Narrative Senses of Perspective and Rhythm: Mobilising Subjectivity with Werther and Effi Briest

  • Roman Kabelik
Part of the Studies in Mobilities, Literature, and Culture book series (SMLC)


This chapter discusses the reading of fiction as an embodied practice that affords mobilised forms of subjectivity. Drawing from narratology, cultural studies and sociology, the chapter outlines the ways narrative perspective modulates distances and sensory perception as well as how rhythms of articulated movements create sensations of excitement and boredom. Two German novels serve as case-studies: Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther employs the form of a socially and geographically isolating existence that overcomes its limited range through literary imagination and communication, while Fontane’s Effi Briest offers a view through the strictly regulated mobilities of an upper-class woman’s everyday life dictated by social expectations and her strives for personal freedom. The chapter concludes by arguing for an aesthetically informed approach to the narrative forms of mobilities as immersive and powerful cultural practices.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roman Kabelik
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of German StudiesUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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