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Goethe Yearbook 17

Goethe Yearbook 17

Edited by Daniel Purdy
With Catriona MacLeod Book Review Editor
Series: Goethe Yearbook
Volume: 17
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 424
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  • Book Info
    Goethe Yearbook 17
    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. ‘Goethe Yearbook’ 17 covers the full range of the era, from Karl Guthke's essay on the early Lessing to Peter Höyng's on Grillparzer. Notable is a special section, co-edited by Clark Muenzer and Karin Schutjer, that samples some of the exciting new work presented at the Goethe Society conference in November 2008: 200 years after the publication of ‘Faust I’, eight essays offer fresh views of this epic masterpiece, often through novel and surprising connections. Authors link for example Faust's final ascension and the circulation of weather, verse forms in the drama and the performance of national identity, the fate of Gretchen and the occult politics of Francis Bacon. Other papers explore epistemological structures and taxonomies at work in Goethe's prose, essays, and scientific writings. Contributors: Frederick Amrine, Johannes Anderegg, Matthew Bell, Benjamin Bennett, Gerrit Brüning, Christian Clement, Pamela Currie, Ulrich Gaier, Karl Guthke, Stefan Hajduk, Peter Höyng, Clark Muenzer, Andrew Piper, Herb Rowland, Heather Sullivan, Chad Wellmon, Ellwood Wiggins, Markus Wilczek. 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: 978-1-57113-813-2
    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 and the Postclassical:: Literature, Science, Art, and Philosophy, 1805–1815

    • Helena, Then Hell: Faust as Review and Anticipation of Modern Times
      (pp. 3-20)

      Goethe is usually not recognized as an historian although, with Dichtung und Wahrheit and with Geschichte der Farbenlehre, he wrote eminent works of history that far exceed the compass of an autobiography or the chronology of a special branch of optics. When he tried to talk his friend Zelter into writing a history of music, Goethe wrote in 1815: “müßtest Du bei einer bedeutenden Periode anfangen, und vor- und rückwärts arbeiten; das Wahre kann bloß durch seine Geschichte erhoben und erhalten, das Falsche bloß durch seine Geschichte erniedrigt und zerstreut werden.”¹ In a number of his plays, he uses Herder’s...

    • Histrionic Nationality: Implications of the Verse in Faust
      (pp. 21-30)

      In my book on Faust, twenty-three years ago, I made the point that by leaving, in the finished text, exactly one scene in prose, Goethe contrives to draw our attention in a special way to the fact that the work as a whole is in verse. If there were no prose scenes, then verse would simply be the work’s stylistic medium, to be questioned (if at all) primarily with respect to the traditions it might inhabit or evoke. If there were a number of prose scenes, then the same sort of questioning would be directed at the “alternation” of verse...

    • Die Wette in Goethes Faust
      (pp. 31-54)

      Schon einer der ersten Interpreten, Karl Ernst Schubarth, bezeichnete 1820 die Wette zwischen Faust und Mephistopheles als den dramatischen “Knoten.”¹ Hermann August Korff vertrat diese Auffassung noch nachdrücklicher, als er im ersten Band seines monumentalen Werks Der Geist der Goethezeit von 1923 die Wette als einen “unvergleichlich genialen dramatischen Knoten” pries.² Noch heute haftet der Wette der Ruf des Genialen an.³ Sie gilt als das “dramaturgische Herzstück.”⁴ Über die Bedeutung (Wichtigkeit) der Wette scheint also seit langem Einigkeit zu herrschen. Anders verhält es sich mit ihrer Bedeutung (Sinn): Noch immer scheint unklar zu sein, was die Wette im Faust bedeutet...

    • Ecocriticism, the Elements, and the Ascent/Descent into Weather in Goethe’s Faust
      (pp. 55-72)

      The ostensibly religious and ethical significance of Faust’s final ascension after his death tends to distract, if not blind, readers to other possible implications of that upwards movement and to the idea that he may continue and return “back to earth.” The assumption that heavenly powers reward Faust leads to the claim that Goethe’s tragedy validates the quest of “land developers” or those who would strive regardless of the consequences. I propose, in contrast, that we read Faust’s “final” ascension alongside Goethe’s weather essay, “Witterungslehre 1825,” and thereby note that this upward motion is not necessarily “final” at all but...

