Expressions and gestures of mourning for the loved one have been a theme of religious art from early on. In the Middle Ages, after the discovery of the suffering Christ (“Christus patiens”), they are shown in numerous depictions of the crucifixion, especially in those of the taking down of the cross.
Since the 13th century, the attitude of “compassion”, which commemorates Christ’s act of redemption and, according to theological interpretation, thereby brings about one’s own salvation, has promoted empathy with the other. After the theme had been increasingly treated aesthetically in painting, non-religious models of mourning also appeared in poetry from the 16th century onwards, whose actions were oriented towards the respective epoch-specific image of man (passion, ecstasy). The article analyses relevant poetic and musical works.
Printed anonymously in 1587, the henceforth immensely successful Historia von D. Johann Fausten is both a textual and a narratologic provocation. This is brought about by the polyphony of sources and genres compiled by its author which do not produce a homogeneous whole. But it is also the result of a specific, hybrid conception of text and narration, which intendedly creates ambiguity and scatters irritation everywhere. A valid interpretation is thereby sheerly impossible, which presumably is the most significant reason for the long and controversial discussions among readers and re-tellers, running from Christopher Marlowe (1592) and the Wagnerbuch (1593) up to Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus (1947). This article explores some essential textual aspects of this inexhaustible narrative, such as the discursive and hermeneutic predominance of intradiegetic instances (first of all Mephostophiles) and the decommissioning of the narrator by inserted documents, transtextual references, and primarily by paratexts which almost lead a life of their own on the margins of the story in a proper sense. In this way, the text gets fluid, and its reception becomes an endless search for a coherent meaning which isn’t right there.
Multidirectional Assemblage: Boris Khersonskii’s Family Archive Boris Khersonskii’s most acclaimed and translated volume of poetry Semeinyi arkhiv [Family Archive] (2003/2006) consists of semi-fictional miniatures narrating the sufferings of the members of a Southwest-Ukrainian Jewish Family in the short 20th century. The speaker’s laconic tone invites less of a trauma-studies approach to the Stalinist Great Terror and the Shoah than a media-sensitive update of the formalist focus on material devices and the determination of meaning from below. This contribution proposes to read Family Archive as an assemblage of imagined material media (photographs, letters, auction objects) which trace multidirectional vectors of commemoration. It proposes the notion of directionality for resolving the undecidability of referential and a-referential readings of quasi-documentary poetry.
Art seemingly responds to a universal anthropologic need for art, caused by what the philosopher Schelling designates as the “unendlichen Mangel am Sein”. Its answer is based on the dense presence of the artwork. The form of the poem as exploration of the medium of language will be exemplarily elaborated on in the following analysis.
Frauenlob’s Marienleich has been studied primarily from the perspective of its elaborate metaphors and allegories. Scholars have identified the source of these metaphors in the exegesis of the Song of Songs as well as other Old Testament books and described the overlapping of diverse metaphorical traditions in the text.
This paper argues that not only the metaphors, but also the voices of the Marienleich are artfully arranged. The essay shows how switching of the voice, echo effects, and multiplication of the voice create a polyphony that reflects the intertextual underpinning of Marian praise as well as Mary’s mediatory position between God and the faithful who praise her.
The lyric is often associated with an attempt to escape from time into stasis or eternity and is juxtaposed as atemporal to the temporal dynamics of (narrative or dramatic) plot. Resisting such common attributions, this paper develops an analytical framework that highlights the complexity and variety of temporal structures to be found in poetry. Understood as a contribution to the growing field of lyricology, the suggested framework aims to be widely applicable to poetry in general, but is here introduced and exemplified with reference to poems by Rainer Maria Rilke.
This essay presents elements of Paul Celan’s poetics of translation, based on letters to various recipients in the 1950s and 1960s. It focusses on the concept of literal or free translation. On the one hand, the concept of literality is of great importance to Celan’s standards for a good translation; on the other, it is relativized in favour of the idea of a valid overall form. Since the early 1960s, Celan used the term “Gestalt” both for this overall form with respect to his translations and to his own poems. In his view, the limits of literal translation are due
The dating, long controversial, of the oldest surviving murals of German literature of the Middle Ages has been established at around 1220. The picture story of the first “Aventiure” of Hartmann von Aue’s Iwein is based on the realisation of a manuscript; the pictures have religious patterns that have acquired a different meaning. The almost completely destroyed picture IX has been reconstructed. It contains the “Bahrprobe” at Aschelons. It is shown that the final picture is missing, so the picture cycle of Hartmann von Aue’s Iwein is incomplete.
In his late short story “Divine and Human” (1906), Lev Tolstoi correlates the revolutionary ideologies of his time – narodnichestvo, Marxism, and Christianity – with different forms of energy management on the one hand and different ways of reading on the other. Thus, the styles of reading are posited as embodied readers’ activities consisting in the creation of communities of feeling. This issue, most characteristic of Tolstoi and his era, has gained new prominence in contemporary cognitive poetics.
In diesem Aufsatz zeige ich, wie Lev Tolstoj in seiner späten Erzählung Das Göttliche und das Menschliche (Božeskoe i
Foucault’s turning away from his early mystification of literature is reflected in ‘La vie des hommes infâmes’, the preface to an anthology of infamous existences. His essay is solely concerned with administrative documents such as the Lettres de cachet. He argues that only these kinds of texts can convey a reasonably authentic image of historically insignificant people, not literary texts. The proposed paper will focus on the ambivalent status of literature in ‘La vie des hommes infâmes’. It is ambivalent, amongst other things, because although literature is consistently dismissed here it is nevertheless constitutive for Foucault’s presentation.