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Goethe Yearbook 20

Goethe Yearbook 20

Edited by Daniel Purdy
With Catriona MacLeod Book Review Editor
Series: Goethe Yearbook
Volume: 20
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 308
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Goethe Yearbook 20
    Book Description:

    The Goethe Yearbook is a publication of the Goethe Society of North America, encouraging North American Goethe scholarship by publishing original English-language contributions to the understanding of Goethe and other authors of the Goethezeit while also welcoming contributions from scholars around the world. Volume 20 contains a special section on Goethe's lyric poetry with contributions from leading scholars. The essays incorporate a range of new methodologies that provide innovative readings of Goethe's most important poems, including contributions by Benjamin Bennett on Faust and Daniel Wilson on the West-östliche Divan. The volume also includesessays on Götz von Berlichingen, the Sturm-und-Drang sublime, the Nibelungenlied's place within Weltliteratur, as well as an examination of Schiller's notion of freedom. Contributors: Constantin Behler, Benjamin Bennett, Frauke Berndt, Fritz Breithaupt, Hannah Vandegrift Eldridge, Andrew Erwin, Patrick Fortmann, Edgar Landgraf, Horst Lange, Charlotte Lee, Claudia Maienborn, Joseph D. O'Neil, Elizabeth Powers, Christian P. Weber, W. Daniel Wilson. Daniel Purdy is Associate Professor of German at Pennsylvania State University. Book review editor Catriona MacLeod is Associate Professor of German at the University of Pennsylvania.

    eISBN: 978-1-57113-871-2
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
  3. Special Section on Goethe’s Lyric Poetry

    • Introduction: New Approaches to Goethe’s Lyric Poetry
      (pp. 3-4)

      This collection of articles emerged from a series of panels devoted to Goethe’s lyric poetry at the Thirty-first Conference of the German Studies Association in 2010. The organizers, including Regina Sachers, were motivated by the observation that this genre of Goethe’s writings has been surprisingly understudied in recent years. On the one hand, scholars have tended to revisit very similar questions raised by a comparatively small number of individual poems; only rarely have new contexts or innovative theoretical approaches been brought into play. On the other hand, David Wellbery’s magisterial study The Specular Moment: Goethe’s Early Lyric and the Beginnings...

    • Intimacy, Morality, and the Inner Problematic of the Lyric
      (pp. 5-24)

      Goethe’s post-anacreontic poetry “fundamentally alter[ed] the nature of poetic writing, inaugurating a type of literary discourse that, from a European perspective, can be called the Romantic lyric.” Thus argues David Wellbery in “Idyllic and Lyric Intimacy,” the introductory essay of The Specular Moment: Goethe’s Early Lyric and the Beginnings of Romanticism.¹ Wellbery does not read the Romantic lyric in the poetological tradition it generated, a tradition that is “in essence tautological, drawing on, and reinforcing, the mythical values—‘nature,’ ‘force,’ ‘youth,’ ‘unmediated song’—the texts themselves set into circulation”(7); rather he approaches Goethe’s early poetry as a particular discursive practice...

    • Beyond the Poem: Strategies of Metapoetic Reflection in Goethe’s Erster Weimarer Gedichtsammlung
      (pp. 25-58)

      While the frankfurt edition suggests that Goethe’s poems ought to be read in the contexts of carefully crafted ensembles and cycles, it remains common practice to analyze them in distinct isolation.¹ Even in a study as monumental and sophisticated as David Wellbery’s The Specular Moment, poems such as “Ganymed” and “Prometheus,” which Goethe regularly placed side by side, are subjected to extensive exegesis without any reflection of their spatial conjunction.² Yet Goethe’s lyric poetry consists of dynamic poetic processes that surpass the lyric capacity of individual poems. By focusing on the so-called great hymns of the “Geniezeit,” which are commonly...

