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German romanticism and its institutions /
by Theodore Ziolkowski.
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c1990.
xiii, 440 p. ; 25 cm.
0691068011 (alk. paper) :
More Details
Princeton : Princeton University Press, c1990.
0691068011 (alk. paper) :
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 387-427) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1990-05:
This is an impeccably written text from a distinguished scholar, who is also a graduate school dean. His dual perspective is reflected in use of "the institutional approach." Ziolkowski traces the history of mining, the law, the madhouse, university, and museum in order to apply these insights to the literary themes of Romanticism. The text offers complete summaries of theories about law, causes and treatment of mental instability, philosophy (including that of Fichte and Schelling), and a historical view of the tradition of the artist as hero--to name only a few. Factual expositions bring to light significant interrelationships, which give Ziolkowski's interpretations of works by writers like Brentano, Novalis, Hoffmann, and others greater value than if not seen from this perspective. Full of felicitious turns of phrase, as when Eichendorff's prose is termed "gossamerlike," and of such asides as an explanation of the term "Germanist," this book, with its excellent conclusion, illustrates the fruitful relationship between Romantic literature and its social institutions. Highly recommended for graduate, undergraduate, and public libraries.-E. Glass, Rosemont College
Review Quotes
One of Choice 's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1991
"Ziolkowski is among those who go beyond lip-service to the historical and are able to show concretely the ways in which generic and thematic intentions are inexricably enmeshed with local and specific institutional circumstances."-- Modern Language Notes
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 1990
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Main Description
Using an illuminating method that challenges the popular notion of Romanticism as aesthetic escapism, Theodore Ziolkowski explores five institutions--mining, law, madhouses, universities, and museums--that provide the socio-historical context for German Romantic culture. He shows how German writers and thinkers helped to shape these five institutions, all of which assumed their modern form during the Romantic period, and how these social structures in turn contributed to major literary works through image, plot, character, and theme. "Ziolkowski cannot fail to impress the reader with a breadth of erudition that reveals fascinating intersections in the life and works of an artist.... He conveys the sense of energy and idealism that fueled Schiller and Goethe, Fichte and Hegel, Hoffmann and Novalis...."--Emily Grosholz, The Hudson Review "[This book] should be put in the hands of every student who is seriously interested in the subject, and I cannot imagine a scholar in the field who will not learn from it and be delighted with it."--Hans Eichner, Journal of English and Germanic Philology "Ziolkowski is among those who go beyond lip-service to the historical and are able to show concretely the ways in which generic and thematic intentions are inextricably enmeshed with local and specific institutional circumstances."--Virgil Nemoianu, MLN

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