Although the importance of the interplay of literature and philosophy in Germany has often been examined within individual works or groups of works by particular authors, little research has been undertaken into the broader dialogue of German literature and philosophy as a whole. Philosophy and German Literature 1700–1990 offers six chapters by leading specialists on the dialogue between the work of German literary writers and philosophers through their works. The volume shows that German literature, far from being the mouthpiece of a dour philosophical culture dominated by the great names of Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Heidegger and Habermas, has much more to offer: while possessing a high affinity with philosophy it explores regions of human insight and experience beyond philosophy's ken.
Although the importance of the interplay of literature and philosophy in Germany has often been examined within individual works or groups of works by particular authors, little research has been undertaken into the broader dialogue of German literature and philosophy as a whole. This study offers six chapters by leading specialists on the dialogue between German literary writers and philosophers through their works.
Diversity is one of the defining characteristics of contemporary German-language literature, not just in terms of the variety of authors writing in German today, but also in relation to theme, form, technique and style. However, common themes emerge: the Nazi past, transnationalism, globalisation, migration, religion and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and identity. This book presents the novel in German since 1990 through a set of close readings both of international bestsellers (including Daniel Kehlmann's Measuring the World and W. G. Sebald's Austerlitz) and of less familiar, but important texts (such as Yadé Kara's Selam Berlin). Each novel discussed in the volume has been chosen on account of its aesthetic quality, its impact and its representativeness; the authors featured, among them Nobel Prize winners Günter Grass, Elfriede Jelinek and Herta Müller demonstrate the energy and quality of contemporary writing in German.
The beginnings of psychology are usually dated from experimental psychology and Freudian psychoanalysis in the late-nineteenth century. Yet the period from 1700 to 1840 produced some highly sophisticated psychological theorising that became central to German intellectual and cultural life, well in advance of similar developments in the English-speaking world. Matthew Bell explores how this happened, by analysing the expressions of psychological theory in Goethe's Faust, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, and in the works of Lessing, Schiller, Kleist and E. T. A. Hoffmann. This study pays special attention to the role of the German literary renaissance of the last third of the eighteenth century in bringing psychological theory into popular consciousness and shaping its transmission to the nineteenth century. All German texts are translated into English, making this fascinating area of European thought fully accessible to English readers for the first time.
This accessible and fresh account of German writing since 1750 is a case study of literature as a cultural and spiritual resource in modern societies. Beginning with the emergence of German language literature on the international stage in the mid-eighteenth century, the book plays down conventional labels and periodisation of German literary history in favour of the explanatory force of international cultural impact. It explains, for instance, how specifically German and Austrian conditions shaped major contributions to European literary culture such as Romanticism and the ‘language scepticism’ of the early twentieth century. From the First World War until reunification in 1990, Germany’s defining experiences have been ones of catastrophe. The book provides a compelling overview of the different ways in which German literature responded to historical disaster. They are, first, Modernism (the ‘Literature of Negation’), second, the literature of totalitarian regimes (Third Reich and German Democratic Republic), and third the various creative strategies and evasions of the capitalist democratic multi-medial cultures of the Weimar and Federal Republics. The volume achieves a balance between textual analysis and cultural theory that gives it value as an introductory reference source and as an original study and as such will be essential reading for students and scholars alike.
Alfred Döblin is one of the most important twentieth-century German writers. This volume reassesses the uniquely interdisciplinary quality of his texts, which are paradigms of the encounter between literary and scientific modernity. It analyses Döblin's best-known literary works as well as his medical essays, political journalism and autobiographical texts, and it situates him in relation to other writers such as Heine, Benn, Brecht and Sebald. Wide-ranging and with contributions in English and German, this is a valuable study for students and advanced researchers alike.
German writers, from Luther and Goethe to Heine, Brecht, and Günter Grass, have had a profound influence on the modern world. This Very Short Introduction presents an engrossing tour of the course of German literature from the late Middle Ages to the present, focussing especially on the last 250 years. Emphasizing the economic and religious context of many masterpieces of German literature, it highlights how they can be interpreted as responses to social and political changes within an often violent and tragic history. The result is a new and clear perspective which illuminates the power of German literature and the German intellectual tradition, and its impact on the wider cultural world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
When looking at how trauma is represented in literature and the arts, we tend to focus on the weight of the past. In this book, Amir Eshel suggests that this retrospective gaze has trapped us in a search for reason in the madness of the twentieth century’s catastrophes at the expense of literature’s prospective vision. Considering several key literary works, Eshel argues in Futurity that by grappling with watershed events of modernity, these works display a future-centric engagement with the past that opens up the present to new political, cultural, and ethical possibilities—what he calls futurity. Bringing together postwar German, Israeli, and Anglo-American literature, Eshel traces a shared trajectory of futurity in world literature. He begins by examining German works of fiction and the debates they spurred over the future character of Germany’s public sphere. Turning to literary works by Jewish-Israeli writers as they revisit Israel’s political birth, he shows how these stories inspired a powerful reconsideration of Israel’s identity. Eshel then discusses post-1989 literature—from Ian McEwan’s Black Dogs to J. M. Coetzee’s Diary of a Bad Year—revealing how these books turn to events like World War II and the Iraq War not simply to make sense of the past but to contemplate the political and intellectual horizon that emerged after 1989. Bringing to light how reflections on the past create tools for the future, Futurity reminds us of the numerous possibilities literature holds for grappling with the challenges of both today and tomorrow.
This volume brings an interdisciplinary approach to one of the most famous novels in the German canon, but one which remains neglected in English-language scholarship: Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship. Contributors explore broad philosophical questions as they are developed in Goethe's literary text, bringing new insight to both literary studies and philosophy. Their essays treat individuality, development, and authority; aesthetic formation andnarrative (and human) contingency; gender, sexuality, and marriage; power, institutions, and control as philosophical problems addressed by Goethe's novel.
The Emergence of Neuroscience and the German Novel: Poetics of the Brain revises the dominant narrative about the distinctive psychological inwardness and introspective depth of the German novel by reinterpreting the novel’s development from the perspective of the nascent discipline of neuroscience, the emergence of which is coterminous with the rise of the novel form. In particular, it asks how the novel’s formal properties—stylistic, narrative, rhetorical, and figurative—correlate with the formation of a neuroscientific discourse, and how the former may have assisted, disrupted, and/or intensified the medical articulation of neurological concepts. This study poses the question: how does this rapidly evolving field emerge in the context of nineteenth century cultural practices and what were the conditions for its emergence in the German-speaking world specifically? Where did neuroscience begin and how did it broaden in scope? And most crucially, to what degree does it owe its existence to literature?