Article Details

In: KulturPoetik 2015, Issue 1


Marc Weiland


Zur Narratologie autobiografischer Selbst(er)findung. Literarische Lebensgeschichten bei Felicitas Hoppe und Péter Esterházy




This paper analyzes the different types of narrative self-reference employed in the autobiographical works of Felicitas Hoppe and Péter Esterházy. It argues that these texts illustrate and reflect an anthropological condition which can be described as ›eccentric positionality‹, a term coined by Helmuth Plessner, or ›constitutive homelessness‹. Self-narrating is both the expression of and compensation for that condition. According to Paul Ricœur it can be seen as an attempt to understand what is essentially indefinable: the individual self. Narrative configurations place different events, actions and perceptions in a (mostly) coherent order. By doing so, they configure the individual self as a being that changes in time. The novels by Hoppe and Esterházy display and simulate different modes of self-narrating between historicization and fictionalization, namely self-discovery (Selbstfindung), self-invention (Selbsterfindung), and self-determination (Selbstbestimmung). As these modes are confronted with different types of problems, they reflect the complex relationship of a person to herself as both the narrator and the protagonist of her life story.