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Science, Technology and the German Cultural Imagination

Papers from the Conference ‘The Fragile Tradition’, Cambridge 2002. Volume 3


Christian Emden and David Robin Midgley

This is the third and final volume of papers given at the ‘Fragile Tradition’ conference in Cambridge, 2002. Together these volumes provide a conspectus of current research on the cultural, historical and literary imagination of the German-speaking world in the period since 1500.
This volume highlights the connections between developments in technology and scientific thought since the sixteenth century on the one hand, and the ways in which the creative imagination of literary writers has responded to those developments on the other. It focuses particularly on the changing conceptions of nature, art, and what it means to be human in the modern period, as the effects of industrial technology and biological knowledge became apparent. It also explores the impact on literary writing and the established reading culture of the new media of photography, film and telecommunication in the twentieth century.
Contents: Christian J. Emden/David Midgley: Introduction – Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly: Kunstkammer and Cedern=Wald: Knowledge, Memory and Text at the Dresden Court in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries – Jürgen Barkhoff: Perfecting Nature - Surpassing God: The Dream of Creating Artificial Humans around 1800 – Malcolm Humble: Monism and Literature in the Later Years of the Kaiserreich – Daniel Steuer: Ernst Mach and Robert Musil: Laws of Conservation and the Metaphysical Imagination – David Midgley: Technological Change and Cultural Assimilation: Some Observations on Poetic Responses to Early Aviation – Harro Segeberg: Industrial Culture, Writers and the Media: On the History of Literature and the Media in the Weimar Republic – Jeanne Riou: Joseph Roth’s ‘Bekenntnis zum Gleisdreieck’: Technology, Experience and the Feuilleton in the 1920s – Axel Goodbody: Nature and the Literary Imagination: The Project ‘Nature’ in Twentieth-Century German Writing – Ricarda Schmidt: Raphaels Schüler um 1800: Tradierung und Modernisierung eines frühromantischen Kunstdiskurses in E.T.A. Hoffmanns Die Jesuitenkirche in G. – Carolin Duttlinger: ‘Die Ruhe des Blickes’: Brod, Kafka, Benjamin and the Kaiserpanorama – Corinna Müller: Kultur des Fiktionalen: Bausteine zu einer intermedialen Fiktionstheorie, entwickelt am Beispiel der Filmgeschichte – Silke Horstkotte: Fantastic Gaps: Photography Inserted into Narrative in W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz – Günther Stocker: Lesebilder und Mediengeschichte: Zur Selbstreflexion der Literatur im 18. und am Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts.