It was between 1842 and 1844 that the Austrian author Adalbert Stifter wrote his novella Brigitta. Along with descriptions of beautiful landscapes and the love story between the Major and Brigitta, the work offers countless references to concomitant social and political events happening during the first half of the 19th century. Whether Stifter felt influenced by these changes or if he actually contributed to their taking place by influencing others through his works, we don't know.
Europe and its social and political changes are the center of attention of many history and geography books. The first half of the 19th century was quite tumultuous and rich of events. Revolutions, insurrections and reformations, which took place between 1800 and 1850, played a particularly important role in the shaping and formation of Central and Eastern Europe. New nations and peoples were able to affirm their identity during those decades.
While Thomas Cook was contracting the construction of a well-distributed net of railways, other concomitant political events, such as the Congress of Vienna and the revolution of 1848, characterized the 19th century with significant changes in both political and social systems. Wars and the desire for peace and justice are themes often encountered in the literature of this time. Such is the case of Stifter's Brigitta, a novella where many of the above-mentioned social and political changes seem to take an effective role in the course of the story.
Considering the importance of literary texts in a socio-political background, During explained that there is a difference in role between the mere political desire for nationalism and the desire to exercise some sort of influence upon society. He said that, "literature has operated in different social spaces than nationalism, employing different signifying practices" (During 138). In regard to Stifter's Brigitta this may mean that... [continues]
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