Studies in Classicism and Romanticism: "Festschrift</I> for Dennis F. Mahoney in Celebration of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday
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.
Chapter 19. Old, New, and (Un)Known Worlds: History and Fiction in Achim von Arnim’s Die Kronenwächter and Edward P. Jones’s The Known World
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OLD, NEW, AND (UN)KNOWN WORLDS
History and Fiction in Achim von Arnim’s Die Kronenwächter and Edward P. Jones’s The Known World
Thirty years ago, Hans Vilmar Geppert published his seminal study on Der “andere” historische Roman, in which he argued that the paradigm established by Georg Lukács was not the only model for the historical novel. Rather than emphasizing, as Lukács did, the seamless integration of individual, fictionalized stories into the teleological flow of actual historical developments, he provided case studies of English, French, and German historical novels of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that made use of what he called the “hiatus”, or productive tension, between “Fiktion” (stories) and “Historie” (history) in order to challenge the expectations of their readers.1 Three years later appeared his monograph on Achim von Arnims Romanfragment “Die Kronenwächter”. Here Geppert understood Arnim’s disappointment that the so-called Wars of Liberation against Napoleonic domination had led only to political Restoration across Europe as a key factor in the eventual abandonment of his plan for a multi-volume novel set in the decades around 1500. Based on the unrevised and fragmentary second novel of the cycle, the return of the crown of the storied Emperor Barbarossa from the high Middle Ages to its rightful heirs initially was meant to symbolize German national unification under a liberal monarchy. In the only completed novel, however, Arnim’s anti-hero Berthold, the mayor of the Swabian town of...
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