Das Angenehme und das Nützliche: Fallstudien zur literarischen Spätaufklärung in Deutschland

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Niemeyer, Jan 1, 1997 - Enlightenment - 341 pages
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The late stages of the Enlightenment movement in Germany represent a challenge that German Studies has yet to respond to in an adequate manner. While the foundations and the practical enterprises of the later Enlightenment are reasonably well researched, a great deal less is known about the various forms of literary expression that it engendered. There is at least incipent awareness of the fact that without this aspect there can be no true picture of the entire range of literary production in Germany around 1800. The volume thus assembles, first of all, mutually complementary case studies on representative authors with a view to establishing a cross-section of significant schools of thought and their individual manifestations. The guiding principle underlying the approach is that of highlighting late Enlightenment literature as a many-sided and dominant literary current extending from 1770/75 to approx. 1820 and, unlike earlier Enlightenment literature, strongly geared from the outset to the promulgation of Enlightenment ideas in the fields of social praxis and reform. The central concern of the volume is to demonstrate "what" Enlightenment persuasions, notions and endeavors were taken up by the medium of literature and "how" that medium presented them. The approach taken is a socio-historical one, combining procedures capable of achieving an organic integration of the necessary broad culture-historical background with more specific perspectives (e.g. on the contemporary media and mentality).

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