Academic journal article German Quarterly

Die Wirklichkeit der Kunst und Das Abenteuer der Interpretation. Festschrift fur Horst-Jurgen Gerigk

Academic journal article German Quarterly

Die Wirklichkeit der Kunst und Das Abenteuer der Interpretation. Festschrift fur Horst-Jurgen Gerigk

Article excerpt

Manger, Klaus, ed. Die Wirklichkeit der Kunst and das Abenteuer der Interpretation. Festschrift fur Horst-Jurgen Gerigk. Beitrage zur neueren Literaturgeschichte 164. Heidelberg. Winter,1999. 388 pp. DM 128.00 hardcover.

Die Wirklichkeit der Kunst and das Abenteuer der Interpretation, is a Festschrift commemorating the sixtieth birthday of HorstJurgen Gerigk, professor at the University of Heidelberg, containing twenty-one diverse essays, by scholars of literary criticism, philosophy, art history, and medical history, on subjects ranging from Goethe, Novalis, and Holderlin, Russian literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to film studies. The essays are connected by the overarching themes of aesthetics and aesthetic theory, two of Gerigk's main academic interests.

Because Gerigk is an acclaimed expert on Russian literature and a noted Dostoevsky scholar, about one-fourth of the essays deal specifically with Russian literature, with essays on Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Nikolai Leskov, Tolstoy, and Turgenev Two articles deal with literature and medicine and psychoses: Dietrich v. Engelhardt contributes an intriguing essay "Von der Grenzen der Medizin and der Macht der Freundschaft: Ein arztliches Gutachten in A Tale of Two Cites (1859) von Charles Dickens in medizinhistorischer Sicht," in which he first surveys historically the themes of doctor and patient and sickness and health in European literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and then offers an analysis of Dickens's classic novel which he argues is Dickens's attempt to thematize and problematize the situation and care of patients, as well as the general limits of medicine. In "Holderlins Spatwerk in seiner Beziehung zur Krankheit" Wolfram Schmitt investigates how Holderlin's schizophrenia manifested itself in and influenced his literary works. Schmitt argues that Holderlin's literary oeuvre developed in distinct phases that correspond to the developmental phases of Holderlin's psychoses. He offers detailed and convincing close readings of Holderlin's texts to suggest that the development of Holderlin's psychosis visibly affects his language and literary style beginning in 1802, in the initial stage of his episodic schizophrenia, and then more pronounced beginning 1807, with the advent of his chronic schizophrenic psychosis (266).

In his refreshing essay "Richard Wagner als literarisches Ereignis der europaischen Fruhmoderne" Dieter Borchmeyer investigates the literariness of Wagner's work and argues that Wagner signals the rise of modernity Wagner's sphere of influence from the mid-nineteenth century through the third decade of the twentieth century extended well beyond the borders of Germany, where his influences are seen in works by Nietzsche and Thomas Mann, among many others, to France and England, where clear Wagnerian influence can be read in Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and scores of other modern writers. …

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