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Abstract  

The present paper examines the understanding of the Prometheus figure in three works of Goethe. In the unfinished drama Prometheus (and the poem belonging to it) Prometheus is not only the great rebel against dogmatic religiosity and an autonomous creator in the sense of Shaftsbury, but even more a Kulturbringer as Rousseau outlined the development of culture. In Dichtung und Wahrheit Goethe re-interprets his own previous interpretation: Prometheus is the solitary and isolated artist. Finally in his similarly unfinished drama Pandora Prometheus is like a modern industrialist, he is led only by practical motives and has no sense for beauties.

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Goethe töredék-voltában is megkapó Nausikaa című tragédiakezdeménye a nagy itáliai utazás szicíliai szakaszában készült 1787-ben, 165 sor és egy cselekményvázlat formájában. A Goethe egész életében áttételesen vagy közvetlenül ható Homéros-élmény egyik kulminációja a néhány kidolgozott részlet, amely egyszersmind az antikvitáshoz való újfajta viszonyulásról tanúskodik: nem utánzás, hanem a műalkotás által közvetített élmény saját személyiségbe való integrálása s ezen a szűrőn át az eleven élet – a természettel és az emberi érzelmekkel – művészi megragadása. Az Odysseus- és Nausikaa-típus különféle változatokban viszsza- visszatér Goethe különböző alkotásaiban; a maga számára is fájdalmasan befejezetlenül maradt Nausikaa címadó alakja a Wahlverwandtschaften Ottiliájában éled fel újra, s válik e tökéletes regény egyik meghatározó alakjává.

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A tanulmány célja újolag szemügyre venni a Phaethón töredék kapcsán felmerülő három legfontosabb kérdést és az arra adott válaszokat: milyen jellem és összeütközés húzódik meg a főhős végletes tiltakozása mögött a házasság ellen, kicsoda a rejtélyes menyasszony, végezetül meglévő ismereteink alapján milyen befejezés látszik megfelelni a drámai szövetnek? Dolgozatomban Goethe helyreállítási kísérletének kitüntetett figyelmet szentelek, mi több a költő egyes javaslatai nem csak művészileg, de filológiailag is helytállónak bizonyulnak. Némi személyes elfogultsága mindenesetre már a phaethóni jellem új értelmezése és a hybris-dráma átértékelése felé mutat a Faust II Euphorion-jelenetében.

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Abstract  

China’s unparalleled economic rise in the past 30 years and the blistering social transformation associated with it has generated immense interest globally in China as a nation. Regrettably, Western interest is still extremely narrow and restricted to statistical economic data and the belief that social change in China and modernisation is driven exclusively by the forces of globalisation, that is, economic forces, is widespread and little attention is given outside of specialist circles to the new robust intellectual and artistic-creative energies underlying China’s transformation and self-invention since 1978, identified by Deng Xiaoping as absolutely essential for China’s modernisation program. Bootleg Faust (Daoban Fushide, written by Shen Lin of the Central Academy of Drama, <cite>1999</cite>), the ambitious staging of the translation-adaptation-deconstruction of the German classic by Meng Jinghui, China’s leading experimental theatre director on January 1, 2000 to welcome the New Millennium (and to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Goethe’s birth) is a remarkable artistic achievement. The very fact that Goethe’s Faust One and Two, completed in 1832, and rarely performed in its totality in German-speaking countries, can be staged in Chinese adaptation for weeks, and to full houses in Beijing, Shanghai and other Chinese provincial centres and overseas is proof that the Luhanite vision of a global village is no longer virtual, but real, just as real as Meng Jinghui and Shen Lin’s theatrical professionalism and genius to give Goethe’s signature work relevance in twenty-first century China. Some of the salient aspects of this theatrical achievement and the socio-cultural significance of Meng and Shen’s irreverent artistic endeavour of deconstructing Goethe’s Faust will be explored in this paper.

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Abstract  

Da Erzhlung Erzhlung meint und nicht Nach-Erzhlung, lt sich bereits am “Decamerone” des Boccaccio ablesen – dem frhesten Fall von Erzhlung, in dem Erzhlung sich selbst reflektiert. Goethe greift in den “Unterhaltungen deutscher Ausgewanderten” Boccaccios Modell der Rahmenerzhlung wieder auf und versucht erneut, zwischen Erzhlung und Nicht-Erzhlung, die doch auch wieder erzhlt wird, eine sthetische Distanz zu legen – eine Distanz, die Kunst von verschmhter Realitt abtrennt. Das Modell der Rahmenerzhlung wird freilich schon vor Goethe durch Diderots “Jacques le fataliste” zerstrt. Die sthetische Distanz wird eingezogen, und Stcke von Realitt vermengen sich dergestalt mit Stcken von Erzhlung, da beide nicht mehr voneinander zu trennen sind. Schillers Versuch, aus Teilen von Diderots Erzhlbruchstcken ein neues Erzhlkontinuum (Geschichte der Madame de La Pommeraye) zu fingieren, mutet eigenartig versptet an.

