Talk:2007-08 BM1 Introduction to the Critical and Scholarly Discussion of Literature, Part 1

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Style Sheet

Wie werden mehrere Autoren eines Werkes aufgelistet? Der erste Autor Nachname, Vorname, alle weiteren mit Vorname, Nachname - man trennt die Namen mittels Komma. Vergleicht dazu nochmals das Style Sheet. Florian Gubisch 12:42, 18 December 2007 (CET)

National License

I have just received my user name and password from Berlin but I am having difficulties accessing the information. When I click on the link for next week's materials and enter my information it says nevertheless that my access is denied due to server problems or my name is invalid. However, when I go to my account from the link I can access the EBBO/ECCO site. BUT I cannot access the literature that is assigned. I type in the title of the literature but it says that it cannot be found. I tried using the password and username which were given during the lecture but those are denied as well when I use the direct link on Wiki. What can I do? Thanks,

Kelly Jamison

May be that is because the links I provided do already have the Oldenburg university access details in them - which might not match with your own log-in details. If you get into the EEBO or ECCO user-interface you should be able to find the titles with the regular search options.
PS. As to accounts within our wiki - do please use real name accounts, i.e. Kelly Jamison rather than KellyJ83 [1]
best --Olaf Simons 15:11, 27 October 2007 (CEST)

Können wir auch einen bekannten Text exzerpieren, anstatt zwei Bücher zu lesen?

Ein Buch müsst ihr lesen, eins aus der Liste (und selbst da erlaubt Anton Kirchhofer Teillektüren). Das andere ist ein kurzer Aufsatz und sollte drin sein.

Werden in den Tutorien Beispielaufgaben für den "written test" besprochen?

Wir bereiten euch auf den "written test" vor, die genaue Form steht momentan noch nicht fest. Man kann jedoch den letzten Test einsehen unter: Test

Gibt es noch ergänzende Literatur zur Vorlesung?

Zur Frage Geschichte des Literaturbegriffs gibt es [ein Kapitel meiner Diss], dem ich in VL3 strikt folgte, um die Sache nachvollziehbar zu machen. Die Überschrift müßt ihr nicht weiter bedenken, das Kapitel stand unter einer REihe grundsätzlicher Erwägungen zum Umgang mit vergangenen Konzepten - hier das Link für das ganze Kapitel:

Können wir die Exzerpte handschriftlich verfassen? und auf Deutsch?

Die Exzerpte sollen Euch nahelegen, grundsätzlich während des Lesens mitzuprotokollieren, was Ihr da gerade aufnehmt. UNsere eigenen, die wir auf Excerpt als Muster gaben, sind in ganz unterschiedlichen Formaten verfaßt. Mitunter liest man auf dem Sofa zusammengekauert, da hat man keinen Laptop um dauern notizen zu machen, aber vielleicht ein Klemmbrett, und notiert was passiert - kostet zwa etwas Zeit, die spielt sich aber wieder ein, wenn man zu dem Buch etwas sagen soll und nun Notizen hat.

Macht das also, wie es für Euch praktisch ist. Wir werden Euch Feedback geben, ob wir denken, daß Euch das später noch mal helfen könnte.

Wo finden wir die Texte der Liste "Literary Criticism"?

Diese Aufsätze findet ihr in der Bibliothek (--> Tipp: Sucht nach den Hrsg. Felicity Nussbaum bzw. Eric Hobsbawm).--Christina Stindl 20:06, 17 November 2007

Wir werden versuchen an diese Textze zu kommen - die Bücher sind prompt verliehen - unser Fehler, wir werden versuchen, pdfs zu erstellen.

Different Version of the Rise of the Novel

“Three different versions of the rise of the novel”

Version 1: The "rise of the novel" has been completed in 1700. This opinion is based on the fact that courtly "romances" were replaced by works of authors like Cervantes and Madame de La Fayette. Whilst "romances" inspired emulation (Nachahmung) of great heroes or laughter about ridiculous heroes (such as Don Quixote) "novels" offer an instructive moral in a surprising point. The topics of novels are mostly intrigues and scandalous personal affairs. Novels (i.e. short stories or what we today call novellas) were a European production. Boccacio wrote the most famous collection in the mid 14th century. Cervantes Novelas Exemplares (1613) took the next step. They established the term "novela", novel as generic term of the short genre that defeated the heroic romance. Adultery was a fashionable theme, the heroes of novels were mostly upper middle class, lower aristocracy (not Knights and their Princesses).

Version 2: The "first novel" was not the “novella” but Robinson Crusoe (1719). This statement is based on the findings of Ian Watt, who was able to view Robinson Crusoe as the first modern novel - the one that lead to titles like Middlemarch. DeFoe's book was - in 1719 - rather a romance, a true history which smelled of fiction than a novel, yet it lead to a reform of novels. Novels became long stories of entirely new adventures. Richardson's Pamela was a breakthrough with the story of a young servant who had to reform her master, an aristocratic libertine. Richardson's novel influenced other novelists and numerous dramatists. Lessing's Bürgerliches Trauerspiel is the successful attempt to create a dramatic equivalent. The new novel (now a long realistic yet fictional story) and the new drama shaped the new concept of literature created in the second half of the 18th century. Ian Watt recognized Daniel DeFoe as the first one, who introduced the typical (middle class bourgeois) hero. The individual as a member of the nation became a topic.

Version 3: Within the last thirty years, it has been realized that there existed novels before “Robinson Crusoe”. Scholars began to speak of "proto novels". This discovery gained momentum as it led to the discovery of female authors - like Aphra Behn, who wrote "novels" in the 1680s - in the 1970s and 1980s.

The three versions have different advantages:

  • Version 1: Served (in the 17th century) as a justification of the European scandalous short story.
  • Version 2: Turned “Robinson Crusoe” into the first modern novel (English literature became the leading force in European histories of literature).
  • Version 3: Turned female authors into “mothers of the modern novel” - an attack against male research brought forth by scholars like Ian Watt and J. J. Richetti (read his Popular Fictions 1968...)

It has to be taken into account that:

  • these versions did not develop by chance
  • all three versions are true (depending on the definitions of the terms)
  • different versions pursue different goals
  • you (can) define what you consider to be a novel or a romance (you can also critically write about the definitions others gave)
  • there is no stability in the field of definitions

The text above is my revision of a version I found here before. You can take a look at my changes: compare --Olaf Simons 18:28, 27 November 2007 (CET)

oh my god.. I am sorry!! Considering to what you corrected, I guess it has not been the best idea to edit the "versions of the rise of the novel". I thought I got what you explained in the lecture but obviously I should look at it again. Gesa.draeger 12:21, 29 November 2007 (CET)
You should not be sorry at all! How can I see how much you understand of I lecture I give. Once you summarize it I see where I created problems, and then I can solve it. It would be the very best thing to do collectively: produce a common Vorlesungs-Skript, we read and correct it. You learn and we learn where we failed. This exchange is very much appreciated and I think it is useful to all the others. --Olaf Simons 15:31, 29 November 2007 (CET)

Summary of the first Lecture on Periodisation

With this text I try to summarize the ideas of the first lecture.

At first there were some generally known historical dates and facts presented in the lecture:

The English periods and their ideas (Middle Ages, Renaissance…) and some indications for the history of periodisation, which is mostly created in hindsight. These indications refer to the time before 1500 (a sense of unbroken continuity with Roman empire and society), from 1500 to 1650 (introduction of a three phased model: ancient-medieval-modern), from 1650 to 1750 (battle of the ancients and the moderns: proponents of the "modern age" claim to have gotten further than the ancients ever dremed they could get) and from 1750 to today (the Middle Ages are turned from a period of "gothic" barbarism and rotten monkish knowledge into a past Germany and the northern countreys can be proud of; modernity becomes a phase of intensified period-formation).

Looking for general tendencies in recent periodisations of the Anglo-Saxon canon the following three options can be noted:

  • The early modern period is stretched back into the period other nations will note as their respective middle ages in order to include Chaucer, i.e. the period around 1350 as an early European renaissance (Boccacio and Dante become protagonists of the parallel Italian movement),
  • to create long periods (like the “Early Modern Period”); and
  • to create subdivisions under political headings (e.g. the “Tudors”).

After getting to know these “basics” we are invited to think about the sense and the effects of periodisations.

At first we wonder if structuring the past into periods really creates an accurate picture of the past, because there are some difficulties concerning periodisation.

To begin with there are different histories of literature which offer different periodisations so there is a continuous debate of how to properly understand and define different periods. Secondly a period’s definition predetermines which materials of a period are explored in which way. To make things even more difficult: periods can refer to periods of time and to styles and ideas at the same time. Once we speak of styles and ideas as the true essence of a period we can exclude materials which would fit into the time frame as being not typical of the period (or even as still belonging to the last or as already belonging to the next period). What happens for example to materials produced between 1680-1800 if they do not fit into a history of the enlightenment?

