To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Volume 29 features articles on 'Anton Reiser'; the legacies of German romanticism; Goethe's morphology and computational analysis; Goethe commemorations in Argentina; and Goethe's 'Weltliteratur'; in the context of trade with China, along with two special sections and the book review.
IN THE MIDST of another challenging year, we are grateful to our authors, manuscript evaluators, and book reviewers—the latter so ably corralled by Sean Franzel—and, last but not least, our indefatigable copy editor, Monica Birth, who have all enabled us to put together another fascinating volume. Like the predecessors it has been our honor to edit, volume 29 of the Goethe Yearbook represents continuity and innovation; what sets it apart is the fact that several essays seem to continue the conversation begun in last year’s issue.
Edward Potter's essay on Anton Reiser speaks to both the unabating pursuit of scholarship on Karl Philipp Moritz (which we have featured frequently over the past two years) as well as the renewed interest in questions of sentimentalism as a literary period and eighteenth-century style. But Potter also turns to questions of sexuality and gender. These questions, focused in concepts of patriarchy and its disruption, are at the core of Birgit Jensen's essay, which branches out into broader concerns about cultural legacies and myth and invites their ongoing consideration. Befittingly, two more essays revolve around such questions, albeit in vastly different ways. History of philosophy and science scholar Oriane Petteni introduces a novel model of reading Goethe's morphology, reminding us that questions of algorithms and pattern recognition are no longer confined to digital humanities and computational studies of literature but have arrived as part and parcel of our methodological toolkit. And Robert Kelz takes us again to Argentina. In a fascinating prequel to last year's essay on Goethe commemorations, he invites us back into the complex politics of Buenos Aires in the twentieth century and the role of a German cultural icon. Equally compelling, Kelz invokes a transnational fascination with archival material and the cultural policies both hidden and exposed in them—particularly welcome at a time when onsite research ceased being an option for so many of us, unable to physically access the treasure troves of our work. The penultimate freestanding essay in this volume, Barry Murnane's reconsideration of Goethe's Weltliteratur in the context of Handelsverkehr (trade) with China continues a conversation about the worldliness of eighteenth-century German literature and culture that has been vigorous for some time now and gestures well beyond the uptake of individual concepts or motifs. Coincidentally, it also invites further dialogue with forthcoming or fresh-off-the-press books (at the time of this writing).
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Faust, A Tragedy, Part I: A New Translation with an Introduction and Notes. Translated and introduction by Eugene Stelzig. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2019. 231 pp.
When one discovers a new translation of Goethe's Faust, especially when researching the large number of Faust texts available for course adoption, one may indeed need to assess many points of comparison with the other available translations. While I was still teaching, I did this on several occasions, especially for general education classes for undergraduates (in which the students seem to desire a “good read,” which I have usually taken to mean “an understandable text”), as well as for a liberal studies course in which graduate students, eager to engage with this profound work, desire a certain thematic depth that the translation does not hamper. Eugene Stelzig's new translation of Faust I can be recommended on both scores: the themes and complexities come through with minimal loss via Stelzig's most readable text.
Stelzig begins with an informative, albeit brief, introduction to interesting aspects of the author's life and the play. He emphasizes that Faust I is, in fact, two plays: first, it is a philosophical inquiry into the nature of human dissatisfaction with existence and evil, and second, it relates the Gretchen tragedy. With regard to the former, Stelzig is more perceptive than many a translator or critic, especially in terms of crucial issues, such as the dynamic between “becoming” and “negation.” This dialectic encompasses far more than merely the human condition and diabolical opposition on the surface level; the polarity extends to nature and science as well, and in fact to all areas of human experience. Stelzig recognizes this, and it comes through in his translation.
Faust has, of course, undergone numerous translations into English by some of the great and most adept translators of German literature, such as David Luke, Martin Greenberg, Walther Kaufmann, and others, as well as by a number of eminent Goethe scholars; each of these presents virtues that recommend it. Thus, today one discovers numerous choices when it comes to Faust translations available to the anglophone reading public. Stelzig's Faust I competes satisfactorily with them all: it is modern and notably unstuffy, earthy, and humorous where the original is humorous as well. But it also reflects elegance in the places where Goethe's language achieves high registers.
VIRTUALLY EVERY ASPECT of our professional and political lives has changed dramatically over the past year, and the compilation and production of this volume is no exception. The Covid-19 pandemic hit hard just as we were fielding readers’ reports, granting extensions, and embracing the arrival of late submissions. For these and other reasons, we are especially grateful for the support and enthusiasm of our colleagues—contributors, readers, and Camden House editors. Without the collective effort, we would not have been able to produce such a robust volume.
