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Imitat, Zitat, Plagiat und Original in Literatur und Kultur der Frühen Neuzeit

Series:

Andreas Beck and Nora Ramtke

Dieser Sammelband lotet die facettenreiche Praxis des Imitats, Zitats, Plagiats sowie der Herstellung von ‚Originalen‘ in Literatur und Kultur der Frühen Neuzeit aus. Die versammelten Fallstudien behandeln nicht nur Gegenstände germanistischer Literaturwissenschaft, sie bewegen sich auch auf dem Gebiet anderer Philologien sowie im Bereich von Malerei, Architektur und Druckgraphik. Ihr gemeinsames Anliegen ist, die Epoche der Frühen Neuzeit von ihr eigentümlichen Organisationsformen des künstlerischen Materials her in den Blick zu nehmen. So leistet der Band einen Beitrag zu einer Literatur- und Kulturgeschichte als einer Geschichte künstlerischer Verfahren. Auf einer beiliegenden CD ergänzt eine elektronische Edition der rekonstruierten Originalfassung des ‚Trophaeum Mariano-Cellense‘ den Band.

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Sebaldus Nothanker and His Brothers: Literary Borrowing in the Eighteenth Century (Matthew H. Birkhold)

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Matthew H. Birkhold

Sebaldus Nothanker and His Brothers: Literary Borrowing in the Eighteenth Century

Introduction

In 1774, to the great astonishment of Friedrich Nicolai, a volume of the collected sermons of the Magister Sebaldus Nothanker was published by the Weygand Verlag in Leipzig. Purportedly drawn from the papers of the well-known Magister, the sizeable collection shocked the Berlin publisher because Sebaldus was the fictional protagonist of Nicolai’s own popular – and still in-progress – novel. In fact, when the spurious sermons appeared on the market, Nicolai had published only one volume of his three-part Leben und Meinungen des Herrn Magister Sebaldus Nothanker (1773–1776). But like many popular fictional characters in the eighteenth century, Sebaldus Nothanker enjoyed a rich life beyond the pages of the novel in which he first appeared. Indeed, Sebaldus’ first appearance was not in Nicolai’s novel at all, but had occurred nearly a decade earlier in Moritz August von Thümmel’s 1764 prose epic Wilhelmine, oder der vermählte Pendant.

To better understand character borrowing and its effect on authorship in the eighteenth century, this chapter investigates such appropriations as a form of reception, examining Nicolai’s best-selling novel, its source, and the works it inspired. Throughout the second half of the century, literary figures like Sebaldus Nothanker escaped their authors’ control as readers penned sequels, prequels, and spin-offs using the popular characters. After analyzing the incentives motivating readers to appropriate other authors’ creations, this chapter will briefly outline the various...

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