“Hopefully I Won’t Be Misunderstood.” Disability Rhetoric in Jürg Acklin’s Vertrauen ist gut

Humanities. 2018;7(3):71 DOI 10.3390/h7030071


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Humanities

ISSN: 2076-0787 (Print)

Publisher: MDPI AG

LCC Subject Category: General Works: History of scholarship and learning. The humanities

Country of publisher: Switzerland

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Alec Cattell (Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures, College of Arts and Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-2071, USA)


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 11 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This essay brings together the fields of German literature, disability studies, and rhetoric in an analysis of the rhetorical strategies and representational implications of disability in Jürg Acklin’s 2009 novel Vertrauen ist gut. Resting on the theory of complex embodiment, the analysis considers the rhetoric of anmut as a literary strategy that invites readers to share imperfect, yet profound, embodied rhetorical connections with the protagonist without rendering invisible the differences that shape embodied experience. Although the characters in Vertrauen ist gut are fictional, this novel provides important insights regarding experiences of precarious embodiment and affirms the value of interdependence while challenging ideals of autonomy and independence. Furthermore, the novel’s narrative within a narrative—and the consequences of the narrator’s interpretation of their significance—challenges readers to use caution when interpreting literary narratives, as their relationship to personal narratives may not always be straightforward.