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›Beredsamkeit‹ in Lessing’s Zur Geschichte und Litteratur: A Reply to Herder
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8553-9547
2014 (English)In: Rhetorik: ein internationales Jahrbuch, ISSN 0720-5775, E-ISSN 1865-9160, Vol. 33, 42-79 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Towards the end of Ueber die neuere Deutsche Litteratur (On Recent German Literature) (1767), Johann Gottfried Herder publicly makes the call that homiletics is in need of a »completely different kind of eloquence«. Ciceronian eloquence in Germany did not have any public space except from the pulpit, and the eloquence from the pulpit made the public passive, because the preacher pronounced sentences like a judge in a court. Herder turned instead to the Bible as a book that is in need of interpretation, to literature as a public arena where different opinions could meet, to the reader as a detective, and to the story of creation as the secret model by which to create an all-embracing perspective from a diverssity of viewpoints. Herder took a series of isolated judgments (fragments) from leading journals of his day and shaped these broken pieces into puzzle pieces (fragments in a new sense) which can be put together as a panoramic image of recent German literature. Although it challenged the division between painting and poetry of Laokoon, Lessing adopted this form of presentation in his new work Zur Geschichte und Litteratur (On History and Literature) (1773-1777), but retorted on a grander scale by presenting puzzle pieces (fragments) in the form of manuscripts of the Herzog August Library, which together presented a much grander panorama of the history of literature. At this time, Herder, Goethe and Lessing could be seen as an informal group of writers bound together by a similar form or style of presentation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2014. Vol. 33, 42-79 p.
Keyword [en]
Lessing, ”Zur Geschichte und Literatur”, Herder, rhetoric, interpretation, hermeneutics, poetics, dialectics, philology, layout, typography, paratext, style of writing, non-linear, materiality
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-282192OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-282192DiVA: diva2:916698
Available from: 2016-04-04 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2017-11-02

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Bengtsson, Staffan

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