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Nature, Science, Realism

A Re-examination of Programmatic Realism and the Works of Adalbert Stifter and Gottfried Keller


Thomas L. Buckley

This study is an important contribution to the present-day discourse concerning the relations between literature and science within a nineteenth-century German context. It investigates a previously unexplored epoch in the discipline, namely German Poetic Realism ca. 1850-1890, with particular focus on the first twenty years of this period. This movement, prior to Naturalism, is particularly crucial since it is a transitional stage in which a change in thinking patterns and perceptions takes place: a shift from a Naturphilosophie point of view to a more natural scientific perspective. This book utilizes the works of two representative authors of this period, Adalbert Stifter and Gottfried Keller, as well as the aesthetic program of German Poetic Realism, as a means to analyze the impact of this transformation on the literary realm.