In 1887, with the publication of the Weimar edition of Goethe’s Faust I, a simple printing error was introduced into the work that would influence analyses of the work until its discovery by Géza von Mólnar in 1979. The printing error was adopted by Norwegian translators of the work, and Molnár’s discovery has still not gained a foothold in its reception in Norway. On the contrary, the last of the five translators who have produced Norwegian editions of the work have clearly allowed the printing error to steer their interpretations towards conclusions that have been disproved and abandoned in German Goethe scholarship. This article contains a history of translations of Goethe’s Faust I into Norwegian, and demonstrates interpretative consequences of the old printing error in these works and in their reception.
This article traces the use of animal motifs in two of Franz Kafka’s three novels. Kafka’s animal figurations have gained considerable attention in studies dealing with his short prose, whereas the current article specifically concentrates on the figure of the fly in two of his novels, i.e. Der Verschollene [The Man Who Disappeared] and Der Proceß [The Trial]. Furthermore, the author connects Kafka’s literary animal representations to different strategies of escape and the question of freedom, drawing on Walter Benjamin’s critical, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s post-structuralist, and Mladen Dolar’s psychoanalytical responses to Kafka’s works.
This survey explores homosexual characters in Danish and Norwegian literature in roughly the first half of last century which is the period where the first explicit literary depictions of modern homosexuality are found. I introduce the concept of heteronarrativity as a prism to describe the tendency to let homosexual characters die in order to restore textual harmony and secure happy ends. My material includes canonized texts (Blixen, Bang) but for the most part the novels, short stories, and dramas analyzed are forgotten texts by marginalized or anonymous writers. Two of them were banned as indecent. The article argues that although the narratives are very different, they all display surprisingly similar models for how homosexual characters survive or, more often, do not survive the murderous logics of heteronarrativity. The possibilities of existence consist typically of resignation, marriage, or death, or various combinations of the three. Starting with Herman Bang in 1880 the survey follows a number of homosexual characters and explores how and why they either die or survive, in an attempt to outline a paradigm concerning literary depictions and embodiments of homosexuality. I end on a happy note with a lesbian survivor.