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Monatshefte

Volume 105, Number 2, Summer 2013 Table of Contents

Articles

Charles M. Barrack
Motifs of Love in the Courtly Love Lyric of Moslem Spain and Hohenstaufen Germany: In Memory of Ernst Behler
Abstract:
A perennial question in medieval studies concerns the origin of Minnesang, the courtly love lyric of Hohenstaufen Germany. Can Minnesang trace its origins back to the love lyric of Moslem Spain? A related question is the following: Whatever the ultimate genesis of Minnesang, is it at least typologically related to the love lyric of Moslem Spain? This second question, which has been largely ignored to date, is the subject of this analysis. In both traditions the lover is torn between two poles: On the one hand, the lover worships the beloved as a guiding, edifying force which raises the status of the lover in society. On the other hand, the lover is attracted to the beloved for her physical beauty and desires physical “union” with her. But the poles are incompatible: The beloved can only be a quasi-divine guiding light if she remains physically distant from the lover. Let us term this the “Platonic-Erotic Dilemma.” In both traditions the dilemma ultimately resolved itself in favor of the erotic. (CMB)

 

Andrea Krauss
Sammeln - Exzerpte - Konstellation. Jean Pauls literarische Kombinatorik
Abstract:
Taking as its starting point Jean Paul’s notoriously compressed way of writing, this article addresses the question to what extent Jean Paul’s excerpt notebooks, which he kept for decades, can help in understanding his literary texts. While thematic correspondences are obvious, the complex organization of the excerpts, including the bits and pieces of knowledge they contain, resists any further genetic derivation. It also displays a textual dynamic of its own. The specific features of each form of representation appear in precisely those places where literature makes direct reference to knowledge from the excerpts and where there are no simple transfers but different formations of objects: the epistemology of the literary aims at the context of narration, subject, and the creation of (non-)forms, and it brings the mediality of each and every configuration of knowledge into view. The knowledge of the excerpts is organized in the form of constellations that (differently in each instance) delimit discursive materials and the subject positions that correspond to them. These constellations thus make the constitutive fragmentariness of our knowledge of the human being visible. In engaging Jean Paul’s literary combinatorics, this article develops the figure of the constellation as a procedure of reading and representation that is critical of knowledge and refers knowledge back to the principles of its production and, thereby, to other forms of knowledge. (AK; in German)

 

Claire Y. van den Broek
How the Panther Stole the Poem: The Search for Alterity in Rilke’s Dinggedichte
Abstract:
Rilke’s letters and diaries of the early Paris years reflect the young poet’s pre-occupation with man’s ability to come to terms with the knowledge of his own mortality, as well as his personal fears of being in the critical eye of society, of feeling like the eternal outsider. Looking at Rilke’s Dinggedichte, especially “Der Panther,” as well as his Duineser Elegien, this article examines the influence of Rodin’s sculptural work and Lessing’s theory of art on Rilke’s poetry, in order to argue that Rilke attempted to produce a poetic process that offers or models a liberation from the limitations of humanity through the artistic elevation of the reader. This article argues that Rilke believed this elevation would require our surrender to alterity, that is, our acceptance of an altered relationality which would grant us the “wings” to understand and ascend to the level of the eternal, limitless Kunst-Ding. (CYvdB)

 

Amanda Boyd
Nationalist Voices against Gustav Meyrink’s Wartime Publications: Adolf Bartels, Albert Zimmermann, and the Hetze of 1917–1918
Abstract:
In 1917 the writer Gustav Meyrink was the target of attacks in the German media. Nationalist critics, dismayed by the skyrocketing success of Meyrink’s 1915 novel Der Golem, had reexamined his pre-war literary output and condemned the author as undeutsch and antinational. An extensive examination of newspaper articles and other documentation from this two-year debate reveals that anti-modernism and antisemitism are the true issues at the heart of the so-called Gustav Meyrink Hetze. (AB)

 

Sylvain Guarda
Kafkas „Josefine oder das Volk der Mäuse“: Das Kindlich-Mütterliche im Existenzkampf
Abstract:
The essay explores the significance of the childhood motif for the puzzling effacement of the female singer Josefine in “Josefine, the Singer, or the Folk of Mice.” A short analysis of the narrative “The Silence of the Sirens” serves as a framework to understand Josefine’s musicality and motherly instinct while highlighting Kafka’s unique understanding of the Odyssey myth. At the center of both narratives lies the notion of childhood for which Rousseau fervently pleaded and Kafka sadly yearned as an adult. The study shows that Josefine’s art performances create a trance-like space, a “dynamic stillness,” which allows the mice to catch a glimpse of their lost childhood as a heroic state beyond life and death. Josefine’s all-embracing motherly art subversively turns the enraptured folk of mice (the father figure) into a warm shapeless mass which signals a return to timelessness and death. Kafka’s short story is less “a hypnotic illusion” to sustain power, as contended by James Rolleston, than an attempt to triumph over transiency through ‘childlike’ art performances. (SG; in German)

