When this book first appeared in 1979, the study of the history of literature was still under the sway of a type of account that had become prevalent in the 1950s under the banner of post-1945 ‘ideological freedom’. This had in turn developed out of an intellectual historical approach to German literary developments that had been the norm since Wilhelm Dilthey.
The impact on German education of the authors and their generation, and the scholarly shortcomings of this fruitless approach, have been immense. This is attested by the sheer length of time it took for any discussion at all to arise on reasons for elaborating a new way of looking at the whole history of literature. Such a discussion did not even begin to manifest itself until the mid-1970s.
The importance of social history as a dimension of literature, now a major area within the discipline besides that of aesthetic values, has since been accorded its rightful place among the subject matter proper to the discipline. The new awareness that has been brought to bear on this History of German Literature over the last decade is regarded by the authors as confirmation of their intention to make a complete break with customary guidelines for the presentation, classification and selection of material, and to bring this newly acquired self-perception of literary study into the clear light of day.
Language Notes Text: English (translation) Original Language: German
Preface MEDIEVAL LITERATURE HUMANISM AND THE REFORMATION BAROQUE LITERATURE AUFKLÄRUNG: THE ENLIGHTENMENT THE KUNSTEPOCHE VORMÄRZ: THE RUN-UP TO 1848 REALISM AND THE GRÜNDERZEIT7 UNDER THE BANNER OF IMPERIALISM LITERATURE IN THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC LITERATURE IN THE THIRD REICH GERMAN LITERATURE WRITTEN IN EXILE POST-1945 GERMAN LITERATURE LITERATURE OF THE GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC LITERATURE OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC 1992 UPDATE: THE UNITY AND DIVERSITY OF GERMAN LITERATURE Further reading Index of names and works