Pubblicato il 28.9.2022
Weimarer Ko-Autorschaft oder: Faust in Böhmen. Schillers Wallenstein im Dialog mit Goethes Faust, pp. 9-36
The article examines Schiller’s Wallenstein in the light of the Weimar ‘Commercium’. The trilogy was not only written in parallel with Goethe’s revival of Faust (1797), but it was also substantially influenced – so the argument – by the latter. Wallenstein increasingly resembles Goethe’s protagonist, as the astrology theme shows. At Goethe’s suggestion, Schiller integrates early modern sources that also provide the basis for Faust, e.g., Agrippa von Nettesheim and Leone Ebreo. The aim of this paper is to show how the collaboration between Goethe and Schiller in Wallenstein develops into a form of co-authorship or co-creativity. Against this background, however, their divergences also become apparent: Goethe’s affinity for the hermetic tradition is far from Schiller’s mind. He draws Wallenstein as a figure trapped in a pre-modern Weltanschauung, while his enviroments articulates positions of enlightened criticism of religion. Wallenstein’s tragedy consists not only in his hesitation and ‘temporizing’, but above all in the anachronicity of his hermetic worldview.
Goethe · Hafis · Mohammed oder The Twain Shall Meet? Versuch über das West-Östliche im West-östlichen Divan, pp. 37-55
In 1819, the publication of West-östlicher Divan marks the end of a collection of poems Goethe had begun five years earlier, when Johann Friedrich Cotta introduced him to the German edition of the poems by the 14th-century Persian writer Hafez. The image of the Orient taking shape in Goethe’s poems cannot be separated from the reflection on one’s own identity. The vitality of Divan from an intercultural perspective lies in this conscious oscillation between different polarities. The serene acceptance of the other as a key to a deeper understanding of the self is a fundamental aspect of such predisposition. Hafez’s poems also prompt Goethe to revisit the tradition that pervades his activity at a time of profound social and cultural changes. In this sense, Goethe’s Divan reflects on the cultural significance of religious faith in an attempt to reconcile past and present beyond the narrow horizons of a single religious denomination.
L’inattualità della «Kunst zu erben» nietzscheana. Una riflessione nell’epoca degli archivi digitali, pp. 57-77
The article takes as its starting point Nietzsche’s reflection on the experiential quality of the acquisition of knowledge and exchange with cultural tradition, which for Nietzsche is a toilsome ‘art’ driven by a passion that necessarily includes subjectivity. Starting from the original Nietzschean idea of harmony between memory and oblivion, which helps shed the burden of history while taking action in the present, the article questions – primarily on the basis of Aleida Assmann’s studies – the current state of cultural memory in the era of digital media and its archiving practices.
The Writer Who Refused to Sign His Work: The Case of B. Traven, pp. 79-98
The paper is dedicated to an authorship attribution case focused on the texts of an author who became famous in the first half of the 20th century under the pseudonym of B. Traven. The biography of B. Traven began in 1924 in Mexico, where he published two of his best-known novels, Die Brücke im Dschungel / The Bridge in the Jungle (1927) and Das Totenschiff / The Death Ship (1926). Despite selling millions of copies – up to 32 million translated in more than 30 languages – Traven refused to declare his identity, thus becoming «the greatest literary mystery of this century» (Karl Siegfried Guthke 1990). Among the many different theories on his identity that have been suggested, some state that B. Traven could in fact be either Ret Marut, the publisher of the anarchist periodical «Der Ziegelbrenner» and author of two unpublished novels, or Otto Feige, a unionist born in Poland. To test this hypothesis, we applied a stylometric analysis to the essays critics have attributed to these three authors. Stylometry is a branch of digital humanities that studies the style of literary authors through specific software.
Hanns-Josef Ortheils Erfindung seines Lebens. Autofiktion – Werkpolitik – Öffentlichkeitspräsenz, pp. 99-118
The essay traces the «Werkpolitik» of the late Hanns-Josef Ortheil. It recapitulates earlier publication strategies (series, supporting theoretical texts, etc.). The focus, however, is especially on his travel texts and the novels following and in the context of Die Erfindung des Lebens. Different methods of self-promotion and public relations are shown. The article questions whether Ortheil in his books harbours a postmodern doubt about the existence of a life outside of writing. Indeed, it advances the theory whereby it remains poetologically uncertain whether the invention of life refers to the author’s actual life.
