Ungeheuer. Zur Unlesbarkeit von Stifters Aus dem bairischen Walde heute

Jann Duri Bantli and Ansgar Mohnkern


Adalbert Stifter tells stories about snow. Particularly his posthumously published novella Aus dem bairischen Walde makes visible how Stifter holds this element of snow against a domestic world of dwelling in order to cope with the monstrosity (“das Ungeheure“) of snow and to transform it into the experience of the sublime. Under the conditions of climate change today, however, a new concept of monstrosity becomes immanently apparent, as Stifter’s representation of snowy landscapes appears to become increasingly unreadable. For today, in the age of climate change, the experience of what Stifter calls “das Ungeheure“ paradoxically finds its cause not in an abundant presence of snow, but in its increasing historical absence. This paper demonstrates how this shift has significant consequences for the concept of “das Ungeheure“ itself. (JDB/AM; in German)

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