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Transformations of the Body and the Influence of Ovid’s Metamorphoses on Germanic Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries


David Gallagher

The origins of selected instances of metamorphosis in Germanic literature are traced from their roots in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, grouped roughly on an ‘ascending evolutionary scale’ (invertebrates, birds, animals, and mermaids). Whilst a broad range of mythological, legendary, fairytale and folktale traditions have played an appreciable part, Ovid’s Metamorphoses is still an important comparative analysis and reference point for nineteenth- and twentieth-century German-language narratives of transformations. Metamorphosis is most often used as an index of crisis: an existential crisis of the subject or a crisis in a society’s moral, social or cultural values. Specifically selected texts for analysis include Jeremias Gotthelf’s Die schwarze Spinne (1842) with the terrifying metamorphoses of Christine into a black spider, the metamorphosis of Gregor Samsa in Kafka’s Die Verwandlung (1915), ambiguous metamorphoses in E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Der goldne Topf (1814), Hermann Hesse’s Piktors Verwandlungen (1925), Der Steppenwolf (1927) and Christoph Ransmayr’s Die letzte Welt (1988). Other mythical metamorphoses are examined in texts by Bachmann, Fouqué, Fontane, Goethe, Nietzsche, Nelly Sachs, Thomas Mann and Wagner, and these and many others confirm that metamorphosis is used historically, scientifically, for religious purposes; to highlight identity, sexuality, a dream state, or for metaphoric, metonymic or allegorical reasons.

E. Grassi Milano, C. Chimenti and F. Accordi

ENDOCRINE PANCREAS MORPHOGENESIS OF BUFO BUFO DURING METAMORPHOSIS by E. GRASSI MILANO*, F. ACCORDI and C. CHIMENTI (Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e dell'Uomo, Università di Roma 'La Sapienza', Viale dell'Uni- versità 32, 00185 Roma, Italy) ABSTRACT Anatomical modifications

Tyrone B. Hayes and Tzu Hao Wu

ROLE OF CORTICOSTERONE IN ANURAN METAMORPHOSIS AND POTENTIAL ROLE IN STRESS-INDUCED METAMORPHOSIS by TYRONE B. HAYES* and TZU HAO WU (Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA .94720, U.S.A.) ABSTRACT Although generally viewed as only synergistic with the thyroid

Corina C. Geiger, Corina C. Geiger, Benedikt R. Schmidt, Corina C. Geiger, Benedikt R. Schmidt and Francesco C. Origgi

these changes (Marantelli et al., 2004 ). During the tadpole life-stage, keratin is usually found only on the mouthparts. At metamorphosis the keratinized mouthparts are shed before keratin is layered on the skin of the entire body (Marantelli et al., 2004 ). Hence, detecting Bd on a metamorphosing

Robert J. Denver

ENVIRONMENT-NEUROENDOCRINE INTERACTIONS IN THE CONTROL OF AMPHIBIAN METAMORPHOSIS by ROBERT. J. DENVER (Department of Biology, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1048, U.S.A.) ABSTRACT The profound morphological changes which occur during amphibian metamorphosis are controlled by

H.H.J. Gerets, B. De Groef, E.R. Kühn, V.M. Darras, K.L. Geris and L. Arckens


Shane Trayers

Losing a child is a parent’s worst nightmare, second only perhaps to being unable to protect a child from harm. Recent apocalyptic films have combined several fears in the form of the contaminated, hybrid child. This analysis focuses on those children characters whose childhoods are hijacked by outside forces. The stolen child is fundamentally changed by aliens, technologically created viruses, or other processes. When returned, as they typically are, the child is only half-human and half an ‘other’ that we fear. The child’s enhanced abilities, sometimes strangely altered appearance, and the probability of more humans falling victim to the same metamorphosis give rise to audience abjection. This transformation seems indicative of a ‘post-human’ era in that the child is representative of the end of the ‘human’ race as we know it, but he or she is also a beginning. Through their hybridity, these children combat American xenophobia, simultaneously reassure parents that ‘special’ children are important, and show that it is only through progress and change that life on this planet can flourish. Although these depictions begin with the worst we can imagine, works like Falling Skies (2011) move past the horror by demonstrating the healing power of the hybrid child, and illustrate that the multicultural and multiracial nature of humanity is a strength in American society. Through a plot crisis, these children demonstrate their value and what the audience experiences is therapeutic. What we most feared saves us all. Despite being apocalyptic, these collected works show that it is possible for children who are ‘different’ to unite the world, rather than destroy it. Although parents cannot protect their children from all types of harm, these works reassure us that all experiences, whether good or bad, are valuable in making us the best of humanity.

Aspects of Metamorphosis

Fictional Representations of the Becoming Human

D.B.D. Asker

Aspects of Metamorphosis: Fictional Representations of the Becoming Human explores the various forms of metamorphosis found in literature – mostly modern fiction but informed by earlier examples – and the premises upon which the literature of transformation may be said to depend. Instances of metamorphosis are very widespread in modern literature but as yet there has been no attempt to describe this literary-anthropological phenomenon from a larger perspective. This study approaches such a task. The focus of Aspects of Metamorphosis is on human-animal fictional metamorphoses which embody the concept of becoming-human. Gilles Deleuze describes metamorphosis (especially in Kafka) as the becoming-animal. Across the wide range of examples of literary metamorphosis in different languages and cultures, I describe the becoming-animal as an aspect of the becoming human, a radical approach to mankind’s perception of itself, and restoration to itself, through an animal other. Franz Kafka is in many ways an odd man out in the crowd of modern metamorphosists. Other authors across borders, political, geographical and linguistic, present a humanist and moralist perspective that does not represent a fundamental break with the norms and cultural traditions rooted in the past.

Walde, Christine (Basle)

Terminology: Greek μεταμόρφωσις (metamórphōsis; ‘transformation’); Latin transfiguratio, mutatio, with the verbs mutare, refigurari, transformare. [German version] Metamorphoses are specific types of myths, particularly widespread in Ancient Greece, whence they found their way into Roman literature

Elena Buhaciuc, Paul Székely, Raluca Băncilă and Dan Cogălniceanu

syntopic species. Since larvae of spadefoot toad have a prolonged aquatic phase, upon metamorphosis they have a shorter period left before overwintering. Life-history theory states that rapid growth evolves when a minimum size must be reached quickly before overwintering (Arendt, 1997 ). Thus a high