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Title: Visionary poetry in the German dictatorships : Peter Huchel and Johannes Bobrowski
Author: Yuille, Nicolas John Cameron
ISNI:       0000 0001 3576 2353
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis contains a comparative analysis of the poetry of Peter Huchel and Johannes Bobrowski. Following Hans Dieter Schafer's reassessment of writing in National Socialist Germany, Das gespaltene Bewusstsein: Uber deutsche Kultur und Lebenswirklichkeit 1933-45 (1984), Huchel and Bobrowski are considered here with minimal reference to cultural politics in the two dictatorships in which they wrote. Axel Goodbody's survey of nature symbolism, Natursprache: Ein dichtungstheoretisches Konzept der Romantik und seine Wiederaufnahme in der modernen Naturlyrik (1984), provides both a theoretical basis for considering Huchel and Bobrowski's nature poetry, and also sets their writing in a lyrical tradition. Goodbody's work is considered in particular in chapter one. The tradition of German lyric poetry, particularly that of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, is central to the analysis of Huchel and Bobrowski's poetry throughout this thesis. Chapter two investigates the place of religion in their poetry and its broader appeal to the poets considered here. The mood of the poetry is the subject of chapter three, linking the scepticism in much of Huchel and Bobrowski's writing with that of twentieth-century writers and thinkers, and with poets from the lyric tradition who share a post-revolutionary situation. Poetic mythology is considered in chapter four, with examples being taken from Huchel, Bobrowski, and Eduard Morike, and these are discussed alongside the theoretical ideas of Schiller and Holderlin. The final chapter takes issues of subjectivity and communication as the basis for an examination of Huchel and Bobrowski's place in Modernism and for a comparison of their Personengedichte. Much of the analysis in this thesis depends on a reading of a variety of poetic texts by Huchel and Bobrowski, early Modernist German poets, Biedermeier writers, and eighteenth-century poets, while drawing on the substantial body of scholarship on Huchel and Bobrowski already available. The Peter Huchel Collection at the John Rylands University Library of Manchester and the Huchel and Bobrowski archives at the Deutsches Literaturarchiv, Marbach am Neckar, were also consulted. The thesis concludes by proposing a 'visionary' construction of Huchel and Bobrowski's writing, focusing on the non-rationalist levels at which the two poets attempt to communicate, through their concepts of language, through mythologies, through the religious and the mystical, and through the moods invoked in their writing. Their poetic vision tries to provide a holistic view of the individual and of human society, but this view is fundamentally undermined by the reality with which the poets are faced. The visionary construction offers a complementary approach to Huchel and Bobrowski's poetry alongside the political and biographical approaches presented elsewhere. It also indicates specific points of similarity and divergence between two oeuvres which have often been the subject of critical comparison, setting them in the context of a lyric tradition of great importance to each.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available