Göttlich verdammt: Band 1 (Göttlich-Trilogie) (German Edition)
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Wuppertaler Biographien, PDF Download Div. PDF Read Dr. While the early representatives of Enlightenment demonstrated the immanent rationality of the world and of their philosophical creed by a life of virtue and by accommodation with the existing social structure, the constrictions of a narrow society which did not allow for social mobility were increasingly felt to be a barrier to the promise of happiness here on earth. As a consequence family, friendship and love became dominant values, and literature depicted worlds with a familial structure.
The social conception of human relations was replaced by an emotional definition. Family became the key sphere of human interactions which fuelled group identity. The early Enlightenment had already offered families as its model of the world. The literature of Empfindsamkeit then uses the topos of generational conflict to convey the transformation of a system of thought. While the rational and norm-bearing figure of the pater familias is the representative of the older phase of Enlightenment, the new point of view is incorporated in the younger generation.
The tentative disintegration of the symbolic role of the father Gottvater, Landesvater, Familienvater within this family foreshadows intellectual and political change, but this is change in the form of natural evolution and not as yet of violent revolution. The value and strength of Empfindung is proved by readiness to break social rules, especially restrictions on love.
But this transgressive potential was domesticated through highly formalised rhetorical expression and ritualised behaviour, so that emotions were conventionalised and turned into expected norms of behaviour rather than retaining any socially disruptive force. As the representatives of the early stage of Enlightenment, the progressive group had to justify their innovations by proving that they would create not chaos but a new and stable order, which would outdo that of the deficient status quo. Given that the intimate family realm stands opposed to the public and political sphere of courtly life where direct and immediate confrontations with power take place, the new norms had to be mediated by new forms of communication, namely by the writing and circulation of texts and the practice of reading see Koschorke.
The fact that weeping plays an important part in sentimental ritual signals the ambivalent impact of Empfindsamkeit. As an expression of happiness and of sorrow, tears undermine the assumed autonomy of the sentimental individual.
Recent research has therefore focused on the feelings of fear and angst and their implications for subjective mentality in the eighteenth century see Begemann. The invention of Empfindung is thus a first step towards a risky life because it includes decisions, for example the choice of the one true lover, no longer with reference to rational social criteria.
Such decisions can then produce tragic failure. Because Empfindung represents a whole spectrum of feelings that tend to be out of rational and social control and the ambivalence of grief 32 Gustav Frank undermines moral autonomy, an implicit selection of emotions forbidden to the positive characters in the texts takes place in order to maintain the norms: negative and ambivalent emotions and sexual desire have to be excluded.
He is often the most interesting, because the most individualised, character. Where he appears in the typical role of seducer he represents a double transgression. He is shown acting in response to radically egoistic emotion in the form of sexual desire, so making the whole sentimental group a victim of the social world he dominates by seducing the middle-class virgin. Moreover, he also dominates through reason, which enables him to mislead the men and to produce self-delusion in the loving woman.
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In Sturm-und-Drang drama, however, this structure undergoes fundamental changes. The fundamental role of this underground and its repercussions in pre-revolutionary France are well known see Darnton; Mason. In Empfindsamkeit we can reconstruct the first roots of counterculture, the first basic elements. But there was as yet not really an overtly oppositional counter-culture, for the culture of Empfindsamkeit sought ways to harmonise differences between theory and practice and to overcome the concrete deficiencies of social life. Therefore it created compensatory models both in theory — above all in the philosophy of history, which was to have such long-term influence — and in literary and social practice — above all in terms of the family and the sentimental code and rites of an elite.
But because they needed this contrast, needed to be victims and celebrated tears, they were in fact a constitutive element of the old society which they served to consolidate. Towards Sturm und Drang During the twenty years when the culture of Empfindsamkeit prevailed — , however, the new philosophy of history introduced time and change into the idea of the theodicy see Kondylis , thereby accelerating the production of desirable improvements and strengthening the experience of dissonance between a slowly developing reality and what could be expected of the society to come.
Thus the success of this new philosophy of history forced the next step of development.
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The compensatory self-perception as an elite was no longer convincing and had to be replaced. Astonishingly enough, the next generation invented a substitute for the deficiencies of social reality by concentrating on sign systems and poetry. They laid claim to individuality by self-exclusion from all existing groups in society 34 Gustav Frank through genius and through the originality of their works.
Thus the sentimental code and rites, with their rhetorical and formal similarity, were negated. For the first time, authors of the younger generation, following the example of Goethe, constituted an opposition.
And the fact that it was and could be Goethe, an individual without the protection of a coherent group, is significant for this change. Goethe reacted against the failings of Empfindsamkeit but based this reaction in the cult of sentiment by unfolding what had been implicit but suppressed. The Sturm und Drang intensified the suffering of the victim, not to show his or her guilt, but to criticise the social and political state. The characteristics of the individual who transcends the group, characteristics which had till then been delegated to negative characters, are partly incorporated into the protagonists.
The subject now wants to realise all his potential in a passionate life and therefore lives in explicit contradiction to the given world order. Resistance to the social rules and transgression of the conventional boundaries become the touchstone of the passionate individual.
It is the necessity to prove oneself, in accord with such an understanding of what it is to be an autonomous individual, that makes of this figure the agent of a counter-culture. Thus this new subject seeks to throw off the emotional bonds that held back the sentimental subject from antisocial action.
Sturm und Drang: Towards a New Logic of Passion 35 Prerequisites in Theory At this point, however, it is is necessary to look back for a moment to the emergence of the aesthetic theory of Empfindsamkeit. He argues for an emancipation of the sensually beautiful and vital from mere service in applying the laws of reason, and requires an independent logic for the realm of the sensually beautiful. The literary revolt of Sturm und Drang, however, based on the new values of the individual, of genius, of originality, and of transgressive passion rooted in divine nature, aims to overthrow this last constraint: the beautiful not only obeys its own laws and logic, but is also autonomous with respect to intervention or domination by other discursive formations such as philosophy.
Studium and ingenium have not yet changed places, but if passion proves maturity in the individual life, literature could become the proof for progress of society as a whole. Breaking the rules of conventional poetry, especially the bonds of an obviously rhetorical language, individualises the unique work and constitutes an act of revolt.