This article examines the role of probability within the complex narrative structure of the story Spieler-Glück (Gambler’s Luck) by the German Romanticist E.T.A. Hoffmann. The focus is on Hoffmann’s use of the concepts of subjective and objective probability to explore the evolving possibilities and limitations of story-telling in modernity before the background of contemporary developments in the field of mathematics. The article argues that Spieler-Glück reproduces a specific type of probability calculation, challenging readers to produce their own probable interpretations. At the same time, however, the systematic use of probability to structure the narrative entails that all interpretations remain contingent and uncertain. Consequently, the story remains open-ended and self-reflexively asserts its own artificiality.
|Translated title of the contribution||“The strange concatenations of chance”: E.T.A. Hoffmann’s play with probability in the story Gambler’s Luck.|
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Seminar: a journal of Germanic studies|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|