Fontane combines the perspective of the beginning as the embryonic core of the plot with the reception-oriented task of familiarising the reader with the coordinates of the narrated story. Fontane's emphasis on the importance of the beginning of the text is a much-discussed area in literary studies, which has already produced some notable research results, and not only in the field of German literature. On the other hand, Fontane's criticism on this particular subject is relatively sparse. The first pages of his best-known novels, Cécile, Irrungen, Wirrungen, Effi Briest and Der Stechlin, have been the subject of important individual text-critical analyses, e.g. by Becker, Brinkmann, Hawkes Velardi, Hertling, Heuser, Oz, Schuster and Waniek, to name but a few. However, the literature on Fontane lacks detailed overall analyses that problematise the function and typology of the opening in relation to the unfolding of the plot in order to create as complete a system as possible of his opening constructions. My paper will attempt to address some of the issues that seem most relevant in the context of the opening problem, and which may serve as suggestions in the sense of the above question. Finally, using Fontane's "Schach von Wuthenow" as an example, an interpretative approach is attempted that links the incipit as a semantic marker with the "subsequent text" and the further course of the plot.
Fiandra, E. (2023). Wo endet das Incipit? Anfangskonstruktionen in Fontanes Romanen. In C./.S. Buffagni (a cura di), Grenzüberschreitungen in Theodor Fontanes Werk: Sprache, Literatur, Medien (pp. 345-358). Lausanne · Berlin · Bruxelles · Chennai · New York · Oxford : De Gruyter [10.1515/9783110735710-019].