The pandemic also affected planning processes beyond this issue of the Goethe Yearbook, as the Atkins Goethe Conference, organized around the theme “Goethe's Things,” had to be postponed until 2021. Despite the challenges, Volume 28 presents a wide spectrum of scholarly interventions into eighteenth-century Goethe and German studies from established and emerging scholars across multiple disciplines. Every article breaks new ground on the German literary landscape around 1800 by presenting original research in a global context, widening the lens on conventional approaches, or revisiting and revising theoretical frameworks. Sheila Dickson's engagement with K. P. Moritz speaks to an ever-abiding interest in the writer, while Martin Wagner casts new light on vice and variation in eighteenth-century comedy. Karin Schutjer's reading of Xenien pushes the refresh button on the reading of well-worn texts. Invoking the scope of Atkins Conferences past, Daniel Purdy's substantive piece on relationships between eighteenth-century Nanjing and Weimar takes us back to persistent “reorientations” around Goethe. Contributions by Matthew Feminella on masks, Anna Christine Spafford on embarrassment in Die Wahlverwandtschaften, and Carrie Collenberg-González on the daisy oracle in Faust each illuminate new perspectives on canonical genres and texts through their innovative approaches.
Several articles take us beyond the realm of the textual. With a focus on magic and music, Hans Lind reconsiders the Zauberflöte in the late eighteenth century. From the realm of Goethe as a collector and creator, Lesley Fulton elaborates on the Hemsterhuis gem collection and its possible impact on aesthetics. Monika Nenon applies media theory to eighteenth-century adaptations of novels. Ilinca Iurescu previews—albeit unintentionally—the focus of the 2021 Atkins Conference in Chicago with her richly suggestive and substantive submission on “paper thinking” and pedagogy in the nineteenth century.
Abstract: This volume's Forum seeks to promote the discussion of (new) directions in eighteenth-century (German) studies. Envisioned as a dialogue with similar fora in other venues, as well as with prolific publication and conference activities, this topic engages a wide range of contributors working through recent research in part to chronicle the state of the field and, more importantly, to redefine and reimagine its objects of study. These eight short essays illustrate inter- and cross-disciplinary work, but also foreground the capacity for academic activism. The contributors reflect on eighteenth-century German (Goethe) studies in dialogue with disability studies and medical humanities, music and sound studies vis-à-vis the spoken word/orality, (post)colonialism/decoloniality and the environment, abolitionist discourse as an important literary impetus, and, finally, legacies and reverberations of the eighteenth century in late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century cultures. Individually and collectively, these contributions open up new lines of inquiry and dialogue with other periods of German literary and cultural history. At the same time, they expose erstwhile blind spots and thus task universities and colleges with turning to new areas of inquiry in order to promote diverse areas of scholarship.
Keywords: eighteenth-century German studies, Goethe studies, medical humanities, disability studies, orality/sound studies, postnational approaches, interdisciplinary, state of the field
THIS VOLUME'S FORUM, “(New) Directions in Eighteenth-Century (German) Studies,” has evolved over time; it is at once urgent and obsolete— because whatever we present here is a mere snapshot in time. The topic resonates with a panel and a roundtable we organized at the German Studies Association (GSA) conference in 2019. And while only a few of the original contributors are included in this volume of the Goethe Yearbook—Monika Nenon presented the initial ideas for her article and Bridget Swanson and Peter Höyng participated in the roundtable—the GSA discussions led to further directions and invitations that contributed to the Forum.
This Forum is a snapshot in yet another sense of the word: it exists in the company of other fora, such as the German Quarterly's 2020 special issue (vol. 93.2) on the eighteenth century, which includes articles and investigations about the role, importance, and relevance of the eighteenth century to German studies, as well as recent pathbreaking articles published in The Eighteenth Century (previously Eighteenth Century Theory and Interpretation), which, for some time, has provided impulse, provocations, and insights into specialized eighteenth-century topics, often from a comparative perspective.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. West-Eastern Divan. Complete, Annotated New Translation, including the “Notes and Essays” & the Unpublished Poems. Translated by Eric Ormsby. Berkeley, CA: Gingko, 2019. xlii + 595 pp.
Barbara Schwepcke and Bill Swainson, eds. A New Divan: A Lyrical Dialogue Between East & West. Berkeley, CA: Gingko, 2019. xvii + 187 pp.
