Narrative structures of threat in "1000 Coils of Fear" ("1000 Serpentinen Angst") by Olivia Wenzel

Jolanta Pacyniak

Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin (Poland)


In Peter Hogan’s book Affective Narratology, anxiety appears as a component of emotional systems alongside anger, affection, disgust, hunger and lust. In the context of literature, emotional systems determine the goals and narrative structure of stories. The auto-fictional novel 1000 Coils of Fear (1000 Serpentinen Angst, 2020) by Olivia Wenzel is analysed from the perspective of Affect Studies, focusing on the way anxiety is represented in the plot and how it determines the structure of the novel. Various forms of anxiety appear in the novel. The foreground is occupied by the threat of racism. The protagonist, like the author herself, was born in the GDR while her father comes from Africa. The anxiety is conveyed primarily in the form of dialogue, marked in the text with italics or capitalisation. The author presents it as interrogation or monologues. The study also examines how anxiety conveyed through the medium of literature induces certain affects in the reader.


Affect Studies, Olivia Wenzel, anxiety


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Cited by

Pacyniak, J. (2023). Narrative structures of threat in "1000 Coils of Fear" ("1000 Serpentinen Angst") by Olivia Wenzel. Transfer. Reception Studies, 8, 153–165.


Jolanta Pacyniak 

Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin Poland


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