Bithell Series of Dissertations

Peter Damrau
June 15, 2006
This is the first study to demonstrate the impact of Puritan literature on the development of German language and literature in the seventeenth century and beyond. It crosses the boundaries of theology, literature, and the English and German traditions to show that eighteenth-century secular thinking on introspection, psychology and subjectivity has its roots in vocabulary used in Germany as early as 1665 through the translation of figures such as Daniel Dyke and Richard Baxter. The book concludes with insights on John Bunyan, whose works inspired writers of the 'Geniegeneration' such as Lenz, Wieland, Moritz and Jung-Stilling.
Morwenna Symons
January 4, 2006
In the structuring of literary texts that refer extensively to previous texts ('intertexts'), one issue is paramount: the space accorded to the reader. In entering into the intertextual debate, the reader is called upon to corroborate both the authority of the text being read and the power of literary continuity that the earlier intertext embodies, and to assert his or her independence from this same authority in the very act of responsing individually to its multiple significations. This study of four contemporary literary texts, all very distinct in form and method, analyses the dynamic relationship between reader, text and intertext and suggests that it is in the effectiveness of this manoeuvring, by and of the reader, that the...
Hilary Brown
August 4, 2005
The eighteenth century saw the first significant phase of cultural interchange between Britain and Germany. This study examines the part played in this process by women writers, who were entering the literary world in large numbers for the first time. It asks whether women - as readers, translators and authors - were particularly receptive to the work of other women, and whether a cross-cultural female literary tradition emerged during the period. The study offers a detailed case-study of the German writer Benedikte Naubert, now known for her collection of fairy-tales but also a prolific novelist. It looks first at Naubert's engagement with English literature, that is to say at her numerous translations of English novels, and at the ways...
Emily Jeremiah
November 26, 2003
The question of maternity is crucial for feminists, to whom it represents both challenge and inspiration, as it is for many thinkers engaged with the issues of agency, corporeality, and ethics. This examination puts forward the idea of a 'maternal performativity', drawing on the work of Judith Butler and numerous other feminist theorists, to offer new ways of looking at 1970s and 1980s literary texts by ten German-speaking women writers, including Barbara Frischmuth, Elfriede Jelinek, Irmtraud Morgner, and Karin Struck. It argues that as yet, maternal agency has not adequately been theorized - a project which is urgent, given the traditional view in Western culture of the mother as passive - and suggests that Butler's notion of...
Stephanie Burrows
December 12, 2001
In his final 'Q-Tagebuch' report to Hedwig Müller dated 19 December 1935 Tucholsky declared: 'Daß ich mein Leben zerhauen habe, weiß ich. Daß ich nicht allein daran schuld bin, weiß ich aber auch. Mein Gott, wäre ich in Frankreich geboren...!' Combining biographical investigation with an analysis of Tucholsky's published journalism, this study sets out to assess the significance of the contact with France and French culture in Tucholsky's life and work. It shows the extent to which he was influenced by the French cultural and intellectual tradition, and by his first-hand experience of France. It provides new insights into Tucholsky's life in France, notably his involvement with French freemasonry and the importance of his contacts in...
Peter Davies
June 7, 2000
This study aims to shed light on the relationship of writers with power in East Germany by setting their work in the context of Soviet and SED German policy after 1945. Peter Davies provides an analysis of the politics of German division as it affected visions of German national identity within the East German artistic community, and shows how this can give us a profound insight into contentious questions of artistic 'decadence' and 'conformity'. The second part of the study develops these ideas through a series of case studies of important individuals such as Johannes R. Becher, Peter Huchel, Bertolt Brecht and Hanns Eisler, analysing the complexities of their relationship with the power structures and ideology of the East German state in...
Judith Beniston
December 16, 1997
Hugo von Hofmannsthal had a lifelong fascination with the 'theatrum mundi' topos. Judith Beniston analyses his changing responses to it against an unfamiliar backdrop - the revival of Catholic drama which, from the 1890s onwards, accompanied the rise of Austria's Christian Socialist party. The solipsism of 'Jung Wien' and the conservative modernism of the Salzburg Festival are juxtaposed with the career of Richard von Kralik (1852-1934), the key figure in Austria's Catholic literary culture from 1890 to 1934. This study offers close readings of Das kleine Welttheater and Das Salzburger große Welttheater and explores the ramifications of the fascination with the notion of Welttheater which Hofmannsthal and Kralik shared. In juxtaposing...
Charlotte Nolte
February 9, 1996
The premise of this book is that the theme of being and meaning in Thomas Mann's novel tetralogy Joseph und seine Brüder unites the novel's stylistic and thematic structure. The author demonstrates persuasively how these leading ideas are worked out in detail, pervading plot-structure, symbolism, characterization and narration. Through a subtle series of analyses - of the concepts of time and identity underlying the novel, its image-patterns, the changing psychology of its characters, above all Joseph's process of individuation and the narrator's changing behaviour - patterns of overlap and discrepancy between being and meaning are brought out in such a way as to unite many parts of the novel into an overall coherent structure of meaning....
Jane Veronica Curran
December 1, 1995
Wieland's translations of Horace's Epistles, neglected until recently, demonstrate his skill in overcoming the bipolar relationship implied in the very idea of translation. Thanks to a strong, cosmopolitan fellow-feeling with the ancient poet, Wieland made judicious editorial choices in the areas of diction, prosody, layout, typography and scholarly apparatus. This most flexible of translators avoided collapsing the distinctions between his own world and Horace's, and achieved true communication with Horace, while simultaneously drawing the contemporary German reader into the dialogue. Translation techniques employed by Wieland's contemporaries are also discussed here, as well as Horace's reception during the period, and the tensions...
Alexander Weber
July 3, 1995
This is the first study to discuss the affinity between Grass's complete works and baroque literature. Grass's employment of baroque literature is of particular interest because it takes up a tradition from which German literature has long broken away. Alexander Weber's argument moves from an outline of general thematic parallels in the early works to an analysis of the conscious use of baroque literature in Der Butt and Das Treffen in Telgte. He offers both a close reading of Grass and general reflections on how a past literary tradition can be adopted by a modern writer. The study focuses on the themes of vanity, carpe diem, and Senecan Stoicism in the early works; it discusses parallels between the rhetorical structure of the courtly-...

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