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Aberrations of Mourning$
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Laurence A. Rickels

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816675951

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816675951.001.0001

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Regulations for the Living Dead

Regulations for the Living Dead

Gottfried Keller

(p.172) Chapter Five Regulations for the Living Dead
Aberrations of Mourning

Laurence A. Rickels

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter focuses on Gottfried Keller’s humor and mournfulness. Keller’s own profound mournfulness commenced in early childhood in the wake of his father’s departure. In Keller’s first theatrical performance, the scene of the presumed-dead father’s return was the sole subject of his literary productions, namely, his early dramas, texts addressed to an audience. Alongside his successful production of epic narrative and lyric poetry, Keller pursued and kept in some other place the unattainable artistic goals of painting and drama. The return or reanimation of the missing father was the main concern of Keller’s early dramas, written between the ages of thirteen and sixteen. In Keller’s view, art itself carries out “higher,” systematically interrelated instructions.

Keywords:   Gottfried Keller, humor, mournfulness, childhood, father, dramas, lyric poetry, painting

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