Eva Heubach

Das Reale des Realismus - Konzeptualisierung einer Kategorie der Moderne und Gegenwart

Eva Heubach

Doctoral Candidate

Address Habelschwerdter Allee 45
14195 Berlin
Email e.m.heubach@fu-berlin.de

Eva Heubach studied “Arts du Spectacle” at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris and attained a B.A. in French and Spanish Philology and Latin America Studies and also a M.A. in Comparative Literature at the Freie Universitaet Berlin. Since October 2012 she is a fellow at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate-School in “Literary Studies,” and since April 2013 an associate fellow at the Phd-Net "Das Wissen der Literatur" at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

In recent years one was able to witness a resurgence of the category of realism within many discursive fields, including literary theory and aesthetics. Surprisingly, this resurgence was accompanied by a neglect of the important 20th century debate about realism, whose main proponents have been, Georg Lukács and Theodor W. Adorno, among others. If one seeks to counter this neglect and returns to this controversy, one cannot but notice that at times in its margins, at times in its center, a name reappears, that was often associated not only with the end of the realist novel, but also with the crisis of the novel as such – namely Samuel Beckett.

The project will argue why and how this fact, which has seldom been systematically investigated neither in discourses on realism nor in studies on Beckett, provides an unexpected starting point for a new analysis of Beckett’s work and presents a strong alternative to the picture that was painted by the influential existentialist or poststructuralist readings. Addressing Beckett’s Trilogy of Molloy, Malone meurt and in particular L'Innommable, the project will show that what is at stake therewith is not the crisis of the novel, but rather a systematic exploration of the potentiality of its very form, a potential that is immanently linked to the fundamental questions of realistic representation. 

Drawing on basic insights of psychoanalysis, the project will present components of and for a renewed reading of Beckett and will demonstrate how this even allows for drafting a new constellation of the main positions involved in the former realism-controversy.


„Die Notwendigkeit des unmöglichen Ganzen. Brechts „Jahrhunderttext“ Fatzer“ (mit Frank Ruda), in: Fatzer Jahrbücher, 2013, S. 18-32.


Rebecca Comay, Mourning Sickness. Hegel and the French Revolution, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2011. (ins Deutsche, in Vorbereitung)


„The typical of typicality or: Who is Samuel Beckett’s Unnamable?“, Graduate Student Conference „Realism Bites: Disruptive Realisms in Modernity", Department of German and Romance Languages and Literature, Johns Hopkins University, November 2015.

„On Realism: Lukács with Beckett“, Graduate Student Conference „Versuche über den Roman: Life and Literature after Lukács“, German Department, Yale University, April 2015.

„„Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.“ Die Grenzen des Komischen in Samuel Becketts Endgame“, Workshop „Tabu und Transgression als literaturwissenschaftliche Heuristika“, Friedrich Schlegel Graduiertenschule, Freie Universität Berlin, November 2014.

„Die Notwendigkeit des unmöglichen Ganzen. Brechts „Jahrhunderttext“ Fatzer“ (mit Frank Ruda), Fatzer Tage, Mülheim, Juni 2012.