Performativity

Angela Esterhammer, “1824: Improvisation, Speculation, and Identity-Construction”

Angela Esterhammer, “1824: Improvisation, Speculation, and Identity-Construction”

Literature and cultural history of the year 1824 reflect the prominence of improvisation and speculation as ideologies and modes of action. Both these terms suggest hasty action that lacks a solid or profound basis, that responds to contingencies and constructs its own (pseudo-)reality. This article explores modalities of improvisation and speculation by focusing on the interrelated themes of ephemerality, appearance, and identity-construction in texts and performances of the year 1824, including influential works of poetry and fiction, the burgeoning periodical press, and new forms of theatrical entertainment.