Alexander Wagner

The fiction of non-fiction

Hybrid forms between the novel and non-fiction


Ferrum 89/2017

Using selected examples, the paper describes how the genre of what will tentatively be called ‘non-fiction novels’ was integrated into the National Socialists’ economic policy and especially the 1936 four-year plan. The study focuses on both the description and the presentation of scientific and technological knowledge and the specific literary techniques of the selected texts, taking into account the concept of synthetic modernism. The aim is to show how literature is involved in scientific-historical arbitration  processes and in the creation of a material and object culture and how it acts within a multimedia system for the popularization of scientific knowledge by integrating both non-literary techniques and the means of literary depiction. In addition to studying Hans Dominik’s book on the synthetic fiber Vistra and Rudolf Brunngraber’s Karl und das 20. Jahrhundert, the article concentrates mainly on Karl Aloys Schenzinger’s novel Anilin.


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