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Lessing and the «Sturm und Drang»

A Reappraisal Revisited

Series:

Karen Ottewell

Despite the benevolent intellectual climate of the 1960s in Germany which had witnessed a reappraisal of earlier attitudes towards the eighteenth century in general, and towards the Aufklärung in particular, relatively little has since been done to pursue this stimulus to its logical conclusion – or to a discussion of possible conclusions. By looking beyond artificial literary classifications at the historical data and by accumulating detailed empirical evidence this study seeks to reappraise this situation, firstly by establishing a case which overcomes the traditional antithesis of Aufklärung and Sturm und Drang, and secondly by presenting a clear picture of the degree and nature of Lessing’s influence on German dramatists from Herder to Schiller.
Contents: Aufklärung and Sturm und Drang: (Re-)Definitions – Lessing as precursor of the Sturm und Drang before 1769 – Lessing’s Attitude towards Writers of the Sturm und DrangEmilia Galotti – The Reception of Lessing by the Sturm und Drang Writers