Theodor Storm's Immensee: A Critical Overview

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Camden House, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 127 pages
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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.

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