The Short History of German Literature
- date of publication: 18.02.2002
- 160 Pages
- Hanser Verlag
- ISBN 978-3-446-20149-1
- Deutschland: 20,00 €
- Österreich: 20,60 €
It was only from 1750 onward, and long after the great flowerings of Italian, Spanish or French literature, that books were written in Germany that would come to be regarded as classics of world literature. The literature of the classical-romantic age is a late descendant of the language of the mystics and the Lutheran Reformation. In the 20th century, more and more writers attempted to escape from the heavily- burdened tradition and took their bearings from new, international standards. Schlaffer explores the reasons for the belated awakening and the short lifespan of an authentically "German" literature. His slender but closely-argued book avoids the academic terminology that so often denies the layman a better understanding of literature.
In his provocative history, Schlaffer offers fresh insights into the inner relationships of German literature. His completely new approach combines thought and style in a way that will bring the professional to reconsider questions long discarded while inspiring the connoisseur to rediscover the highly individual and almost forgotten achievements of German literature. It is for the latter, above all, that this book was written.
What would have become of 19th century German literature had Hölderlin not gone mad, Brentano not turned religious, Kleist, Grabbe, Büchner not died early and, above all - been recognised by the public of their time?
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