Werthers Waisen: Zur Genealogie romantischer Inkommunikabilität in ‚René‘, ‚Adolphe‘ und ‚Sab‘
Pages 113 - 130
Through the motif of the ineffable secret, romantic love is connected with the problem of language. Prototypically in Werther, the ideal love that presumably generates true individual expressions turns out to be, like all discourses of authenticity and originality, incommunicable. Transcribing the Werther-narrative, René and Adolphe exhibit the verbal impotence as the symptom of the social dis-ruption caused by the French Revolution; whereas in Sab – a novel situated in Spanish Cuba – the silent love of a meek mulatto slave for his white mistress conceals in fact the desire of the colonial masters to maintain the slave in political unconsciousness and a total lack of self-determination.