Apr 1, 2015

Overview on German literature

Overview on German Literature

German literature comprises those literary texts written in the German language. This includes literature written in Germany, Austria, the German part of Switzerland, and to a lesser extent works of the German diaspora. German literature of the modern period is mostly in Standard German, but there are some currents of literature influenced to a greater or lesser degree by dialects (e.g. Alemannic).

Medieval German literature is literature written in Germany, stretching from the Carolingian dynasty; various dates have been given for the end of the German literary Middle Ages, the Reformation (1517) being the last possible cut-off point. The Old High German period is reckoned to run until about the mid-11th century; the most famous works are theHildebrandslied and a heroic epic known as the Heliand. Middle High German starts in the 12th century; the key works include The Ring (ca. 1410) and the poems of Oswald von Wolkenstein and Johannes von Tepl. The Baroque period (1600 to 1720) was one of the most fertile times in German literature. Modern literature in German begins with the authors of the Enlightenment (such as Herder). The Sensibility movement of the 1750s-1770s ended with Goethe's best-selling Die Leiden des jungen Werther (1774). The Sturm und Drang and Weimar Classicism movements were led by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe andJohann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller. German Romanticism was the dominant movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Biedermeier refers to the literature, music, the visual arts and interior design in the period between the years 1815 (Vienna Congress), the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and 1848, the year of the European revolutions. Under the Nazi regime, some authors went into exile (Exilliteratur) and others submitted to censorship ("internal emigration", Innere Emigration). The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to German language authors thirteen times (as of 2009), or the third most often after English and French language authors (with 27 and 14 laureates, respectively), with some of the winners including Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, and Günter Grass.

German philosophy, here taken to mean either (1) philosophy in the German language or (2) philosophy by Germans, has been extremely diverse, and central to both the analytic and continental traditions in philosophy for centuries, from Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz through Immanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein to contemporary philosophers. Søren Kierkegaard (a Danish philosopher) is frequently included in surveys of German (or Germanic) philosophy due to his extensive engagement with German thinkers. Link to page : Some famous German philosophers: http://www.biography.com/people/groups/famous-german-philosophers.

German idealism was a speculative philosophical movement that emerged in Germany in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It was a reaction against Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and was closely linked with bothRomanticism and the revolutionary politics of the Enlightenment. The most notable thinkers in the movement were Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Friedrich Schelling and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, while Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi,Gottlob Ernst Schulze, Karl Leonhard Reinhold and Friedrich Schleiermacheralso made major contributions.

In the philosophy, art, and culture of German-speaking countries, German Romanticism was the dominant movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. German Romanticism developed relatively late compared to its English counterpart, coinciding in its early years with the movement known as German Classicismor Weimar Classicism. In contrast to the seriousness of English Romanticism, the German variety is notable for valuing humor and wit as well as beauty.

The early German romantics tried to create a new synthesis of art, philosophy, and science, looking to the Middle Ages as a simpler, more integrated period. As time went on, however, they became increasingly aware of the tenuousness of the unity they were seeking. Later German Romanticism emphasized the tension between the everyday world and the seemingly irrational and supernatural projections of creative genius. Heinrich Heine in particular criticized the tendency of the early romantics to look to the medieval past for a model of unity in art and society.

  • Modern German literature
    • 18th- and 19th-century German literature
      • Empfindsamkeit / Sensibility (1750s-1770s)
      • Sturm und Drang / Storm and Stress (1760s-1780s)
      • German Classicism (1729–1832)
        • Weimar Classicism (1788–1805) or (1788–1832), depending on Schiller's (1805) or Goethe's (1832) death
      • German Romanticism (1790s-1880s)
      • Biedermeier (1815–1848)
      • Young Germany (1830–1850)
      • Poetic Realism (1848–1890)
      • Naturalism (1880–1900)
    • 20th-century German literature
      • 1900-1933
        • Fin de siècle (c. 1900)
        • Symbolism
        • Expressionism (1910–1920)
        • Dada (1914–1924)
        • New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit)
      • 1933-1945
        • National Socialist literature
        • Exile literature
      • 1945-1989
        • By country
          • Federal Republic of Germany
          • German Democratic Republic
          • Austria
          • Switzerland
          • Other
        • By thematic or group
          • Post-war literature (1945–1967)
          • Group 47
          • Holocaust literature
    • Contemporary German literature (1989-)

(Source: wikipedia)

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