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Volume 98, Number 3, Fall 2006 Table of Contents


Hans Rudolf Vaget
Who’s Afraid of Daniel Wilson? Zum Stand der Diskussion über den politischen Goethe
Taking as a point of departure the recent German controversy over the political legacy of Weimar Classicism in general and of Goethe in particular, this essay offers a historically contextualized appraisal of the work of Daniel Wilson and an explanation of its largely negative critical reception in Germany. Indeed that controversy obscured rather than illuminated the reasons for adverse reactions to Wilson’s work, which are, in the last analysis, attributable to his exposure of a troubling interpretive continuity—namely, between the politically opportunistic estimation of Duke Carl August of Weimar and of Goethe that were put forward in the 1930s, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the sanitized views of Weimar Classicism that took hold in Germany after World War II. This essay argues that in order to properly view Goethe’s political legacy, we must look beyond the parochial confines of Weimar and, more importantly, we must refrain from privileging Goethe the “politician” over Goethe the poet. The latter point is illustrated by a brief excursus into Goethe’s reception of the French Revolution of 1830 and its impact on Faust—which is Goethe’s true political testament. (HRV; in German)


Eric Hadley Denton
Children on Stage: Goethe, Büchner, and Beyond
There are few, if any, children on the eighteenth-century stage, at first surprising observation. If children are introduced on state in the eighteenth century, they will be dead and buried by the end of the play. This essay, however, explores what happens when children begin to emerge as actors, not as victims, for example in Büchner (with asides to Goethe, Lenz, and Marius von Mayenburg). With the assistance of D.W. Winnicott’s Playing and Reality, children on stage are treated as transitional objects in analogy to case studies. As in Winnicott, the focus is on the consequences of play and plaything objects for creativity and imagination on stage—and offstage, as evidence for changing notions of children in relation to institutions and genres. In A. Gailus’s subsequent response, by way of a seminal text, Anton Reiser, childhood development is further explored for its creative destructiveness. Creativity is destructive, and childhood development depends on the capacity to relinquish concern for the object, to attack—and hate—it wholeheartedly. With a wicked reverse on Winnicott, the role of children on-stage is to embody the breakdown of any and all transitionality—what happens when children refuse to play. (EHD)


Andreas Gailus
Response to Eric Hadley Denton


John Pizer
The Third Dialectic in Else Lasker-Schüler’s Die Wupper
This article builds on two other dialectical approaches to Lasker-Schüler’s first play, Peter Tyson’s Naturalism/Expressionism analysis and Calvin Jones’s “Darstellung/Vertretung” dichotomy. While recognizing the heuristic value of their methodologies, my own localism/Orientalism model has a unique advantage: it situates Die Wupper, for the first time, within the broader context of Lasker-Schüler’s early œuvre, and œuvre other critics (who consistently ignore Die Wupper) have correctly seen as possessing strong Orientalist tendencies. My approach is based on an intertextural reading of Die Wupper with Lasker-Schüler’s story cycle Die Nächte der Tino von Bagdad, composed in the same year as her early drama (1907) and clearly belonging to what Donna Heizer has termed Lasker-Schüler’s “Oriental performance space.” Both works contain a local, autobiographical dimension, so that this article’s intertextual reading will show both works to be driven by the Orientalism/localism dialect. (JP)


Nicole Thesz
Thomas Mann und die “Welt vor dem großen Kriege”: Abgrenzung und Dialektik auf dem Zauberberg
In the Magic Mountain, the motif of demarcation reflects the political and scientific upheaval at the beginning of the twentieth century. This demarcation is manifested both in the sanatorium’s isolation and the xenophobic tendencies. At the medical level, Mann describes the immune reaction as a demarcation of infected tissue, and he presents contours and time units as fundamental to human orientation. Thus, boundaries offer structure and protection. At the same time, Castorp’s search for love and transcendence reveals a desire for dissolution, in much the same way Dionysus triumphs over Apollonian clarity. Unlike Aschenbach in Death in Venice, however, Castorp withstands the tension between opposites by integrating antitheses in the course of this Bildungsroman. Thus, for Mann, demarcation provides a means of orientation in a world rendered increasingly complex by science and internationalism. (NT; in German)


