GRILLPARZER, THE ENLIGHTENER: DISPLACED PATERNITY IN GRILLPARZER’S WORKS
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DISSERTATION ABSTRACT Stephanie Fritsch Chapman Doctor of Philosophy German and Scandinavian June 2017 Title: Grillparzer, the Enlightener: Displaced Paternity in Grillparzer’s Works It is my intention to bring to light nuances of Grillparzer’s work that reflect the ambivalent conflation of formal and stylistic elements of the Enlightenment and the Baroque, which, in turn, foreshadow the continual displacement of both paternity and the patriarchy in the decades following the French Revolution. I define “ambivalent conflation” as follows: a fluctuating, sometimes contradictory approach toward a set of concepts that are brought, simultaneously, into unity and opposition with one another. This is symptomatic—at least in part—of Grillparzer's attempts to reconcile elements of the Baroque dramas after which he fashioned much of his work with his own idealism of Enlightenment ideologies, and, particularly, with Lessing's humanism and his position regarding religious tolerance. The subtle variations on the theme of paternal displacement manifest themselves in the following ways: 1) fathers who serve as such either through namesake, mentorship, or ideological and intellectual inspiration; 2) father figures who exist as such through extended family relationships, such as the figure of the father-in-law; and 3) father figure representations that exist in dream symbolism. In many of Grillparzer’s lyrical works as well as in his novellas and dramas, these forms of paternal displacement mirror conflicts and issues in Grillparzer’s own life, including his emotionally symbiotic relationship with his mother, his obsessional personality traits, and his prescient reflections on topics that would become central to modern psychoanalysis.