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Author: Paul Hammond
Are we free agents? This perennial question is addressed by tragedy when it dramatizes the struggle of individuals with supernatural forces, or maps the inner conflict of a mind divided against itself.

The first part of this book follows the adaptations of four myths as they migrate from classical Greek tragedy to Seneca and on to seventeenth-century France: the stories of Agamemnon, Oedipus, Medea, and Phaedra. Detailed linguistic analysis charts the playwrights’ contrasting assumptions about agency and autonomy. In the second part, six plays by Corneille and Racine are discussed to show how the problem of agency and free will is explored in scenarios which show protagonists who are in thrall to their past, to their rulers, or to their own ideals.
Wahnsinn als Kulturtransfer in der Literatur der Renaissance
Author: Angela Oster
Die Studie präsentiert Kultur und Literatur des Wahnsinns der Renaissance in den verschiedenen Wissensgebieten: Dichtkunst (Ariosto, Tasso, Bruno) sowie in Medizin, Philosophie, Theologie und Gerichtswesen.
Der Wahnsinn in der Renaissance stellt zeitgenössisch kein Spezialgebiet in Einzelwissenschaften dar. Vielmehr ist er in allen Wissensordnungen omnipräsent, und es herrscht ein reger Kulturtransfer zwischen den Fächern, wobei Italien bekanntlich die sogenannte Leitkultur Europas in der Frühen Neuzeit darstellt. Der originelle Umgang mit Verrückten in der Vormoderne erlaubt einen innovativen Umgang mit dem traditionellen Furor, der heroische Meisterwerke der Weltliteratur hervorgerufen hat, so Ariostos rasenden Orlando, Tassos heroischen Wahnsinn und Brunos ketzerischen Furor.
Systematische Zugänge zu einem kulturellen Prinzip des Mittelalters
Imitation und Mimesis sind epochenübergreifende Kulturphänomene. Doch wie erkennt, analysiert oder bewertet man das Imitieren im Mittelalter? Der Band präsentiert unterschiedliche fachdisziplinäre Methoden und Ansätze und erläutert diese an einschlägigen Beispielen. Imitieren kann für das Mittelalter als bislang unterschätzte, höchst komplexe Kulturtechnik angesehen werden, deren Potential nicht nur darin lag, Traditionen zu konservieren, sondern durchaus Innovationen hervorzubringen.
Author: Sigrun Haude
At its core, Coping with Life during the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) explores how people tried to survive the Thirty Years’ War, on what resources they drew, and how they attempted to make sense of it. A rich tapestry of stories brings to light contemporaries’ trauma as well as women and men’s unrelenting initiatives to stem the war’s negative consequences. Through these close-ups, Sigrun Haude shows that experiences during the Thirty Years’ War were much more diverse and often more perplexing than a straightforward story line of violence and destruction can capture. Life during the Thirty Years’ War was not a homogenous vale of gloom and doom, but a multifaceted story that was often heartbreaking, yet, at times, also uplifting.
Volume Editors: Bernd-Christian Otto and Dirk Johannsen
To what extent were practitioners of magic inspired by fictional accounts of their art? In how far did the daunting narratives surrounding legendary magicians such as Theophilus of Adana, Cyprianus of Antioch, Johann Georg Faust or Agrippa of Nettesheim rely on real-world events or practices? Fourteen original case studies present material from late antiquity to the twenty-first century and explore these questions in a systematic manner. By coining the notion of ‘fictional practice’, the editors discuss the emergence of novel, imaginative types of magic from the nineteenth century onwards when fiction and practice came to be more and more intertwined or even fully amalgamated. This is the first comparative study that systematically relates fiction and practice in the history of magic.
Volume Editors: Fabian Heffermehl and Irina Karlsohn
Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Varlam Shalamov are two of the best-known Gulag writers. After a short period of personal acquaintance, their lives and views on literature took different paths. Solzhenitsyn did not see a literary program in Shalamov’s works, which he describes as “a result of exhaustion after years of hardship-labour in the camp”. By understanding the text as a “result”, Solzhenitsyn critically touched on a concept of evidence, which Shalamov several times emphasized as important to his own works. According to Shalamov, instead of the text being a re-presentation, it should be an extract from or substitute for the real or the factual, by which his Gulag experience became present once again. Concepts such as “document”, “thing” and “fact” became important for Shalamov’s self-identification as a modernist. At the same time, Solzhenitsyn, viewing his own task as one of restoring historical experiences of the Russian people and trying “to explain the slow course of history and what sort of one it has been”, assumed the dual role of writer and historian, which inevitably raises the question of what characterizes the borders between fact and fiction in his works. It also raises question about dichotomies of historical and fictional truth.

Contributors: Andrea Gullotta, Fabian Heffermehl, Luba Jurgenson, Irina Karlsohn, Josefina Lundblad-Janjić, Elena Mikhailik, Michael A. Nicholson, Irina Sandomirskaja, Ulrich Schmid, Franziska Thun-Hohenstein, Leona Toker.
Author: Piotr Szczypa
Discussing the role of violence in the Irish stereotype, this book is a fascinating story of the changing perception of the Irish in America as told by American cinema. From Levi and Cohen, Irish Comedians (1903) to The Irishman (2019), some of the productions analyzed here are timeless classics; others have almost been forgotten. What they have in common is the presence of violence as the key ingredient in the construction of Irish characters. It his insightful study, Piotr Szczypa employs imagological perspective to investigate the evolution of their portrayal in American films, showing not only how the Irish have adjusted to America but also how America has embraced Irishness.
Volume Editors: Axel Dunker, Jan Gerstner, and Julian Osthues
In den letzten Jahren sind zahlreiche deutschsprachigen Texte erschienen, die von AutorInnen ost- und südosteuropäischer Herkunft verfasst wurden. Dieses bereits als „Osterweiterung der deutschsprachigen Literatur“ und „eastern turn“ bezeichnete Phänomen zeugt von einer Diversifizierung der Gegenwartsliteratur, die sich mit einem Label wie ‚Migrationsliteratur‘ nicht mehr ausreichend fassen lässt. Gibt es in den entsprechenden Texten spezifische Schreibweisen und Perspektiven und wie ist dies mit deren Rezeption vermittelt? Damit stellt sich zugleich aber die Frage nach dem Status einer Herkunftzuweisung wie ‚Osteuropa‘. Der Band versammelt Beiträge, die diese Fragen unter theoretischen Aspekten, im Hinblick auf die Positionierungen der AutorInnen im literarischen Feld und auf Dynamiken des Buchmarkts sowie in einzelnen Fallstudien untersuchen.

In the last years numerous German-language texts written by authors of Eastern and Southeastern European origin appeared. This phenomenon, already referred to as the "eastward expansion of German-language literature" and the "eastern turn", indicates a diversification of contemporary literature that can no longer be adequately captured by a label such as “migration literature”. Are there specific writing styles and perspectives in these texts and how is this mediated with their reception? At the same time, however, this raises the question of the status of an attribution of origin such as 'Eastern Europe'. This volume brings together contributions that examine these questions in theoretical perspective, with regard to the positioning of authors in the literary field and to book market dynamics, as well as in individual case studies.