i n i s h e d c a p a c i t y f o r g r o w t h d u e t o t h e c o n s t r a i n t s o f t h e w o r l d o f h i s p a r e n t s . T h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e s e l f i s t h u s i n e x t r i c a b l y l i n k e d t o t h e e v e n t s o f t h e w o r l d . M o r e o v e r , t h e i m p l i c a t i o n o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s c o n c l u d i n g o b s e r v a t i o n c o n c e r n i n g h i s e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h F r i t z W. i s t h a t s e l f - d i s c o v e r y f o r t h e n a r r a t o r l i e s i n t h e p r o c e s s o f r e c o n s t r u c t i n g t h e c o n n e c t i o n s b e t w e e n s e l f a n d w o r l d . A s m e n t i o n e d i n my d i s c u s s i o n o f B e s t ' s a n a l y s i s o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s s c h o o l e x p e r i e n c e , B e s t ' s c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e t e x t , a l t h o u g h i t a s s u m e s a c o n n e c t i o n b e t w e e n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s s u b j e c t i v e s t a t e a n d t h e e v e n t s o f t h e w o r l d , c o n c e n t r a t e s u p o n t h e n a r r a t i v e a s a s u b j e c t i v e a n a l y s i s a n d t h u s i g n o r e s t h i s p r o c e s s o f r e c o n s t r u c t i o n e n t i r e l y . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s e x p e r i e n c e w i t h F r i t z W. c h a l l e n g e d t h e w o r l d o f h i s p a r e n t s . T h e n a r r a t o r t u r n s t o b o o k s f o r f u r t h e r e v i d e n c e t h a t t h e c o n f i g u r a t i o n o f t h e w o r l d i s f a r d i f f e r e n t f r o m w h a t h e h a s b e e n l e d t o b e l i e v e b y h i s p a r e n t s a n d t h e s c h o o l . T he n a r r a t o r c ommen t s u p o n h i s r e a d i n g : " I n d e n B i i c h e r n t r a t m i r d a s L e b e n e n t g e g e n , d a s d i e S c h u l e v o r m i r v e r b o r g e n h a t t e . I n d e n B i i c h e r n z e i g t e s i c h m i r e i n e a n d e r e R e a l i t a t d e s L e b e n s a l s d i e , i n d i e m e i n e E l t e r n u n d L e h r e r m i c h p r e s s e n w o l l t e n " ( p . 7 0 ) . T h a t t h e a c t u a l c o n f i g u r a t i o n o f t h i s w o r l d i s a c l o s e l y g u a r d e d s e c r e t i s e v i d e n t b y t h e i m p e d i m e n t s p l a c e d b e t w e e n t h e n a r r a t o r a n d i t s d i s c o v e r y . T h e n a r r a t o r m u s t s e a r c h t h r o u g h h i s p a r e n t s ' l i b r a r y f o r b o o k s a n d t h e n , s i n c e h e i s n o t a l l o w e d t o r e a d t h e m , h i s " L e k t i i r e f a n d u n t e r d e r B e t t d e c k e s t a t t , 88 beim Schein der Taschenlampe, oder im Klose t t , oder unter der Tarnung von Schulbiichern" (p. 70). Reading i s not a passive experience for the narrator. In books he i s able to f i n d support to help him reconstruct the world. The narrator describes his reading a c t i v i t y : "Die Stimmen der Bucher fordeten mein'Mit tuny., die Stimmen der Bucher fordeten, dass i c h mich offnete und auf mi selbst besann" (p. 70). The narrator's play during his periods of e x i l e to the a t t i c of his parents' home alternates between fantasies of exploratory expeditions and games of war (see pp. 50-51) and thus r e f l e c t s his own ambivalences about freedom. These ambivalences are also r e f l e c t e d i n his choice of reading material. In his reading the narrator i s able to explore h i s sensory impressions of the world: "Was i c h be h i e l t lag weniger auf dem Gebiet der allgemeinen Bildung als auf dem Gebiet der Empfindungen . . . " (pp. 71-72). He also finds himself i n a world which i s governed by the l o g i c of "undurchschaubaren Impulsen" (p. 72) and rel a t e s h i s reading material to h i s games i n the a t t i c : "Die Bi l d e r die ich i n der Bibel fand, a l l e diese B i l d e r von Verfolgungen und Torturen . . . b i l d e t e n die Vorbereitungen zu neuen Visionen, die s i c h mit meinen zerstorischen Spielen vermengten" (pp. 78-79). The narrator expresses his r e l i e f at discovering through his reading that he is less i s o l a t e d than he supposed: "Dies a l l e s im B i l d zu sehen e r l e i c h t e r t e mich, ein T e i l des inneren Druckes war nach aussen gezaubert worden" (p. 74). The r e l i e f f e l t by the narrator l i e s i n having the dangers to which he fe e l s vulnerable o b j e c t i f i e d : "Es war besser, ganz nah vor der Gefahr zu stehen und i h r i n die Augen zu b l i c k e n , es war besser, zu sehen, dass es s i e w i r k l i c h gab, a l s q u a l v o l l a l l e i n im Dunkeln zu liegen und s i e nur zu ahnen" (pp. 74-75). L i t e r a t u r e involves the use of language i n a l l i t s functions.^ I t involves language as a locutionary act i n which meaning i s derived through reference to a common world. In his reading the narrator begins to understand himself as part of t h i s common world and i s thus less i s o l a t e d than he had previously supposed himself to be. Language i s also i l l o c u t i o n a r y or has a force of utterance and thus assumes a : common world of f e e l i n g s . I t i s from t h i s world that the narrator i s able to derive emotional support. L i t e r a t u r e provide him with a common basis for feelings which would otherwise be presumed to be private and unsharable. Language i s also perlocutionary i n that i t i s able to substantiate meanings and feelings as i t expresses them. Thus, the dangers and v u l n e r a b i l i t i e s which the narrator had previously considered to be private and perceived as remote and inaccessible become r e a l components of a common world of shared f e e l i n g s . To read l i t e r a t u r e i s to p a r t i c i p a t e i n a r i t u a l act of language. I t i s an act which i s non-alienating to the extent that i t involves the reader i n a world beyond the s e l f from which he i s able to derive personal meaning. Thus, reading allows the narrator to reconstruct a r e l a t i o n s h i p between himself and the world. The narrator i s able to recognize himself i n a world which r e f l e c t s his own anxieties and ambivalences. The narrator emphasizes that the reconstruction of a re l a t i o n s h i p between himself and the world i s a developmental 90 process i n that the dialogue ("die Zwiesprach") with the outside world which takes place through his reading becomes inc r e a s i n g l y more focused and s e l e c t i v e ("bestimmter und e i n d r i n g l i c h e r " ) so that he i s able to conclude, " A l l e Stadien meiner Entwicklung hatten ihre Biicher" (pp. 72-73). This process involves a growth i n self-consciousness. The narrator comments on the c r i t e r i o n f o r his reading s e l e c t i o n s : "Doch je mehr ich meiner selbst bewusst wurde, und je weniger i c h vor mir selbst zuriickschreckte, desto starker wurde meine Forderung, dass die Stimme des Buches u n v e r s t e l l t zu mir sprache und nichts vor mir verbarg" (p. 71). In mentioning some of the books selected, i . e . Die Erniedrigten und Beleidigten and Inferno, the narrator explains the motive for h i s reading: "Es war etwas Magisches i n diesen T i t e l n , s ie trafen mich ins Herz. Beim Lesen war das Tasten und Suchen, das i c h vor der Tur mit den roten und den blauen Fensterscheiben, und oben auf dem Dachboden, empfunden hatte, herangereift" (p. 81). The narrator's reference to the "Tasten und Suchen, das i c h vor der Tiir mit den roten und den blauen Fensterscheiben . . . empfunden hatte" i s to the view onto the garden. He mentions this view as one of the.places where the process of growth i n self-consciousness began for him, where- " i c h aus mythologischem Dunkel zum ersten Bewusstsein erwachte" (p. 15). , The garden i s the narrator's f i r s t e x i l e , i n which he experiences both his autonomy and his dependence upon the mother. The "Dachboden" i s also referred to as a place of e x i l e by the narrator: "Mein E x i l , das i c h i n der Gartenlaube gefunden hatte, setzte s i c h auf diesem Dachboden f o r t " (p. 43). In the a t t i c the narrator searches through trunks and old papers to f i n d out more about his parents. He relates t h i s search to his attempts to l i s t e n i n to his parents' conversations at night and characterizes these e f f o r t s to penetrate the world of his parents, as a "Tasten und Suchen" (p. 48). His play i n the a t t i c r e f l e c t s h i s joy at making discoveries about hi s world: "Nach den grossen Schlachten . . . fiihrte i c h k l e i n e r e Expeditionen aus, an denen nur ein paar bevprzugte Figuren teilnahmen, diese Expeditionen standen unter dem Zeichen einer Erleichterung und Entdeckungslust" (p. 50). The narrator's play i n the a t t i c also r e f l e c t s a dread of the s e l f that he discovers there i n that these "exploratory expeditions" are always followed by a withdrawal to h i s imaginary f i e l d of b a t t l e : "Hoch oben liber unserm Heim b r e i t e t e i c h Tod und Zerstbrung um mich aus. Etwas Unfassbares hatte sich i n mir angebahnt. Ich suchte nach Befreiung" (p. 51). The c h i l d ' s dread of himself i s expressed i n the narrator's remark years l a t e r upon v i s i t i n g his former home that he fe e l s h i s childhood "wie ein dumpf schmerzendes Geschwiir i n mir" (p. 30). The narrator r e c a l l s h i s association with F r i e d e r l e , who, l i k e the teacher at school, forces him into p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n h i s own v i c t i m i z a t i o n . Each day F r i e d e r l e and his friends follow the narrator home from school and throw rocks at him. The power of F r i e d e r l e and his friends over the narrator i s th e i r discovery of the narrator's i d e n t i t y : "Diese kleinen pfeifenden Steine, und die hbhnenden Stimmen da driiben, wie gut sie erkannt hatten, dass i c h ein F l i i c h t l i n g war, und dass i c h 92 i n i h r e r G e w a l t w a r " ( p . 3 9 ) . The n a r r a t o r b e h a v e s i n s u c h a w a y a s t o p r e s e r v e t h i s i d e n t i t y : h e p r e t e n d s t o b e i n j u r e d s o F r i e d e r l e a n d h i s f r i e n d s w i l l l e a v e h i m a l o n e a n d t h e n , f e a r i n g t h a t t h e i r g u i l t w i l l o n l y i n c r e a s e t h e i r r e s e n t m e n t o f h i m , t a u n t s t h e m w i t h h i s e s c a p e ' ( s e e p . 3 9 ) . The n a r r a t o r ' s r e s p o n s e i s s e l f - p r o t e c t i v e . H o w e v e r , t h i s r e s p o n s e a l s o r e s u l t s i n t h e c o n t i n u a t i o n o f a s i t u a t i o n i n w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r f i n d s h i m s e l f a v i c t i m . I n h i s r o o m a t home t h e n a r r a t o r f a n t a s i z e s a b o u t a n e s c a p e f r o m t h i s i d e n t i t y : I c h w u r d e z u e i n e m R i e s e n , z u e i n e m i i b e r m a c h t i g e n W e s e n , a u s g e s t r e c k t a u f d e r g e l b e n W i i s t e d e r B e t t d e c k e s p i e l t e i c h m i t k l e i n e n f a r b i g e n Z u c k e r k o r n c h e n d i e i c h v o n e i n e m S c h o k o l a d e s t i i c k a b g e k r a t z t h a t t e . D i e K o r n c h e n r i e s e l t e n u n t e r m e i n e n H a n d e n u m h e r , K o r n c h e n w i e M e n s c h e n h a u f e n , a u s g r o s s e r E n t f e r n u n g g e s e h e n , i c h b l i e s i n d i e b u n t e n M e n s c h e n h a u f e n h i n e i n , s i e s t o b e n a u s e i n a n d e r i n w i l d e r F l u c h t . . . . I c h s e l b s t w a r d e r h o c h s t e B e f e h l s h a b e r i i b e r d i e s e s m e t a l l e n e G e b i l d e i n M e n s c h e n f o r m , i c h e r t e i l t e m e i n e Kommandos d u r c h S c h a l l t r i c h t e r , u n d m i r o b l a g d i e V e r a n t w o r t u n g , d a s s a l l e G e l e n k e u n d G l i e d e r s i c h b e r e c h n u n g s g e m a s s b e w e g t e n u n d d a s s d a s G l e i c h g e w i c h t i n d e r u n g e h e u r e n G e s c h w i n d i g k e i t d e s S i c h v o r w a r t s s c h l e u d e r n s g e h a l t e n w u r d e . ( p . 4 0 ) L i i t t m a n n c o m m e n t s t h a t t h e n a r r a t o r ' s f a n t a s y a l l o w s h i m t o a v e n g e h i s t o r m e n t o r s s i n c e i t t r a n s f o r m s t h e n a r r a t o r h i m s e l f i n t o a " g i g a n t i s c h e n U n t e r d r i i c k e r " ip. 2 0 8 ) . L i i t t m a n n c o n c l u d e s t h e f o l l o w i n g r e g a r d i n g t h i s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n : " D i e R e p r e s s i o n , d e r e r a u s g e s e t z t i s t , f o r d e r t u n m i t t e l b a r d e n H a n g z u r R e p r e s s i v i t a t i n i h m s e l b s t " ( p . 2 0 8 ) . H o w e v e r , t h e g i a n t i t s e l f i s a m e c h a n i c a l b e i n g a n d t h u s i n v o l v e s a s u p p r e s s i o n o f t h e human q u a l i t i e s o f t h e n a r r a t o r . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s s e n s e o f h i s own i n a b i l i t y t o e l u d e F r i e d e r l e i s p r o j e c t e d o n t o a l l h uman 93 beings, who are as vulnerable as "Kbrnchen" i n his hands. By becoming a giant machine the narrator attempts to achieve i n v u l n e r a b i l i t y from attack and to i d e n t i f y himself with the powers which appear to be omnipotent and beyond his c o n t r o l . In the process of becoming such a force the narrator has to s t r i p from himself the human q u a l i t i e s vulnerable to attack by F r i e d e r l e and thus becomes the v i c t i m his e f f o r t s were designed to save him from becoming. Contrary to Liittmann's assumption that t h i s process dehumanization i s revenge upon F r i e d e r l e i t i s , rather, vengeance di r e c t e d against the s e l f . In addition, the process of attempting to protect the s e l f by becoming a machine requires the narrator to aspire toward q u a l i t i e s which he perceives as all - p o w e r f u l : the very q u a l i t i e s a t t r i b u t e d to F r i e d e r l e . In feigning i n j u r y while F r i e d e r l e and his friends chase him, the narrator attempts to achieve protection of the s e l f from powers beyond his c o n t r o l . He must i d e n t i f y , f o r at least those moments of deception, with the r o l e of helpless v i c t i m impotent before all-powerful enemies. He thus f i r s t v i c t i m i z e s himself to avoid the pain of v i c t i m i z a t i o n . In both cases the consequences of the narrator's a c t i v i t y i s the same—he i s con t i n u a l l y a v i c t i m of himself. The narrator's experience with the Boy Scouts serves as a further expression of the need of the narrator to assume power over a s i t u a t i o n which i n fac t renders that power i l l u s o r y . As i n the case of h i s persecution by F r i e d e r l e and of his fantasy about becoming a mechanical monster, the narrator chooses to model himself a f t e r h i s tormentors. The narrator's Scouting a c t i v i t i e s involve a f u l f i l l m e n t of his e r o t i c and v i o l e n t 9.4 i m p u l s e s a n d a r e c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y h i m a s t h e " V e r w i r k l i c h u n g m e i n e r a l t e n K r i e g s s p i e l e " ( p . 6 2 ) , H o w e v e r , u n l i k e h i s i s o l a t e d p l a y i n t h e a t t i c , i n h i s S c o u t a c t i v i t i e s t h e n a r r a t o r b e l o n g s t o a c o m m u n i t y w h i c h s h a r e s t h e s e i m p u l s e s : " A l l e Z e r s t o r u n g s l u s t u n d H e r r s c h s u c h t i n u n s d u r f t e s i c h e n t f a l t e n . I c h w u r d e z u F r i e d e r l e " ( p . 6 3 ) . I t i s a c o m m u n i t y o f w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r i s p l e a s e d t o b e a m e m b e r : " i c h w a r v o n k u r z e m G l i i c k e r f i i l l t , d a s s i c h z u d e n S t a r k e n g e h o r e n d u r f t e , o b g l e i c h i c h w u s s t e , d a s s i c h z u d e n S c h w a c h e n g e h o r t e " ( p . 6 3 ) . T h e c l o s e p r o x i m i t y o f t h e n a r r a t o r t o o n e o f h i s v i c t i m s b e c o m e s a n e x p e r i e n c e o f s e l f - r e c o g n i t i o n a s h e l o o k s i n t o t h e o t h e r b o y ' s t e r r i f i e d f a c e : " W i e e i n e M a h n u n g s t i e g d i e s e s w e i n e n d e , a n g s t v e r z e r r t e G e s i c h t v o r m i r a u f , i r g e n d w o f i i h l t e i c h , d a s s i c h G e w a l t a n m i r s e l b s t b e g i n g , d o c h i c h e r f a s s t e e s n i c h t , i c h w a r v o n e i n e m s a u g e n d e n W i r b e l e r g r i f f e n " ( p . 6 2 ) . T h e n a r r a t o r f e e l s t h a t h i s a t t a c k u p o n t h e v i c t i m i s i n f a c t a n a t t a c k u p o n h i m s e l f . T h e p o w e r h e a s s u m e s a s o n e o f t h e " S t a r k e n " i s t h e p o w e r t o v i c t i m i z e t h e s e l f a s w e l l a s o t h e r s . A s o n e o f t h e " S t a r k e n " t h e n a r r a t o r i s a l s o a v i c t i m a l t h o u g h , u n l i k e t h e v i c t i m b e f o r e h i m , t h e n a r r a t o r i s n o t s e l f - c o n s c i o u s a b o u t h i s v i c t i m i z a t i o n . I t i s i n t h i s s e n s e o f t h e v i c t i m i z a t i o n o f t h e s e l f t h a t t h e p o w e r a s s u m e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r i n m o d e l i n g h i m s e l f a f t e r h i s t o r m e n t o r s i s i l l u s o r y . T h e n a r r a t o r r e l a t e s h i s S c o u t i n g a c t i v i t i e s t o t h e r i s e o f f a s c i s m : " S o w i e d a s F a l s c h s p i e l e r i s c h e u n d U n h e i m l i c h e i n u n s a n w u c h s , s o m a c h t e e s s i c h a u c h a u f d e n S t r a s s e n b r e i t . . . " ( p . 6 3 ) . L a t e r , a f t e r l i s t e n i n g t o o n e o f H i t l e r ' s s p e e c h e s , t h e 95 n a r r a t o p l e a r n s from h i s s t e p b r o t h e r G o t t f r i e d t h a t h e i s t o b e e x c l u d e d f r o m t h i s c o m m u n i t y ; Und a l s G o t t f r i e d d a n n e r k l & r t e , d a s s m e i n V a t e r J u d e s e i , s o w a r m i r d i e s w i e e i n e . B e s t S t i g u n g f i i r e t w a s , d a s i c h s e i t l a n g e m g e a h n t h a t t e . V e r l e u g n e t e E r f a h r u n g e n l e b t e n i n m i r a u f , i c h b e g a n n , m e i n e V e r g a n g e n h e i t z u v e r s t e h e n , i c h d a c h t e a n d i e R u d e l d e r V e r f o l g e r , d i e m i c h a u f d e n S t r a s s e n v e r h o h n t u n d g e s t e i n i g t h a t t e n , i n i n s t i n k t i v e r U b e r l i e f e r u n g d e r V e r f o l g u n g a n d e r s G e a r t e t e r , i n v e r e r b t e m A b s c h e u g e g e n b e s t i m m t e G e s i c h t s z i i g e u n d E i g e n a r t e n d e s W e s e n s . I c h d a c h t e a n F r i e d e r l e , a u s dem e i n m a l d a s V o r b i l d d e r h e r o i s c h e n V a t e r l a n d s v e r t e i d i g u n g w e r d e n s o l l t e , u n d s o w a r i c h m i t e i n e m M a l e g a n z a u f d e r S e i t e d e r U n t e r l e g e n e n u n d A u s g e s t o s s e n e n , d o c h i c h v e r s t a n d n o c h n i c h t , d a s s d i e s m e i n e R e t t u n g w a r . N o c h f a s s t e i c h n u r m e i n e V e r l o r e n h e i t , m e i n e E n t w u r z e l u n g , n o c h w a r i c h w e i t d a v o n e n t f e r n t , m e i n S c h i c k s a l i n e i g e n e H a n d e z u n e h m e n u n d d i e U n z u g e h b r i g k e i t z u r K r a f t q u e l l e e i n e r n e u e n U n a b h a n g i g k e i t z u m a c h e n . ( p p . 8 7 - 8 8 ) L i i t t m a n n p o i n t s t o t h e a n t i - S e m i t i c i s m e x p r e s s e d i n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s r e f e r e n c e t o " b e s t i m m t e G e s i c h t s z i i g e " a n d " E i g e n a r t e n d e s W e s e n s " ( p . 5 4 , n . 1 1 4 ) . M o r e i m p o r t a n t , i n my v i e w , i s t h e a n t i - S e m i t i c i s m e x p r e s s e d i n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s a s s u m p t i o n t h a t b e i n g a J e w c o n s t i t u t e s a r a t i o n a l e x p l a n a t i o n f o r o n e ' s v i c t i m i z a t i o n . T h e n a r r a t o r s t a t e s t h a t h e b e g a n t o u n d e r s t a n d h i s p a s t o n l y u p o n l e a r n i n g t h a t h e i s a J e w . A s i s c l e a r f r o m t h e n a r r a t o r ' s s u b s e q u e n t r e f e r e n c e t o t h e " V e r f o l g u n g a n d e r s G e a r t e t e r , " t h e n a r r a t o r f i n d s i n t h e r e v e l a t i o n t h a t h i s f a t h e r i s J e w i s h t h e e x p l a n a t i o n f o r h i s own r o l e a s v i c t i m . T h e n a r r a t o r h a s i n t e r n a l i z e d t h e v a l u e s o f t h e c o m m u n i t y f r o m w h i c h h e i s a n o u t c a s t , a n d i d e n t i f i e s h i m s e l f w i t h i t s a n t i - S e m i t i c s e n t i m e n t s . I n l i g h t o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s a s s i m i l a t i o n o f t h e v a l u e s o f t h e c o m m u n i t y , h i s r e j e c t i o n b y t h a t c o m m u n i t y 96 ( " E n t w u r z e l u n g " ) d o e s n o t e n t a i l h i s i n d e p e n d e n c e ( " U n a b h a n g i g k e i t " ) f r o m i t . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s . " R e t t u n g " i s t h a t h e , a s h e was n o t w h e n h e a s s u m e d t h e r o l e o f o n e o f t h e " S t a r k e n , now s e l f - c o n s c i o u s a b o u t h i s s t a t u s a s a v i c t i m . T h e p o s s i b i l i t y f r o m w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r i s s t i l l " w e i t d a v o n e n t f e r n t " i n v o l v e s a n i d e n t i t y w h i c h i s n o t d e p e n d e n t u p o n t h e c o m m u n i t y f r o m w h i c h h e f e e l s a l i e n a t e d i n h i s " U n z u g e h b r i g k e i t . " T h i s i d e n t i t y w o u l d a l l o w t h e n a r r a t o r t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e w o r l d n o t a s a v i c t i m b u t a s a s u c c e s s f u l a c t o r i n c o n t r o l o f h i s own d e s t i n y . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s e x p e r i e n c e a s a n a r t s t u d e n t i n P r a g u e f u r n i s h e s f u r t h e r e v i d e n c e f o r h i m t h a t h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e w o r l d i s l i m i t e d . T h e n a r r a t o r r e a d s a b o o k b y H a l l e r ( b y i m p l i c a t i o n , S t e p p e n w o l f b y H e r m a n n H e s s e ) a n d d i s c o v e r s i n h i s r e a d i n g a r e f l e c t i o n o f h i s own p r e d i c a m e n t : " H i e r w a r m e i n e S i t u a t i o n g e z e i c h n e t , d i e S i t u a t i o n d e s B u r g e r s , d e r zum R e v o l u t i o n a r w e r d e n m b c h t e u n d d e n d i e G e w i c h t e a l t e r N o r m e n l a h m e n " ( p . 1 4 1 ) . T h e n a r r a t o r w r i t e s t o H a l l e r a n d r e c e i v e s t h e a d d r e s s o f Max B . , whom H a l l e r s u g g e s t s may b e o f some a s s i s t a n c e t o t h e n a r r a t o r . W h i l e i n P r a g u e t h e n a r r a t o r v i s i t s M a x B. a n d t h e t w o m a k e a r r a n g e m e n t s f o r t h e n a r r a t o r t o s p e n d a y e a r i n P r a g u e s t u d y i n g a r t . D e s p i t e h i s p a r e n t s ' a s s e n t t o h i s p l a n s , t h e n a r r a t o r f e e l s g u i l t y f o r h a v i n g t a k e n t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o go t o s c h o o l a n d i n h i s s l e e p h e a r s h i s m o t h e r c a l l i n g h i m away f r o m h i s w o r k ( s e e p . 1 4 7 ) . T h e n a r r a t o r t h e n c h o o s e s a m o s t p e c u l i a r p l a c e i n w h i c h t o l i v e : " D i e s e r Raum e n t s p r i c h t m i r , e r i s t k r a n k , e r i s t f l e c k i g u n d a u f g e p l a t z t v o n A u s s c h l a g e n , e r z e i g t m i r m e i n e E r b a r m l i c h k e i t , e r z e i g t m i r d i e 97 Niedrigkeit meines Daseins" (p. 149). In this room, not i n h i s a c t i v i t i e s i n the c i t y , the narrator feels secure: "Die inneren Schichten meines Daseins aber waren von diesem Raum eingeschlossen, dieser Wohnstatte, i n der i c h mich verbergen konnte" (p. 150). The world the narrator reconstructs i n t h i s room i s an i n t e r n a l l y consistent, alienated world i n which he finds himself both creative advocate and v i c t i m . I t i s a world that i s no longer external to the narrator, no longer imposed by forces acting d i r e c t l y upon him. Rather, i t i s a world that he nurtures through his own a c t i v i t i e s , that he fosters through his own actions. The narrator describes this world as follows: En t l e d i g t von E l t e r n und Lehrern ubernahm i c h selbst die Gewaltherrschaft iiber mich. Niemand war harter gewesen und r i i c k s i c h t s l o s e r als i c h es war, gegen mich selbst . Bei Morgengrauen t r i e b i c h mich aus dem Bett und begann meine Arbeit. Die Stunden i n der Akademie waren nur eine formelle Rechtfertigung fi i r meinen Aufenthalt i n dieser Stadt, meine eigentlichen Leistungen gingen i n der Abgeschiedenheit meines Zimmers vor s i c h , und diese Leistungen waren wie Blut das nach Torturen hervorsickert. Ich schlug mich mit den Fausten i n die Rippen, i c h spie i n meine Hande und schlug mir die Hande ins Gesicht, i c h s t r a f t e meine Miidigkeit und Unaufmerksamkeit mit Nahrungsentzug, und bei a l l diesen Schindereien geschah es doch, dass B i l d e r i n mir aufstiegen und sich langsam und tastend auf die Tafeln vor mir p r o j i z i e r t e n . Erinnerungen an die Umgebungen meiner friihsten Kindheit klangen i n diesen B i l d e r n auf, durchsetzt von den Eindriicken und Widerspiegelungen spaterer Jahre, i c h versuchte, mich i n diesen Bildern zu erkennen, i c h versuchte, mich mit diesen Bildern zu h e i l e n , und s i e waren v o l l von der bleiernen Schwere meiner I s o l i e r t h e i t und von der explosiven Glut meiner angestauten Verzweiflung, (pp. 150-51) The narrator i s able to recreate the world of h i s childhood i n his paintings and i n the acts of betrayal, rage and punishment which he perpetrates upon himself. He works as h i s mother has 9 8 a d m o n i s h e d h i m t o i n t h e p a s t a n d i n f l i c t s p h y s i c a l p u n i s h m e n t o n h i m s e l f a s h i s f a t h e r a n d t e a c h e r s d i d . I n i m p o s i n g t h e o r d e r o f h i s p a r e n t s a n d t e a c h e r s u p o n h i m s e l f h e i s a b l e t o r e c r e a t e t h e v e r y i d e n t i t y w h i c h t h e y i n c u l c a t e d i n h i m : t h a t o f v i c t i m . The i m a g e o f s e l f r e f l e c t e d i n h i s p a i n t i n g s i s l i k e w i s e t h a t o f a v i c t i m , o f h i s own i s o l a t i o n a n d d e s p a i r . A s a c h i l d t h e n a r r a t o r w a l k e d i n h i s s l e e p a n d s o u g h t s o l a c e i n h i s m o t h e r ' s r o o m t o e s c a p e t h e a n x i e t i e s a n d f e e l i n g s o f p o w e r l e s s n e s s w h i c h o v e r c a m e h i m w h i l e a l o n e a t n i g h t . A s a n a d o l e s c e n t t h e n a r r a t o r f o u n d r e l i e f f r o m t h e t e n s i o n s h e f e l t i n h i s i s o l a t i o n t h r o u g h a s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h i s s i s t e r M a r g i t . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s s i s t e r wa s l a t e r f a t a l l y i n j u r e d i n a c a r a c c i d e n t . I n h e r h o s p i t a l b e d s h e a p p e a r e d t o t h e n a r r a t o r " w i e i n a u s s e r s t e r W o l l u s t e i n e m G e l i e b t e n e n t g e g e n g e s t r e c k t , e i n e B r i i c k e b i l d e n d z w i s c h e n L e b e n u n d T o d " ( p . 9 1 ) . T h e n a r r a t o r p o r t r a y e d h i s e x p e r i e n c e o f h e r d e a t h i n w h a t h e c a l l s " m e i n e r s t e s g r o s s e s B i l d " ( p . 9 1 ) . I n h i s r o o m i n P r a g u e t h e s i s t e r ' s i m a g e a p p e a r s a n d r e i n f o r c e s h i s i s o l a t i o n . The n a r r a t o r r e f e r s t o h i s s e x u a l i m p o t e n c e : " I m m e r w e n n m i r d e r V e r s u c h m i t d e r L e b e n d e n , d e r l e b e n d e n F r a u m e i n e r G e g e n w a r t , m i s s l a n g , t r b s t e t e i c h m i c h b e i d e r T o t e n , d e r k i n d l i c h e n F r a u d e r V e r g a n g e n h e i t " ( p . 1 5 4 ) . He e x p l a i n s t h a t h e f i n d s s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h r e a t e n i n g b e c a u s e t h e y p r e s e n t h i m w i t h t h e r i s k o f i n v o l v e m e n t i n t h e e x t e r n a l w o r l d . F o r t h e n a r r a t o r s u c h i n v o l v e m e n t w o u l d mean e x p o s u r e a n d a " V e r s c h l u c k t w e r d e n , e i n e S e l b s t a u f g a b e " ( p . 1 5 4 ) . T h e n a r r a t o r i s a b l e t o e s t a b l i s h r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h women who a r e a m e n a b l e t o h i s v i c t i m i z a t i o n 99 of them and who leave h i s world i n t a c t : "In meiner Machtlosigkeit suchte i c h mir Frauen, die s i c h qualen lassen wollten, und die i n dem unendlichen, nie zu einem Ergebnis fuhrenden V o r s p i e l aushielten" (p. 155). In h i s room the narrator i s able to create an i n t e r n a l l y consistent world i n which a l l the p a r t i c i p a n t s are victims. This world i n i t s self-consistency precludes freedom: "In Prag, an diesem ersten Ort, an dem i c h meine F r e i h e i t suchen wollte, fand i c h nur Dunkelheit und Selbstzerstorung" (p. 158). The narrator's world, although b i z a r r e , i s nonetheless a r e f l e c t i o n of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the outside world. The narrator's world, however, i s within the scope of h i s control while the outside world i s beyond h i s c o n t r o l . This outside world places demands upon the narrator: "Als meine F r i s t nach einem Jahr zuende ging, war auch der Druck der Aussenwelt gespenstisch angewachsen" (p. 158). In the "Aussenwelt" the narrator i s a v i c t i m i n a community of victims. The narrator describes the c i t y of Prague: "Die Bewohner der Stadt waren wie ein e i n z i g e r , weitverzweigter schwarzer Leib, preisgegeben einer einzigen, ungewissen Erwartung" (p. 158). The narrator leaves Prague for Switzerland. There he finds peace from the "manische Bediirfnis, t a t i g zu s e i n " (p. 163) and i s able to overcome h i s sexual impotence. However, j u s t as the narrator was unable to sustain the world of h i s despair i n Prague, i n Switzerland he i s unable to remain i n a world i n which he experiences "eine Freude am Dasein" (p. 163). The narrator explains: "Doch nach dem Auftrieb kam das Sinken, Es war nicht der t a g l i c h grosser werdende Druck der Aussenwelt, der zum 1 0 0 E r l b s c h e n d i e s e r T a g e f i i h r t , d e r A b b r u c h l a g i n m i r , i c h k o n n t e m i c h i n d e r H e l l i g k e i t n i c h t h a l t e n " ( p . 