These two complementary volumes were published in 2019 in connection with the 200th anniversary of Goethe's West-östlicher Divan. Schwepcke and Swainson's A New Divan: A Lyrical Dialogue Between East & West is composed of two parts. The first part consists of twenty-four poems by twenty-four poets from both “East” and “West” who were invited to enter into a dialogue with Goethe on themes of his Divan: namely, the poet, love, the tyrant, faith, and paradise. The poems appear in their original language with facing-page English translations. The second part of A New Divan contains six exciting essays that examine issues of translation involving both East and West, including those raised by Goethe in the Divan's “Noten und Abhandlungen” (“Notes and Essays”). These essays help to situate Eric Ormsby's prose translation of Goethe's entire Divan (including the “posthumous” poems and the “Notes and Essays”).
Ormsby's bilingual Divan reproduces Goethe's original poems and, on facing pages, an English translation in paragraph form without lineation. For the poems, Ormsby relied on the two-volume Hendrik Birus edition of the Divan (1994/2010), and for the “Noten und Abhandlungen” (English text only) on Max Rychner's edition (1963). Although Ormsby studied in Germany, his scholarly background is in Islamic studies. Thus, he knows the languages in question, differentiating, for instance, the poetic forms in Goethe's Divan from the inexhaustible prosody of Hafiz's Persian. His familiarity with the commentaries on Hafiz’s work and on the “Eastern” context of the traditions on which Hafiz himself drew (and Hammer and Goethe in turn) is evident in accompanying footnotes that, among other things, annotate Arabic, Persian, or Turkish references to unfamiliar persons and places, while also referring to “Goethe's own sources in the German translations he used.”
The introduction informs in short order of the background of Goethe's interest in Persian poetry, including pre-Hafiz (William Jones's translation of Arabic poetry; pre-Islamic odes; knowledge of Orientalist scholarship). Alongside themes Goethe himself identified in his Divan, Ormsby adds three others: song itself, longing, and the “Sufi vision of personal transformation.”
THE FOLLOWING BIBLIOGRAPHY is far from being comprehensive when it comes to exploring the canon versus “the great unread.” Instead, by compiling many of the resources that our contributors consulted, we invite readers to continue to immerse themselves in the questions and dimensions raised here.
Ahnert, Ruth and Sebastian E. Ahnert. “Metadata, Surveillance and the Tudor State.” History Workshop Journal 87, no. 1 (2019): 27–51.
Baßler, Moritz. “Kurzprosa.” In Reallexikon der deutschen Literaturwissenschaft. Edited by Harald Fricke. Vol. 2, 371–74. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2007.
Baum, Constanze. “Digital gap oder digital turn? Literaturwissenschaft und das digitale Zeitalter.” Zeitschrift für Germanistik 27, no. 2 (2017): 316–28.
———.“Internet.” In Faust-Handbuch: Konstellationen—Diskurse—Medien. Edited by Carsten Rohde, Thorsten Valk, and Mathias Mayer, 493–97. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2018.
Beaujean, Marion. Der Trivialroman in der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts: Die Ursprünge des modernen Unterhaltungsromans. Bonn: Bouvier, 1964.
Becher, Eva D. Der deutsche Roman um 1780. Stuttgart: Metzlerische Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1964.
Becker-Cantariono, Barbara. Schriftstellerinnen der Romantik. Epoche—Werk— Wirkung. Munich: Beck, 2000.
Beiser, Frederick. Enlightenment, Revolution and Romanticism. The Genesis of Modern German Political Thought. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1992.
Bode, Katherine. “The Equivalence of ‘Close’ and ‘Distant’ Reading: Or, Toward a New Object for Data-Rich Literary History.” Modern Language Quarterly 78, no. 1 (2017): 77–106.
Bohnenkamp, Anne, Silke Henke, and Fotis Jannidis, eds. Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Faust. Historisch-kritische Edition, beta version 3. 2018. http://faustedition.net/.
Brennan, Timothy. “The Digital-Humanities Bust.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 15, 2017. https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Digital-Humanities- Bust/241424.
Broadus, R. N. “Toward a Definition of ‘Bibliometrics.’” Scientometrics 12, nos. 5–6 (1987): 373–79.
Brown, Susan, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy. “Sorting Things In: Feminist Knowledge Representation and Changing Modes of Scholarly Production.” Women's Studies International Forum 29 (2006): 317–25.
Cohen, Margaret. The Sentimental Education of the Novel. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1999.
