A Medea called Wally: race, madness and fashion in Paul Heyse's novella 'Medea'

Bartel, Heike (2011) A Medea called Wally: race, madness and fashion in Paul Heyse's novella 'Medea'. German Life and Letters, 64 (1). pp. 56-70. ISSN 1468-0483

PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (266kB) | Preview


In the extensive tradition of adaptations of the Medea myth in German-speaking literature Paul Heyse’s novella Medea (1898) has been often overlooked. However, the fact that it is the first text to introduce the tragic heroine from classical mythology as ‘black’ gives it particular relevance. This contribution provides an analysis of the text with emphasis on Heyse’s portrayal of the Medea/Wally character at the interface of late nineteenth-century discourses about race, colonial politics, female sexuality and social class.

Die deutschsprachige Literatur weist eine lange Tradition von Adaptionen des Medea-Mythos auf, in der Paul Heyses Novelle Medea (1898) jedoch häufig übersehen wird. Die Tatsache, dass dieser Text der erste ist, in dem die tragische Heldin der griechischen Mythologie als ‘Schwarze’ dargestellt wird, verleiht ihm jedoch eine besondere Bedeutung. Der folgende Beitrag liefert eine Analyse des Textes mit Schwerpunkt auf Heyses Darstellung von Medea/Wally im Schnittpunkt der Diskurse um Kolonialpolitik, Rasse, weibliche Sexualität und soziale Klasse am Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Heike Bartel: A Medea called Wally: Race, Madness and Fashion in Paul Heyse's Novella 'Medea', in German Life and Letters Volume 64, Issue 1, pages 56–70, January 2011, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0483.2010.01519.x/abstract. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Keywords: Medea, Classical Mythology, Myth Reception, Paul Heyse, German Literature
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Arts > School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies > Department of German Studies
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0483.2010.01519.x
Depositing User: Bartel, Heike
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2015 08:25
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 23:19
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/31078

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View