The Character as a Discourse in E. Jelinek’s Minidrama “Die Wand”

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2020, Vol. 6. № 3 (23)

The Character as a Discourse in E. Jelinek’s Minidrama “Die Wand”

For citation: Sivolobova I. A. 2020. “The Character as a Discourse in E. Jelinek’s Minidrama ‘Die Wand’”. Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates, vol. 6, no. 3 (23), pp. 94-104. DOI: 10.21684/2411-197X-2020-6-3-94-104

About the author:

Irina A. Sivolobova, Postgraduate Student, University of Tyumen;; ORCID: 0000-0002-7420-1038


This study is structured around two literary notions: character and discourse. In literature theory, the character of a dramatic and prosaic text is understood as a hero performing the functions of action and/or storytelling. Most often, the character is embodied in the image of a person, and they have an individual character. The hero is often the catalyst of the plot or a narrator of an event.

The contemporary theatrical situation, referred to as the post-drama theater, demonstrates the destruction of the traditional character. The work by E. Jelinek — one of the main authors of the modern German-speaking scene — is considered by the leading European researchers (P. Janke, M. Meister, B. Luke, T. Kovacs and others) in the context of post-drama theater. The rejection of the traditional character form is one of the central principles of the writer’s theatrical aesthetics. In the terminology of Jelinek herself, the “character” gets replaced by “text surfaces” (“Textflächen”): the character loses their individual and psychological traits, does not contribute to the promotion and development of the plot, and exists as a mediator of some message. “Textflächen” is similar to the concept of discourse, which means a system of speech organization.

This article studies what means help in creating a new type of a literary hero — a character as a discourse. The novelty of the research lies in the lack of Russia literary research which covers the minidrama “Die Wand”.


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