1 6 4 ) . " U n f a h i g , a u s e i g e n e r K r a f t z u l e b e n " ( p . 1 6 4 ) , h e r e t u r n s home t o h i s p a r e n t s . A s i n t h e c a s e o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s e x p e r i e n c e i n t h e g a r d e n a s a c h i l d , a u t o n o m y i s f o l l o w e d b y a h a w a r e n e s s o f d e p e n d e n c y u p o n h i s home a n d p a r e n t s . T h e n a r r a t o r g o e s t o S w e d e n t o w o r k i n h i s f a t h e r ' s f a c t o r y . T h e r e h e l i v e s " i m L u f t l o s e n z w i s c h e n E l t e r n w e l t u n d A r b e i t e r w e l t " ( p . 1 6 7 ) . H i s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o h i s f a t h e r a s t h e " S o h n d e s C h e f s " e x c l u d e s h i m f r o m " e i n e K a m e r a d s c h a f t , " " e i n e G e m e i n s c h a f t i n d e r k o r p e r l i c h e n A r b e i t " ( p . 1 6 7 ) . T h e n a r r a t o r s t a t e s t h a t h i s " K a m p f um d i e U n a b h a n g i g k e i t m e i n e r A r b e i t " ( p . 1 6 7 ) a l s o e x c l u d e s h i m f r o m t h e c o m m u n i t y o f w o r k e r s . T h i s p r e o c c u p a t i o n r e n d e r s h i m u n a w a r e o f t h e c o n d i t i o n s o f h i s f e l l o w w o r k e r s . T h e o t h e r w o r k e r s c a n b e o f n o a s s i s t a n c e t o h i m s i n c e t h e y do n o t t h e m s e l v e s c o n t r o l t h e i r w o r k : t h e y m e r e l y p e r f o r m m e c h a n i c a l f u n c t i o n s w h i l e t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l i t y i s " z e r f l o s s e n z u g e s t a l t l o s e m B r e i " ( p . 1 6 8 ) . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s " K a m p f um d i e U n a b h a n g i g k e i t m e i n e r A r b e i t " i s a s e a r c h f o r a c o m m u n i t y w h i c h w i l l i m p a r t o b j e c t i v e v a l u e t o h i s w o r k : I n d i e s e m D a s e i n ^ a t t h e f a t h e r ' s f a c t o r y ! , o h n e Z u g a n g z u G e s p r a c h e n i i b e r A u s d r u c k s - u n d G e s t a l t u n g s p r o b l e m e , o h n e Z u g a n g z u d i e s e n G e s p r a c h e n i n d e n e n man e m p f i n d e t , d a s s man s i c h l e b e n d i g e r M a t e r i e w i d m e t , v e r f i e l e n a l l e m e i n e e i g e n e n A u f g a b e n dem Z w e i f e l , s i e h a t t e n k e i n e L e b e n s b e r e c h t i g u n g m e h r , u n d d a s s i c h m i c h e i n m a l m i t i h n e n b e s c h a f t i g t h a t t e , w a r n u r k r a n k h a f t e S e l b s t s u c h t g e w e s e n . ( p . 1 6 8 ) T h e n e e d o f t h e n a r r a t o r i s n e i t h e r f o r t h e " Z w i e s p r a c h " h e f o u n d i n h i s r e a d i n g s i n h i s p a r e n t s ' l i b r a r y n o r f o r t h e 101 i s o l a t i o n o f h i s a t t i c r o o m i n P r a g u e . T h e n a r r a t o r s e e k s t o e n g a g e i n a d i a l o g u e w i t h a w o r l d w h i c h r e c o g n i z e s h i s w o r k a s l e g i t i m a t e . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s l a c k o f a w a r e n e s s o f h i s f e l l o w f a c t o r y w o r k e r s p a r a l l e l s h i s i g n o r a n c e o f t h e p o l i t i c a l e v e n t s o f t h e w o r l d a b o u t h i m . T h e n a r r a t o r r e m a r k s , " I c h h a t t e n i e S t e l l u n g genommen z u d e n u m w a l z e n d e n K o n f l i k t e n d e r W e l t " ( p . 1 7 1 ) . T h e w o r l d a b o u t t h e n a r r a t o r i s s i m i l a r l y d e t a c h e d f r o m t h e c o n f l i c t i n E u r o p e a s e v i d e n c e d b y t h e f a c t o r y w h i c h p r o d u c e s w i n d o w c u r t a i n s " w a h r e n d d r a u s s e n e i n e W e l t i n S t i i c k e f i e l " ( p . 1 7 0 ) . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s e x p e r i e n c e o f e x i l e , l i k e h i s a w a r e n e s s o f b e i n g a J e w , s i g n i f i e s f o r h i m h i s e x c l u s i o n f r o m a c o m m u n i t y u p o n w h i c h h e i s s t i l l d e p e n d e n t : M e i n e N i e d e r l a g e w a r n i c h t d i e N i e d e r l a g e d e s E m i g r a n t e n v o r d e n S c h w i e r i g k e i t e n d e s D a s e i n s i m E x i l , s o n d e r n d i e N i e d e r l a g e d e s s e n , d e r e s n i c h t w a g t , s i c h v o n s e i n e r G e b u n d e n h e i t z u b e f r e i e n . D i e E m i g r a t i o n h a t t e m i c h n i c h t s g e l e h r t . D i e E m i g r a t i o n w a r f i i r m i c h n u r d i e B e s t a t i g u n g e i n e r U n z u g e h o r i g k e i t , d i e i c h v o n f r i i h s t e r K i n d h e i t a n e r f a h r e n h a t t e . E i n e n h e i m i s c h e n B o d e n h a t t e i c h n i e b e s e s s e n . ( p . 1 7 0 ) H o w e v e r , a f i g u r e a p p e a r s i n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s l i f e , " e i n M a n n i n J a g e r k l e i d u n g , " who i s r e l a t e d t o t h e n a r r a t o r ' s f i r s t " s e l b s t g e w a h l t e s E x i l " i n t h e g a r d e n o f h i s p a r e n t s ' h o m e . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s d e p e n d e n c y u p o n h i s p a r e n t s i s e x p r e s s e d i n " d i e a l t e F u r c h t v o r d e r V e r l o r e n h e i t i m W a l d " ( p . 1 7 2 ) . T h e " J a g e r " i s t h e a l t e r e g o o f t h e n a r r a t o r . T h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e " J a g e r " i s t h a t h e i s n o t a v i c t i m . He i s n o t t r a p p e d b y t h e s i t u a t i o n w h i c h h a s s o i n f l u e n c e d t h e n a r r a t o r ' s i d e n t i t y . T h e r o l e o f t h e " J a g e r " i s t o p r o v i d e a u t o n o m y f o r t h e n a r r a t o r , who 102 f i n a l l y takes leave of h i s parents. In his dream of the "Jager" the narrator sees i n the sand the "Spuren, die mich von meiner Geburt an bis zu diesem Platz gefiihrt hatten" (p. 174). He represses t h i s image immediately out of a sense of dread. The narrator's remembrances, of which Abschied von den E l t e r n i s the record, are the t r a c i n g of h i s l i f e from b i r t h to this point i n which he i s "auf dem Weg, auf der Suche nach einem eigenen Leben" (p. 174). The narrator's repression of his memories of his early l i f e and childhood suggests an a l i e n a t i o n from the world i n which the s e l f was a victim. His response to the c a l l of the "Jager" expresses the rediscovery and affirmation of aspects of the s e l f which allow for the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of freedom and autonomy. Both the repression and rediscovery of the s e l f characterize the n a r r a t i v e of Abschied von den E l t e r n and mark the narrator's f i n a l leave-taking of h i s parents and the world of h i s childhood. 1 0 3 C h a p t e r 3 F l u c h t p u n k t ; t h e d i l e m m a o r t h e p e r s i s t e n c e o f a l i e n a t i o n A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n c l o s e s w i t h t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d e c i s i o n t o c u l t i v a t e t h o s e a s p e c t s o f t h e s e l f w h i c h a l l o w f o r t h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f f r e e d o m a n d a u t o n o m y . T h e d i l e m m a f a c e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r i n F l u c h t p u n k t i s t h e r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t t h e f o c u s o n t h e s e l f r e e n a c t s a r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e w o r l d i n w h i c h t h e w o r l d d e f i n e s t h e s e l f a s n e i t h e r a u t o n o m o u s n o r f r e e b u t a s a v i c t i m . P e t e r W e i s s ' s n o v e l F l u c h t p u n k t o p e n s w i t h t h e a r r i v a l o f t h e n a r r a t o r i n S t o c k h o l m o n N o v e m b e r 8 , 1 9 4 0 , h i s t w e n t y - f o u r t h b i r t h d a y . T h e n a r r a t o r t a k e s up r e s i d e n c e i n a s h a b b y a n d c o l o r l e s s r o o m i n S c h e d i n ' s P e n s i o n i n D r o t t n i n g g a t a . T h e b o a r d i n g h o u s e i s l a r g e l y p e o p l e d b y D a n i s h , C z e c h a n d G e r m a n i m m i g r a n t s . One s u c h i m m i g r a n t i s M a x B e r n s d o r f , a f r i e n d o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s f r o m P r a g u e . On t h e d o o r t o M a x B e r n s d o r f ' s r o o m h a n g s a s i g n w h i c h r e a d s " D o n ' t d i s t u r b a s l e e p i n g d o g . " ' ' " On t h e o n e h a n d , t h e s i g n r e f e r s t o t h e p e c u l i a r s t a t u s o f a l l t h e i m m i g r a n t s a s M a x d e f i n e s i t f o r t h e n a r r a t o r : " E s w e r d e n g r o s s e W o r t e g e r e d e t v om Kamp f um d i e M e n s c h e n r e c h t e , d o c h w i r , d i e B e d r o h t e n , w e r d e n w i e r a u d i g e H u n d e b e h a n d e l t " ( p . 8 ) . On t h e o t h e r h a n d , t h e s i g n r e f e r s t o t h e s u s p e n s i o n o f Max B e r n d o r f ' s own l i f e w h i l e h e a w a i t s t h e r e s t o r a t i o n o f h i s h o m e l a n d . F o r 1 0 4 Max B e r n s d o r f t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f a n e m i g r a t i o n w h i c h , t a k e s h i m f r o m B a r c e l o n a t o P r a g u e t o O s l o t o S t o c k h o l m a n d e v e n t u a l l y t o New Y o r k , a l l p l a c e s w h i c h h e f i n a l l y f i n d s e q u a l l y i n h o s p i t a b l e , i s d e f i n e d b y t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f h i s h o m e l a n d b e i n g r e s t o r e d t o h i m w h e r e b y h e w i l l b e a b l e t o r e s u m e f u l l y h i s n o r m a l a c t i v i t y . I n t h e s e n s e t h a t e m i g r a t i o n f o r M a x B e r n s d o r f i n v o l v e s a p o s t p o n e m e n t o f h i s n o r m a l l i f e h i s f a t e i s a l l i e d t o t h a t o f t h e o t h e r i m m i g r a n t s a t t h e b o a r d i n g h o u s e , t h e a n o n y m o u s " U b e r l e b e n d e e i n e r g e m e i n s a m e n K a t a s t r o p h e " ( p . 3 1 ) , who a w a i t t h e e n d o f t h e w a r f o r t h e r e s u m p t i o n o f t h e i r l i v e s . T h e n a r r a t o r c o n t r a s t s h i s own p o s i t i o n i n S t o c k h o l m t o t h a t o f h i s f e l l o w i m m i g r a n t s : " I c h k a m n i c h t a l s F l i i c h t l i n g u n d A s y l s u c h e n d e r " ( p . 1 0 ) . B o t h t e r m s , " F l i i c h t l i n g u n d A s y l s u c h e n d e r , " i m p l y a d e p e n d e n c y o n t h e w o r l d . I n t h e p r o c e s s o f r e a l i z i n g h i s own f r e e d o m t h e n a r r a t o r h a s d e n i e d t h e d e p e n d e n c y o f h i m s e l f o n t h e w o r l d . I n c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h Max B e r n s d o r f t h e n a r r a t o r e x p l a i n s t h a t h i s f a t h e r w a s a H u n g a r i a n J e w who b e c a m e a C z e c h c i t i z e n a f t e r t h e c o l l a p s e o f t h e A u s t r o - H u n g a r i a n E m p i r e . H i s m o t h e r ' s f a m i l y came f r o m S t r a s s b u r g a n d B a s e l . He s p e n t h i s c h i l d h o o d i n v a r i o u s c i t i e s i n G e r m a n y w i t h t h e r e s u l t t h a t h i s l a n g u a g e i s n o l o n g e r t r a c e a b l e t o a n y s p e c i f i c r e g i o n . T h e n a r r a t o r c o n c l u d e s r e g a r d i n g t h e c o s m o p o l i t a n i s m o f h i s b a c k g r o u n d , " i c h w a r z u h a u s e i n H a f e n g e g e n d e n , a u f J a h r m a r k t e n u n d i n Z i r k u s z e l t e n . . . wo d e r B l i c k i n s W e i t e g e r i c h t e t w a r " ( p . 1 1 ) . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s i n t e r e s t i n t h i s c o n t e x t was a p e r s o n a l o n e : t h e f r e e d o m t o e x p l o r e s e l f a n d w o r l d w i t h o u t l i m i t a t i o n . T h e a p p e a l 105 o f a r t f o r t h e n a r r a t o r wa s t h a t i t a l l o w e d h i m t o t r a n s c e n d t h e l i m i t a t i o n s o f h i s w o r l d i n t h a t i t wa s c o s m o p o l i t a n : " I n d e r K u n s t gab e s k e i n e G r e n z e n , k e i n e N a t i o n e n " ( p . 1 2 ) . T h u s , t h e r o o t l e s s n e s s a n d h o m e l e s s n e s s , w h i c h t h e " F l i i c h t l i n g " e x p e r i e n c e s a s a b n o r m a l s t a t e s a r i s i n g o u t o f h i s p e c u l i a r s t a t u s , a r e f o r t h e n a r r a t o r a n o r m a l s t a t e w h i c h h e h a s t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o t h e " r o m a n t i c " e x p r e s s i o n o f h i s own f r e e d o m . The n a r r a t o r s p e a k s o f h a v i n g b a r r i c a d e d h i m s e l f b e h i n d h i s b o o k s a n d p a i n t i n g s i n o r d e r t o e s c a p e a w o r l d w h i c h h e e x p e r i e n c e d a s o p p r e s s i v e . A c c o r d i n g t o t h e n a r r a t o r , h e e x p e r i e n c e d t h e w o r l d a s t h r e a t e n i n g a n d t h e s e l f a s s u b j e c t t o r a n d o m v i o l e n c e . The n a r r a t o r d e s c r i b e s how t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e s e l f a s p o t e n t i a l v i c t i m l e d t o h i s d e v e l o p m e n t a s a v i c t i m i z e r . I n o r d e r t o a v o i d b e i n g i d e n t i f i e d b y h i s p o t e n t i a l t o r m e n t o r s a s a v i c t i m h e j o i n e d f o r c e s w i t h t h e m i n v i c t i m i z i n g a n o t h e r : " I c h h a t t e d a s Z e u g i n m i r , a n e i n e r E x e k u t i o n t e i l z u n e h m e n " ( p . 1 7 ) . Max B e r n s d o r f t a k e s i s s u e w i t h t h e n a r r a t o r ' s c o n c l u s i o n o n t h e g r o u n d s t h a t t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e s e l f a s p o t e n t i a l l y a n o p p r e s s o r i s a common o n e , w h i c h s e r v e s a s a m e d i u m f o r i n s i g h t i n t o o n e ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r c h o o s i n g s i d e s i n t h e c o n f l i c t . F o r t h e n a r r a t o r , h o w e v e r , t h e d e t a c h m e n t n e c e s s a r y f o r c h o i c e h a s b e e n e l i m i n a t e d . The t h r e a t o f v i o l e n c e c o n d i t i o n s a n d o b s c u r e s c h o i c e f o r h i m r a t h e r t h a n i l l u m i n a t i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . F o r t h e n a r r a t o r , i n f a c t , i t i s a t t h e p o i n t w h e r e t h e w o r l d i s m o s t t h r e a t e n i n g a n d t h u s t h e s e l f w e a k e s t a n d m o s t i n d e f e n s i b l e t h a t r e s o l u t i o n o f c o n f l i c t o c c u r s . T h i s w o u l d s u g g e s t t h a t d e c i s i o n , f o r t h e n a r r a t o r , d e p e n d s n o t o n i n s i g h t d e r i v e d f r o m 106 experience so much as on experiences of violence which determine the form such insights are to take—and these insights are not necessarily detached, or free, or responsible. The narrator does not experience himself as a free agent i n the world because of conditions imposed by h i s upbringing, and therefore the only way i n which he can r e a l i z e his freedom i s by divorcing himself from the world. The narrator explains his decision: Ich t r a f die einzige Entscheidung, fiir die i c h einstehen konnte, an einem Punkt, wo der Druck des Nichtdiirfens, der sich f o r t s e t z t e aus den gesamten Drohungen der Erziehung, absolut geworden war. Ich musste die Drohung brechen, musste die Anklage der Feig h e i t , der Selbstsucht abweisen und an mein Vorhaben glauben. (p. 20) The narrator's r e s o l u t i o n i s to devote himself to h i s art as an "Alternative zur Teilnahme am Kr i e g " (p. 21). In contrast to the other immigrants who await the end of the war for the resumption of t h e i r l i v e s the narrator begins his l i f e i n e x i l e as the resumption of the only l i f e he has ever known. For the narrator the war occurs " i n einer Welt von Giganten und Damonen" (pp. 60-61), outside the realm of normal existence and human apprehension. Only the "Vorgange i n a l l t a g l i c h e n Labyrinthen" (p. 61), the interpersonal c o n f l i c t s of human proportion, are capable of being apprehended. In the face of his f r i e n d Hoderer the narrator perceives the d e b i l i t a t i n g e f f e c t s of a c o n f l i c t which i s i t s e l f occasioned by his friend's refugee status i n the war. As a doctor Hoderer had been engaged i n s o c i a l welfare work i n B e r l i n . Under the terms of his immigration he i s not allowed to pr a c t i c e his profession i n 107 S w e d e n . I n h i s i n a c t i v i t y H o d e r e r s u f f e r s f r o m a s t h m a , a d i s e a s e w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r d e s c r i b e s a s " e i n l a n g s a m e s s e e l i s c h e s E r s t i c k e n " ( p . 6 1 ) . T h e n a r r a t o r d e t a i l s t h e e f f e c t s o f o n e o f h i s f r i e n d ' s a s t h m a t i c a t t a c k s : H o d e r e r s G e s i c h t s c h w o l l a n i m A n f a l l d e s H u s t e n s . D i e A d e r n a u f d e r S t i r n t r a t e n h e r v o r , d i e H a u t nahm e i n e b l a u l i c h e F a r b u n g a n u n d S c h w e i s s t r o p f e n r o l l t e n a n d e n S c h l a f e n h e r a b . O b g l e i c h d i e A u g e n i n d e n H o h l e n v o r q u o l l e n u n d S p e i c h e l a u s s e i n e m M u n d r a n n , v e r l o r s e i n G e s i c h t n i c h t d e n A u s d r u c k v o n S a m m l u n g u n d G e d u l d . ( p . 6 1 ) O f a l l t h o s e p r e s e n t d u r i n g t h e a t t a c k t h e n a r r a t o r a l o n e i s a r r e s t e d b y t h e i m a g e o f h i s f r i e n d ' s v u l n e r a b i l i t y . H o d e r e r ' s w i f e h a n d s h e r h u s b a n d t h e c a s e c o n t a i n i n g h i s i n j e c t i o n w h i l e t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n c o n t i n u e s a s t h o u g h t h e a t t a c k h a d n o t t a k e n p l a c e . H o d e r e r h i m s e l f r e s p o n d s t o t h e n a r r a t o r ' s a t t e n t i o n w i t h a l o o k o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d s y m p a t h y , a s t h o u g h i t w e r e t h e n a r r a t o r a n d n o t H o d e r e r h i m s e l f who r e q u i r e d c o n s o l a t i o n . T h e n a r r a t o r r e m a r k s t h a t i n s u c h a s i t u a t i o n h i s a l o o f s t a n c e b e c o m e s i n d e f e n s i b l e . I n h i s a n a l y s i s o f t h e t e x t L i i t t m a n n p o i n t s o u t t h e m a n n e r i n w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r ' s a t t e n t i o n t o H o d e r e r ' s a t t a c k 2 i s c o n t r a s t e d t o t h e a p p a r e n t i n d i f f e r e n c e o f t h e o t h e r s p r e s e n t . L i i t t m a n n e x p l a i n s t h a t i n a p p e a r i n g t o i g n o r e H o d e r e r ' s a t t a c k t h e o t h e r s r e f u s e t o a c c e p t H o d e r e r ' s i n f i r m i t y a s s e t t i n g h i m a p a r t f r o m t h e g r o u p a n d t h u s e x p r e s s s o l i d a r i t y w i t h h i m . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s f o c u s o n H o d e r e r ' s i n f i r m i t y w e r e i t n o t f o r t h e a c t i o n o f t h e o t h e r s w o u l d h a v e h a d t h e e f f e c t o f d e f i n i n g H o d e r e r a s a n o u t s i d e r . T h u s , t h e e x p r e s s e d s o l i d a r i t y o f t h e o t h e r s t o g e t h e r w i t h H o d e r e r ' s a c c e p t a n c e o f t h e i r s o l i d a r i t y p l a c e s t h e n a r r a t o r 108 i n the r o l e of being attacked, of being the outsider who i s weak and thus i n need of consolation. The narrator's weakness, according to Liittmann, i s "mangelnde Anteilnahme" (p. 343). Although Luttmann's analysis of the s o l i d a r i t y of the group i s clea r , i t i s not obvious to me why the narrator, who gives his attention to Hoderer's i n f i r m i t y , should.be considered by Liittmann to suffer from "mangelnde Anteilnahme" i n contrast to the others, who ignore Hoderer's condition. In his o r i g i n a l d e s c r i p t i o n of Hoderer's attack the d e t a i l s supplied by the narrator of the d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of Hoderer's face serve to heighten the contrast between Hoderer's symptoms and the patience and composure through which he seeks to maintain self-possession. While the narrator responds to Hoderer's symptoms, his i n f i r m i t y , the others take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for t h e i r friend's i l l n e s s by responding to his e f f o r t s to maintain control over that i l l n e s s : his wife hands him the i n j e c t i o n necessary to control the symptoms while the others by ignoring those symptoms refuse to acknowledge him as a v i c t i m of h i s i l l n e s s . I t i s not that the narrator's sympathy i s d e f i c i e n t , as Liittmann suggests, but rather that the nurturance he o f f e r s i s revealed to be counterfeit. In refusing to intervene, to take sides i n the c o n f l i c t between the symptoms of Hoderer's i l l n e s s and Hoderer's attempts to control his i l l n e s s , the narrator relinquishes control over the s i t u a t i o n . The narrator alone i s immobilized by the image of Hoderer's v u l n e r a b i l i t y and i n t h i s sense the nurturance he o f f e r s betrays a f a s c i n a t i o n , not i n Hoderer's recovery, but rather i n the maintenance of Hoderer's status as a v i c t i m . But, 109 H o d e r e r d o e s a c h i e v e s e l f - p o s s e s s i o n a n d i n t h e p r o c e s s t h e n a r r a t o r a c h i e v e s s e l f - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n : h e b e c o m e s t h e v i c t i m o f h i s own v e s t e d i n t e r e s t . H o d e r e r s u g g e s t s t h e f o l l o w i n g a s a p o s s i b l e w a y f o r t h e n a r r a t o r a s s u r v i v o r t o r e e s t a b l i s h a r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n s e l f a n d w o r l d : D e r S i n n d e i n e s U b e r l e b e n s k o n n t e s e i n , d a s s d u e r k e n n s t , wo d a s U b e l l i e g t u n d w i e e s z u b e k a m p f e n i s t . Du t r a g s t n o c h am B a l l a s t d e i n e r b u r g e r l i c h e n H e r k u n f t . Du w e i s s t , d a i s t a l l e s v e r f a u l t u n d zum U n t e r g a n g b e s t i m m t , a b e r d u w a g s t n i c h t , d i c h m i t e i n e m S c h n i t t d a v o n z u t r e n n e n . D e i n e A r b e i t s v e r s u c h e b l e i b e n f r u c h t l o s , s o l a n g e s i e n i c h t dem K a m p f um d i e V e r a n d e r u n g d e r G e s e l l s c h a f t d i e n e n . Du b i s t v e r l o r e n , w e n n d u d i c h n i c h t e i n o r d n e n k a n h s t i n e i n e S o l i d a r i t a t . ( p p . 9 0 - 9 1 ) I n h i s w o r k H i s t o r y a n d Human S u r v i v a l R o b e r t J a y L i f t o n p o s i t s t h e c e n t r a l e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e s u r v i v o r a s o n e o f g u i l t f o r h a v i n g b e e n g r a n t e d p r i o r i t y i n t h e s t r u g g l e f o r s u r v i v a l , f o r h a v i n g e s c a p e d a f a t e w h i c h o t h e r s d i d n o t . I n o r d e r t o e x p i a t e t h i s g u i l t t h e s u r v i v o r , a c c o r d i n g t o L i f t o n , a t t e m p t s t o a t t a c h a m e a n i n g t o t h e p r i o r i t y o f s u r v i v a l w h i c h w o u l d r e n d e r h i s own s u r v i v a l j u s t i f i a b l e . L i f t o n d i s c u s s e s d i f f e r e n t mode s t h r o u g h w h i c h t h e i n d i v i d u a l i s a b l e t o d e r i v e m e a n i n g f r o m h i s own s u r v i v a l . One s u c h mode d i s c u s s e d b y L i f t o n i s t h e mode o f t r a n s f o r m a t i o n w h e r e b y t h e s u r v i v o r f a s h i o n s a v i s i o n o f r e m a k i n g t h e o r d e r o f s o c i a l a n d i n d i v i d u a l e x i s t e n c e . T h r o u g h h i s c o m m i t m e n t t o t h i s v i s i o n t h e s u r v i v o r i s a b l e t o j u s t i f y h i s own s u r v i v a l a s a m e a n s t o c r e a t i n g a w o r l d i n w h i c h t h o s e 110 who did not survive would have survived, Hoderer's suggestion to the narrator involves such a mode of transformation with the exception that, for Hoderer, the narrator's g u i l t as a survivor i s r e a l , not imagined. In Hoderer's view, i t i s not merely that the narrator i s unaware of the nature of the opposition and thus of the conditions of h i s own s u r v i v a l : the accusation posed by Hoderer i s that the narrator's f l i g h t , since i t occurred at a time when the concentration camps were already i n existence, involves an evasion of that knowledge. According to Hoderer, i t i s only by the narrator's coming to terms with the conditions of h i s own s u r v i v a l , by i d e n t i f y i n g the bourgeois order (the world of h i s "burgerlichen Herkunft") as conditioning h i s s u r v i v a l , that the narrator can c r e a t i v e l y u t i l i z e his s u r v i v a l on behalf of those who would change that order. By refusing to break with the bourgeois order, the narrator relinquishes control of the conditions of his own s u r v i v a l and thus transforms hi s v i c t i m i z a t i o n by that order into a s e l f - v i c t i m i z a t i o n . S o l i d a r i t y with those who would change that order, because i t would involve a transformation of s o c i a l existence, would place the narrator i n control of the conditions of his s u r v i v a l and thus allow him to a t t a i n "self-possession." The narrator i s unable to accept such a s o l i d a r i t y because of his d i s t r u s t of a l l connections between s e l f and world, because he d i s t r u s t s any widening of h i s perspective which would include the world beyond that of his immediate experience. Only i n the fragmentary images of h i s own experiences of the world i s he able 111-t o l o c a t e h i m s e l f i n t h e w o r l d . T h e n a r r a t o r d e s c r i b e s h i s a t t e m p t s t o h i d e h i m s e l f f r o m t h e s c h o o l c h i l d r e n who p u r s u e d h i m a s a c h i l d . He d e s c r i b e s t h e f o r c e w i t h w h i c h h e i s a b l e t o b r e a k o u t f r o m h i s h i d i n g p l a c e t o e s c a p e h i s t o r m e n t o r s . T h e n a r r a t o r i s c l e a r t h a t h i s own t r i a l s b e c o m e i n s i g n i f i c a n t f r o m t h e p e r s p e c t i v e o f t h e e v e n t s o f t h e w a r a n d t h a t h i s own s t r e n g t h i n e v a d i n g h i s t o r m e n t o r s w o u l d b e r e d u c e d t o i m p o t e n c e i n t h e c amps i n w h i c h h i s f r i e n d s P e t e r K i e n a n d L u c i e W e i s b e r g e r a r e i n t e r n e d . H o w e v e r , t h e e v e n t s o f t h e w a r a r e i n a c c e s s i b l e t o t h e n a r r a t o r p r e c i s e l y b e c a u s e h e i s a s u r v i v o r a n d t o b e a s u r v i v o r , f o r t h e n a r r a t o r , i s t o b e d i s c o n n e c t e d f r o m t h e w o r l d o f t h o s e who d o n o t s u r v i v e . T h e n a r r a t o r s u r v i v e s t o w o r k i n t h e s e c l u s i o n o f h i s r o o m , a s e c l u s i o n w h i c h i s s y m b o l i c o f h i s b e i n g w a l l e d o f f f r o m t h e w o r l d b e y o n d t h a t o f t h e s e l f . T h r o u g h h i s w o r k , w h i c h c o n s i s t s o f l o c a t i n g h i s e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h i n t h e w o r l d , t h e n a r r a t o r i s a b l e t o t r a n s f o r m h i s l i m i t e d e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e w o r l d i n t o " e i n e m T e i l d e r G e s c h e h n i s s e . . . a n d e r e n a u s s e r s t e m R a n d H o d e r e r u n d d i e a n d e r e n W a c h s a m e n , U n e i g e n n i i t z i g e n s t a n d e n " ( p . 9 3 ) . T h e n a r r a t o r r e m a r k s t h a t H o d e r e r i s r e p e l l e d b y t h e p u r p o s e l e s s n e s s o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s own w o r k . A r t , a c c o r d i n g t o H o d e r e r , m u s t h a v e a " G e b r a u c h s w e r t " ( p . 1 0 5 ) , i s o f s o c i a l u s e e i t h e r i n t h e c o u r s e o f c h a n g i n g t h e w o r l d o r i n p r o f i t i n g t h e e x i s t i n g s o c i a l o r d e r . H o d e r e r a d m o n i s h e s t h e n a r r a t o r : S i e w e r d e n d i c h d u l d e n . . . d e n n d u g e h b r s t z u i h r e m L u x u s . Du e r s c h e i n s t i h n e n p i t t o r e s k , u n d s i e w e r d e n n o c h G e l d a u s d i r h e r a u s s c h l a g e n . S i e l a s s e n d i c h t a n z e n , d u b i s t i h r H o f n a r r . ."-Du g e f a T i r d e s t s i e n i c h t . S i e w i i r d e n d i c h f a l l e n l a s s e n u n d a u s s t o s s e n , w e n n d u e s 112 wagtest, s i e anzugreifen. Bis dahin i s t der Radikalismus i n eurer Kunst nur e i n Selbstbetrug. (p. 108) The narrator points to the p o t e n t i a l development of the arts which was not r e a l i z e d under so c i a l i s m by reminding Hoderer of the way i n which the works of Ei s e n s t e i n , Meyerhold and Mayakovsky were condemned as decadent. Hoderer responds that i n a world governed by the p r i o r i t y of s u r v i v a l , private needs must necessa r i l y be postponed: "Das Land musste erst geriistet werden, wir sehen heute, wie r i c h t i g diese P o l i t i k war. Der Krieg war schon damals unausweichlich, und die privaten Wiinsche mussten zuriicktreten" (p. 105).