Focus: Literature since 1945 || Internationales Thomas-Mann-Kolloquium 1986by Eckhard Heftrich; Hans Wysling

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


  • Internationales Thomas-Mann-Kolloquium 1986 by Eckhard Heftrich; Hans WyslingReview by: Steven R. CerfThe German Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 3, Focus: Literature since 1945 (Summer, 1989), pp. 409-410Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Association of Teachers of GermanStable URL: .Accessed: 21/12/2014 06:23

    Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

    .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact


    Wiley and American Association of Teachers of German are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve andextend access to The German Quarterly.

    This content downloaded from on Sun, 21 Dec 2014 06:23:23 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions


    the beginning of Mann ohne Eigenschaften also by recovering the title (1239, Fris6), by referring to a mode of being that, as the narrator puts it, one could also call that of a nihilist as opposed to that of an activist who, like the nihilist, is a "Gottestriu- mer," not a realist. Ulrich and Agathe have no doubt that they are both "Nihilisten und Aktivisten ..., und bald das eine bald das andre, je nachdem wie es kam" (1239). Dresler-Brumme does not tell us what it means to be thus returned to the beginning of the novel and, by that token, to a decadent age on the threshold of war. Instead she reads this "concluding" chapter as a sign "Wie weltverloren, wie weit entfernt von der Wirklichkeit" Musil was in 1942 in letting Ulrich and Agathe seek the mil- lennium in mysticism "als in der wirklichen Welt Hitlers sogenanntes 'Tausendjahriges Reich' an- brach zu Gewalt und Untergang" (156). Meanwhile Dinklage, who insists that Chapter 52 completes Mann ohne Eigenschaften in a manner parallel to the ending of Die Schwdrmer, also documents that Musil was anything but "weltverloren" in 1942; in January of that terrible year Musil noted to himself: "Gedacht an weltpolitische Situation.... Der kommende neue Abschnitt der Kulturgeschichte. Die eventuelle Rolle Chinas. In kleinerem Rahmen die russisch-westliche Auseinandersetzung. ... Frage: Wie denken Sie es sich in der Wirklichkeit? wird unaufschiebbar- auch der Mann ohne Eigen- schaften kann daran nicht vorbeigehen." The great Nietzsche critic Robert Musil is still ahead of us, waiting for his readers. DONALD C. RIECHEL Ohio State University

    Internationales Thomas -Mann-Kolloquium 1986. Ed. Eckhard Heftrich and Hans

    Wysling. Thomas Mann Studien 7. Berne:

    Francke, 1987. 400 pp.

    For students of Thomas Mann not fortunate enough to have attended the first "Internationales Thomas-Mann-Kolloquium" in Lfibeck in Septem- ber of 1986, this collection of the seventeen papers presented provides a most helpful overview of re- cent Thomas Mann scholarship. The articles are divided into five sections of differing lengths, enti- tled as follows: "Zu einzelnen Werken," "Briefe und Tagebticher," "Beziehungen und Beziige," "Das Sprachwerk," and "Rezeption."

    Taken as a whole, the book does have one weak- ness that should be mentioned: it unintentionally misrepresents the entire proceedings of the confer- ence. In fact, the title of the conference, if viewed exclusively from the perspective of this volume, seems to have been somewhat of a misnomer- since the conference appears to have been neither a colloquium nor international in scope. Since no detailed introductory essay or summary of the dis- cussions immediately following the papers is pro- vided (which would have shed light on the sessions as a whole), the reader is left in the dark as to the nature of the scholarly interchange that followed each panel. In fact, since not a single paper in the volume refers to any of the other papers, one is left with the distinct impression, most certainly a false one, that these papers were given in a vacuum without any discussion or critique whatsoever.

    Also, the fact that eleven of the sixteen speak- ers (Professor Hans Wysling is represented by two papers) come from two of the German-speaking countries (the others hail from Western Europe or North America, though most were born and edu- cated in German-speaking regions) makes the term "international" highly suspect. Why the self-replica- tion? It is therefore important to point out that no presenters from the GDR or Austria were included. Nor were any of the presenters women or from Asia, Africa, South America, or any socialist coun- try. International, indeed!

