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Title:Gottsched Und Seine Nachwelt Im Achtzehnten Jahrhundert: Versuch Einer Ideengeschichtlichen Ubersicht. (German Text);
Author(s):Gombocz, Istvan J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Mitchell, P.M.,
Department / Program:German
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Germanic
Abstract:Since the late eighteenth century, the reputation of Johann Christoph Gottsched (1700-1766) has suffered as a result of the hostile criticism initiated by Lessing and his followers. This study, written in German, is a contribution to the re-evaluation of Gottsched and his accomplishment in modernizing German culture life in the international spirit of Enlightenment. Whereas earlier scholarly studies of Gottsched have been based primarily on his major work of literary criticism--Versuch einer Critischen Dichtkunst (1729), the present investigation takes a broader approach in considering the Erste Grunde der Gesammten Weltweisheit (1734) and additional sources such as Gottsched's journal Das Neueste aus der Anmuthigen Gelehrsamkeit (1750-62), his essays, speeches, and his didactic poems.
The investigation begins with an overview of Gottsched's theoretical arguments for a philosophical underpinning and enrichment of German poetry and for the first time demonstrates the interrelationship of Gottsched's philosophy and Gottsched's poetics. The following chapter concentrates on the ethical aspects of Gottsched's works and demonstrates that the moral principals which he advocated were not the result of trivial contemporary morality. Rather, Gottsched provided a generally comprehensible synthesis of ancient and Western philosophy and thereby encouraged public interest in the ethical substance of Enlightenment. The third chapter suggests that Gottsched, a scholar with a universal perspective, took interest in historical developments in Europe in the age of the Enlightenment. In his philosophical works and poems, he enthusiastically promoted the idea of an international federation of European peoples and in so doing, he paid special attention to the history and culture of Eastern European countries. In the Critische Dichtkunst, he encouraged his contemporary poets to elaborate historical topics.
Although it is widely recognised that the age of the Goethe received significant inspiration from the early Enlightenment, the individual merits of Classicism's predecessors have not yet been investigated. The final chapter demonstrates that Gottsched's activities served as a powerful stimulus in the development of German classicism and that much of the strong philosophical and ethical orientation of Goethe's era should be attributed to Gottsched's theories and reforms.
Issue Date:1987
Description:184 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8803050
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1987

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