Double Exposures: Repetition and Realism in Nineteenth-Century German Fiction
Stanford University Press, 2000. More information can be found here
Downing explores issues of repetition and realism from narratological, psychoanalytical, and Critical Theoretical approaches in the works of five nineteenth century German writers: Stifter, Keller, Storm, Meyer, and Raabe.
The book aims not only to focus attention on competing meanings of realism and mimesis in nineteenth-century German narrative fiction, but also to supply a quite different account of how realism's typically submerged structures allow readers to explore some of the basic phenomena and contradictions of their extra-literary, social existence. It challenges the currently dominant critical perspective on German poetic realism (and on literary realism in general), which considers this seemingly transparent mode of representation a deeply ideological and self-deceiving form of cultural discourse that reiterates, and so reinforces, powerful social constraints already at work in the extra-literary sphere.