Die Bedeutung von Natur und Technik in Gerhart Hauptmanns „Bahnwärter Thiel“ (German Edition)
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Frauen zwischen Hausarbeit und Berufsleben. Hoffmann und Campe, , Death, Femininity and the Aesthetic Manchester: Manchester UP, , — Dietz, , — Lang, , — Niemeyer, , See, Theodor Storm, Neues Gespensterbuch, ed. Karl Ernst Laage Frankfurt a. Deutscher Klassiker Verlag, , Verfall einer Familie Frankfurt a.
Fischer, , —4. Insel-Verlag, , Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari Munich: New Interdisciplinary Essays, ed. Manchester UP, , —31, The impact particularly of Goethe and the Romantics has been the subject of countless studies. There is, therefore, ample scholarly evidence of the wealth of contacts between German and European writers in the nineteenth century. The mere fact of an established contact says nothing about its meaning; the sheer quantity of contacts between German and European writers must always be tempered by consideration of their quality. For example, when Wordsworth and Coleridge visited Klopstock, they were able to converse only in schoolboy Latin, a fact that must arouse misgivings about the productivity of this meeting.
Graver still are the implications of Mme. The persistence of this misconception contributed significantly to the long neglect of Early Romanticism. Likewise, translations may not provide the receiver with a genuine sense of the power of the original. Detailed information is unquestionably useful, even when it perpetuates a distortion, as Mme. But studies of discrete contacts are too limited and fragmented by virtue of their very specialization to give a coherent, overall picture of the larger contours of the comparative position of German literature in the context of European culture.
I therefore propose to approach this vast topic through an appraisal of the parallels and disparities in the three major literary movements of the nineteenth century, Romanticism, realism, and naturalism. The patterns of similarity and difference facilitate a broader understanding of the place of German literature in the European setting. The politico-social situation in Germany was a fundamental determinant of its literary life, and perhaps never more so than in the nineteenth century.
Up to then it consisted of thirty-nine states, each with its own ruler, despotic or enlightened at will, and its own legal and educational structures. Stringent censorship was enforced, particularly of any opinions suspected of being subversive of the ruling regime. Publication abroad was also forbidden without censorial clearance. The only possible subterfuge was to write fictitious memoirs purporting to comment on abuses witnessed abroad. The revolution in France and its successors in and throughout Europe heightened suspicion of foreigners and journalists, especially in the s and s.
The thwarting of both mobility and free speech resulted in stasis and the isolation of selfenclosure. This compartmentalization had a major consequence for cultural life in the lack of a capital, a magnetic focus for intellectual and artistic exchange comparable to Paris or London. In the absence of a capital, writers and thinkers clustered in a series of provincial towns. German and foreign travelers alike flocked to the tiny principality in what amounted to pilgrimages to see the star of German as well as of European culture.
Only in the final third of the century, after unification, did Germany have a national capital. Ibsen, too, spent considerable time in Germany, including visits to Berlin to attend performances of his plays. But his favorite German residence was Munich, which in the late nineteenth and into the twentieth century was a major center of artistic life, offering a more congenial, easygoing milieu for Bohemianism than the austere atmosphere of Prussian Berlin.
The institution of the classical Humboldtian Gymnasium had a potent standardizing effect, although its emphasis on Latin and Greek acted as a disincentive to the acquisition of modern foreign languages, as did the schooling offered by the religious orders. Still, French continued to be the lingua franca of polite society throughout Europe and beyond, and Germans turned to France for models in fashion, which were always copied with a time-lag.
On the other hand, North Germany, particularly the so-called Wasserkante Edge of the Sea , traditionally more cosmopolitan because of its trading connections, tended to be oriented toward England. Hamburg businessmen sent their sons to England to gain experience there. Nationhood by no means put an end to diversity, so that the picture of Germany in the nineteenth century is not only shifting but also often contradictory. Any generalization must be qualified in light of time and location. This inherent complexity immediately becomes apparent in German Romanticism, which was far more multifaceted than its European counterparts.
On the one hand, German Romanticism runs parallel to the Romantic movements in other countries in its basic affirmation of individualism, the centrality of the imagination, and the spontaneous expression of personal feeling. The argument can be put forward that the primacy of individualism throughout Romanticism was bound to lead to multiformity.
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In German Romanticism, however, the discrepancies run deeper; the ideals dominant in successive phases are quite divergent, and the artistic output of a range beyond that in other countries. Temporally, German Romanticism extends from the later s to the early s in two separate waves, early Romanticism from around the turn of the century and the high Romanticism from onward. But they also upheld classical forms, and except for a phase in their youth did not partake of Romantic iconoclasm. Indeed, Goethe became ever more conservative, partly in response to the destructiveness of the French revolution.
