Academic journal article Style

A Bibliography of German Romantic Literary Criticism and Theory in English

Academic journal article Style

A Bibliography of German Romantic Literary Criticism and Theory in English

Article excerpt

What follows is an enumerative bibliography, first, of writings by German Romantic literary critics and theorists available in English translation and, second, of writings (in English) on the German Romantics as critics and theorists of literature.

It is very clear what the focus of any such listing must be: namely, on the work produced during the last decade of the eighteenth century in Jena, where Novalis, Schelling, Schleiermacher, Tieck, and Freidrich and August Wilhelm Schlegel lived for much of the time, and where they were visited by Fichte, Hegel, Holderlin, and Jean Paul, in a configuration culminating in the brilliant if short-lived publication of the Athenaeum (1798-1800). By contrast, it is quite obscure where the borders should be drawn around a listing of this sort, since so much German writing of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is connected, arguably, to Romanticism, and bears upon topics relevant to literary study. As one way of delimiting matters, I have not attempted to list writings on language, literature, or aesthetics by any of the major German Preromantics - i.e., Hamann, Herder, Lessing, Schiller, or Winckelmann. The exception that I had to make here, of course, was for Goethe, who belongs to the age of the Schlegels as much as he does to that of Schiller. Nevertheless, Goethe's huge and varied output brings its own difficulties with it, so that I have had to be highly selective in listing his works, confining myself solely to those writings of his which deal more or less completely and directly with literature and general aesthetics, or which are translated in the main English-language collections. A particular problem in this respect lies in the fact that there are numerous, extended discussions of literary and aesthetic topics running all through Goethe's writing - notably in Wilhelm Meister and Poetry and Truth, but also in his Conversations and elsewhere - none of which is listed here. Another particular problem arising in Goethe's case is that his writings on the visual arts bear upon aesthetic questions, so that I could also have included an (English-language) anthology of his writings such as Goethe on Art, ed. and trans. John Gage (U of California P, 1980), which overlaps with the collections that I do list; but the lack of reference to literary topics in this volume dissuaded me from doing so.

Another limitation that I have imposed on this bibliography for practical reasons has been to separate out the work of philosophers and writers on general aesthetics (even including those by figures such as Fichte and Schelling, who were certainly organic members of the Jena group of Romantics), and to list their writings, along with secondary writings that primarily concern them, in a separate section (Part 3), where the listing is considerably more selective than those in Part 2, which covers writings by and about figures who dealt directly with literature, and which - except in the case of Goethe, in the ways just noted - is intended to be comprehensive. With some hesitation, I have also listed translations of work in hermeneutics (e.g., by Schleiermacher) and philology (e.g., Wolf) in Part 2, as belonging, by virtue of its indisputable influence upon them, to the theoretical and critical work on literature of the Romantics.


The three parts of this bibliography are subdivided into a total five sections, along with an appendix, as follows:

1. Anthologies

2A. Literary Criticism and Theory: Authors

2B. Literary Criticism and Theory: Commentary

3A. Philosophical and Aesthetic Work: Selections

3B. Philosophical and Aesthetic Work: Selected Commentary

Appendix: Romantic Writings Translated in L'absolu litteraire

Except for section 1, the arrangement of material in the sections following is alphabetical by author and, within an author listing, chronological by date of publication (or first composition), with collections of varying dates preceding, and undated works concluding an author entry where appropriate (mostly in section 2A). …

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