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German Literature, History and the Nation

Papers from the Conference ‘The Fragile Tradition’, Cambridge 2002. Volume 2


Christian Emden and David Robin Midgley

This is the second of three volumes based on papers given at the ‘Fragile Tradition’ conference in Cambridge, 2002. Together they provide a conspectus of current research on the cultural, historical and literary imagination of the German-speaking world across the whole of the modern period.
This volume highlights the connections between cultural identity and the sense of nationhood which are to be found in literary writing, the history of ideas, and the interaction between European cultures from the late Middle Ages to the present day. It focuses particularly on the way myths of cultural identity are passed on and transformed historically; on the fashioning of various models of modern German identity with reference to the cultures of Greece, France, England and Renaissance Italy; on the reflection of 19th-century nationalism in literary writing and ideas about language; and on the ways in which cultural values have asserted themselves in relation to moments of catastrophe and abrupt political change in the 1920s, the 1940s, and the 1990s.
Contents: Christian Emden/David Midgley: Introduction – Joachim Whaley: The Old Reich in Modern Memory: Recent Controversies Concerning the ‘Relevance’ of Early Modern German History – Ulrich Gaier: National Myths in Anthropological Perspective – Manfred Engel: Deutschland/Hesperien: Kulturelle und nationale Identitätsstiftung in Hölderlins später Dichtung – Constanze Güthenke: Nature in Arms: Greek Locality, Freedom, and German Philhellenism – Jörn Steigerwald: Galanterie als kulturelle Identitätsbildung: Französisch-deutscher Kulturtransfer im Zeichen der Querelles (Dominique Bouhours - Christian Thomasius - Benjamin Neukirch) – Martina Lauster: The Gentleman Ideal from Lichtenberg to Hofmannsthal – Lothar L. Schneider: Liberalismus, Positivismus, Anglophilie: Das liberale Konzept der Kulturgeschichtsschreibung und die Rezeption Thomas Buckles im 19. Jahrhundert – Martin A. Ruehl: Blut, bellezza, Bürgertugend: Thomas Manns Fiorenza und der Renaissancekult um 1900 – Kveta E. Benes: Linguistic History and Memories of National Origin, 1806-15 – Charlotte Woodford: Contrasting Discourses of Nationalism in Historical Novels by Freytag and Fontane – Anita Bunyan: The Aesthetics of Assimilation: Cultural Imagination and German-Jewish Identity in the Zeitromane of Berthold Auerbach – Manuela Achilles: Nationalist Violence and Republican Identity in Weimar Germany: The Murder of Walther Rathenau – Simon Ward: Ruins and the Imagination of Cultural Tradition after 1945 – Ingeborg Cleve: Subverted Heritage and Subversive Memory: Weimarer Klassik in the GDR and the Bauerbach Case.