While Goethe and Schiller are regarded in Germany as the representatives of the classical period in its literature, throughout the rest of Europe they were read as the foremost German Romantics. No doubt this partial misreading can be ascribed to Mme. The acceptance of Goethe and Schiller as the major German Romantics produces a fundamental disparity between native and foreign perceptions of German literature.
The disparity is evident too in the far shorter time span of both English and French Romanticism. Its lateness, compared to Germany and England, is largely due to the intervention of the revolution, which diverted innovative thinking into the politico-social arena. Romanticism was decried as a foreign invasion, a threat to the native neoclassical tradition.
Spain and Italy, in the wake of France, were also late in the timing of their Romantic movements. The very tenuousness of the anterior tradition in Germany fostered the bold adventurousness of its Romantics. Goethe, born in , was to redress the balance, but around the turn of the century German writers had less to lose and more to gain by experimentation than their European peers who venerated the glories of their respective national heritages.
In contrast to France, where artistic novelty was suspect, after the French Revolution the rulers of the German states encouraged the exploration of aesthetic notions as posing no danger to the political status quo that they sought to preserve. Thus, paradoxically, the same forces that retarded Romanticism in France were conducive to its flowering in Germany.
Its artistic backwardness in the late eighteenth century made Germany so open to, indeed avid for, new ideas and styles of writing as to catapult it into the avant-garde. This thrust to innovation was most prominent among the early Romantics, partly no doubt because they were so overshadowed from the international perspective by the towering figure of Goethe. Important though they subsequently became, in their lifetime they were a marginalized sideshow on the German literary scene, which was dominated by Goethe and Schiller.
The Romantics, in averting their eyes from a dismal present, invested their hopes either in the restoration of a golden age, posited in the past, or, above all, in the coming of utopia through the reign of poetry in the future. Thus, their idealism took extreme forms. The possibility of transfiguring the world through poetry is the major theme of early Romanticism in contrast to other European Romantic movements where it hardly appears at all. Insofar as this ideal is codified, it comes not in the systematic form of treatises such as were produced in England by Wordsworth and Shelley, and in France by Hugo and Sainte-Beuve, but in provocative fragments, notably those of Friedrich Schlegel — , who stands at the intellectual core of early Romanticism.
However, in articulating his program Friedrich Schlegel freely invokes Dante, Cervantes, and Shakespeare, and among the moderns Sterne and Diderot. On the contrary, in this respect they were more sinned against than sinning. For long they were not heeded in other countries where Goethe monopolized attention. Wagner enjoyed immense popularity in France from onward.
Their works are not easily accessible because they were so committed to experimentation. His novel Lucinde suffers from shadowy characters and a confusing plot. The Herzensergiessungen, too, is as eccentric as its title suggests. The principle animating these bizarre works is the advocacy of the Mischgedicht, the mingling of the genres and styles in opposition to the neoclassical doctrine of their strict separation.
In fact, Friedrich Schlegel went so far as to affirm the grotesque, even the monstrous in pursuit of the ideal of an all-encompassing Poesie. When Victor Hugo —85 attempted to practice the grotesque in France in his play Hernani , the stage was pelted with eggs.
High Romanticism to some extent continued this vein of unconventional writing, notably in the narratives of E. Hoffmann — although to an attenuated, more acceptable degree. Also, his stories, despite their fundamental seriousness, are imbued with a humorous playfulness that made them more attractive than the earnest solemnity of early Romanticism. Hoffmann was the first of the German Romantics to be well received abroad. Appropriately, since he was himself a musician and composer, his work was broadly disseminated through the medium of music.
In Russia Hoffmann was all the rage from the s to about By the second half of the s every writer was acquainted with him, and many of his themes and motifs were being reiterated in Russian writings. In the s and s, when the press abounded in references to him, it was considered good taste to have read him. By sixty-two of his stories had appeared in translation as well as fourteen articles about him. Indeed, the claim was made that Hoffmann did not die but moved to Russia!
From until his death Heine lived in Paris as a high profile exile; he moved in literary circles and was an astute reporter on French political and cultural life. Das Buch Le Grand Ideas: The Book of Le Grand, he celebrated Napoleon as the representative of revolutionary politics. His critical stance toward Germany, exemplified in Deutschland: Banned in Prussia in , the work attacked both the aristocracy and clericalism on personal and idealistic grounds. As a Jew, albeit converted to Lutheranism in , he was unable to find employment in public administration or the universities in Germany.