    • Meistersänger als Beruf: The Maieutics of Poetic Vocation in “Erklärung eines alten Holzschnittes …”
      (pp. 59-78)

      There are at least two stories to be told about Goethe’s lyric poetry. According to one, the power of the artist (and we all know Goethe is the consummate artist) grows from passions and drives that are crystallized in experience and expressed in art. This “hermeneutics of experience” produces the “myth of unmediated expressivity”¹ that is central to the biographical story about Goethe (or, more recently, about Goethe!),² a story that nonetheless persists in different forms, on different premises, in the various considerations of “Goethe” as a coherent unit, an author with a project who produces a certain discourse.


    • Song or Narration?: Goethe’s Mignon
      (pp. 79-90)

      This short piece wishes to engage a large question, namely, the question of how the specific story a poem tells relates to the ways in which poetry emotionally engages its readers. Obviously, this is too large a question to allow for a clear and satisfactory answer. And yet, poetry stands at a peculiar intersection since it usually contains some specific story or rudimentary narrative while also evoking sentiments in the reader or listener who can recognize himself or herself in the poem. I do not wish to suggest that empathy or identification is the key mechanism we need to consider....

    • The Sucking Subject: Structural Ambiguities of Goethe’s “Auf dem See” in Literary and Linguistic Perspective
      (pp. 91-116)

      Understanding a text of whatever kind requires identifying and knowing the game rules of the type or kind—the genre—of which it is an instance.¹ The poem “Auf dem See” is one of the founding texts of the genre of so called Erlebnisdichtung, which is generally considered a poetic medium of reflection.² Within this medium, language, emotion, and reflection interpenetrate each other.³ As such, any instance of Erlebnisdichtung relies on the experience of a psychologically constructed subject. In a literary and linguistic analysis of the first and original version of the text from 1775, we want to demonstrate, however,...

    • “Höhere Begattung,” “höhere Schönheit”: Goethe’s Homoerotic Poem “Selige Sehnsucht”
      (pp. 117-132)

      The main problem in writing on Goethe and “homosexuality” is that many readers will expect his own sexuality to be at the center, particularly since previous books have set the tone. This is particularly true of nonscholarly attempts, but scholars are not immune to the fascination with making Goethe “gay.”¹ It is time, I think, for us to question our methods and assumptions, which necessarily involves taking into account the historical distance between us and same-sex love in the eighteenth century.² The effect of ahistorical interpretations is not only that few scholars pay attention to them. For they ultimately detract...

    • Poetry after Faust
      (pp. 133-146)

      Faust changes everything. To say that it calls into question the very idea of poetic genres is to state the obvious. In this respect it belongs to the same general historical movement as the realistic novel; and it certainly shares with the novel what Bakhtin calls the latter’s “heteroglot” quality, its rejection of the general poetic preference for a maximally “unitary” language.¹ But on the other hand, Faust is definitely neither itself a kind of novel nor an instance of the “novelization” (in Bakhtin’s sense) of some other literary type. In fact it can reasonably be regarded as antithetical to...

    • Forms of Knowledge/Knowledge of Forms: The Epistemology of Goethe’s West-östlicher Divan and Cavellian Skepticism
      (pp. 147-166)

      The poem “Unbegrenzt” in the “Buch Hafis” of Goethe’s West-östlicher Divan offers several problems for interpretation. Perhaps most obviously it is marked by the presence of, if not direct contradiction, then at least strong paradox. The poem’s opening two lines address an unclear “Du” and attribute to that addressee the polar problems of being unable to come to an end (“Daß Du nicht enden kannst”) and never beginning (“daß Du nie beginnst”). And its final lines state in playful contradiction: “Nun töne Lied mit eignem Feuer! / Denn du bist älter, du bist neuer.” Second, as indicated by its situation...

