Bithell Series of Dissertations

Edited by L. M. Newman
January 1, 1995
This long-awaited edition brings together for the first time 366 letters, cards and telegrams exchanged between Craig and his patron the cosmopolitan Count Kessler. An important primary source, illuminated by Dr Newman's commentary, it focuses on three areas of particular importance:- 1. Craig's artistic ideas and the spread of his influence through exhibitions and books; proposals are developed for work with Otto Brahm, Eleonora Duse, Max Reinhardt, Henry van de Velde, Eduard Verkade, Leopold Jessner, Dyaghilev, Beerbohm Tree, C. B. Cochran, and others. 2. Kessler's Cranach Press Hamlet with wood-engraved illustrations by Craig; this is a landmark in the history of twentieth-century book design and printing whose genesis is now fully...
Marc Chinca
July 2, 1993
This study of Gottfried von Straßburg discusses the narrative technique of the romance of Tristan (c. 1210) against the double background of Latin rhetoric and poetics on the one hand and the developing written vernacular tradition on the other. It argues that Gottfried's poetics represent the attempt to mediate between opposing tendencies in vernacular narrative, the one historiographic and archival, the other fictional and experimental; the Tristan romance is the fictional treatment of a traditional story whose foundations Gottfried considers to be historical. Central to this experiment with history is a concept of verisimilitude that is developed in rhetoric and especially in grammarians' commentaries on Lucan, who in the Middle Ages...
Brigid Haines
January 13, 1992
Brigid Haines focuses on the crucial interplay between dialogue and narrative in Adalbert Stifter's works and relates this to their overall structure. Stifter, a conservative and often didactic writer, is nevertheless shown to present a complex view of reality which incorporates subjective and sometimes subversive voices. In Der beschriebene Tännling the characters' utterances relativize the narrator's apparently objective account, while in the Bildungsroman Der Nachsommer one subjective voice succeeds in calling into question the validity of the tightly-woven rhetorical creed on which the novel is based. Stifter achieved a more open form in his final novel, Die Mappe meines Urgroßvaters, which articulates honestly his own doubts about the...
Mark Ogden
November 13, 1991
This study sets out to challenge the usual approach to the question of Hölderlin's response to Christ, which focuses on no more than two or three late hymns, by tracing, through each major stage of Hölderlin's work, a series of latent christological debates. These debates, in which philosophy, theology, and poetry converge, represent Hölderlin's engagement with the urgent intellectual issues of his day. Dr Ogden offers a detailed account of the matrix of competing ideas in the famous Tübingen seminary and radical re-readings of his novel Hyperion and the dramatic fragments on the Empedokles theme before discussing the climax of Hölderlin's response to Christ in 'Friedensfeier' and other contemporary poems. It will be of interest not just...
Andrew Webber
January 14, 1991
This book undertakes a comparative reassessment of psychosexual concerns in the works of Georg Trakl and Robert Musil. The two authors, so different in other respects, are shown to converge in their coordinated treatment of the problematics of sense and sensuality. In either case a narcissistic ideal of androgynous union with the sister as 'Doppelgänger im anderen Geschlecht' is set up, only to be revoked by the compulsive return to incestuous violence and inner division. By disrupting the quest for poetic and discursive sense, sexual antagonism operates at once as the prime mover in the more general crisis of selfhood as the prime stumbling-block for the pursuit of aesthetic ends in either oeuvre.
Colin Riordan
November 9, 1989
Colin Riordan finds the key to Uwe Johnson's puzzling works in an idiosyncratic moral code to which both Johnson and his narrative figures adhere. This code underlies the development in Johnson's prose from his first novel Ingrid Babendererde (written 1956, published 1985), through Mutmaßungen über Jakob (1959), Das dritte Buch über Achim (1961) and Zwei Ansichten (1965), to the four-volume masterpiece Jahrestage. Aus dem Leben von Gesine Cresspahl (1970-83). The complex narrative of Jahrestage is unravelled, revealing the problems Gesine Cresspahl encounters in reconstructing her past. These problems can only be solved by evolving a code of narrative ethics which forces Gesine - and the reader - to confront the kinds of painful truths...
Philip Mann
April 1, 1987
Hugo Ball (1886-1927) is one of the most enigmatic figures of the Modernist generation. After an initial immersion in the thought of Nietzsche, he became intensely involved in avant-garde Expressionism, was attracted to Futurism, founded Dada and turned towards political journalism, only then to turn his back on the modern world and retreat into highly-structured Roman Catholic orthodoxy. This study neither attempts to reconcile Ball's earlier, 'anarchistic' life with his later, gnostic, Roman Catholicism, nor does it concentrate solely on his Dada years (1916-1917) to the neglect of what preceded and succeeded them. Instead, it attempts to look at Ball's life and works as a whole and to show how the works point...
Kevin Hilliard
January 1, 1987
This study proposes an important revision of the textbook view of Klopstock as a pre-Romantic figure; it emphasizes the continuity of his thought with that of the classical tradition. Drawing in part on unpublished sources, Dr Hilliard demonstrates the thoroughly humanist cast of Klopstock's reflections on the arts and sciences, both in the priorities he establishes and the specific arguments he uses, which are largely derived from a fund of rhetorical commonplaces. The author also indicates the importance of these commonplaces for Klopstock's poetic theory and for the poetic works themselves. This study will thus be of particular interest as a contribution to the growing literature on rhetoric in the eighteenth...
Christopher Waller
September 1, 1986
Dr Waller seeks to assemble the best available criticism of literary Expressionism and to measure the work of five poets against the assumption that particular merits may have been submerged beneath a generalized onslaught on the movement. The criticisms of a series of distinguished writers are examined: their central concern is reflected in their repeated invocation of 'reality', and it emerges that the question of the Expressionists' responsibility (or lack of responsibility) as makers of poetic forms has its precise analogy in the question of their political responsibility. Dr Waller investigates the validity of the claim (made, for example, by the Marxists) that a direct connexion can be established between...
Richard Humphrey
January 1, 1986
This study has a two-fold purpose: to approach and describe the European historical novel afresh, and to evaluate German historical fiction alongside its European counterparts. Dr Humphrey's new approach is through analytical and substantive philosophy of history. This both places the historical novel within a history of history and shows to what type of (hi)story - to what events, timescales, causation and agency, locations, casts, themes and motifs - the genre inclines. Subsequently, German historical fiction is portrayed in its dual aspect: the historical Novelle, much-cultivated but undemocratic and ahistorical in tendency, is contrasted with the wrongly neglected historical novels of Alexis, Fontane and...