^ The narrator counters Hoderer's argument by refusing to recognize h i s own l i f e as conditioned by the terms of h i s s u r v i v a l : "Ich w i l l nicht fiir die Zufkunft leben. . . . Ich lebe heute. Ich w i l l mir den Krieg nicht wie eine Schuld iiberstiilpen lassen und e i n schlechtes Gewissen haben, dass i c h entkommen b i n " (p. 105). The narrator proceeds to j u s t i f y the a t t r a c t i o n of works of art of the Twenties for him through a d e s c r i p t i o n of how these works managed to survive a past which attempted to n u l l i f y t h e i r influence while at the same time projecting themselves into the future by embodying values which y i e l d themselves to further development. The narrator experiences the world as attempting to place r e s t r i c t i o n s on h i s development. It may be assumed that he also i d e n t i f i e s himself with these a r t i s t s of the Twenties who s i m i l a r l y faced opposition from the world. The narrator remarks how i n Czechoslovakia when he was to j o i n the army he f i l l e d i n the word " P r i v a t " i n the blank i n 113 w h i c h h e was t o l i s t h i s o c c u p a t i o n b e c a u s e h e f e l t t h a t t o c l a i m t o b e a n a r t i s t wa s d i s r e p u t a b l e . The e f f e c t was t o g e t h i m a d e f e r m e n t o n t h e g r o u n d s o f p s y c h i c d i s a b i l i t y . I n h i s s t u d i e s o f t h e w o r k s o f t h e T w e n t i e s t h e n a r r a t o r b e g i n s t o a p p r e c i a t e t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f a r t i s t a s a l e g i t i m a t e o c c u p a t i o n . H o d e r e r ' s a r g u m e n t i s t h a t b e i n g a n a r t i s t i s a l e g i t i m a t e o c c u p a t i o n a n d t h u s e x i s t s w i t h i n t h e f r a m e w o r k o f t h e e x i s t i n g s o c i a l o r d e r . T h e a r t i s t , a c c o r d i n g t o H o d e r e r , who d o e s n o t v i e w h i s a r t f r o m t h e p e r s p e c t i v e o f c h a n g i n g t h e s o c i a l o r d e r a c t s a s a n a c c o m p l i c e t o t h a t s o c i a l o r d e r . The s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f t h e a r t i s t i s i n e s c a p a b l e . H o w e v e r , f o r H o d e r e r , who i s d e p r i v e d o f t h e r i g h t t o p r a c t i c e h i s o c c u p a t i o n b e c a u s e o f h i s s t a t u s a s " F l i i c h t l i n g , " t h e s t r u g g l e i s t h e r e s u l t o f c o n d i t i o n s o f t h e e x t e r n a l w o r l d a s t h e y a r e d i r e c t l y e x p e r i e n c e d . The n a r r a t o r ' s d i l e m m a r e g a r d i n g h i s o c c u p a t i o n a s i m p l i e d i n t h e s t o r y o f h i s d e f e r m e n t i s c o n d i t i o n e d b y t h e t h r e a t o f r a n d o m v i o l e n c e w h i c h t h e c h o i c e o f j o i n i n g o r n o t j o i n i n g t h e a r m y r e p r e s e n t s : h e i s f o r c e d t o c o n f r o n t h i s a n x i e t i e s a b o u t c a l l i n g h i m s e l f a n a r t i s t b o t h i n r e l a t i o n s h i p t o h i s own s e l f - i m a g e a n d t o t h e i m a g e w h i c h h e p r o j e c t s t o t h e a u t h o r i t i e s . H o d e r e r d o e s , a s L i i t t m a n n s u g g e s t s ( s e e p . 3 4 3 ) , h a v e t h e l a s t w o r d i n t h e a r g u m e n t w i t h t h e n a r r a t o r c o n c e r n i n g t h e r o l e o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e w o r l d . The n a r r a t o r d o e s n o t r e f u t e H o d e r e r ' s e s t i m a t i o n o f t h e w o r k i n g s o f t h e e x t e r n a l w o r l d w i t h i t s a c c o m p a n y i n g v i s i o n f o r t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f t h e w o r l d , b u t h e d o e s d e a l w i t h t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n s i n h e r e n t i n s u s t a i n i n g s u c h a v i s i o n : " U n d d o c h l a g b e i d i e s e n W o r t e n e i n 114 A u s d r u c k v o n S c h w a c h e i n H b d e r e r s A u g e n , E r s p r a c h v o n d e r Z u k u n f t d e s S o z i a l i s m u s , v o n d e r A u s d r u c k s f r e i h e i t n a c h dem E n d s i e g , a b e r i n s e i n e m B l i c k w a r d e r V o r b o t e e i n e s Z w e i f e l s z u e r k e n n e n " ( p . 1 0 8 ) , T h e c o n f l i c t i s b e t w e e n H o d e r e r ' s p r i v a t e d e s i r e s f o r s e l f - f u l f i l l m e n t a n d h i s s e n s e o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r e x i s t i n g s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s . M o r e o v e r , a c c o r d i n g t o H o d e r e r ' s e s t i m a t i o n o f t h e w o r l d t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n i t s e l f i s g r o u n d e d i n t h e e x i s t i n g s o c i a l o r d e r s o t h a t t h e p o s t p o n e m e n t o f h i s own d e s i r e s i s a n e c e s s a r y c o n d i t i o n f o r t h e o v e r t h r o w o f t h e e x i s t i n g s o c i a l o r d e r . T h u s , a l a c k o f f a i t h i n t h e f u t u r e o f s o c i a l i s m a a n d i n t h e p r o m i s e o f f r e e d o m i n v o l v e s a n i n d e f i n i t e p o s t p o n e m e n t o f h i s own n e e d s . What i s s o a l a r m i n g f o r t h e n a r r a t o r i s t h a t H o d e r e r i s f u l l y a w a r e o f t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n , i s a b l e t o c o m p r e h e n d t h e n e e d s o f t h e n a r r a t o r f o r s e l f - f u l f i l l m e n t b e c a u s e t h e y a r e i n f a c t h i s own n e e d s , s o t h a t H o d e r e r ' s s t a n c e i s n o t a n e v a s i o n b u t a n a c k n o w l e d g e m e n t o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e s e l f a n d t h e w o r l d : " T r o t z s e i n e n h a r t e n A n g r i f f e n h a t t e e r m i c h v o l l e r V e r s t a n d n i s a n g e b l i c k t , u n d s e i n e D u l d s a m k e i t , s e i n e B e h e r r s c h t h e i t h a t t e e t w a s E r s c h r e c k e n d e s " ( p . 1 0 9 ) . I n t h e s p r i n g o f 1 9 4 3 , H o d e r e r n e g l e c t s t o t a k e h i s i n j e c t i o n d u r i n g o n e o f h i s a s t h m a t i c a t t a c k s a n d i n s o d o i n g t a k e s h i s own l i f e . U n a b l e t o s u s t a i n t h e v i s i o n w h e r e b y h e a s s u m e d c o n t r o l o v e r h i s own l i f e a n d t h e c o n d i t i o n s o f h i s s u r v i v a l , H o d e r e r c o m m i t s s u i c i d e r a t h e r t h a n v i e w h i m s e l f a s a v i c t i m o f t h o s e c o n d i t i o n s . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s f i n a l c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h H o d e r e r i n F l u c h t p u n k t o c c u r s i n t h e s p r i n g o f 1 9 4 5 , a f t e r t h e n a r r a t o r h a s 115 j u s t s e e n a f i l m o f t h e c o n c e n t r a t i o n c a m p s . T h e n a r r a t o r i s r e m i n d e d o f h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o h i s f r i e n d s P e t e r K i e n a n d L u c i e W e i s b e r g e r , whom h e l e f t b e h i n d i n P r a g u e , a n d c o n c l u d e s t h a t i t i s h i s ; own e v a s i o n o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n t h e w o r l d w h i c h r e n d e r s h i m c u l p a b l e . The n a r r a t o r h a d r e c e i v e d a l e t t e r f r o m P e t e r K i e n , who was i n t e r n e d i n T h e r e s i e n s t a d t a l o n g w i t h L u c i e W e i s b e r g e r . ~* The n a r r a t o r r e m a r k e d i n r e g a r d t o t h e l e t t e r : " E i n s o n d e r b a r f r i e d l i c h e r T o n s p r a c h a u s s e i n e m S c h r e i b e n , a l s b e f a n d e e r s i c h i n e i n e m F e r i e n a u f e n t h a l t , z u dem e r B u c h e r u n d M a l e r a u s r i i s t u n g m i t g e n o m m e n h a t t e " ( p . 8 9 ) . The n a r r a t o r f e l t a c c u s e d b y L u c i e W e i s b e r g e r f o r h a v i n g l e f t h e r . He a d m i t s t h a t h i s a t t e m p t s t o a c h i e v e L u c i e W e i s b e r g e r ' s f r e e d o m t h r o u g h b u r e a u c r a t i c c h a n n e l s was m e r e l y a n e f f o r t t o a s s u a g e h i s own c o n s c i e n c e . I t f u r t h e r m o r e r e p r e s e n t e d a n e v a s i o n o f h i s k n o w l e d g e o f t h e h o p e l e s s n e s s o f t h e s i t u a t i o n a n d a c t u a l l y made m a t t e r s w o r s e f o r h e r . T h e r e f e r e n c e i n P e t e r K i e n ' s l e t t e r t o h i s b o o k s a n d p a i n t i n g m a t e r i a l s i m p l i e s a p a r a l l e l t o t h e n a r r a t o r ' s own s o j o u r n i n S t o c k h o l m a n d i d e n t i f i e s t h e n a r r a t o r w i t h t h o s e who w o u l d p r e t e n d t h a t c o n c e n t r a t i o n camps a r e r e s o r t s . T h i s r a i s e s t h e q u e s t i o n o f w h e t h e r o r n o t t h e n a r r a t o r ' s own s u r v i v a l h a s b e e n c o n t i n g e n t u p o n e v a s i o n . U p o n f i r s t v i e w i n g t h e f i l m s o f t h e c o n c e n t r a t i o n camps t h e n a r r a t o r p e r c e i v e s t h a t t h e w a r d i d n o t o c c u r i n a m y t h i c r e a l m , a " W e l t v o n G i g a n t e n u n d D a m o n e n , " t h a t t h e c amps w e r e b u i l t b y human b e i n g s f o r o t h e r human b e i n g s . The n a r r a t o r e m p h a s i z e s t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e camp i m a g e s f o r h i s l i f e : I c h h a t t e w e i t e r g e l e b t , m i t d e r s t a n d i g e n G e g e n w a r t 116 d ^ e s e B i l d e r . D i e s e B a l d e r g e h b r t e n f o r t a n z u u n s e r m D a s e i n , s i e w a r e n n i e w i e d e r w e g z u d e n k e n , , , . L a n g e t r u g i c h d i e S c h u l d , dass i c h . n i c h t z u d e n e n g e h o r t e , d i e d i e Nummer d e r E n t w e r t u n g i n s F l e i s c h e i n g e b r a n n t bekommen h a t t e n , d a s s i c h e n t w i c h e n u n d zum Z u s c h a u e r v e r u r t e i l t w o r d e n w a r . I c h w a r a u f g e w a c h s e n , um v e r n i c h t e t z u w e r d e n , d o c h i c h w a r d e r V e r n i c h t u n g e n t g a n g e n . I c h w a r g e f l o h e n u n d h a t t e m i c h v e r k r o c h e n . I c h h a t t e umkommen m i i s s e n , i c h h a t t e m i c h o p f e r n m i i s s e n , u n d w e n n i c h n i c h t g e f a n g e n u n d e r m o r d e t , o d e r a u f e i n e m S c h l a c h t f e l d e r s c h o s s e n w o r d e n w a r , s o m u s s t e i c h z u m i n d e s t m e i n e S c h u l d t r a g e n , d a s w a r d a s l e t z t e , wa s v o n m i r v e r l a n g t w u r d e . ( p . 2 1 2 ) T h e n a r r a t o r ' s e m p h a s i s i s u p o n t h e g u i l t h e f e e l s f o r b e i n g a s u r v i v o r . E v e n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s g u i l t f o r b e i n g a s u r v i v o r i s f o r h a v i n g b e e n c o n d e m n e d t o b e i n g a n o b s e r v e r r a t h e r t h a n h a v i n g b e e n a p a r t i c i p a n t . T h u s , t h r o u g h h i s g u i l t t h e n a r r a t o r r e t a i n s h i s s t a t u s a s a v i c t i m a n d i d e n t i f i e s h i m s e l f w i t h t h o s e whom h e d e s e r t e d . T h i s l a s t d i s c u s s i o n w i t h H o d e r e r o c c u r s w i t h i n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s own c o n s c i e n c e , i s c o n f i n e d , a s L i i t t m a n n s u g g e s t s , t o t h e " S e l b s t v o r w i i r f e d e s E r z a h l e r s " ( p . 3 4 4 ) . H o d e r e r a c c u s e s t h e n a r r a t o r o f h a v i n g e v a d e d t h e r e a l i t y o f t h e c o n c e n t r a t i o n c a m p s u n t i l t h e e nd o f t h e w a r w h e n h i s s u r v i v a l c a n n o l o n g e r b e t h r e a t e n e d . T h e i m p l i c a t i o n o f H o d e r e r ' s a c c u s a t i o n i s t h a t t h e g r i e f o f t h e n a r r a t o r i s a n i n a u t h e n t i c r e s p o n s e t o t h e w o r l d . T h e g r i e f i s c o n d i t i o n e d n o t b y t h e n a r r a t o r ' s s u s c e p t i b i l i t y t o t h e s u f f e r i n g s o f t h e w o r l d b u t r a t h e r b y h i s n e e d f o r i m m u n i t y f r o m t h e m . I n h i s c e l e b r a t i o n o f v i c t o r y t h e n a r r a t o r , a c c o r d i n g t o H o d e r e r , r e m a i n s a p a r a s i t e who e x p e r i e n c e s t h e e l a t i o n o f o t h e r s who s t r u g g l e d o n h i s b e h a l f w h i l e h e s a t a t h i s d e s k a n d c o n t e m p l a t e d t h e m i s e r y o f t h e w o r l d . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s e l a t i o n i s a s i n a u t h e n t i c a r e s p o n s e t o t h e w o r l d a s h i s g r i e f . 117 The n a r r a t o r ' s d e f e n s e i s t h a t h e h a d c h o s e n n o o t h e r c o u r s e t h a n h i s own f l i g h t , h i s own c o w a r d i c e a n d h i s " V e r m e s s e n h e i t d e s A b s t a n d n e h m e n s " ( p . 2 1 3 ) . T h e n a r r a t o r a s k s i f h e s h o u l d c o m m i t s u i c i d e . H o d e r e r a n s w e r s t h a t s u c h a n a c t i o n w o u l d b e s u p e r f l u o u s s i n c e t h e n a r r a t o r ' s c h o s e n c o u r s e o f a c t i o n h a s a l r e a d y b r o u g h t a b o u t h i s u l t i m a t e v i c t i m i z a t i o n : " D u b r a u c h s t d i c h n i c h t z u t o t e n , s a g t e e r , d e n n d u g e h o r s t z u d e n e n d i e a u s s t e r b e n u n d v e r g e h e n i n i h r e r U n b e t e i l i g t h e i t " ( p . 2 1 3 ) . w h e r e a s s u i c i d e f o r H o d e r e r wa s t h e u l t i m a t e d e n i a l o f h i s v i c t i m i z a t i o n b y t h e w o r l d , s u i c i d e f o r t h e n a r r a t o r w o u l d b e a n u n n e c e s s a r y f i n a l a f f i r m a t i o n o f h i s own v i c t i m i z a t i o n . T h e c o n f r o n t a t i o n o f t h e n a r r a t o r w i t h H o d e r e r t h u s i n v o l v e s n o t o n l y H o d e r e r ' s v i s i o n o f r e m a k i n g t h e o r d e r o f s o c i a l a n d i n d i v i d u a l e x i s t e n c e b u t i s a l s o c o u n t e r e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r ' s own mode o f t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . T h e n a r r a t o r o n l y a c k n o w l e d g e s t h e f r a g m e n t a r y w o r l d o f h i s i m m e d i a t e e x p e r i e n c e , a w o r l d w h i c h i s p e r c e i v e d a s a c c e s s i b l e t o h i m a n d t h u s w i t h i n h i s c o n t r o l . H i s r e f u s a l t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n a l a r g e r w o r l d i n v o l v e s a r e l i n q u i s h m e n t o f c o n t r o l o v e r t h a t w o r l d . I t i s t h a t w o r l d w h i c h d e f i n e s h i m ( a s h i s v i e w i n g o f t h e f i l m o n t h e c o n c e n t r a t i o n c amps c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e s ) a s a v i c t i m . T h r o u g h h i s f o c u s o n t h e w o r l d o f h i s i m m e d i a t e e x p e r i e n c e s , t h e n a r r a t o r t r a n s p o s e s t h e c o n f l i c t o f t h e w o r l d t o t h e r e a l m o f t h e s e l f a n d i n t h i s m a n n e r g a i n s c o n t r o l o v e r h i s own v i c t i m i z a t i o n . T h e w o r l d i s t h u s t r a n s f o r m e d n o t i n t o a w o r l d i n w h i c h t h o s e who d i d n o t s u r v i v e w o u l d h a v e s u r v i v e d b u t r a t h e r i n t o a w o r l d i n w h i c h a l l t h e s u r v i v o r s a r e 118 v i c t i m s . The c a s e o f H i e r o n y m u s i s p r e s e n t e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r a s a f i n a l c o n s e q u e n c e o f t h e d e s p a i r o f e v e r r e a c h i n g a v i e w o f t h e w o r l d w h i c h w o u l d a l l o w f o r i n d i v i d u a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n a n d r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . H i e r o n y m u s w i t h d r a w s c o m p l e t e l y f r o m t h e w o r l d i n o r d e r t o d e d i c a t e h i m s e l f t o h i s w o r k : t h e b a n k e r , m a t h e m a t i c i a n , e c o n o m i s t a n d " E r b a u e r v o n R e c h e n m a s c h i n e n " t u r n s h i s e n e r g i e s t o t h e " E r b a u u n g e i n e s B u c h e s " ( p p . 2 1 4 - 2 1 5 ) . H o w e v e r , t h e c o m p i l a t i o n o f h i s b o o k , w h i c h l e a d s t o H i e r o n y m u s ' r e p u d i a t i o n o f t h e w o r l d a s t h i s w o r k t a k e s u p m o r e o f h i s t i m e a n d e n e r g y t h a n h i s p o s i t i o n a t t h e b a n k a l l o w s , i s h i s a v o c a t i o n . H i s v o c a t i o n i s t h e t e s t i n g o f h i s own e n d u r a n c e , o f h i s a b i l i t y t o s u s t a i n h i m s e l f i n t h e m i d s t o f t h e d e p r i v a t i o n s o c c a s i o n e d b y h i s own w i t h d r a w a l f r o m t h e w o r l d . A s L i i t t m a n n o b s e r v e s , i n t h e c o u r s e o f t e s t i n g h i s r e s i s t a n c e t o a h o s t i l e w o r l d H i e r o n y m u s h i m s e l f b e c o m e s t h e o b j e c t o f h i s own c o n t r o l l e d e x p e r i m e n t s ( s e e p . 3 8 6 ) . L i k e h i s e x p e r i m e n t s , H i e r o n y m u s ' b o o k s e r v e s a s a m e a n s o f c o n t a i n i n g a h o s t i l e w o r l d . H i s b o o k i s a c t u a l l y a n a n t h o l o g i z i n g o f t h e w o r l d t h r o u g h r e g i s t e r i n g t h e e v e n t s o f t h e w o r l d i n t h e m a n n e r o f a n i m p e r s o n a l m a c h i n e . T h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f H i e r o n y m u s ' v o c a t i o n t o h i s a v o c a t i o n b e c o m e s e v i d e n t i n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f o n e o f H i e r o n y m u s ' a t t a c k s u p o n h i m s e l f : A l s i c h f r a g t e , wa s i h m d e n n w i d e r f a h r e n s e i , d a e r h a l b z e r s c h l a g e n , w i e e i n S c h i f f b r i i c h i g e r q u e r i i b e r e i n e m d e r B e t o n s o c k e l l a g , s a g t e e r , d a s s i c h m i c h e i n p a a r T a g e g e d u l d e n m i i s s e , d a n n w i i r d e e r m i r d i e A n t w o r t i n d e r F o r m e i n e s a u f g e f u n d e n e n T e x t e s g e b e n . E i n s o l c h e s S t u c k , d a s e r m i r v o r l a s , k o n n t e e i n e a u s s e r o r d e n t l i c h d e t a i l l i e r t e B e s c h r e i b u n g e i n e r Z i m m e r e i n r i c h t u n g e n t h a l t e n , i n d e r m i r e t w a s v o n d e r U n g e h e u e r l i c h k e i t s e i n e r W a n d e r u n g a u f d a m m e r t e . ( p . 2 2 0 ) 119 Hieronymus' art of impersonalization becomes a vehicle for self-expression. Hieronymus1 attempts at self-recovery through his relationship to a ten year old child place him in even more d i f f i c u l t circumstances since the relationship serves to attract hostile neighbors to which he is particularly vulnerable. The h o s t i l i t y arises out of a world over which he has, not only by his withdrawal but also through his work and his experiments, relinquished control. In the end Hieronymus is committed to an institution. It is clear from Hieronymus' analysis of the benefits of psychiatric care and from the narrator's conclusions regarding the institutionalization of Hieronymus that Hieronymus' fate is to be understood as p o l i t i c a l , as the act of a particularly vengeful society. However, the narrator also mentions that Hieronymus actually welcomed his institutionalization. After a l l , Hieronymus has been a victim for a long time, and i t would seem that his commitment to an institution actually functions as an affirmation of the victimized self which Hieronymus has become. Parallels do exist between the attitude of Hieronymus and that of the narrator. Liittmann draws attention to some of these (see p. 335) while at the same time emphasizing that Hieronymus represents an extreme case of this attitude. Like Hieronymus, the narrator perceives the world as essentially hostile to the self. As in the case of Hieronymus, the h o s t i l i t y of the world is real, not imagined. At one point the narrator experiences the hos t i l i t y of the world as so overwhelming that he initiates 1 2 0 s e s s i o n s w i t h a p s y c h i a t r i s t i n o r d e r t o d i s c o v e r . w i t h i n t h e s e l f a b a s i s f o r r e s i s t a n c e t o t h e w o r l d , T h e n a r r a t o r ' s c r i t i c i s m o f h i s p s y c h i a t r i c t c a r e i s m o r e s u b t l e t h a n H i e r o n y m u s ' b u t t h e t h r e a t t o t h e s e l f i s a l s o m o r e s u b t l e t h a n i n H i e r o n y m u s ' c a s e . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s c r i t i c i s m c o n c e r n s t h e a t t e m p t o f t h e p s y c h i a t r i s t t o e x o r c i s e f r o m t h e i n n e r l i f e o f h i s p a t i e n t t h o s e a s p e c t s w h i c h a r e s o g r o t e s q u e , p r i v a t e a n d u n s h a r a b l e a s t o h i n d e r t h e p a t i e n t ' s a t t e m p t t o a c c o m m o d a t e h i m s e l f t o t h e e x t e r n a l w o r l d . I n t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e n a r r a t o r a n d t h e p s y c h i a t r i s t B a a h l t h e r e i s a c o m p l i c i t y i n v o l v e d b e t w e e n t h e p s y c h i a t r i s t w h o s e e x p e r i e n c e i s s o l i m i t e d b y t h e o r d e r i n g o f h i s own l i f e t h a t h e i s u n a b l e t o c o n f r o n t t h e s o u r c e o f h i s p a t i e n t ' s p a i n , a n d t h e p a t i e n t h i m s e l f who i s s o t e r r i f i e d a n d r e p u l s e d b y t h e g r o t e s q u e a s p e c t s o f h i s own i n n e r l i f e t h a t h e i s u n a b l e t o e x p l o r e t h e m . T h e n a r r a t o r c o m e s t o r e a l i z e " w i e g r o s s d i e K l u f t w a r z w i s c h e n d e r s t i l l e n k l e i n s t a d t i s c h e n K l a u s e d e s M e i s t e r s u n d m e i n e r e i g e n e n W i l d n i s " a n d t e r m i n a t e s t h e s e s s i o n s w i t h " d i e M a s s e d e s S c h r e c k e n s " s t i l l b e f o r e h i m ( p . 8 0 ) . I t i s d u r i n g t h e s e s e s s i o n s t h a t t h e n a r r a t o r m a k e s h i s f i r s t s e r i o u s a t t e m p t s a t S w e d i s h a n d i n t h i s c o n t e x t t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h a f o r e i g n l a n g u a g e r e f l e c t h i s i n a b i l i t y t o d e a l w i t h t h o s e a s p e c t s o f h i s l i f e w h i c h h e c o n s i d e r s t a b u . T h e c o n f l i c t i n v o l v e d f o r t h e n a r r a t o r p a r a l l e l s h i s f a s c i n a t i o n a s a c h i l d w i t h D o u g l a s F a i r b a n k s i n T h e T h i e f o f B a g d a d , t h e h e r o who i s immune t o a t t a c k , a n d h i s l a t e r i m p r e s s i o n o f M u r n a u ' s f i l m T a b u , w h e r e i t i s t h e w o r l d w h i c h i s immune t o t h e h e r o ' s e f f o r t s t o p e n e t r a t e i t . T h r o u g h h i s u s e o f S w e d i s h t h e 121 n a r r a t o r a c h i e v e s i m m u n i t y f r o m " d a s U r s p r i i n g l i c h e u n d B l u t i g e " ( p . 7 9 ) , w h i l e a t t h e same t i m e r e l i n q u i s h i n g a c c e s s i b i l i t y t o i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t s o f t h e s e l f . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s c r i t i c i s m o f h i s e a r l y p a i n t i n g s wa s t h a t t h e y s o u g h t t o o b s c u r e r a t h e r t h a n r e v e a l , a l t h o u g h Max B e r n s d o r f ' s r e s p o n s e t o t h e m wa s t h a t t h e y a s s u c h f i x t h e r e a l i t y o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s e x i s t e n c e ( s e e p p . 52 a n d 34). T h i s w o u l d s u g g e s t t h a t t h e n a r r a t o r ' s p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h l e a r n i n g a f o r e i g n l a n g u a g e i n v o l v e s a c o n t i n u a t i o n o f h i s a t t e m p t t o c o m m u n i c a t e w i t h t h e w o r l d w i t h o u t e x p o s i n g t h e s e l f t o t h e w o r l d . A f t e r t h e d e p a r t u r e o f Max B e r n s d o r f t h e n a r r a t o r m o v e s t o a n o t h e r r o o m i n S t o c k h o l m w h e r e , i n t h e p r o c e s s o f r e a r r a n g i n g t h e c o l l e c t i o n o f b o o k s w h i c h i n t h e p a s t r e f l e c t e d h i s e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e w o r l d , h e r e d i s c o v e r s K a f k a ' s D e r P r o z e s s . I t i s t h r o u g h h i s r e a d i n g o f D e r P r o z e s s t h a t t h e n a r r a t o r b e c o m e s c o n v i n c e d t h a t a c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h t h e s e l f i s u n a v o i d a b l e . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s a t t e m p t s a t S w e d i s h , b e c a u s e i t i s d i f f i c u l t f o r h i m t o e x p r e s s h i m s e l f i n t h a t l a n g u a g e , s e e m a p p r o p r i a t e t o h i s s t r u g g l e o f s e l f - d i s c o v e r y : " D o c h e s s c h i e n m i r , d a s s d i e s e s S t o t t e r n u n d R a d e b r e c h e n m e i n e r S i t u a t i o n b e s s e r e n t s p r a c h e a l s d a s g e w o h n h e i t s m a s s i g e H i n s c h r e i b e n e i n e r a l l z u b e k a n n t e n S p r a c h e " ( p . 9 6 ) . T h u s , t h e n a r r a t o r ' s own r e s e r v a t i o n s r e g a r d i n g h i m s e l f p o s e a b a r r i e r t o t h e u s e o f l a n g u a g e a s a m e a n s o f r e v e a l i n g h i s i n n e r l i f e ; i n t h i s c o n t e x t t h e u s e o f S w e d i s h s eems a p p r o p r i a t e b e c a u s e i t a t l e a s t r e v e a l s t h e d i f f i c u l t y a s o n e o f a c c e s s i b i l i t y t o h i s p a s t . H o w e v e r , t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d i f f f i c u l t i e s i n u s i n g S w e d i s h a l s o p o i n t t o t h e m a n n e r i n w h i c h t h e p r o b l e m s o f a c c e s s i b i l i t y t o h i s p a s t a n d o p e n n e s s t o t h e w o r l d a r e 122 i n t e r r e l a t e d . The o t h e r d i f f i c u l t y i n v o l v e d i n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s u s e o f G e r m a n i s t h a t e v e n i f h e i s a b l e t o e x p r e s s h i m s e l f i n t h a t l a n g u a g e h i s u s e o f G e r m a n w o u l d i n v o l v e h i m i n a n e n d l e s s " S e l b s t g e s p r a c h , " a " M o n o l o g i m V a k u u m " ( p p . 9 5 - 9 6 ) . The h o s t i l i t y o f t h e G e r m a n - s p e a k i n g w o r l d f o r t h e n a r r a t o r — a s h e r e m a r k s , " w a s i c h d o r t f a n d , w a r e n m e i n e V e r f o l g e r , u n d d i e h a t t e n m i r i h r e A n t w o r t l a n g s t g e g e b e n " ( p . 9 5 ) — i s s u c h t h a t c o m m u n i c a t i o n w i t h t h a t w o r l d i s n o t p o s s i b l e . C o m m u n i c a t i o n i s s e e n b y t h e n a r r a t o r a s a n e c e s s a r y f a c t o r i n s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n s i n c e f o r t h e n a r r a t o r a n i n t e g r a l p a r t o f s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n i s t o r e s t o r e h i s e x p e r i e n c e s o f t h e w o r l d : " Z u e i n e r W a f f e k o n n t e s i e C a r t ] e r s t w e r d e n , w e n n i c h a l l e s , was i c h a u s d r u c k e n w o l l t e , g r e i f b a r z u r i i c k v e r s e t z t e i n d i e W i r k l i c h k e i t , a u s d e r e s e i n m a l i n m i c h e i n g e d r u n g e n w a r " ( p . 9 9 ) . Y e t , t h e n a r r a t o r ' s e f f o r t s t o r e s t o r e h i s e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e w o r l d c o m p o u n d h i s p r o b l e m s . He f e e l s t h a t h i s e f f o r t s a r e j e o p a r d i z e d b y u n d e r l y i n g c o n c e r n s w h i c h a r e o n l y e x p r e s s e d i n d i r e c t l y i n h i s w o r k s : " i c h . . . w o l l t e i n d e n B i l d e r n u n d dem G e s c h r i e b e n e n Z e i c h e n s e h e n f i i r d i e G e s c h e h n i s s e , a n d e n e n i c h t e i l n a h m , u n d d o c h w a r e s imme r w i e d e r , a l s k o n n t e s i c h n i c h t s h a l t e n l a s s e n " ( p . 1 7 8 ) . The n a r r a t o r c o n s i d e r s t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t h i s w o r k e x i s t s a s a s u b s t i t u t e f o r w h a t i s r e a l l y t h r e a t e n i n g h i m . He r e l a t e s t h i s p e r c e p t i o n r e g a r d i n g h i s w o r k t o t h e a n x i e t y h e f e l t o n t h e e v e n i n g b e f o r h i s f i r s t e x h i b i t i o n . A t t h a t t i m e h e p r e s e n t e d o n e o f h i s p a i n t i n g s t o h i s f r i e n d M a x B e r n s d o r f : I c h n a h m d a s B i l d v o n d e r Wand u n d gab e s i h m , u n d d a w a r m i r , a l s b r a c h e e i n Z u g w i n d d u r c h d a s L o c h i n 123 d e r R e i h e , u n d e i n B r o d e l n u n d S a u s e n d r a n g e i n , u n d h i n t e r d e n d i i n n e n a u f g e s p a n n t e n H a u t e n d e r B i l d e r l a g e i n C h a o s , i n dem e s k e i n e W e g z e i c h e n g a b , s o n d e r n n u r e i n T o b e n u n d S c h r e i e n , e i n e V e r z w e i f l u n g , g e g e n d i e d i e g e m a l t e n F i g u r e n , m i t d e n G e s t e n d e s S c h r e c k e n s , s i c h a u f l e h n t e n . ( p . 7 0 ) I n h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h i s p a s s a g e L i i t t m a n n o b s e r v e s t h a t a s t h e w a l l o f p a i n t i n g s a c t s a s a b u l w a r k a g a i n s t t h e s u r r o u n d i n g c h a o s s o a r t f o r t h e n a r r a t o r r e p r e s e n t s a " S c h u t z - u n d S c h o n r a u m " ( p . 