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Monatshefte

Volume 101, Number 1, Spring 2009 Table of Contents

Articles

Hellmut Ammerlahn
‘Key’ and ‘Treasure Chest’ Configurations in Goethe’s Works: A Comparative Overview in Poetological Perspective
Abstract:
Goethe’s self-reflection as a poet and his life-long investigation into the creative as well as the perilous power of the imagination are analyzed in this article which traces varying configurations of the interrelated motifs of ‘key’ and ‘treasure chest’ in works from Triumph der Empfindsamkeit to Wanderjahre and Faust II. The study demonstrates Goethe’s increasing understanding, mastery, and poetological depiction especially of the artistic imagination in correlation with other cognitive faculties. Key and treasure chest constellations assume generally symbolic and specifically epistemological significance when linked to the three principal expressions and directions the imagination takes in Goethe’s œuvre: While the Faust dramas are characterized by the instrumental ‘Mephistophelian fantasy,’ the ‘therapeutic imagination’ clearly dominates both Wilhelm Meister novels. The combination of the latter with the ‘playfully creative imagination’ in two of Goethe’s fairy tales initiates an amazing metamorphosis and expansion of the key and treasure chest motif, ingeniously merging meaning and enchantment. (HA)

 

James P. Rasmussen
Sound and Motion in Goethe’s “Magic Flute”
Abstract:
In his fragmentary sequel (published 1802) to Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Goethe—a self-described Augenmensch and Ton- und Gehörloser whose preoccupation with vision has been a staple of scholarship—chooses not to maintain the universal opposition between light and dark so central to the original libretto, as one might expect, but develops a thematics of sound and movement, relegating the conflict between light and dark to a mere generative mechanism resulting in the awakening of voice. I explore how sound is given utopian implications, focusing on the infant son of Tamino and Pamina. The boy’s awakening into consciousness, marked by his beginning to speak and to fly, resonates with Friedrich Kittler’s account of pedagogy around 1800, but in its agonistic dimension and its depiction of a rupture-like event of metamorphosis it maintains a strangeness that Kittler’s work cannot account for—and that Goethe himself, it seems, could not bring to completion. (JPR)

 

Theodore F. Rippey
Brecht and Exile: Poetry after Weimar, Poetics during Blitzkrieg
Abstract:
In exile, Brecht’s increasingly acute sense of writing’s ethical transgressions spurred a reconceptualization of literary transmission and duration. This reconceptualization had to address two splits: a divorce of the emotional and the intellectual, pursued in the neusachlich cultivation of Kälte during the Weimar years, that left its proponents ill-equipped to respond to the fascist dynamization of the masses in the 1930s; and a divorce of poetics from history, which ended the fantasy of direct social influence through literary writing. Recognizing the impossibility of shaping society via his texts, Brecht began to experiment with paradigms of literary communication that would not compel antifascist action, but could nonetheless foster an intellectual and sentimental profile less compatible with the modes of aesthetic and political organization employed by the National Socialists. Analytical focus on these experiments reveals dimensions of Brecht’s exile poetry and journal entries that exceed the scope of Marxist antifascism. (TFR)

 

Yahya Elsaghe
“Edhin Krokowski aus der Linde bei Pinne, Provinz Posen” Judentum und Antisemitismus im Zauberberg und seine Vorgeschichte
Abstract:
In The Magic Mountain, the only literary text by Thomas Mann in which German anti-Semitism is an object of satire, it remains uncertain whether a number of individuals are to be considered Jewish, or not. These uncertainties are symptomatic of the novel’s protracted genesis, and especially of Thomas Mann’s lifelong, historically and biographically conditioned efforts to distance himself from the anti-Semitic typologies evident in his early work. The most prominent of the relevant individuals in The Magic Mountain, Dr. Krokowski, exemplifies this phenomenon. The various characteristics attributed to Krokowski evoke the continuing memory of a literary figure through whom Thomas Mann had previously only intended to relieve his anti-Semitic resentments. Thus Krokowski has a dual significance, representing Thomas Mann’s early anti-Semitism and his later and vigorous, but nevertheless not entirely successful, attempts to overcome it. (YE; in German)

 

