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By Orin Hargraves

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Title: Literary Nationalism in German and Japanese Germanistik
Written By: Lee M. Roberts
Series Title: Berkeley Insights in Linguistics and Semiotics - Volume 78

Literary Nationalism in German and Japanese Germanistik traces the
convergence of German and Japanese metaphors for national literary spirit
through the academic study of the German language and literature in
Germanistik. Early notions of a spiritual link to the national literary tradition
allowed speakers of German to imagine their unity before the existence of the
modern German state, but the concept for spirit also gained various nuances
in the works of such writers as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the Brothers
Grimm, E.T.A. Hoffmann, and Hermann Hesse. Moreover, throughout the
nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century, scholars and thinkers
increasingly equated literary spirit with the psychology of the German nation.
Against the background of these developments, the slogans of university
students who burned books of so-called un-German spirit in 1933 gained a
particularly ominous meaning. Interestingly, for Japanese contemplating
German literature in the late nineteenth century, the native idea of national
literary spirit was one of many concepts that differed from their German
counterparts. However, skilled writers and translators like Mori Ogai invested
old words with new meanings, and by the 1930s Japanese scholars of
Germanistik had not only documented the discourse on German national
literary spirit but also deemed it synonymous with the spirit of Japan's own

The Author: Lee M. Roberts is Assistant Professor of German Language and
Literature at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. He received
his Ph.D. in German from the University of California, Berkeley. His research
interests include East-West literary relations, the literature of fascism, and
comparative Germanistik. He edited the volume of essays Germany and the
Imagined East (2005).

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Peter Lang AG
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
Ling & Literature
Subject Language(s): German
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Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9781433109348
Pages: 243
Prices: U.S. $ 85.95
U.K. £ 52.00
Europe EURO 57.30