    • Grablegung im Vorhof des Palasts: Groteske Anschaulichkeit in den vorletzten Szenen von Faust II
      (pp. 73-88)

      Grosser Vorhof des Palasts” und “Grablegung,” die beiden kurzen Szenen zwischen Fausts Erblindung in “Mitternacht” und dem erstaunlichen Schlussbild “Bergschluchten” werden von Kommentatoren und Interpreten oft recht stiefmütterlich behandelt, so, als handle es sich um eine bloße, nicht weiter ernst zu nehmende Überleitung, und wenig Interesse besteht offenbar an den Fragen, die sich bei einer derartigen Abwertung aufdrängen würden: weshalb es denn an dieser Stelle einer Überleitung bedürfe und in welcher Weise die Überleitung zwischen den Teilen vermittle. Zumal wenn die Bedeutung oder die Funktion dieser beiden Szenen explizit oder implizit im Kontext der vorangehenden Szenen und der Schlussszene beschrieben...

    • Goethes Gnostiker: Fausts vergessener Nihilismus und sein Streben nach Erlösungswissen
      (pp. 89-116)

      Wie kommt es, dass die auf 200 Jahre angewachsene, kulturzeitliche Distanz zur Veröffentlichung des Faust Erster Teil im Jahr 1808 dessen Deutungsbeliebtheit samt gegenwartsorientierter Reflexivität nicht beeinträchtigt? Sieht man von anderen Faktoren wie etwa dem im Text selbst verankerten gattungsgeschichtlichen Symbolwert Fausts,² seinen “wiederholten Spiegelungen” (WA 1:56–57) ins Transzendente oder von dem der Eigendynamik des Rezeptionsstromes einmal ab, so kann eine Antwort in der kompositionellen Grundstruktur gefunden werden. Es ist namentlich deren synkretistisches Element, welches zur Stabilität der Fausttragödie als protodramatisches Schicksalsparadigma inmitten und trotz des Wandels der Wirkungsgeschichte, Rezeptionsinteressen und Deutungsperspektiven beiträgt.

      Der über sechzig Jahre andauernden, poetischen...

    • The Unconscious of Nature: Analyzing Disenchantment in Faust I
      (pp. 117-132)

      In Götterzeichen, Liebeszauber, Satanskult, Albrecht Schöne argues that Goethe has engaged in a self-censorship of Faust I, offering in the end only a highly condensed, elided version of the full Satanic ritual he initially intended for the “Romantische Walpurgisnacht.”¹ I agree that Goethe engaged in self-censorship, but Goethe’s self-censorship in Faust I is actually more extensive, and profounder, even than that claimed by Schöne. More important, Schöne has him trying to cover up the wrong heresy: Goethe is not a closet Manichaean, and Gretchen is not in any sense a witch. Quite the contrary: I will argue that she represents...

    • Forms of Figuration in Goethe’s Faust
      (pp. 133-152)

      Jean-Luc Nancy’s discussion of the Kantian schema in The Ground of the Image characterizes the European “transformation of thought” between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries as an epochal shift “from painting to the projection screen,” or “from sight (vue) to vision,” by which he means “from representation to presentation …, from the idea to the image, or, more precisely, from the fantasy or fantasm to the imagination.”¹ Nancy’s time-span, of course, precisely encompasses the historical arc of Faust. Consequently, his list of the transformative changes that were witnessed between Luther and Goethe could easily serve as an historical and...

    • Goethe’s Morphology of Knowledge, or the Overgrowth of Nomenclature
      (pp. 153-178)

      Das Publikum stutzte.”² That was how Goethe described the reception of his Versuch die Metamorphose der Pflanzen zu erklären almost thirty years after its initial publication in 1790. How could a poet of such renown deviate “von seinem Wege” and devote so much time and energy to plants (Morphologie 752)? The reading public was astonished that Goethe had given more than passing attention to science, a completely alien field. But Goethe had not only ventured into the plant realm, he had wagered a sweeping theory about nature itself. Goethe the poet had pretences of becoming Goethe the scientist.

      In the...

