Surrender to where it all began Jaeger

Online ISSN: 2187-0020
Print ISSN: 0387-2831
ISSN-L: 0387-2831
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  • 1978 Volume 61 Pages 1-9
    Published: October 01, 1978
    Released: March 28, 2008
    As an introduction to the essays dealing with the general topic, I would like to single out a few aspects that should serve to facilitate understanding of the general problem of the topic:
    1. In order to prepare a critical account of the German literary history of the 20th century, one must first of all have a correct idea of ​​the literature at the beginning of our century, which is difficult to grasp because of its diversity and which is nevertheless the starting point for the permanent literary revolution. which has not ended today. It is true that Walter Jens introduced a point of view under which Hofmannsthals so-called "Chandos Letter ”is seen as the first confession of modern linguistic awareness and the forgotten Expressionists have been brought to the fore. The literature around the turn of the century then moved into general interest by introducing the concept of Art Nouveau into literature. The importance of naturalism was also re-emphasized in the 1960s, especially when Arno Holz was rediscovered. But is it not necessary now to see the entire development of literature from naturalism to expressionism as a period, albeit changeable, at least fairly closed, and to discover new literary-historical contexts freed from the previous classifications?
    2. It is particularly important when looking at the literature of the time to take into account the economic and social situation of the writer. The book trade developed rapidly during this time. The reader audience has multiplied. Correspondingly, however, the number of writers also grew. So publishers could take advantage of the writers and sell a lot. Therefore they suffered from abuses at that time. For the first time in history, German writers passed a resolution in 1902 to curb the arbitrary pursuit of profit by publishers. The poets, however, were dependent on their publishers. Your readers no longer consisted of a homogeneous social group. The new broad readership could mostly only be addressed through an influential publisher. It has become a great task for them to produce and mediate an independent poetic world under this dependency. The new social situation of the writers probably had a stronger effect on their poetic thoughts and activities than it looks. Shouldn't this connection be taken into account even more?
    3. At that time, writers aspired to "modern “content and "modern "forms. We are more concerned with the new forms that have been offered. Naturalism has that "Second style ”, an extreme form of objectivity, was invented. Art Nouveau has opened up a gap between reality and dream, to which above all the new form of "lyrical drama ”. Expressionism developed the visionary method of representation. In addition, one must also note that the cycle of poems and modern literary cabaret emerged as a new genre around the turn of the century. All of this played a major role in the later development of German literature. Each style has expanded poetic space in its own way so that modern literature has abundant means of expression. But no single style is capable of creating a fixed view of the world or of encompassing the whole of human life. Rather, it helps to reveal the dissolution or mendacity of the world.
  • 1978 Volume 61 Pages 10-19
    Published: October 01, 1978
    Released: March 28, 2008
    It was around 1885 "Naturalism “not yet a common group name for the young poets who started with the catchphrase "Revolution of Literature ”occurred; rather, they described themselves as realists, young or young Germans, strikers and pushers, modernists. These self-names already indicate the complex nature of this group. In the preface to their anthology "Modern Poet Characters ", namely "Our Credo ”by H. Conradi, the term appears "modern ”together with the terms "true ”and "social ”under the vocabulary that represents the desire of a kind of Sturm und Drang: the great, the ravishing, the titanic, the genius, the Germanic. From this one can conclude that German naturalism by no means appeared with the unequivocal program of the postulate of truth. His contradicting attitude was related to the situation in which he found himself. The younger generation, who had grown up under the influence of the radical changes in German society since 1871, did not see poetic realism, which was then still in literary activity, as the subject to concern themselves with in order to create their own literature and she found only the flood of formalistic lyric poetry of the Munich School. As it were, there was no longer any German literature for them. In contrast to French naturalism, which developed on the path of realism since Balzac, the German had to take a path which, in addition to the naturalistic elements, contained other elements, often in opposition to them. The failure to deal with the realistic tradition led German naturalism to neglect the structural element in the work of art and to concentrate on the faithful reproduction of reality.
    In its political and social tendencies, this young generation consciously followed the revolutionary literary movement of Young Germany, and that was how the term won "modern “has a clearer meaning: for them, modernity is the opposite of antiquity and also of the Middle Ages; realism is the artistic direction of the modern. But the term did not always remain so clear because of the term "Realism ”did not retain a clear definition even among the naturalists. E.g., K. Bleibtreu, the author of the "