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Thomas Mann’s „The Holy Sinner“ – as a critical analysis of heteronormativity

20. April 2017 19:00

The medieval court romance Gregorius by Hartmann von Aue, that tells the story of the protagonist wrapped up in a double incest, can hardly be read other than in a psycho-analytical way in the middle of the 20th century. This is exactly what Thomas Mann did in the Gregorius adaptation Der Erwählte [The Chosen], published in English as The Holy Sinner.

In his lecture, Benedikt Wolf tries to reconstruct this path of the narrative based in central psychoanalytical terms such as castration complex, primal scene, partial drive, Oedipus complex etc. In the end, so Wolf’s claim, Mann turns the “selection” of Gregorius into a need for redemption – the longing for a polymorph-perverse universe that surpasses heteronormative gender binaries.

In collaboration with Thomas Mann-Kreis Berlin.