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Literature of the Sturm und Drang

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Overview

"Sturm und Drang" refers to a set of values and a style of writing that arose in Germany in the second half of the eighteenth century, a particularly intense kind of pre-Romanticism that has often been represented as marking the beginning of an independent modern German culture. The circle of writers around the young Goethe, including Herder, Lenz, Klinger, and later Schiller, felt frustrated by the Enlightenment world of reason, balance, and control, and turned instead to nature as the source of authentic experience. Inspired by Rousseau and Herder, by Shakespeare, and by folk culture, they rebelled against propriety and experimented with new literary forms, their creative energy bursting through conventions that seemed staid and artificial. The Sturm und Drang has often been cited by those attempting to legitimate nationalism and irrationalism, but scholars have more recently emphasized the diversity of the movement and the links between it and the Enlightenment. This volume of essays by leading scholars from the UK, the US, and Germany illuminates the guiding ideas of the movement, discussing its most important authors, texts, and ideas, and taking account of the variety and complexity of the movement, placing it more securely within late-eighteenth-century European history. The main focus is on literature, and in particular on the drama, which was of special importance to the Sturm und Drang. However, the essays also outline the social conditions that gave rise to the movement, and consideration is given to different currents of ideas that underlie the movement, including areas of thought and bodies of work that traditional approaches have tended to marginalize. Contributors: Bruce Duncan, Howard Gaskill, Wulf Koepke, Susanne Kord, Frank Lamport, Alan Leidner, Matthias Luserke, Michael Patterson, Gerhard Sauder, Margaret Stoljar, Daniel Wilson, Karin Wurst. David Hill is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of German Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Reader-friendly, informative, this work is an important addition to secondary literature on the Sturm und Drang.... In his magisterial introduction Hill provides an excellent overview that paves the way for the more specialized contributions....The 20-page bibliography is a valuable tool for anyone interested in the Sturm und Drang. Highly recommended. CHOICE ... a most welcome contribution to a subject that has not received much attention in recent years.... The anthology provides many new insights without diminishing the merits of traditional Sturm-und-Drang scholarship. GERMAN QUARTERLY
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