    • Im flüßgen Element hin und wieder schweifen: Development and Return in Goethe’s Poetry and Hegel’s Philosophy
      (pp. 167-178)

      After an exchange of letters early in 1821, Goethe was so pleased by the sensitivity of Hegel’s reflections on a concept central to his own thought that he sent Hegel a gift of an opaque wine glass, with the dedication:

      Dem Absoluten

      empfiehlt sich


      zu freundlicher Aufnahme


      This vignette, tongue-in-cheek though it is, points to an enduring meeting of minds between the two thinkers, which can be detected in the most surprising places. The parallels between Goethe’s West-östlicher Divan (1819) and the fundamentals of Hegel’s thought have never been remarked upon, even though they are remarkable. My purpose...

  4. Goethe’s Historical Particularism and the “Right Hand” of History: Early Modern State Building, Nobility, and the Feud in Götz von Berlichingen
    (pp. 179-198)

    In what sense can we say that Goethe’s Götz von Berlichingen is an historical drama? How do the historical and poetic dimensions of the play fit together? Until recently, questions of this sort found less than satisfactory answers in scholarship on Goethe’s 1773 play. For much of the twentieth century, critics viewed Goethe’s treatment of history in the play as secondary, anachronistic, or even false. To the extent that history came into focus, it was seen as a backdrop for the Charakterdrama that pitted a natural, authentic hero against an inauthentic courtly culture.¹ However, once critics began to develop a...

  5. Where Are the Mountains?: Johann Jacob Bodmer and the “Pre-Kantian Sublime”
    (pp. 199-222)

    By the late eighteenth century, the sublime had moved beyond its original association with rhetoric and, increasingly, came to signify awe and disquiet in the face of grand natural phenomena. Evidence for this association was Goethe’s essay “Von Deutscher Baukunst” (1772). In it, the cathedral in Strassburg is analogized to a monstrous—at first glance, anyway—irregular work of nature.² Besides portraying the compelling effect on the imagination of such grandeur, Goethe’s essay also exemplifies the way in which two separate discourses—that of the sublime and that of “mountain appreciation”—intersected and changed the direction of literature and art,...

  6. The Politics of Aesthetic Humanism: Schiller’s German Idea of Freedom
    (pp. 223-246)

    The memorials of 2005 and 2009¹ to Friedrich Schiller invited broader assessments of his achievements and historical legacy, reminding us of his significance in modern cultural history. Celebrated in Germany as a poet, dramatist, and philosopher, whose voice, surprisingly, once again resonated with the spiritual needs of the times, Schiller is today recognized in an international academic context primarily for his theoretical work. Here his aesthetic theories are regarded as the “fountainhead of all later German critical theory”² and as an inspiration for the“whole radical aesthetic tradition from Coleridge to Herbert Marcuse.”³ As such, Schiller’s aesthetics has played a significant...

  7. Romanticism’s Old German as Stepping-Stone to Goethe’s World Literature
    (pp. 247-264)

    So wie jetzt wurden die alten noch nie gelesen und übersetzt.” Ludwig Tieck’s claim, raised in the introduction to his edition Minnelieder aus dem Schwaebischen Zeitalter (1803), bears witness to the renewed attention the so-called Old German [altdeutsche] literature received around 1800.¹ The rise of nationalism in the wake of the Napoleonic occupation and the quest for a German identity fueled the interest in the literary heritage that extended, as understood in the Age of Goethe, from the earliest monuments of the German language to the literature of the seventeenth century. Working against the backdrop of the Romantic project, several...

