Presentation on theme: "‘To what extent can Ludwig Tieck’s short story ‘Der blonde Eckbert’ be considered a reflection of a traditional folk tale?’"— Presentation transcript:
‘To what extent can Ludwig Tieck’s short story ‘Der blonde Eckbert’ be considered a reflection of a traditional folk tale?’
Introduction A challenging example of early Romantic prose, which seems to defy generic definition. Two meanings of ‘reflection’: a representation or embodiment, or something which arises from something else. ‘Der Blonde Eckbert’ as a reflection of a traditional folk tale in the broader sense of the word.
Axel Olrik’s ‘Epic Laws of Folk Narrative’ The Law of Opening and of Closing ‘The traditional folk tale begins by moving from calm to excitement, and ends by moving from excitement to calm.’ The Law of Three Groupings of three occur with notable frequency within folk tales. Concentration of a Leading Character There is one main protagonist, and when a man and a woman appear together the focus is on the man, though the sympathy is often with the woman.
Bertha’s Childhood Typical of a traditional folk tale: She is raised in poverty and runs away from home to escape being beaten. (Klussmann) Her rise from rags to riches is frequently portrayed in folk tales. (Lüthi) She marries the handsome knight she always dreamed of as a child.
Non folk tale elements in Bertha’s story The Law of the Single Thread ‘Folk narrative is always single-stranded. It does not go back in order to fill in missing details.’ The detailed descriptions of the vast, overwhelming landscape are completely foreign to traditional folk tales. (Schlaffer) The first person narrative. It introduces a level of self-reflexivity and comment unknown to the genre. (Horton)
Narrative confusion Subjective and misleading information is given to the reader on three different levels: Detached philosophical observations Statements which the reader believes they can trust Information presented through the filter of Eckbert’s unstable mind.
Psychological elements in the story Traditional folk tales involve the reader in ‘a world without psychological or moral complexity.’ (Swales) Eckbert’s struggle with madness and his sense of persecution and paranoia. References to folk tales within the text. Bertha’s self-referential comments about her actions and increasing sense of guilt.
Two separate interpretations? A modern, psychological story or a traditional folk tale? Do the events in the novel actually happen, or are they just an insane fantasy of the characters? Klussmann’s explanation of why these two interpretations cannot be dealt with separately: the naming of the dog in the story.
Conclusion Structural and thematic similarities. Structural anomalies and modern use of psychology means ‘Der blonde Eckbert’ is not an accurate representation of a traditional folk tale. However, Tieck clearly uses traditional folk tales as a starting point, and in this sense ‘Der blonde Eckbert’ can be seen as a reflection of a traditional folk tale.