Parent-Child Resemblance in Literature Before the Age of Genetics: A Physiognomic Interpretation of the Novels of Zsigmond Kemény and Miklós Jósika

Zsófia Kucserka


Although Zsigmond Kemény (1814-1875) and Miklós Jósika (1794-1865) inevitably figure among the most significant writers of nineteenth-century Hungarian literature, the interpretation of their novels is embedded within international historical contexts that are often inaccessible to the present-day reader. This study examines the physiognomic meanings of parent-child similarity in nineteenth-century novels and thus situates the examined works within the context of European literary and intellectual history. Such an interpretation of the novels reveals the diverse and strong current in the history of European ideas with which the analyzed texts engage in a lively dialogue.


physiognomy; nineteenth-century Hungarian novel; heredity and characters in literature; Zsigmond Kemény; Miklós Jósika; interpretation in historical context

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ISSN 2471-965X (online)