Publishing Culture and the "Reading Nation"

June 2010
35 black and white illustrations
356 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571134028
Format: Hardback
Camden House
BISAC LAN027000, LIT007000, LIT004170

Publishing Culture and the "Reading Nation"

German Book History in the Long Nineteenth Century

Edited by Lynne Tatlock

Essays examining aspects of German book history -- in relation to writers, readers, and publishers -- from the 1780s to the 1930s.
Over the long nineteenth century, German book publishing experienced an unprecedented boom, outstripping by 1910 all other Western nations. Responding to the spread of literacy, publishers found new marketing methods and recalibrated their relationships to authors. Technical innovations made books for a range of budgets possible. Yearbooks, encyclopedias, and boxed sets also multiplied. A renewed interest in connoisseurship meant that books signified taste and affiliation. While reading could be a group activity, the splintering of the publishing industry into niche markets made it seem an ever-more private and individualistic affair, promising variously self-help, information, Bildung, moral edification, and titillation. The essays in this volume examine what Robert Darnton has termed the "communications circuit": the life-cycle of the book as a convergence of complex cultural, social, and economic phenomena. In examining facets of the lives of select books from the late 1780s to the early 1930s that Germans actually read, the essays present a complex and nuanced picture of writing, publishing, and reading in the shadow of nation building and class formation, and suggest how the analysis of texts and the study of books can inform one another.

Contributors: Jennifer Askey, Ulrich Bach, Kirsten Belgum, Matthew Erlin, Jana Mikota, Mary Paddock, Theodore Rippey, Jeffrey Sammons, Lynne Tatlock, Katrin Voelkner, Karin Wurst.

Lynne Tatlock is Hortense and Tobias Lewin Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Book Trade and "Reading Nation" in the Long Nineteenth Century - Lynne Tatlock
How to Think about Luxury Editions in Late Eighteenth- and EarlyNineteenth-Century Germany - Matt Erlin
The Shaping of Garden Culture in the Journal des Luxus und der Moden (1768-1827) - Karin A. Wurst
Documenting the Zeitgeist: How the Brockhaus Recorded and Fashioned the World for Germans - Kirsten Belgum
The Afterlife of Nineteenth-Century Popular Fiction and the German Imaginary: The Illustrated Collected Novels of E. Marlitt, Wilhelmine Heimburg, and E. Werner - Lynne Tatlock
A Library for Girls: Publisher Ferdinand Hirt & Sohn and the Novels of Brigitte Augusti - Jennifer Drake Askey-Do Not Use
For the Love of Words and Works: Tailoring the Reader for Higher Girls' Schools in Late Nineteenth-Century Germany - Jana Mikota
Thinking Clearly about the Marriage of Heinrich Heine and His Publisher, Julius Campe - Jeffery L. Sammons
At Wit's End: Frank Wedekind and the "Albert Langen Drama" - Mary B. Paddock
Bildung for Sale: Karl Robert Langewiesche's Blaue Bücher and the Business of "Reading Up" - Katrin Voelkner
The Weimar Literature Industry and the Negotiations of Schloss Gripsholm -
"It would be delicious, to write books for a new society, but not for the newly rich": Eduard Fuchs between Elite and Mass Culture - Ulrich E. Bach PhD


I]nstructive and salutary in the way it takes us . . . beyond our usual preoccupations with individual authors and their text-writing and invites us to consider aspects of the publishing context . . . . [I]nformative, memorable, and in many aspects enlightening. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

It is genuinely refreshing to encounter a study that redirects the attention of German Studies to the central importance of material culture. . . . The essays are of uniformly high quality and offer a wealth of information. . . . German Studies should pay more attention to the issues Tatlock's volume raises. Buy the book. It is money well spent. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

A wonderful addition to a field straddling both literary and historical scholarship. . . . Provides a rich, multi-faceted view of the publishing world as well as the authors' and readers' worlds in the long nineteenth century. WOMEN IN GERMAN REVIEWS

Taken together, the essays in this fascinating book remind us that behind Germany's sense of Bildungsauftrag . . . lies an impressive publishing history. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES

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