A special problem of any discourse about periods is its potential to provide ad hoc answers: An artifact has certain qualities? They can be immediately explained as qualities of the period. Does a chapter on the Elizabethan Age, however, actually “explain” Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”?

So all in all you can say that periodisation may narrow one’s view; it is possible that really interesting things which are not typical of a period will be forgotten and that you are hindered in exploring a new sense of things because you just search for typical features of the period; and all that although the structuring of the past in periods is not even stable and clear but varies all the time. The consequence of all this is that you have to look further and that you may not be totally influenced of ideas of periodisation. Instead of this you should develop your own opinion and ideas and even crate your own periods. You should challenge the received notions and always think about what these notions are supposed to reach, why they are created in a certain way - so do not stop thinking about this and do not simply accept the given ideas.

I would be very pleased if my attempt to summarize the text would be commented. :-)

I read through it and tried to clarify things here and there. All in all your summary proved, however, that you got the main messages. --Olaf Simons 17:53, 16 December 2007 (CET)

Summary of the third lecture: The Rise of Literature, Part I

Look back:

  • History is no certain place but it is reconstructed


  1. picture of the nine greatest heroes: Middle ages created the past in their own image
  2. 16th century academic world created a past in which they put people into the newest fashion #19th century then tried to revive the middle ages

Conclusion: Re-invention of History is an arbitrary act, just as the setting of periods. The arbitrariness of periods can be best perceived in our own culture. We have created a debate in which we constantly label ourselves and others as proponents of ongoing, upcoming or past movements and periods. This has begun in the 1750s with the Enlightenment, the age of sensibility and romanticism as labels produced among contemporaries in order to play such roles as mainstream, the avantgarde, the defenders of traditional views etc. under all these ever changing labels.

  • The construction and discussion of modern periods began around 1500
  • The game of placing oneself or others under the label of a period, generation, or movement did not start until the second half of the 18th century

Simple notion: Time changes, that`s why we speak of periods. The greater the historical distance, the greater is the chance that we arrive at an objective understanding of a period.

Complex notion: The definition of periods is always an arbitrary act. Its purpose is to position others and ourselves in historical developments.

New topic:

“What is literature?”

Simple notion: Literature is the body of all written materials; we are naturally most interested in those texts which show a timeless power to fascinate mankind.

Literature is Everything written:

  • Problem: we don't deal with everything written (ex. Phone books)

Literature is a smaller field of beautiful fictional texts

  • Problem: what is beautiful? There are different views about what is beautiful

Literature is the body of all texts a culture primarily discusses, the body of all controversial texts, especially: of all texts with a deeper meaning (all those texts "which will always fascinate mankind" (and thereby create the "canon")

  • Main problem of these definitions of literature: their circularaity: Once you discuss a text (as worthy to be discussed) it is a text discussed and hence literature according to the said definition.

Should not we look for a non-controversial definition?

The Answer ight be "no"

  • The non- controversial definition is not of any interest!! It is exactly the controversy that characterizes literature as such.
  • Different people with different intentions define literature completely differently:  :*19th century Nationalists: most important works a nation honors as its text base  :*Formalists: Texts which work on literary patterns  :*Marxists: Texts which lead to the rise of the working class  :*Proponents of the school of "New Criticism" (1920s): masterpieces of language composition  :*Structuralists: the complex work
  • Postculturalists: works which resound in the universe of literary texts

Complex notion: Literature is a body of materials we place into the centre of the literary debate- the discussion of “poetical” and “fictional” materials as “literature” is an invention of the last two centuries!

Literature therefore can only be defined in an evasive way as: *the nature of the literary text that is never fully understood *being too sublime in its beauty to be defined by words and concepts *being too complex in its construction to be easily understood *being to essential in its themes to be reclaimed and exhausted by any interest group

development of Literature as a science that cannot be clearly defined

2: Second Thoughts:

  • we have to take into account that the materials we discuss as literature have not always been discussed as literature and have not always interested mankind!
  • central terms:“literature”, “poesy”, Belletristik (german), fiction (English) can`t be used in the same context
  • yet are no synonyms / how do this different words of “literature” relate to each other? *materials we call literature could not be called literature before the 1750s *sciences were “literature”
  • “poesy” comprised a number of now “literary” genres – novel was not among them and opera and ballet were ascribed to the “poetical” genres
  • “belles letters” comprised a huge field of fashionable books ( Belletristik)

2.2: The production of the poetical genres: Aristotle’s Art of poetry

  • Aristotle was the first one who wrote about what we today conceive as "literary" genres. He himself spoke of poetical genres and did not include prose fiction (the novel) in his spectrum. The situation got more complex with the modern period. The opera became the most important poetical genre in the 17th century. Our presnt notion of "literary genres" is to a good extend based on an 18th century attempt to return to the Aristotlian pattern (and to exclude the opera). Unlike Aristotle the novel got, however, accepted as the modern epic. The whole concept of art Aristotle produced got lost. Fictionality became a far more important criterion of the poetical, now "literary" genres.