3 7 8 ) f r o m t h o s e f o r c e s o f t h e e x t e r n a l w o r l d w h i c h a r e a c t u a l l y o r p o t e n t i a l l y h o s t i l e t o h i m . A c c o r d i n g t o L i i t t m a n n , t h e r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e " d i i n n e n a u f g e s p a n n t e n H a u t e n " o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l p a i n t i n g s a n d t o t h e t e r r i f i e d g e s t u r e s o f t h e f i g u r e s i n t h e p a i n t i n g s u g g e s t a n i d e n t i f i c a t i o n b e t w e e n t h e n a r r a t o r a n d t h e p a i n t i n g s t h e m s e l v e s . L i i t t m a n n c o n c l u d e s t h a t a r t f o r t h e n a r r a t o r s e r v e s a s a d e f e n s e a g a i n s t f o r c e s w h i c h a r e i n t e r n a l a s w e l l a s e x t e r n a l t o t h e s e l f . H o w e v e r , t h e e m p h a s i s i n t h e p a s s a g e s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e p a i n t i n g s a r e i n a d e q u a t e a s a d e f e n s e . T h e t e r r i f i e d g e s t u r e s o f t h e f i g u r e s p o r t r a y a p o s i t i o n o f e x t r e m e v u l n e r a b i l i t y . A s m e n t i o n e d e a r l i e r i n r e g a r d t o t h e d i s c u s s i o n b e t w e e n t h e n a r r a t o r a n d M a x B e r n s d o r f a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f F l u c h t p u n k t , d e t a c h m e n t i s r e q u i r e d f o r c h o i c e s i n c e e x p e r i e n c e w i t h o u t d e t a c h m e n t c a n n o t s e r v e t o i l l u m i n a t e r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . T h e n a r r a t o r wa s u n a b l e t o make r e s p o n s i b l e d e c i s i o n s b e c a u s e h i s e x p e r i e n c e w a s c o n d i t i o n e d b y a f e a r o f r a n d o m v i o l e n c e . A r t i s b o t h a n e x p e r i e n c e i n i t s e l f ( t h e a c t o f p a i n t i n g ) a n d a mean s o f e x p r e s s i n g o n e ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e w o r l d ( t h e d e p i c t i n g o f o n e ' s e x p e r i e n c e ) . T h e d e p i c t i o n o f o n e ' s e x p e r i e n c e t h r o u g h a m e d i u m s u c h a s p a i n t i n g 124 r e q u i r e s t h a t o n e b e c o m e d e t a c h e d f r o m t h e o b j e c t b e i n g c r e a t e d . The p a i n t i n g r e p r e s e n t s t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e a r t i s t a n d s i n c e i t i n v o l v e s d e t a c h m e n t b e c o m e s a m e d i u m t h r o u g h w h i c h o n e ' s e x p e r i e n c e i s o b j e c t i f i e d . To t h e e x t e n t t h a t p a i n t i n g r e p r e s e n t s e x p e r i e n c e i t a l s o s e r v e s t o i n t e r p r e t i t . T he i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o r p i c t o r i a l p r e s e n t a t i o n t h e r e b y b e c o m e s t h e o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n o f e x p e r i e n c e . T h u s , w h i l e t h e a c t o f p a i n t i n g may s e r v e a s a mean s o f p r o t e c t i n g t h e n a r r a t o r f r o m t h e h o s t i l e f o r c e s o f t h e e x t e r n a l a n d i n t e r n a l w o r l d t h e p a i n t i n g i t s e l f a s i t o b j e c t i f i e s t h e n a r r a t o r ' s e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e w o r l d b e t r a y s h i s own i m p o t e n c e b e f o r e t h o s e f o r c e s . T h e r e f o r e , t h e o n l y c h o i c e t h a t t h i s m e d i u m o f i n s i g h t p r o v i d e s t h e n a r r a t o r i s t h e c h o i c e o f b e i n g a v i c t i m o r b e i n g a n a r t i s t who p o r t r a y s v i c t i m s . I n n e i t h e r c a s e d o e s t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f t h e n a r r a t o r t o t h e w o r l d c h a n g e . I n b o t h o n e i s o v e r w h e l m e d b y a w o r l d w h i c h v i c t i m i z e s a n d r e n d e r s o n e p o w e r l e s s b e f o r e f o r c e s b e y o n d o n e ' s c o n t r o l . T he o n l y c h o i c e b e f o r e t h a t p o r t r a i t o f t h e w o r l d i s c o l l a p s e . P a i n t i n g , t h e n , a s a m e d i u m f o r i n s i g h t d o e s n o t c h a n g e t h e n a r r a t o r ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e w o r l d . On t h e c o n t r a r y , i n s o f a r a s t h e p a i n t i n g s e r v e s a s a n o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n o f t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p a n d p r o v i d e s t h e n a r r a t o r w i t h a n i d e n t i t y i t s e r v e s t o r e i n f o r c e i t . T h e n a r r a t o r s u g g e s t s t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f s u c h a n i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f h i m s e l f w i t h t h e o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n o f h i s e x p e r i e n c e i n h i s a r t : So g r o s s w a r d a s V e r t r a u e n a n m e i n e F a h i g k e i t d e s n i i c h t e r n e n B e o b a c h t e n s , d a s s i c h m i t dem G e d a n k e n s p i e l t e , m i c h i n d a s G e s t a l t l o s e h i n e i n z u v e r s e t z e n , e s n i c h t a l s Z u s a m m e n b r u c h a u s z u k o s t e n , s o n d e r n a l s u n b e k a n n t e n g e s e t z l o s e n T e i l m e i n e r s e l b s t . W e i t e r 125 a l s i n e i n G r e n z g e b i e t g e l a n g t e i c h j e d o c h n i c h t . ( p . 1 8 0 ) T h i s i s t h e " G r e n z g e b i e t " w h i c h H i e r o n y m u s c r o s s e s i n b r i n g i n g a b o u t h i s u l t i m a t e v i c t i m i z a t i o n . T h e n a r r a t o r d o e s s u f f e r a p h y s i c a l c o l l a p s e , a f a c t w h i c h , i n l i g h t o f t h e t e m p t a t i o n o f t h e n a r r a t o r n o t t o r e g a r d t h e t h r e a t t o w h i c h h e i s s u b j e c t a s a " Z u s a m m e n b r u c h , " a p p e a r s t o i n d i c a t e t h a t a f a i l u r e o n t h e p a r t o f t h e n a r r a t o r t o r e c o g n i z e t h e d i l e m m a i n v o l v e d i n h i s w o r k e n t a i l s s e l f - d e l u s i o n . T h e n a r r a t o r s u g g e s t e d , i n r e g a r d t o h i s w r i t i n g s a n d p a i n t i n g s , t h a t h i s w o r k i s a v e i l e d e x p r e s s i o n o f u n d e r l y i n g c o n c e r n s w h i c h r e n d e r t h a t w o r k a n i n a d e q u a t e p o r t r a y a l o f t h e w o r l d a n d w h i c h , b e c a u s e o f t h e i r t h r e a t e n i n g n a t u r e , j e o p a r d i z e h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h a t w o r l d . H o w e v e r , a n y a t t e m p t t o o v e r t l y p o r t r a y t h a t d a n g e r ( " m i c h i n d a s G e s t a l t l o s e h i n e i n z u v e r s e t z e n " ) w o u l d o n l y s e r v e t o o b j e c t i f y f u r t h e r t h e v u l n e r a b i l i t y h e e x p e r i e n c e s i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e w o r l d . T h i s p r e d i c a m e n t i s s i m i l a r t o t h a t p o r t r a y e d i n h i s p a i n t i n g o f t h e a b j e c t f i g u r e s : i n e i t h e r c a s e t h e n a r r a t o r i s f a c e d w i t h t h e c h o i c e o f b e i n g a v i c t i m o r a n a r t i s t who d e p i c t s v i c t i m i z a t i o n . B e r n s d o r f ' s e a r l i e r r e m a r k t h a t t h e n a r r a t o r ' s p a i n t i n g s a s s u c h f i x t h e r e a l i t y o f h i s e x i s t e n c e s e r v e s t o r e l a t e t h i s p r e d i c a m e n t t o o t h e r c h o i c e s w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r h a s m a d e . F o r e x a m p l e , t h e n a r r a t o r ' s a t t e m p t s a t S w e d i s h b e c a u s e o f t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s w h i c h l a n g u a g e p o s e s t o h i m b o t h a s a mean s o f s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n a n d o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n r e f l e c t t h e r e a l i t i e s o f h i s e x p e r i e n c e o f h i m s e l f a n d t h e w o r l d . I n t h i s c o n t e x t o f a r t a s a n o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l e x p e r i e n c e , t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d e c i s i o n t o d e v o t e h i m s e l f to art as an "Alternative zur Teilnahme am Krieg" attains a wider meaning i n that the dilemma involved i n his art may be applied to the narrator's other decisions as w e l l . I have referred to the narrator's choice to concentrate on his own fragmented experience of the world as involving him i n a transformation of the world i n which a l l survivors are defined as victims. The mode of transformation i s a change i n one's perceptions of the world. For Hoderer, this transformation e n t a i l s a commitment to a world i n which human beings are perceived, not as victims, but as active p a r t i c i p a n t s i n determining the conditions under which they l i v e . For the narrator, t h i s transformation involves an o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of his r e l a t i o n s h i p to the world as that r e l a t i o n s h i p i s revealed to him i n his i s o l a t e d experiences of the s e l f as a victim. This o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n allows the narrator to view his status as a v i c t i m — n o t as exc e p t i o n a l — b u t as a general condition which he shares with other human beings. In this manner the narrator i s able to i d e n t i f y himself with those who did not survive the war, with the inmates of the concentration camps. Therefore, the narrator's decisions, which he defines as r e f l e c t i n g a "Vermessenheit des Abstandnehmens," do place him i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p to the world, and this r e l a t i o n s h i p l i m i t s h i freedom to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the world just as h i s experiences of random violence rendered him unable to take sides i n the war. The narrator's decision thus only serves to implicate him further i n an ordering of the world which his actions are designed to escape. I t i s i n this sense that these decisions may be viewed as in v o l v i n g him i n a s e l f - d e l u s i o n . 127 S e l f - d e l u s i o n i m p l i e s a n a l i e n a t e d s e l f . H o w e v e r , t h e n a r r a t o r ' s e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e w o r l d a s t h r e a t e n i n g h i m w i t h r a n d o m v i o l e n c e a n d a s l i m i t i n g h i s f r e e d o m d e s c r i b e s a w o r l d w h i c h i s a l s o a l i e n a t i n g . T h i s d u a l a s p e c t o f a l i e n a t i o n may b e d i s c e r n e d i n t h e p o r t r a y a l o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s c o l l a p s e . L i i t t m a n n c o n s i d e r s t h e e n t i r e i n c i d e n t o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s p h y s i c a l c o l l a p s e a s t y l i s t i c d i s a p p o i n t m e n t b e c a u s e , t h e c o l l a p s e i n t i m a t e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r i n h i s r e f e r e n c e t o a " Z u s a m m e n b r u c h " ( F l u c h t p u n k t , p . 1 7 9 ) i s a p s y c h i c o n e , w h e r e a s t h e c o l l a p s e w h i c h a c t u a l l y o c c u r s , " N i e r e n k o l i k , " i s p u r e l y p h y s i c a l ( s e e p . 3 1 8 ) . The n a r r a t o r s u f f e r s f r o m k i d n e y s t o n e s a n d u n d e r g o e s s u r g e r y . A f t e r w a r d s t h e n a r r a t o r i n t e r p r e t s t h e s u r g i c a l r e m o v a l o f h i s k i d n e y s t o n e s a s s y m b o l i c o f h i s r e l e a s e f r o m t h e i n j u n c t i o n s o f h i s p a r e n t s a n d t e a c h e r s w h i c h h e f e e l s h a v e t h u s f a r p r e v e n t e d h i m f r o m r e a l i z i n g h i s f u l l p o t e n t i a l : D i e s w a r d i e W a h n w e l t , u n d i c h k o n n t e s i e v e r a n d e r n , i c h b r a u c h t e m i c h n i c h t m e h r d a m i t a b z u s c h l e p p e n , s i e w a r m i r a u s dem L e i b g e s c h n i t t e n w o r d e n , s i e h a t t e n u r d i e g l i i c k l i c h e n K i n d h e i t s j a h r e g e f r e s s e n , a b e r i c h k o n n t e m i r a n d e r e J a h r e e r f i n d e n , k o n n t e d e n f a u l e n Z a u b e r w e g w e r f e n u n d i n d a s G e l a c h t e r d e r V e r a c h t u n g a u s b r e c h e n , d a s f r i i h e r e i n m a l g e b a n d i g t g e w e s e n w a r . ( p p . 2 G 7 - 0 8 ) L i i t t m a n n r e g a r d s t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s i l l n e s s a s a n e x a m p l e o f a " d u b i o s e r S y m b o l h a f t i g k e i t " w h i c h d e t e r i o r a t e s " i n d i e N a h e d e s L a c h e r l i c h e n " ( p p . 3 1 8 - 1 9 ) . I t i s a b s u r d t h a t t h e n a r r a t o r i s s o a l i e n a t e d f r o m h i s own p a s t t h a t h e f e e l s t h a t h e may b e r e l e a s e d f r o m i t t h r o u g h a r i t u a l o f s u r g i c a l e x o r c i s m . H o w e v e r , w h i l e I a g r e e w i t h L i i t t m a n n r e g a r d i n g t h e a b s u r d i t y o f 128 t h e e p i s o d e o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s c o l l a p s e , t h e u s e o f a p u r e l y p h y s i c a l i l l n e s s t o s i g n i f y a p s y c h i c s t a t e i s n o t a n uncommon m e t a p h o r i n l i t e r a t u r e . L i i t t m a n n ' s o b j e c t i o n a p p e a r s t o b e t h a t t h e p a r t i c u l a r d i s e a s e o f " N i e r e n k o l i k " b e c a u s e i t i s n o t s o r e a d i l y " r o m a n t i c i z e d " i s i n a d e q u a t e a s a m e t a p h o r . Y e t , W e i s s ' s w o r k s o f t e n i n v o l v e t h e d e p i c t i o n o f s u c h i l l n e s s e s . F o r e x a m p l e , i n h i s d r a m a T r o t z k i i m E x i l L e n i n i s p o r t r a y e d a s s u f f e r i n g f r o m a s k i n d i s e a s e w h i l e T r o t z k i c l a i m s a p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h a l l h i s b o d i l y f u n c t i o n s , w i t h h i s " M a g e n . D a r m . H e r z . N i e r e n , " f u n c t i o n s w h i c h " n e h m e n m i c h o f t t a g e l a n g i n A n s p r u c h . " A n n e l i e s e G r o s s e a n d B r i g i t t e T h u r m i n " G e s e l l s c h a f t l i c h e I r r e l e v a n z u n d m a n i p u l i e r b a r e S u b j e k t i v i t a t " o f f e r t h e f o l l o w i n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e p o r t r a y a l o f L e n i n i n T r o t z k i i m E x i l : W e i s s z e i c h n e t i h n ^ L e n i n Tund d a s z e i g t , w i e e r i h n n i c h t n u r m i s s v e r s t e h t , s o n d e r n v e r f a l s c h t — a l s e i n e n M a r a t d e s z w a n z i g s t e n J a h r h u n d e r t s , g e p l a g t v o n H a u t a u s s c h l a g u n d N e r v e n f i e b e r : D e r W e l t v e r a n d e r e r a l s O p f e r , d i e W e l t v e r a n d e r u n g a l s S e l b s t v e r l e u g n u n g , n i c h t a l s S e l b s t v e r w i r k l i c h u n g d e s d i e W e l t v e r a n d e r n d e n t a t i g e n S u b j e k t s . N o c h d e u t l i c h e r a l s i m V e r h a l t e n T r o t z k i s z e i g t s i c h i n d i e s e m g r o b e n t s t e l l t e n L e n i n - B i l d e i n f r e m d e s u n d e n t ^ r e m d e t e s V e r h a l t n i s d e s A u t o r s z u r r e v o l u t i o n a r e n T a t . I t i s n o t s i m p l y , a s G r o s s e a n d T h u r m w o u l d e x p l a i n i t , t h a t L e n i n i s a l i e n a t e d f r o m t h e w o r l d , f r o m t h e R e v o l u t i o n , b u t t h a t h i s a l i e n a t i o n f r o m t h e w o r l d i s e x p r e s s e d i n t e r m s o f a l i e n a t i o n f r o m t h e s e l f . To s u f f e r a n e r u p t i o n o n t h e s k i n i s t o e x p e r i e n c e t h e s e l f a s a t h r e a t e n i n g o b j e c t . I n t h i s c o n t e x t T r o t z k i i s a s a l i e n a t e d f r o m h i m s e l f a s L e n i n , T r o t z k i ' s s u r v e i l l a n c e o f h i s own b o d y , w h o s e f u n c t i o n s c l a i m h i s a t t e n t i o n f o r d a y s o n e n d , 129 s u g g e s t s t h a t h e t o o r e g a r d s t h e s e l f a s a p o t e n t i a l l y h o s t i l e o t h e r . I n c o n t r a s t t o L u t t m a n n ' s c o n t e n t i o n r e g a r d i n g t h e l i m i t a t i o n o f d i s e a s e a s a m e t a p h o r , t h e i m p l i c a t i o n h e r e i s t h a t d i s e a s e e n t a i l s a p s y c h i c s t a t e , a n d t h a t p s y c h i c s t a t e i s t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e s e l f a s o b j e c t o r t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e a l i e n a t e d s e l f . T h e r e s u l t o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s c o l l a p s e i s t o d i v i d e t h e s e l f . T h e e x p e r i e n c e i s o n e o f d e t a c h m e n t a n d p o w e r l e s s n e s s : I c h k a n n t e n i c h t d i e Z a h l m e i n e r R i i c k e n w i r b e l u n d R i p p e n , d i e F o r m m e i n e s H e r z e n s u n d M a g e n s , k o n n t e d e n S i t z d e r G a l l e n b l a s e , d e r N i e r e n n i c h t g e n a u a u s f i n d i g m a c h e n , s a h n u r e i n u n k l a r e s G e b i l d e , m i t s c h a t t e n h a f t e n G e w e b e n , S e h n e n , A d e r n , w o g e n d , p o c h e n d , v o l l e r F l i i s s i g k e i t e n . D i e s e s G e b i l d e w a r i c h , . m i t d i e s e m G e b i l d e s t e l l t e i c h m i c h d a r , l i e f i c h h e r u m , u n d d e r K o p f w a r n u r e i n e k l e i n e O b s e r v a t i o n s z e n t r a l e . ( p p . 1 9 6 - 9 7 ) C o n s c i o u s n e s s i s d e p i c t e d a s t r a p p e d w i t h i n a p o t e n t i a l l y h o s t i l e w o r l d o v e r w h i c h i t h a s n o c o n t r o l . I n h i s c o l l a p s e t h e n a r r a t o r f e e l s s o d i s c o n n e c t e d f r o m h i m s e l f t h a t h e i s r e d u c e d t o t h e r o l e o f p a s s i v e o b s e r v e r . He e x p e r i e n c e s h i m s e l f a s a n o b j e c t among o t h e r o b j e c t s s o t h a t f r o m h i s p e r s p e c t i v e e v e n a c r u m p l e d u p p i e c e o f p a p e r a s s u m e s g i g a n t i c p r o p o r t i o n s . The n a r r a t o r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f h i m s e l f b e i n g c a r r i e d o u t t o t h e a m b u l a n c e " i n e i n e m H e u l e n u n d Z a h n e k l a p p e r n " ( p , 1 9 9 ) s u g g e s t s t h a t h e l l f o r t h e n a r r a t o r i s t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f o n e s e l f a s p a s s i v e o b j e c t , a s a v i c t i m . T h e a c t i o n s o f t h e h o s p i t a l p e r s o n n e l a f f i r m t h e n a r r a t o r ' s a s s u m e d a n o n y m i t y — i n g i v i n g h i s s t a t i s t i c s h e m o m e n t a r i l y f o r g e t s t h a t h e h a s a w i f e a n d c h i l d — a s d e h u m a n i z e d a n d e s t r a n g e d f r o m t h e w o r l d , a " G e g e n s t a n d w i s s e n s c h a f t l i c h e r U n t e r s u c h u n g e n " ( p . 2 0 2 ) . T h e m a c a b r e d e p i c t i o n o f t h e o p e r a t i n g 1 3 0 t a b l e a s a b a n q u e t t a b l e s e t f o r a c e l e b r a t i o n i n d i c a t e s t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h , t h e n a r r a t o r a s a p a t i e n t i s a l i e n a t e d f r o m t h e " u n v e r s t a n d l i c h e n M a s c h i n e r i e " ( p . 2 0 4 ) o f t h e h o s p i t a l r i t u a l s a n d a l s o t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h t h e s e r i t u a l s a r e t h e m s e l v e s a l i e n a t i n g . T h e b r i g h t l i g h t s , t h e a n e s t h e t i c , t h e c o u n t i n g a s t h e p a t i e n t l o s e s c o n s c i o u s n e s s a l l i l l u m i n e t h e s e l f a s o b j e c t w h i l e o b s c u r i n g t h e h u m a n . D i s e a s e , f o r t h e n a r r a t c ? r - . i s t h e u l t i m a t e e x p e r i e n c e o f v i c t i m i z a t i o n b o t h b e c a u s e i t d i v i d e s a n d a l i e n a t e s t h e s e l f a n d b e c a u s e i t p l a c e s h i m , a s a p a t i e n t , i n a s i t u a t i o n w h i c h r e i n f o r c e s t h i s a l i e n a t i o n . The n a r r a t o r ' s s t a y a t a f a r m t o w o r k d u r i n g h a r v e s t t i m e p r o v i d e s , a n o t h e r e x a m p l e o f t h e a l i e n a t i n g e f f e c t o f s o c i a l r i t u a l s . T h e n a r r a t o r i s d i s t r e s s e d b y t h e b a c k w a r d c o n d i t i o n s o n t h e f a r m a n d c o m p l a i n s o f t h e " U n w i l l e v o r V e r a n d e r u n g e n , 1 1 t h e " U r z u s t a n d v o r e i n e r A u f k l g r u n g u n d B i l d u n g " ( p . 1 2 5 ) , w h i c h e x i s t s d e s p i t e t h e f a c t t h a t S w e d e n h a s a p r o g r e s s i v e g o v e r n m e n t . He c o m p l a i n s a b o u t t h e f o o d w h i c h t h e f a r m h a n d s a r e f o r c e d t o e a t w h i l e t h e o v e r s e e r s s i t d own t o a s e p a r a t e t a b l e o f r e a l c o f f e e , b u t t e r a n d m e a t . B e c a u s e h e h a s n o t h i n g t o l o s e , t h e n a r r a t o r w a l k s i n a n d e a t s t h e f o o d s e t o u t f o r t h e o v e r s e e r s . T h e o t h e r f a r m h a n d s d o n o t f o l l o w a n d a l t h o u g h t h e y a r e i n t r i g u e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r ' s a c t i o n s t h e y f i n a l l y come t o t h e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t h i s b i z a r r e b e h a v i o r i s t o b e a t t r i b u t e d t o t h e f a c t t h a t h e i s a f o r e i g n e r who d o e s n o t u n d e r s t a n d l o c a l c u s t o m s . L i i t t m a n n d e s c r i b e s t h e n a r r a t o r ' s s t a n c e a s n a i v e , s o c i a l l y a n d p o l i t i c a l l y i r r e l e v a n t ( s e e pp . . 3 6 3 - 6 4 ) . , On t h e 131 contrary, i,t would seem, to ,me that the narrator.' S,.,recognition of, the use of this s o c i a l r i t u a l to dehumanize, to define the farmhands as less than the overseers and thus as less than human, i s rather perceptive. I t i s not that the farmhands do not understand the narrator's r e b e l l i o n nor perceive h i s behavior, as Liittmann contends, as " s i n n v o l l " (p. 364). They do understand the f u l l implications of the narrator's actions. The s o c i a l r i t u a l v i o l a t e s the humanity of the farmhands by de f i n i n g them as subordinate but i t does at least define them i n terms of conventional s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . The narrator has nothing to lose by v i o l a t i n g the r i t u a l i n two ways: he has nothing to lose because he i s only a temporary worker, and he has nothing to lose i n the sense that he already i s s o c i a l l y i s o l a t e d . He i s , as the farmhands conclude, an outsider. The d e c i s i o n made by the farmhands i s that i t i s better to be r e l a t e d to the world i n a way that i s less than human than i t i s not to be r e l a t e d to the world at a l l . The narrator's d e c i s i o n as he defined i t i n i t i a l l y i n h i s conversation with Max Bernsdorf and l a t e r i n h i s discussions with Hoderer i s that he renounces a l l r e l a t i o n s h i p s to time and place i n order to r e a l i z e f u l l y h i s own p o t e n t i a l i t i e s . The question i s whether the d e c i s i o n of the farmhands to ignore the a l i e n a t i n g e f f e c t of the s o c i a l r i t u a l s r e n d e r s them any less alienated than the narrator who refuses to p a r t i c i p a t e and i n so doing remains an outsider. As i n the case of the farmhands, the narrator i s f r u s t r a t e d i n h i s attempts to involve his fellow workers i n the lumber 132 camp i n h i s e f f o r t s to bring about changes i n the camp. The narrator suggests that the workers have books sent to them but finds himself blocked by the resistance of h i s fellow workers, by t h e i r "stumpfes Misstrauen vor a l i e n Veranderungen" (p. 147). The narrator speculates that h i s heightened awareness i n contrast to the ind i f f e r e n c e of the others i s to be att r i b u t e d to h i s middle class status: "Dass i c h mir Zeit nahm, die Erscheinungen i n mir nachzuzeichnen und mir bewusst zu machen, entsprach das nicht nur meiner al t e n biirgerlichen Geborgenheit und Musse" (p. 151). Liittmann considers the narrator's conclusion regarding h i s middle class status as "einer der relevantesten Reflexionen des Fluchtpurikts iiberhaupt" and views i t i n terms of "einer hochst ungewohnlichen Verstandigkeit des Erzahlers im Hinblick auf die m a t e r i e l l e Grundlage der eigenen asthetischen Haltung gegeniiber der R e a l i t a t und damit des eigenen Kiinstlertums" (p. 375). Luttmann's attention to the narrator's d i s t i n c t i o n between himself and the other workers at the camp i s s i g n i f i c a n t f o r Luttmann's understanding of the character of the narrator and of the meaning of the novel. Much of h i s analysis of the narrator hinges upon an understanding of the narrator as " s o z i a l p r i v i l e g i e r t , " as middle c l a s s . Luttmann's e a r l i e r use of a psychological frame of reference, whereby he explains the narrator's behavior as determined by the traumas of childhood and a search f o r father figures such as Max Bernsdorf, the p s y c h i a t r i s t Baahl and Hoderer, has become a s o c i o l o g i c a l frame of reference and i s key to the work: 1 3 3 E s s c h e i n t m i r a u s s e r F r a g e z u s t e h e n , d a s s a u c h d a s n a h e z u p e r m a n e n t e m a t e r i e l l e B e s c h i i t z t s e i n , d e r " A u f e n t h a l t " i n e i n e m S c h o n r a u m s o z i a l e r P r i v i l e g i e r t h e i t , e i n e d e r w e s e n t l i c h e n U r s a c h e n f i i r d i e U n f a h i g k e i t d e s E r z a h l e r s d a r s t e l l t , s i c h a u s d e r K i n d h a f t i g k e i t z u l o s e n . ( p . 3 7 3 ) H o w e v e r , i n c o n t r a s t t o L u t t m a n n ' s s u p p o s i t i o n i t w o u l d a p p e a r t o me t h a t much o f t h e n o v e l i s c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e l i k e l i h o o d t h a t t h e r e i s n o r e f u g e f o r t h e n a r r a t o r . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s p o r t r a y a l o f h i s own m i d d l e c l a s s b a c k g r o u n d e m p h a s i z e s i t s t o t a l i n a d e q u a c y a s a d e f e n s e a g a i n s t a h o s t i l e w o r l d . A t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e n o v e l t h e n a r r a t o r m a k e s a r e f e r e n c e t o t h e " G e b o r g e n h e i t " o f h i s m i d d l e c l a s s h o m e . He s p e a k s o f h ow h i s m o t h e r a n d s i s t e r t u r n e d away f r o m o n e o f h i s s e l f p o r t r a i t s a n d d i s c u s s e s w i t h M a x B e r n s d o r f how t h e p a i n t i n g c o u l d h a v e o r i g i n a t e d i n a m i d d l e c l a s s h o u s e h o l d , " A l l e s wa s i h m d a r g e b o t e n w i r d , w e c k t s e i n e n U n w i l l e n , v o r d e n R e g u n g e n d e r Warme f l i e h t e r i n s e l b s t g e w a h l t e K a l t e , e r l e h n t d i e G e b o r g e n h e i t ab . . . " ( p p . 4 1 - 4 2 ) , S u g g e s t e d b y t h e i n a b i l i t y o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s m o t h e r a n d s i s t e r t o c o n f r o n t h i m w i t h h i s p a i n t i n g i s t h a t t h i s " G e b o r g e n h e i t " i s f a l s e b e c a u s e i t n e c e s s i t a t e s a d e n i a l o f e x p e r i e n c e s w h i c h w o u l d r e v e a l i t t o b e i n a d e q u a t e . The n a r r a t o r c o m m e n t s o n h i s p o s i t i o n i n S w e d e n a s h a v i n g b e e n made p o s s i b l e b y h i s f a t h e r ' s a b i l i t y t o p r o t e c t h i m f r o m a h o s t i l e w o r l d . He n o t e s t h a t h e w o u l d h a v e r e m a i n e d i n G e r m a n y h a d h i s f a t h e r n o t h a d t h e f o r e t h o u g h t a n d t h e r e s o u r c e s t o e n a b l e h i s f a m i l y t o e s c a p e . H o w e v e r , i n t h e p r o c e s s o f s h i e l d i n g i t s e l f f r o m a h o s t i l e w o r l d t h e f a m i l y e x p r e s s e s t h e v e r y v a l u e s o f t h a t w o r l d w h i c h i t s o u g h t t o e s c a p e , a p l i g h t 134 w h i c h i n v o l v e s t h e f a m i l y i n a s e l f - d e l u s i o n s i m i l a r t o t h a t w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r p o r t r a y s i n h i s w o r k . I n t h e c o u r s e o f a n a r g u m e n t w i t h t h e n a r r a t o r ' s y o u n g e r b r o t h e r t h e f a t h e r c a l l s t h e b r o t h e r a " v e r f l u c h t e r J u d e n l u m m e l " a n d t h e n a r r a t o r c o n c l u d e s , " D r a u s s e n l a g d e r H o f m i t d e n g r u n z e n d e n S c h w e i n e n , u n d d r i n n e n i m H a u s v e r d a m m t e A b r a h a m s e i n G e s c h l e c h t " ( p . 7 4 ) . T h e f a m i l y ' s m a t e r i a l w e a l t h , t h e p l e n t i f u l f o o d a n d s u r p l u s o f f u r n i t u r e , s e r v e s t o d e n y a n y o f i t s membe r s a n y r e a l c o m f o r t j u s t a s t h e i n t e r m i n a b l e c o n v e r s a t i o n s p r e c l u d e i n t i m a c y . T h e a c t i o n s o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s f r i e n d who d e s t r o y s h i s p l a c e o f w o r k a n d s m a s h e s t o p i e c e s a l l t h e f u r n i t u r e i n t h e h o u s e i s i n d i c a t i v e o f r a g e d i r e c t e d a t s y m b o l s o f w e a l t h w h i c h o f f e r n o p r o t e c t i o n a g a i n s t a h o s t i l e s o c i e t y . T h e m o t h e r ' s c a t e g o r i z a t i o n o f t h e f r i e n d a s i n s a n e a n d h e r d i s m i s s a l o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s w r i t i n g s a s d i s t u r b i n g i m p l y t h a t o n e f u n c t i o n o f t h i s f a m i l y i s t h e s y s t e m a t i c d e n i a l o f t h e l e g i t i m a c y o f t h e e x p e r i e n c e s o f i t s m e m b e r s . I n s u m m a r y , t h e p o r t r a y a l o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s f a m i l y r e v e a l s i t s " G e b o r g e n h e i t " t o b e a d e l u s i o n . T h e f a m i l y i s d e s c r i b e d a s a n a l i e n a t i n g w o r l d w h i c h l i m i t s i t s membe r s b y d e n y i n g t h e v a l i d i t y o f a n y e x p e r i e n c e s w h i c h w o u l d a l l o w f o r i n s i g h t i n t o t h e t r u e n a t u r e o f t h e i r s i t u a t i o n . T h e n a r r a t o r d e s c r i b e s h i s d e c i s i o n t o w o r k a t t h e l u m b e r camp a s a s u r r e n d e r i n g o f t h e s e l f t o " d e r V e r b a n n u n g u n d V e r d a m m n i s " ( p . 