L’archeologia per i germani, o i germani per l’archeologia?, pp. 119-131
As suggested by Luigi Reitani, this article draws upon the essays contained in the hefty book edited in conjunction with the exhibition Germanen. Eine archäologische Bestandsaufnahme, presenting some less technical aspects of archaeological research, thus enabling a better appreciation of what this discipline can contribute in tackling complex cultural questions.
I tedeschi allo specchio: origini, storia e contraddizioni del mito germanico, pp. 133-159
The Germanen. Eine archäologische Bestandsaufnahme exhibition, staged in Berlin and Bonn in 2020-2021, revived the debate on the ancient Germani. These barbarian cultures of the Iron Age were never fully subjugated by the Roman Empire, which they eventually replaced by becoming the protagonists on the medieval geopolitical stage. Shaped by Protestant Humanism, the myth of the Germani fuelled the extensive processes underlying the North European – especially German – collective memory, thus influencing academic studies, art and – sadly – political, and racial propaganda.
Die Wortart Präadverb am Beispiel von seit und seiner italienischen Entsprechung da, pp. 161-183
The paper focuses on the word seit, which – in addition to being a preposition typically used with the dative – shows a syntactic behaviour that differs from that of a typical preposition and can be described as a ‘pre-adverb’. Seit as a pre-adverb is complemented by adverbs or adverb-equivalent syntactic categories. In this case, since as a pre-adverb does not influence the case form of its complement. The investigation is also extended to the semantic Italian equivalent da, with the aim of determining whether da also fulfils the defining characteristics as a pre-adverb word class and, as such, whether the pre-adverb word class can be included among the canonical parts of speech in both languages. To this end, both words are considered syntactic Einzelgänger (as defined by Pasch et al. 2003) in this paper.
La Haggadah di Don Chisciotte. Kafka e Mendele Moicher Sforim, pp. 187-203
In one of the most famous excerpts from one of his letters, Franz Kafka compares the figure of Don Quixote, at the centre of several of his fragments, to that of Abraham. While scholars have long recognized in this passage a veiled yet critical observation on Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, the article tries to suggest that another text could have exerted a decisive influence on Kafka: The Travels of Benjamin III by Mendele Moicher Sforim, a Yiddish satirical work inspired by Cervantes’s novel. Although mentioned in passing only once in Kafka’s Diaries, Mendele is one of the authors to whom the reference work Histoire de la littérature judeo-allemande by Pinès, which Kafka studied closely, devotes more attention, as well as being one of Dora Diamant’s favourite readings. Although it cannot be demonstrated with certainty, this hypothesis provides an unprecedented interpretation of Kafka’s passage in the wake of the Jewish reception of Don Quixote.
Totalitarismus aus der Sicht zweier Dissidenten. Ignazio Silones Die Schule der Diktatoren (1938) und Manès Sperbers Zur Analyse der Tyrannis (1939), pp. 205-226
This essay examines two fundamental texts on the basis of several biographic and poetic analogies between the life and works of Ignazio Silone and Manès Sperber: Die Schule der Diktatoren (1938) and Zur Analyse der Tyrannis (1939). Both texts were written in the same period, though entirely independently of one another, amid growing disillusionment following the Communist experience. Despite their different style, they both analyze and denounce with equal lucidity the phenomenon of totalitarianism, particularly focusing on the figure of the dictator as well as those political, economic, and social conditions leading to the establishment and preservation of tyranny. Meticulous archival work and an analysis of the correspondence between the two authors have brought to light their editorial collaboration, their personal relationship, friendship, and mutual esteem.
Wie lernten Triestiner einmal Deutsch? – Grammatiken der deutschen Sprache für Italiener in der Biblioteca Civica von Trieste (vom 18. Jahrhundert bis zum ersten Viertel des 20. Jahrhunderts), pp. 227-248
The article focuses on some grammar books published between the 18th century and the first quarter of the 20th century that are available in the Trieste City Library. Trieste belonged to the Habsburg Empire until 1918 and played an important role as its most important port. As a result, knowledge of German also represented an added value for the population. Our interest is in the way German was learned in Trieste at that time by looking at the most widely used grammars. Until the beginning of the 20th century, grammar books had three main features: 1. the predominant presence of Italian as an indispensable aid to learning German, 2. translation exercises, especially from Italian into German, so that the use of certain frequent phrases could turn into translation routines, and 3. lists of vocabulary for learners to memorise. At the turn of the 20th century, the content of readings and exercises changed. There was a transition from topics of a general nature, including literary ones, to topics that attempted to impart cultural knowledge in the broadest sense, which also reflected the change in the socio-political climate.
Ultimo aggiornamento 14 Ottobre 2022 a cura di Luisa Giannandrea