Eva Kuttenberg
A Postmodern Viennese Narrative: Lilian Faschinger’s Wiener Passion
Abstract:
In Wiener Passion (1999), the prolific contemporary Austrian writer Lilian Faschinger (1950– ) models a dynamic tension between Vienna as a fundamentally historic space and as a multilayered postmodern milieu. This essay reads the novel as an astute example of “historiographic metafiction” (Hutcheon) mapping the complexities of the postmodern via a double plot set in two fin-de-siècle spaces. The recurring theme in Wiener Passion is a historically informed dialogue between Vienna in the 1890s and 1990s continuously blurring fact and fiction and undermining firm ontological grounding by interweaving multiple perspectives, plots and subplots, and colorful character ensembles. Narratively Faschinger stages her ironic distinctly postmodern commentary on Viennese myths and realities through doubling and overlapping spatial and temporal settings. Its double setting hinges on and motivates revisiting the past and commenting on the present, and thereby critically engages questions of gender, race, and ethnicity firmly embedded in sociocultural discourse. (EK)

 

Review Articles

Markus Zisselsberger
A Persistent Fascination: Recent Publications on the Work of W.G. Sebald

Book Reviews

Achinger, Christine, Gespaltene Moderne. Gustav Freytags Soll und Haben. Nation, Geschlecht und Judenbild (Jeffrey L. Sammons)

Anders, Caroline, “...der Zündstoff liegt, der diese Mine donnernd sprengt gen Himmel.” Strategien der Ordnungsdestruktion in Franz Grillparzers dramatischem Werk (Dagmar C.G. Lorenz)

Anz, Thomas, Hrsg., Handbuch Literaturwissenschaft. Gegenstände—Konzepte—Institutionen. 3 Bände (Jochen Vogt)

Arteel, Inge, gefaltet, entfaltet. Strategien der Subjektwerdung in Friederike Mayröckers Prosa 1988–1998 (Edith Anna Kunz)

Below, Jürgen, Hrsg., Internationale Bibliographie zur Hermann-Hesse-Forschung. 5 Bände (Jefford Vahlbusch)

Bogdal, Klaus-Michael, Hrsg., Orientdiskurse in der deutschen Literatur (Birgit Tautz)

Cheesman, Tom, Novels of Turkish German Settlement: Cosmopolite Fictions (Beverly M. Weber)

Eckardt, Michael, Zwischenspiele der Filmgeschichte. Zur Rezeption des Kinos der Weimarer Republik in Südafrika 1928–1933 (Marc Silberman)

Gut, Philipp, Thomas Manns Idee einer deutschen Kultur (Hans Rudolf Vaget)

Haase, Christine, When Heimat Meets Hollywood: German Filmmakers and America, 1985–2005 (Randall Halle)

Hodkinson, James R., Women and Writing in the Works of Novalis: Transformation Beyond Measure? (Laurie Johnson)

Kebir, Sabine, Mein Herz liegt neben der Schreibmaschine. Ruth Berlaus Leben vor, mit und nach Bertolt Brecht (Vera Stegmann)

Kittstein, Ulrich und Stefani Kugler, Hrsg., Poetische Ordnungen. Zur Erzählprosa des deutschen Realismus (Frederick Betz)

Koch, Arne, Between National Fantasies and Regional Realities: The Paradox of Identity in Nineteenth-Century German Literature (Brent O. Peterson)

Köppen, Manuel und Erhard Schütz, Hrsg., Kunst der Propaganda. Der Film im Dritten Reich (Valerie Weinstein)

Müller, Lothar, Die zweite Stimme. Vortragskunst von Goethe bis Kafka (Kata Gellen)

Phelan, Anthony, Reading Heinrich Heine (Ralph Häfner)

Prager, Brad, The Cinema of Werner Herzog: Aesthetic Ecstasy and Truth (John E. Davidson)

Schmiedt, Helmut, Dr. Mabuse, Winnetou & Co. Dreizehn Klassiker der deutschen Unterhaltungsliteratur (Alexander Košenina)

Schörle, Eckart, Die Verhöflichung des Lachens. Lachgeschichte im 18. Jahrhundert (Rainer Godel)

Twark, Jill, Humor, Satire, and Identity: Eastern German Literature in the 1990s (Sheila Johnson)

Utsch, Susanne, Sprachwechsel im Exil. Die “linguistische Metamorphose” von Klaus Mann (Wulf Koepke)