    • Paraphrasis: Goethe, the Novella, and Forms of Translational Knowledge
      (pp. 179-202)

      If there is one orthodoxy left in today’s ecumenical critical environment it is surely the heresy of paraphrase. No amount of methodological turns, it seems, have been able to leave behind the ghost of Cleanth Brooks. “Most of our difficulties in criticism are rooted in the heresy of paraphrase,” he patiently warned us in his literary-papal bull of 1947. “If we allow ourselves to be misled by it, we distort the relation of the poem to its “truth,” we raise the problem of belief in a vicious and crippling form, we split the poem between its ‘form’ and ‘content.’… To...

    • Dramas of Knowledge: The “Fortunate Event” of Recognition
      (pp. 203-222)

      The autobiographical reflection, “Glückliches Ereignis,” is Goethe’s account of an encounter with Schiller in 1794 that changed the way the two men saw each other and led to the friendship that would permanently alter their lives. It was not published until 1817, some 21 years after the scenario described and 12 years after Schiller’s death, and it conceals or glosses over several important details of the events leading up to and following the fateful meeting. Schiller, for instance, had already made generous overtures to Goethe in writing and through the intervention of mutual friends during the months preceding their first...

    • gegen: Bewegungen durch Goethes Der Mann von funfzig Jahren
      (pp. 223-238)

      Der vollzug gemeinsamer Lektüre, so legen die Phantasmen des europäischen kulturellen Gedächtnisses nahe, bleibt selten unschuldig. Wenn ein Liebespaar zu lesen beginnt, kommt es leicht zum gefährlichen Übersprung zwischen Poesie und Leben, im Zuge dessen die Lektüre ein Ende und etwas anderes seinen Anfang nimmt. Das Lesen etwa, von dem Francesca im fünften Gesang von Dantes Commedia berichtet, illustriert modellhaft die “Gewalt, die Bücher über Körper haben,” aber eben auch das “Erlöschen der Wörter,” in dem das Buch beiseite gelegt wird. In der Lektüre selbst ist schon ihr Ende programmiert, gerade dort, wo die Lektüre besonders intensiv wird, bricht sie...

  4. “Offenbares Geheimnis” oder “geheime Offenbarung”? Goethes Märchen und die Apokalypse
    (pp. 239-258)

    Die verderbte Welt kann darüber lachen,” schrieb Fürst August von Sachsen-Gotha am 13. Dezember 1792 an Goethe, inspiriert von der Lektüre des soeben anonym in den Horen erschienenen Märchens: “Ich bin überzeugt, dass die Offenbarung Johanni und dieses sogenannte Mährchen aus ein und derselben Feder geflossen sind.” Eindringlich wies der Fürst auf die seiner Meinung nach “prophetische Dunkelheit” des Textes hin und fand unverzeihlich, dass die Herausgeber sich unterstanden hatten, “das Wort Mährchen hin zu setzen, wo Offenbarung … hingehörte.”¹ In seiner Antwort zeigt Goethe sich gegenüber dieser “anfangs allzu verwegen scheinenden Hypothese” seiner Durchlaucht erstaunlich positiv und pflichtet den...

  5. Goethe’s Green: The “Mixed” Boundary Colors in Zur Farbenlehre
    (pp. 259-274)

    Goethe’s first look through a prism showed him the colored fringes that became the foundation for his whole theory of color. In his Beiträge zur Optik (1791), he described a series of experiments showing the fringe colors—now usually called boundary colors—produced by looking through a prism at a white strip on a black surface and a black strip on a white surface.¹ The white strip on black gives violet/blue and yellow/orange fringes with white space between. If the viewing distance is increased or the strip is narrowed so that the fringes overlap, blue and yellow eventually give place...

  6. For Heaven’s Sake, I Will Have You Walk into the Dark: Grillparzer’s Containment of Beethoven and the Ambivalence of Their Melusina Project
    (pp. 275-302)

    On March 26, 1827, the day Ludwig van Beethoven died at the age of fifty-six, Franz Grillparzer, who was two decades younger in age than the composer, wrote a long-form poem to honor Beethoven, indicating his reverence as much as reflecting the intimidation he felt in his presence. In the poem, an invisible narrator celebrates Beethoven’s ascendance into heaven and, once he has arrived, imagines a dialogue between him and fellow composers Bach, Handel, Gluck, and Haydn. Yet it is the encounter between Mozart and Beethoven that intrigues the narrator most. Mozart, the “Meister,” who entered the scene “im Siegeskranz,”...

  7. Imitation, Pleasure, and Aesthetic Education in the Poetics and Comedies of Johann Elias Schlegel
    (pp. 303-326)

    Following the republication of his writings on literary aesthetics and drama and dramaturgy in 1887, Johann Elias Schlegel gained an ever more secure and respected place in the history of German poetics as the key figure between Gottsched and Lessing.¹ A respectable and international series of both major and minor studies culminated in 1945 with Elizabeth M. Wilkinson’s extensive analysis and historical contextualization of Schlegel’s theories which, reprinted in 1973, was the standard work for over forty years and remains an ever relevant achievement.² While Wilkinson proceeded rather cautiously on the question of Schlegel’s originality, Steven D. Martinson in 1984...

  8. Feindlich verbündet: Lessing und die Neuen Erweiterungen der Erkenntnis und des Vergnügens
    (pp. 327-348)

    Der Herausbildung des literarischen Lebens geht in den deutschsprachigen Ländern ein literarischer Geschmackswandel parallel: als es seit dem mittleren achtzehnten Jahrhundert zum Zusammenwirken von jenen Faktoren kommt, die das Grundmuster des “commercium litterarium” ausmachen (Berufsschriftstellertum, Verlagsbuchhandel, Buchkritik und Lese-Publikum), geschieht zeitgleich auch, nach Abschluß der Leipzig-Zürcher Kontroverse, der Orientierungswandel von klassizistisch französischen zu unklassizistisch englischen Vorbildern, die dem eigenen nationalen “Naturell” als verwandt verstanden werden.¹ Zu den institutionellen Trägern dieses “sich so formierenden literarischen Lebens gehör[t] das Zeitschriftenwesen” in vorderster Linie,² zu den personalen der aus der eigenen geistigen Substanz schöpfende Autor, der sich vom Mäzenatentum ebenso emanzipiert hat wie...

  9. Juvenalian Satire and the Divided Self in Goethe’s “Das Tagebuch”
    (pp. 349-364)

    “Das Tagebuch” has a unique place in Goethe’s poetic oeuvre. In twenty-four stanzas of ottava rima, narrated for the most part in the first person, it tells the story of an erotic adventure that occurs by mishap. When his carriage breaks down several miles short of home and his matrimonial bed, the poem’s narrator is forced to spend a night at an inn, where he is captivated by an initially innocent waitress. Not only is the incident caused by a breakdown, it is also ruled by one, for the midnight assignation that he arranges with the girl ends in disaster,...


