Chaucer and the Discourse of German Philology: A History of Reception and an Annotated Bibliography of Studies, 1793-1948
In her magisterial study, Five Hundred Years of Chaucer Criticism and Allusion, 1357-1900, Caroline Spurgeon stated that 'The work done on Chaucer by scholars in modern Germany is so vast that it would need a volume to itself to deal adequately with it'. This study fills this scholarly desideratum by surveying the genesis and development of the largest body of non-Anglophone Chaucer criticism from the beginning of the nineteenth century to 1945. Such a history of Chaucer reception mirrors the general cultural and political developments in Germany and in German academia from the revolutionary and liberal Chaucer of the 'Vormaerz' (pre-March 1848) period, the conservative Chaucer of the post-1848 restoration, the 'Germanization' of Chaucer after the country's formation as a nation state (1871), the demise of German Chaucer studies after World War I and during the Weimar Republic, the ideological utilization of Chaucer during the Third Reich, to the sporadic Chaucer criticism after 1945. A strong focus will be upon the 'Chaucerphilologie' (1870-1914) when philological positivism evolved and triumphed, and how even today positivism and philological source study and editorial work is esteemed above 'foreign' (non-German) scholars who engage in aestheticist, essayistic and hence 'unscientific' approaches. The study follows German Chaucer criticism in a largely chronological manner, with biographies of key scholars (Ten Brink, Koch, Zupitza) and studies of specific philological feuds (Lange vs. Langhans on the authenticity of Chaucer's translation of the Roman de la Rose; Curtius vs. Glunz on the superiority of philology over literary aesthetics). The investigation is based on the theories of Anglo-American 'Medievalism' (and 'New' Medievalism/Philology) and its German sibling 'Mittelalter-Rezeption', the reception theories of Iser, Jauss and Fish, and discourse theories of Foucault. -- Provided by publisher
Chaucer, Geoffrey, -1400 -- Criticism and interpretation -- History; Narrative poetry, English (Middle) -- Historiography; Criticism -- Germany -- History; Criticism -- Germany -- Bibliography; Chaucer, Geoffrey, -1400 -- Criticism and interpretation -- Bibliography; Philology -- Germany -- History;
Department of Languages and Literatures
xxi, 446 p. ; 24 cm
Utz, Richard, "Chaucer and the Discourse of German Philology: A History of Reception and an Annotated Bibliography of Studies, 1793-1948" (2002). Faculty Book Gallery. 291.