Academic journal article German Quarterly

From the Editors

Academic journal article German Quarterly

From the Editors

Article excerpt

This issue offers something unusual: analyses exclusively of literature written before 1900. And, reanimating our forum questions concerning "the canon," all the writers discussed are familiar names. Does it follow that older literature needs to be "anchored" in the canon in order to garner critical attention? Certainly the 20th century seems to be, in the scholarly mind, far more open to (re-) discoveries of little-known texts or literary encounters. But, given the 20th-century substrata of World Wars, communicative technologies, and transformative media like film, this distinction is perhaps unsurprising. Moreover, the problem of defining modernism and the search for "alternative" and "new" modernisms ensures, at least for the time being, the relative fluidity of the 20th-century canon. Where does this leave the pre-1900 canon? In that era canon-development owed much to historically, often nationally self-conscious tradition formation. …

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