Questions of identity

Marie Kolkenbrock's new book explores one of the central conflicts of modernity.

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has published a new book this week on what she sees as a central conflict of modernity: the desire to be both normal and special at the same time.

Marie Kolkenbrock’s book Stereotype and Destiny in Arthur Schnitzler's Prose: Five Psycho-Sociological Readings is published by Bloomsbury, 2018.

The book is based on her research for her PhD in German which explored the multiple relations between the encounter with a sense of destiny, on one hand, and the operation of social stereotyping, on the other, in the prose of the Viennese Modernist Arthur Schnitzler.

In addition to addressing questions of identity and subjecthood in Schnitzler's work, Marie’s book also shows how his texts inscribe themselves aesthetically in the literary tradition of Romanticism.  It has been described by reviewers Carl Niekerk (a professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Michael Minden (Reader Emeritus at Jesus College, Cambridge) as 'original', 'lucid', and 'elegant'.

Schnitzler wrote the book, Traumnovelle (Dream Story), which inspired Stanley Kubrick's 'Eyes Wide Shut'. The book deals with the thoughts and psychological transformations of Doctor Fridolin over a two-day period after his wife confesses having had sexual fantasies involving another man.

Schnitzler’s manuscripts are kept in the archive of the Cambridge University Library to which Marie had access for her PhD. Marie [2010] is currently a postdoctoral Research Associate and Affiliated Lecturer at the University of Cambridge and at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute in Vienna.