Fielding, Wieland, Goethe, and the Rise of the Novel

by Guy Stern (Author)
©2003 Monographs II, 146 Pages
Series: Analysen und Dokumente, Volume 49


Among the notable contributions that writers from German speaking countries have rendered to world literature the concept and creation of the Bildungsroman, the Novel of Development, ranks high. The narrative of a young man’s or woman’s slow and often circuitous path to his or her personal destiny and societal role found numerous imitators. They obviously answered a need in modernity, when the unique individuality of all men and women were being recognized and respected. The English novel of the eighteenth century, and in particular Fielding with his Tom Jones, during a time of the rising bourgeoisie, provided Wieland, Goethe and other German writers with important building blocks which they, in turn, reshaped and varied, as the modern Bildungsroman was being born. Years later it would return to England, so that another scholar could coin the phrase of «Wilhelm Meister and his English kinsmen».
In tracing one aspect of the inter-relatedness of world cultures and literature, the book which – in its original form – was presented as the author’s Ph.D. thesis at Columbia University in 1953, makes its delayed but very timely contribution to the concept of cultural globalisation.


II, 146
ISBN (Softcover)
Fielding, Henry Wieland, Christoph Martin Don Sylvio von Rosalva Bildungsroman Wieland Deutschland England Novel Rezeption Fielding Goethe
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2003. II, 146 pp.

Biographical notes

Guy Stern (Author)

The Author: Guy Stern is Distinguished Professor of German at Wayne State University, Detroit. Born in Hildesheim, Germany in 1922, he emigrated to the United States in 1937. He resumed his university education in 1946 and earned degrees from Hofstra University and Columbia University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1953. During his more than 50 years of teaching he held professorships at various universities in the US and Germany. He founded (with Gottfried Merkel) the Lessing Society and the Lessing Yearbook; he is also an officer of the Leo Baeck Institute and the Kurt Weill Foundation. A specialist in German and Comparative Literature mainly of the 18th and 20th centuries he authored numerous studies in both fields. He has received numerous awards, among them the Goethe Medal, the Große Bundesverdienstkreuz of the Federal Republic, and an honorary doctorate from Hofstra University. A festschrift was dedicated to him in 1987.


Title: Fielding, Wieland, Goethe, and the Rise of the Novel