THE HARVARD CLASSICS- GERMAN FICTION

THE HARVARD CLASSICS- GERMAN FICTION

by CHARLES W. ELIOT

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An excerpt from the introduction:

The fact that newspaper reporters commonly call their articles "stories" points to a certain analogy between the novel and the newspaper. Even when prose fiction aims to be a fine art, it readily takes on a journalistic character; it is usually designed for immediate effect--at the concomitant risk of producing no other--and it easily passes from hand to hand or from country to country. In our day prose fiction is almost an international phenomenon: novels of a high degree of popularity are immediately translated and promptly imitated in the most distant quarters of the globe.

In the universal give and take of literary commodities Germany has played her part and, from time to time at least, has been in no wise a debtor nation; but she has more often followed than led along new paths, making up in thoroughness what she lacked in originality, and a superficial history of the German novel would be little more than a record of how successive foreign influences were turned to account in domestic production. Thus, in the eighteenth century such sorrows as those of Werther would doubtless have found some form of expression, but Goethe could not have expressed them as he did without the example of Rousseau and Richardson. Wieland and Jean Paul Richter are inconceivable without Fielding and Sterne. In the nineteenth century the epochs of German novel-writing are marked by the times when Scott, Dickens, Balzac, Dumas, Sue, George Sand, Tolstoy, Ibsen, Björnson, Turgenev, Zola, or some other foreigner, happened for the moment to be most conspicuous on the literary horizon. During the century that lies between Goethe and Hauptmann there is hardly a German novelist who has invited imitation abroad. It is in the lyric poem that the Germans have excelled, and in the drama and the opera that they have scored their international successes.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940012053138
Publisher: Leila's Books
Publication date: 12/13/2010
Series: Harvard Classics , #3
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 550 KB

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