When writers and critics such as Gustav Freytag, Julian Schmidt and Berthold Auerbach constituted the new literary movement called ‘Realism’ in response to the 1848 revolution and its defeat, ‘Romanticism’ acted as a critical foil for the new departure. This polemically motivated and historically-anchored terminology has survived in today’s orthodox view that ‘Realism’ and ‘Romanticism’ mark not just two distinct periods in literary history, but also two radically opposed concepts of literature. Combining theoretical approaches and overviews with a range of case studies, interdisciplinary investigations and comparative enquiries, this volume reassesses German Realism’s relationship with Romanticism and sheds new light on the multiple ways in which writers from Stifter and Keller to Raabe and Fontane remember Romanticism, engaging with its problems, themes, motifs and poetics. By re-examining the engagement with Romanticism in the literature and culture of Realism between c. 1840 and 1900, the book challenges existing concepts of periodisation and works towards a more differentiated understanding of the complex dynamics in the field of nineteenth-century ‘realisms’ and their role in the overarching intellectual trajectories from Romanticism to Modernism.
Dirk Göttsche / Nicholas Saul (Eds.)
Realism and Romanticism in German Literature
Realismus und Romantik in der deutschsprachigen Literatur
Dirk Göttsche is Professor of German at the University of Nottingham.
Nicholas Saul is Professor of German at the University of Durham.
|Aus der Kritik||
This stout volume [...] treats a central issue of German nineteenth-century literature: the presence of Romanticism in Realism, a movement itself contemporary with, sharing in, overlapping with, eliding into, the general critique of Romanticism that began with the Young Germans, took off with the Young Hegelians, and became a kind of doctrine with the Programmatic Realists. [...] This collection covers a wide range of authors and expands the ‘canon’ of those writers considered to be serious representatives of Realism. One notes all the same that Ebner-Eschenbach, Liliencron, and Saar are missing altogether, and Gotthelf, Sealsfield, and Spielhagen are merely touched on. It is also a collection about nineteenth-century German prose and moves within those terms of reference. Would the inclusion of lyrical poetry or even verse narrative have challenged its findings? It is worth thinking about.