Formvollendetes Leiden an ästhetisierten Krankheiten im aktuellen Jugend- bzw. All-Age-Roman


  • Iris Schäfer


“Whatever is fitted in any sort to excite the ideas of pain, and danger, that is to say, whatever is in any sort terrible, [...], is a source of the sublime; that is, it is productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling” (Burke 1958, 36), writes Edmund Burke 1757 in A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. The idea that pain, danger and terror are much stronger impressions than pleasure, and may be classified as “sources of the sublime”, not only inspired philosophers like Kant, it also can be found in recent young adult literature, in particular the subgenre of Sick Lit, where suffering from a terminal illness is often represented as a sublime condition. Using the examples of Lara Schützsack’s Und auch so bitterkalt (2014), a novel about an anorexic female character, and Anthony McCarten’s novel Superhero (2007), which focuses on a male cancer patient, this article aims to explore the literary strategies employed in illness narratives, emphasizing their aesthetical dimensions.