In competing with Rabelais’ French novel Garguanta, the German author Fischart aims to illustrate the richness of the German language and its poetry in his comic novel Geschichtklitterung. Focusing on the second chapter of this text, which has so far been viewed as nothing more than an absurd play on language, this article offers a new interpretation and demonstrates how the German author stylizes himself as a poeta vates in his Pantagruelian prophecy and presents himself as a being purified by wine in his poem “Glucktratrara”. In the end, inspired by Apollo and the Muses, he seems to create an epic poem praising both Germans and the German language.
Aurora von Königsmarck’s letters from Medevi show the outstanding role this celebrated baroque poetess played in the gallant festival culture at the Swedish court. They tell of courtly festivals taking place at the famous health spa Medevi in August 1682. They uncover festivals which do not appear in official festival books. So these letters represent very important documents of cultural history, allowing a fresh sight on courtly festival culture. This article inquires the gallant performance of Aurora’s letters, investigates them for well-known models, motifs and journals of courtly-gallant festivals and emphazises their political and aesthetical relevance. With her various artistical contributions Aurora tries to influence her position within the Swedish nobility. The festivals follow the French festival culture of Ludwig XIV. and are to be interpreted as synthesis of the arts, including several arts. Aurora’s letters are not only descriptions, but also a part of this synthesis of the arts.
This article examines definitions and evaluations of as well as alternative terms for ‘atheism’ in encyclopedias of the early modern period. In a representative overview it will be shown that the early modern discourse about atheism must be interpreted in the light of the history of concepts, of ideas and of knowledge: Not only was the scope of the term ‘atheism’ much broader in the 16th and 17th centuries than it is today, but the sometimes highly ambitious attempts to classify the phenomenon of atheism according to the early modern orders of knowledge remained influential during the 18th and well into the 19th century.
This contribution analyses the textual strategies in Danup’s literary dialogue, which is enriched in many ways with literary topoi and rhetorical devices. It is, in fact, a specialised text on the art of horsemanship, which proves to be surprisingly innovative in this regard. However, it is not only relevant to the hippological, but also to the political culture of the early modern period. For the author updates a literary genre pattern, takes up literary traditions and uses aesthetic means for successful self-promotion as an expert.
Using the example of the Dance of Death of Bern, this article points out that it is not alone the contents, but the divergent communication modes of image and text that are interwoven and cooperate, while each maintains its distinct message: the text emphasizes the individual due to its successive mode of communication, the image’s simultaneous transmission of information focusses on the collective. By these means, the Dance of Death expresses its admonition and induces the recipient to critical introspection.
In the Colmar archives départementales du Haut-Rhin an extensive copy book of the Colmar Augustinian hermits is hold, in which, among other things, a legal dispute over a town property that has probably smoldered for more than half a century has left its written mark. The plaintiffs of the Breisach patrician family von Pforr, who appeared several times in the course of the protracted legal quarrels, are also and above all represented by Antonius von Pforr, who in his later years, worked as a literary author of the Buch der Beispiele in the environment of Archduchess Mechthild von Rottenburg and her son Count Eberhard V im Bart.
This article aims at reassessing the significance of Paracelsus’ Herbarius, a work deemed a loose collection of field notes and juvenilia by Karl Sudhoff, Paracelsus’ most famous editor and scholar. By comparing it to Von den natürlichen Dingen, another treatise that overlaps extensively with the Herbarius (four of the six Gewechse discussed in the Herbarius are also dealt with in Von den natürlichen Dingen), the article suggests that both texts, although unfinished, must be read as well-crafted treatises rather than mere drafts. It also examines two hypotheses concerning the relationship between the two treatises: the Herbarius will alternatively be read as a simplified version of Von den natürlichen Dingen, written concomitantly in order to be understandable by the “common man” (gemeine Mann); and as its preliminary version, further elaborated upon by Paracelsus several years after he wrote the Herbarius. By tracing the early reception of the Herbarius, the article attempts to understand its relationship to the several writings that were deemed by the followers of Paracelsus to be part of a supposedly larger Paracelsian herbal centered on the doctrine of signatures: to them, the Herbarius was undoubtedly a mere excerpt of Paracelsus’ Herbarius spiritualis sidereus, a concept investigated here.
This article examines the reception of Heliodor’s Aethiopica in German novels around 1700. The ‘Heliodor model’ proves to be remarkably persistent, as the form’s specific affordances offer an attractive variety of possible uses. At the same time, writers stick to the legitimized form of the novel for reasons of genre politics. In analyzing Eberhard W. Happel’s Afrikanischer Tarnolast (1689) and August Bohse’s Letztes Liebes- und Heldengedichte (1706), the article shows how these exemplary novels transform the ‘Heliodor model’ in idiosyncratic ways, and argues that these transformations aim at exploring and expanding the potential of literary characters.