Search Results

A Foretaste of Heaven

Friedrich Hölderlin in the Context of Württemberg Pietism


Priscilla A. Hayden-Roy

Using the critical approach of the New Historicism and the sociological insights of Ernst Troeltsch, this study addresses the complicated issue of how the German Romantic poet, Friedrich Hölderlin, shifts religious vocabulary to the aesthetic realm, by examining his relationship to pietist groups in his native Württemberg. The study is divided into three sections: 1) a literature review and methodological statement; 2) overview of the spectrum of positions represented within Württemberg pietism, and a discussion of three pietists known to have had contact with Hölderlin in his youth and as a student; 3) analysis of a representative selection of Hölderlin's works - including his early poems, Hyperion, his theoretical writings on aesthetics, and a number of his late hymns - in light of their relation to Württemberg pietism.


Elke Frederiksen


My contribution connects a variety of discourses such as colonialism, travel, gender, and race by exploring three very different colonial ‘texts’ written at different times in the late nineteenth and the late twentieth centuries. More specifically, these texts focus on journeys from Germany to East and Southwest Africa and from Cameroon to Berlin. While describing real journeys, these travel texts might also be read metaphorically as writing across borders.

Within the methodological framework of German cultural studies, I am presenting multifaceted readings of Frieda von Bülow’s Reisescizzen und Tagebuchblätter aus Deutsch-Ostafrika (1889) — she is known as the author of the first German colonial novel — and of Uwe Timm’s Morenga (1978) — he is known as the author of the first post-colonial novel. In contrast to these readings, a brief discussion of the popular Völkerschauen around 1900 in Berlin explores an entirely different ‘text’ which represents an African voice by focusing on a picture of Prince Samson Dido and his journey from Cameroon to Berlin. Of particular interest is Dido’s unusual ‘fashion statement’ which combines African and European ways of dressing and can be read as his deliberate attempt to cross borders. In more general terms, my article emphasizes the heterogeneity of travel writing and connects it with concepts of the ‘border’ which have been discussed frequently in literary and cultural studies in the last decades and are reexamined continuously.


Dimensions and Perspectives


Edited by Beate Müller

Parody is a most iridescent phenomenon: of ancient Greek origin, parody's very malleability has allowed it to survive and to conquer Western cultures. Changing discourse on parody, its complex relationship with related humorous forms (e.g. travesty, burlesque, satire), its ability to cross genre boundaries, the many parodies handed down by tradition, and its ubiquity in contemporary culture all testify to its multifaceted nature. No wonder that ‘parody' has become a phrase without clear meaning.
The essays in this collection reflect the multidimensionality of recent parody studies. They pay tribute to its long and varied tradition, covering examples of parodic practice from the Middle Ages to the present day and dealing with English, American, postcolonial, Austrian, and German parodies. The papers range from the Medieval classics (e.g. Chaucer), parodies of Shakespeare, and the role of parody in German Romanticism, to parodies of fin-de-siècle literature and the intertextual puzzles of the late twentieth century (such as cross-dressing, Schwab's Faust parody, and Rushdie's Satanic Verses). And they have transformed the contentious nature of parody into a diverse range of methodologies. In doing so, these essays offer a survey of the current state of parody studies.


Catriona Firth

For decades postwar Austrian literature has been measured against and moulded into a series of generic categories and grand cultural narratives, from nostalgic ‘restoration’ literature of the 1950s through the socially critical ‘anti- Heimat’ novel to recent literary reckonings with Austria’s Nazi past. Peering through the lens of film adaptation, this book rattles the generic shackles imposed by literary history and provides an entirely new critical perspective on Austrian literature. Its original methodological approach challenges the primacy of written sources in existing scholarship and uses the distortions generated by the shift in medium as a productive starting point for literary analysis. Five case studies approach canonical texts in post-war Austrian literature by Gerhard Fritsch, Franz Innerhofer, Gerhard Roth, Elfriede Jelinek, and Robert Schindel, through close readings of their cinematic adaptations, concentrating on key areas of narratological concern: plot, narrative perspective, authorship, and post-modern ontologies. Setting the texts within the historical, cultural and political discourses that define the ‘Alpine Republic’, this study investigates fundamental aspects of Austrian national identity, such as its Habsburg and National Socialist legacies.