Decidedly conservative in outlook, yet alienated from the post-Napoleonic reactionary age, High Romanticism sought traditional values in this destabilized period. In practical terms this meant a return to the past not as a golden age but as the repository of a Germanic culture that had been overlaid and forgotten. In place of the utopianism and millenarianism of the earlier generation, the second generation of Romantics took refuge in historical continuity, nationhood, and Catholicism.
In their patriotic fervor they paved the way for the Jungdeutschland Young Germany movement and for the formation of national consciousness.
This emphasis on continuity contrasts with the situation of French Romanticism which denoted a break away from the native tradition. In England, too, Romanticism meant innovation although not necessarily at the expense of continuity for as in Germany, neoclassicism had never been firmly entrenched since Shakespeare had initiated freedoms not tolerated in France.
The High Romantics concentrated on the retrieval of the national heritage by collecting and in many instances elaborating on folk-songs and -tales. In this they had a precedent in Great Britain where Bishop Percy had published Reliques and Macpherson had had great success with the partly spurious Poems of Ossian The fact that many of the primary informants were of French Huguenot background placed the Tales in a more cosmopolitan European context as a manifestation of an increasing interest in folklore not merely as a fascination with the Germanic past.
This distinctiveness continues in realism; however, in this instance, the differences between the German and European versions were an obstacle to diffusion so that the greatest disparity between German and European literature occurred round the middle of the century. Nonetheless, some fundamental parallels do exist that warrant the use of the same name. The term realism, derived from res, the Latin for thing, denotes a concentration on the commonplace lives, circumstances, and surroundings of ordinary people generally of the middle classes socially.
The primary thrust of realism is in sharp contradistinction to the idealistic transcendentalism of Early Romanticism or the predilection of the High Romantics for the historical; instead, the setting is in the present or the recent past. In this respect German realism parallels its European counterparts. But Germany in mid-century differed radically from England and France where realism flourished. Both countries were undergoing rapid industrialization and were also in a phase of expansionist imperialism.
Germany, too, witnessed the beginnings of industrial capitalism in the s but its response to the emergence of capitalist means of production was affected by the unsuccessful revolution and the subsequent sense of disillusionment. That disillusionment led to a strengthening of the distrust of the great world already evident after the failure of the Wars of Liberation — The movement known as Biedermeier —50 which, significantly, has no direct equivalent in other literatures, evokes above all the narrow environment of that period. That narrowness was reinforced by the continuing absence of a national capital and the concomitant cultivation of regionalism.
It is regionalism that most deeply distinguishes German from European realism.
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Many writers withdrew into their home area, producing vivid descriptions of local life. Conrad Ferdinand Meyer —88 was also Swiss, while Adalbert Stifter —68 wrote lyrically about his native Austria. A whole cluster of significant writers was centered in North Germany: All these wrote, as it were, from within and about the rural societies in which they were embedded. Symptomatic of their immersion in their environment is their predilection for local dialect as their means of expression. On the one hand recourse to dialect heightens the impression of realism, but on the other it limits the audience to those familiar with it.
Another variant on regionalism was peasant literature, which became a serious literary genre and an important strand of German realism. It found its model in the stories published in the early years of the century by Peter Hebbel — who wrote about simple country folk in both dialect and standard German. His foremost successors were the Swiss Jeremias Gotthelf — whose best known work is Die schwarze Spinne The Black Spider, and Fritz Reuter, who came from Mecklenburg and won the admiration of all who could read the dialect of that area.
But peasant literature, especially that in dialect, was seldom translated and did not reach far beyond local boundaries. The preferred form of the German poetic realists was the novella. Though often complex in form and artistically sophisticated, it does not have the broad sociological horizon of the European novel of the time.
Their tendency to a mannered style and archaic expressions removes them from the spoken language or the press. In this retreat, too, German realism differs from its European counterparts. Perhaps it also inspires the often noted greater preoccupation with ethical foundations than with social issues. Dogged by an elegiac sense of loss, German writers emphasized the aesthetic and ethical over the social implications of the changes in the world they did not feel capable of reforming. Only toward the very end of the century did Germany produce a writer whose novels are of a stature to take their place in the context of European literature.
It is surely no coincidence that Theodor Fontane —98 spent the middle thirty years of his life in England as a reporter. The substantial novels of his last years address the ethical problems of his time such as class distinctions and codes of behavior from a social angle. Although set in North Germany, they transcend regionalism in their subtle analysis of universal issues. Yet even while German realism had little resonance abroad, other facets of German culture at the time were an important presence, especially in England. The importation of the Christmas tree is an emblem of the openness to Germany in spheres not necessarily literary.
