German Literature: A Very Short Introduction

German Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback Very Short Introductions

By (author) Nicholas Boyle

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 184 pages
  • Dimensions: 109mm x 170mm x 13mm | 136g
  • Publication date: 28 May 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199206597
  • ISBN 13: 9780199206599
  • Illustrations note: 15 black-and-white halftones
  • Sales rank: 223,529

Product description

German writers, from Luther and Goethe to Heine, Brecht, and Gunter Grass, have had a profound influence on the modern world. This Very Short Introduction presents an engrossing tour of the course of German literature from the late Middle Ages to the present, focussing especially on the last 250 years. Emphasizing the economic and religious context of many masterpieces of German literature, it highlights how they can be interpreted as responses to social and political changes within an often violent and tragic history. The result is a new and clear perspective which illuminates the power of German literature and the German intellectual tradition, and its impact on the wider cultural world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Author information

Nicholas Boyle is the Schroder Professor of German and President of Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge. He was also Head of the University's Department of German from1996 to 2001. He has so far published two volumes of his prizewinnning biography, Goethe: the Poet and the Age, and his most recent book is Sacred and Secular Scriptures: a Catholic approach to literature published in 2004, based on the Erasmus Lectures which he delivered at Notre Dame University. Professor Boyle is a Fellow of the British Academy, holds an honorary degree from Georgetown University in Washington DC, and was awarded the Goethe Medal of the Goethe Institut in 2000.

Review quote

Boyle has a sure touch and an obvious authority...this is a balanced and lively introduction to German literature. Ben Hutchinson, TLS highly impressive... Professor Boyle concentrates on creating a lucid, wide-ranging historical background against which each of the five periods is brought to life, with a challenging choice of examples Forum for Modern Language Studies

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. The Bourgeois and the Official: A Historical Overview ; 2. The Laying of the Foundations (to 1781) ; 3. The Age of Idealism (1781-1832) ; 4. The Age of Materialism (1832 to 1914) ; 5. Traumas and Memories (1914-) ; Further Reading & References ; Index