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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Hellmut H Ammerlahn
GERMAN 421
Seattle Campus

Studies in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture

Rotating special topics in literature and culture of the eighteenth century, such as particular movements, authors, genres, themes, or problems. Recommended: GERMAN 303; either GERMAN 311, GERMAN 312, GERMAN 322, or GERMAN 323.

Class description

The Birth of the German Prose Novella and Literary Fairytale (1785-1828)

Prose novellas and literary fairytales have a long history in world literature. As framework collections with one or several narrators they can be traced back to the Arabian 1001 Nights, as more or less separate genres to 14th – 17th century Italy, Spain, and France. Their late emergence in Germany (Wieland, Schiller) was compensated by an extraordinary blossoming and quality of production reaching first artistic high points in the works of Goethe and the authors of Romanticism. Both genres continued to flourish in 19th century Germany. The consciously crafted folk- and fairytale versions of the Grimm Brothers’ Kinder- und Hausmärchen gained a world-wide audience.

In this course we shall concentrate on shorter novellas, “Kunstmärchen” and “Märchennovellen” by well-known authors such as Schiller, Goethe, Kleist, Brentano, Tieck, and ETA Hoffmann. Content and structure of the works will be analyzed as such and in the context of cultural issues facing the authors and their times.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Texts in German. Lectures mostly in German.

Recommended preparation

see above

Class assignments and grading

Active oral participation – in either English or German – is desirable and encouraged. Requirements: Close reading of texts. One 15-20 minute report, an in-class midterm and a take-home final.

Class participation 30%, report 15%, midterm 25%, final 30%.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Hellmut H Ammerlahn
Date: 05/05/2010