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From Goethe to Novalis

Studies in Classicism and Romanticism: "Festschrift</I> for Dennis F. Mahoney in Celebration of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday

Edited By Wolfgang Mieder

This Festschrift in honor of Dennis F. Mahoney’s sixty-fifth birthday is somewhat different from the standard Festschrift: rather than present essays from various authors, this Festschrift collects twenty-one of Mahoney’s most important English-language publications on German Classicism and Romanticism published over the past thirty years. Mahoney is the author and editor of many articles and books in German and English, among them Die Poetisierung der Natur bei Novalis (1980), Der Roman der Goethezeit (1988), The Eighteenth Century and Uses of the Past (1992), The Critical Fortunes of a Romantic Novel: Novalis’s «Heinrich von Ofterdingen» (1994), The End of Enlightenment (2000), Friedrich von Hardenberg (Novalis) (2001), and Literature of German Romanticism (2004).
Mahoney has taught German language, culture, literature, and film at the University of Vermont for thirty-five years, and has received national and international recognition. On campus he has been a champion of international education, advising students about studying abroad, setting up an exchange program with the University of Augsburg, and inviting students and colleagues from Germany to Vermont. He has received an Excellence in Teaching Award, an Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Education, and he was the first American to be named president of the International Novalis Society.
The title of this Festschrift captures Mahoney’s life-long occupation with this rich period of German cultural, intellectual, and literary life. The essays display his erudition and expertise on such subjects as the multifaceted Age of Goethe, including the continuing discussion of the nature of the Bildungsroman and the influence of the French Revolution. The essays deal primarily with Goethe, Schiller, and Novalis, but Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Georg Forster, Caroline von Wolzogen, Jean Paul, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Achim von Amim, and others are discussed as well. These individual essays are representative of Mahoney’s accomplishments as a literary scholar – and a remarkable professor, colleague, and friend.
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Chapter 8. Maria Stuart Adaptations in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries: From “Classical” Parodies to Contemporary Politics


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From “Classical” Parodies to Contemporary Politics

For purposes of addressing the question “Who is this Schiller [now]?” this study will focus on Phyllida Lloyd’s 2009 staging of Mary Stuart on Broadway—but in the context of three twentieth-century parodies of aspects of Schiller’s play. Parodies occur when a text has become so (seemingly) well-known that individual lines or scenes begin to take on a life of their own, independent of their original context.1 In his recent collection of aphorisms, slogans, cartoons, and headlines derived from Schiller quotations, Wolfgang Mieder provides ample proof of how “a too often cited stock phrase develops a natural dynamic toward parody.”2 Good parodists, for their part, have to study carefully the work as a whole in order to be effective. Lene Voigt’s deliberately low-brow retelling of Schiller’s ballad in Saxon dialect, “De Bärchschaft” (a radical Saxon pronunciation of “Die Bürgschaft”), comes to mind in this regard. Here, Damon’s third and most difficult trial is to resist the blandishments of a pretty street walker in his race to return before his friend’s execution! Upon Damon’s timely, but unexpected, appearance at the gallows, “dr beese Dyrann” reacts as follows: “Doch weil alle Leite so jubeln un schrein, / Da lädr die Beeden zum Dauerschkat ein.”3 To be sure, the tyrant’s ensuing aside to his henchman indicates that—despite all demonstrations of self-sacrificing love...

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