The Classical Centre: Goethe and Weimar, 1775-1832, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Classical Centre

Goethe and Weimar, 1775-1832, 1st Edition

By T. J. Reed


270 pages

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Hardback: 9780367856625
pub: 2020-02-12
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Originally published in 1980, this book examines the nature and significance of Classicism as a literary phenomenon and relates the beginnings of the German variety to the search for a national identity in the circumstances of a politically fragmented eighteenth century Germany. It surveys the pre-classical scene, traces the intellectual currents and the literary forms and material which Classicism was to synthesise, and presents its theoretical basis. The major works of Goethe and Schiller in the decade of their partnership are analysed. Their response to political events is placed in the contemporary context and the divergences which challenge Classicism are discussed.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Theatre and Nation 3. Drama and Society 4. Poetry and Nature 5. Landscape with Writers 6. Classics: (1) The Novel 7. Classics: (2) Drama 8. Classics: (3) Poetry 9. Realities Ancient and Modern: (1) Revolution 10. Divergences 11. Realities Ancient and Modern: (2) Mythology 12. Isolation 13. Epilogue

About the Author

T. J. Reed was Taylor Professor of German at the University of Oxford.

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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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / German