Theses Doctoral

Myth Puzzles and Stone Pieces - Modes of Citation in Hermann Broch's Die Schuldlosen

Weitz, Tabea

This dissertation examines modes of citations in Hermann Broch's work Die Schuldlosen. Focusing on the topoi of romanticism and myth, I discuss tensions between Hermann Broch's theoretical arguments and his last literary work. These tensions are an expression and formal manifestation of an auctorial attempt to implement his self-declared principles of literature, such as the creation of epistemological value, the depiction of world totality, and the creation of a new form of expression, a new language, and a new myth. In each chapter, I focus on a different topos relevant to Broch's work Die Schuldlosen. With the help of close readings and a genetic analysis of the work, I demonstrate how Broch creates the unreliable citations that serve his goals.
The first chapter illuminates the tension between Broch's theoretical works and Die Schuldlosen concerning the topos of romanticism. In a case study on stone imagery, I ask whether Broch's modes of citing romanticism can be considered a productive intermediate step to creating a new form. I show that Broch's citations can be qualified as unreliable citations, and how structural correspondences intensify their effect on the reader’s experience. The chapter ends with a discussion of the political function of Broch's citations.
The second chapter deals with Broch's concept of myth and discusses the tension between Broch's declared intention to develop a new myth and his actual use of existing myths in his works. In two case studies, I trace Broch's citations of the Faust myth and the Don Juan myth. I show that one can understand Broch's specific citations of myth as an experiment to explore how the interruption of a recurring cultural cycle would allow for a new form to develop.


  • thumnail for Weitz_columbia_0054D_14012.pdf Weitz_columbia_0054D_14012.pdf application/pdf 1.8 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Germanic Languages
Thesis Advisors
Anderson, Mark
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
June 6, 2017