Publications search results

Michael James White
30 May 2012

The novels of Theodor Fontane (1819-1898), Germany's most important Realist, have long been appreciated for the symbolism of their represented worlds. In this study, Michael White examines the significance of space and spatial experience across Fontane’s oeuvre, providing analyses of non-fiction prose and less well-known novels, alongside major works and poetry. The study reveals not only a complex and varied spatial symbolism, but also that space itself is a thematic concern in Fontane’s writing. His texts portray human beings’ relationships with their worlds, and how and to what end they invest their environment with meaning. Fontane's novels and travel writings emerge as profoundly reflexive discourses on art and its function for the...

Áine McMurtry
30 May 2012

Ingeborg Bachmann (1927-73), one of the most acclaimed German-language poets of the post-war period, famously turned away from the lyric during the 1960s. Publicly declaring that she had stopped writing poetry, Bachmann began work on the prose Todesarten cycle that would dominate the last decade of her life. During a period of personal breakdown in the 1960s, however, she privately continued to write in verse, and the publication of selected drafts in 2000 threw new light on her compositional methods in this period.

As the most extensive study to date of the poetic drafts, this monograph leads away from the polemic that surrounded their publication to establish the fragmentary texts as an experimental stage of writing that...

Sarah Bowden
30 May 2012

König Rother, Salman und Morolf, the Münchner Oswald and Grauer Rock (otherwise known as Orendel) have had a troubled position in the literary history of medieval Germany. Forced into a normative generic framework as either ‘Minstrel Epic’ (Spielmannsepik) or ‘Bridal-quest Epic’ (Brautwerbungsepik), these texts have been viewed conventionally according to an essentially teleological classification or a schematic ideal.
Bowden challenges the premises of such a view with a detailed history of the textual scholarship, and revaluates these so called ‘Bridal-quests’ on their own terms, offering detailed and suggestive readings of each work without the distortions or limitations...

Timothy Beech
1 June 2010

Johann Georg Hamann (1730-88) was one of the most radical and sophisticated critics of the German Enlightenment. The three late works Konxompax, Metakritik über den Purismum der Vernunft and Golgatha und Scheblimini!, written between 1779 and 1784, are polemics against iconic texts by the Enlightenment luminaries Lessing, Kant and Mendelssohn. This diverse and rich material, ranging from the Fragmentenstreit to Kant's first critique, is refracted through Hamann's radical Lutheranism, with freemasonry and the pagan mystery religions adding lurid apocalyptic highlights. Hamann's idiosyncratic style and heavily intertextual manner of composition gives his works a fascinating and teasing complexity and put...

Victoria Dutchman-Smith
19 February 2010

Throughout critical debates on E.T.A. Hoffmann, discussions of alcohol, and in particular its influence on and significance within E.T.A. Hoffmann's creative output, have been recurrent, impassioned and frequently divisive. Portrayals of the artist as tortured alcoholic, such as one finds in Offenbach's Contes d'Hoffmann, continue to capture the public imagination, but have fallen out of favour with critics wishing to bolster Hoffmann's status as a landmark writer. Victoria Dutchman-Smith uses the specific fate of alcohol as a topic in literature, biography and criticism as a prompt for the re-evaluation of Hoffmann's changing identities over the past two centuries: as artist, critic, Romantic, pre-emptive modernist, canonised...

Steffan Davies
19 February 2010

Albrecht von Wallenstein (1583-1634), one of the most famous and controversial personalities of the Thirty Years War, gained heightened prominence in the nineteenth century through Schiller's monumental drama Wallenstein (1798-99). Schiller's own fame, and the complexities he injected into his dramatic character, made Wallenstein a potent, near-mythical, but also highly ambivalent figure. This innovative and detailed study tests Schiller's impact on historians as well as on later literary texts. It traces Wallenstein's part in the construction of identity in Germany, Austria and Bohemia, examining the figure's significance in events such as the 'Wars of Liberation' against France, the 1859 Schiller festival, and the First World...

Stricker's 'Karl der Große' and 'Daniel von dem Blühenden Tal'
Rachel E. Kellett
28 July 2008

Combat is one of the central themes of Middle High German narrative literature, and of significant interest to medievalists in general. Nevertheless, few studies to date have attempted a detailed analysis of the depiction of combat in literary texts.
Kellett uses an inclusive approach to the details of combat descriptions in order to analyse minutely the scenes of single combat and battle presented in two major narrative works by Der Stricker, the epic Karl der Große and the Arthurian romance Daniel von dem Blühenden Tal, written between 1220 and 1250. The author compares these works with a wide range of other texts, both French and German, and investigates the relationship between Stricker’s depiction of combat...

Ernest Schonfield
28 July 2008

The turn of the twentieth century was a time of identity crisis for the upper and middle classes, one in which increased social mobility caused the blurring of traditional boundaries and created a need for reference works such as the British Who's Who (1897). At the same time, the rise of a new leisure industry and an increase in international travel led to a boom period for confidence men, who frequently operated in hotels and holiday resorts. Thomas Mann's Felix Krull, written between 1910-13 and continued (though never completed) in 1951-54, uses contemporary accounts of these figures as a starting-point from which to explore the aesthetics of society.
The early Krull marks an important stage in Mann's...

Helena M. Tomko
6 January 2008

Following her conversion to Catholicism in 1926, Gertrud von le Fort (1876–1971) developed literary forms in her fiction and verse that sought to allow readers imaginative access to her sacramental vision of reality. Le Fort’s contribution to German literature has often been identified narrowly with the Christian inner emigration during the Third Reich. This study’s concentration on the period 1924-46 extends the critical perspective towards a more nuanced assessment of her work that pays appropriate attention to the literary, theological, and socio-cultural context of German Catholicism in the Weimar Republic and Third Reich. Scholars have considered, but by no means discussed exhaustively, whether a German literary renouveau...

Peter Damrau
15 June 2006

This is the first study to demonstrate the impact of Puritan literature on the development of German language and literature in the seventeenth century and beyond. It crosses the boundaries of theology, literature, and the English and German traditions to show that eighteenth-century secular thinking on introspection, psychology and subjectivity has its roots in vocabulary used in Germany as early as 1665 through the translation of figures such as Daniel Dyke and Richard Baxter. The book concludes with insights on John Bunyan, whose works inspired writers of the 'Geniegeneration' such as Lenz, Wieland, Moritz and Jung-Stilling.