Phasenweise Zuwendung. Stadtideale in Brigitte Reimanns Roman Franziska Linkerhand

Rainer Godel


By examining the plot and the narrative structure of Brigitte Reimann’s novel Franziska Linkerhand, the article demonstrates that this novel cannot be satisfactorily described by categorizing it within the dichotomies of ideology versus resistance or of affirmative versus critical positions. The analysis does not focus on the theme or the motif of the city, nor on architecture or architectural theory represented in the novel, but on the narrative perception and evaluation of the city. It is this aspect that had, on the one hand, produced new literary forms in the city novels as early as the 1920s. On the other hand, it had been subject to the standardizing thrust of ideologies aiming at a collective norm of visual perception of the city. The article shows how the narrative structure of the novel undermines the ideological versions of architectural design with which Franziska, the protagonist, is confronted. The novel does not depict an ideological or an individual solution that would manage to combine the unsettled individual emotion with the differing and varying ideals of the city. The form of the literary text and the narrative structure run counter to the ideological norm without completely and openly refuting it. Ultimately, Reimann’s novel is an instance of literature demonstrating the limits of ideological sway. (RG; in German)

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