Close
You have no items in your shopping cart.
Search
Filters

Elements of Cultural Continuity in Modern German Literature


A Study of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Mann


Providing an analysis of the most important works of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Thomas Mann based on the methodology of comparative literature, this book attempts to determine the elements which reflect a common line of thought in their writings, as well as investigating how these cultural themes reflect their perspective on life and the world, the German spirit and nationality, art and music, politics and society.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-61143-966-3
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jun 27,2013
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 384
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-61143-966-3
$178.00
$106.80

This book is a survey of the inner relationship between the most representative German writers and thinkers of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century: Goethe, Nietzsche, and Thomas Mann, which examines the content of their thought as reflected in their attitude towards the arts, society, and politics of their times. Consequently, it is, on the one hand, a synoptic study, as it envisages the historical context of these three pivotal centuries and their strategic importance for the cultural and social development of modern Germany and Europe in general. On the other hand though, it provides a detailed analysis of the key aspects in the thought of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Thomas Mann, which led to the formation of common themes and concepts in their works and thus to the distinctive message they convey.


The main purpose of the study is to prove that these common themes—the condition and role of the artist in society, the non-exclusivity of art as related to politics, the need to transcend chaotic nationalist politics, etc.—are in fact specific features of a direct Goethean heritage in the thought of both Nietzsche and Mann. This fact has two implicit conclusions. First, their message for society was ethical and visionary, representing the goal of their literary-philosophical productions. They were all searching for the meaning of the internal and external events in their lives and for the manifested opinions towards political turning points such as the French Revolution, Bismarck’s Kulturkampf or the two world wars. Secondly, their ethical convictions are relevant to this day, as an increasing number of historians and literary critics try to find in the works of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Thomas Mann what can be defined as an answer to current inquiries which are similar to the ones in the past. After all, the art of writing is an art with a message.

This book is a survey of the inner relationship between the most representative German writers and thinkers of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century: Goethe, Nietzsche, and Thomas Mann, which examines the content of their thought as reflected in their attitude towards the arts, society, and politics of their times. Consequently, it is, on the one hand, a synoptic study, as it envisages the historical context of these three pivotal centuries and their strategic importance for the cultural and social development of modern Germany and Europe in general. On the other hand though, it provides a detailed analysis of the key aspects in the thought of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Thomas Mann, which led to the formation of common themes and concepts in their works and thus to the distinctive message they convey.


The main purpose of the study is to prove that these common themes—the condition and role of the artist in society, the non-exclusivity of art as related to politics, the need to transcend chaotic nationalist politics, etc.—are in fact specific features of a direct Goethean heritage in the thought of both Nietzsche and Mann. This fact has two implicit conclusions. First, their message for society was ethical and visionary, representing the goal of their literary-philosophical productions. They were all searching for the meaning of the internal and external events in their lives and for the manifested opinions towards political turning points such as the French Revolution, Bismarck’s Kulturkampf or the two world wars. Secondly, their ethical convictions are relevant to this day, as an increasing number of historians and literary critics try to find in the works of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Thomas Mann what can be defined as an answer to current inquiries which are similar to the ones in the past. After all, the art of writing is an art with a message.

Write your own review
  • Only registered users can write reviews
  • Bad
  • Excellent
Contributor Biography

Ramona Simut

Ramona Simut (PhD Utrecht) is lecturer in Classic Romanian Literature and Comparative Literature at the Department of Theology, Music, and Social-Humanistic Sciences within the Faculty of Theology, Emanuel University of Oradea. She is also the Director of Emanuel University Press.

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Foreword (page 7)
  • Acknowledgments (page 11)
  • Introduction (page 13)
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the Cultural Configuration of the Eighteenth Century (page 23)
    • Goethe and Naturalism. Science as a Passion of his Age (page 25)
    • Goethe and Kantianism. Transcending the Reason of his Age (page 29)
    • The Relationship between Nature and Art in Kant and Goethe (page 39)
    • Goethe and Neo-humanism. A Classic Against his Age (page 47)
    • Goethe between Wetzlar and Weimar. Escape and Return to Cultural Places (page 52)
    • Goethe and German Culture. Preliminaries to Identity (page 62)
    • German Culture and French Civilization in Goethe's Time (page 64)
    • Germany's Freedom and Unity. Goethe's Concept of National Identity (page 76)
    • The German Culture as a "Substitute"? Goethe's View of Politics (page 82)
    • Goethe Between Literature and Music. Tempering the Heroic Ideals of his Age (page 98)
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzche and the Crisis of Modern Culture in the Nineteenth Century (page 123)
    • Nietzche between his Life and Works (page 124)
    • Nietzche between Philosophy and Modern Music (page 139)
    • Nietzche and the False Nietzche of Posterity (page 146)
    • Nietzche and the Will to Power? Gods against Modern Morality (page 155)
    • Nietzche and the Archive. Zarathustra and "Weimar's" Superman (page 168)
    • Nietzche and the Enlightenment: a Conclusion against Modern Optimism (page 177)
    • Nietzche and his Contemporaries. Goethean Humanity against Modern Society (page 184)
    • Nietzche and the Germans' Abdication from Goethe (page 194)
    • Goethe in Nietzche's thought: Calm Poetry of a Forgotten World (page 202)
    • Nietzche's Cult of Tragedy: a Transcultural Prophetic Message (page 208)
  • Paul Thomas Mann and the Problem of the Modern Artist in the Twentieth Century (page 213)
    • Thomas Mann: an Artistic Autobiography (page 214)
    • Mann, the Man of Culture in teh Midst of Politics (page 220)
    • Mann: the Unpolitical Writer at War? (page 230)
    • Mann's Interim between Political Visionariness and his Ethical Creed (page 254)
    • Mann and his Last Works. Preliminaries (page 263)
    • Mann and his 'DOKTOR FAUSTUS.' Thre Struggle for Artistic Personal Identity (page 266)
    • Mann and his Literary Character. Cultural Models and Personal Identity (page 271)
    • 'DOKTOR FAUSTUS' and National Political "Culture" (page 293)
    • Mann and the Idea of Music. Criticism against Intentionality in Art (page 301)
    • Mann and the Artist Fate: a Spiritual and Universal Emigrant (page 318)
    • Conclusion (page 345)
    • Bibliography (page 351)
    • Index (page 373)