    The strengths of the volume, however, far out- weigh its weaknesses. The scholarly quality of the best papers in the first four of the above-listed portions is sterling, the inclusion of the final section is highly welcome, and the excellent indexing of the entire volume makes it eminently usable as a single text.

    In the first section dealing with individual works, Helmut Koopman's study of Doktor Faustus-as an example of exile literature to be read along with Mann's addresses and letters and diaries- re- volves around both the problematic nature of Zeit- blom as narrator and the absence of references to Goethe in the novel. The two articles comprising the second edition-Hans Vaget's discussion of the correspondence between Agnes Meyer and Thomas Mann, and Wysling's synthetic overview of Thomas Mann as a diarist- are beautifully writ- ten and well thought out. Vaget's article whets our appetite for his edition of the more than four- hundred letters exchanged between both individu- als during the last two decades of Mann's life (only about one-quarter of the extant correspondence

    This content downloaded from on Sun, 21 Dec 2014 06:23:23 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

  • 410 THE GERMAN QUARTERLY Summer 1989

    has been previously published). And Wysling's most telling appraisal, nontendentious as it is, stands in marked contradistinction to the judg- mental, journalistic evaluations over the last decade and a half. In the third section, Hans-Joachim Sand- berg's discussion of the interrelationship between Knut Hamsun and Thomas Mann is stamped by the same scrupulous positivistic discipline that characterized his three previous articles on Mann's intellectual indebtedness to Georg Brandes. And in the penultimate section, Hermann Kurzke's prob- ing treatment of the sources for the Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen- which he assures the reader is part of an ongoing project-provides a helpful preamble to an important area of exploration ne- glected far too long by Mann scholarship.

    The limited space permitted me here does not allow mention of all the contributions to the volume; suffice it to say, that more than two-thirds of the entries in the first four sections are of a truly high order.

    The final section of the volume, concerning it- self with aesthetics of reception, is by far the most interesting. The first of its three essays, by Frithjof Trapp, analyzes the Marxist response to Mann, particularly in the 1930s; it deepens our under- standing of Georg Lukaic's appraisal of Mann, while simultaneously illustrating how two such similar critics as Ernest Ottwalt and Alfred Kurella could arrive at wildly contrasting views of the German novelist. The second article, by Eckhard Heftrich, analyzes the negative response to Thomas Mann by post-World War II, German-language writers. At times feuilletonistic in tone, it nonetheless, be- gins to grapple with a significant topic.

    The final essay, "Finfundzwanzig Jahre Arbeit im Thomas-Mann-Archiv," by Hans Wysling, hap- pens to be the shortest submission and the only one without footnotes; nonetheless, or perhaps because of this, it also happens to be the most illuminating of all of the seventeen contributions. In a forthright fashion, Wysling laments the fact that the thirteenth volume of the complete- 1974 -Thomas Mann edition was edited and released in haste. He expresses the hope that it will be reissued as two volumes with new material and will be edited with greater care. Wysling continues by justly criticizing the new complete, "Frankfurt" Mann edition, which began to appear in individual volumes in 1980, and he wonders why it was issued in the first place. He sincerely hopes that Mann critics will continue to use the 1974 complete edi- tion for their scholarly citations. Wysling's piece

    contains both good and bad news. On the positive side, he states that a complete edition of Mann's notebooks is currently being prepared for publica- tion; the format to be used will be similar to the one employed for the 1973 edition of the ninth notebook. On the negative side, he states that undertaking a critical edition of Thomas Mann at this time would be such a formidable task that no preliminary plans exist to begin such a project.

    What makes this volume so appealing, when all is said and done, is that it is a set of coherent soundings, showing the different directions in which recent Mann scholarship has been going. Too bad then that we, as readers, are not privy to the transcripts of the immediate critical discus- sions that these stimulating talks must have gener- ated among the two hundred people in attendance at the three-day conference. STEVEN R. CERF Bowdoin College

    SPITZER, LEONIE. Die Familie Hichst. Ein

    Romanfragment aus der Zeit von Oster- reichs Umbruch. Ed. Helene Adolf. Bad So- den/Ts: Woywod, 1986. 132 pp. DM 22 cloth.

