Epigonen or Progonen? Short Prose and Young Germans

Hutchinson, Ben (2015) Epigonen or Progonen? Short Prose and Young Germans. German Life and Letters, 68 (4). pp. 529-542. ISSN 0016-8777. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/glal.12097) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/glal.12097

Abstract

In his introduction to the 1959 edition of Die verspätete Nation, the sociologist Helmuth Plessner famously suggested that modern Germany is defined as a nation-state by its ‘belatedness’. Yet this belatedness, Plessner remarks, is not only to be understood in purely negative terms: it may be ‘eine Ungunst des Geschicks’, but it is also ‘eine schöpferische Möglichkeit’. Much the same ambiguity could be said to apply to German literature of the 1830s, where the sense of arriving too late, of arriving after the golden age of Goethe and Schiller, can be understood as both contingent and conceptual. This essay reflects on this tension by considering two main modes of shorter prose in the 1830s: critique, and the novella. Surveying the Young German critics on the one hand, and Alexander von Ungern-Sternberg's paradigmatic novella Die Zerrissenen on the other, it considers short prose not only as an aesthetic vehicle of this tension, but also as its generic expression, in as much as it reacts against Romantic and Goethean models of genre with a conscious insistence on ‘Selbstverkleinerung’. Is Hegel's ‘age of prose’ in the 1830s more specifically an age of short prose?

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature
P Language and Literature > PD Germanic languages
P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > German
Depositing User: Jacqui Martlew
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2015 16:10 UTC
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2017 11:01 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/51467 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):