Twilight Zones

Liminal Texts of the Long Turn of the Century (1880 - 1940)

The starting point of the analytical digital anthology was the detection of a new text corpus. The Collection assembles, defines, and examines texts which can be labeled as "liminal texts". They can be characterized as liminal since they deny a classification into traditional systems, genres, and forms valid at the time. Around 1880 and continuing into the first decades of the 20th century broadly effective innovations in the sciences, the arts, in politics and society took place in France, Austria and Germany. Yet the anthology not only provides a new corpus and therewith innovative insights into the long turn of the century. The sampling and analyzing of the liminal texts present an ideal experimental field for current theoretical and methodological questions.

The analytical digital anthology is worked out on several levels:

  1. The project is carried by an interest in a newly elaborated corpus of German and French texts and the contextual and methodological challenges coming with it.
  2. An interdisciplinary cooperation between literary and cultural studies, cultural sociology and digital humanities built the base for a productive execution of the tasks.
  3. The anthology (open and at disposal for the research community and the public) functions as both, as a presentation of single texts and a corpus; it further offers the analysis of single texts and the corpus based on the application of a close reading with a newly developed system of categories.
  4. Furthermore, the anthology allows an interactive and flexible analysis for other users.
  5. Therefore, the anthology not only functions as a research tool for the project at issue but also for future handlings of the liminal texts and texts in general.
  6. Integrated into the anthology is a monograph with the task to describe the theoretical and meth-odological models developed for the collection of texts as well as the results of the practical use of it.


  1. noun [twi·light \ ˈtwī-līt] (Merriam-Webster)
    1. a time of twilight
    2. an intermediate state that is not clearly defined
  2. adjective (Collins)
    A twilight state or a twilight zone is asituation of confusion or uncertainty, which seems to exist between two different states or categories.


  1. noun
    1. an area just beyond ordinary legal and ethical limits (Merriam-Webster)
    2. any indefinite or transitional condition or area (Collins)


  1. adjective [lim·i·nal|\ˈli-mə-nᵊl] (Merriam-Webster)
    relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition: in-between, transitional
    First known use: 1875