But the stories, often by unnamed translators, were domesticated to British perceptions of Germany so that they did not acquaint readers with what Germany was actually like. Goethe remained an icon among the small but intellectually high-powered group of leading British thinkers. The motivation to learn German in the mid to later nineteenth century stemmed less from interest in its literature than in its scholarship. The reform of German education in the earlier half of the century paved the way for the efflorescence of science in its second half.
In the new Realgymnasium priority was given to the sciences in order to prepare men for industrialization and research. The German medical schools with their emphasis on chemistry, physics, botany, and zoology, and the addition of histology and embryology in the s and s became models for the medical curriculum in London and in the United States. Signal advances were made in bacteriology, microscopal anatomy, neuropsychiatry, and instrumentation that brought Germany into the forefront of medical progress.
The work of Robert Koch — in infectious diseases is preeminent. With the advent of naturalism the picture changes once more, this time to a preponderance of parallels over disparities as German literature moved into the European mainstream.
The unification of Germany and the consequent establishment of a capital in Berlin had a decisive effect on both ideological and practical levels. Prussian military rule set the tone for the emerging nation as a hard-headed confrontation of reality ousted a quiescence and placidity now regarded as antiquated.
The guiding spirits of naturalism were outspokenly anti-metaphysical: In practical terms, Berlin provided a focal point for naturalism in contrast to the dispersal of realism into the regions. It was one of the cities that grew most rapidly in the transition from agrarian to factory production. As in London and Paris, poorly paid, disenfranchised workers huddled in the slums that arose around the mechanized factories.
German naturalism therefore runs parallel to its European equivalents in its strong social consciousness and its zeal for reform. The combative momentum of the German naturalists is similar to but even more pronounced than that of their precursors in France and Scandinavia. Although Zola at first met with hostility on account of his alleged immorality, he was greeted with increasing enthusiasm from on, and translations of his works proliferated. Ihr Wesen und ihre Gesetze Art: Thus, in his slice of life sketch Papa Hamlet he uses hyperrealistic devices including the phonetic notation of personal idiosyncrasies in speech and the mimetic recording of sounds such as the drip from a leaking roof to achieve the closest approximation to reality.
In theories and experiments such as these, German naturalism parallels but also exceeds its European counterparts. It is in the theater that German naturalism comes closest to its sister movements in other European countries, partly because they all imported the same models from Scandinavia. There can be no better demonstration of the unanimity in European naturalism than this agreement on the foundation of the new drama.
The novels of Michael Georg Conrad — , editor of the journal Die Gesellschaft Society in Munich, the secondary locus of German naturalism, are pretty well forgotten nowadays. It marks the point where German literature, with Hauptmann, Fontane, and just a little later Thomas Mann, attained full parity in Europe. Das schwierige neunzehnte Jahrhundert The Difficult Nineteenth Century is the title of a recent international interdisciplinary conference whose proceedings were published in Schwierig is an evocative word, less weighty than the outright schwer hard , yet implying a peculiar awkwardness and intricacy.
Was the nineteenth century really particularly schwierig in Germany? The political situation with its struggles between pressures to conservatism or progressiveness as the country moved toward unification is definitely a complicating factor in its literary and cultural history. The nineteenth century in Germany is above all a paradoxical time of contrasts, changes, and reversals that defy reduction to a simple scenario. The position of German literature in the context of European culture offers a cogent example of paradoxicality.
For instance, Goethe was for most of the century perceived as the only German poet of international stature, while the Romantics, engaged in experimentation vital to modernism and postmodernism, were with few exceptions, neglected. As were the realists, though for opposite reasons. If the Romantics ventured too far beyond then accepted literary and aesthetic norms, the realists retreated too far into their niches in localized precincts remote from the world at large.
As a result, German literature was largely undervalued in the context of European culture in the nineteenth and even into the twentieth century. Some of its most original writers, such as Novalis and Friedrich Schlegel did not reach an audience commensurate with their importance. Proescholt-Obermann, Goethe and his British Critics: Peter Lang, ; J. Simpson, Matthew Arnold and Goethe London: Les Belles Lettres, ; E. Morley, Crabb Robinson in Germany — London: Mediator and Comparatist Frankfurt: Sutcliffe, and Gilbert Gadoffre New York: German Literature and Society —90 New York: Basic Books, , 3.
