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Goethe Yearbook 18

Goethe Yearbook 18

Edited by Daniel Purdy
Catriona MacLeod Book Review Editor
Series: Goethe Yearbook
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 350
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  • Book Info
    Goethe Yearbook 18
    Book Description:

    The ‘Goethe Yearbook’ is a publication of the Goethe Society of North America, 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 18 features a special section on Goethe and Idealism, edited by Elizabeth Millán and John H. Smith and including essays on Goethe and Spinoza; Goethe's notions of intuition and intuitive judgment; Novalis, Goethe, and Romantic science; Goethe and Humboldt's presentation of nature; Hegel's ‘Faust’; Goethe contra Hegel on the end of art; Goethean morphology and Hegelian science; and Goethe and philosophies of religion. There are also essays on fraternity in Goethe, Margarete-Ariadne as Faust's labyrinth, Schiller's ‘Geisterseher’, and Martin Walser's Goethe novel ‘Ein liebender Mann’, and a review essay on recent books on money and materiality in German culture heads the book review section. Contributors: Frederick Amrine, Brady Bowen, Jeffrey Champlin, Adrian Del Caro, Stefani Engelstein, Luke Fischer, Gail Hart, Gunnar Hindrichs, Jens Kruse, Horst Lange, Elizabeth Millán, Dalia Nassar, John H. Smith. 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: 978-1-57113-761-6
    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 and Idealism

    • Introduction—Goethe and Idealism: Points of Intersection
      (pp. 3-10)

      With these words to Goethe, Schiller suggests an important connection that the great poet of Weimar had to the spectacular philosophical developments unfolding at the turn of the nineteenth century. Alas, Schiller’s insight did not find much resonance in the years that followed. For many of the last 200 years, philosophers have taken their lead from a narrative like Richard Kroner’s Von Kant bis Hegel (1921). Hence the dominant narrative of the development of German Idealism has come from the great system builder, Hegel (1770–1831), and in this narrative, Hegel emerges as the hero of the story of post-Kantian...

    • Goethe and Spinoza: A Reconsideration
      (pp. 11-34)

      No investigation into the origins of German Idealism can ignore the importance of Spinoza. To get an understanding of this, we only have to remember that, as convincing as many contemporaries found Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and Critique of Practical Reason to be, there were certain problems associated with them that begged for a solution. There was, for example, the problem of the Ding an sich, which seemed to be, as Jacobi observed, an essential precondition of Kant’s system, but the assumption of which seemed to introduce fatal contradictions into precisely this system. There was the problem of the...

    • Goethean Intuitions
      (pp. 35-50)

      My essay proposes to make a modest down payment on a much-needed narrative of Goethe’s philosophical development that refutes some widely held views. The first kind of account claims that Goethe was philosophically naive, unschooled, and uninterested.¹ A second characterization I would want to counter, which might be called the “condescending neo-Kantian” narrative, is one in which Goethe began as a naive realist, was taken in hand by Schiller, and finally converted grudgingly to a kind of poorly understood Kantianism. Both these accounts are very far from the truth.

      Goethe’s philosophy and relationship to other philosophers can be characterized generally...

    • Goethe’s Notion of an Intuitive Power of Judgment
      (pp. 51-66)

      In this paper, I explore the meaning of Goethe’s notion of an intuitive power of judgment (anschauende Urteilskraft) and investigate its philosophical function. In order to do so, I situate it within the development of post-Kantian thinking. My goal, however, is not antiquarian but critical. I argue that Goethe’s notion is grounded in a critique of conceptual thinking, which can be rationally reconstructed, and that it offers a possible answer to some of the shortcomings of propositional knowledge. I thus want to articulate its own systematic legitimacy.

      The world according to Kant is conceptually constituted. The crux of his argument...

    • “Idealism is nothing but genuine empiricism”: Novalis, Goethe, and the Ideal of Romantic Science
      (pp. 67-96)

      Unlike Friedrich Schlegel and Schelling, Novalis¹ did not live in Jena, and thus did not have the opportunity to meet regularly or work closely with Goethe.² While the Schlegel brothers often sought out Goethe’s friendship and advice³ and Schelling worked closely with Goethe during his tenure in Jena,⁴ Novalis was living in Weißenfels (and Freiberg) and administering the salt mines. In spite of the distance and lack of interaction, Novalis, like many of his young contemporaries, revered Goethe. Unlike his contemporaries, however, Novalis considered Goethe’s genius and most important contribution to lie not in his literary work, but in his...

