Chapter

Dante’s Long Road to the German Library: Literary Reception from Early Romanticism Until the Late Nineteenth Century

Eva Hölter

in Dante in the Long Nineteenth Century

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199584628
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739095 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584628.003.0012
Dante’s Long Road to the German Library: Literary Reception from Early Romanticism Until the Late Nineteenth Century

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This chapter shows that Dante never was an ‘easy’ author and neither was his road to the German library during the long nineteenth century. It follows the first steps towards Dante undertaken by the authors of the Enlightenment, his glorification by the Romantic writers, and his slow arrival at universities, libraries, and among the educated readership. How was Dante read and understood and how did his writings influence the German literature of the time? What stages of reception can be identified? And what role does national identity play in the literary discourse of Dante's reception in nineteenth-century Germany? Is he considered a typical representative of Italy and the Italians, is there a specific ‘German’ way to read and understand him, and does he contribute in any way to the (literary) discussion about a German national identity? Behind these issues rises the general question whether national identity can be subsumed from the great representatives of art and literature.

Keywords: Germany; Dante; Enlightenment; Romantic writers; German literature; national identity

Chapter.  8689 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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