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Zusammenfassung  

Der Vergleich der beiden Werke begann nach dem Erscheinen des Fragments in den 1790er Jahren. Nach kurzer kritikgeschichtlicher Durchsicht der ersten Jahrzehnte stellt die Studie die Charaktereigenschaften von Dante, der den gewöhnlichen Weg der Begnadigung geht und die von dem doppelseeligen Faust vor dem „Öffnen des Vorhangs“ dar. Im Falle vom letzteren erhielt das falsche Ich eine kontinuierliche äußere Unterstützung vom bis zuletzt in seiner physischen Gestalt anwesenden Mephisto. Die edle Hälfte seiner Seele blieb oft allein. Das eine Werk ist eine himmlische Vision, das andere ein irdisches Drama. Goethe beschäftigte sich seit 1824 in seinen Gesprächen und seiner Korrespondenz immer öfter mit Dante. Die Suche und der heroische Kampf gegen die Welt reichen für die Seligkeit nach dem Urteil eines Gottes aus, der unsere Welt nicht „nur von außen stieße“. „An der Stelle“ des Verlangens nach Vergebung, das auf den ersten Blick in Faust fehlt, steht sein individuelles, von Irrtümen belastetes Sendungsbewusstsein, das nichts anderes ist, als der Entschluss seines freien Willens, das Werk der Schöpfung durchzusetzen. Im Subjekt gibt es keinen Gnadenmoment (wie bei Dante), dem die Handlung entspringen würde, sondern der Prozess der Handlung selbst konnte vor dem Augenschein der Mater gloriosa zum Schluß gnadenwürdig werden. Diese Gnade ist eine Folge der Tat.

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Abstract  

World Literature’s time has come again in the current development of a new discipline of World Literature suitable for a time of globalization. The new disciple faces some challenges: the challenge of translation, the challenge of what literary works to choose as representative, the challenge of making a universal definition of “literature.” The thought experiment of imagining what commentary you would need to put with a translation into Chinese of W. B. Yeats’s lyric, “The Cold Heaven,” exemplifies these problems. Explaining the reasons for Friedrich Nietzsche’s rejection of Goethe’s Weltliteratur, in The Birth of Tragedy, is, when that rejection is put into the context of The Birth of Tragedy as a whole and of other writing by Nietzsche, a good example of the theoretical problems that the renewed discipline of World Literature may need to take into account.

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Abstract  

A half century ago Atherton started cataloguing the plethora of books in the Wake, and fifteen years ago Hogan concentrated on Milton’s work among those furnishing more potent, complex, and extended allusions. Not since Rabelais’s, Cervantes’s, Sterne’s, and Goethe’s fictions, which demonstrated how to journey through vast realms of culture and paradigmatic literature, has any author acted with such sovereign freedom as Joyce to align a convergence of all books and language over the ages with his own search for wisdom. The fact that Joyce achieved a very personal synthesis out of the referential immensity adduced in the Wake should not deter us from recognizing certain deep patterns which qualify Joyce as a renewer of important tradition. The patterns of concern here as encountered in Joyce finally carry us over into experiencing a kind of “modern mysticism” that is not exclusively apophatic but also simultaneously directly affirmative, although not explainable in any routine discursive fashion. Joyce’s idea of a divine creative principle that appears to “fall” in the course of bringing forth its own purpose in a “creation” has an honorable place in theological, cosmogonic, and mystical thought in the European tradition. A number of Renaissance savants and poets believed that various paradigms embodied in ancient myth, including the biblical story of Adam and Eve, reflected this proposition. Several streams feeding from the Renaissance over Romanticism into Modernism and interesting to Joyce (e.g., early anthropological myth analysis, cabala, theosophy, etc.) kept alive the poetic vocabulary by which to express an encounter with the baffling puzzle of Being as a drama played out by the human race, an evolutionary drama with both historical and psychological dimensions. Joyce’s contemporary, Thomas Mann, while quite different in many respects, shares Joyce’s perception that a parallelism exists between the “fall” of Being or Spirit, the “agon” of human development, and the problem of a seemingly absurd mind/body division. Although keen interest in poets like Blake, the heroic power of the imagination, and the Luciferic theme is prominent in Ulysses, a movement occurs in the Wake away from the Bildungsroman structure toward a more encompassing visionary sense of rebirth. In the Wake Joyce “revises” the Miltonic version of the fall (as well as the Dantesque and others) in a way consonant with Goethe’s revision of the meaning of the recorded three millennia of human striving in Faust II; the Goethean coda anticipates Joyce in “fulfilling” the inner tendency which surfaces from the biblical account of the family romance onward and appears instantiated repeatedly in the world theater/history. Joyce’s version abandons the apocalyptic model of a once-only creation and privileges the alternate model of an eternal or permanent universe, but according to Joyce the repeatable story of the “fortunate fall” eventuates in a requisite salvational insight suited to the Viconian “eternal return”: in the words of the mother, “first we feel, then we fall”. Joyce reinvents the basic sacraments poetically to reflect the ultimate union of creator and creation, and the Wake’s famous coda confirms the sacred mission and destiny of love’s “body” (which is also by analogy the text’s body or embodiment).

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This paper aims to reexamine the arguments concerning the three main problems of the fragmentary Euripidean tragedy Phaethon , i.e. what character and conflict lies behind Phaethon's excessive reluctance to the marriage; who the mysterious bride is; and finally, what kind of exodos fits in the dramatic context on the basis of the fragmentary textual evidence. In my discussion Goethe's reconstruction is dealt with closely; moreover, the poet's suggestions prove to be valuable not only artistically, but philologically as well. Some personal bias of his treatment nevertheless hints at a new articulation of the Phaethontic character in the Euphorion-episode of FaustII and a general reevaluation of the hybris-drama.

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Abstract  

Dante’s Commedia and Goethe’s Faust, two classics of World literature seem worlds apart. One is a medieval work with deep religious connotations and an obsolete poetics, while the other is a modern epic that deals with the predicament of the individual at the dawn of a new technological and capitalist era. Yet, these differences are essentially historical and do not affect the way in which both works communicate as poetic representations. At this level, in fact, they are very much comparable, as I will try to show. These two works have in common not only the fundamental theme of the “quest for knowledge”, but they also share what is necessarily and inevitably the representational mode of any great poetic work: the mode of allegory.

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