2.3: Fiction: Works with a deeper meaning:

  • interpretations of literature began during the history of Romances (Pierre Daniel Huet)

2.4: Belles Lettres: the elegant market

  • around 1760 there emerged a clash between the terms literature and belles letters *belles letters was seen as the elegant field of literature and dealing with the French market

2.5: Literature was the field of the sciences right into the 19th century:

The meaning of the terms “literature” and “art” changed tremendously over the past 300 years

  • "literature" used to be the word for "learning", the sciences, scientific publications, "art" the word for human inventions and practical knowledge, man-made instruments

How can this change be explained?

Those who published literary journals and histories of literature found a wider audience for their works once they shifted the focus from the sciences and latest technical to works we today perceive as works of art and literature

The debate of Literature (initially the debate of the sciences) adopted ongoing debates of texts, their beauty, they controversial aspects, their deeper meaning and thus created a field of materials we today recognise as "literature" in the proper sense of the word. The new field needed a history the 19th century had to produce: it came to be produced as a variety of national histories serving the national school systems and the national audiences with a subject matter of intense debate

Consequences: When coming across materials published before the 1750s you have to be aware that *other discussions such as discussions abou religion were of far greater importance *“literature” as what we picture it today wasn`t the same before 1750 *materials published before 1750 might have had a far more controversial status

again, I tried to clarify things here and there. Read the articles

for more detailed information --Olaf Simons 17:53, 16 December 2007 (CET)

Bibliographical Form

I find the idea of having to put citations in bibliographical form for a test unimportant. When one writes a bachelor/master/doctor thesis, one can easily look this form up and incorporate this style in the bibliography/footnotes. What also I find rather inconvenient is that at this University, the style sheet changes depending on the major you study and also on the topic. For example Literature's style sheet is completely different to that of Fachdidaktik, Music is different than English...etc. Perhaps I would find this task more valuable if the styles were universal. In other words, I would much rather be tested on lecture materials than on bibliographical forms. I understand that this is being done to help prepare us for writing papers, which I and others really appreciate, but we have enough exposure to the bibliographical forms in our other classes (i.e. Portfolios for other basis modules and in the second half of this course)


Ich habe da ein kleines Problem und zwar war ich heute in der Bibo und wollte mal nachfragen wie und bis wann ich mich für die Prüfungen anmelden muss. Da wurde mir gesagt, dass ich im Studip auf Prüfungen gehen soll und dort würde ich dann alle Prüfungen der Vorlesungen, bei denen ich übers STudip angemeldet bin, finden und könnte mich für diese anmelden. Zudem sei es so, dass man sich bis zu zwei Wochen vor Prüfungstermin für die Prüfung anmelden soll! Da habe ich natürlich ganz stark gestaunt, da die Literaturwissenschaftsprüfung schon am 22.1.2008 ist und ich damit noch genau 18 Tage haben würde um mich anzumelden! Also bin ich sofort, genau wie erklärt, im Studip auf Prüfungen gegangen und eigentlich müsste da jetzt auch schon die Literatuswissenschftsprüfung aufgelistet sein, jedoch ist sie das nicht!!??

Ich habe keine Ahnung, wie ich da jetzt vorgehen soll, brauchten wir uns vielleicht gar nicht bei Studip anmelden? WÄre lieb, wenn jemand die Frage beantworten könnte !!! Es ist ja irgendwie auch dringend...

lg Lena

Liebe Lena,
eine eigene Prüfungsanmeldung findet nicht statt - Ihr müßt im BM1 über StudIP eingeschrieben sein.
Gruß, --Olaf Simons 16:04, 6 January 2008 (CET)

Excerpt, Abgabe?

Hey noch mal ganz kurz, wie soll das Excerpt eingereicht werden? Getackert? Weil in einem Hefter oder eine Mappe soll es ja nciht sein! oder einfach loche und dann mit so einemVerbindungsstück abgeben? Ich hab keine Ahnung und hffe jemand kann mir noch so kurzfristig eine Antwort geben!? lg Lena

Am liebsten einfach geklammert, weil diese Plastikmappen am Ende einen wabbelingen kaum transportablen Berg geben. Gruß, --Olaf Simons 14:59, 14 January 2008 (CET)