Intertextuality in Daniel Kehlmann’s Novel Tyll
Marc J. Schweissinger

This article examines intertextuality in the novel Tyll, by Daniel Kehlmann, from 2017. The Name Tyll refers to the old medieval figure Till Eulenspiegel. Eulenspiegel, a real-life character became popular through folk songs of the 15th and 16th centuries in Germany, but Kehlmann creates a historical novel, placing his Tyll in the Thirty Years‟ War (1618–1648), a war tormenting central Europe. Kehlmann employs literary borrowings from the original rough farce and Charles De Coster‟s world-famous version of the 19th century, The Legend of Ulenspiegel and Lamme Goedzak. But while De Coster presented his Till as a freedom fighter for the Protestant Netherlands against Catholic Spanish oppression, Kehlmann pictures an entirely different character. Moreover, in contrast to the rough farce, Kehlmann equips his Tyll with an individual biography. Tyll, suffering from childhood trauma, runs away from home and becomes a travelling artist. Caught up by the whirlwind of the Thirty Years‟ War, unprotected by law, Tyll turns from an able trickster similar to the character from the popular folk song into a fool for the so-called Winter King of Bohemia, Frederick V. Kehlmann creates an intertextual riddle, shifting back and forward in time, deliberately full of flaws and conceptual loopholes.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v7n1a16