Remedy or disease? : Romantic perspectives on music
- Around 1800, aesthetic debate suddenly places music at the very top in the hierarchy of the arts, even superseding poetry: This has become a commonplace not only in scholarly discourse. The protagonists of this re-arrangement of the artistic disciplines are Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder, E.T.A. Hoffmann and Ludwig Tieck. In their programmatic texts, they state that music is to be free and absolute and stress its metaphysical quality and its close relation to the supernatural. Furthermore, music is supposed to be no longer dependent on the other arts, and music releases the listener or the musician from prosaic everyday life. As Wackenroder writes in Die Wunder der Tonkunst, […] [a]ll sickening thoughts which, according to Wackenroder, are the illness of mankind vanish with a piece of music, making our mind sane again. Literary romanticism here recurs to a long tradition that reaches back to the classical ages in Greece and Arabia: Music is used as a remedy for curing illnesses of various kinds. In classical antiquity, Apollo is the god of music, poetry and dancing as well as the god of healing. He was also named “Iatros” (physician) or Apollo Medicus. […] Orpheus as a bard and demigod was also said to be capable of curing diseases by means of his music. […] Thus, music in history is part of treating physical illness on the one hand, but on the other hand is more and more considered to provide a remedy especially for mental deficiencies. Music is meant to improve nervous disorders and sometimes it is even prescribed as a regular medicine. As we will see in Hoffmann’s text Die Genesung, there is a connection between the ritual healing processes in the temples of Aesculapius and the setting of the forest in which the old man regains his health.
Bakhtin’s theory of the literary chronotope : reflections, applications, perspectives
- This edited volume is the first scholarly tome exclusively dedicated to Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory of the literary chronotope. This concept, initially developed in the 1930s and used as a frame of reference throughout Bakhtin’s own writings, has been highly influential in literary studies. After an extensive introduction that serves as a ‘state of the art’, the volume is divided into four main parts: Philosophical Reflections, Relevance of the Chronotope for Literary History, Chronotopical Readings and Some Perspectives for Literary Theory. These thematic categories contain contributions by well-established Bakhtin specialists such as Gary Saul Morson and Michael Holquist, as well as a number of essays by scholars who have published on this subject before. Together the papers in this volume explore the implications of Bakhtin’s concept of the chronotope for a variety of theoretical topics such as literary imagination, polysystem theory and literary adaptation; for modern views on literary history ranging from the hellenistic romance to nineteenth-century realism; and for analyses of well-known novelists and poets as diverse as Milton, Fielding, Dickinson, Dostoevsky, Papadiamandis and DeLillo
The dual economy of medieval life
- The works of the author who called himself “der stricker“ (“the weaver“) are generally assigned to the reign of Emperor Frederick II (1212-1250). He wrote in a German of southern Franconian coloring, and his main area of activity is thought to have been the duchy of Austria.
Arthur in the Tristan Tradition
- The bringing together of the two realms, that of Tristan and Isolde and that of Arthur, thus has a mutually corrosive effect. However, in the further course of the action Tristan and Isolde’s love regains some of its absoluteness: for instance Heinrich refrains from taking over the quarrel of lovers from Eilhart. He plays a double game, on the one hand reducing the absoluteness and self-sufficiency of love, on the other hand building it up again and thus preventing the establishment of a firm doctrine in the course of the narrative (…), as neither the Arthurian court nor the love of Tristan and Isolde provides an absolute norm. Heinrich wrote his romance for the Bohemian noble Raimund von Lichtenburg, and the account of the foundation of the Round Table and the self-directed activities of the knights have belonged (…). The initial Arthurian ideal has become a confirmatory ritual for an exclusive body of noblemen – that matches the spirit of the knightly societies.