    • The Quest for the Seeds of Eternal Growth: Goethe and Humboldt’s Presentation of Nature
      (pp. 97-114)

      Walter Benjamin’s claim brings an important element of Goethe’s work into sharp focus. Debates linger over the value of the scientific side of Goethe’s quest for the “seeds of eternal growth,” with some thinkers casting doubt on his work as a scientist, wondering if we would even bother with Goethe’s science if it were not for his poetry (Charles Sherrington), joining claims that Goethe’s scientific interests were a “real crime against the majesty of his poetic genius” (J. G. Robertson). Some others look most favorably upon Goethe’s contributions to the natural sciences. W. Troll, for example, writes, with no risk...

    • Hegel’s Faust
      (pp. 115-126)

      In one of the most audacious yet widely accepted incursions of philosophy into the literary field, a long line of Faust criticism insists on an analogy between the role of negation in Goethe’s drama and in the first masterpiece of the great dialectician Hegel. In this assessment, repeated by such eminent thinkers as Georg Lukács, Ernst Bloch, and Karl Löwith, Faust travels through ever-wider fields of activity that parallel the step-by-step development familiar to readers of the Phänomenologie des Geistes.¹ Faust’s ascension to heaven at the end of Faust II would indicate a divine blessing of this journey that marks...

    • Goethe contra Hegel: The Question of the End of Art
      (pp. 127-158)

      In this essay I outline the basic ideas of Goethe’s mature aesthetics (from the time of his Italian journey and later) and argue that Goethe’s conception of art offers important alternatives and resistance to the Hegelian thesis of the “end of art.” My contribution is divided into three main parts. The first part consists of two sections devoted to articulating Goethe’s aesthetics; due to the intimate connection between nature (in particular, metamorphosis) and art in Goethe, one section sketches Goethe’s view of nature and scientific knowledge, while the second section articulates Goethe’s conception of art as a higher metamorphosis of...

    • Goethean Morphology, Hegelian Science: Affinities and Transformations
      (pp. 159-182)

      Goethe’s conception of morphology had a major impact on Hegel’s philosophical methodology at a point in time when Hegel was beginning to distance himself from Schelling and to confront dead-ends in his own previous conception. In 1803, Schelling left Jena to accept a chair in Würzburg, thus effectively ending the symphilosophical partnership that formed the element of Hegel’s first years at the university.¹ At about this time, Hegel must have begun to question the viability of Schellingian “intellectual intuition” as a mode of philosophical cognition, and to have doubts whether his own conception of a “skeptical” logic was sufficient to...

    • Die Gretchenfrage: Goethe and Philosophies of Religion around 1800
      (pp. 183-204)

      Already in the Urfaust version, Gretchen poses her eponymous question to Faust, raising the issue of belief in God:


      Wie hast du’s mit der Religion?

      Du bist ein herzlich guter Mann,

      Allein ich glaub, du hältst nicht viel davon.


      Laß das, mein Kind! Du fühlst, ich bin dir gut;

      Für meine Lieben ließ’ ich Leib und Blut,

      Will niemand sein Gefühl und seine Kirche rauben.


      Das ist nicht recht, man muß dran glauben!


      Muß man? (3415–22)

      He continues with his well-known tirade, or cunning seduction, or philosophical panegyric to Sturm und Drang anti-linguistic feeling, culminating...

    • Civic Attachments & Sibling Attractions: The Shadows of Fraternity
      (pp. 205-222)

      The official website for the European Union explains its choice of the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as the EU anthem in terms of universality:

      For the final movement of this symphony, Beethoven set to music the “Ode to Joy” written in 1785 by Friedrich von Schiller. This poem expresses Schiller’s idealistic vision of the human race becoming brothers—a vision Beethoven shared. . . . Without words, in the universal language of music, this anthem expresses the ideals of freedom, peace and solidarity for which Europe stands.¹

      While this exegesis leans on the universality of a musical language,...

