Religious Dimension of German “Unending Book” in the Children’s Fantasy by Cornelia Funke

Journal Title: Studia Litterarum - Year 2018, Vol 3, Issue 1

Abstract

This article examines a fantasy genre in the work of Cornelia Funke against the background of Protestantism and “Als ob” (“as if”) philosophy. Alongside, it also explores fantastic Romantic novels written by modern German authors (M. Gläser, K. Gier, K. Mayer, and V. Moers) that champion the cult of literature and writing. The essay thus attempts to systematize the features of German identity as revealed through representation of childhood and the national specificity of fictional art. The symbol of “an unending book” as a way of reconstructing the world is at the very basis of German culture and is endowed with religious meanings, from Novalis to M. Ende and more recently to C. Funke. In The Thief Lord (Herr der Diebe), a novel full of references to E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Princess Brambilla, F. Pforr’s and F. Overbek’s paintings, Funke seeks to combine German love of dreaming with poeticized Italian joyfulness and love of life. For example, the novel’s characters discover a magical carousel on the Isle of Mysteries and set off on an existential journey. In the course of this journey, they try to recognize themselves “in other clothes that seem to belong to the past,” in a fashion similar to Heinrich von Ofterdingen. In the Inkheart trilogy (Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath), the author underscores the vernicle nature of verbal reality and its power over human existence; she also touches upon the problem of the author and her literary gift. According to Funke, a human being should certainly correspond to his or her higher destination and be directed by the inner moral law. However, it is words, like prayers in late Kant, that transform and create the universe.

Authors and Affiliations

E. V. Astashchenko

Keywords

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  • EP ID EP26208
  • DOI 10.22455/2500-4247-2018-3-1-102-117
  • Views 194
  • Downloads 10

How To Cite

E. V. Astashchenko (2018). Religious Dimension of German “Unending Book” in the Children’s Fantasy by Cornelia Funke. Studia Litterarum, 3(1), -. https://europub.co.uk/articles/-A-26208