1 3 1 ) , a s a p e c u l i a r a c t o f s e l f - d a m n a t i o n . He e x p l i c i t l y d e n i e s t h a t h i s c h o i c e i s a r e s p o n s e t o a n y p a r t i c u l a r f e a t u r e o f h i s w o r l d . M o r e o v e r , s i n c e h e c h o o s e s t h e l u m b e r camp b e c a u s e i t i n v o l v e s w o r k f o r w h i c h h e i s l e a s t s u i t e d , t h e 135 narrator's decision has the e f f e c t of p l a c i n g him i n a s i t u a t i o n where he w i l l be least e f f e c t i v e i n responding to h i s environment, where he cannot help but be alienated from the world about him. The narrator's desire to have books sent i n to the camp for himself and h i s fellow workers implies that the normal d i s t r a c t i o n s of l i f e i n the camp (card playing, joking and conversation) f a l l s short of the narrator's requirement of s o p h i s t i c a t i o n . In "Blanckenburg's Fluchtpunkt oder Peter Weiss und der deutsche Bildungsroman" Reinhold Grimm makes the following a l l u s i o n to t h i s incident i n the novel: Der Held im Fluchtpunkt s p r i c h t nicht bloss von seinem "Werdegang" oder Entwicklungsgang," sondern nimmt sogar wb r t l i c h B e g r i f f e wie "Bildung" oder "Weiterbildung" auf, deren Fehlen b e i Bauernknechten und H o l z f a l l e r n er zudgm, auf gut biirgerliche Weise, zu tadeln geneigt i s t . Liittmann views the narrator's f a i l u r e to awaken the i n t e r e s t s of the "underprivileged" workers as the r e s u l t of the l i m i t a t i o n s imposed on the narrator by h i s own p o s i t i o n of s o c i a l p r i v i l e g e (see pp. 365-66). According to Liittmann, the narrator's desire f o r books to share with h i s fellow workers evokes a f a l s e sense of s o l i d a r i t y since i t denies the s o c i a l difference between them. However, the denial of difference implies that the narrator's wish to share h i s books defines an a t t i t u d e the opposite of s o c i a l p r i v i l e g e : universal entitlement. In h i s complaint that the workers do not have access to "Weiterbildung" the narrator i s advancing the p o s i t i o n that the workers are e n t i t l e d to have th e i r needs met through the exercise of the same middle class options to which the narrator has access. Both Grimm and Liittmann imply that the narrator assigns to these options a 136 p o s i t i v e v a l u e a n d t h a t t h e v a l u e o f " W e i t e r b i l d u n g " i s a c c e p t e d b y h i m w i t h o u t q u e s t i o n . On t h e c o n t r a r y , i t may b e t h a t t h e n a r r a t o r d e s i r e s t o s h a r e h i s v i e w o f t h e w o r l d w i t h h i s f e l l o w w o r k e r s a l t h o u g h h e i s a w a r e o f t h e l i m i t a t i o n s i m p o s e d b y h i s m i d d l e c l a s s p e r c e p t i o n s . T h i s p h e n o m e n o n i s s i m i l a r t o t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d e c i s i o n t o l e a v e h i s o n l y c h i l d w i t h h i s m o t h e r d e s p i t e h i s a w a r e n e s s o f t h e d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s o f t h a t e n v i r o n m e n t . I t may s i m p l y m e a n t h a t t h e n a r r a t o r i s u n a b l e t o i m a g i n e a w a y i n w h i c h human b e i n g s m i g h t r e s p o n d t o t h e w o r l d t h a t i s n o t a l i e n a t i n g . T h e d i s t i n c t i o n d r a w n b y t h e n a r r a t o r b e t w e e n h i m s e l f a n d t h e o t h e r w o r k e r s i s t h a t h e i s c o n s c i o u s o f h i m s e l f a n d h i s w o r l d . T h e q u e s t i o n i s w h e t h e r o r n o t t h e n a r r a t o r ' s h e i g h t e n e d c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f t h e w o r l d m a k e s a n y d i f f e r e n c e . I n c o n t r a s t t o L u t t m a n n ' s n o t i o n o f s o l i d a r i t y , t h e f o l l o w i n g d e s c r i p t i o n b y t h e n a r r a t o r o f l i f e a t t h e l u m b e r camp s u g g e s t s a n i d e n t i t y b e t w e e n h i m a n d t h e o t h e r w o r k e r s b a s e d u p o n a s h a r e d i m p o t e n c e b e f o r e f o r c e s o v e r w h i c h t h e y h a v e n o c o n t r o l : u n d w e n n w i r d a n n a u f d i e N a c h t w a r t e t e n , s i e i i b e r d e n S p i e l k a r t e n , d e n z e r l e s e n e n Z e i t s c h r i f t e n , i c h i i b e r dem H e f t , m i t dem B l e i s t i f t k r i t z e l n d , v e r g i n g d e r k l e i n e U n t e r s c h i e d e i n e r B i l d u n g , e i n e s s t a r k e r e n B e w u s s t s e i n s , i n dem i c h g l a u b t e , v o n i h n e n a b g e s o n d e r t z u s e i n , u n d d i e N a c h t w a r g l e i c h f i i r u n s a l l e . ( p . 1 5 0 ) S i m i l a r l y , t h e n a r r a t o r ' s o b s e r v a t i o n r e g a r d i n g t h e d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n w h a t h e s e e s f r o m t h e w i n d o w o f t h e s t r e e t c a r a n d w h a t i s n o t i c e d b y h i s f e l l o w w o r k e r s ( s e e p p . 1 5 2 - 5 3 ) , w h i l e p a t r o n i z i n g , e x p r e s s e s t h e n a r r a t o r ' s own s e n s e o f t h e f u t i l i t y 137 o f h i s e n d e a v o r s . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s e x p e r i e n c e o f i d e n t i t y w i t h o t h e r s b a s e d u p o n s h a r e d i m p o t e n c e b e f o r e f o r c e s b e y o n d t h e i r c o n t r o l i s a r e c u r r e n t t h e m e o f t h e n o v e l . I n h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e a r t i s t A n a t o l , t h e n a r r a t o r i s f i r s t i m p r e s s e d w i t h t h e a r t i s t ' s e x p r e s s e d s o l i d a r i t y w i t h a p e r s e c u t e d r a c e a n d w i t h h i s a b i l i t y t o e s c a p e t h e s e c l u s i o n o f l i f e i n e x i l e i n o r d e r t o d e p i c t t h e c o n c e r n s o f a l a r g e r w o r l d ( s e e p p . 5 0 - 5 2 ) . A n a t o l l a t e r e x p e r i e n c e s d i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h h i s w o r k , a n d h e a t t r i b u t e s h i s p r o b l e m s t o h i s p o s i t i o n a s a n e x i l e i n a c o u n t r y w h i c h h e f i n d s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n h o s p i t a b l e . A n a t o l ' s c o m p l a i n t t h a t h i s p a i n t i n g s o n l y d e p i c t t e r r o r a n d p o w e r l e s s n e s s r e m i n d s t h e n a r r a t o r o f a n i n c i d e n t i n t h e a r t i s t ' s e a r l y c h i l d h o o d w h i c h s u g g e s t s a n i n i t i a l e x p e r i e n c e o f e x t r e m e v u l n e r a b i l i t y . T h e n a r r a t o r b e g i n s a l e n g t h y a c c o u n t o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n A n a t o l , h i s w i f e a n d t h e w r i t e r F a n n y . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s a c c o u n t c o n t a i n s t h e f o l l o w i n g c o n c l u s i o n : i c h s a h , d a s s d a s , was i h n £ A n a t o l ] p e i n i g t e , d a z u g e h o r t e z u s e i n e n g r o s s e n g e m a l t e n V i s i o n e n , d a s s e s v i e l l e i c h t b e d e u t e n d e r w a r a l s d i e V e r t r e i b u n g , d i e A u s r o t t u n g , d i e Z e r t r u m m e r u n g v o n S t a d t e n , d e n n d i e s h i e r w a r d a s F a s s b a r e , d i e s h i e r w a r e n d i e m i t t e i l b a r e n E r f a h r u n g e n v o n V e r f o l g u n g , M i s s t r a u e n , B e t r u g , h i e r s p i e l t e s i c h d a s D a s e i n a b , i m M i s s g l i i c k e n d e r m e n s c h l i c h e n B e z i e h u n g e n , i n d e n L i i g e n , i n d e n H a l b h e i t e n , i m M a n g e l a n Z u t r a u e n z u s i c h s e l b s t . D a h i n t e r l a g d a s A n d e r e , d a s a l i e n g e h b r t e , e s d u r c h d r a n g a l l e s , d o c h g r e i f b a r w a r e n n u r d i e Z i g a r e t t e n , d i e e r F a n n y k a u f t e . . . . ( p . 2 3 2 ) I m p l i e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r ' s c o n c l u s i o n i s t h e e x i s t e n c e o f t h r e e w o r l d s : t h e l a r g e r , h i s t o r i c a l w o r l d ; t h e w o r l d o f s u b j e c t i v e 138 e x p e r i e n c e ; a n d t h e w o r l d o f t h e o b j e c t s e x p e r i e n c e d . W h i l e t h e l a r g e r w o r l d i s f e l t t h r o u g h i t s a b i l i t y t o p e r m e a t e t h e o t h e r t w o w o r l d s , o n l y t h e s e c o n d w o r l d c a n b e a p p r e h e n d e d a n d c o m m u n i c a t e d . H o w e v e r , a n a c t i v e r e s p o n s e t o t h e w o r l d i s o n l y p o s s i b l e t h r o u g h a m a n i p u l a t i o n o f t h e o b j e c t s e x p e r i e n c e d . The g r o w i n g s e v e r i t y a n d c o l d n e s s w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r p e r c e i v e s i n A n a t o l ' s p a i n t i n g s u p o n t h e s u c c e s s w h i c h f o l l o w s b o t h h i s w i f e ' s a n d F a n n y ' s d e a t h s u g g e s t s t h a t A n a t o l h a s b e c o m e a v i c t i m t o a w o r l d i n w h i c h h e h a s a l i m i t e d r a n g e o f r e s p o n s e . S i m i l a r l y , t h e n a r r a t o r i n t i m a t e s t h a t t h e f a i l u r e o f h i s m a r r i a g e t o E d n a i s t h e r e s u l t o f t h e i r i n a b i l i t y t o r e s p o n d t o e a c h o t h e r ( s e e p . 1 6 5 ) . A l l p e r s o n s i n t h e n o v e l w i t h o n e p o s s i b l e e x c e p t i o n a r e v i c t i m s o f a w o r l d i n w h i c h t h e i r r a n g e o f r e s p o n s e i s l i m i t e d . T h e a r t i s t Amos i s r e d u c e d t o m a n i p u l a t i n g t h e w o r l d f o r h i s own p e r s o n a l p l e a s u r e . Max B e r n s d o r f r e s p o n d s t o a w o r l d w h i c h i s r e s t o r e d t o h i m t o o l a t e . T h e e x c e p t i o n i s H o d e r e r w h o , i n c h o o s i n g n o t t o b e a v i c t i m , c o m m i t s s u i c i d e . F l u c h t p u n k t c o n s i s t s o f t h e r e c o l l e c t i o n s o f t h e n a r r a t o r o f t h e e v e n t s o f h i s l i f e two d e c a d e s a f t e r t h e i r o c c u r r e n c e . T h e n a r r a t o r s u g g e s t s t h a t h i s r e c o l l e c t i o n s a r e o c c a s i o n e d b y a n i n a d e q u a c y o f r e s p o n s e t o t h e w o r l d : h e f e e l s t h e n e e d t o r e l i v e t h o s e momen t s o f h i s l i f e " d i e imme r i i b e r m a c h t i g w a r e n , d i e s i c h n i e a u s s c h o p f e n l i e s s e n , d e r e n F o r d e r u n g e n i c h n i e e r f i i l l e n k o n n t e , u n d d i e imme r w e i t e r e W e l l e n k r e i s e i n m i r w a r f e n " ( p . 2 9 1 ) . T h e n a r r a t o r s p e a k s o f t h e s e m o m e n t s f r o m t h e p a s t a s f o r c i n g t h e m s e l v e s i n t o t h e p r e s e n t ( s e e p . 2 9 6 ) . 139 Nonetheless, these moments are not d i r e c t l y accessible to the narrator. The narrator himself has changed, h i s former s e l f having been subsumed by h i s present s e l f . For t h i s reason the narrator's attempt to recover the past i s also a search for the buried aspect of himself. His attempts to r e c o l l e c t the past are further hindered by h i s i n a b i l i t y to gain c l a r i t y as indicated by the fact that h i s early records and papers o f f e r him l i t t l e assistance. Just as the Stockholm of the s i x t i e s contains l i t t l e evidence of the c i t y of two decades ago, when the narrator r e v i s i t s the exhibit of polar bears i n the museum he sees no evidence of the struggle he once perceived there. The recording of the narrator's r e c o l l e c t i o n s therefore necessitates the reconstruction of a second world "ein zweites, eingebildetes Leben, i n dem a l l e s , was verschwommen und unbestimmt war, Deutlichkeit v o r s p i e g e l t " (p. 36). In th i s second world the narrator i s able to recreate "die gebarinte, einmalige S i t u a t i o n , " which serves as a reference point ("Anhaltspunkt") i n a world of fl u x (p. 291). The narrator's freedom to manipulate the objects of h i s experience i s l i m i t e d only by the demands of the present: "ein Jahrzehnt lang, legen s i c h neue Augenblicke dariiber, neue Erfahrungen, und i c h p e i l e s i e aus, verfalsche s i e , benutze s i e fiir meine gegenwartigen Absichten, suche nach Spuren i n ihnen, die i n die heutige Stunde fiihren . . . " (p. 297). The compulsion exercised by the past renders the narrator unable to adequately respond to the world i n the present. The detachment necessary f o r the narrator to experience himself as free and responsible i s f e l t only r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y : 1 4 0 N u r d i e t l b e r l e b e n d e n k e n n e n d i e s e e i n z i g e n g i i l t i g e n , u n v e r a n d e r l i c h e n A u g e n b l i c k e , i c h s e l b s t s t i i r z t e v o n i h n e n w e g , a u f m e i n e r F l u c h t , i i b e r l a d e n v o n m e i n e r U n z u l a n g l i c h k e i t u n d m e i n e m s c h l e c h t e n G e w i s s e n , h a l b t a u b , h a l b b l i n d u n t e r dem S c h u t t d e r V o r u r t e i l e , v e r s e u c h t v o n e i n e m M i l i e u , e i n e r E r z i e h u n g . E r s t i n m e i n e r G e g e n w a r t s c h a l e i c h d e n G e d a n k e n v o n d e r F r e i h e i t d e s H a n d e l n s , v o m A b w e r f e n d e r V e r a n t w o r t u n g a n d e n Z e i t g e s c h n i s s e n , a u s m e i n e n u m g e s t a l t e t e n A u g e n b l i c k e n h e r a u s . ( p . 2 9 3 ) C o n d i t i o n s i m p o s e d b y e n v i r o n m e n t a n d u p b r i n g i n g w e r e s u c h a s t o e f f e c t i v e l y o b s c u r e f r e e d o m a n d r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . T h e n a r r a t o r was l e f t w i t h o n e c h o i c e : f l i g h t . T h e i n s i g h t s o f f r e e d o m a n d r e s p o n s i b i l i t y w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r d e r i v e s f r o m t h e r e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e w o r l d o f h i s e x p e r i e n c e s o c c u r t o o l a t e t o h a v e e f f e c t i v e l y w i d e n e d t h e r a n g e o f c h o i c e s . T h u s , n e i t h e r t h e p r o c e s s o f r e c o l l e c t i o n n o r t h e i n s i g h t s d e r i v e d f r o m t h i s s u r r o g a t e w o r l d , t h i s " E r s a t z f i i r e t w a s V e r l o r e n e s " ( p . 2 9 1 ) , d e f i n e a n e f f e c t i v e r e s p o n s e t o t h e w o r l d . T h e l a s t f l i g h t r e c o u n t e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r i n F l u c h t p u n k t i s h i s t r i p t o P a r i s i n t h e s p r i n g o f 1 9 4 7 , a t t h e a g e o f t h i r t y . I n " D i e P o s i t i o n v o n P e t e r W e i s s i n d e n J a h r e n 1 9 3 7 - 1 9 6 5 u n d d e r P r o s a t e x t P e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s " D i e t e r H e n s i n g o f f e r s a n a n a l y s i s o f t h e c h a n g e i n t h e n a r r a t o r w h i c h i s 9 o c c a s i o n e d b y t h e t r i p t o P a r i s . H e n s i n g v i e w s t h e f o u r i n c i d e n t s — t h e r e a d i n g o f t h e T r o p i c o f C a n c e r , t h e n a r r a t o r ' s r e f l e c t i o n s u p o n a c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h t h e w r i t e r F a n n y , t h e n a r r a t o r ' s r e t u r n t o h i s p a r e n t s ' h o u s e w i t h h i s d a u g h t e r , a n d t h e n a r r a t o r ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e a c t r e s s C o r a — w h i c h i m m e d i a t e l y p r e c e d e t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d e p a r t u r e f o r P a r i s a s l a y i n g t h e g r o u n d w o r k f o r t h e c h a n g e t o f o l l o w ( s e e p . 1 4 0 ) . I a g r e e 141 w i t h H e n s i n g r e g a r d i n g t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e s e f o u r i n c i d e n t s . F o r t h e n a r r a t o r t h e e f f e c t o f r e a d i n g t h e T r o p i c o f C a n c e r i s t o d e n y t h e l e g i t i m a c y o f f o r c e s w h i c h h e h a d e x p e r i e n c e d a s b e y o n d h i s c o n t r o l a n d t o g r a n t p e r m i s s i o n t o e x p l o r e t h o s e a s p e c t s o f h i m s e l f w h i c h h e h a d c o n s i d e r e d t a b u . T h e e f f e c t i s t o r e n d e r t h e w o r l d v u l n e r a b l e a n d t h e s e l f m o r e a c c e s s i b l e . T h e a r g u m e n t b e t w e e n F a n n y a n d t h e n a r r a t o r c o n c e r n s h i s a t t e m p t t o e f f e c t p e r s o n a l c h a n g e t h r o u g h w r i t i n g . F a n n y ' s p o s i t i o n i s t h a t , r e g a r d l e s s o f t h e i n s i g h t s a n d p e r s o n a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n t h e n a r r a t o r a c h i e v e s i n h i s w r i t i n g s , t h e n a r r a t o r ' s a r t i n i t s e l f i s i n c a p a b l e o f b r i n g i n g a b o u t c h a n g e . I n r e g a r d t o t h e p r o b l e m s o f h i s m a r r i a g e , s h e c o n c l u d e s , " A n d e i n e m S c h r e i b t i s c h k l a r s t d u k e i n e n e i n z i g e n K o n f l i k t d e i n e r E h e a u f " ( p . 2 6 1 ) . S h e s u g g e s t s t h a t i f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s m a r r i a g e i s a f a i l u r e t h e o n l y s o l u t i o n i s t o a c t o n t h a t i n s i g h t a n d s e e k a s e p a r a t i o n . T h e n a r r a t o r s e p a r a t e s f r o m h i s w i f e a n d l e a v e s h i s c h i l d w i t h h i s p a r e n t s . T h e n a r r a t o r e x p e r i e n c e s h i s f a m i l y ' s e f f o r t s t o p r o t e c t i t s e l f f r o m t h e w o r l d a s f u t i l e . H i s f i r s t r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h C o r a e n d s u n h a p p i l y b e c a u s e h e i s u n a b l e t o d i s t i n g u i s h b e t w e e n t h e r e a l p e r s o n c a p a b l e o f h uman r e s p o n s e a n d t h e a c t r e s s o n th-k s t a g e . I n e a c h o f t h e s e f o u r i n c i d e n t s i s c o n t a i n e d t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o r n e c e s s i t y o f a n o p e n n e s s t o t h e w o r l d w h i c h w o u l d a l l o w t h e n a r r a t o r t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e w o r l d . H e n s i n g d i v i d e s t h e n a r r a t o r ' s e x p e r i e n c e s i n P a r i s i n t o t w o s e c t i o n s : t h e n a r r a t o r f i r s t e x p e r i e n c e s t h e l o s s o f e v e r y t h i n g w h i c h c o n d i t i o n e d h i s f o r m e r e x i s t e n c e a n d r e a w a k e n s 1 4 2 t o a new s e n s e o f o p e n n e s s t o t h e w o r l d a n d t o t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e w o r l d ( s e e p p . 1 4 6 - 4 9 ) . T h e f i r s t s e c t i o n a p p e a r s t o me t o r e p r e s e n t t h e n a r r a t o r ' s f l i g h t f r o m h i s p e r c e p t i o n s o f h i m s e l f a s t r a p p e d b y h i s e n v i r o n m e n t a n d h i s u p b r i n g i n g . I n t h e s e c o n d s e c t i o n t h e n a r r a t o r a s s u m e s a n i d e n t i t y i n r e g a r d t o p l a c e , i s " a n s a s s i g i n e i n e m L a n d " ( p . 3 0 4 ) , a n d t o t i m e , t h e p r e s e n t . He d i s c o v e r s h i s own l a n g u a g e . I t i s a m e a n s o f s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n i n d e p e n d e n t o f t h e c o u n t r y i n w h i c h h e g r e w u p , a n d h e c o n c l u d e s , " d a s s e s s i c h a u f d e r E r d e l e b e n u n d a r b e i t e n l i e s s u n d d a s s i c h t e i l h a b e n k o n n t e a n ' e i n e m A u s t a u s c h v o n G e d a n k e n , d e r r i n g s u m s t a t t f a n d , a n k e i n L a n d g e b u n d e n " ( p . 3 0 7 ) . H e n s i n g t a k e s i s s u e w i t h t h o s e c r i t i c s who w o u l d c o n f u s e t h e i n c i d e n t s i m m e d i a t e l y l e a d i n g t o t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d e c i s i o n t o l e a v e f o r P a r i s w i t h t h e c h a n g e w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r u n d e r g o e s i n P a r i s . H o w e v e r , t h e r e a p p e a r s t o b e g o o d r e a s o n f o r c o n f u s i o n . I f , a s H e n s i n g s u g g e s t s , t h e f o u r i n c i d e n t s a r e t o b e u n d e r s t o o d a s t h e n a r r a t o r ' s e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e " N o t w e n d i g k e i t , s i c h g e g e n I s o l a t i o n u n d f i i r A n t e i l n a h m e ( w e l c h e r A r t a u c h i m m e r ) z u e n t s c h e i d e n " ( p . 1 4 1 ) , a n d t h e c h a n g e i t s e l f t o b e u n d e r s t o o d a s " O f f n u n g z u r W e l t a l s M o g l i c h k e i t d e r T e i l n a h m e u n d T e i l h a b e " ( p . 1 4 9 ) , t h e n b o t h s t a t e s a r e p r e c o n d i t i o n s f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e w o r l d a n d a r e n o t p a r t i c i p a t i o n i t s e l f . M o r e o v e r , t h e p o s s i b i l i t y f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e w o r l d i s b a s e d u p o n t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d i s c o v e r y o f l a n g u a g e i n d e p e n d e n t f r o m c u l t u r e . T h i s w o u l d s u g g e s t t h a t t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d e c i s i o n i s a p a s s i v e r e s p o n s e t o t h e w o r l d t h r o u g h t h e d i s c o v e r y o f a new m e a n s f o r s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n . 143 Upon writing to Peter Weiss concerning the t i t l e of his novel Liittmann received the following reply: '"FLUCHTPUNKT i s t im geometrischen Sinne gemeint. Die Unendliche in der Perspektive. Weist auf Vergangenheit und Zukunft hin'" (p. 396). In perspective a vanishing point is the point where parallel lines receding from the observer seem to come together. There is a point in which events seem to come together in the past and a point in which events seem to come together in the future: these two points form the same vanishing point. In the beginning of the novel the narrator decides to realize his own freedom by divorcing himself from the world. However, in the course of abnegating his responsibility for the world the narrator becomes a victim of the very world he seeks to escape. The narrator achieves the insight that he is a victim to environment and to conditions over which he has relinquished control. In his f i n a l flight the narrator seeks to escape these insights derived from the experiences of his own victimization. In fleeing these insights,rather than embracing them in action upon the world,the narrator permits no possibility of anything but separation from the past and from important aspects of self. It is this separation which constitutes the narrator's alienation and which defines both his past and future. Otto F. Best in Peter Weiss: Vom existentialistischen Drama  zum marxistischen Welttheater. Eine kritische Bilanz emphasizes the significance of the narrator's disclosure of his dual identity as victim and executioner. The narrator comments upon this dual identity in conversation with Max Bernsdorf in - 144 F l u c h t p u n k t : " D e u t l i c h s a h i c h n u r , d a s s i c h a u f d e r S e i t e d e r V e r f o l g e r u n d H e n k e r s t e h e n k o n n t e . I c h h a t t e d a s Z e u g i n m i r , a n e i n e r E x e k u t i o n t e i l z u n e h m e n " ( p . 1 7 ) . F o r B e s t , t h e c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h i s p r o b l e m i n F l u c h t p u n k t r a i s e s a f u n d a m e n t a l i s s u e o f t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y : " D i e M o g l i c h k e i t z u r n e g a t i v e n D e m a s k i e r u n g i s t dem M e n s c h e n i m m a n e n t u n d i n s e i n e r E x i s t e n z p e r m a n e n t . S i e g e h b r t z um W e s e n u n s e r e r Z i v i l i s a t i o n , d i e i n d e r T a t s a c h e d e s K i s s e n s a u f dem e l e k t r i s c h e n S t u h l e i n e n B e w e i s f i i r H u m a n i t a t s i e h t . " ^ I n B e s t ' s v i e w , W e i s s ' s p o r t r a y a l i n F l u c h t p u n k t o f t h e i d e n t i t y o f v i c t i m a n d e x e c u t i o n e r r e p r e s e n t s a n " O b j e k t i v i e r u n g s u b j e k t i v - p r i v a t e r P r o b l e m a t i k " ( p . 9 ) . A l r e a d y i n t h a t n o v e l b e g i n s f o r B e s t t h e p r o c e s s o f t h e t r a n s p o s i t i o n o f a c o n f l i c t w h i c h i s p s y c h o l o g i c a l i n o r i g i n i n t o t h e r e a l m o f t h e s o c i a l a n d t h e i d e o l o g i c a l , a p r o c e s s w h i c h B e s t v i e w s a s b e c o m i n g i n c r e a s i n g l y e v i d e n t i n W e i s s ' s l a t e r w o r k s ( s e e p . 3 9 ) . H o w e v e r , t h e c u s h i o n o n t h e e l e c t r i c c h a i r h a s n o t h i n g t o do w i t h i n s u r i n g t h e c o m f o r t o f t h e v i c t i m ; i t h a s a g r e a t d e a l t o do w i t h i n s u l a t i n g v i c t i m a n d e x e c u t i o n e r s f r o m t h e p e r c e p t i o n o f o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y . I n v o l v e d i s t h e u s e o f s o c i a l r i t u a l s t o c i r c u m v e n t t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f a n e v e n t s o t h a t h e s i m p l y d o e s n o t p e r c e i v e t h a t w h a t i s h a p p e n i n g i s h a p p e n i n g . T h u s , b o t h v i c t i m a n d e x e c u t i o n e r a r e r e m o v e d f r o m t h e s u b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y o f t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s a n d t h e o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y o f t h e e v e n t i t s e l f . T h e s u p p o s i t i o n t h a t a g r o u p o f i n d i v i d u a l s f a i l s t o p e r c e i v e o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y b e c a u s e i t i s n o t i n i t s b e s t i n t e r e s t t o do s o i s i d e o l o g i c a l . To t h e e x t e n t t h a t H o d e r e r s u g g e s t s t o t h e n a r r a t o r t h a t h e r e f u s e s t o 145 r e c o g n i z e o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y b e c a u s e i t i s n o t i n h i s b e s t i n t e r e s t s a s a member o f t h e m i d d l e c l a s s t o do s o , H o d e r e r ' s a r g u m e n t i s , a s B e s t m a i n t a i n s ( s e e p . 3 4 ) , i d e o l o g i c a l . N o n e t h e l e s s , F l u c h t p u n k t i s t h e r e c o r d o f t h e n a r r a t o r ' s e v a s i o n o f i n s i g h t s a b o u t t h e n a t u r e o f t h e w o r l d , a n e v a s i o n w h i c h l e a d s t o a l i e n a t i o n f r o m t h e s e l f a n d t h e w o r l d . I n d e c i d i n g t o d i v o r c e h i m s e l f f r o m t h e w o r l d t h e n a r r a t o r c h o s e t o c u l t i v a t e t h o s e a s p e c t s o f t h e s e l f w h i c h a l l o w f o r f r e e d o m a n d a u t o n o m y . T h e n e c e s s i t y f o r t h i s d e c i s i o n a r o s e o u t o f h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e w o r l d i n w h i c h t h e c o n s t r a i n t s p l a c e d u p o n h i m b y h i s p a r e n t s a n d e x p e r i e n c e s o f r a n d o m v i o l e n c e c o n s p i r e d t o h i n d e r t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f a n a u t o n o m o u s s e l f . T h e d i l e m m a f a c e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r i s t h a t t h i s f o c u s o n t h e s e l f r e e n a c t s a r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e w o r l d i n w h i c h h e r e m a i n s a v i c t i m . W h a t i s o b j e c t i f i e d i n t h i s p r o c e s s o f r e e n a c t m e n t i s n o t t h e s e l f b u t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e w o r l d . T h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p d e f i n e s t h e " o b j e c t i v e s i t u a t i o n " a n d i s r e i n f o r c e d b y s o c i a l r i t u a l s w h i c h v i c t i m i z e a n d d e h u m a n i z e t h e s e l f . I n t h i s m a n n e r t h e n a r r a t o r i s a l i e n a t e d b o t h f r o m t h e s u b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y o f t h e s e l f i n i t s a s p e c t s o f f r e e d o m a n d a u t o n o m y a n d f r o m t h e o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y o f a w o r l d i n w h i c h h e i s a b l e t o p a r t i c i p a t e b o t h f r e e l y a n d r e s p o n s i b l y . 146 Chapter 4 Das Gesprach der d r e i Gehenderi: the ontology of a l i e n a t i o n Das Gesprach der d r e i Gehenden opens with a b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n of three men, Abel, Babel and Cabel, who having met by chance hold a conversation while out walking. Speaking i n the t h i r d person, the narrator describes not only the physical appearance and a c t i v i t i e s of the three figures but also the thoughts of passers-by concerning them. The presence of an "omniscient author" at the opening of the work i s s i g n i f i c a n t since the remainder of the narration consists s o l e l y of the conversation of the three men. For t h i s reason p a r t i c u l a r attention w i l l be given to the narrator's remarks. The narrator states that the three men speak i n sucession, no one speaking at the same time as another: "Wenn einer sprach schwiegen die beiden andern und hbrten zu oder sahen sich um und hbrten auf anderes, und wenn der eine zuende gesprochen hatte, sprach der zweite, und dann der d r i t t e , und die beiden andern hbrten zu oder dachten an anderes."''" The work i s divided into thirty-one sections which are neither t i t l e d nor numbered but simply divided through spacing. The f i r s t of these sections consists of the narrator's remarks. The remaining sections are written i n the f i r s t person. Since the narrator states that the men are speaking i t i s reasonable to assume that each of the 147 r e m a i n i n g s e c t i o n s r e p r e s e n t s a c o n t r i b u t i o n made b y o n e o f t h e t h r e e f i g u r e s t o t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n . A s t h e t h r e e men n e v e r a d d r e s s e a c h o t h e r b y name a n d t h e r e i s n o i n d i c a t i o n b y t h e n a r r a t o r a s t o t h e i d e n t i t y o f t h e s p e a k e r , i t i s d i f f i c u l t ( a n d s o m e t i m e s i m p o s s i b l e ) t o d e t e r m i n e w h i c h o f t h e t h r e e men i s s p e a k i n g a t a n y g i v e n t i m e . H o w e v e r , t e n o f t h e t h i r t y s e c t i o n s d e a l a l m o s t e x c l u s i v e l y w i t h a f e r r y m a n a n d h i s s i x s o n s w h i c h s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e s e t e n s e c t i o n s a r e s p o k e n b y t h e same m a n . A t l e a s t two o f t h e s e t e n s e c t i o n s a r e d e f i n i t e l y s p o k e n b y t h e same man b e c a u s e i n o n e s e c t i o n ( s e e p . 