VOLUME 96, NUMBER 1, SPRING 2004

From the Editor

ARTICLES

Gerd Bayer
Theory as Hierarchy: Positioning German Migrantenliteratur

The critical reception of Migrantenliteratur, that is, of German literature written by authors not born in Germany, has focused to a large extent on the cultural aspects of these texts. From the beginning, however, critics have pointed out that such positioning places these texts in a predetermined context, without much regard for aesthetic features. This article, then, argues that the partitioning of literature written in German into a more traditional group—read as literature—and a more recent corpus—read as cultural testimonials—is based on the use of different theoretical approaches as they are applied in readings of purportedly different literatures. (GB)

Albrecht Classen
Self and Other in the Arthurian World: Heinrich von dem Türlin’s “Wunderketten”

In Heinrich von dem Türlin’s Diu Crône (ca. 1220-1250) the protagonist Gawein witnesses a number of most unusual miraculous adventures that pass in front of his eyes, but do not allow him to get involved. Whereas previous scholarship has attempted to explain these “Wunderketten” in light of Biblical texts and a variety of theological teachings, here I am suggesting an epistemological reading based on the theoretical concept of “xenology.” Gawein witnesses the manifestation of ‘the otherness’ in concrete form, and has to reflect upon himself in the process of trying to understand the miracles. Whereas most medieval texts reflect a strong sense of fear of ‘the other,’ Diu Crône offers one of the earliest examples of positively charged curiositas. The alien phenomena do not cause any fear or worry, instead the text presents a voyeuristic and fascinated protagonist who basically enjoys the phantasmagoria and indirectly acknowledges its relevance for his own existence. (AC)

John R.J. Eyck and Katherine Arens
The Court of Public Opinion: Lessing, Goethe, and Werther’s Emilia Galotti

Emilia Galotti lay open on the reading stand in the bedchamber of Goethe’s Werther. This essay takes Goethe’s Werther as a conscious rewriting of Lessing’s tragedy, a shared reevaluation of the privileges and duties of Enlightenment court society. This essay first characterizes the 1770s European court system sociologically, as a system of behaviors that stresses the group as a consensus community. Then it considers Emilia Galotti in light of its source in Livy, as addressing a political society upheld by specific representational functions (what Norbert Elias would call a figuration). Goethe’s gesture emerges as the core of a sentimental morality tale about the self-imposed annihilation of the social contract in court societies, even among those (like Werther and Albert) far from the court’s center. Together, this literary cross-reference sets both texts into an era when court society has deteriorated, but has not yet been replaced by other forms. (RJE and KA)

Perry Myers
Ludwig Tieck’s Der gestiefelte Kater: Striking the Balance Between the Idealistic and the Fantastic

For German Romantics, Enlightenment rationalism seemed to neglect human spiritual development, leading them to reemphasize spirit (Geist). Yet one of these early Romantics, Ludwig Tieck, feared that this Romantic corrective would itself never see implementation, as I argue for Der gestiefelte Kater (1797). The play begins with the hopes of the Enlightenment, but then shows how the external constitution of the King’s imaginary kingdom blocks true enlightenment from emerging. Yet then Tieck stages a confrontation between Classicisim and Romanticism, with the former marked as too idealistic and the latter as too fantastic—that both ultimately fail to correct the Enlightenment, since their artists behave as autocratically as the absolutist King of the older generation had. Thus a play that originally pleads for an optimistic future actually charges that the power of art is being squandered by artists threatening to become absolutists of their own making. (PM)

Derek Hillard
Walter Ruttmann’s Janus-faced View of Modernity: The Ambivalence of Description in Berlin. Die Sinfonie der Großstadt

Walter Ruttmann’s Berlin. Die Sinfonie der Großstadt (1927) is the first film to display a deep ambivalence toward modernity precisely through understanding itself as testament to modernity. On the one hand, Berlin figures the modern urban universe (“day-in-the-life” of a city, the mechanical clock, montage, allegories of social transformation). On the other hand, its narrative device stresses the way in which labor, urbanity, and commerce are organized by natural-biological temporal patterns. In this way, it protects itself from a modern construction of society. The essay, which embeds its discussion within sociological and theoretical interpretations of modernity (Benjamin, Simmel, Weber), analyzes visual metaphors of stasis and progress in the film’s wheel-and-track motifs and the relationship of the crowd to perception and mass media. Ruttmann’s film documents—by organizing its images of modernity with visual metaphors of natural cyclical life—an anxiety about the modernity that lies at the center of its depiction. (DH)

