Detailansicht

In: KulturPoetik 2003, Heft 1

Autor

Bernd Auerochs

Titel

Die schwachen Adamskinder. Voreheliche Sexualität in erzählender Literatur des 18. Jahrhunderts (Rousseau, Wieland, Wezel)

Kategorie

Beitrag

Abstract

Having questioned the concept of the perfectly virtuous protagonist, eighteenth-century authors tend to present human weakness more positively. A notable instance of this development is an increasing openness to premarital sexual activity. The article analyses sexual relationships in three narrative texts from the second half of the eighteenth century - Rousseau's Julie, Wieland's Oberon, and J. K. Wezel's Herrmann und Ulrike - exemplifying differing balances between morality, concepts of society, and premarital sexual activity. While Wieland and Wezel confine themselves to exonerating sinners, Rousseau goes further and uses premarital love as a vehicle for his radical critique of contemporary society.