Manusya, Journal of Humanities


Reinhold Grimm

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Recently, in Manusya's 5.1 issue of 2002, I published an essay entitled "A Hidden Glimpse at Old Thailand? The 'Siam Episode' in Fontane's Novel Unwiederbringlich." Meanwhile, in the course of my continued studies of that author's narrative oeuvre, I hit upon yet another such episode which may, who knows, prove to be even more revealing - but likewise perhaps, even more enigmatic - than the former. It occurs in Fontane's last novel, Der Stechlin, which as a book appeared only posthumously, in 1899 ("Stechlin," by the way, is the name of a lake in the Brandenburg March in erstwhile Prussia that plays an important if symbolic role in this novel). Hardly any editor or commentator, at least as far as I can see, design, or dares, to elucidate said episode, or to submit any explanation thereof.

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