Die mögliche Welt des Romans

Kontingenz und Verhängnis in Daniel Casper von Lohensteins Arminius-Roman (Erster Teil)

In: Poetica
Armin Schäfer Germanistisches Institut, Ruhr-Universität Bochum Bochum Deutschland

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Alexander Waszynski Institut für Deutsche Philologie, Universität Greifswald Greifswald Deutschland

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This essay tests the concept of the possible world for an analysis of Daniel Casper von Lohenstein’s novel Arminius (1689/90). Starting from the basic literary concept of ‘world’, which usually has the function of establishing a distinction between reality and fiction, the paper first examines, using the example of battle, fight, and war, how the novel depicts contingency and how its depictions are related to the concepts of providentiality and doom, which in turn are reconstructed as subsequent interpretations. A narrative analysis traces how the novel contributes to a pluralization of the concept of ‘world’. While Lohenstein presents coincidences and misfortunes in their fateful concatenation encompassing long periods of time and thus, on the whole, establishes the aberration of the narrated from the historical events, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz exemplifies the equality of possible and real world frequently by resorting to narrative strategies. The possible world of the novel serves as a reminder that the real world could be a different one.

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