    • Margarete-Ariadne: Faust’s Labyrinth
      (pp. 223-244)

      Readers have been justifiably puzzled and disturbed by the violent, churlish response of Valentin upon learning of Margarete’s relationship with Faust. Valentin’s public condemnation of his sister forces readers to ask how patriarchy in this instance measures up against the feminine. The excessive, self-indulgent, and self-pitying behavior displayed by Valentin is better understood, I argue, when we consider the stature of Margarete herself, as opposed to seeing her as “his sister.” Valentin’s inclusion in the tragedy of Margarete is in no way gratuitous or merely technically expedient. The reason frequently cited for Valentin’s appearance and quick death is that Goethe...

    • Save the Prinz: Schiller’s Geisterseher and the Lure of Entertainment
      (pp. 245-258)

      There is a passage in Schiller’s poetological writings that merits attention because it captures the essential paradox of Schillerian freedom and didactic intention. This is Schiller’s contention in “Über Matthissons Gedichte” (1794) that “die höchste Freiheit gerade nur durch die höchste Bestimmtheit möglich ist.”¹ Within a discussion of landscape description in poetry, Schiller expands on the role of the poet, which is that of determining the reader’s sensations for the sake of receptivity to higher ideals. Clearly aware that his remarks on determination evoke coercion, Schiller tries to demonstrate that the paradox of determining thoughts and emotions while preserving the...

    • Walsers Trilogie der Leidenschaft: Eine Analyse seines Goethe-Romans Ein liebender Mann im Kontext der Tradition der Ulrike-Romane
      (pp. 259-284)

      Anfang des Jahres 2008 veröffentlichte die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Martin Walsers Goethe-Roman Ein liebender Mann im Vorabdruck. Wie nicht anders zu erwarten bei einem Text, in dem einer der bedeutendsten Schriftsteller der Gegenwart einen Lebensabschnitt des größten deutschen Dichters fiktionalisiert, war das Presse-Echo auf den Vorabdruck und die im März folgende Buchpublikation groß.¹ Die überwiegende Mehrzahl der Rezensionen war außerordentlich positiv, wenn es auch an den gelegentlichen Verrissen nicht fehlte.²

      In der Zeit vom 21. 2. 2008 schreibt Ulrich Greiner in der ersten größeren Rezension des Romans: “Über diese Affäre [die Goethes mit Ulrike von Levetzow, J. K.] hat Walser...