REVIEW ARTICLE

Dagmar Barnouw
Differenzierungen: Carl Zuckmayers Geheimreport und die “Schuldfrage”

BOOK REVIEWS

  • Andress, Reinhard, ‘Der Inselgarten’—das Exil deutschsprachiger Schriftsteller auf Mallorca, 1931–1936 (James Rolleston)
  • Arnold, Heinz L., Hrsg., W. G. Sebald (Daniel L. Medin)
  • Baumann, Valérie, Bildnisverbot. Zu Walter Benjamins Praxis der Darstellung: Dialektisches Bild—Traumbild—Vexierbild (Uwe Steiner)
  • Bayer, Oswald, Vernunft ist Sprache. Hamanns Metakritik Kants (Corey Roberts)
  • Doering, Sabine, Die Schwestern des Doktor Faust. Eine Geschichte der weiblichen Faustgestalten (Helga Druxes)
  • Edwards, Cyril, The Beginnings of German Literature: Comparative and Interdisciplinary Approaches to Old High German (James Cathey)
  • Gaebel, Ulrike, und Erika Kartschoke, Hrsg., Böse Frauen—Gute Frauen. Darstellungskonventionen in Texten und Bildern des Mittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit (Maria Dobozy)
  • Ghibellino, Ettore, J.W. Goethe und Anna Amalia. Eine verbotene Liebe (Cora Lee Kluge)
  • Grabovszki, Ernst, Methoden und Modelle der deutschen, französischen und amerikanischen Sozialgeschichte als Herausforderung für die Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft (Manfred Schmeling)
  • Heep, Hartmut, Unreading Rilke: Unorthodox Approaches to a Cultural Myth (Richard Exner)
  • Hermann, Ruth, Im Zwischenraum zwischen Welt und Spielzeug. Eine Poetik der Kindheit bei Rilke (Ursula Mahlendorf)
  • Lischeid, Thomas, Symbolische Politik. Das Ereignis der NS-Bücherverbrennung 1933 im Kontext seiner Diskursgeschichte (Gerhard Sauder)
  • Maier, Hans-Joachim, Zwischen Bestimmung und Autonomie. Erziehung, Bildung und Liebe im Frauenroman des 18. Jahrhunderts (Helga Stipa Madland)
  • Meyer, Anne-Rose, Jenseits der Norm. Aspekte der Bohèmedarstellung in der französischen und deutschen Literatur 1830–1910 (Ingrid Stipa)
  • Meyer, Urs, Politische Rhetorik. Theorie, Analyse und Geschichte der Redekunst am Beispiel des Spätaufklärers Johann Gottfried Seume (Joachim Dyck)
  • Mussil, Stephan, Verstehen in der Literaturwissenschaft (Jürgen H. Petersen)
  • Nägele, Rainer, Literarische Vexierbilder. Drei Versuche zu einer Figur (Uwe Steiner)
  • Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Hrsg., Handbuch österreichischer Autorinnen und Autoren jüdischer Herkunft 18. bis 20. Jahrhundert (Stefan Jordan)
  • Schlichtmann, Silke, Geschlechterdifferenz in der Literaturrezeption um 1800? Zu zeitgenössischen Lektüren (Wendy Nielsen)
  • Schmeling, Manfred, und Monika Schmitz-Emans, Hrsg., Multilinguale Literatur im 20. Jahrhundert (Florence Vatan)
  • Stock, Karl F., Rudolf Heilinger und Marylène Stock, Personalbibliographien österreichischer Dichterinnen und Dichter: Von den Anfängen biz zur Gegenwart (Stefan Jordan)
  • Stöckmann, Ingo, Vor der Literatur. Eine Evolutionstheorie der Poetik Alteuropas (Josef Schmidt)
  • Wich-Reif, Claudia, Studien zur Textglossarüberlieferung. Mit Untersuchungen zu den Handschriften St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek 292 und Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek St. Peter perg. 87 (Joseph Voyles)
  • Zammito, John H., Kant, Herder, and the Birth of Anthropology (Carl Niekerk)