Od srednje Europe preko Sredozemlja u beskraj: njemački književni mediteranizam u osvit Prvog svjetskog rata


Tomislav Zelić
Department of German Studies, University of Zadar


Mediterranean, Central Europe, German literature, modernity/modernism, First World War


This book examines Mediterraneanism, that is the cultural imaginary of the Mediterranean, in the history of German literature on the eve of the First World War. The introductory chapter will prepare the analysis, interpretation and critique of literary works. In more detail, it will cover Mediterranean commomplaces, the historical and political context of the history of German literature on the eve of the First World War, the origin of the term „Mediterraneanism“ in race biology, the meaning of the Grand Tour, that is the customary journey of aristocrats or wealthy townsmen to the South, the geographical, historical, and social relation between Central Europa and the Mediterranean, the theoretical and methodological similarities and differences between orientalism, balkanism, and mediterraneanism. It will elicit key concepts such „cultural imaginary“, the theoretical and methodological relations between multiculturality, interculturality, and transculturality, the ethnological and anthropological
concepts of alterity and alienity, the concepts of topography and topology, tropology and reconfiguration in literary studies as well as the concepts of epiphany and theophany in literary studies and theology. The second chapter will deal with literary models from antiquity, which servd classical modernist writers as ideal examples or counterexamples for their critical and satirical parodies and travesties. It is about the Odysee and the myth of Europe, the daughter of the Phoenecian king from Asia Minor. The third chapter examines the meaning of the Mediterranean as a counterpoint to decadence and nihilism in Europa, as per the aphorisms and poems of Friedrich Nietzsche. This is a starting point for all writers who on the eve of the First World War in their literary works represented the Mediterranean, be it as a historical origin of European culture, be it as a poetic dreamland where Europe will experience all-encompassing rebirth or final doom. Three introductory chapters are followed by five main chapters that deal with German writers who represented the Mediterranean in relation to Europe in their literary works. The works penned by classical modernist writers Gerhart Hauptmann (1862–1946), Hermann Bahr (1863–1934), Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926), Thomas Manna (1875–1955), and Gottfried Benn (1886–1956) share in common that they raise the question as to how the Mediterranean could serve as a source of poetic inspiration for the spiritual renewal of Central Europe.



May 26, 2022

Details about this monograph

ISBN-13 (15)