Classicism and Romanticis
This course will examine the problems of literary representation in major works around 1800. Traditionally divided into Sturm-und-Drang, Weimar Classicism and Romanticism, or sometimes just called Goethezeit, the last decades of the eighteenth-century contained a revolution in aesthetics and modes of literary representation. Our readings will include Goethe's early poetry as well as Die Leiden des jungen Werthers and Die Wahlverwandtschaften. They will by coupled with Schiller's Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Mankind, as well as Don Carlos and Wilhelm Tell. Early Romantic theory will be represented by Friedrich Schlegel's fragments, Novalis's poetry and Bettina von Arnim's episolary novel Die Günderode. Our final discussions will settle on Eichendorf's lyric poetry and short prose by Hoffmann. In all these works we will trace the German tradition of "Darstellung" as an imaginative mode of literary creation and reception. How do these authors try to create hallucinatory perception through the printed page? How does the medium of the book simulate the experience of seeing? What modes of writing provoke the reader to "visualize" a scene? How is this readerly perception compare to the experiences produced by painting and sculpture? These classical eighteenth-century questions will re-examined throug the scholarship of discourse analysis and media history (Foucault, Kittler, Wellbery). In order to consider the connection between inwardness and visuality, we will also make short excursions into essays by Freud.
Sturm und Drang, or How to get along with other people.
We will examine the formulation of modern identities in the eighteenth century literature of Sturm und Drang and Empfindsamkeit. Both masculine and feminine gender norms underwent dramatic transformations as the Enlightenment challenged religious and feudal convictions, concerning the status of religious doctrine, the place of women, the legitimacy of class distinctions. We will read literary texts in order to understand how the newly emerging modes of intimacy radical challenged conventional society. We will investigate the critical moral philosophies invented by the Enlightenment. How did the demand for personal autonomy redefine modern social relations? How were the intense of emotions of rebellion reconcil with universal reason? How could social revolution be connected to radical personal freedom? Furthermore, we will see how literary forms were fundamentally altered by the intimate subjectivity of the eighteenth century. Our readings will include some of the foundational texts of modern German literature, as well as some of the most tormented and complex readings the period has to offer. We will move from the monumental to the deeply disturbed, often finding both in the same text. We will see that the Enlightenment went far beyond the placid abstraction of rational philosophy, indeed that it shaped the psychic structures of modern identity. Students are asked to give one in class presentation and to write one twenty page research paper.
Week One: Introduction
Week Two: G.E. Lessing, Emilia Galotti,
Week Three: G.E. Lessing, Minna von Barnhelm oder das Soldatenglück
Week Four: Jakob Lenz, Der Hofmeister
Week Five: Jakob Lenz, Die Soldaten
Week Six: G.E. Lessing, Laokoon (selections)
Week Seven: Was ist Aufklärung (selections)
Week Eight: Adolph Knigge, Über den Umgang mit Menschen
Week Nine: Jürgen Habermas, Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit (sections 1-7 & 13)
Week Ten: Friedrich Schiller, Die Räuber
Week Eleven: J.W. Goethe, Götz von Berlichingen
Week Twelve: J.W. Goethe, Gedichte
Week Thirteen: Sophie von La Roche, Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim
Week Fourteen: Sophie von La Roche, Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim