Theodor Storm's Immensee

June 2000
139 pages
9x6 in
Literary Criticism in Perspective
ISBN: 9781571130457
Format: Hardback
Camden House

Theodor Storm's Immensee

A Critical Overview

Wiebke Strehl

A chronological and comprehensive survey of the most important English and German language criticism about the novella in historical context.
Theodor Storm (1817-88), one of the leading literary Realists of the nineteenth century, achieved world-wide popularity with the novella Immensee in 1849. The work, which Storm himself referred to as a 'Perle deutscher Poesie' (pearl of German poetry) reached over thirty editions and was translated into 17 languages by the time of the author's death. But in addition to being called a masterpiece by such leading literary lights of the day as Theodor Fontane and Paul Heyse, Immensee also attracted its share of criticism from the first, for instance as a mere sentimental love story. Then in the 1930s and forties Storm's novella was seized upon by right-wing critics as appropriate National Socialist reading material, which had the effect of sullying its reputation somewhat long after 1945. Since the 1960s Immensee's critical reputation has been rehabilitated and both novella and Storm himself analyzed from a variety of viewpoints, including Marxism and democratic humanitarianism. Strehl's book chronicles the highlights of this critical history.

Wiebke Strehl is assistant professor of German at the University of South Carolina.

Table of Contents

The Novella Immensee
1849-1888--Contemporary Voices
1888-1914--Popularizing Storm after His Death
1914-1945--The War Years
1945-1957--Immensee's Return
1958-1972--Theodor Storm as a Child of His Time
1972-1986--Theodor Storm as a Child of Our Time
1986-1998--From Reader Response to the New Storm
Immensee in Film, Theater, and Newspapers
Conclusion and Outlook


Strehl's critical overview of Immensee is the first of its kind. It is an important and timely contribution to Storm research that offers a bibliography Storm scholars will not want to be without. GERMANIC NOTES AND REVIEWS

Succinct, lucid. ...The survey never wavers from its focus... MONATSHEFTE

A miniature history of Germanistik. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

[The work] traces both the popular and the critical reception of Storm's most popular Novelle from 1849 to 1998, bringing out well and clearly the enduring popularity of the work before 1914. YEAR'S WORK IN MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES

Also in Series