Harrassowitz Verlag, , —54 on British travelers. Macmillan, ; New York: Wayne State UP, , 99—, especially —32 on Wagner. Teichmann, La Fortune de E. Hoffmann and Russian Literature Voronezh: I am most grateful to my research assistant Marina Alexandrova for reading this book for me in Russian and providing the information as well as many other biographical and bibliographic facts.
Fitzroy Dearborn, II, I am indebted to Clayton Koelb for lending me his copy as well as for stimulating conversations and useful suggestions for this piece. Ashton, Little Germany, 93— To view the image on this page please refer to the printed version of this book. The German states after the Congress of Vienna, — By the end of the s, the patchwork of Germanspeaking kingdoms, principalities, and dominions had been drastically altered. Economically, industrial advances succeeded the seeming backwardness of traditional agriculture.
Politically, multi-party parliamentary systems took the place of individual absolute rulers. And socially, innovations in transportation, city planning, social welfare and other areas radically modernized German-speaking Europe. This survey traces many of the political and social factors writers encountered during this period; to do so, it focuses on major historical moments between and Possible causes and relationships of political and social developments during this time-span are brought to light: In , none of the German-speaking countries with which we are familiar today existed, let alone one unified Germany in the fashion of the Western European nation-states England and France.
Instead, maps comprised countless sovereign entities. As a loosely-joined federation of states and cities Staatenbund , however, not a federal state Bundesstaat , the Bund preserved the boundaries of its precursor, the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, which had come to an end in A lack of central administrative and executive bodies disappointed premature hopes for the creation of a unified national structure.
With the creation of the Bund, several smaller political units had been absorbed by others. For example, the acquisition of the Rhineland and Westphalia in the west had given Prussia previously absent economic powers. Some of the Mittelstaaten middle states also had recorded territorial gains. Unlike the enduring absolutist monarchies in Prussia, Austria and middle states such as Hanover and the Mecklenburgs, these southern and southwestern states now granted more participatory rights to individuals.
The Bund did not follow a sense of national belonging as an organizing principle. Switzerland also remained outside the Bund. It had not been a part of the Holy Roman Empire and continued to maintain a neutral stance between France, Italy and the Bund throughout the s. As the writings of the Swiss novelist Gottfried Keller — nonetheless revealed, developments in Prussia, Austria and elsewhere impacted the Swiss imagination, and as the later dissemination of Swiss democratic ideals in Europe reveal, the flow of ideas clearly moved in the opposite direction as well.
Other territories, however, were much less resolute about ties to the Bund.
Holstein with its predominantly German-speaking population was part of the Bund, while Schleswig and its Danish residents remained excluded. This discord was a recurring theme for Theodor Storm — and other writers from Schleswig-Holstein. Politically, the division resurfaced again and again in crucial points of dispute, which the following discussion of the Revolution and the Wars of Unification between and will underscore.
Significant connections between the order within the Bund and the rest of Europe were further shaped by the kings of England, the Netherlands, and Denmark and their rule over the states of Hanover, Luxembourg, and Schleswig-Holstein respectively. Located in the center of Europe, the German Confederation was thus not a unified power, but a product of a European balancing act. This territorial composition polarized the power brokers Austria and Prussia throughout the nineteenth century.
Thus, Austro-Prussian relations largely shaped the history of Central Europe until the s. We will see how the conservative reactions in these two states to revolutionary events in the s and in , their division over economic cooperation, the culmination of their competition in the war of , all amplified this crucial struggle.
Yet, as differences crystallized, it became apparent how nonetheless the Confederation articulated great consensus on interior politics. Following the lead of Prussia and Austria, the Bund agreed on controlling demands for political and social change as potential threats to their rule.
Consequently, persistent threats of censorship, bans on political associations, limitations on freedom of speech, and secret trials were among the restrictive measures that affected the intellectual climate and everyday life. Often callous responses to attempted change and public criticism underscored the influence of a reactionary alliance confirmed at the beginning of the Restaurationszeit Restoration Era in between monarchy, Church, and nobility.
Yet commencing with the year , the restrictive measures of the Restoration were challenged as never before. Precisely this suppression stimulated further political curiosity and antagonism, making the pre-March period a time in which society became increasingly politicized and polarized. As social disparities grew between classes, causing such phenomena as pauperism impoverishment of the lower social strata and stimulating radical and socialist thinkers, this period was marked by revolutionary activities, demands for social and political reforms, civil unrest and, in due course, conservative reactions to uphold the existing order.
The events of the July Revolution of in France unleashed the potential for change in many European states. Bourgeois unrest had culminated in the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in place of the Restoration regime of Charles X — , King of France. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Set up a giveaway. Feedback If you need help or have a question for Customer Service, contact us.
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