  8. Book Reviews

    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wolf G. Heimrath, Werther, der Werwolf: Roman. Munich: Goldmann, 2011. 192 pp.
      (pp. 265-266)
      Waltraud Maierhofer
    • André Lottmann, Arbeitsverhältnisse: Der arbeitende Mensch in Goethes Wilhelm-Meister-Romanen und in der Geschichte der Politischen Ökonomie. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2011. 293 S.
      (pp. 266-268)
      Ehrhard Bahr
    • Johannes Anderegg, Transformationen: Über Himmlisches und Teuflisches in Goethes Faust. Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2011. 290 pp.
      (pp. 268-270)
      Elisabeth Krimmer
    • Evelyn K. Moore and Patricia Anne Simpson, eds., The Enlightened Eye: Goethe and Visual Culture. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007. 322 pp.
      (pp. 270-271)
      Gabrielle Bersier
    • Paul Bishop, Reading Goethe at Midlife: Ancient Wisdom, German Classicism, and Jung. New Orleans: Spring Journal Books, 2011. 257 pp.
      (pp. 272-273)
      Jane K. Brown
    • Charlton Payne and Lucas Thorpe, eds., Kant and the Concept of Community. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2011. 321 pp.
      (pp. 273-275)
      Jennifer Mensch
    • Marcus Twellmann, “Ueber die Eide”: Zucht und Kritik im Preussen der Aufklärung. Munich: Konstanz University Press, 2010. 334 pp.
      (pp. 275-277)
      Joel B. Lande
    • Jan Wartenberg, Der Familienkreis Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi und Helene Elisabeth von Clermont: Bildnisse und Zeitzeugnisse. Hrsg. vom Goethe-Museum Düsseldorf Anton-und-Katharina-Kippenberg-Stiftung mit Geleitwort von Volkmar Hansen und Einführung von Gudrun Schury. Bonn: Bernstein-Verlag, Gebr. Remmel, 2011. 299 S.
      (pp. 277-278)
      Ehrhard Bahr
    • Anthony Krupp, ed., Karl Philipp Moritz—Signaturen des Denkens. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010. 314 pp.
      (pp. 278-279)
      Adrian Daub
    • Jeffrey L. High, Nicholas Martin, and Norbert Oellers, eds., Who Is This Schiller Now? Essays on His Reception and Significance. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2011. xviii + 494 pp.
      (pp. 279-281)
      Michael André
    • Gerhard Schulz, Novalis: Leben und Werk Friedrich von Hardenbergs. Munich: C. H. Beck, 2011. 304 pp.
      (pp. 281-283)
      Dennis F. Mahoney
    • Tim Mehigan, Heinrich von Kleist: Writing after Kant. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2011. xii + 232 pp.
      (pp. 283-285)
      Thomas L. Cooksey
    • Rüdiger Görner, Gewalt und Grazie: Heinrich von Kleists Poetik der Gegensätzlichkeit. Beiträge zur neueren Literaturgeschichte, vol. 292. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2011. 282 pp.
      (pp. 285-287)
      Hansjakob Werlen
    • Edgar Landgraf, Improvisation as Art: Conceptual Challenges, Historical Perspectives. London: Continuum, 2011. 165 pp.
      (pp. 287-289)
      Jeffrey Champlin
    • May Mergenthaler, Zwischen Eros und Mitteilung: Die Frühromantik im Symposium der “Athenäums-Fragmente.” Paderborn: Schöningh, 2012. 344 pp.
      (pp. 289-291)
      Adrian Daub
    • Barry Murnane and Andrew Cusack, eds., Populäre Erscheinungen: Der deutsche Schauerroman um 1800. Laboratorium Aufklärung 6. Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2011. 340 pp.
      (pp. 291-292)
      Eric Schaad
    • Kristina Muxfeldt, Vanishing Sensibilities: Schubert, Beethoven, Schumann. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012. xxi + 241 pp.
      (pp. 292-295)
      Peter Höyng
    • Martha B. Helfer, The Word Unheard: Legacies of Anti-Semitism in German Literature and Culture. Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 2011. 233 pp.
      (pp. 295-296)
      Jonathan M. Hess
    • Elisabeth Krimmer, The Representation of War in German Literature: From 1800 to the Present. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010. ix + 267 pp.
      (pp. 296-297)
      Gordana-Dana Grozdanic
    • John D. Pizer, Imagining the Age of Goethe in German Literature, 1970–2010. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2011. 214 pp.
      (pp. 297-298)
      Walter K. Stewart