Idylls & Realities: Studies in Nineteenth-Century German Literature, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Idylls & Realities

Studies in Nineteenth-Century German Literature, 1st Edition

By J. P. Stern


230 pages

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Hardback: 9780367441142
pub: 2020-02-12
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Originally published in 1971, this book outlines the period of Germany’s belated industrial revolution and suggests why German literature does not, before the 1880s, contribute to the tradition of European realism. It considers the alternatives to realism offered in three genres of drama, poetry and prose fiction. The book closely analyses specific texts, both in the original and in translation, with comparisons with non-German works.

Table of Contents

1. Palms and Odalisques 2. Three Dramatists: Grillparzer, Hebbel and Büchner 3. Heinrich Heine’s Contentious Muse 4. Eduard Mörike: Recollection and Inwardness 5. Adalbert Stifter: ‘Erhebung without Motion’ 6. Gottfried Keller: Realism and Fairy-Tale 7. Wilhelm Raabe: Home and Abroad 8. Theodor Fontane: The Realism of Assessment 9. Fiction and the Immutable Self 10. Friedrich Nietzsche: The Birth of a Myth?

About the Author

J. P. Stern died in 1991.

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: German Literature

Originally published between 1938 and 1996, the volumes in this set provide a survey of German poetry, prose and fiction from the Middle Ages to the late 20th Century. In many cases no prior knowledge of German is necessary, as translations into English are provided. Many of the books focus particularly on German writers and literature from an international perspective.

The books:

  • Analyse Naturalism, Impressionism, Neo-romanticism and Expressionism as well as dealing exhaustively with Surrealism, Magic Realism and Existentialism.

  • Include discussion of post-war Anglo-American and French literature.


  • Provide guidebooks through the masses of periodicals and allows the English side of the Anglo-German literary relationship to be explored in detail.

  • Present a detailed analysis of the major literary movements in Austria and Germany from the end of the nineteenth century to the collapse of the Third Reich


  • Examine two of the central themes of medieval German mythology, the Dietrich and Nibelung legends

  • Survey the development of political writing in the former Federal Republic of Germany, Illustrating the connections between literature and politics


  • Elucidate the concealed meanings in some of the more obscure writings of great authors such as Goethe

  • Provides a full survey of the best and most significant work of German writers to the First World War.

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