Critical Approaches to Goethe's Classical Dramas

Critical Approaches to Goethe's Classical Dramas

Iphigenie, Torquato Tasso, and Die natürliche Tochter

Irmgard Wagner


Hardback out of stock

Camden House



Examination of the critical history of three of Goethe's most important dramas, relating it to the wider field of German literary criticism.
The critical attention given to Goethe over two centuries has ranged in tone from adulatory to iconoclastic, but has always reflected the central position he occupied in German literary scholarship and cultural life. The three plays analysed here are prime examples of German Classicism, and have thus provoked strong reactions in the struggle between modernists and conservatives, engaging critics in fundamental questions of aesthetics, ethics, politics, and ideology. In tracing the history of their criticism, this book also explores the development of academic literary studies in Germany from their beginning in the nineteenth century through the turbulent events of the twentieth, presenting a fascinating image of literary scholarship intertwined with controversies concerning the German national identity and Germany's place in the world.


March 1996
242 pages
22.8x15.2 in
Literary Criticism in Perspective
ISBN: 9781571130037
Format: Hardback
Camden House
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"A brilliant sifting through the secondary literature. . . Often referred to, but never before so explicitly addressed, the dependence of Goethe research on ideological and political trends is shown here explicitly. What Irmgard Wagner demonstrates especially strikingly is the blasé manner in which after the Second World War Germanistik in West Germany distanced itself from its connections with the National Socialist regime." GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW
"Overall this is a tour de force. . . ."JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES
"Belongs in every academic library." LESSING YEARBOOK'[The author] is keenly alert to the various ideological agenda underlying this massive, passionate and at times stunningly sophisticated body of criticism, and she proves herself a sure guide both to the narrower explicative writings as well as to the broader histoircal, political, ethical and aesthetic issues that colored the perspective from which critics have assayged Goethe's dramas.' COLLOQUIA GERMANICA

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