Iris Roebling-Grau received her PhD in comparative literature from the Freie Universität Berlin. In her dissertation she traced the concept of gratuitous action – illustrated prominently in the novel Les caves du Vatican by André Gide. As research assistant she taught at the Freie Universität Berlin, the University of Bielefeld and at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. In 2018 she concluded her research project ‚imitatio sanctorum‘ financed by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung where she explored three oeuvres by Teresa de Ávila, Jean Jacques Rousseau and Jonathan Little under the question of how they can be understood as a mirror for their readers. Her research interests include: literature and theology and dynamics of secularization.
The evolution of ‚Realism‘ as a literary movement in the 19th century has been explained within many different theoretical frameworks. All the distinct efforts of explication have the common feature of being based on a causal pattern. My contribution will challenge these existing ways of explication by focusing on what has been called ‘minor mimesis of the everyday life‘. A literary current seems an especially interesting case for the question of what keeps culture going, because it represents an intersection of seemingly free artistic choices on the one hand and social and historical circumstances on the other.