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‘Er ist unser’: The Public Appropriation of Franz Grillparzer (1871/1891)

Heinrich, Tobias (2018) ‘Er ist unser’: The Public Appropriation of Franz Grillparzer (1871/1891). Forum for Modern Language Studies, 54 (3). pp. 335-353. ISSN 0015-8518. E-ISSN 1471-6860. (doi:10.1093/fmls/cqy024) (KAR id:67619)


Taking the examples of the celebrations for Franz Grillparzer’s eightieth birthday in 1871 and the commemoration of his centenary in 1891, this article investigates the strategies of the playwright’s idolization in public memory. By analysing the newspaper coverage of both events, it explores Grillparzer’s coronation as Austrian national author in the light of German unification, but also the ways in which the poet’s life served to reflect on fundamental societal changes in the nineteenth century. The two celebrations thus produce two fundamentally different constructions of the author’s role in the public imagination. In 1871, Grillparzer’s writings are adduced to support various, often opposing, political positions towards German unification. Twenty years later, the focus is on Grillparzer as a biographical subject: an effort to popularize his image, but also to develop an awareness of the historical transformations that came to shape Vienna at the turn of the century. As the interest shifts from the national to the local, the course of Grillparzer’s life is employed to mirror the city’s gradual transition into modernity.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/fmls/cqy024
Uncontrolled keywords: Franz Grillparzer; journalism; Austria; Vienna; Austrian literature; nineteenth century; nineteenth-century literature; German literature; Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PD Germanic philology and languages
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Tobias Heinrich
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2018 11:04 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 00:25 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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