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Monatshefte

Volume 94, Number 3, Fall 2002 Table of Contents

Texts and Documents

Imrgard Hunt
Jüdisches Museum Berlin

Irmgard (Elsner) Hunt, who has been featured repeatedly in Monatshefte, teaches at Colorado State University in Fort Collings. She is the author of poetry, prose, and literary essays, in addition to her scholarly publications. In 2001, she edited, together with Reinhold Grimm, the bilingual volume 20th Century German Poetry (New York, Continuum), which also contains many translations of her own. Her three poems, “Jüdisches Museum Berlin,” “Grundriß JMB,” and “Garten des Exils” are published here for the first time. (RG) (In German)

 

Articles

Dirk Oschmann
“Versinnlichung” der Rede. Zu einem Prinzip aufklärischer Sprach- und Dictungstheorie
Abstract:
In the eighteenth century, language theory highly influences the development of all forms of literary representation. Because of the gradual dismissal of the traditional rhetorical system questions about the essential order of language arise. Within this intense reflection on language one main issue is language’s loss of its original sensory fundament, which thinkers like Condillac, Diderot, or Herder, among others, also deem responsible for the loss of an important mode of cognition, namely the anschauende Erkenntnis, intuitive knowledge. By again making words for the senses, that is by increasingly using certain techniques of Versinnlichung like metaphors or inversions, literature seems to be the realm in which that sensory fundament could not only be restored, but in which this mode of cognition might be regained at the same time. (DO) (In German)

 

Wilfried Wilms
The Universalist Spirit of Conflict—Lessing’s Political Enlightenment
Abstract:
The essay investigates the contradictory political positions of Ernst und Falk and Nathan der Weise. It is argued that already two decades before Kant, Lessing disputes the idea of a unifying ‘world state’ because of the logical implications of any desire to pacify the world along a single universal, rational norm. Jürgen Habermas’s desire to do away with the nation-state, and its inherent critique of Carl Schmitt’s concept of the ‘pluriverse,’ provide the theoretical background for the present investigation. The study concludes by demonstrating that Lessing insists on ‘collision’ and ‘incessant division’ to be of key importance in order to preserve a structure where politics as conflict can take place. For Lessing, conflict serves as an indicator of possible otherness that allows legitimate resistance in the face of any norm. (WW)

 

Thomas O. Beebee
Ways of Seeing Italy: Landscapes of Nation in Goethe’s Italienische Reise and its Counter-Narratives
Abstract:
Since its publication in 1816, J. W. von Goethe’s Italienische Reise has drawn mixed, ideologically nuanced reviews from its readers, has greatly influenced German views of Italy, and has garnered critical attention mainly for the biographical information it provides and for its exposition of the tenets of German Classicism. This article analyzes two aspects of the Italienische Reise as they mutually shape and condition each other: the book’s narrative structure; and its elaboration of national themes through opposition between Italian and German landscapes. The choices made between narration and description, as well as the particular configurations of these elements, imply different ways of seeing Italy, and result in varying degrees and modes of engagement with the Italian landscape. Overall, Goethe constructs a distanced gaze analogous to that of the landscape painter, a gaze which tends to depict the people of Italy as natural components of their geography, to patinize Italian history and social relations, and to draw a telluric boundary between Germany and its Italian Other. Comparison with several other German travel narratives reveal alternatives to Goethe’s deliberately constructed way of seeing Italy. In particular, Rolf Dieter Brinkmann’s Rom, Blicke (1979) deconstructs the Goethean gaze. Brinkmann reports instead his inability to “see” independent nations or significant cultural differences in an age of multinational capitalism. (TOB)

 

Stefan Ringel
Der stumme Hiob. Parodie in Dürrenmatts Dramentheorie und in seinem frühen Stück Der Blinde
Abstract:
Parody is a central element in the texts of Friedrich Dürrenmatt, one that links the heterogeneous ideas of order and chaos. Reflecting on modern drama Dürrenmatt finds himself confronted with a heterogeneous audience representing a lot of different discourses. Under the circumstances the classical forms of drama are useless, because they appeal to a homogeneous audience. A new form of drama has to be constructed: Dürrenmatt’s comedy as a parody of the classical forms. Parody means an imitation and variation of a given pattern in terms not only of form but also of content, because Dürrenmatt uses traditional plots in an antithematical way too. What may be surprising is how early he applied this strategy of writing in his work. Dürrenmatt’s early drama Der Blinde is here analyzed as an example for parody in Dürrenmatt’s writings. The play shows the world as a labyrinth constructed of discourses and discusses a belief beyond all discourses as a way out. (SR) (In German)

 