 

Fernando Bermejo-Rubio
Does Gregor Samsa Crawl over the Ceiling and Walls? Intra-narrative Fiction in Kafka’s Die Verwandlung
Abstract:
The overwhelming majority of scholars assume that in Die Verwandlung Gregor crawls over the walls and the ceiling. The intra-narrative reality of the sticky substance (“Klebstoff”) which, according to the narrator, Gregor has in his extremities, is also taken for granted. A close reading of the text allows us to infer, however, that the purported crawling and the sticky substance are a mere product of the imagination of Gregor’s deeply perturbed mind, and that Kafka himself never took the references to the “Klebstoff” and the “Herumkriechen” seriously: they are nothing but intra-narrative fiction. This conclusion provides another cogent argument a contrario that Gregor Samsa is always—for the author and for the other characters in the novella—purely and simply a human being. (FB-R)

 

Book Reviews

Ames, Eric, Ferocious Reality: Documentary according to Werner Herzog (Roger Hillman)

Ananieva, Anna, Dorothea Böck und Hedwig Pompe, Hrsg., Geselliges Vergnügen. Kulturelle Praktiken von Unterhaltung im langen 19. Jahrhundert (Robert S. Bledsoe)

Berendse, Gerrit-Jan, Vom Aushalten der Extreme. Die Lyrik Erich Frieds zwischen Terror, Liebe und Poesie (Alessandra Schininà)

Daffner, Carola, Gertrud Kolmar: Dichten im Raum (Monika Shafi)

Daub, Adrian, Uncivil Unions: The Metaphysics of Marriage in German Idealism and Romanticism (Sean Franzel)

El Hissy, Maha, Getürkte Türken. Karnevaleske Stilmittel im Theater, Kabarett und Film deutsch-türkischer Künstlerinnen und Künstler (Kathrin Bower)

Fuchs, Anne, Kathleen James-Chakraborty, and Linda Shortt, eds., Debating German Cultural Identity since 1989 (Siegfried Mews)

Greber, Erika und Evi Zemanek, Hrsg., Sonett-Künste. Mediale Transformationen einer klassischen Gattung (Monika Schmitz-Emans)

Helfer, Martha B., The Word Unheard: Legacies of Anti-Semitism in German Literature and Culture (Karin Schutjer)

Hodgin, Nick and Caroline Pearce, eds., The GDR Remembered: Representations of the East German State Since 1989 (J. Gregory Redding)

Klotz, Volker, Verskunst. Was ist, was kann ein lyrisches Gedicht? (Gert Sautermeister)

Krämer, Thomas, Die Poetik des Gedenkens. Zu den autobiographischen Romanen H.G. Adlers (Carol Tully)

Krings, Marcel, Hrsg., Phono-Graphien. Akustische Wahrnehmung in der deutschsprachigen Literatur von 1800 bis zur Gegenwart (Tyler Whitney)

Lamping, Dieter, Hrsg., Handbuch Lyrik. Theorie, Analyse, Geschichte (Hannah Eldridge)

Martin, Elaine, Nelly Sachs: The Poetics of Silence and the Limits of Representation (Erk F. Grimm)

Meyer-Sickendiek, Burkhard, Lyrisches Gespür. Vom geheimen Sensorium moderner Poesie (Jan Oliver Jost-Fritz)

Mueller, Gabriele and James M. Skidmore, eds., Cinema and Social Change in Germany and Austria (Hester Baer)

O’Brien, Mary-Elizabeth, Post-Wall German Cinema and National History: Utopianism and Dissent (Alexandra Ludewig)

O’Brien, Traci S., Enlightened Reactions. Emancipation, Gender, and Race in German Women’s Writing (Helen G. Morris-Keitel)

Potter, Edward T., Marriage, Gender, and Desire in Early Enlightenment German Comedy (Gail Finney)

Rechtien, Renate and Dennis Tate, eds., Twenty Years On: Competing Memories of the GDR in Postunification German Culture (J. Gregory Redding)

Schmitz, Helmut and Annette Seidel-Arpacı, eds., Narratives of Trauma: Discourses of German Wartime Suffering in National and International Perspective (Norman Ächtler)

Schwartz, Peter J., After Jena: Goethe’s Elective Affinities and the End of the Old Regime (Heidi Schlipphacke)

Stähr, Anne, “...eine Mischung von Sinnlichkeit und Witz...”. Ironische Inszenierung der Geschlechter in Heinrich Heines Lutezia (Jeffrey L. Sammons)

Zymner, Rüdiger, Hrsg., Handbuch Gattungstheorie (Rainer Godel)