beyond the frame
dominique bauer
In literature and visual sources, secluded parks, cabinets, bourgeois homes, d o ppelg ä nger that function as a second skin and interior spaces in the guise of art or artifice reveal a rich and complex imagery. These expose a dweller / subject that is driven by authenticity and embodies a radical panoptic and simultaneous presence with reality. This ambition however increasingly leads to its complete opposite. Authenticity becomes alienation, presence becomes absence, seeing becomes blindness, the subject becomes an object, the void invades the interior.

The imagery of interior spaces is thus presented as a cultural code of a tragic subjectivity, throughout a variety of historical case studies that are set between the later Middle Ages and the end of the long nineteenth century. The cabinet as the paradigmatic interior, for example, is analyzed in its later seventeenth century context, whereas the double theme is discussed in a variety of literary sources, such as Schnitzler, Hogg, Kafka, Dostoevsky or Alain-Fournier. The breakdown of the tragic subject is followed from Adalbert Stifter through Der blaue Reiter on artistic and literary representation. The interior space, finally, as a discourse on the tragic subject and representation, as artifice or work of art, is addressed in Huysmans ’ À rebours and furthermore in the works of Moritz, Hoffmann, Alain-Fournier or Gald ó s.