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Building a National Literature

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Building a National Literature

The Case of Germany, 1830–1870

Peter Uwe Hohendahl, Renate Baron Franciscono

376 Pages
Paperback
ISBN: 9780801496226
Cornell University Press

Building a National Literature boldly takes issue with traditional literary criticism for its failure to explain how literature as a body is created and shaped by institutional forces. Peter Uwe Hohendahl approaches literary history by focusing on the material and ideological structures that determine the canonical status of writers and works. He examines important elements in the making of a national literature, including the political and literary public sphere, the theory and practice of literary criticism, and the emergence of academic criticism as literary history. Hohendahl considers such key aspects of the process in Germany as the rise of liberalism and nationalism, the delineation of the borders of German literature, the idea of its history, the understanding of its cultural function, and the notion of a canon of major and minor authors.

Reviews

"The democratic, reform-minded spirit that held center stage in the revolutionary months of October and November of 1989 has an obvious parallel in the efforts to construct nationhood in 1848 based on republican and participatory principles."

- MLN

About the Author

Peter Uwe Hohendahl is Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at Cornell University. He is an editor of the series Signale: Modern German Letters, Cultures, and Thought, which is copublished by Cornell University Press and the Cornell University Library. He is the author most recently of The Fleeting Promise of Art: Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory Revisited, also from Cornell. Peter Uwe Hohendahl is Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at Cornell University. He is an editor of the series Signale: Modern German Letters, Cultures, and Thought, which is copublished by Cornell University Press and the Cornell University Library. He is the author most recently of The Fleeting Promise of Art: Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory Revisited, also from Cornell.

This work can be downloaded for non-commercial purposes:

Creative Commons License
Building a National Literature is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.