GERM2107 - Debating Enlightenment: Literature and Culture 1740-1870

Value: 0.5 course units
Reinier van Straten
one assessed 2 500 word essay (50%); one unseen two-hour written examination (50%).

Module Description:

This module will examine a representative selection of German literature from the Enlightenment to the late 19th century, focusing on the question how important literary epochs, from the Enlightenment itself to Poetic Realism, have engaged with and 'debated' the concept of Enlightenment. The module introduces students to texts by the century's most acknowledged authors, including Kant, Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, Eichendorff, Heine, Kleist, Büchner, and Keller. The module thus offers a broad overview over and explicitly links the century's most important literary and intellectual movements, while at the same time complementing the core modules GERM2106- Love, Violence and Laughter: Medieval and Early Modern German Literature and Culture up to 1740 and GERM2108- The Challenge of Modernity: Literature and Culture from 1870 to the Present.

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:

  • F. J. Lamport, Lessing and the Drama (Oxford, 1981).
  • N. Boyle, Goethe, vol. 1 (Oxford, 1991).
  • T. J. Reed, Goethe (Past Masters) (Oxford, 1984).
  • Michael Beddow, Goethe. Faust I (London, 1986).
  • Lesley Sharpe, Friedrich Schiller. Drama, Thought and Politics (Cambridge, 1991).
  • Lilian R. Furst, Romanticism (London, 1976).
  • Anthony Stephens, Heinrich von Kleist. The Dramas and Stories (Oxford, 1994).
  • John Reddick, Georg Büchner. The Shattered Whole (Oxford / New York, 1994).
  • Erika Swales, The Poetics of Scepticism. Gottfried Keller and ‘Die Leute von Seldwyla’ (Oxford / Providence, RI, 1994).