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Monatshefte

Volume 98, Number 1, Spring 2006 Table of Contents

In memoriam: John D. Workman

 

(Re)Readings—New Readings / (Wieder)Gelesen—Neu Gelesen

Wolfgang Kayser, Das sprachliche Kunstwerk (1948)

 

Harro Müller-Michaels
Das sprachliche Kunstwerk—wiedergelesen

 

Jörg Esleben
Outside Insights: Into Wolfgang Kayser’s Das sprachliche Kunstwerk

 

Articles

Robert Sparling
Transfiguring the Enlightenment: J.G. Hamann and the Problem of Public Reason
Abstract:
The writings of Johann Georg Hamann (1730–1788) are notoriously obscure, but his stylistic eccentricities are not merely the result of an undisciplined, overly allusive wit. Rather, they constitute a conscious attack on the literary mores of the Republic of Letters. Drawing on his radical theory of language and aesthetics, this article points to the underlying unity of his project: Hamann sought to undermine Enlightenment philosophy with ‘philology’—the love of the divine logos. Specifically, this article focuses on Hamann’s term of art, ‘metaschematism’ or ‘transfiguration,’ in order to illustrate how he sought to counter the perceived inadequacies of public reason with mythopoetic language. Both a rhetorical device and a hermeneutic principle, ‘transfiguration’ locates human experience and the history of literature within the structure of the Bible. (RS)

 

Reinhold Münster
Säkularisierung im Spiegel der Aufklärungsdichtung. Friedrich von Hagedorn, August Moritz von Thümmel, Johann Heinrich Voss
Abstract:
This article argues against the thesis that religion experienced a dramatic decline as the frame of reference both within secular society and within the church during the late eighteenth century when members of the German Enlightenment made great efforts to support the movement of secularization. Three Protestant writers, Hagedorn, Thümmel, and Voss, offered significantly varying attitudes toward religion. Whereas Hagedorn expressed very little interest in religion and displayed a considerable degree of tolerance, Thümmel critiqued the shallowness of social and religious norms and values. Voss, on the other hand, attacked inhumanity and immorality prevalent at his time. For him, the marriage ritual acquires meaning for the bourgeois family only if society is governed by a good patriarch. Harmony for society can only be achieved if religion is restored as the foundation for all aspects of life. (RM; in German)

 

Cindy Patey Brewer
The Seduction of the Beautiful Soul: Anxiety of Influence in Frederike Unger’s Bekenntnisse einer schönen Seele von ihr selbst geschrieben
Abstract:
Friederike Helene Unger’s novel, Bekenntnisse einer schönen Seele (1806), written in direct response to Goethe’s text with the same title, functions as an allegory for a woman writer’s anxiety of influence as she confronts the seductive power of the patriarchal literary tradition. Unger uses sexuality as the primary metaphor to explore the barriers to independent female authorship and the conditions under which it might be possible. She challenges a long tradition that perceives art as an exclusively masculine act of creation, a begetting that requires a passive female muse to serve as both a receptacle for a man’s artistic emissions and as an art object itself. Unger’s main female characters, all of them “beautiful souls,” are seduced by the potent authority and power of masculine art and either succumb to or resist its influence. At once attracted and repulsed by the aesthetic potency of men, the women are caught between the potential annihilation associated with surrendering to patriarchal influence and the potential isolation of complete artistic sovereignty. How the female genius, literature’s “beautiful soul,” will negotiate this perilous position without compromising her own artistic individuality becomes the focus and object of Unger’s novel. (CPB)

 

Nicolas Pethes
“Viehdummes Individuum,” “Unsterblichste Experimente.” Elements for a Cultural History of Human Experimentation in Georg Büchner’s Dramatic Case Study Woyzeck
Abstract:
The article deducts one of the basic epistemological paradoxes of human experimentation from a close reading of the Doktor-scene in Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck: Human experiments are generally conducted on subjects defined as ‘abnormal’ but nevertheless strive to apply the results on the average ‘normality.’ Büchner’s dramatic case study on Johann Christian Woyzeck unfolds this paradox of ethical exclusion and biological inclusion and demonstrates as to how the image of human beings (Menschenbild) of the mid-19th century is constructed based on scientific techniques such as experiment and observation. At the same time, the play requires a new reflection on the relation between literature and science: As a literary case study, Woyzeck does not merely depict issues of medicine. Instead, it is in itself a mode of ‘writing knowledge’ that highlights the blind spots of scientific knowledge production. (NP)

 

Thomas Schmidt
‘Unsere Geschichte’? Probleme der Holocaust-Darstellung unter DDR-Bedingungen: Peter Edel, Fred Wander, Jurek Becker. Teil I
Abstract:
Being at the crossroads of Holocaust remembrance, where biographical memory becomes independent and finally manifests itself as a mediated part of cultural memory, the question of representing the Holocaust as such turns into a reflection on actual describing techniques and patterns of interpretation. But within this process certain traces in testimonies have largely been disregarded, which appear as imprints of the respective political and cultural conditions of writing and which demand critical reflection at this point of memory formation. By analyzing the most important Holocaust narratives written by survivors in the GDR, this gap is closed in an exemplary way. Dealing with Peter Edel’s Die Bilder des Zeugen Schattmann, Part One of this essay shows that the subjective experience of suffering undermines its intended integration into the self-concept of the GDR. This was only possible at the expense of massive narrative and thematical inconsistencies. Jurek Becker’s Jakob der Lügner and Fred Wander’s Der siebente Brunnen, however, are purposefully cut off from this integration by elaborate literary means. Nevertheless these texts still refer to the conditions in the GDR, since they had to make room for the Holocaust against these conditions.

