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Critical Time in Modern German Literature and Culture


Edited By Dirk Göttsche

The fleeting nature of time is a defining feature of modern and postmodern existence. Identified by Reinhart Koselleck as the temporalization («Verzeitlichung») of all areas of human knowledge and experience around 1800, the concept of critical time continues to intrigue researchers across the arts and humanities. This volume combines theoretical and critical approaches to temporality with case studies on the engagement with the modern sense of time in German literature, visual art and culture from the eighteenth century to the present. Contributions explore key areas in the cultural history of time: time in art and aesthetic theory, the intellectual history of time, the relationship between time and space in literature and visual art, the politics of time and memory, and the poetics of time. Essays question the focus on acceleration in recent critical discourse by also revealing the contrapuntal fascination with slowness and ecstatic moments, notions of polyphonous time and simultaneity, the dialectic of time and space, and complex aesthetic temporalities breaking with modern time-regimes.
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Notes on the Contributors


EVA AXER, Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Literary and Cultural Research (ZfL, Berlin, Germany): DFG-Project “Zeit und Form im Wandel: Goethes Morphologie und ihr Nachleben in der Theoriebildung des 20. Jahrhundert”; Dr phil Bonn 2010 (Eros und Aura. Denkfiguren zwischen Philosophie und Literatur in Walter Benjamins “Einbahnstraße” und “Berliner Kindheit”, 2012), Postdoctoral fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation (University of Nottingham, UK, 2012–14). Publications on genre and politics of memory in German literature, oral media and the ballad genre. Publications include “Der ‘Geist der Volkslied-Formen’. Heine zur Frage der Echtheit des Volkslieds”, in: Weimarer Beiträge 2014.1; “‘Effusions of Nature’ – ‘Samenkörner der Nation’. The Politics of Memory in Percy’s ‘Reliques’ and Herder’s ‘Volkslieder’”, in: German Life and Letters 66.4 (October 2013).

ULRICH E. BACH, Associate Professor of German, Texas State University. He received his PhD from UCLA in 2004 and has published on literary and exile studies at the turn of the twentieth century, as well as post-war European cinema. His monograph Tropics of Vienna: Austrian Colonial Utopias 1870–1900 was published in 2015.

JEROME CARROLL, Lecturer in German, University of Nottingham (UK); PhD Nottingham 2004 (Art at the Limits of Perception: The Aesthetic Theory of Wolfgang Welsch, 2006). Publications on German history of ideas, philosophical anthropology, aesthetics and modern German theatre. Further publications include Postdramatic Theatre and the Political (co-ed., 2013), and articles on recent German theatre (Handke, Müller, Heckmanns, Palmetshofer) and history of ideas (Herder, Heidegger, Hans Blumenberg, Charles...

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