GER 341, 342, 343 HomepageOregon State University

DIE NOVELLE: Supplemental

This information should help you understand the Novelle better. Remember: not all elements of a Novelle will be present in any one story; also, to fully understand a Novelle, you must read between the lines!

  1. In a Novelle, a central issue in human relations is shown in a single situation and its results. The situation is often unusual in itself, and readers' interest should be aroused.

  2. The other short narrative form, the short story, could exploit this situation simply for its surprise or effects, but the Novelle's point lies beyond such exploitation. Its goal is to reveal new perspectives on and issues in human nature. These issues should go beyond the immediate context of the Novelle and stimulate readers to think about the human condition.

  3. The narration is very compressed, with symbols suggesting (between the lines) that more is going on than meets the eye.

  4. The style is supposed to seem like an objective report, without authorial commentary; the author has to get his/her point across in a more subtle way.

  5. The situations, which are often portrayed dramatically with ironic reversals of fate, present human existence in a nutshell by portraying focal problems of life.

  6. The Novelle operates in the real world, in a real social context, but it can challenge the basic values or institutions of that society.

Die Novelle (1)