1 0 1 ) t h e s p e a k e r s t a t e s t h a t h i s e a r l i e r a c c o u n t o f a v i s i t t o t h e f e r r y m a n a n d h i s f a m i l y a t t h e i r home ( s e e p p . 2 3 - 2 4 ) wa s i n c o r r e c t . S i m i l a r l y , o t h e r s e c t i o n s i n t h e w o r k a l s o c o n t a i n r e f e r e n c e s t o e a r l i e r s e c t i o n s : a s p e a k e r r e f e r s t o a c i v i l m a r r i a g e c e r e m o n y ( p . 6 7 ) w h i c h h e h a s d e s c r i b e d e a r l i e r ( p p . 1 9 - 2 1 ) , a s p e a k e r r e f e r s h i s c o m p a n i o n s t o a n i g h t s p e n t o n a n i s l a n d ( p . 1 0 0 ) w h i c h h e h a s e a r l i e r t o l d t h e m a b o u t ( p p . 6 3 - 6 7 ) , a n d a s p e a k e r m e n t i o n s a w h i t e h o u s e h i s f a t h e r e n t e r e d ( p . 1 1 7 ) , a n a p p a r e n t r e f e r e n c e t o t h e w h i t e h o u s e h e t a l k s a b o u t i n r e l a t i o n t o , h i s f a t h e r e a r l i e r i n t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n ( p . 2 4 ) . A n o t h e r a p p a r e n t r e f e r e n c e i s a s p e a k e r ' s a l l u s i o n t o " d a s a n d e r e " ( p . 1 0 7 ) w h i c h a p p e a r s t o r e f e r t o a n e a r l i e r d e s c r i p t i o n o f " d a s a n d e r e " a s p u r s u i n g a n d t o r m e n t i n g h i m ( p . 4 7 ) . T h e l a s t two r e f e r e n c e s m e n t i o n e d a r e b a s e d u p o n a s i m i l a r i t y o f c o n t e n t b e t w e e n t h e d i f f e r e n t s e c t i o n s , i . e . , t h e r e a p p e a r a n c e o f a w h i t e h o u s e a n d t h e r e p e a t e d a l l u s i o n t o " d a s a n d e r e . " I t i s p o s s i b l e t o d i s c e r n o t h e r s i m i l a r i t i e s o f c o n t e n t b e t w e e n s e c t i o n s w h i c h w o u l d make i t p o s s i b l e t o d e t e r m i n e a g r e a t e r n u m b e r o f s e c t i o n s 148 s p o k e n b y t h e s ame p e r s o n . H o w e v e r , a n y p a r a l l e l s b e t w e e n t h e r e m a i n i n g s e c t i o n s a r e n e i t h e r a s p r o n o u n c e d n o r a s c o n c l u s i v e a s t h e o n e s a l r e a d y m e n t i o n e d . F o r e x a m p l e , t h r e e s e c t i o n s c o n t a i n r e f e r e n c e s t o c a r r i a g e s : two a r e d e s c r i p t i o n s o f a n a c c i d e n t i n v o l v i n g a c a r r i a g e r i d e o v e r a b r i d g e , o n e g i v e n b y o n e o f t h e p a s s e n g e r s ( p p . 1 0 - 1 5 ) a n d t h e o t h e r b y a n o b s e r v e r ( p . 7 7 ) , a n d a t h i r d r e f e r s t o t h e a f t e r m a t h o f s u c h a n a c c i d e n t a l t h o u g h t h e p a s s e n g e r s a n d t h e i r s i t u a t i o n s e e m t o b e q u i t e d i f f e r e n t ( p p . 1 1 5 - 1 7 ) . T h e f a c t t h a t t h e s e t h r e e s e c t i o n s c o n t a i n b o t h s i m i l a r a n d d i s s i m i l a r e l e m e n t s u n d e r m i n e s t h e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t t h e y a r e s p o k e n b y t h e same p e r s o n . H e l m u t L i i t t m a n n i n h i s s t u d y o f t h e w o r k t e n t a t i v e l y i d e n t i f i e s t h e s p e a k e r f o r e a c h 2 s e c t i o n . L i i t t m a n n a s u m e s t h a t n o t w o s u c c e s s i v e s e c t i o n s a r e s p o k e n b y t h e same p e r s o n a n d t h u s i s a b l e t o d e r i v e t h e i d e n t i t y o f c e r t a i n s p e a k e r s t h r o u g h a p r o c e s s o f e l i m i n a t i o n . L i i t t m a n n c o n s t r u e s t h e n a r r a t o r ' s r e m a r k t h a t o n e man s p e a k s u n t i l h e h a s f i n i s h e d a n d t h a t t h e n a n o t h e r s p e a k s t o i m p l y t h a t e a c h s e c t i o n m a r k s w h e n a n y o n e s p e a k e r h a s b e g u n a n d f i n i s h e d s p e a k i n g . H o w e v e r , e a c h s e c t i o n i s a l s o s e l f - c o n t a i n e d o r , a s L i i t t m a n n d i s c u s s e s i t , e x h i b i t s " G e s c h l o s s e n h e i t " ( s e e p p . 5 0 1 - 0 7 ) a s i n d i c a t e d b y t h e f a c t t h a t e a c h i n c i d e n t r e l a t e d b y t h e s p e a k e r f o r m s a s e c t i o n w i t h a d e f i n i t e b e g i n n i n g a n d e n d , i . e . , a c a r r i a g e m e e t s w i t h a n a c c i d e n t o n a b r i d g e b u t e v e n t u a l l y r e a c h e s i t s d e s t i n a t i o n , a s p e a k e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f h i s e s t r a n g e m e n t f r o m h i s w i f e a n d s u b s e q u e n t f l i g h t f r o m h i s home e n d s w i t h t h e s p e a k e r ' s j u d g m e n t o n t h e f i n a l i t y o f t h a t e s t r a n g e m e n t . T h e i n c l u s i v e n a t u r e o f e a c h s e c t i o n t h u s m a r k s a c o m p l e t e s t o r y r e l a t e d b y us one of the speakers, a f a c t which does not preclude the same speaker from then turning h i s attention to another topic which would then form another section. In regard to the remark that each man speaks u n t i l he has f i n i s h e d , Liittmann himself interprets t h i s statement by the narrator as formulating a general model f o r the conversation of the three men. A more narrow i n t e r p r e t a t i o n might suggest that the three men speak i n sequence which they do not since already i n the very beginning of the work both the second and fourth sections concern the ferryman and thus may be presumed to be spoken by the same man. Liittmann admits that h i s scheme for determining the i d e n t i t y of each speaker i s only p l a u s i b l e and not to be taken as d e f i n i t i v e l y correct. Thus, while Liittmann's i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the speakers may be a c c u r a t e — i t i s c e r t a i n l y not d i r e c t l y contradicted by the t e x t — i t i s not n e c e s s a r i l y true. What would appear to me to be s i g n i f i c a n t for the work i s that i t consists of a conversation between three men who can be i d e n t i f i e d as speakers at a given time and f o r whom i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s , since the text i t s e l f does not allow for conclusive i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the speakers, nonetheless superfluous. This tension between what i s known and what i s possible applies not only to the format of the conversation but to i t s content as w e l l . The narrator states that the three men speak about what they see and what they have seen: "Sie gingen.und sahen s i c h um und sahen was s i c h zeigte, und s i e sprachen dariiber und iiber anderes was s i c h friiher gezeigt hatte" (p. 7). In f a c t , a l l of what they do see i s r e l a t e d to what they have seen, to the past. For example, one of the men remarks that he 1 5 0 s e e s h i s f a t h e r g o i n g i n t o a w h i t e b u i l d i n g w h i c h i s e i t h e r h i s f a t h e r ' s h o u s e o r p l a c e o f b u s i n e s s . T h e s p e a k e r d e s c r i b e s h i s f a t h e r ' s p a s s a g e t h r o u g h t h e i n t e r i o r o f t h e b u i l d i n g , a d e s c r i p t i o n w h i c h b e c o m e s m o r e a n d m o r e d e t a i l e d a s t h e f a t h e r e n t e r s h i s own a p a r t m e n t s u n t i l t h e l a s t d e t a i l b e c o m e s t h e memory o f t h e f a t h e r e n t e r i n g t h e s p e a k e r ' s r o o m ( s e e p p . 2 4 - 2 6 ) . I t i s o d d t h a t t h e s p e a k e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n s h o u l d b e c o m e m o r e a n d m o r e d e t a i l e d a s t h e e v e n t s d e s c r i b e d b y h i m b e c o m e s l e s s d i r e c t l y a p p r e h e n s i b l e . T h e n e x t s p e a k e r s t a t e s t h a t t h e b u i l d i n g i s r e c e n t , t h u s i m p l y i n g t h a t t h e f i r s t s p e a k e r c o u l d n o t h a v e l i v e d t h e r e a s a c h i l d . A c c o r d i n g t o t h e s e c o n d s p e a k e r , t h e b u i l d i n g m a r k s t h e f o r m e r s i t e o f t h e d o c k s w h e r e t h e f e r r y m a n ' s s o n s u s e d t o w o r k a n d w h e r e g u a r d s p a t r o l l e d a t n i g h t ( s e e p p . 2 6 - 3 0 ) . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t h a t t h e s e c o n d s p e a k e r s h o u l d d o c u m e n t h i s c o n t r a d i c t i o n o f t h e f i r s t s p e a k e r ' s r e m a r k s t h r o u g h a r e f e r e n c e t o t h e f e r r y m a n ' s s o n s . T h e s e c o n d s p e a k e r c l a i m e d e a r l i e r i n t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n t o h a v e h e a r d o f t h e e x i s t e n c e o f t h e f e r r y m a n ' s s o n s w h i l e r i d i n g b a c k a n d f o r t h o n t h e f e r r y j u s t y e s t e r d a y ( s e e p p . 1 5 - 1 9 ) . A s L i i t t m a n n p o i n t s o u t ( s e e p . 4 2 4 ) , i f t h e o t h e r t w o s p e a k e r s a r e c o r r e c t i n m a i n t a i n i n g t h a t t h e b r i d g e o n w h i c h t w o o f t h e s p e a k e r s m e t a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n h a s b e e n i n e x i s t e n c e f o r a l o n g t i m e , t h e n t h e r e w o u l d h a v e b e e n n o n e e d f o r a f e r r y a c r o s s t h e w a t e r . S i m i l a r l y , t h e s e c o n d s p e a k e r c o u l d n o t h a v e t a k e n t h e f e r r y j u s t y e s t e r d a y a n d t h u s c o u l d n o t h a v e h e a r d t h e s t o r y o f t h e f e r r y m a n ' s s i x s o n s . F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e s e c o n d s p e a k e r t w i c e c o n d i t i o n s h i s own s t o r y o f t h e f e r r y m a n a n d h i s s o n s s u g g e s t i n g t h a t h e may n o t 151 h a v e u n d e r s t o o d t h e f e r r y m a n c o r r e c t l y w h e n h e w a s r e c o u n t i n g t h e s t o r y t o h i m a n d t h a t e v e n t h e names h e g i v e s t o t h e s i x s o n s may b e j u s t g u e s s e s . S i m i l a r l y , t h e f i r s t s p e a k e r h a d d e s c r i b e d t h e b u i l d i n g i n t e r m s s u g g e s t i n g t h a t h i s f a t h e r m i g h t h a v e l i v e d t h e r e ( s e e p . 2 5 ) . T h e s e c o n d s p e a k e r ' s a c c o u n t o f t h e d o c k s i s f u r t h e r c o n t r a d i c t e d b y a t h i r d s p e a k e r ' s s t a t e m e n t t h a t t h e r e i s n o w a t c h m a n t h e r e a t n i g h t a n d t h a t h e k n o w s t h a t b e c a u s e h e f l e d t h e r e o n e n i g h t f r o m h i s home ( s e e p . 3 0 ) . T h i s t h i r d s p e a k e r may o r may n o t b e i d e n t i c a l w i t h t h e f i r s t s p e a k e r . T h u s , we a r e g i v e n t h r e e c o n t r a d i c t o r y a c c o u n t s o f t h e p r e s e n t . E a c h s p e a k e r ' s a c c o u n t o f t h e p r e s e n t i s s u p p o r t e d b y i t s r e l a t i o n t o a n e v e n t i n t h e p a s t . F u r t h e r m o r e , e a c h o f t h e s p e a k e r s r e l a t e s t h e p r e s e n t t o h i s own u n i q u e s e t o f e x p e r i e n c e s i n t h e p a s t , n o t t o s h a r e d e x p e r i e n c e s . T h u s , i t i s n o t m e r e l y t h a t p a s t e v e n t s b e c o m e t h e c o n t e x t f o r t h e p r e s e n t , b u t t h a t t h a t c o n t e x t i s u n a b l e t o c o n t a i n t h e p r e s e n t i n i t s f u l l s i g n i f i c a n c e . N o t o n l y a r e p a s t e x p e r i e n c e s r e f e r r e d t o i n o r d e r t o e x p l a i n t h e p r e s e n t b u t t h a t e x p l a n a t i o n i s a l s o c o n t i n u o u s l y made t o a p p e a r a m b i g u o u s . T h e a m b i g u i t y i n v o l v e d i n s u c h e x p l a n a t i o n s may b e c o m e m o r e e v i d e n t i f we c o n s i d e r , f o r e x a m p l e , w h a t i s k n o w n a b o u t t h e w h i t e h o u s e a n d w h a t i s m e r e l y p o s s i b l e . T h e w h i t e h o u s e d o e s e x i s t . We k n o w t h a t a b r i d g e e x i s t s b e c a u s e t h e n a r r a t o r s t a t e s t h a t A b e l a n d B a b e l m e t e a c h o t h e r o n t h e b r i d g e ( s e e p . 7 ) . A n a r g u m e n t o c c u r s a b o u t how l o n g t h e b r i d g e h a s s t o o d j u s t a s t h e r e i s a n a r g u m e n t a b o u t how l o n g t h e w h i t e h o u s e h a s b e e n t h e r e . B e c a u s e we h a v e t h e n a r r a t o r ' s w o r d t h a t t h e b r i d g e e x i s t s i t may b e a s s u m e d b y a n a l o g y t h a t 152 a l l the other things which the three men d i r e c t l y encounter while out walking e x i s t to the same degree. Thus, the man i n the s t r e e t c a r , the cemetery, the procession at the tomb of the unknown s o l d i e r , the r i v e r ' s edge, the entrance to the subway, the o f f i c e b u i l d i n g , and the man entering the white house a l l e x i s t i n the same way i n which the bridge e x i s t s . We also know that the speaker who i d e n t i f i e s the man entering the white house as his father shows the other two men a picture which he claims i s a photograph of h i s father as a young man: the narrator explains that the men carry such documents about with them, "trugen b e i sic h nur was i n den Taschen der Kleidungsstiicke lag, was mit schnellem G r i f f gezeigt und wieder verwahrt werden konnte" (p. 7). However, the narrator i n h i s b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n of the three men furnishes us with no information which would decide the speaker's claim that i t i s his father entering the white house. The photograph along with the d e t a i l s of the speaker's d e s c r i p t i o n merely support the p o s s i b i l i t y that i t i s his father. S i m i l a r l y , the remarks of the second speaker together with that speaker's own lack of certitude and the f a c t that h i s remarks are i n turn contradicted by the other speakers so that h i s remarks appear to both refute and not refute the f i r s t speaker are such as to insure that the f i r s t speaker's remarks remain within the realm of p o s s i b i l i t y only. In other words, we know that a white house exists but we are unable to ascertain i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e ; we do not know what i t means, i f anything. The same speaker describes h i s own p e r p l e x i t y i n regard to the house: 153 D a s H a u s , i n d a s m e i n V a t e r g i n g , d i e s e s g r o s s e w e i s s e H a u s , m i t d e n v i e l e n F e n s t e r n , d i e Wande m i t S t e i n p l a t t e n b e s e t z t , i c h w e i s s n i c h t , w a s i c h v o n d i e s e m H a u s h a l t e n s o i l , w e i s s n i c h t , ob e s s c h o n o d e r h a s s l i c h z u n e n n e n i s t , u n d o b e s s i c h u b e r h a u p t d a r i n l e b e n l a s s t . ( p p . 1 1 7 - 1 8 ) The s p e a k e r p r o c e e d s t o o f f e r p a r a l l e l d e s c r i p t i o n s o f t h e man l e a v i n g t h e h o u s e : o n e m a n , h i s f a t h e r , i s o u t f o r a w a l k , c o n f i d e n t i n h i s a c h i e v e m e n t s ; t h e o t h e r m a n , a l s o h i s f a t h e r , i s t h e p o r t e r , who e n j o y s a f e w c l o s e momen t s w i t h h i s s o n . T h e f a c t t h a t t h e s p e a k e r h a s r e c o u r s e t o t h e p a s t i n o r d e r t o d e a l w i t h h i s p e r p l e x i t y r e g a r d i n g t h e h o u s e s u g g e s t s t h a t h i s r e m i n i s c e n c e s r e p r e s e n t a c o n t i n u a l s e a r c h f o r r e f e r e n c e p o i n t s w i t h w h i c h t o e v a l u a t e t h e p r e s e n t . H o w e v e r , t h e s p e a k e r a l s o s t a t e s t h a t t h e momen t o f c l o s e n e s s w i t h h i s f a t h e r comes u p o n h i m i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h a l l t h e h o u s e s , o f t h e p a s t a n d o f t h e f u t u r e s u g g e s t i n g t h a t h e i s a l s o s e a r c h i n g f o r a c o n n e c t i o n b e t w e e n t h e p a s t a n d t h e p r e s e n t . H o w e v e r , h i s r e c o l l e c t i o n o f t h e p a s t c o n s i s t s o f t w o c o n t r a d i c t o r y i n c i d e n t s . The f a c t t h a t i t i s n o t p o s s i b l e f o r t h e s p e a k e r i n t h e p r e s e n t t o d e c i d e b e t w e e n t h e s e t w o v e r s i o n s o f t h e s t o r y i m p l i e s t h a t n o s u c h c o n n e c t i o n b e t w e e n p a s t a n d p r e s e n t e x i s t s . A t o n e p o i n t t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n b e t w e e n t h e t h r e e men f o c u s e s u p o n a n i n c i d e n t o c c u r r i n g i n t h e p r e s e n t : a s p e a k e r d e s c r i b e s a c e r e m o n y w h i c h L i i t t m a n n i d e n t i f i e s a s t h e p l a c i n g o f a w r e a t h o n t h e tomb o f t h e u n k n o w n s o l d i e r ( s e e p . 4 1 0 ) a n d a s p e a k e r c o m m e n t s o n t h e d i s p e r s a l o f t h e c r o w d a f t e r t h e c e r e m o n y . T h e p r o c e s s i o n i s d e s c r i b e d b y t h e s p e a k e r a s i t a r r i v e s a t t h e t omb w h e r e o n e o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s g i v e s a s p e e c h a f t e r t w o o t h e r s l a y 154 down t h e w r e a t h . T h e p o l i t i c i a n s a r e d e s c r i b e d a s i n f a n t - l i k e , " k l e i n e k o r p u l e n t e H e r r e n m i t g e m a s t e t e n S a u g l i n g g e s i c h t e r n " ( p . 4 9 ) , a n d t h e p u b l i c i s r e d u c e d t o t h e r o l e o f s p e c t a t o r , i s r e f e r r e d t o a s " a l l e s w a s s o n s t n o c h h e r u m s t e h t " ( p . 5 0 ) . T h e s p e a k e r i s u n a b l e t o h e a r t h e p o l i t i c i a n ' s s p e e c h a t t h e t omb a n d f u r n i s h e s a r a t h e r b i z a r r e l i s t o f s u g g e s t i o n s r e g a r d i n g t h e c o n t e n t o f t h e s p e e c h ( s e e p p . 5 0 - 5 1 ) . T h e e f f e c t o f s u c h a d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e r i t u a l i s t o h a v e t h e w h o l e e v e n t a p p e a r a s a g r o t e s q u e h i s t o r i c a l a c c i d e n t . T h i s i s r e i n f o r c e d b y a d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e r i t u a l w i t h o u t r e f e r e n c e t o e v e n t s w h i c h p r e c e d e i t a n d b y a d e s c r i p t i o n w h i c h c o n t i n u a l l y r e f e r s t o t h e d i m i n i s h e d c a p a c i t y o f t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s a n d t h e . o b s e r v e r . T h e r e p e a t e d a l l u s i o n s t o t h e " L e d e r s o l d a t e n " a n d t h e f a c t t h a t t h e s p e a k e r s a r e l e f t i n a " W o I k e v o n b l a u e m G a s " ( p . 5 1 ) s u g g e s t t h a t d e s p i t e i t s a b s u r d i t y t h e r i t u a l i s n o l e s s o m i n o u s . I t i s a c o m p a r a b l e s y n t h e s i s o f a b s u r d i t y a n d v i o l e n c e w h i c h u n d e r l i e s t h e r i t u a l i n v o l v i n g o n e o f t h e s p e a k e r ' s i n d u c t i o n i n t o t h e a r m y a n d w h i c h a l s o a c c o u n t s f o r t h e r i s e o f t h e c a r e e r i s t J a m . J a m , t h e f i r s t o f t h e f e r r y m a n ' s s i x s o n s , h a d b e e n m e n t i o n e d e a r l i e r b y o n e o f t h e s p e a k e r s who d e s c r i b e d h i m a s a k i n d o f g r o t e s q u e r e c e p t a c l e ( s e e p p , 1 5 - 1 6 ) . L i i t t m a n n c o n t r a s t s t h i s e a r l i e r d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e f e r r y m a n ' s s o n s w i t h t h e l a t e r d e p i c t i o n o f J a m t h e c a r e e r i s t a n d c o n c l u d e s t h a t w i t h t h e l a t e r d e p i c t i o n J a m ' s g r o t e s q u e n e s s b e c o m e s i r o n i c f o r t h e f o l l o w i n g r e a s o n : w e i l J a m d o r t a l s e i n e G e s t a l t a u s s e r h a l b j e d e n g e s e l l s c h a f t l i c h e n K o n t e x t e s e r s c h i e n u n d d e s h a l b w i e e i n e p h a n t a s t i s c h e F i g u r w i r k t e , w a h r e n d e r h i e r e i n e h o h e g e s e l l s c h a f t l i c h e P o s i t i o n b e k l e i d e t u n d d i e s e d u r c h d a s H e r v o r h e b e n d e r g r o t e s k e n M e r k m a l e s e i n e s A u s s e r e n g e w i s s e r m a s s e n m i t b e t r o f f e n w i r d . ( p . 5 1 5 ) 155 But the ferryman's f i r s t son does originally appear in a social context: he is a part of the ferryman's family. As a child he appears to be as much involved in the family social rituals as Jum who is constantly being fed desserts and Jym who lives in a crate in the yard. A more obvious reference to the family is given by another speaker who after describing how his mother and father repeatedly beat him concludes, "und wir bildeten eine Familie" (p. 44). Of course, such a reference to the family is ironic and is so precisely because i t implies a definition of the family which renders i t absurd as a meaningful social context. Furthermore, i t would appear to me that the conclusion that the family is a meaningless social context is unavoidable. By assuming that the bizarre set of circumstances by which Jam becomes a receptacle for public honors provides a social context for Jam's career, Liittmann appears to confuse the purely ironic with the factual. The irony of the text is the implication that a social context can be reduced to such absurd sets of circumstances as the family relationships involving the ferryman and his family and also the family of one of the speakers, the r i t u a l placement of the wreath on the tomb of the unknown soldier and the rise of Jam, the careerist. If not in irony, then the notion that these circumstances form a social context at a l l is highly questionable. One of the three speakers describes the dispersal of the crowd after the procession to the tomb of the unknown soldier and remarks, "fast i s t es, als gehorten wir diesem Getriebe an, als seien wir hier zuhause, als kamen wir selbst hier aus 156 i r g e n d e i n e m L o c h , a l s g a b e e s h i e r i r g e n d j e m a n d e n , d e r u n s e r w a r t e " ( p p . 5 8 - 5 9 ) . I n r e g a r d t o t h e s p e a k e r ' s i m p l i e d r e f e r e n c e t o t h e d o o r s o f p e o p l e ' s h o u s e s a s h o l e s i n t h e w a l l t h r o u g h w h i c h t h e y c r a w l o u t , L i i t t m a n n r e m a r k s u p o n t h e " a n t i g e s e l l s c h a f t l i c h e r A f f e k t " o f t h i s u s a g e w h i l e c o n c l u d i n g t h a t t h e s p e a k e r ' s f e e l i n g t h a t h e h i m s e l f c o u l d b e o n e o f t h e s e p e o p l e p o i n t s t o t h e t h r e e m e n ' s " u n l b s b a r e V e r b u n d e n h e i t m i t d e r S o z i e t a t " ( p . 4 0 9 ) . A c c o r d i n g t o L u t t m a n n ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , t h e t h r e e f i g u r e s o f D a s G e s p r a c h d e r d r e i G e h e n d e n a r e m a r g i n a l men , , o u t s i d e r s who e x i s t i n c o n t r a d i c t i o n t o t h e s o c i a l n o r m , b u t who a r e n o n e t h e l e s s d e p e n d e n t u p o n t h e s o c i e t y w h i c h d e f i n e s t h e m a s o u t c a s t s . T h e p r o b l e m i n v o l v e d i n L i i t t m a n n ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s o u r d e p e n d e n c e u p o n t h e t e x t t o p r o v i d e u s w i t h a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e s o c i a l n o r m a n d w i t h a b a s i s o f c o m p a r i s o n b y w h i c h t h e t h r e e f i g u r e s may b e u n d e r s t o o d a s o u t s i d e r s . T h i s d i f f i c u l t y i n v o l v e d i n L u t t m a n n ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n b e c o m e s m o r e a p p a r e n t w h e n we a t t e m p t t o e v a l u a t e t h e t h r e e f i g u r e s i n c o m p a r i s o n t o J a m o r t o t h e c r o w d w h i c h g a p e s a t a n d a p p l a u d s t h e ; p o l i , t i c i a n s : v d u r i n g t h e c e r e m o n y a t t h e t o m b . S i n c e t h e o n l y c o n t e x t we a r e g i v e n f o r J a m a n d f o r t h e c r o w d i s t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n r e l a t i v e l y m e a n i n g l e s s a c t i v i t i e s , i t i s p l a u s i b l e t h a t t h e i r i n v o l v e m e n t i n t h e r i t u a l s o f t h e i r d a i l y l i v e s , t h e i r d e p a r t u r e s a n d d e s t i n a t i o n s , h a v e m e r e l y o b s c u r e d f o r t h e m t h e d i s o r i e n t a t i o n f r o m t i m e a n d s p a c e w h i c h i s i n f a c t t h e n o r m . T h e a s s u m p t i o n t h e n w o u l d b e , i n c o n t r a s t t o L u t t m a n n ' s d e s i g n a t i o n o f t h e t h r e e f i g u r e s a s o u t s i d e r s , t h a t t h e o n l y d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n t h e t h r e e men a n d a n y o n e e l s e i s t h a t t h e y a r e u n i q u e l y c o n s c i o u s o f t h e i r own d i s o r i e n t a t i o n f r o m s p a c e 157 and t ime. The stories related by the three speakers i n the course of their conversation indicate that they experience themselves and others as disoriented or dislocated from space and time. One speaker describes how he returned one day after his father's funeral to discover himself displaced from his own home. He experiences himself i n motion suspended i n time: once when he f i r s t enters the apartment and stands i n the middle of the room just at the point of f l e e i n g , and again after his f l i g h t from the house when he returns and stops i n midstep on the s t a i r s . On the steps outside the door to the apartment the speaker f i r s t concentrates on the det a i l s he can perceive d i r e c t l y : "Ich sah mir die Einzelheiten so genau an, weil ich i n jeder von ihnen noch auf das begehrte Wiedererkennen s t i e s s , ich stand s t i l l , lauschte, vernahm eine siedende S t i l l e , darin ein Platschern und Sickern" (p, 32), He then describes the details of the rooms beyond the door as though the imagining of d e t a i l would render coherent that which i s known to a lesser degree, and place more f u l l y i r i the present that which i s more temporally removed. The speaker's description which becomes more and more detailed as the events described by him become less d i r e c t l y apprehensible i s comparable to his gesture when o r i g i n a l l y entering the apartment before his f l i g h t : "Ich wollte i n diesem Augenblick die unkenntlich gewordene Zeit noch iiberwinden, ich h i e l t immer noch meinen Zeigefinger gehoben, um diese verronnene Zeit f i i r n i c h t i g zu erklaren , . , " (p, 39). Each time he describes his f l i g h t away from the apartment i n terms of a "Geschwindigkeit" by which 158 he experiences himself as f a l l i n g , a d e s c r i p t i o n which implies the passage of time i n the absence of a s p a t i a l component. S i m i l a r l y , both h i s f l i g h t and h i s return to hide i n the woodbox imply the extent to which he f e e l s himself displaced from his home. The speaker's i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of a man on the st r e e t , whom the three men see while conversing, as the man who replaced him at home reveals that the speaker i s attempting to locate h i s i d e n t i t y i n an h i s t o r i c a l context which accounts for the present circumstances. His comments that the nature of his f l i g h t had been to render h i s d i s l o c a t i o n permanent, had indicated "dass das was hi n t e r mir lag nie wieder e r r e i c h t werden konnte" (p. 3 9 ) , would i t s e l f suggest a search on h i s part f o r an understandable past event to account f o r a present predicament. Thus, the speaker not only experiences himself as disl o c a t e d from space and time but i s also seeking a frame of reference which would provide v a l i d a t i o n f o r that experience i n the present. The speaker's story of his f l i g h t from home contains elements which recur throughout Das Gesprach der d r e i Gehenden. The speaker's use of d e t a i l to describe events not d i r e c t l y apprehensible i s analogous to h i s , or another speaker's, d e s c r i p t i o n of the rooms i n the white house and suggests that both are thereby attempting to bridge the past and the present. Another speaker f l e e s h i s household when he i s unable to resolve c e r t a i n d i f f i c u l t i e s i n v o l v i n g h i s wife and c h i l d . The speaker's d e s c r i p t i o n of th i s household focuses on the rearranging of the contents of one cupboard which contains nearly a l l t h e i r 159 p o s s e s s i o n s a n d w h i c h h e c a l l s " d i e s e n r i e s i g e n K l o t z v o n e i n e m S c h r a n k " ( p . 9 2 ) s i n c e i t t a k e s up a t h i r d o f t h e i r l i v i n g s p a c e a n d t h u s l i t e r a l l y a s w e l l a s f i g u r a t i v e l y d i s p l a c e s t h e m f r o m t h e i r h o m e . T h e s p e a k e r ' s m e t i c u l o u s a t t e n t i o n t o t h e d e t a i l s o f t h i s c u p b o a r d , i n t e r m i n a b l e n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h h i s w i f e r e g a r d i n g i t s c o n t e n t s , i . e . , w h i c h p l a t e s t o u s e f o r t h e i r m e a l , w h i c h g l a s s e s , a n d f i n a l l y w h i c h b a n d a g e s t o u s e o n t h e c h i l d , f o r m much o f t h e h u m o r o f t h i s d e p i c t i o n o f t h e h o u s e h o l d . I m p l i e d i n t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e h o u s e h o l d i s t h a t b o t h h u s b a n d a n d w i f e v i e w t h e m s e l v e s l a r g e l y a s v i c t i m s : t h e h u s b a n d p o r t r a y s h i m s e l f a s a v i c t i m t o h i s w i f e ' s i n c e s s a n t d e m a n d s u p o n h i m a n d h i s own i n a b i l i t y t o f u l f i l l t h e m , a n d t h e w i f e — a c c o r d i n g t o h e r v e r s i o n h e r h u s b a n d t h r o w s t h e c o n t e n t s o f t h e c u p b o a r d a t h e r — a s v i c t i m t o h e r h u s b a n d ' s a g g r e s s i o n . S i n c e t h e r e i s n o way o f r e c o n c i l i n g t h e t w o v e r s i o n s o f t h e r u n n i n g o f t h e h o u s e h o l d , t h e i m p l i e d c o n c l u s i o n i s t h a t b o t h a r e v i c t i m t o f o r c e s w h i c h t h e y a r e u n a b l e t o c o n t r o l . S i m i l a r l y , t h e o t h e r s p e a k e r ' s a c c o u n t o f h i s f l i g h t f r o m home w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o t h e " G e s c h w i n d i g k e i t " o f t h a t f l i g h t a n d a c c o m p a n y i n g s e n s a t i o n o f f a l l i n g d e f i n e s h i s f l i g h t n o t a s a d e c i s i o n b u t r a t h e r a s a d i s l o c a t i o n s i n c e i t i m p l i e s n o c a u s a l c o n n e c t i o n w i t h e v e n t s p r e c e d i n g i t . B e c a u s e o f t h e a b s e n c e o f c a u s a l c o n n e c t i o n s i t may b e m o r e a p p r o p r i a t e t o d e s c r i b e t h e s p e a k e r ' s a c c o u n t a s d e f i n i n g a s t a t e o f b e i n g . T h e d e p i c t i o n o f p e r s o n s i n D a s G e s p r a c h d e r d r e i G e h e n d e n a s b e i n g t r a p p e d — i n o n e c a s e a s p e a k e r s u g g e s t s a s a p r o b a b l e r e a s o n f o r h i s f l i g h t " w e i l i c h m i r d r i n n e n i m H a u s w i e i n e i n e r F a l l e v o r k a m " ( p . 