There is a large pool of German novelists in whose oeuvre we may look for works of landmark signiﬁcance, and at certain periods of its history German ﬁction is particularly rich. Yet although the novel begins to assert itself in the seventeenth century, we have to wait until the late eighteenth, and Goethe’s ﬁrst major prose work,
Werther, to see it truly rise to the level of other genres. The thirteen novels featured in this collection have all proved milestones in the development of the form, and there is heavy prominence given to works by Goethe himself and by Thomas Mann. Through these, as well as those by such ﬁgures as Kafka, Hesse, and Günter Grass, we can trace the development of the novel to its far more ‘self-conscious’ form, ranging through the social studies of the nineteenth to works which treat a variety of intellectual, psychological and philosophical issues in the twentieth. A second volume will cover landmarks published between 1959 and the present day.
These essays, all by specialists in the relevant ﬁeld, were originally delivered as lectures in the University of Cambridge.
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2007. 237 pp.
Contents: Peter Hutchinson: Introduction – Roger Paulin: Goethe, Die Leiden des jungen Werthers – Ritchie Robertson:
Goethe, Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre – Nicholas Boyle: Goethe, Die Wahlverwandtschaften – Martin Swales: Keller,
Der grüne Heinrich – Charlotte Woodford: Fontane, Effi Briest – Elizabeth Boa: Mann, Buddenbrooks – Ronald
Speirs:Mann, Der Zauberberg – Carolin Duttlinger: Kafka, Der Proceß – Peter Hutchinson: Hesse, Der
Steppenwolf – Andrew Webber: Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz – David Midgley:Musil, Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften
– Robert Vilain: Mann, Doktor Faustus – Julian Preece: Grass, Die Blechtrommel.