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  • Ein Zoll Dankfest: Texte für die Germanistik: Konstanze Fliedl zum 60. Geburtstag ed. by Susanne Hochreiter Bernhard Oberreither, Marina Rauchenbacher, Isabella Schwentner, and Katharina Serles
  • Raymond L. Burt
Susanne Hochreiter, Bernhard Oberreither, Marina Rauchenbacher, Isabella Schwentner, and Katharina Serles, eds., Ein Zoll Dankfest: Texte für die Germanistik: Konstanze Fliedl zum 60. Geburtstag. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2015. 395pp.

In their introduction, the editors of this Festschrift reflect on the genre by quoting John Richetti’s 2012 essay, which laments the future of what he termed “a charming survivor of a more collegial academic age.” While they do adhere to the traditional characteristic of a Festschrift—the honoring of an esteemed scholar and teacher through original contributions to the discipline by admirers and former students—the editors, in tribute to the self-irony and the wide-ranging critical reflection of their honoree, playfully proclaim that “Ceci n’est pas une Festschrift.” Launching this project at a time when this tradition is losing institutional support, the editors point to the barriers overcome by Konstanze Fliedl throughout her academic career at the University of Vienna. The opening contribution illustrates these barriers in an interview with Dr. Fliedl by two students titled “Damals sind wir ‘gefräuleinzt’ worden.”

In addition to the expected contributions from former students and colleagues, the volume includes tributes from authors Doron Rabinovici, Marianne Gruber, Jenny Erpenbeck, Franz Schuh and poems by Robert Schindel, Ferdinand Schmatz, and Marie-Thérèse Kerschbaumer.

The editors have not undertaken this endeavor as a tribute to a professor emerita, which is often the case with Festschriften; rather, they emphasize its celebratory nature. In this “Dankfest” colleagues, students, and admirers honor Dr. Friedl’s continuing scholarly achievement and do so by contributing [End Page 190] to the wide range of subject matter, reflecting her areas of research. Konstanze Fliedl, a distinguished scholar and award-winning teacher at the University of Vienna, inspired the editors to organize this book as a “Fliedl-Vorlesungsverzeichnis,” arranging the essays under headings of “Vorlesungen,” “Seminare,” “Übungen/Konversatorien,” and “Postkolloquium.”

The first “Vorlesung” focuses on the “Wiener Moderne,” under which Martin Anton Müller’s article makes the case that Hermann Bahr’s theater reviews were motivated by his desire to help his friend Arthur Schnitzler. A link is drawn between Olga Gussmann (Schnitzler’s girlfriend and future wife) and that infamous lawsuit between Karl Kraus and Bahr. Hermann Bahr is the only writer other than Schnitzler who garners more than one article in this collection. Hildegard Kernmayer focuses on Bahr’s essay “Feuilleton” in Die Überwindung des Naturalismus, and asserts that Bahr defines the genre as the paradigmatic form for recognizing the Modern. The essential characteristic of the feuilleton is the specific staging of aesthetic subjectivity. It is the sole instrument for modern truth. Rosemarie Brucher provides an intriguing analysis of Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s fragmentary novel Andreas, written in 1907. Her thesis is that Andreas’ instability is not based on a split between good and bad traits but rather on a comprehensive inability to differentiate between self and world. The novel fragment thus goes beyond the melancholy of the Modern and anticipates the postmodern joy of internal plurality.

In the “Vorlesung” “Österreichische Autorinnen,” Susanne Hochreiter fires the opening salvo on the issue of gender and literature by taking on Virginia Woolf in the essay “Es muss Freiheit geben . . . Kunst Geschlecht.” In her 1929 book A Room of One’s Own, Woolf states that the attempt to understand oneself as “man” or “woman” is a reduction of feelings and thoughts. Art knows no gender. Drawing upon the theoretical work of Lena Lindhoff, Marlene Streeruwitz, and others—most noticeably Konstanze Fliedl—Hochreiter counters by asserting that if we think that art is without gender and that, despite all of the barriers, it rises above gender, then we are mistaken. The subsequent essays in this section focus on particular works of Ilse Aichinger, Elfriede Gerstl, and Elisabeth Reichart.

The “Vorlesung-Literatur und Bildende Kunst” introduces us to another research field influenced by Friedl, who led the fwf-funded projects Kunst im Text (2005–09) and Das Bildzitat (2009–14). Marina Rauchenbacher’s “Nur...


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