Classical German literature and music, from the 1780s to the 1830s, has influenced German and Western culture until today. While considering music and art, this course will focus primarily on the greatest writers of the period: Goethe, Schiller, and Hölderlin. Placing their literature in the philosophical and political contexts of Idealism and of German enlightened absolutism, we will distinguish this “high art” from contemporary early romantic concepts as well as from German Jacobine activism, which was strongly influenced by the French Revolution. We will also examine the legacy of this rich cultural era in its impact on Western romantic, transcendentalist, and symbolist movements--and its influence on the rise of the myth of the Germans as a “nation of poets and thinkers.” Readings will include Goethe’s Faust I, Egmont, Iphigenie, and Römische Elegien; Schiller’s Die Räuber and Maria Stuart; Hölderlin’s Hyperion and selected poems; essays and manifestos by Kant, Fichte, and Forster. Listening assignments include Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and selected Lieder of the period. Conducted in German.
Requisite: GERM 210 or equivalent. Fall semester. Professor Brandes.