    • Johann Wolfgang Goethe and Christian August Vulpius, Circe: Oper mit der Musik von Pasquale Anfossi. Ed. Waltraud Maierhofer. Hannover-Laatzen: Wehrhahn Verlag, 2007. 58 pp.
      (pp. 365-366)
      Erlis Glass Wickersham
    • Katharina Mommsen, ed., Die Entstehung von Goethes Werken in Dokumenten. Band IV. Entstehen—Farbenlehre. Founded by Momme Mommsen. With the assistance of Peter Ludwig und Uwe Hentschel. Berlin und New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2008. XIX + 998 pp., 12 illustrations.
      (pp. 366-368)
      Max Reinhart
    • Manfred Zittel, Erste Lieb’ und Freundschaft: Goethes Leipziger Jahre. Halle: Mitteldeutscher Verlag, 2007. 247 pp.
      (pp. 368-369)
      Elizabeth Powers
    • Rainer M. Holm-Hadulla, Leidenschaft: Goethes Weg zur Kreativität. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2008. 266 pp.
      (pp. 370-371)
      Elizabeth Powers
    • Michael Hertl, Goethe in seiner Lebendmaske. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2008. 140pp.
      (pp. 371-373)
      Kamaal Haque
    • Henrik Boëtius, Marie Lousie Lauridsen, and Marie Louise Lefèvre. Light, Darkness and Colours. Brooklyn, NY: Icarus Films, 2000.
      (pp. 373-374)
      Astrida Orle Tantillo
    • Steven Ritz-Barr and Hoku Uchiyama, Faust, Classics in Miniature, 2008. DVD, Home edition: $19.90.
      (pp. 374-375)
      Simon Richter
    • Carsten Rohde, Spiegeln und Schweben: Goethes autobiographisches Schreiben. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2006. 444pp.
      (pp. 375-377)
      D.W.J. Vincent
    • Werner Frick, Jochen Golz, and Edith Zehm, eds., Goethe-Jahrbuch 2005. Volume 122. Göttingen: Wallstein, 2006. 570pp.
      (pp. 377-379)
      Dennis F. Mahoney
    • J. M. van der Laan, Seeking Meaning for Goethe’s Faust. London: Continuum, 2007. 202 pp.
      (pp. 379-380)
      Heather I. Sullivan
    • Lorna Fitzsimmons, ed., International Faust Studies: Adaptation, Reception, Translation. London: Continuum, 2008. ix + 299 pp.
      (pp. 380-382)
      Thomas L. Cooksey
    • Jill Anne Kowalik, Theology and Dehumanization: Trauma, Grief, and Pathological Mourning in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century German Thought and Literature. Ed. Gail K. Hart et al. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2009. 186 pp.
      (pp. 382-383)
      Bethany Wiggin
    • Paul Bishop, Analytical Psychology and German Classical Aesthetics: Goethe, Schiller, and Jung. London and New York: Routledge, 2008. 233 pp.
      (pp. 383-385)
      Karl J. Fink
    • Alexander Mathäs, Narcissism and Paranoia in the Age of Goethe. Newark: U of Delaware P, 2008. 255 pp.
      (pp. 385-387)
      Arnd Bohm
    • Andreas Gailus, Passions of the Sign. Revolution and Language in Kant, Goethe, and Kleist. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. 222pp.
      (pp. 387-389)
      Volker Kaiser
    • Jocelyn Holland, German Romanticism and Science. The Procreative Poetics of Goethe, Novalis, and Ritter. New York: Routledge, 2009. 221pp.
      (pp. 389-392)
      Dalia Nassar
    • John A. McCarthy, Remapping Reality: Chaos and Creativity in Science and Literature. (Goethe—Nietzsche—Grass). Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2006. 373 pp.
      (pp. 392-393)
      J. M. van der Laan
    • Matthias Buschmeier, Poesie und Philologie in der Goethe-Zeit: Studien zum Verhältnis der Literatur mit ihrer Wissenschaft. Studien zur deutschen Literatur, Bd. 185. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 2008. 490 S.
      (pp. 394-395)
      Ehrhard Bahr
    • Susan Bernstein, Housing Problems. Writing and Architecture in Goethe, Walpole, Freud, and Heidegger. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2008. 216pp.
      (pp. 395-398)
      Claudia Brodsky
    • Chenxi Tang, The Geographic Imagination of Modernity: Geography, Literature, and Philosophy in German Romanticism. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2008. 356 pages
      (pp. 398-399)
      Daniel Purdy
    • Louise von Göchhausen, “Es sind vortreffliche Italienische Sachen daselbst”: Louise von Göchhausens Tagebuch ihrer Reise mit Herzogin Anna Amalia nach Italien vom 15. August 1788 bis 18. Juni 1790. Ed. Juliane Brandsch. (Schriften der Goethe-Gesellschaft 72.) Göttingen: Wallstein, 2008. 520pp., 7 illustrations.
      (pp. 400-401)
      Waltraud Maierhofer
    • Matt Erlin, Berlin’s Forgotten Future: City, History, and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century Germany. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004, 216 pp.
      (pp. 401-403)
      Adrian Daub
    • Jost Schillemeit, Studien zur Goethezeit. Ed. Rosemarie Schillemeit. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2006. 620 pp.
      (pp. 403-405)
      Walter Tschacher
    • Marjanne E. Goozé, ed., Challenging Separate Spheres—Female Bildung in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Germany. Bern: Peter Lang, 2007. 317pp.
      (pp. 405-406)
      Adrian Daub
    • Andrew Cusack, The Wanderer in 19th-Century German Literature: Intellectual History and Cultural Criticism. Rochester, New York: Camden House, 2008. 257 pp.
      (pp. 406-408)
      Scott Abbott
    • Grant Profant McAllister, Jr., Kleist’s Female Leading Characters and the Subversion of Idealist Discourse. New York: Peter Lang, 2005. Studies on Themes and Motifs in Literature, vol. 75. 210 pp.
      (pp. 408-412)
      Hansjakob Werlen
    • Ehrhard Bahr, Weimar on the Pacific: German Exile Culture in Los Angeles and the Crisis of Modernism. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007. 358 pp.
      (pp. 412-414)
      Scott Abbott