6 5 ) ' — b y f o r c e s b e y o n d t h e i r c o n t r o l b e c o m e s m o r e a p p a r e n t i n r e f e r e n c e t o 1 6 0 i n c i d e n t s r e l a t e d b y o t h e r s p e a k e r s . A s p e a k e r d e s c r i b e s how h e w a n d e r s a r o u n d a c i t y f o r s e v e r a l d a y s . He g r a d u a l l y l o s e s h i s s e n s e o f i d e n t i t y . When some men a t t e m p t t o r e v i v e h i m w h i l e h e i s l y i n g n e a r t h e w a t e r ' s e d g e h e f e i g n s u n c o n s c i o u s n e s s s o t h a t t h e y w i l l n o t t h r o w h i m i n t o t h e w a t e r . T h e s p e a k e r ' s p h r a s e " u n d i c h l i e s s a l l e s m i t m i r g e s c h e h n " ( p . 4 2 ) r e p e a t s t h e e x p r e s s i o n u s e d i n r e g a r d t o t h e h o r s e w h i c h i s r e m o v e d f r o m t h e b r i d g e a f t e r t h e a c c i d e n t i n v o l v i n g t h e c a r r i a g e s : " u n d d a s P f e r d l i e s s a l l e s m i t s i c h g e s c h e h n " ( p . 1 2 ) . T h e r e p e t i t i o n o f t h e p h r a s e u s e d i n r e g a r d t o t h e i n j u r e d a n i m a l r e i n f o r c e s t h e p o r t r a y a l o f t h e s p e a k e r a s a v i c t i m . T h i s v i c t i m i z a t i o n t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e i m p l i e d v i o l e n c e o f t h e f i g u r e o f t h e c o a c h m a n a n d t h e r a p i d i t y w i t h w h i c h h e l p a r r i v e s t o c l e a r t h e b r i d g e — t h e m a r s h a l l i n g o f t h e p o l i c e a n d f i r e d e p a r t m e n t s t o c l e a r t h e b r i d g e i s r e m i n i s c e n t o f t h e c o n s p i r a c y o f w o r k m e n a n d g o v e r n m e n t e m p l o y e e s c o n j u r e d up b y o n e o f t h e s p e a k e r s t o e x p l a i n t h e o v e r n i g h t a p p e a r a n c e o f t h e b r i d g e — s u g g e s t t h e e x i s t e n c e o f u n d e r l y i n g f o r c e s o f o r d e r a n d v i o l e n c e . T h e a s s o c i a t i o n o f t h i s o r d e r w i t h v i c t i m i z a t i o n i s r e i n f o r c e d b y t h e c o m i c p o r t r a y a l i n t h e i n c i d e n t o f t h e a c c i d e n t o f t h e c a r r i a g e s w h e r e b y t h e a c t i o n s o f t h e b r i d e ' s p a r e n t s c a n c e l e a c h o t h e r o u t ( s e e p . 1 4 ) . A n o t h e r d e s c r i p t i o n o f a n a c c i d e n t o n t h e b r i d g e d e p i c t s t h e p e o p l e t r a p p e d i n t h e i r v e h i c l e s i n s u c h a m a n n e r a s t o r e n d e r t h e i r s i t u a t i o n a n a l o g o u s t o t h a t o f t h e s p e c t a t o r s a f t e r t h e c e r e m o n y a t t h e t omb o f t h e u n k n o w n s o l d i e r : D a kommen s c h o n d i e S i r e n e n u n d T r i l l e r p f e i f e n , u n d i n d e n F a h r z e u g e n s i t z e n s i e g e d u l d i g a n d e n 161 S t e u e r r a d e r n , d i e Z a h n e z u s a m m e n g e b i s s e n , w i s s e n n o c h n i c h t was g e s c h e h e n i s t , w e r d e n e s n i e e r f a h r e n , s i t z e n n u r u n d w a r t e n , i m a u s s t r o m e n d e n b l a u e n G a s , w a r t e n , u n d w e r d e n i r g e n d w o e r w a r t e t . ( p . 7 7 ) B o t h a r e d e p i c t e d a s v i c t i m s o f m e a n i n g l e s s s o c i a l r i t u a l s . I n r e g a r d t o t h e s p e a k e r ' s f i r s t a c c o u n t o f t h e c a r r i a g e a c c i d e n t o n t h e b r i d g e L i i t t m a n n c o n c l u d e s t h a t t h e s y m m e t r y o f m o v e m e n t s i n v o l v e d i n t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e c o a c h m a n a n d t h e c o l l i s i o n o f t h e c a r r i a g e s a n d i n t h e d e p i c t i o n o f t h e a c t i o n s o f t h e b r i d e ' s p a r e n t s a s c a n c e l l i n g e a c h o t h e r o u t i m p a r t a " Q u a l i t a t d e s A r r a n g i e r t e n u n d K i i n s t l i c h e n " ( p . 5 0 9 ) t o t h e e v e n t s . L i i t t m a n n t r a c e s a s i m i l a r s y m m e t r y i n t h e s p e a k e r ' s v e r s i o n o f t h e c h a o s w h i c h o c c u r s i n t h e o f f i c e ( s e e p p . 8 4 - 8 6 ) w h e r e d e s p i t e t h e s u r r o u n d i n g c h a o s t h e o f f i c e h i e r a r c h y r e m a i n s i n t a c t . A c c o r d i n g t o L i i t t m a n n t h e e f f e c t o f s u c h a s y m m e t r y i n t h i s s c e n e i s t o i n t r o d u c e a n e l e m e n t o f t h e m e c h a n i c a l s o t h a t t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s a p p e a r a s " O b j e k t e d e r s t a n d i g s i c h w e i t e r f o r t e n t w i c k e l n d e n E r e i g n i s s e " ( p . 5 1 1 ) o f t h e o f f i c e " r e v o l t . " T h e s p e a k e r a c t u a l l y p r o v i d e s i n h i s a c c o u n t f i v e v e r s i o n s o f l i f e i n t h e o f f i c e b u i l d i n g : t h e w o r k e r s a r e e n g a g e d i n c o n t i n u a l e f f o r t s t o f o r m r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h o n e a n o t h e r w h i l e t h e o f f i c e w o r k t a k e s c a r e o f i t s e l f ; t h e w o r k e r s a r e e n g a g e d i n d e b i l i t a t i n g d r u d g e r y ; t h e w o r k e r s a r e i n v o l v e d i n f r e n e t i c a c t i v i t y ; t h e w o r k e r s r e v o l t a n d t h r o w a l l t h e p a p e r s a r o u n d t h e o f f i c e ; a n d i n t h e f i n a l v e r s i o n e v e r y o n e a r r i v e s o n t i m e , p e r f o r m s h i s a p p o i n t e d t a s k s a n d l e a v e s . E a c h v e r s i o n s u p e r s e d e s t h e o t h e r a n d t h e r e i s n o r e a s o n t o a s s u m e t h a t t h e f i n a l v e r s i o n h a s a n y m o r e v a l i d i t y t h a n 162 a n y o f t h e o t h e r s . . T he v e r s i o n s a p p e a r t o r e p r e s e n t a n a t t e m p t t o e x h a u s t t h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f l i f e a t t h e o f f i c e . C o n s i d e r i n g L i i t t m a n n ' s c o n t e n t i o n r e g a r d i n g t h e p e r s i s t e n c e o f o r d e r i m p l i e d i n t h e o f f i c e h i e r a r c h y , i t i s p e r h a p s n o t o n l y t h a t t h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s a r e e x h a u s t e d b u t t h a t t h e d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n t h e m a r e f i n a l l y i n c o n s e q u e n t i a l , t h a t e v e r y t h i n g c h a n g e s a n d y e t r e m a i n s t h e s a m e . I n t h e f i f t h v e r s i o n t h e s p e a k e r e m p h a s i z e s t h e h o m o g e n e i t y o f o f f i c e l i f e w h e n h e r e m a r k s , " i c h k a m m o r g e n s p i i n k t l i c h z u m e i n e n P f l i c h t e n , u n d a b e n d s f u h r i c h i m O m n i b u s z u r i i c k , f e s t g e k e i l t e s M i t g l i e d d e s G a n z e n , A r m i n A r m , S c h u l t e r a n S c h u l t e r m i t m e i n e s g l e i c h e n , i m S t r o m d e r S t r a s s e n " ( p . 8 6 ) . T h e s p e a k e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n i s a n a l o g o u s t o a n o t h e r s p e a k e r ' s i m p r e s s i o n o f t h e m o n o t o n o u s g r a z i n g o f t h e c ows a c r o s s t h e f i e l d a t t h e f e r r y m a n ' s f a r m ( s e e p p . 2 2 - 2 3 ) . T h e s p e a k e r ' s l a t e r r e f e r e n c e t o t h e c o w s i n t h e f i e l d i n t e r m s o f t h e i r s e p a r a t i o n f r o m t h e i r c a l v e s l e n d s a d i m e n s i o n o f c r u e l t y t o t h i s i m a g e ( s e e p . 1 0 2 ) . T h i s d i m e n s i o n o f c r u e l t y a n d v i o l e n c e i s p e r h a p s m o s t e v i d e n t i n t h e s p e a k e r ' s e x p e r i e n c e o f " d a s A n d e r e " a s p u r s u i n g a n d t o r m e n t i n g h i m . T h e s p e a k e r d e s c r i b e s h i s i m p r i s o n m e n t a n d i m a g i n e s t h a t h e i s b u r i e d a l i v e : " U n d w e n n man m i c h l e b e n d i g v e r s c h a r r t e , w i e s o l l t e i c h d a a u s d e r E r d e h e r a u s k o m m e n , Z e n t n e r v o n E r d e i i b e r m i r , m e i n Mund v o l l E r d e " ( p . 4 8 ) . He i s h a u n t e d b y s u c h i m a g e s a n d i m a g i n e s t h a t e v e n w h e n h e f e e l s h i m s e l f f r e e h e i s s t i l l i n t h e p o w e r o f h i s t o r m e n t o r s ( s e e p . 4 9 ) . A s h e e x p e r i e n c e d h i m s e l f b u r i e d a l i v e s o h e a l s o e x p e r i e n c e s h i m s e l f i n t h e m i d s t o f d i s m e m b e r e d . 163 b o d i e s . He a t t e m p t s t o m a s t e r t h e s i t u a t i o n t h r o u g h a w r i t t e n d e s c r i p t i o n b u t i s o n l y a b l e t o p r o d u c e a l i s t o f p h o n e t i c w o r d s , a s p e e c h w i t h o u t d e f i n i t e s e n s e o r r e f e r e n c e . I n t h i s m a n n e r h i s a t t e m p t s a t l a n g u a g e c o n f o r m t o t h e d i s c o n n e c t e d n a t u r e o f h i s e x p e r i e n c e . T h e s p e a k e r ' s d e p i c t i o n o f h i m s e l f a s h a v i n g b e e n c o n s i g n e d t o a m a s s g r a v e w h i l e p r o v i d i n g h i s e x p e r i e n c e w i t h a n i m a g i n a r y c o n t e x t r e n d e r s t h e e x p e r i e n c e n o l e s s i n c o m p r e h e n s i b l e f o r h i m . W h i l e t h e s p e a k e r h a s b e e n i m a g i n i n g t h e d e t a i l s o f t h i s m a s s g r a v e h e h a s b e e n l y i n g i n h i s r o o m . He g e t s u p t o f i n d o u t t h a t h i s t e l e p h o n e l i n e i s d e a d . W h a t p r o c e e d s i s a c o m i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n o f how h e i s r e f e r r e d f r o m w o r k m a n t o f o r e m a n t o t e l e p h o n e c o m p a n y o f f i c i a l s t o t h e m a i n o f f i c e t o t r y t o r e s o l v e h i s p r e d i c a m e n t . T h e s p e a k e r s t a t e s t h a t h e f i n a l l y g i v e s u p a l l a t t e m p t s t o h a v e s e r v i c e r e s t o r e d a n d r e t u r n s t o h i s r o o m "wo i c h d i e L a g e d e s g e r i n g s t e n W i d e r s t a n d s w i e d e r a u f n a h m , u n d d a s V e r g e h e n d e s T a g e s e r w a r t e t e " ( p . 1 1 5 ) . I t i s p e c u l i a r t h a t t h e s p e a k e r s h o u l d t u r n f r o m a d e p i c t i o n o f m a s s g r a v e s t o a n a n e c d o t e o f b u r e a u c r a t i c i n e f f i c i e n c y . I t i s a s t h o u g h i n some s t r a n g e w a y t h i s f o r c e w h i c h t h r e a t e n s t h e s p e a k e r w i t h e x t i n c t i o n p e r m e a t e d a l l f a c e t s o f e x i s t e n c e s o t h a t i n c i d e n t s w h i c h a r e p o r t r a y e d a s r e l a t i v e l y c o m i c a l l i k e t h e s p e a k e r ' s d i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h h i s t e l e p h o n e o r t h e h i e r a r c h y i n t h e o f f i c e o r t h e c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h t h e c u p b o a r d a r e n o n e t h e l e s s s u p p o r t e d b y t h i s same u n d e r l y i n g m a l e v o l e n t f o r c e . A s i m i l a r p a t t e r n i s t o b e d i s c e r n e d i n t h e i n c i d e n t s i n v o l v i n g t h e f e r r y m a n a n d h i s f a m i l y . T h e s t o r y o f t h e f e r r y m a n i s l a r g e l y o n e o f a b r u p t 164 d i s l o c a t i o n . T h e f e r r y m a n who o p e r a t e s h i s f e r r y a c c o r d i n g t o t h e c l o c k l e a v i n g s h o r e a t a c e r t a i n t i m e " g l e i c h g u l t i g ob F a h r g a s t e e i n g e s t i e g e n w a r e n o d e r n i c h t , ob F a h r g a s t e am g e g e n i i b e r l i e g e n d e n U f e r w a r t e t e n o d e r n i c h t " ( p . 1 0 ) i s h i m s e l f d i s p l a c e d i n t i m e . T h e b r i d g e r e n d e r s t h e f e r r y a n a n a c h r o n i s m a n d t h e a b s u r d c l a i m b y t h e s p e a k e r t h a t i t i s t h e f e r r y m a n whom h e s e e s a t t h e w h e e l o f t h e s t r e e t c a r m e r e l y s e r v e s t o e m p h a s i z e t h a t t h e r e i s n o c o n t i n u i t y b e t w e e n t h e p a s t a n d t h e f u t u r e . S i m i l a r l y , t h e s t o r y r e l a t e d b y t h e s p e a k e r o f J u m i n b e d i n " S t a u b w o l k e n " ( p . 1 0 3 ) a s t h e h i g h r i s e s a r e c o n s t r u c t e d a t t h e o r i g i n a l s i t e o f t h e f e r r y m a n ' s h o u s e s o t h a t J u m ' s b e d r e m a i n s l o o k i n g o u t o v e r t h e o f f i c e s o f t h e t e l e g r a p h a g e n c y r e p r e s e n t s a g r o t e s q u e a t t e m p t t o a s s i m i l a t e e l e m e n t s o f t h e p a s t i n t o t h e p r e s e n t w h i c h i n f a c t b e a r n o r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e p r e s e n t . I t i s a s t h o u g h t h e s p e a k e r t h r o u g h h i s r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e f e r r y m a n i n t h e s t r e e t c a r o r J o m a t t h e s u b w a y s t a t i o n o r h i s p o s i t i o n i n g o f J u m i n t h e m i d s t o f t h e h i g h r i s e s w e r e a b l e t o t h u s h o l d o n t o w h a t h a s p r o v i d e d m e a n i n g f o r h i m i n t h e p a s t t h e r e b y k e e p i n g t r a c k o f h i s own i d e n t i t y . F o r i t i s n o t o n l y t h e f e r r y m a n a n d h i s f a m i l y w h i c h a r e d i s l o c a t e d b u t t h e s p e a k e r a s w e l l : i n t h e f i n a l s c e n e i n v o l v i n g t h e f e r r y m a n a n d h i s f a m i l y n o t o n l y h a v e t h e f e r r y m a n a n d h i s w i f e b e e n v i o l e n t l y e j e c t e d f r o m t h e i r h o u s e b u t t h e s p e a k e r who o n c e i m a g i n e d h i m s e l f a s a w e l c o m e g u e s t a t t h e i r home i s r e l e g a t e d t o w a t c h i n g f r o m t h e f e n c e . L i i t t m a n n d e s c r i b e s t h e s p e a k e r who i s c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e f e r r y m a n a n d h i s f a m i l y a n d whom L i i t t m a n n i d e n t i f i e s a s A b e l 165 a s a t t e m p t i n g t h r o u g h t h e s e s t o r i e s t o r e c a p t u r e t h e h a p p i n e s s o f h i s c h i l d h o o d : D e m e n t s p r e c h e n d i s t d i e T a t s a c h e , d a s s A f a s t a u s s c h l i e s s l i c h i i b e r d e n F a h r m a n n u n d d e s s e n U m k r e i s s p r i c h t , h b c h s t w a h r s c h e i n l i c h e i n I n d i z d a f i i r , d a s s e r b e i m S p r e c h e n d i e G l i i c k h a f t i g k e i t s e i n e r K i n d h e i t , d i e e r i n d i e s e m B e z i r k e r f a h r e n h a t , w i e d e r z u g e w i n n e n v e r s u c h t . ( p . 5 3 3 ) I n c o n t r a s t t o A b e l who h a d a h a p p y c h i l d h o o d e v e n i f h i s e f f o r t s t o r e c o v e r t h i s c h i l d h o o d a r e d i s a s t r o u s , L i i t t m a n n r e g a r d s B a b e l a n d C a b e l f r o m t h e s t a n d p o i n t o f t h e i r t r a u m a t i c c h i l d h o o d s ( s e e p . 5 3 9 ) . L i i t t m a n n ' s p s y c h o l o g i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n f o r t h e b e h a v i o r o f t h e t h r e e f i g u r e s i m p l i e s t h a t t h e s e t h r e e m e n may b e e v a l u a t e d a s c h a r a c t e r s . H o w e v e r , a s i n a f i l m w h e r e a s e q u e n c e o f d i s c r e t e m o m e n t s f o r m s t h e i l l u s i o n o f m o t i o n , s o i n D a s G e s p r a c h d e r d r e i G e h e n d e n a s e r i e s o f d i s c r e t e momen t s r a p i d l y p i l e d o n t o p o f o n e a n o t h e r o n l y a p p e a r s t o d e v e l o p " c h a r a c t e r s , " A s I h a v e a l r e a d y s u g g e s t e d i n r e g a r d t o t h e i n c l u s i v e n e s s o f e a c h s e c t i o n o f t h e w o r k a n d t o t h e f a c t t h a t i t i s b o t h p o s s i b l e a n d s u p e r f l u o u s t o i d e n t i f y t h e s p e a k e r s f o r e a c h o f t h e s e s e c t i o n s , e a c h o n e o f t h e s e m o m e n t s i s b o t h i n d i v i d u a l l y d i s t i n c t y e t i n t e r c h a n g e a b l e . F o r t h e s e r e a s o n s a n d b e c a u s e I d o n o t f i n d i t p o s s i b l e t o d i s c e r n a n y c a u s a l c o n n e c t i o n s b e t w e e n t h e e p i s o d e s o r w i t h i n a n y o n e e p i s o d e i t may b e m o r e a p p r o p r i a t e t o s p e a k o f t h e s e c t i o n s a s d e s c r i b i n g f e a t u r e s o f o n t o l o g i c a l s t a t e s o f b e i n g . A n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e i w o r k a s b e i n g c o m p o s e d o f e l e m e n t s w h i c h a r e b o t h , d i s c r e t e a n d i n t e r c h a n g e a b l e e m p h a s i z e s t h e f r a g m e n t a r y 166 nature of the work and in this context i t is possible to draw a parallel between the work and film. In "Literature in the Vicinity of the Film: On German and riouveau roman Authors" Hans-Bernhard Moeller identifies "the cutting process. . , fragmentation," as a predominant cinematic structure which . n . 3 occurs in literature. In regard to the three figures of Das Gesprach der drei Gehenden who look alike and whose names are so similar, Weiss apparently is saying that these three men regardless of—not because of, since that would imply a causal connection—the uniqueness of their experiences are the same. To say that there is no causal connection is to say that there is no context, that the three figures are presented asocially and ahistorically. The three men in their recollections of the past are involved in a continual search for reference points with which to establish their identity in the present by finding similarity between what is and what was. However, they experience only discontinuity and their own dislocation from space and time. Weiss seems to be saying that alienation is a universal condition of our time. There is no bridge between the past, present, and future. It is not so much that there is no connection of this kind between past and present and therefore there is alienation, as i t is that the twentieth century is alienating so there is no connection. Because no such connection exists, any attempt to relate the past to the present seems absurd. Nowhere is the alienation of the three figures and other persons depicted in Das Gesprach der drei Gehenden more evident than in the portrayal of social r i t u a l s . It may be assumed that 167 r i t u a l s s u c h a s t h e s e a r e u s e d r e p e t i t i v e l y t h r o u g h o u t t h e t e x t t o d e p i c t o m i n o u s o c c a s i o n s i n w h i c h i n d i v i d u a l s s e e m t o b e p a s s i v e v i c t i m s o f c i r c u m s t a n c e s b e y o n d t h e i r c o n t r o l . I t i s p o s s i b l e t o a r g u e , h o w e v e r , t h a t r i t u a l s a r e u s e d b e c a u s e t h e y t h e m s e l v e s i m p l y s o c i a l f o r m s i n w h i c h i n d i v i d u a l s — r e g a r d l e s s o f t h e r i t u a l — a r e s u b o r d i n a t e t o t h e s o c i a l f o r m . U n d e r o r d i n a r y c i r c u m s t a n c e s s u c h r i t u a l s c o n v e y s o c i a l m e a n i n g f r o m w h i c h t h e i n d i v i d u a l who s u b o r d i n a t e s h i m s e l f a p p r e h e n d s c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f h i m s e l f i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e r i t u a l a c t . I t i s t h i s r e l a t i o n a l  c o n s c i o u s n e s s w h i c h may b e c a l l e d s o c i a l c o n t e x t . H o w e v e r , i n W e i s s t h e g r o t e s q u e n e s s o f t h e r i t u a l s r e v e a l s t h e i r e m p t i n e s s a s i n t h e c a s e o f t h e p r o c e s s i o n a t t h e t omb o f t h e u n k n o w n s o l d i e r o r t h e p e o p l e w a i t i n g i n t h e i r v e h i c l e s o n t h e b r i d g e . I n d i v i d u a l a p p r e h e n s i o n o f s o c i a l m e a n i n g i s n o t d e r i v e d b y t h o s e p a r t i c i p a t i n g . T h e f i g u r e s f i n d t h e m s e l v e s s u b o r d i n a t e v i c t i m s , d e v o i d o f s o c i a l c o n t e x t . T h i s v o i d i s r e g u l a r l y d e s c r i b e d a s a f o r m o f b e t r a y a l a s , f o r e x a m p l e ; i n t h e c a s e o f t h e s p e a k e r who f e e l s r e p l a c e d i n h i s own h o m e , a s w e l l a s d i s l o c a t i o n i n w h i c h t h e r i t u a l v i c t i m s s e a r c h f o r t h e a n t e c e d e n t c a u s e s o r e v e n t s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e i r c o n d i t i o n a s w h e n t h e s p e a k e r i d e n t i f i e s t h e man i n t h e s t r e e t a s t h e man who r e p l a c e d h i m . H o w e v e r , n o s u c h c a u s a l r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t s a n d t h e s e a r c h o f t h e t h r e e f i g u r e s i s a p p a r e n t l y e n d l e s s a s i n d i c a t e d i n t h e s h i f t i n t e n s e a t t h e e n d o f t h e w o r k w h e n t h e s p e a k e r r e f e r s t o t h e p r e s e n t "wo w i r j e t z t g e h e n , wo w i r g e h e n g e h e n g e h e n " ( p . 1 2 3 ) . I t i s i n t h i s s e n s e t h a t D a s G e s p r a c h d e r d r e i G e h e n d e n i s a p o r t r a y a l o f t h e o n t o l o g y o f a l i e n a t i o n . 168 Chapter 5 Die Asthetik des Widerstands: the ideology of alienation In "Tua res agitur. Zur Asthetik des Widerstands von Peter Weiss," Helmut Miissener draws a relationship between this latest work by Weiss and the earlier prose works, Abschied von den Eltern and Fluchtpunkt: "Mit diesem Buch kehrt Peter Weiss nach zahlreichen Dramen zu der einst auch von ihm bevorzugten episehen Form zuriick, in der er vor mehr als zehn Jahren . . . erste grossere Erfolge e r z i e l t e . T h e basis of comparison between Die A s t h e t i k des  Widerstands, which Miissener calls a "'Wunschbiographie,'" (appropriating Weiss's term for the work) and the two earlier prose works becomes clear when Miissener refers to the former works as "'Autobiographien, ' die nicht nur fiir die Eingeweihten notdiirftig getarnt waren und 'wirkliche' Personen und Geschehnisse aus der privaten Umwelt ihres Verfassers zum Gegenstand hatten" (p. 126). At this point i t seems appropriate to consider the question of the autobiographical nature of Weiss's prose works. Weiss himself states that in Die A s t h e t i k des Widerstands he was concerned with the following question: "Wie ware ich geworden, wie hatte ich mich entwickelt, wenn ich nicht aus biirgerlich-kleinbiirgerlichem Milieu kame, sondern aus 169 2 p r o l e t a r i s c h e m ? " T h e n a r r a t o r o f D i e Asthetik d e s W i d e r s t a n d s i s b o r n i n B r e m e n o n N o v e m b e r 8 , 1 9 1 7 , t h e y e a r of t h e O c t o b e r R e v o l u t i o n , e x a c t l y o n e y e a r l a t e r t h a n P e t e r W e i s s a n d t h e n a r r a t o r s o f A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n a n d F l u c h t p u n k t , E v e n i f we a r e t o c o n s i d e r t h a t i n D i e A s t h e t i k d e s W i d e r s t a n d s P e t e r W e i s s i s r e c o n s t r u c t i n g h i s l i f e a c c o r d i n g t o a n i d e o l o g i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e , s u c h a n a s s u m p t i o n d o e s n o t e x c l u d e t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n a n d F l u c h t p u n k t a l s o i n v o l v e a r e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e a u t h o r ' s l i f e . T h e r e c o n s t r u c t i o n i n t h e e a r l i e r w o r k s i n t h e i r e m p h a s i s u p o n i n d i v i d u a l f u l f i l l m e n t a p a r t f r o m ( i f n o t d e s p i t e ) t h e h i s t o r i c a l a n d s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n may b e c o n s t r u e d t o b e i d e o l o g i c a l a s w e l l , a l t h o u g h t h e i d e o l o g y w o u l d b e f a r d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h a t i n D i e A s t h e t i k d e s W i d e r s t a n d s i n i t s e m p h a s i s u p o n s o c i a l a n d e c o n o m i c f a c t o r s a s t h e y d e t e r m i n e i n d i v i d u a l a n d h i s t o r i c a l d e v e l o p m e n t . I n a l l t h r e e p r o s e w o r k s , i f W e i s s i s r e c o u n t i n g h i s l i f e a t a l l , h e i s d o i n g s o i n t h e g u i s e o f a f i c t i t i o u s c h a r a c t e r who a p p e a r s i n a l i m i t e d w o r l d . E a c h w o r k t h u s i n v o l v e s i t s own p a r t i c u l a r p e r s p e c t i v e o f W e i s s ' s l i f e . S i n c e e i t h e r p e r s p e c t i v e — w h e t h e r i t b e t h e e m p h a s i s u p o n t h e i n d i v i d u a l i n A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n a n d F l u c h t p u n k t o r u p o n s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n i n D i e Asthetik d e s W i d e r s t a n d s — m a y b e d e f i n e d a s i d e o l o g i c a l i f o n e c h o o s e s to do s o , t h e d e s i g n a t i o n o f t h e l a t e s t w o r k as a " W u n s c h b i o g r a p h i e " as o p p o s e d to t h e e a r l i e r w o r k s as " ' A u t o b i o g r a p h i e n ' " a p p e a r s to d r a w a r a t h e r a r b i t r a r y d i s t i n c t i o n : e i t h e r c a s e , b e c a u s e i t i n v o l v e s t h e r e c o u n t i n g of t h e a u t h o r ' s l i f e a c c o r d i n g to a l i m i t e d p e r s p e c t i v e , e n t a i l s s e l e c t i o n a n d c h o i c e , w h e t h e r or n o t t h a t c h o i c e i n v o l v e s i d e o l o g y as a 170 s e l f - c o n s c i o u s d e c i s i o n , W e i s s h i m s e l f h a s s u g g e s t e d a n i d e o l o g i c a l e v a l u a t i o n o f h i s e a r l i e r w o r k s : I c h k o n n t e w e i t e r i n e i n e r G e s e l l s c h a f t l e b e n , k o n n t e s i e k r i t i s i e r e n u n d w a r e a k z e p t i e r t , b i s i c h m e i n e n S t a n d p u n k t k l a r l e g t e , d a s s i c h m i c h f i i r e i n e a n d e r e A l t e r n a t i v e e n t s c h i e d e n h a t t e . D a n n a b e r w i i r d e s i c h d i e S i t u a t i o n M n d e r n , J e n e , d i e m e i n e n h a r t e s t e n E x p e r i m e n t e n a p p l a u d i e r t h a t t e n , j e n e , d e n e n d e r E x h i b i t i o n i s m u s m e i n e r V e r z w e i f l u n g g e f a l i e n h a t t e , w i i r d e n s a g e n , d a s s ^ c h j e t z t s c h w a c h e r w i i r d e , d a s s m e i n e K u n s t n a c h l i e s s e . O f c o u r s e , o n e m i g h t m a i n t a i n t h a t t h e w o r k s may b e e v a l u a t e d i n t e r m s o t h e r t h a n i d e o l o g i c a l . I n c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h W i l h e l m G i r n u s a n d W e r n e r M i t t e n z w e i , W e i s s a p p e a r s t o s u g g e s t t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a r e f e r e n c e p o i n t w h i c h p r e s u m a b l y i s n o t i d e o l o g i c a l w h e n h e s t a t e s t h e f o l l o w i n g i n d e f e n s e o f B e c k e t t : E s i s t s c h w e r z u s a g e n . I c h f i n d e , j e d e r a r b e i t e t a n d e r s . I c h g l a u b e , f i i r B e c k e t t g i b t e s d i e s e B e s e s s e n h e i t v o n e i n e r g a n z b e s t i m m t e n V i s i o n , d i e d o c h a u f e i n e m k i i n s t l e r i s e h e n N i v e a u s t e h t , d a s a b s o l u t i i b e r l e g e n i s t dem m e i s t e n , was s o n s t i n d e r w e s t l i c h e n G e g e n w a r t i i b e r d e n Z u s t a n d d e r G e s e l l s c h a f t a u s g e s a g t w i r d . E i n e p l b t z l i c h e U m d r e h u n g z u m a c h e n , z u s a g e n : A l s o j e t z t z e i g e i c h e u c h , w i e d i e W e l t n a c h m e i n e m G l a u b e n s e i n m u s s t e , w i e s i e v e r a n d e r t w e r d e n k o n n t e , d a s w i l l e b e n n i c h t j e d e r u n d k a n n e b e n n i c h t j e d e r . D a s m u s s man a u c h j g d e m K i i n s t l e r i i b e r l a s s e n , w i e w e i t e r d a g e h e n w i l l . T h e i m p l i e d a s s u m p t i o n i n v o l v e d i n W e i s s ' s d e f e n s e o f B e c k e t t i s t h a t t h e c o n c e r n s o f t h e a r t i s t t o a c e r t a i n e x t e n t e x i s t i n a m a n n e r w h i c h i s i n d e p e n d e n t o f i d e o l o g y o r a t l e a s t o f i d e o l o g i c a l c o m m i t m e n t . W e i s s ' s d e f e n s e o f B e c k e t t i s a l s o i n t e r e s t i n g b e c a u s e o f t h e p a r a l l e l s w h i c h may b e d r a w n b e t w e e n B e c k e t t ' s w o r k s a n d W e i s s ' s own w o r k s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n r e g a r d t o D a s G e s p r a c h d e r d r e i Gehenden .