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«Eine untergeordnete Meisterschaft?»

The critical Reception of Dickens in Germany 1837-1870


Jean McInnes

This study represents an attempt to assess the critical impact of Dickens' work in Germany from the appearance of The Pickwick Papers till his death in 1870. Its main aim is to place the ongoing engagement of German critics with the English novelist in the context of the social and literary-critical tensions of the time and to bring about a new, more differentiated and penetrating understanding of his influence in these decades. The author argues that all the significant attempts to define the function and possibilities of the contemporary novel in German in this period were linked in one way or another with critical attitudes to the hugely popular, but always intractably controversial work of the English novelist.
Contents: English Realism and the German novel Tradition - The Reception of the early Novels - Dickens and the Quest for a popular Realism in the 1840s - Dickens and 'Programmatic' Realism - Otto Ludwig's Studies of Dickens.