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Return of King Arthur and the Nibelungen : National Myth in Nineteenth-Century English and German Literature

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
By placing the two phenomena next to each other and drawing on a variety of disciplines, Oergel (German, U. of Nottingham) demonstrates a parallel rise of interest in and interpretation of national identity in the two Germanic cultures. He looks at both the mythical and the national elements of national myth, and explores the new definitions of both Northern Germanic and the medieval. Focusing on Tennyson's Idylls of the King and Wagner's Ring des Nibelungen he questions assumptions about German particularity during the Victorian period. He also places the phenomena in a wider European context. Excerpts in German are translated in footnotes. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783110150841
  • Publisher: De Gruyter
  • Publication date: 12/1/1997
  • Series: European Cultures Series , #10
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: National Myth - Mythic or National 1
Ch. 1 The Investment of Literature with Mythic Significance 11
The Modern Interpretation of Myth, the Bible and the Idea of Original Literature: Heyne, Eichhorn, Herder, Lowth 13
Ancient Popular Poetry - The Secular Source of Original Literature: Percy, Herder, Scott 33
The Mythopoeic Concept of Literature - Poetry as the Modern Sacred Text: Friedrich Schlegel and Wordsworth 42
Ch. 2 The Investment of History with Mythic Significance 52
The Discovery of the Human Telos through Historical Study: Herder's Ideen 53
History as Secular Revelation in German Idealist Thinking: Schelling, Fichte, Hegel 58
The Poetic Approach to History in Britain: Carlyle and Macaulay 79
Ch. 3 The Search for the Legitimising Mythic Matter of the Moderns: From Homer's Heroes to Gothic Knights and Back 97
The Path towards Equality between the Ancient and the Modern Cultural Achievement: Blackwell, Bodmer, Hurd, August Wilhelm Schlegel 97
The Identification of the New Mythic Matter - "Rittermythologie": The Schlegels and Kenelm Digby 107
Finding a Suitable Form for the Mythic Matters - Clues from Ancient and Modern "Original Literature": Wolf, Niebuhr, Macaulay 114
Ch. 4 The National Dimension of the New Mythic Materials: "Volkspoesie", Ballad Revival and the Germanic Nations' Mission in History 122
"Volkspoesie" and the Nibelungen: Gorres, Wilhelm Grimm, Uhland 123
The Revival of the Ballad and the Return of the Arthur-Matter: Scott, Wordsworth, Kingsley 136
The Role of the "Volksgeist" and the Definition of the Germanic Spirit: Fichte, Hegel, Arndt 146
The Teutonic Spirit of the English and the Anglo-Saxon Success: Kemble, Freeman, Kingsley, Macaulay 158
Ch. 5 The Representative National Individual: The Emergence of Siegfried and King Arthur 172
The Germanic and the Medieval in the Nibelungen-Material and the Arthur-Matter: Some Cultural and Racial Assimilations and Oppositions 172
The Function of the Great Human Being in History: Hero-Worship by Fichte, Hegel, Carlyle and Kingsley 184
The Representative Suitability of the Figures of Siegfried and Arthur as National Heroes 192
Ch. 6 The Results: Richard Wagner's Ring des Nibelungen and Alfred Tennyson's Idylls of the King as Modern National Myths 208
Wagner and Tennyson: The Conditions of a "Remarkable Case of Cultural Convergence" 208
The Hero of the Ring: Does Wotan overthrow the German(ic) Siegfried? 240
The Arthur of the Idylls: An English Version of the Duality of the Ideal and the Real? 264
Conclusion: Arthur, Siegfried and the Germanic - A Qualification of the Difference between the German and the Western Tradition 294
Bibliography 300
Index 318
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