~* T h e p r o b l e m i n v o l v e d i n v i e w i n g W e i s s ' s w o r k s f r o m a n i d e o l o g i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e c o n c e r n s t h e 171 inclusiveness of ideology: once one begins to exercise judgment according to an ideological perspective i t becomes d i f f i c u l t to suspend judgment according to that perspective without involving oneself, as Weiss does in the case of his defense of Beckett, in a contradiction. The designation of Die Asthetik des Widerstands as a "Wunschbiographie,11 concerned with the story of the l i f e of a person other than Weiss, and of Abschied von den Eltern and Fluchtpunkt as "Autobiographien,11 concerned with the story of Weiss's l i f e , appears to me to involve a similar contradiction. Weiss's statement regarding the public reception of his works implies that he feels his earlier works receive favorable criticism because they express a view of the world which is ideologically compatible with that of his c r i t i c s . If the earlier works are to be viewed on that basis—from such an ideological perspective—then we may assume that these works involved a reconstruction of the l i f e of the author in a manner which expresses this ideology. Abschied von den Eltern and Fluchtpunkt would thus also have to be considered as Wunschbiographien in which the author depicted his l i f e from the perspective of the ideology which he held at that time. For Weiss to imply that the earlier works were not ideological would place him in a contradiction similar to that in which he involved himself in his defense of Beckett. Weiss's evaluation of Beckett involves an affirmation of the value of the authenticity of the artist's experiences. The judgment implicit in the characterization of the earlier prose works as Autobiographien is that they involve a portrayal of the "authentic" Peter Weiss as he exists apart from 172 ideological considerations. This contradiction is revealed by the fact that Weiss, in Die Asthetik des Widerstands, places himself in a working class milieu in order to ascertain the effect of that milieu on his character. This assumes that the "real" Peter Weiss is the subject of this experiment, a subject who should be considered to be identical to that which appeared in the middle class milieu of the two earlier works and who expressed values which were compatible with those of his c r i t i c s . If Weiss's contention that the difference between the three works is defined by the difference in social milieu is to be accepted, then the "real" Peter Weiss must be assumed to be equally present in a l l the works. Abschied von den Eltern and Fluchtpunkt may be understood to be autobiographical works in the sense that incidents and characters are drawn from the author's own experiences. Weiss himself says as much in response to Girnus' question as to whether the two works are "stark autobiographische Werke": Ja, das kann man sagen, sie sind aufgebaut aus autobiographischen Stoffen. Ich habe darin versucht, die Situation der Emigration, die ja fiir meine ganze Entwicklung wesentlich war, auszudriicken, die Situation von jemandem, der aus seinem natiirlichen Milieu herausgesprengt wurde und der also versuchen muss, in dieser Randexistgnz einen Standpunkt zu finden. Das war sehr schwer. However, Weiss's abstraction of the question from his own l i f e to "die Situation der Emigration" suggests that the problem of 1 7 3 t h e a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l n a t u r e o f h i s w o r k s i s m o r e c o m p l e x t h a n w o u l d b e i m p l i e d b y a s i m p l e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f t h e n a r r a t o r w i t h W e i s s . A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n a n d F l u c h t p u n k t b o t h c o n t a i n r e f e r e n c e s t o a c t u a l h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t s a n d p e r s o n s , i . e . , t o t h e " S t r a s s e n k a m p f e " o f 1 9 1 8 o r 1 9 1 9 i n A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n a n d t o t h e s t a t u s o f G e r m a n - s p e a k i n g i m m i g r a n t s b e t w e e n 1 9 3 3 a n d 1 9 4 5 i n S w e d e n i n F l u c h t p u n k t . W o r k s o f a r t a n d l i t e r a t u r e , s u c h a s K a f k a ' s n o v e l s i n F l u c h t p u n k t , a r e a l s o m e n t i o n e d i n t h e t e x t s . T h e t w o w o r k s c o n t a i n v e i l e d r e f e r e n c e s , w h i c h M i i s s e n e r t e r m s " n o t d i i r f t i g g e t a r n t , " t o H e r m a n n H e s s e ( H a l l e r i n A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n ) a n d t o Max H o d a n n ( H o d e r e r i n F l u c h t p u n k t ) . T h e n a r r a t o r ' s u n p l e a s a n t t r i p b a c k t o G e r m a n y a f t e r t h e w a r i n F l u c h t p u n k t c o r r e s p o n d s t o W e i s s ' s r e t u r n t o G e r m a n y i n 1 9 4 7 . ^ A n i n c i d e n t f r o m W e i s s ' s l i f e w h i c h e v e n m o r e u n m i s t a k a b l y p a r a l l e l s a n i n c i d e n t i n F l u c h t p u n k t i n v o l v e s t h e n a r r a t o r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f o n e o f h i s p a i n t i n g s i n w h i c h h e h i m s e l f i s d e p i c t e d " z w i s c h e n d e n K o n z e r t i e r e n d e n i m G a r t e n am C e m b a l o s i t z e n , m i t e n t s t e l l t e m G e s i c h t s a u s d r u c k , a l s I n s a s s e e i n e s I r r e n h a u s e s " ( p . 4 1 ) . A c c o r d i n g t o M a n f r e d H a i d u k , t h e p a i n t i n g w h i c h c o r r e s p o n d s t o t h e o n e d e s c r i b e d b y t h e n a r r a t o r i n F l u c h t p u n k t a c t u a l l y e x i s t s ; a s a m a t t e r o f f a c t , W e i s s s t i l l g h a s i t i n h i s p o s s e s s i o n . B e s t r e g a r d s t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f K a f k a r e c o u n t e d i n F l u c h t p u n k t a s a m i s r e a d i n g o f K a f k a i n o r d e r t o a r r i v e a t c e r t a i n c o n c l u s i o n s , w h i c h B e s t h o l d s t o b e e r r o n e o u s , r e g a r d i n g t h e n e c e s s i t y o f i d e o l o g i c a l c o m m i t m e n t : " D a s i s t e i n T r u g s c h l u s s , d i e k a f k a s c h e P r o b l e m a t i k w i r d 174 l e d i g l i c h u n t e r e i n e m G l a u b e n s b e k e n n t n i s b e g r a b e n , a u f g e l o s t 9 i n e i n e r u t o p i s c h e n P r o j e k t i o n . " A s i d e f r o m B e s t ' s c o n t e n t i o n t h a t i t i s W e i s s , a s t h e n a r r a t o r , who i s m i s i n t e r p r e t i n g K a f k a , t h e i m p l i c a t i o n i s t h a t t h e r e a d i n g o f K a f k a , l i k e t h e c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h H a l l e r i n A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n , s e r v e s a f o r m a l f u n c t i o n i n t h e w o r k i n v o l v e d i n s o f a r a s i t r e p r e s e n t s a s t a g e i n t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e n a r r a t o r . I n t h i s s e n s e , a l t h o u g h K a f k a i s n amed a n d H e s s e i s d i s g u i s e d i n t h e p e r s o n o f H a l l e r , t h e r e a p p e a r s t o b e no e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e i n t h e u s e o f t h e two p e r s o n s w i t h i n t h e w o r k s . I n " M a x B a r t h a l i a s M a x B , a l i a s Max B e r n s d o r f : M i s z e l l e n z u ' D i c h t u n g u n d W i r k l i c h k e i t ' ' i n A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n u n d F l u c h t p u n k t v o n P e t e r W e i s s " H e l m u t M i i s s e n e r p o i n t s o u t n u m e r o u s d i s c r e p a n c i e s b e t w e e n t h e p o r t r a y a l i n t h e t w o p r o s e w o r k s o f i n c i d e n t s i n v o l v i n g M a x B . a n d t h e n a r r a t o r a n d t h e a c c o u n t g i v e n b y t h e j o u r n a l i s t M a x B a r t h o f t h e s e i n c i d e n t s . F o r e x a m p l e , M a x B a r t h s t a t e s t h a t h e n e v e r f o u g h t i n t h e S p a n i s h C i v i l Wa r a n d t h a t t h e i n c i d e n t s w h i c h t h e c h a r a c t e r M a x B . r e c o u n t s i n F l u c h t p u n k t ( s e e p . 1 9 ) s o l e l y s e r v e t o d r a m a t i z e t h e c h a r a c t e r i n t h a t w o r k , a r e n o t t h e m s e l v e s b a s e d o n f a c t b u t a r e f i c t i o n a l . ^ I n " B l a n c k e n b u r g s F l u c h t p u n k t o d e r P e t e r W e i s s u n d d e r d e u t s c h e B i l d u n g s r o m a n " R e i n h o l d G r i m m a r g u e s t h a t W e i s s b o t h d e s c r i b e s a n d c r e a t e s h i m s e l f i n t h e p r o s e w o r k s , a c c o r d i n g t o B l a n c k e n b u r g ' s t h e o r y i s b o t h " S c h o p f e r u n d G e s c h i c h t s c h r e i b e r s e i n e r P e r s o n e n z u g l e i c h , " 1 a s W e i s s n o t o n l y r e c o u n t s t h e i n c i d e n t s o f h i s l i f e b u t r e c o u n t s t h e m i n s u c h a way t h a t a l l t h e e l e m e n t s r e f l e c t t h e w h o l e , t h a t i s , h e r e c o u n t s t h e m f r o m t h e p e r s p e c t i v e o f t h e " P u n k t , i n dem a l l e S t r a h l e n z u s a m m e n l a u f 175 T h i s w o u l d e x p l a i n h o w t h e w o r k s c a n b e v i e w e d a s n o v e l s r a t h e r t h a n a s a u t o b i o g r a p h i e s . H o w e v e r , t h e a s s u m p t i o n i m p l i e d i n M u s s e n e r ' s s t u d y o f t h e " e v i d e n c e " i s t h a t i n r e g a r d t o a c t u a l p e r s o n s a n d e v e n t s t h e t w o p r o s e w o r k s may b e v i e w e d a s m o r e " c r e a t i v e " t h a n " d e s c r i p t i v e . " P e r h a p s t h e d i f f e r e n c e between a u t o b i o g r a p h y a n d a n o v e l i n t h e f i r s t p e r s o n i s , t h e o r e t i c a l l y , t h a t i n a n a u t o b i o g r a p h y we h a v e a n i n d i v i d u a l ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f e v e n t s i n t h e w o r l d w h e r e a s i n a n o v e l t h a t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s t h e w o r l d , t h a t i s , i n a n o v e l t h e n o v e l i s t c r e a t e s a w o r l d w h i c h b e c o m e s t h e w o r l d o f t h e n o v e l . R e i n h o l d G r i m m ' s e m p h a s i s i n " B l a n c k e n b u r g s F l u c h t p u n k t o d e r P e t e r W e i s s u n d d e r d e u t s c h e B i l d u n g s r o m a n " o n W e i s s ' s p o r t r a y a l o f t h e n a r r a t o r a s a n a r t i s t a n d w r i t e r who i s r e c o n s t r u c t i n g h i s own l i f e f r o m memo r y s u g g e s t s a n o t h e r d i m e n s i o n t o t h e q u e s t i o n o f a u t o b i o g r a p h y i n r e g a r d t o W e i s s ' s w o r k s . I n b o t h A b s c h i e d v o n d e n E l t e r n a n d F l u c h t p u n k t a n d i n D e r S c h a t t e n d e s K o r p e r s d e s K u t s c h e r s a s w e l l a n a u t h o r c r e a t e s a c h a r a c t e r who i s h i m s e l f t h e a u t h o r o f h i s e x p e r i e n c e s . I n r e g a r d t o a s i m i l a r t y p e o f n a r r a t i v e , J o h n B a r t h i n " T h e L i t e r a t u r e o f E x h a u s t i o n " c o n c l u d e s t h a t " w h e n t h e c h a r a c t e r s i n a w o r k o f f i c t i o n b e c o m e r e a d e r s o r a u t h o r s o f t h e f i c t i o n t h e y ' r e i n , w e ' r e r e m i n d e d o f 12 t h e f i c t i t i o u s a s p e c t o f o u r own e x i s t e n c e . " T h u s , i t i s p o s s i b l e t o t u r n t h e e n t i r e m a t t e r a r o u n d s o t h a t t h e p r o b l e m w o u l d n o t b e s o m u c h t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h t h e n a r r a t o r s i n W e i s s ' s w o r k s a r e f i c t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r s o r r e p r e s e n t a n a c t u a l p e r s o n , n a m e l y t h e a u t h o r h i m s e l f , b u t t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h W e i s s b y s e e k i n g h i s own i d e n t i t y t h r o u g h t h e w o r k s h a s r e n d e r e d h i s own 176 e x i s t e n c e " f i c t i o n a l , " I n l i g h t o f t h e a p p e a r a n c e o f D i e A s t h e t i k d e s W i d e r s t a n d s i t may b e w o r t h w h i l e t o e x a m i n e t h e " f i c t i t i o u s " P e t e r W e i s s a s h e a p p e a r s n o t o n l y i n t h e p r o s e w o r k s b u t i n t h e e s s a y s o f t h e c o l l e c t i o n s R a p p o r t e 1_ a n d 2^  a s w e l l . T h i s w o u l d i n v o l v e a f a r d i f f e r e n t r e s o l u t i o n o f t h e q u e s t i o n o f a u t o b i o g r a p h y t h a n i s i m p l i e d i n t h e d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e d e g r e e t o w h i c h W e i s s i s t o b e i d e n t i f i e d w i t h t h e n a r r a t o r s o f t h e p r o s e w o r k s . I n t h e e s s a y s a n d t h e j o u r n a l e n t r i e s ' j w h i c h w o u l d n o r m a l l y b e p e r c e i v e d a s p r o v i d i n g a c e r t a i n a m o u n t o f f a c t u a l e v i d e n c e r e g a r d i n g W e i s s ' s l i f e , we a r e a g a i n c o n f r o n t e d w i t h a h i g h l y s t y l i z e d s e l f - p o r t r a y a l . T h e n a t u r e o f t h i s j o u r n a l i s t i c s e l f - p o r t r a y a l o b v i a t e s a n y a t t e m p t t o d i s t i n g u i s h b e t w e e n t h e l i f e r e c o n s t r u c t e d i n t h e p r o s e w o r k s a n d t h a t d e p i c t e d i n t h e a p p a r e n t l y f a c t u a l a c c o u n t s : w h e t h e r i n t h e g u i s e o f f i c t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r s o r a s a n a u t h o r d i r e c t l y p r e s e n t t h e s e l f d e p i c t e d i s s u f f i c i e n t l y s t y l i z e d a s t o s u g g e s t t h e a p p l i c a b i l i t y o f t h e same e s t h e t i c c r i t e r i a t o b o t h p o r t r a y a l s . T h e a u t h e n t i c i t y o f t h i s d e p i c t i o n , t h e n , i s n o t b a s e d u p o n t h e r e v e l a t i o n o f a f i x e d i d e n t i t y b u t r a t h e r u p o n t h e i n t e g r a t i o n o f v a r i o u s f e a t u r e s o f t h e s e l f a n d t h e w o r l d i n t o a u n i f y i n g e s t h e t i c e x p e r i e n c e . I n t h e a b s e n c e o f a p e r m a n e n t i d e n t i t y f o r t h e a u t h o r , a t t e m p t s t o i d e n t i f y t h e " r e a l " P e t e r W e i s s w i t h t h e n a r r a t o r s o f h i s w o r k s a r e p e r h a p s m i s l e a d i n g , M o r e m e a n i n g f u l may b e a n e x a m i n a t i o n o f D i e A s t h e t i k d e s W i d e r s t a n d s , A b s c h i e d  v o n d e n E l t e r n a n d F l u c h t p u n k t a s t h e y e x p r e s s , i n r e g a r d t o W e i s s , t h e c o n t i n u i t i e s a n d d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s o f h i s e x p e r i e n c e o f h i m s e l f a n d t h e w o r l d a b o u t h i m . 177 Because of the d i f f i c u l t i e s involved in attempts to identify Weiss with the narrators of his prose works and because of the contradiction inherent in differentiating the earlier prose works from Die Asthetik des Widerstands in terms of "Wunschbiographie" and autobiography, I have considered i t appropriate to regard the narrators of each of these works as fic t i o n a l characters not to be identified with Peter Weiss himself. Die Asthetik des Widerstands opens with'the narrator's description of the Great Frieze of the Altar of Zeus at Pergamum: Rings um uns hoben sich die Leiber aus dem Stein, zusammengedrangt zu Gruppen, ineinander verschlungen oder zu Fragmenten zersprengt, mit einem Torso, einem aufgestiitzten Arm, einer geborstnen Hiifte, einem verschorften Brocken ihre Gestalt ahdeutend, immer in den Gebarden des Kampfs, ausweichend, zuriickschnellend, angreifend, sich deckend, hochgestreckt oder gekriimmt, hie und da ausgeloscht, doch nochjmit einem friestehenden vorgestemmten Fuss, einem gedrehten Riicken, der Kontur einer Wade^eingespannt in eine einzige gemeinsame Bewegung. This opening sentence may be divided into five parts, beginning and ending with a depiction of the concerted movement of the figures of the frieze. The image of the figures in concerted movement is reinforced by the repetition of sounds in "um uns" and "Leiber" and "Stein" and also in "eine einzige gemeinsame Bewegung." The two parts adjacent to the beginning and ending are composed of contrasts and the isolated, dynamic elements which form those contrasts. In the second part the contrast is between the tendency pf the figures to either coalesce or fragmentate. "Torso" in reference to sculpture suggests mutilation; in the other elements of this part of the description a dynamic fragmentation 178 i s implied by the use of nouns with p a r t i c i p i a l adjectives, As the many figures coalesce or fragmentate so the i n d i v i d u a l figures are indicated i n the configuration of di s c r e t e parts. In the fourth part of the d e s c r i p t i o n the contrast i s between the way i n which the figures are almost and yet not quite o b l i t e r a t e d ("ausgelbscht"). "Kontur" i n reference to sculpture suggests the three-dimensionality of the i s o l a t e d parts of the almost o b l i t e r a t e d figures as do the p a r t i c u l a r adjectives used with the other nouns. The use of p a r t i c i p i a l adjectives imparts a dynamic q u a l i t y to the de s c r i p t i o n and the adjectives themselves, as, for example, i n the depiction of the f i g u r e "mit einem freistehenden vorgestemmten Fuss," likewise imply the three-dimensional movement of the fi g u r e s . At the center of th i s d e s c r i p t i o n i s the t h i r d part: the depiction of the struggle. The struggle i s portrayed as a rapid succession of;! movements as indicated i n the use of the present p a r t i c i p l e s , This opening d e s c r i p t i o n of the f r i e z e may thus be divided into f i v e parts: concerted movement; contrasted, i s o l a t e d , dynamic elements; rapid succession of i s o l a t e d movements; contrasted, i s o l a t e d , dynamic elements; and concerted movement. Furthermore, the t r a n s i t i o n from the use of past p a r t i c i p l e s to a preponderance of present p a r t i c i p l e s suggests a movement within the sentence i t s e l f so that the imagery i n t o t a l i s not i t s e l f s t a t i c but dynamic. The second sentence of the d e s c r i p t i o n of the f r i e z e p a r t i a l l y reverses the ordering of the f i r s t sentence i n that i t begins with the struggle and ends i n a dynamic contrast: "Ein r i e s i g e s Ringen, auftauchend aus der grauen Wand, s i c h erinnernd aniseine Vollendung, zuriicksinkend zur Formlosigkeit" (p, 7), The 179 t h r e e - d i m e n s i o n a l i t y o f t h e f r i e z e a s t h e f i g u r e s a r e p r o j e c t e d o u t w a r d a n d t h e r e p e t i t i o n o f s o u n d s i n " r i e s i g e s R i n g e n " r e f e r b a c k t o t h e o p e n i n g p h r a s e o f t h e f i r s t s e n t e n c e , " R i n g s um u n s h o b e n s i c h d i e L e i b e r a u s dem S t e i n . " I n t h e d e p i c t i o n o f t h e d y n a m i c e l e m e n t s w h i c h f o r m t h i s c o n t r a s t o f " V o l l e n d u n g " w i t h " F o r m l o s i g k e i t " i t b e c o m e s c l e a r t h a t t h e s t r u g g l e i m p l i e d i n t h e c o n t r a s t s o f t h e d e s c r i p t i o n , i n t h e t e n d e n c y o f t h e f i g u r e s t o c o a l e s c e o r f r a g m e n t a t e , i s r e f l e c t e d i n t h e a t t e m p t t o r e c o n n e c t t h e e l e m e n t s i n t o w h i c h t h e w o r k h a s , w i t h t h e p a s s a g e o f t i m e , d i s i n t e g r a t e d . T h u s , t h e d e s c r i p t i o n i s c o n c e r n e d w i t h b o t h t h e o r i g i n a l s t r u g g l e b e t w e e n t h e O l y m p i a n s a n d t h e g i a n t s d e p i c t e d i n t h e f r i e z e a n d t h e r e e n a c t e d s t r u g g l e i n v o l v e d i n t h e a t t e m p t i n t h e p r e s e n t t o r e c o v e r a w o r k o f t h e d i s t a n t p a s t , T he f o l l o w i n g d e s c r i p t i o n , f o r e x a m p l e , r e p r e s e n t s a n i n t e g r a t i o n o f b o t h t h e s e s t r u g g l e s : E i n e H a n d , a u s dem r a u h e n G r u n d g e s t r e c k t , zum G r i f f b e r e i t , i i b e r l e e r e F l a c h e h i n m i t d e r S c h u l t e r v e r b u n d e n , e i n z e r s c h u n d n e s G e s i c h t , m i t k l a f f e n d e n R i s s e n , w e i t g e b f f n e t e m M u n d , l e e r s t a r r e n d e n A u g e n , u m f l o s s e n v o n d e n L o c k e n d e s B a r t s , d e r s t i i r m i s c h e F a l t e n w u r f e i n e s G e w a n d s , a l l e s n a h s e i n e m v e r w i t t e r t e n E n d e u n d n a h s e i n e m U r s p r u n g . ( p . 7 ) T h i s c o n t r a s t b e t w e e n t h e o r i g i n a l s t r u g g l e a n d t h e o n e o c c u r r i n g w i t h t h e p a s s a g e o f t i m e i s r e p e a t e d i n t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f " r a u h e S t i i m p f e n e b e n g e s c h l i f f n e r G l a t t e , b e l e b t v om S p i e l d e r M u s k e l n u n d S e h n e n " a n d " g e b a l l t e F a u s t am n i c h t meh r v o r h a n d n e n S c h w e r t " ( p . 7). T h e s e n s e o f c o n t r a s t i s h e i g h t e n e d w i t h t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e i n t e g r a t i o n o f t h e a n i m a l w i t h t h e human a s f i g u r e s a r e p o r t r a y e d " m i t V o g e l k r a l l e n v e r s e h n e H a n d e , H o r n e r 1 8 0 a u s w u c h t i g e n S t i r n e n r a g e n d " ( p , 7 ) , T h e c o m p o s i t e o f t h e s e c o n t r a s t i n g e l e m e n t s i s a n i m a g e r y o f v i o l e n c e : " e i n S c h l a n g e n g e z u c h t i i b e r a l l , i m W i i r g e g r i f f um B a u c h u n d H a l s , z i i n g e l n d , d i e s c h a r f e n Z a h n e g e b l e c k t , e i n s t o s s e n d a u f n a c k t e B r u s t " ( p , 7 ) , S i m i l a r l y , t h e i s o l a t e d , d y n a m i c e l e m e n t s a r e s u b s u m e d i n - a v i o l e n t s t r u g g l e a c r o s s t h e p a s s a g e o f t i m e , i n " d i e s e u n e n d l i c h e A n s t r e n g u n g , s i c h e m p o r z u w u h l e n a u s k b r n i g e n B l b c k e n " ( p . 7 ) . T h i s d e s c r i p t i o n p a r a l l e l s t h e i n i t i a l d e p i c t i o n o f c o n c e r t e d m o v e m e n t : " R i n g s um u n s h o b e n s i c h d i e L e i b e r a u s dem S t e i n . " T h e i m p l i c a t i o n o f t h e p o r t r a y a l o f t h e s t r u g g l e a s n o t o n l y d e f i n i n g t h e i n d i v i d u a l d y n a m i c e l e m e n t s b u t a s a l s o c o n n e c t i n g t h e m a c r o s s t h e p a s s a g e o f t i m e t o t h e p r e s e n t s i t u a t i o n i s t h a t i t i s t h i s c o n c e r t e d movemen t w h i c h s e r v e s t o u n i f y a l l a s p e c t s o f t h e d e s c r i p t i o n a s a w h o l e . A new c o n t r a s t i s i n t r o d u c e d b e t w e e n t h e v i o l e n c e o f t h e s t r u g g l e a n d t h e i n d i v i d u a l g r a c e o f t h e f i g u r e s : " w i e z i e r l i c h d a s O r n a m e n t a n d e n R i e m e n d e s S c h i l d s , am Bug d e s H e l m s , w i e z a r t d e r S c h i m m e r d e r H a u t , b e r e i t f i i r L i e b k o s u n g e n , d o c h a u s g e s e t z t dem u n e r b i t t l i c h e n W e t t s t r e i t , d e r Z e r f l e i s c h u n g u n d V e r n i c h t u n g " ( p . 7 ) . T h e r e p e t i t i o n o f s o u n d s i n " z a r t , " " z i e r l i c h " a n d " Z e r f l e i s c h u n g " a s w e l l a s t h e i m a g e r y o f c o n c e r t e d m o v e m e n t i m p l i e s a n i n t e r m i n g l i n g o f t h e v i o l e n t a n d t h e e r o t i c , T h e f i g u r e s a r e f u r t h e r c o n t r a s t e d i n t e r m s o f v u l n e r a b i l i t y a n d d e t a c h m e n t , a c o n t r a s t w h i c h i s r e l a t e d t o t h e c o n t r a s t b e t w e e n t h e a n i m a l a n d t h e h u m a n : M i t m a s k e n h a f t e m A n t l i t z , e i n a n d e r h a l t e n d u n d v o n s i c h s t o s s e n d . . . i i b e r a u s v e r w u n d b a r i n d e r B l b s s e , u n d w i e d e r e n t r i i c k t i n o l y m p i s c h e r K i i h l e , u n b e z w i n g l i c h e r s c h e i n e n d a l s M e e r u n g e t i i m , G r e i f , K e n t a u r , d o c h g r i m a s s i e r e n d i n S c h m e r z u n d V e r z w e i f l u n g . ( p p , 7^-8) 181 The figures are depicted in suspended motion, in a "Metamorphose der Qual" (p. 8), in a state of anguish which transforms the situation by producing a tension which leads to a concentration of forces as sheer resistance accompanied by the desire for resolution. The description proceeds to a depiction of Athena and Alcyoneus from the east side of the frieze to Gaea, who alone appears from the edge of the frieze. At this point the description of the frieze merges with a description of the figures Coppi and Heilmann. This integration between the work and those perceiving i t is prefigured in the footsteps which echo through the museum and in the opening phrase of the f i r s t sentence. Thus, "Rings um uns hoben sich die Leiber aus dem Stein" refers not only to the way in which the figures are sculptured to such a depth as to resemble statues, but also to the manner in which this effect is perceived by the viewers. This allusion to the effect of the sculpture upon the viewer as well as to the struggle involved in the viewer's attempt in the present to recover a work of the past defines the viewer's role as that of active participant rather than passive observer. The entire description of the frieze consists of a balance of movement: the image of the struggle as i t is expanded to include the observer in his attempts both to restore the work to the present and to perceive the unity of the constituent parts of the frieze, is complemented by the concentration on each segment of the altar as i t reflects the conflict between contrasting elements. In contrast to the comprehensive view of the work provided in the opening description of the frieze, the conversation of the three figures involves a selective perception of the work which 182 f o c u s e s o n c e r t a i n h i s t o r i c a l a s p e c t s . A s t h e n a r r a t o r r e m a r k s i n r e g a r d t o t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h C o p p i a n d H e i l m a n n , " w i r g a b e n d e n G e g n e r n i n d i e s e m Gemenge i h r e Namen u n d b e s p r a c h e n , i m S c h w a l l d e r G e r a u s c h e , d i e A n l a s s e d e s K a m p f s " ( p . 8 ) , T h r o u g h s u c h a s e l e c t i v e p e r c e p t i o n t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n s r w i b h i n t h e \ : w o r k a r e e x p o s e d . T h e r e i s , f o r e x a m p l e , t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n b e t w e e n t h e w o r k a n d i t s s o c i a l a n d p o l i t i c a l u s e . T h i s c o n t r a d i c t i o n i s c l e a r l y a p p a r e n t , a c c o r d i n g t o C o p p i , i n a n o t h e r w o r k o f s c u l p t u r e , T h e D y i n g G a u l . I n t h e A l t a r o f P e r g a m u m t h e h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t s a p p e a r i n " m y t h i s c h e r V e r k l e i d u n g " ( p . 9 ) : t h e f r i e z e c o m m e m o r a t e s t h e v i c t o r y o f A t t a l u s I o f P e r g a m u m o v e r t h e i n v a d i n g G a u l s . B e s i d e s t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n b e t w e e n t h e w o r k a n d i t s s o c i a l a n d p o l i t i c a l u s e , t h e r e i s t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n b e t w e e n t h e w o r k a n d t h e c o n d i t i o n s u n d e r w h i c h i t w a s p r o d u c e d : " I n d e m d i e A u s g e p l i i n d e r t e n i h r e E n e r g i e n i n a u s g e r u h t e u n d a u f n a h m e b e r e i t e G e d a n k e n i i b e r t r u g e n , e n t s t a n d a u s H e r r s c h s u c h t u n d E r n i e d r i g u n g K u n s t " ( p . 1 4 ) . T h e s t r u g g l e , r e p r e s e n t e d i n t h e o p e n i n g d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e f r i e z e , t o r e c o v e r a w o r k o f t h e d i s t a n t p a s t b e c o m e s a s t r u g g l e t o r e a p p r o p r i a t e t h e w o r k f o r t h o s e who p r o d u c e d i t . T h e s e l e c t i v e p e r c e p t i o n o f d e t a i l , t h e f o c u s o n a s p e c t s o f t h e w o r k w h i c h e x p o s e t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , s u g g e s t s a p r o c e s s o f r e v e l a t i o n . What i s r e v e a l e d i s t h e w o r k ' s r e l e v a n c e f o r t h e f u t u r e . T h e r e i s a n i m p l i e d r e f e r e n c e t o t h e w o r k ' s p r e s e n t l o c a t i o n i n E a s t B e r l i n , w h e r e i t h a s b e c o m e " o u r s " . o r " t h e i r s " a c c o r d i n g t o t h e s t a n d p o i n t o f t h e r e a d e r o f t h e n o v e l : Da u n s e r Z i e l d i e A u f h e b u n g d e s U n r e c h t s , d i e B e e n d i g u n g d e r V e r a r m u n g s e i , s a g t e e r {_ H e i l m a n n ~] , u n d s i c h a u c h d i e s e s L a n d n u r i n e i n e m t i b e r g a n g s z u s t a n d 1 8 3 b e f a n d e , k b ' n n t e n w i r u n s v o r s t e l l e n , d a s s d i e S t a t t e e i n m a l d e n e r w e i t e r t e n und g e m e i n s a m e n B e s i t z a u f z e i g e n w i i r d e , d e r i n d e r M o n u m e n t a l i t a t d e s G e f o r m t e n g e g e b e n w a r . ( p , 1 3 ) T h e r e i s a l s o a c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n v o l v i n g t h e e s t h e t i c e x p e r i e n c e : t h e c o n t r a d i c t i o n b e t w e e n d e t a c h e d a p p r e c i a t i o n a n d e m o t i o n a l i n v o l v e m e n t . H e i l m a n n p o i n t s o u t t h i s c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n t e r m s o f t h e h i s t o r i c a l e v e n t s w h i c h e x p l a i n t h e o r i g i n s o f t h e f r i e z e : D i e E i n g e w e i h t e n , d i e S p e z i a l i s t e n s p r a c h e n v o n K u n s t , s i e p r i e s e n d i e H a r m o n i e d e r B e w e g u n g , d a s I n e i n a n d e r g r e i f e n d e r G e s t e n , d i e a n d e r n a b e r , d i e n i c h t e i n m a l d e n B e g r i f f d e r B i l d u n g k a n n t e n , S t a r r t e n v e r s t o h l e n i n d i e a u f g e r i s s n e n R a c h e n , s p i i r t e n d e n S c h l a g d e r P r a n k e i m e i g n e n F l e i s c h . ( p . 9 ) T h i s c o n t r a s t p a r a l l e l s t h a t o f t h e p o r t r a y a l o f H e i l m a n n , who i s d e s c r i b e d a s " W i s s e n s c h a f t i e r " a n d " S e h e r " ( p . 8 ) . S i m i l a r l y , H e i l m a n n , C o p p i a n d t h e n a r r a t o r i n t h e i r o b s e r v a t i o n o f t h e p a r t s o f t h e f r i e z e b e c o m e s o i n v o l v e d i n t h e p o r t r a y a l o f t h e movemen t o f t h e f i g u r e s t