Lessing, the Founder of Modern German Literature

Lessing, the Founder of Modern German Literature

Lessing, the Founder of Modern German Literature

Lessing, the Founder of Modern German Literature

Excerpt

An inexplicable neglect has befallen Lessing in the last thirty years. Since the simultaneous appearance of three books in German on the occasion of the bi-centenary in 1929 only two substantial works have appeared in Germany, one of which is a series of specialized essays. And in England the present book, first published in 1937, still remains the only general account since Rolleston's book of 1899.

Since Lessing's social message is highly relevant for our age, since his position in the history of criticism and the drama is indisputably important, and since both his work and his character have always aroused specially sympathetic echoes in this country, the reissue of this book is perhaps timely. Substantial alterations have been made in Chapters VI, VII and VIII, and errors and misprints corrected, but in the main the original text is retained.

Passages from the works are quoted from and references given to the edition ofPetersen and Olshausen, the letters are quoted from Lachmann and Muncker.

January, 1962 H. B. G.

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