Knowledge, Spaces, and Media Faculty of Philosophy

The Catastrophic Féerie. Discontinuity, Spectacularity and French Modernism

The project is dedicated to the rehabilitation of the unjustly forgotten genre of the féerie, which was particularly popular in France in the 19th century. Beyond the classification as a pure entertainment genre, which has been dominant in research up to now, the aim is to grasp the féerie as a paradigm for a specific experience of modern temporality that is characterized by the aesthetic form of a spectacular discontinuity.

Duration
04/2012 - 03/2015

Funding
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) :
189 000 Euro

Project management

former Holder of the professorship Romanistische Literaturwissenschaft (2009-2017) (Literary Studies)

The project is dedicated to the rehabilitation of the unjustly forgotten genre of the féerie, which was particularly popular in France in the 19th century. Beyond the classification as a pure entertainment genre, which has been dominant in research up to now, the aim is to grasp the féerie as a paradigm for a specific experience of modern temporality that is characterized by the aesthetic form of a spectacular discontinuity. The féerie is first of all considered as a bridge between theatre and film around 1900, initially with regard to the aesthetic effects of its tableau structure. Furthermore, by means of narrative adaptations of catastrophic féeries in French narrative literature from Flaubert to Céline, we will investigate how structures of the spectacular emerge in the narrative text that contaminate conventional forms of narrative time organization. Finally, the question will be raised as to how far the spectacular discontinuity of the féerie could be paradigmatic for a specific idea of aesthetic as well as knowledge-historical modernity as a whole, oscillating between catastrophism and the magical visualization of the invisible.

Literary Studies Franco-Romance Studies

Cooperation partner

Research focus

Knowledge, Spaces, and Media