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Stoehr, Ingo Roland

Beyond the Zeus Principle

Two Hundred Years of Love and Politics in the Novel

Series: German Studies in America - Volume 66

Year of Publication: 1993

Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt/M., New York, Paris, Wien, 1993. X, 400 pp.
ISBN 978-3-906750-76-7 hardback  (Hardcover)

Weight: 0.670 kg, 1.477 lbs

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Book synopsis

Patriarchal rule, termed «Zeus Principle» by Günter Grass, has always been resisted and transcended. A central area for this resistance is the continual change in gender roles. Most notedly, around 1800 the notion of equality revolutionized the concept of love, a process that can be best understood as a complex interrelationship between literature and society. By illustrating the rise and fall of Romantic Love from Romanticism via Realism to Modernism, this book provides the foundation for an examination of how German novels between 1959 and 1989 respond in form and content to «familial allegiances» in a fatherless society. The comprehensive survey of almost one hundred novels, including an in-depth analysis of twelve key novels, is founded in a Critical Social Psychology and supports the central hypothesis of a (re)turn of Romantic Love in contemporary literature.


Contents: Romanticism and Love (Rousseau, F. Schlegel) - Realism and Adultery (Flaubert, Fontane) - Modernism and the Female (Hesse, Faulkner) - Loss of the Father (H. Fichte, Jurek Becker) - Play of the Child (Grass, Strauß) - Power of the Mother (Johnson, Wolf) - Dialogue of the Lovers.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The author: Ingo R. Stoehr was born in Germany in 1956. He studied German, English, comparative literature, and linguistics at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, the University of Illinois, and the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his Ph.D. in 1989. He has taught German and English at the Odenwaldschule and the University of Texas and is currently teaching at Kilgore College. In 1995 he edited an interdisciplinary collection of essays, The Ethics of Popular Culture: From Frankenstein to Cyberculture, and since 1994 he has been editor of the bilingual literary magazine, DIMENSION2: Contemporary German-Language Literature.


«Ich möchte Ihnen gleich meine Bewunderung für diese erstaunliche Studie aussprechen. Sie haben sich an ein großes und, weiß Gott, wichtiges Thema gemacht und es im Ablauf der Epochen und Literaturen zügig verfolgt. Ihre Darstellungsweise ist klar, geschickt, elegant, abwechslungsreich, so daß man bei der Lektüre nicht ermüdet. Ich empfinde Ihre Arbeit als ganz hervorragende Leistung und beglückwünsche Sie dazu von Herzen.» (Katharina Mommsen, Professor of Literature, Stanford University, California)


Germanic Studies in America. Vol. 66
Edited by Katharina Mommsen, Stanford, California