The Dialectics of Subjectivity and Objectivity. Realism in Kracauer’s Novel Ginster

Steffen Andrae


The dialectics of subjectivity and objectivity, I argue in my article, can be conceived of as the main motif of Siegfried Kracauer’s first novel Ginster. These dialectics can be detected both in Ginster’s early experiences of a dreadful reality and in his precarious existence. They are pertinent to the novel’s understanding of social alienation and oppression as well as to its problematization of language. Ultimately, the reciprocity of subjectivity and objectivity substantiates Kracauer’s historical outlook on modernity culminating in the final, highly controversial chapter of the book. In Ginster, I argue, Kracauer’s realism accomplishes its engagement with social life by a constant interpenetration of subjectivity and objectivity demonstrating relationships of substitution, opposition, conversion, and immersion. (SA)

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