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German literature

Related: Jörg Schröder - bildungsroman - world literature - German philosophy - Germany

Titles: The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) - Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (1985)

Writers: Brothers Grimm - Goethe - Gutenberg - E. T. A. Hoffmann - Elfriede Jelinek - Franz Kafka - Georg Lukács - Thomas Mann - Leopold von Sacher-Masoch - Nietzsche - Arthur Schnitzler - Schopenhauer

Typical cover of März-Verlag with their distinctive look - yellow with thick black and red types. März-Verlag is the German equivalent of similar Western publishing houses such as Eric Losfeld's Éditions Le Terrain Vague, American Grove Press and Great Britain's John Calder's various publishing houses. März-Verlag was run by Jörg Schröder, who published Rolf Dieter Brinkmann, Castaneda, Leonard Cohen, Robert Crumb, Fassbinder, John Giorno, Gerhard Malanga, Kenneth Patchen and J. G. Ballard. Jörg Schröder was also the german publisher of Histoire d’O and he ran the German branch of Girodias's Olympia Press. [Jan 2007]


German literature comprises those literary texts written in the German language.

Periodization is not an exact science, but the following list contains movements or time periods typically used in discussing German literature. It seems worth noting that the periods of medieval German literature span two or three centuries, those of early modern German literature span one century, and those of modern German literature each span one or two decades. The closer one nears the present, the more debated the periodizations become.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_literature [Jul 2006]

Christian Enzensberger

Smut: An Anatomy of Dirt (1968) - Christian Enzensberger [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Smut is a fabulously tangible book. Enzensberger begins it with a guided tour de force of the different types of dirt -- distinguishing parings from peelings, things that crunch and crush from things that split and splinter, splashy things that spot and spatter from oily things that slither, slide, slip, slop and splutter.

It would be terrible if you could smell it, but somehow, framed by Enzensberger's prose, it becomes a delight to tour "accretions of mud clay slime slush ooze and bog … everything that crawls creeps writhes wriggles and twists, anything that slithers or spurts into existence worms its way out of holes or germinates swells dilates bubbles and bursts." -- Momus via http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,71763-0.html [Jan 2007]

Christian Enzensberger (born 24th of December 1931 in Nürnberg) is a German author and translator of literature from English to German.

Dr. Christian Enzensberger is one of the more enigmatic figures in German letters. Younger brother of the literary celebrity and political figure Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Christian Enzensberger has maintained a relatively low media profile throughout his career, in spite of being embroiled in one of the more interesting literary scandals of early 70s Germany.

From 1969 until 1982, Dr. Enzensberger held a post as Professor of English Literature at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. He is today chiefly known in Germany for his 1963 translation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass.

In 1970 he became the only author ever to refuse the Bremer Literaturpreis, offered in the wake of the publication of Größerer Versuch über den Schmutz (translated by Sandra Morris and published by Calder & Boyars in 1972 as Smut: An Anatomy of Dirt). The book generated a furore when it was first published in Germany, not least due to its linking of personal cleanliness with totalitarianism. Smut is an experimental work in which dirt is described scientifically, personally and peversely by a panopoly of narrative voices, including fragments from the anthropologist Mary Douglas alongside writers from Samuel Beckett through William S. Burroughs to Jean Genet. It has since then fallen into neglect and, in spite of a resurgence of interest in what, for want of a better term, could be called Rubbish Theory remains unfortunately out of print in both English and German. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Enzensberger [Jan 2007]

Friedrich Schlegels Lucinde and the Fragments (1971) - Friedrich Schlegel

Friedrich Schlegels Lucinde and the Fragments (1971) - Friedrich Schlegel [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Lucinde (1799) is an unfinished romance by Karl Wilhelm Friedrich von Schlegel. For details on its publishing history and obscenity trial, see Ludwig Marcuse's Obscene (1962).

Karl Wilhelm Friedrich von Schlegel (March 10, 1772 - January 11, 1829), German poet, critic and scholar, was the younger brother of August Wilhelm von Schlegel.

He was born at Hanover. He studied law at Göttingen and Leipzig, but ultimately devoted himself entirely to literary studies. He published in 1797 the important book Die Griechen und Römer, which was followed by the suggestive Geschichte der Poesie der Griechen und Römer (1798). At Jena, where he lectured as a Privatdozent at the university, he contributed to the Athenaeum the aphorisms and essays in which the principles of the Romantic school are most definitely stated. Here also he wrote Lucinde (1799), an unfinished romance, which is interesting as an attempt to transfer to practical ethics the Romantic demand for complete individual freedom. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Wilhelm_Friedrich_von_Schlegel [Sept 2005]

The Marquise von O (1808) - Heinrich von Kleist

The Marquise von O (1808) - Heinrich von Kleist
[FR] [DE] [UK]

The Marquise von O is an 1808 novella by Heinrich von Kleist which was adapted to film by Eric Rhomer in 1976.

The Marquise von O is a novella by Heinrich von Kleist. The story begins with a marvelous single sentence paragraph relating how in a prominent town in northern Italy the widow the Marquise von O. places an announcement in the newspapers to the efect that she is pregnant and wishes the father of her child to make himself known to her, in order that she can marry him. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Marquise_von_O [Oct 2006]

In The Marquise of O-, a virtuous widow finds herself unaccountably pregnant. And although the baffled Marquise has no idea when this happened, she must prove her innocence to her doubting family and discover whether the perpetrator is an assailant or lover. Michael Kohlhaas depicts an honourable man who feels compelled to violate the law in his search for justice, while other tales explore the singular realm of the uncanny, such as The Beggarwoman of Locarno, in which an old woman's ghost drives a heartless nobleman to madness, and St Cecilia, which portrays four brothers possessed by an uncontrollable religious mania. The stories collected in this volume reflect the preoccupations of Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) with the deceptiveness of human nature and the unpredictability of the physical world. --from the publisher

Narcissus and Goldmund (1930) - Hermann Hesse

In search of faultlines.

Narcissus and Goldmund (1930) - Hermann Hesse [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Narcissus and Goldmund is a novel written by the German author Hermann Hesse and was first published as Narziss und Goldmund in German in 1930. It was the novel directly after Der Steppenwolf, which won Hesse critical acclaim. Narcissus and Goldmund was, at the time of its release, considered Hesse's literary triumph and international success (though now the earlier Siddhartha has become known as Hesse's classic).

In this novel the influence of Friedrich Nietzsche's theory of the Apollian versus Dionysian spirit is evident. The polarization of Narcissus's individualist Apollonian character stands in contrast to the passionate and zealous disposition of Goldmund. Hesse, in the spirit of the Nietzsche's "Birth of Tragedy", completes the equation by creating Goldmund as an artist (an Apollonian endeavor), and highlighting the harmonizing relationship of the main characters.

Goldmund is presented a completely rounded character as he comes to embody both Apollonian as well as Dionysian elements, thus capturing Nietzsche's conception of the ideal tragedy. Goldmund comes to embody the entire spectrum of the human experience, lusting for the gruesome ecstasy of the Dionysian world yet capturing it representing it through artistic Apollonian creativity. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissus_and_Goldmund [May 2006]

See also: Nietzsche - Germany - literature - narcissism - Dionysian - Apollian - 1930

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