Innocence Abducted: Youth, War, and the Wolf in Literary Adaptations of the Pied Piper Legend from Robert Browning to Michel Tournier

  • Peter Arnds
Keywords: myth, folklore, legend, adaptation, fascism, liminality, Pied Piper

Abstract

The legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin has inspired numerous literary works around the globe, including Robert Browning’s famous poem (1888) and Wilhelm Raabe’s The Children of Hamelin (1868). While generally perceived as literature for the young this legend is steeped in a complex relationship between myth and history. By drawing on critical theory, primarily Giorgio Agamben’s thoughts on the expulsion of the "wolf man" in Homo Sacer and Friedrich Nietzsche’s Dionysus, and taking a closer interpretative look at Browning’s and Raabe’s literary adaptations in the second half of the nineteenth century this article contextualizes the complex relationship between the legend as myth and its political dimensions of race and insanity, the persecution of outsiders and itinerants.

Author Biography

Peter Arnds

Peter Arnds is the Director of Comparative Literature and the Centre of Literary Translation at Trinity College Dublin. He previously taught at Kansas State University, Colby College, Middlebury College, the University of Kabul, and JNU Delhi. He is the author of Representation, Subversion, and Eugenics in Günter Grass’s The Tin Drum (Camden House, 2004) and Wilhelm Raabe’s Der Hungerpastor and Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield: Intertextuality of Two Bildungsromane (Peter Lang, 1997). He is currently working on a literary history of the wolf.

Published
2012-07-20
How to Cite
Arnds, P. (2012). Innocence Abducted: Youth, War, and the Wolf in Literary Adaptations of the Pied Piper Legend from Robert Browning to Michel Tournier. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 4(1). Retrieved from http://jeunessejournal.ca/index.php/yptc/article/view/25
Section
Articles