    (pp. 285-296)
    Matt Erlin
  5. Book Reviews

    • Friedrich Schiller, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Der Briefwechsel, Historisch-kritische Ausgabe, hrsg. und kommentiert von Norbert Oellers unter Mitarbeit von Georg Kurscheidt, 2 Bde., Stuttgart: Reclam, 2009. 617 S.
      (pp. 297-299)
      Gerrit Brüning
    • Gabriele Busch-Salmen (Hg.), Goethe-Handbuch, Supplemente 1: Musik und Tanz in den Bühnenwerken. Stuttgart-Weimar: J. B. Metzler, 2008. xv + 562 S.
      (pp. 299-301)
      Walter Tschacher
    • Bernd Wolff, Winterströme: Goethes erste Harzreise. Dornach: Pforte, 1986. 294 pp.; Im Labyrinth der Täler: Goethes zweite Harzreise. Dornach: Pforte, 2004. 363 pp.; Die Würde der Steine: Goethes dritte Harzreise. Dornach: Pforte, 2008. 407 pp.
      (pp. 301-304)
      Elizabeth Powers
    • Rüdiger Safranski, Goethe & Schiller: Geschichte einer Freundschaft. Munich: Carl Hanser Verlag, 2009. 344 pp.
      (pp. 304-306)
      Elizabeth Powers
    • Markus Winkler, Von Iphigenie zu Medea. Semantik und Dramaturgie des Barbarischen bei Goethe und Grillparzer. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2009. vi + 278 pp.
      (pp. 306-307)
      Jeffrey L. Sammons
    • Peter J. Schwartz, After Jena: Goethe’s Elective Affinities and the End of the Old Regime. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2010. 358 pp.
      (pp. 308-309)
      Adrian Daub
    • Wolfgang Pollert, Goethes politisches Denken und Handeln im Spiegel seiner Amtlichen Schriften: Eine politikwissenschaftliche Analyse. Munich: Akademischer Verlag München, 2004. 349 pp.
      (pp. 309-310)
      William H. Carter
    • Johannes Grave, Der “ideale Kunstkörper”: Johann Wolfgang Goethe als Sammler von Druckgraphiken und Zeichnungen. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006. 648 pp.
      (pp. 311-312)
      Beate Allert
    • Wolfgang Ranke, Theatermoral: Moralische Argumentation und dramatische Kommunikation in der Tragödie der Aufklärung. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2009. 529 pp.
      (pp. 312-314)
      Walter K. Stewart
    • Andre Rudolph und Ernst Stöckmann, Hrsg. Aufklärung und Weimarer Klassik im Dialog. Untersuchungen zur deutschen Literaturgeschichte, Bd. 135. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 2008. 247 S.
      (pp. 314-315)
      Ehrhard Bahr
    • John Guthrie, Schiller the Dramatist: A Study of Gesture in the Plays. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2009. 213 pp.
      (pp. 315-316)
      Erlis Wickersham
    • Stefan Blechschmidt and Andrea Heinz, eds. Dilettantismus um 1800. Heidelberg: Winter Universitätsverlag, 2007. 398 pp.
      (pp. 317-318)
      Karin A. Wurst
    • Raleigh Whitinger and Diana Spokiene, eds., Bekenntnisse einer Giftmischerin, von ihr selbst geschrieben. New York: MLA 2009. 220 pp. Raleigh Whitinger and Diana Spokiene, trans., Confessions of a Poisoner Written by Herself. New York: MLA 2009. 196 pp.
      (pp. 318-320)
      Ingrid Broszeit-Rieger
    • Stefanie Freyer, Katrin Horn, und Nicole Grochowina (Hg.), FrauenGestalten Weimar-Jena um 1800: Ein bio-bibliographisches Lexikon. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2009. 453 S.
      (pp. 320-322)
      Ingrid Broszeit-Rieger
    • Diana K. Reese, Reproducing Enlightenment: Paradoxes in the Life of the Body Politic, Literature and Philosophy around 1800. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2009. vii + 183 pp.
      (pp. 322-323)
      Thomas L. Cooksey
    • Stefani Engelstein, Anxious Anatomy: The Conception of the Human Form in Literary and Naturalist Discourse. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008. 326 pp.
      (pp. 323-325)
      Scott Abbott
    • Andrew Piper, Dreaming in Books: The Making of the Bibliographic Imagination in the Romantic Age. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. 303 pp.
      (pp. 325-326)
      Adrian Daub
    • Nicholas Saul, ed., The Cambridge Companion to German Romanticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. xx + 335 pp., 2 illustrations.
      (pp. 327-328)
      Dennis F. Mahoney
    • Cordula Grewe, Painting the Sacred in the Age of Romanticism. Farnham, Surrey and Burlington, VT:Ashgate, 2009. 418 pp., 104 illustrations.
      (pp. 329-331)
      Dennis F. Mahoney
    • Karin Baumgartner, Public Voices: Political Discourse in the Writings of Caroline de la Motte Fouqué. New York: Peter Lang, 2009. 276 pp.
      (pp. 331-333)
      Julie Koser
    • Brown, Hilda Meldrum, E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Serapiontic Principle: Critique and Creativity. Studies in German Literature, Linguistics, and Culture. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2006. 206 pp. + index.
      (pp. 333-334)
      Christopher R. Clason
    • Heinrich Heine, Ludwig Börne: A Memorial. Translated with a commentary and an introduction by Jeffrey L. Sammons. Rochester: Camden House, 2006. xl + 137 pp. Jeffrey L. Sammons, Heinrich Heine: Alternative Perspectives 1985–2005. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2006. 301 pp.
      (pp. 335-337)
      Willi Goetschel
    • Christian Clement, Die Geburt des modernen Mysteriendramas aus dem Geiste Weimars: Zur Aktualität Goethes und Schillers in der Dramaturgie Rudolf Steiners. Berlin: Logos Verlag, 2007. 270 pp.
      (pp. 337-340)
      Kurt R. Buhanan