Events Calendar
Dec 11
17:00 - 18:00
'Wo steckt Felicitas?' Felicitas Hoppe's Hoppe (2012) as a Critique of the Contemporary Autofictional Novel
Centre for Modern European Literature Postgraduate Seminar
Stephanie Obermeier (PhD Student In Comparative Literature)

In Felicitas Hoppe's novel Hoppe, the fictional biographer 'fh', combines biographical research with literary criticism in an account of the fictional Felicitas Hoppe's life and literary works. The text makes reference to both clearly fictional and clearly non-fictional, or factual elements, and has therefore been critically received as 'autofiction'. At first glance, the text does appear to correspond to the characteristics of autofiction as outlined by Jacques Lecarme, these being, firstly, the nominal identity of author, narrator, and protagonist, and secondly, the text's self-identification as a novel, or a work of fiction. However, there is a third criterion of the autofiction genre that is specified by Serge Doubrovsky which Hoppe does not meet: namely, that an autofictional text should demonstrate the 'impulse to reveal oneself in one's truth'. I argue that the focus in Hoppe is less on self-discovery or even self-invention than it is on the text's construction and its constant deferral of the moment of self-reflexion and self-constitution. Moreover, the text stages an opposition between the kind of novel the character Felicitas would most like to write, and the text which 'fh' (or, by extension, Hoppe herself) constructs. Rather than being a prime example of the contemporary autofictional novel, then, I argue that Hoppe can, in fact, be read as a novel that wants to champion the autofiction genre, but shies away from actually committing to autofiction's generic conventions.


Seminar Room 4,
Templeman Library,
University of Kent,
United Kingdom


Open to all,

Contact: Lyle Young


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