Curtius, E. R. “Begriff einer historischen Topik.” Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie 58 (1938): 129–42.
Da, Nan Z. “The Computational Case against Computational Literary Studies.” Critical Inquiry 45 (2019): 601–39.
———. “The Digital Humanities Debacle: Computational Methods Repeatedly Come Up Short.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 27, 2019. https://www. chronicle.com/article/The-Digital-Humanities-Debacle/245986.
WITH THE PUBLICATION of volume 27, we would like to take the opportunity to address some innovations. In this volume, we introduce an array of new formats through which we pursue research on Goethe, his age, and the long eighteenth century and seek to encourage new modes of collaboration, including, perhaps, communication across several volumes.
A range of articles that contribute to the rich and growing archive of scholarship on German eighteenth-century studies opens this issue. Helmut J. Schneider's article, based on a keynote address at the 2017 Atkins Goethe Conference, “Re-Orientations around Goethe,” highlights the eighteenthcentury genesis of the bourgeois subject's unitary experience of the natural world. With select readings of Goethean texts, Schneider explores the disjuncture that opens between the gaze and the corporeal. Moreover, Schneider's reading captures the destructive consequences of the emancipatory escape into nature for anthropocentric moments of modernity. The remaining articles, while devoted to discreet subjects, authors, and texts, invite fascinating cross-readings. Oliver Simons turns our attention to the representation of Werther's narrative pulse. Herder and Lessing also figure in the framework for this interpretation of metanarrative reflections on suicide and acts of ending; the essay extends the narratological focus of a special section in last year's volume (What is an Event?). The two following articles—a fascinating, opportune pairing—redirect our attention to Karl Philipp Moritz, through texts that engage with but go beyond the Magazin zur Erfahrungsseelenkunde. Richard Apgar explores the fraught process of subject formation through an examination of Moritz's writing on the individual, “Erinnerungen aus den frühesten Jahren der Kindheit” (memories from the earliest years of childhood). This interrogation of impressions and mediated memories leads to fresh insights into the construction of the modern individual. Mattias Pirholt continues the focus on Moritz in his analysis of ethical and aesthetic principles encompassed by the concept of disinterested love in “Versuch einer Vereinigung aller schönen Künste und Wissenschaften unter dem Begriff des in sich selbst Vollendeten.” The remaining contributions in this first section take up a challenge that our subfield has latently faced, namely to engage overtly or covertly with issues of relevancy; together the articles show how modern Goethe and his contemporaries are in our dialogues on belonging and identities, cultural legacies, and interdisciplinary inquiry.
WHEN WE EMBARKED on editing the Goethe Yearbook, we brainstormed ideas about formats for disseminating research that would usefully complement the stellar articles that appear annually. Our interest turned to the forum, a robust format that has fostered lively debate elsewhere (e.g., Eighteenth Century Theory and Interpretation) and has recently been popularized by our colleagues at the German Quarterly. Naturally, we zeroed in on a topic that is still underrepresented in the Yearbook but that has begun to alter the ways in which we approach the study of Goethe and, more broadly, the eighteenth century—within our comparatively small field in North America, as well as in Germany and in adjacent disciplines invested in the period (e.g., comparative literature and comparative cultural studies, genre studies, English, Atlantic studies, and history). We are, of course, speaking of Digital Humanities (DH). In the process of identifying experts in the field, we discovered that a few years ago graduate programs in German (at Yale, the University of Chicago, and Konstanz) had devoted a short course to the topic that inspired the title of our inaugural forum.
As we approached potential contributors, we posed a series of questions, intended to spark not direct answers, but to serve as an impulse for reflection: What is the canon? How do we define it and how has it been reenvisioned beyond DH? What is the relationship between “mining” thousands of texts through algorithms and scholarship “merely” based on the interpretation of select literary works? What are the consequences of digitizing primary materials? How do DH methodologies and analytical practices enhance and/or endanger the study of the canon? How does “close reading” versus “distant reading” affect the legacy of canonical authors and their impact on the construction of national literary historiography in the nineteenth century? What is at stake for the discipline of literary study—for the act of (close) reading—when we ask the question about the canon versus the “great unread”? Nine colleagues who are engaged in the theory and practice of DH scholarship responded to our call. The scope of their work is impressive, providing detailed yet suggestive overviews of DH methodologies, insights into the importance of DH and its ability to recuperate historically marginalized writers, case studies of temporary canonicity, and challenges to canonical approaches to the Goethezeit.