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Anna Seghers

The Challenge of History

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Edited by Helen Fehervary, Christiane Zehl Romero and Amy Kepple Strawser

Anna Seghers: The Challenge of History features essays by leading scholars devoted to this most important German writer whose novels and stories have been read by millions worldwide. The volume is intended for teachers and students of literature and for general readers. The contributions address facets of Seghers’s large body of work which is characterized by reflections on political events shaping world history and written in a highly imaginative array of narrative styles. The first section focuses on the author’s famous novel The Seventh Cross. Articles in the next two sections analyze her reactions to crises that marked the twentieth century and her connections to other relevant thinkers of her time. The last section features new translations of Seghers’s works.

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Edited by Efraim Podoksik

Doing Humanities in Nineteenth-Century Germany, edited by Efraim Podoksik, is a collaborative project by leading scholars in German studies that examines the practices of theorising and researching in the humanities as pursued by German thinkers and scholars during the long nineteenth century, and the relevance of those practices for the humanities today.
Each chapter focuses on a particular branch of the humanities, such as philosophy, history, classical philology, theology, or history of art. The volume both offers a broad overview of the history of German humanities and examines an array of particular cases that illustrate their inner dilemmas, ranging from Ranke’s engagement with the world of poetry to Max Weber’s appropriation of the notion of causality.

Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism

Ontology, Epistemology, Politics

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Cat Moir

In Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism: Ontology, Epistemology, Politics, Cat Moir offers a new interpretation of the philosophy of Ernst Bloch. The reception of Bloch’s work has seen him variously painted as a naïve realist, a romantic nature philosopher, a totalitarian thinker, and an irrationalist whose obscure literary style stands in for a lack of systematic rigour. Moir challenges these conceptions of Bloch by reconstructing the ontological, epistemological, and political dimensions of his speculative materialism. Through a close, historically contextualised reading of Bloch’s major work of ontology, Das Materialismusproblem, seine Geschichte und Substanz (The Materialism Problem, its History and Substance), Moir presents Bloch as one of the twentieth century’s most significant critical thinkers.

Law in West German Democracy

Seventy Years of History as Seen Through German Courts

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Hugh Ridley

Law in West German Democracy relates the history of the Federal Republic of Germany as seen through a series of significant trials conducted between 1947 and 2017, explaining how these trials came to take place, the legal issues which they raised, and their importance to the development of democracy in a country slowly emerging from a murderous and criminal régime. It thus illustrates the central issues of the new republic. If, as a Minister for Justice once remarked, crime can be seen as ‘the reverse image of any political system, the shadow cast by the social and economic structures of the day’, it is natural to use court cases to illuminate the eventful history of the Federal Republic’s first seventy years.

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Karl Kautsky

Edited by Ben Lewis

Once deemed ‘the pope of Marxism’, Karl Kautsky (1854–1938) was the leading theoretician of the German Social Democratic Party and one of the most prominent public intellectuals of his time. However, during the twentieth century a constellation of historical factors ensured that his ideas were gradually consigned to near oblivion. Not only has his political thought been dismissed in non-Marxist historical and political discourse, but his ideas are equally discredited in Marxist circles.
This book aims to rekindle interest in Kautsky’s ideas by exploring his democratic-republican understanding of state and society. It demonstrates how Kautsky’s republican thought was positively influenced by Marx and Engels – especially in relation to the lessons they drew from the experience of the Paris Commune.

Baroque

Figures of Excess in Seventeenth-Century European Art and German Literature

Peter J. Burgard

What is the Baroque? Where did it come from and where did it go? Why do we have to ask these questions? Because art historians seem largely satisfied with their answers and most scholars of German literature are not satisfied, yet have stopped asking.
This book discerns in the Baroque an aesthetic phenomenon that crosses both media and national boundaries in its celebration of excess and its disintegration of system, unity, and identity. The compositional principles and theoretical implications of the Baroque, as it first arose in Italian art, find expression in German poetics, drama, poetry, and narrative – expression accessible only through resolute close reading. Readings of Bernini, Borromini, Velázquez, Rubens, Fracanzano, and de Hooch precipitate readings of Opitz, Gryphius, Fleming, Zesen, Hoffmannswaldau, and Grimmelshausen, demonstrating that seventeenth-century German literature both is Baroque and confirms what the Baroque is.

Philosophizing Brecht

Critical Readings on Art, Consciousness, Social Theory and Performance

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Edited by Norman Roessler and Anthony Squiers

This anthology unites scholars from varied backgrounds with the notion that the theories and artistic productions of Bertolt Brecht are key missing links in bridging diverse discourses in social philosophy, theatre, consciousness studies, and aesthetics. It offers readers interdisciplinary perspectives that create unique dialogues between Brecht and important thinkers such as Althusser, Anders, Bakhtin, Benjamin, Godard, Marx, and Plato. While exploring salient topics such as consciousness, courage, ethics, political aesthetics, and representations of race and the body, it penetrates the philosophical Brecht seeing in him the never-ending dialectic—the idea, the theory, the narrative, the character that is never foreclosed. This book is an essential read for all those interested in Brecht as a socio-cultural theorist and for theatre practitioners.

Contributors: Kevin S. Amidon, José María Durán, Felix J. Fuch, Philip Glahn, Jim Grilli, Wolfgang Fritz Haug, Norman Roessler, Jeremy Spencer, Anthony Squiers, Peter Zazzali.

DE TRIBUS PRINCIPIIS, oder Beschreibung der Drey Principien Göttliches Wesens

Of the Three Principles of Divine Being, 1619, by Jacob Boehme

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Andrew Weeks and Leigh Penman

Jacob Boehme’s Of the Three Principles of Divine Being, 1619, is vital for understanding his work as a whole, its relationship to its epoch, and its role in intellectual history. Reproduced here using the methods of critical edition, the original of the work and its adjacent translation, together with an extensive introduction and commentary, provide unprecedented access to this essential work of early modern thought and cast a fresh light on the revolutionary theological, philosophical, and scientific developments coinciding with the start of the Thirty Years’ War.

The 1730 edition is annotated with reference to the manuscript sources to clarify ambiguities so that the translation can interpret the text without refracting its meaning. This makes it possible to interpret Boehme’s complex theories of the origin of the divine being and of nature, the human creature, and the female aspect of divinity.

"Was deutsch und echt..."

Richard Wagner and the Articulation of a German Opera, 1798-1876

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Kasper Bastiaan van Kooten

By examining theoretical debates about the nature of nineteenth-century German opera and analyzing the genre’s development and its international dissemination, this book shows German opera’s entanglement with national identity formation. The thorough study of German opera debates in the first half of the nineteenth century highlights the esthetic and ideological significance of this relatively neglected repertoire, and helps to contextualize Richard Wagner’s attempts to define German opera and to gain a reputation as the German opera composer par excellence. By interpreting Wagner’s esthetic endeavors as a continuation of previous campaigns for the emancipation of German opera, this book adds an original and significant perspective to discussions about Wagner’s relation to German nationalism.

The Campus Novel

Regional or Global?

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Edited by Dieter Fuchs and Wojciech Klepuszewski

The Campus Novel – Regional or Global? presents innovative scholarship in the field of academic fiction. Whereas the campus novel is traditionally considered a product of the Anglo-American world, the present study opens a new perspective: it elucidates the intercultural exchange between the well-established Western canon of British and American academic fiction and its more recent regional response outside the Anglo-American territory.