A Literary Occupation

Responses of German writers in service in occupied Europe


William J. O'Keeffe

Pax in Bello, peace in the midst of war, was the motto one writer chose to signify the private dilemma: how could the humanist, clad in the uniform of the occupier, write of liberal values, see with a liberal eye – and publish, or hope to? From the armistice peace of occupied France, from the partisan war and incipient civil war of Greece, from the all-out warfare in southern Russia, came writing that revealed not just the everyday split consciousness resulting from the overlay of Nazi ideology, but writing also that circumvented and in places subverted the propaganda imperative which then governed everything in print. For a European community that now sees itself as exemplar and upholder of liberal democratic values, the study of that first great test of modern liberal conscience is instructive. Some essayed the test in the craft of writing, and came away with some honour. Their works are examined in this book.


Sandra Vlasta

Up until now, ‘migration literature’ has primarily been defined as ‘texts written by migrant authors’, a definition that has been discussed, criticised, and even rejected by critics and authors alike. Very rarely has ‘migration literature’ been understood as ‘literature on the topic of migration’, which is an approach this book adopts by presenting a comparative analysis of contemporary texts on experiences of migration. By focusing on specific themes and motifs in selected texts, this study suggests that migration literature is a sub-genre that exists in both various bodies of literature as well as various languages. This book analyses English and German texts by authors such as Monica Ali, Dimitré Dinev, Anna Kim, Timothy Mo, Preethi Nair, Caryl Phillips, Hamid Sadr, and Vladimir Vertlib, among others.


Kathryn L. Ambrose

Kathryn Ambrose offers a new approach to the Woman Question in mid- to late-nineteenth-century English, German and Russian literature. Using a methodological framework based on feminist theory and post-structuralism, she provides a re-vision of canonical texts (such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Middlemarch, Effi Briest, Fathers and Children and Anna Karenina) alongside lesser-known works by Emily and Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Theodor Storm, Theodor Fontane, Ivan Turgenev and Leo Tolstoy. Her exploration of the semiotics of barriers – as opposed to the established approach of the semiotics of space – makes for a rewarding reading of this period of literature and establishes new cross-cultural and literary connections between the three countries.

Anglo-German Theatrical Exchange

“A sea-change into something rich and strange?”


Edited by Rudolf Weiss, Ludwig Schnauder and Dieter Fuchs

Through the great diversity of topics and methodologies the essays in this volume make a seminal contribution to an under-researched field at the intersection of literary and cultural criticism, comparative literature, and theatre as well as translation studies. The essays cover a wide range of texts from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. From a broad variety of perspectives the exchange between drama and theatre of the Anglophone and the Germanophone worlds and their mutual influence are explored. While there is a focus on the successful or unsuccessful bridging of the cultural gaps, due consideration is given to the nexus between intercultural translation and mise en scène as well as the intricacies of intermedial reshaping. Always placing the analyses within the political and socio-historical contexts the essays make an innovative contribution to the aesthetics of Anglo-German theatrical exchange as well as to European cultural history.

From World To World: An Armamentarium

For the Study Of Poetic Discourse In Translation


Cees Koster

In this book one of the old traditions of translation studies is revived: the tradition of the comparative study of translation and original. The aim of the author is to develop an armamentarium, a set of analytical instruments and a procedure, for the systematic study of poetic discourse in translation. The armamentarium provides the means to describe the ‘translational interpretation’, that is: the interpretation of the original as it emerges from the translation and may be constructed in the course of a comparison between the two texts.
The practical result of this study is based on a solid theoretical foundation. This study most of all reflects on the possibilities of translation comparison and description per se. It is one of the few books in which an in-depth study is undertaken into the principles of translation comparison itself, into its limits and possibilities, and into its central concepts (‘shift’, ‘unit of comparison’ etcetera). Before presenting his own proposal for a comparative procedure, the author critically evaluates several existing methods, particularly those of Toury, Van Leuven-Zwart and the German transfer-oriented approach.
The theoretical considerations in this book are amply illustrated by analyses of translated works of poets as Rutger Kopland and Robert Lowell. The book also contains an extensive case study into the translations, by the German poet Paul Celan, of a selection of William Shakespeare’s sonnets.


Marjolijn Storm

Agatha Christie is one of the most popular and most translated authors of all time. Yet there is little academic work on her writing. This book sets out to rectify this.
No matter where in the world you are, Hercule Poirot is a name that conjures up certain associations. The detailed analysis of the original text, three German and two Dutch translations of The Mysterious Affair at Styles however shows that his depiction differs immensely between the individual texts. In the course of this book, reasons for these differences are found via the analysis of the shifts of status of Agatha Christie as an author, of detective fiction and of translations from English in Germany and the Netherlands. During this exploration the discovery will be made that, when translated, escapist literature such as Christie’s detective fiction actually becomes a highly political affair.