Thomas Schmidt
‘Unsere Geschichte’? Probleme der Holocaust-Darstellung unter DDR-Bedingungen: Peter Edel, Fred Wander, Jurek Becker. Teil II (und Schluss)
Part II of this article applies the results of the readings in part I (Monatshefte 98.1, 83–109) to those main political and historical discourses in the GDR that did not question the ethical and aesthetic incompatibility of the Holocaust, but which turned its political incompatibility into a problem for the witnesses. On the one hand, this article shows how Fred Wander, Jurek Becker, and, with reservations, also Peter Edel applied their veto against the incapacitation of the Jewish victims. On the other hand, it is shown how the main concepts of the GDR, which Becker’s ‘poetics of irritation’ and Wander’s ‘ethical telling’ opposed, nonetheless have left traces in their narrations, how the state tried to control their subversive potential and to abuse it in favor of a self-stabilization of its own ideological system. (TS; in German)


Reinhold Grimm
Zur Tücke von Poesie und Wissenschaft. Ein Nachtrag
This kleiner Beitrag constitutes a necessary and, it is hoped, quite exhilarating supplement to my previous article “Wissenschaft und Dichtung: Zu Hans Magnus Enzensbergers jüngsten Veröffentlichungen” (cf. Monatshefte 97.4 (2005), 654–78). What it investigates and situates in the pertinent context is atypical ambiguity of Enzensberger’s as it appears in the poem “Die Mathematiker” from his 1991 collection Zukunftsmusik. Derived from the work “Kummer,” i.e., the equivalent of English “grief,” which is in German, however, likewise the name of a nineteenth-century German mathematician; the resulting double-entendre admirably succeeds in revealing the mischievousness of both poetry and science. (RG; in German)


Review Article

Hans Feger
Zum neuen Realismus des Schillerjahres 2005

Book Reviews

Alt, Peter-André, Schiller. Leben—Werk—Zeit. Eine Biographie (Hans Feger)

Baumeister, Martin, Kriegstheater. Großstadt, Front und Massenkultur 1914–1918 (Alan Lareau)

Beiser, Frederick, Schiller as Philosopher: A Re-Examination (Hans Feger)

Brockmann, Stephen, German Literary Culture at the Zero Hour (Frederick A. Lubich)

Corino, Karl, Robert Musil. Eine Biographie (Christian Rogowski)

Damm, Sigrid, Das Leben des Friedrich Schiller. Eine Wanderung (Hans Feger)

Dammann, Günter, Hrsg., B. Travens Erzählwerk in der Konstellation von Sprachen und Kulturen (Wulf Koepke)

Dollinger, Roland, Wulf Koepke, and Heidi Thomann Tewarson, eds., A Companion to the Works of Alfred Döblin (Thorsten Hahn)

Gray, Richard T., About Face: German Physiognomic Thought from Lavater to Auschwitz (Rainer Godel)

Haas, Birgit, Theater der Wende—Wendetheater (Dagmar Jaeger)

Koelb, Clayton and Eric Downing, eds., German Literature of the Nineteenth Century, 1832–1899 (Brian Tucker)

Kontje, Todd, German Orientalisms (Birgit Tautz)

Listen, Paul, Robert Di Donato, and Daniel Franklin, The Big Yellow Book of German Verbs (Monika Chavez)

Manger, Klaus und Gottfried Willems, Hrsg., Schiller im Gespräch der Wissenschaften (Hans Feger)

Otto, Karl F., ed., A Companion to the Works of Grimmelshausen (Mara R. Wade)

Parker, Stephen, Peter Davies, and Matthew Philpotts, The Modern Restoration: Re-thinking German Literary History 1930–1960 (Peter Morris-Keitel)

Payne, Stanley G., David J. Sorkin, and John S. Tortorice, eds., What History Tells: Geroge L. Mosse and the Culture of Modern Europe (Marcel Rotter)

Safranski, Rüdiger, Friedrich Schiller oder Die Erfindung des deutschen Idealismus (Hans Feger)

Saße, Günter, Hrsg., Schiller. Werk—Interpretation (Hans Feger)

Schweier, Thomas, Feudalismus in den Artusepopöen Hartmanns von Aue? Kritik der Schriften Otto Brunners im Rahmen sozialgeschichtlicher Interpretationen (Susann Samples)

Sebastian, Thomas, The Intersection of Science and Literature in Musil’s The Man Without Qualities (Mark M. Fried)

Solibakke, Karl, Geformte Zeit. Musik als Diskurs und Struktur bei Bachmann und Bernhard (Joseph W. Moser)

Steiner, Uwe, Walter Benjamin (Marcus Bullock)

Tauss, Martin, Rausch—Kultur—Geschichte. Drogen in literarischen Texten nach 1945 (Stephan Resch)

White, John J., Bertolt Brecht’s Dramatic Theory (Sigfried Mews)

Wilson, W. Daniel, Hrsg., Goethes Weimar und die Französische Revolution. Dokumente der Krisenjahre (Gerhart Hoffmeister)