“Trennung, Teilung, Spaltung”: Ekphrasis as the Unifying Fissure in Anne Duden’s Das Judasschaf

Thyra E. Knapp


In Anne Duden’s 1985 novel Das Judasschaf, the separation that exists in the psyche of the central character manifests itself in all parts of the work: the non-linear text constructed of dream sequences, childhood memories, historical documents, and excerpts from safety manuals; the narrative shifts between third and first person; the lack of temporal markers dividing past, present, and future; the splicing of the narrator’s modern-day reality with the events depicted in five paintings of the Italian Renaissance. It is the last of these, the deliberately staged collision of visual and verbal representation, which provides both the greatest impediment to comprehending the text and the key to understanding it. Duden’s ekphrastic narratives function as mediating devices, allowing the greatest fissure(s) in the text to paradoxically bridge the gap in comprehension. (TK)

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