    Die Verfasserin, nicht verwandt aber kurz ver- lobt mit dem bekannten Romanisten Leo Spitzer, und die Herausgeberin des Romans sind Kusinen ersten Grades. Sie wuchsen beide im Wien der Jahrhundertwende auf, studierten dort Kunst und Literatur und promovierten nach Ende des Ersten Weltkriegs. Berufliche und freiberufliche Titigkeit folgte in den zwanziger und dreif3iger Jahren, bis die Annexion Osterreichs beide zur Flucht zwang und sich ihre Wege trennten. Leonie Spitzer emi- grierte zunichst nach Italien und von dort nach England, da sie schon zweimal in Oxford studiert hatte. Sie erhielt auch bald eine Anstellung an ei- nem College, starb aber schon 1940 an Krebs. Helene Adolf verschlug es in die USA, wo sie lange Jahre an bekannten Colleges und Universititen lehrte und sich durch ihre zahlreichen wissenschaft- lichen Verdffentlichungen einen guten Ruf als Ger- manistikprofessorin erwarb. Noch heute geht sie riistig ihren Forschungen nach. Die Freundinnen waren aber auch auf dem Gebiet der sch6nen Kdin- ste titig: sie schrieben, unter dem Einfluf3 von George, Hofmannsthal und Rilke Gedichte, die zum

    This content downloaded from on Sun, 21 Dec 2014 06:23:23 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

    Article Contentsp. 409p. 410

    Issue Table of ContentsThe German Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 3, Focus: Literature since 1945 (Summer, 1989), pp. 293-454+i-xivFront MatterSwiss Literary Culture since 1945: Productive Antagonisms and Conflicting Identities [pp. 293-307]Im gleichen Schrott und Trott: Zur Opposition des politischen Kabaretts in Adenauers Wirtschaftswunderstaat [pp. 308-319]Romancing America: Reflections of Pocahontas in Contemporary German Fiction [pp. 320-328]Fragment und Totalitt bei Peter Handke [pp. 329-334]Political Thinking in a Nuclear Age: Hochhuth's Judith and Drrenmatt's Achterloo [pp. 335-344]Die Wiederkehr des Nationalen: Zur Diskussion um das deutschlandpolitische Engagement in der Gegenwartsliteratur [pp. 345-356]"In the Name of Obedience, Reason, and Fear": Mother-Daughter Relations in W. A. Mitgutsch and E. Jelinek [pp. 357-372]Blitze im Herzen der Finsternis: Die neue Anthropologie in Christa Wolfs Strfall [pp. 373-383]Relativism, Feminism, and the "German Connection" in Allan Bloom's the Closing of the American Mind [pp. 384-394]Book ReviewsTwentieth-Century LiteratureReview: untitled [pp. 395-396]Review: untitled [pp. 396-397]Review: untitled [pp. 397-398]Review: untitled [p. 399]Review: untitled [pp. 399-400]Review: untitled [pp. 401-402]Review: untitled [pp. 402-403]Review: untitled [pp. 403-404]Review: untitled [pp. 405-406]Review: untitled [pp. 406-407]Review: untitled [pp. 407-409]Review: untitled [pp. 409-410]Review: untitled [pp. 410-411]Review: untitled [pp. 411-412]Review: untitled [pp. 412-413]Review: untitled [pp. 413-414]Review: untitled [pp. 414-415]Review: untitled [pp. 415-417]Review: untitled [pp. 417-419]Review: untitled [p. 419]Review: untitled [pp. 419-420]Review: untitled [pp. 420-422]Review: untitled [pp. 422-423]Review: untitled [pp. 423-424]Review: untitled [pp. 424-425]Review: untitled [pp. 425-426]Review: untitled [pp. 426-427]Review: untitled [pp. 427-428]Review: untitled [pp. 428-429]Review: untitled [pp. 429-431]Review: untitled [pp. 431-432]Review: untitled [p. 432]Review: untitled [p. 433]Review: untitled [pp. 433-435]Review: untitled [pp. 435-436]Review: untitled [p. 436]Review: untitled [pp. 437-438]Review: untitled [pp. 438-440]Review: untitled [p. 440]Review: untitled [pp. 441-442]Review: untitled [p. 442]Review: untitled [p. 443]Review: untitled [pp. 444-446]Review: untitled [pp. 446-448]

    Minutes of the AATG Executive Council [pp. 449-454]Back Matter [pp. i-xiv]


View more >