'Relations Stop Nowhere': The Common Literary Foundations of German and American Literature 1830-1917

Pirmais vāks
Rodopi, 2007 - 317 lappuses
This book attempts for the first time a comparative literary history of Germany and the USA in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Its material does not come from the familiar overlaps of individual German and American writers, but from the work of the literary historians of the two countries after 1815, when American intellectuals took Germany as a model for their project to create an American national literature. The first part of the book examines fundamental structural affinities between the two literary histories and the common problems these caused, especially in questions of canon, realism, aesthetics and in the marginalization of popular and women's writing. In the second part, significant figures whose work straddle the two literatures – from Sealsfield and Melville, Whitman and Thomas Mann to Nietzsche, Emerson and Bellow – are discussed in detail, and the arguments of the first part are shown in their relevance to understanding major writers. This book is not merely comparative in scope: it shows that only international comparison can explain the course of American literary history in the nineteenth and twentieth century. As recent developments in American Studies explore the multi-cultural and 'hybrid' nature of the American tradition, this book offers evidence of the dependencies which linked American and German national literary history.
 

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30. lappuse - I confess that in America I saw more than America; I sought there the image of democracy itself, with its inclinations, its character, its prejudices, and its passions...

Par autoru (2007)

Hugh Ridley was professor of German at University College Dublin for twenty-six years, and visiting professor at the University of Essen. His books include studies of major German authors - Thomas Mann (1987, 1995), Rilke (with Herbert Herzmann 1992) and Gottfried Benn (1990) - together with work encompassing broad sweeps through European and German culture: Industrie und deutsche Literatur (with Keith Bullivant, 1975) and Images of Imperial Rule (1983). His numerous essays include work on the Vormärz, Nietzsche, Weimar Republic, Walter Benjamin and the GDR, on system theory and the techniques and ideology of literary history.

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