Masters and menials in Hebel's Calendar Stories

Schonfield, E. (2011) Masters and menials in Hebel's Calendar Stories. Oxford German Studies, 40(1), pp. 35-45. (doi: 10.1179/007871911x568025)

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This article shows that several of Hebel's calendar stories draw upon comic literary traditions such as the 'Schwank', the picaresque, and French and Italian comedy in order to depict servants who educate their masters. Hebel's adaptations of existing texts take the view from below, situating servants at the centre of the narrative. At the same time, the implied reader is often figured as a person who is wealthy enough to employ servants, rather than as a member of the common people. This means that many of Hebel's stories are not attempts to enlighten the lowest classes of society ('Volksaufklärung'), but instead to correct the assumptions of the emergent bourgeoisie. They may be described as an instance of Enlightenment from below, that is directed at the middle classes on behalf of their servants.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Schonfield, Dr Ernest
Authors: Schonfield, E.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > German
Journal Name:Oxford German Studies
Publisher:Maney Publishing
ISSN (Online):1745-9214

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