Gray Kochhar-Lindgren
Charcoal: The Phantom Traces of W.G. Sebald’s Novel-Memoirs
Abstract:
This article provides an introduction to Sebald’s Vertigo, The Emigrants, The Rings of Saturn, and Austerlitz, as well as an analysis of the relationship between the discourses of history and literature in these works. The essay examines the major stylistic traits of Sebald's “novel-memoirs,” and—through the author’s exploration of colonialism and the Holocaust—shows how the figure of displacement functions to complicate the traditional genres of literature and history. The essay concludes that “Writing as displacement allows for the astonishing conjunction of times and places that enables us to utter, and, therefore, to respond to, the phantom traces of the past as they reappear.” Sebald’s art, then, in its encounter with the oblivion of history, acts as a piece of charcoal: burned, but therefore able to be used as a tool for drawing one more image. (GK-L)

 

Book Reviews

Broch, Hermann und Annemarie Meier-Graefe. Paul Michael Lützeler, Hrsg., Der Tod im Exil. Briefwechsel 1950–51 (Robert von Dassonowsky)

Caputo-Mayr, Maria Luise und Julius Michael Herz, Franz Kafka: Internationale Bibliographie der Primär- und Sekundärliteratur (Franz R. Kempf)

Costabile-Heming, Carol Anne, Rachel J. Halverson, and Kristie A. Foell, eds., Textual Responses to German Unification: Processing Historical and Social Change in Literature and Film (Stephen Brockmann)

Doebeling, Marion, ed., New Approaches to Theodor Fontane. Cultural Codes in Flux (Arne Koch)

Drügh, Heinz J. und Maria Moog-Grünewald, Hrsg., Behext von Bildern? Ursachen, Funktionen und Perspektiven der textuellen Faszination durch Bilder (Beate Allert)

Feldman, Linda L. and Diana Orendi, eds., Evolving Jewish Identities in German Culture: Borders and Crossings (Thomas Nolden)

Fricke, Harald, Reallexikon der deutschen Literaturwissenschaft. Band II, H-O (Uwe Steiner)

Green, Monica H., ed. and trans., The Trotula. A Medieval Compendium of Women’s Medicine (Mari Dobozy)

Haferland, Harald, Hohe Minne. Zur Beschreibung der Minnekanzone (Will Hasty)

Helmreich, Christian, Jean Paul et Le Métier Littéraire. Théorie et pratique du roman à la fin du XVIIIe siècle allemand (Wulf Koepke)

Hohendahl, Peter Uwe, unter Mitarbeit von Russell A. Berman, Karen Kenkel und Arthur Strum, Öffentlichkeit. Geschichte eines kritischen Begriffs (John Chaimov)

Jussen, Bernhard, ed., Pamela Selwyn, trans., Ordering Medieval Society: Perspectives on Intellectual and Practical Modes of Shaping Social Relations (Salvatore Calomino)

Kohl, Katrin, Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock (Meredith Lee)

Korte, Hermann, Lyrik des 20. Jahrhunderts (1900–1945): Interpretation (Arnd Bohm)

Lauckner, Nancy A. and Miriam Jokinimi, eds., Shedding Light on the Darkness: A Guide to Teaching the Holocaust (Rachel Feldhay Brenner)

Lützeler, Paul Michael, Die Entropie des Menschen. Studien zum Werk Hermann Brochs (Robert von Dassonowsky)

Meyer, Dietrich, Zinzendorf und die Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine 1700–2000 (Linda Sabathy-Judd)

Newman, Jane O., The Intervention of Philology: Gender, Learning, and Power in Lohenstein’s Roman Plays (Barton W. Browning)

Pargner, Birgit, Charlotte Birch-Pfeiffer (1800–1868)—Eine Frau beherrscht die Bühne. Eine Ausstellung im Deutschen Theatermuseum München vom 19. November 1999 bis zum 20. Februar 2000 (Brigitte E. Jirku)

Poore, Carol, The Bonds of Labor. German Journeys to the Working World, 1890–1990 (Helen G. Morris-Keitel)

Pugh, David, Schiller’s Early Dramas: A Critical History (Julie D. Prandi)

Rieger, Stefan, Die Individualität der Medien. Eine Geschichte der Wissenschaften vom Menschen (Nicolas Pethes)

Schmidt, Thomas, Der Kalender und die Folgen. Uwe Johnsons Roman Jahrestage. Ein Beitrag zum Problem des kollektiven Gedächtnisses (Kurt J. Fickert)

Schöne, Albrecht, Schillers Schädel (Alexander Košenina)

Schwarz, Egon, “Ich bin kein Freund allgemeiner Urteile über ganze Völker.” Essays über österreichische, deutsche und jüdische Literatur (Helga Schreckenberger)

Taberner, Stuart, Distorted Reflections: The Public and Private Faces of the Author in the Work of Uwe Johnson, Günter Grass and Martin Walser, 1965–1975 (Helmut Peitsch)

Tobin, Robert, Warm Brothers: Queer Theory and the Age of Goethe (Susan E. Gustafson)

Zeuch, Ulrike, Umkehr der Sinneshierarchie. Herder und die Aufwertung des Tastsinns seit der frühen Neuzeit (Karl J. Fink)

Note

2. FrideL-Tagung, call for papers