Part Two of this essay will be published in the Fall issue (98.3) of Monatshefte. (TS; in German)

 

Review Article

Andreas Härter
Schutzmann und unendlicher Verkehr. Neuerscheinungen der Kafka-Forschung

Book Reviews

Brandt, Reinhard, Universität zwischen Selbst- und Fremdbestimmung. Kants “Streit der Fakultäten.” Mit einem Anhang zu Heideggers “Rektoratsrede” (Sean Franzel)

Bridgewater, Patrick, Kafka’s Novels: An Interpretation (Andreas Härter)

Bitterli, Urs, Golo Mann. Instanz und Außenseiter. Eine Biographie (Hans Rudolf Vaget)

Bumke, Joachim, Die Blutstropfen im Schnee. Über Wahrnehmung und Erkenntnis im Parzival Wolframs von Eschenbach (Salvatore Calomino)

Degler, Frank, Aisthetische Reduktionen. Analysen zu Partrick Süskinds Der Kontrabaß, Das Parfum und Rossini (Hans J. Rindisbacher)

Dierks, Sonja, Es gibt Gespenster. Betrachtungen zu Kafkas Erzählungen (Andreas Härter)

Donahue, Neil H., Karl Krolow and the Poetics of Amnesia in Postwar Germany (Claas Morgenroth)

Donahue, William Collins, The End of Modernism: Elias Canetti’s Auto-da-Fé (Kristie Foell)

Engelbert, Manfred, Burkhard Pohl und Udo Schöning, Hrsg., Märkte, Medien, Vermittler. Fallstudien zur interkulturellen Vernetzung von Literatur und Film (Claudia Schmitt)

Esselborn, Hans, Hrsg., Utopie, Antiutopie und Science Fiction im deutschsprachigen Roman des 20. Jahrhunderts (Jürgen Schaupp)

Fauser, Markus, Einführung in die Literaturtheorie (Stephan Jaeger)

Geisenhanslüke, Achim, Einführung in die Kulturwissenschaft (Stephan Jaeger)

Haas, Birgit, Modern German Political Drama 1980–2000 (Claas Morgenroth)

Hilbig, Antje, Claudia Kajatin und Ingrid Miethe, Hrsg., Frauen und Gewalt. Interdisziplinäre Untersuchungen zu geschlechtsgebundener Gewalt in Theorie und Praxis (Ursula Mahlendorf)

Hohendahl, Peter Uwe, ed., German Studies in the United States: A Historical Handbook (Timothy B. Malchow)

Jäger, Lorenz, Adorno. Eine politische Biographie (Dagmar Barnow)

Jonas, Klaus W. und Holger Stunz, Golo Mann. Leben und Werk. Chronik und Bibliographie (1929–2003) (Hans Rudolf Vaget)

Jucker, Rolf, ed., Volker Braun in Perspective (Claas Morgenroth)

Kim, Hyun Kang, Ästhetik der Paradoxie. Kafka im Kontext der Philosophie der Moderne (Andreas Härter)

Kleinwort, Malte, Kafkas Verfahren. Literatur, Individuum und Gesellschaft im Umkreis von Kafkas Briefen an Milena (Andreas Härter)

Kruse, Jens, Tortured Enlightenment: Writing and Reading in Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony” (Andreas Härter)

Lackner, Susanne, Zwischen Muttermord und Muttersehnsucht. Die literarische Präsentation der Mutter-Tochter-Problematik im Lichte der écriture féminine (Roxanne Riegler)

Lehmann, Hans-Thies und Patrick Primavesi, Hrsg., Heiner-Müller-Handbuch. Leben—Werk—Wirkung (Anne D. Peiter)

Nekula, Marek, Franz Kafkas Sprachen. “...in einem Stockwerk des innern babylonischen Turmes...” (Andreas Härter)

Nicolini, Marcus, Deutsch in Texas (Joseph Salmons)

Scheunemann, Dietrich, ed., Expressionist Film: New Perspectives (Noah Isenberg)

Schillemeit, Jost, Herausgegeben von Rosemarie Schillemeit, Kafka-Studien (Andreas Härter)

Schmidt, Christoph, Die Apokalypse des Subjekts. Ästhetische Subjektivität und politische Theologie bei Hugo Ball (Reiner Rumold)

Shockey, Gary C., Homo Viator, Katabasis, and Landscapes: A Comparison of Parzival and Diu Crône (Susann T. Samples)

Vees-Gulani, Susanne, Trauma and Guilt: Literature of Wartime Bombing in Germany (Stephen Brockmann)

Wåghäll Nivre, Elisabeth, Women and Family Life in Early Modern German Literature (Maria Dobozy)

Wilson, Anthony T., Über die Galgenlieder Christian Morgensterns (Rüdiger Singer)

Zilcosky, John, Kafka’s Travels: Exoticism, Colonialism, and the Traffic of Writing (Andreas Härter)