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

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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) and from 1750 to today (discovery of the Middle Ages as national past; modernity as the phase of intensified period-formation). Further there are three options and tendencies of English literature described: to begin the renaissance with Chaucer, i.e. around 1350; 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. Further periods can refer to periods of time and to styles and ideas at the same time. This style and these ideas we identify with a period become central object to be explained so that other interesting things of this time are not noticed. What happens for example to materials produced between 1680-1800 if they do not fit into a history of the enlightenment? And on top of that periods give instant final answers so if you wonder why something has the qualities it has got you will just answer that it is typical of the period – but does a chapter on the Elizabethan Age 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. :-)

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)