This "Companion to German Literature" presents, in an immensely readable yet profoundly scholarly account, the history of German literature from the Reformation and Renaissance to the late twentieth century, in the wider context of Germanic culture, over the whole German-speaking area of Europe. Nine generically-structured narrative chapters combine a bold synthesis of long-term trends, perennial themes, and characteristics of German literature, from the invention of printing to the computer.Focusing on the perspective of writers and readers in their own time and place, the companion conveys the "feel" of a particular period and the preoccupations of the public to which writers addressed their plays, novels, and poems. Systematic attention is paid to the rich but traditionally neglected contribution made by women writers throughout the period. An extensive alphabetically ordered biographical index to authors discussed and referred to provides an invaluable, easy-reference supplement.
Skrine and Sagarra pay critical attention to the various discontinuities of literature in German while remaining stimulatingly alive to the underlying continuities, exemplified by themes and traditions ranging from Faust and Arminius to folk poetry, from hymns to humour. Their book represents a landmark in the study and exposition of German literary and cultural history.
Eda Sagarra is Professor and Head of the Department of Germanic Studies at Trinity College, Dublin. Her books include A Social History of Germany (1977), Germany in the Nineteenth Century (1980), and Theodore Fontane: Der Stechlin (1986). Peter Skrine is Professor of German at the University of Bristol. His works include (with Lilian Furst) Naturalism (1971), The Baroque: Literature and Culture in Seventeenth Century Europe (1978), and Hauptmann, Wedekind and Schnitzler (1989).
Preface. List of Maps. Note to the Reader. 1. The Sixteenth Century. 2. The Seventeenth Century. 3. The Augustan Age of German Literature. 4. The Classical Age of German Literature. 5. The Romantic Era. 6. From Biedermeier to Realism. 7. The Literature of the Metropolis. 8. Classical Modernism. 9. Literature after 1945. Postscript. Biographical Index. General Index.
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