n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Traditionelles Wissen und moderne Bautechnik
Eine entwicklungspolitische Lektüre von Theodor Storms Novelle

Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1273


This paper examines the conflict between tradition and modernity in Theodor Storm's novella . The novella describes the flooding of a sea-side village. As shown in the analysis, the main cause for this catastrophe can be traced to ignoring traditional knowledge when applying modern techniques in constructing a new dam which was meant to protect the village from a devastating flood. Reading the story of the catastrophic flood from a development policy perspective allows us to recognize the disregard of local traditional values in modernisation strategies as one of the serious causes for failure of developmental policies, implemented by industrialized nations in developing countries. This paper, therefore, advocates the necessity of taking account of local traditional knowledge before embarking on any modernisation strategies.

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