The book begins with an introduction to digital disruption and why it matters. The next part of the book focuses on business strategy which includes case studies on the impact of social media and how digital disruption changes pricing strategies and price models. Chapters cover how 3D printing is challenging existing business models and how the automotive industry is innovating with new perspectives.
Part five centers upon the service industry with a look at virtual teams and the emergence of virtual think tanks. Finally the book concludes with a look to the future, embracing disruptions. Skip to main content Skip to table of contents. Advertisement Hide. Front Matter Pages i-xxiii. Anton Ulrich, Duke of Brunswick wrote two interminable novels, entitled " Aramena " and " Octavia," in the former of which he introduces a prince of the ancient Germans, who is married to a queen of Nineveh by the high priest Melchisedek. A more successful novel, in the early romantic style, was " Die asiatische Banise," by Anselm von Ziegler und Klipp- liausen, containing all the necessary points of interest, where a princess, captive to a bloodthirsty tyrant, is released by her bold and heroic lover.
There are, however, two novelists of this period whose works possess lasting interest, the first of whom, in date, is Hans Michael Moscherosch He was in- fluenced by Spanish models, and in his satirical " Wunder- liche und wahrhafte Gesichte Philanders von Sittenwald ", where he imitated in part Quevedo's " Dreams " Suenos y Discursos , he turned them to good account.
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The second and greater is : Christoph von Grimmelshausen , who wrote the novel " Simplicissimus " on the Spanish plan. This book gives a realistic picture of the state of Germany during the Thirty Years' War. The hero, brought up in absolute ignorance of the world, and thrown unprepared into the wild soldier-life of the period, falls into all kinds of error from sheer inability to distinguish right from wrong; at last, disgusted with the world, he becomes a hermit.
Grimmelhausen's mode of procedure is good. He writes firm and well-ordered prose. To say that he depicts horrors, barbarity, the life of savages rather than of civilized men, is to say that he writes of the Thirty Years' War. Defoe had not failed to find disciples in Germany, and Robinsonaden, as they were called, found their place among the cosmopolitan imitations. The best of these was the Tnsel Felsenburg by Johann Gottfried Schnabel, written about , and resembling "Simplicissimus" in plan. The happy island of the book was first inhabited by a German Crusoe alone, but afterwards colonists nocked to it.
Vice and unhappiness were left behind, and in this new Utopia, the inhabitants tell the stories of their own lives, which contain many allusions to the general history and social events of the times. As a conclusion to the period of the Thirty Years' War, we may name here Pater Abraham a Santa Clara, died , of whose eloquence jocular when necessary Schiller made use in his sermon in Wallenstein's Lager, where part of a " Turk Sermon" of Santa Clara's is almost literally reproduced.
He wrote "Judas der Erzschelm " "Judas the Arch- rogue". A MAN whose name is of constant recurrence in the history of eighteenth-century literatnre in Germany, a man of wide-reaching, if only temporary influence, and of unbounded belief in his own genius and literary infallibility was the Leipzig critic and dramatist, Johann Christoph Gpttsched Had Gottsched's pretensions been more modest, it is probable that the valuable work he really accomplished would have met with more lasting appreciation.
As it was, his overweening belief in his own opinions alone, his intolerance of contra- diction, and his really narrow view of slavish adherence to the plans laid down by the French classic authors, caused his downfall during his own lifetime, and Goethe, who in his youth visited Gottsched at Leipzig, says in " Wahrheit und Dichtung," " Ganz Leipzig verachtet ihn, niemand geht mit ihm um " All Leipzig despises him ; no one associates with him. Yet Gottsched was an energetic and able worker, though he fell short of genius, and some of the ideas he strove hard to carry out are praiseworthy in the extreme.
As a Professor at the University of Leipzig, it was his aim to make that town a literary centre for all Germany. He inaugurated periodicals on the model of the " Tatler " and " Spectator," edited them himself, and wrote many of the articles. His Kritische Dichtkunst, or " Critical Art of Poetry," carried on the work of Opitz, and sought to lay down hard and fast rules for the drama, as well as for poetry in general.
Where he erred was in too strict adherence to the opinion of French critics, by which real genius is bound down to rules too small, too unimportant to be invariably enforced. He was afraid of allowing scope to the imagination, afraid of a return to the extravagance of Lohensfcein, and his critical faculty was not sufficiently keen to distinguish true poetry from false. He did all in his power to attract the best actors to Leipzig, and adapted plays for the stage, a work in which he was largely aided by his wife, who undertook the comedies. Gottsched's original poetical works were a total failure.
He copied from Addison's " Cato " itself a failure Der Sterbende Cato, which was possibly the best of his many attempts. He translated " Racine," attained great celebrity, then attempted to assume the censorship of all publicatipns, and thereupon plunging into literary quarrels, suffered in many circles ridicule as great as the admiration he had formerly received. He, together with his friend, Breitinger , also a native of Zurich, followed the English school rather than the French, not Addison or Pope, or any of the so-called Augustan poets, but chiefly Milton, of whose " Paradise Lost " Bodmer made a prose- translation.
Neither Bodmer nor Breitinger possessed great original genius; the former especially was ambitious of literary fame, and both opposed Gottsched strenuously. Bodmer had some appreciation of Shakespeare, and ex- pressed a fastidious horror of rhyme, copied probably from Milton's opinion in the apology to " Paradise Lost. Another Professor of the University of Leipzig at the. Gellert was originally intended for a clergyman ; he remained all his life a strict moralist and a thoroughly religious man.
His work was varied, but perhaps the worthiest of all he accom- plished was the moral influence exercised over those who came in contact with him. His Fdbeln are excellent, possibly called forth by Lafontaine though Gellert answered Frederick the Great as to his having imitated the French poet, "Nein, Ihro Majestat, ich bin ein Original " but written melodiously and grace- fully, until then a rare thing in the German since the Minnesinger. Gellert tried many styles, and gained more than deserved popularity in all.
He wrote serio- comedies and a sentimental novel in the style of Richardson, Das Leben der schwedischen Grdfin G. Some of his hymns are very melodious and sweet. A poet of independent standpoint may be mentioned here, Albrecht von Haller, of Bern, born in , died He wrote " Oden ; " his Ode an Doris is celebrated as a passionate love-poem, for the fire of which he thought fit to excuse himself in his old age; Die Alpen, his masterpiece, showing his love for his native land, and fiber die Ewigkeit.
The influence of the late Roman period and of the English poets is to be seen in his work, especially in his didactic poems and satires. Haller's lan- guage is not thoroughly correct in his first editions as German- Swiss this was probably unavoidable but he has high thoughts, and expresses them with appropriate earnestness. Friedrich von Hagedorn, of Hamburg, also indepen- dent of Gottsched and the "Leipziger," was born in the same year as Haller, and died in He is remarkable for the thorough correctness and flowing elegance of his diction, and was the first to introduce the anacreontic style into German verse.
As Haller followed English, Hagedorn followed French models. A group of poets who also wrote Anacreonics, and were known as the Hallische or Preussische Dichterverein may be placed here. The influence of Horace, and sometimes of Petrarch, is visible in them. Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim , called " Yater Gleim" on account of his benevolent interest in rising poets, wrote Anacreontics and the Preussische Kriegslieder eines Grenadiers, which bear wit- ness to the charm exercised by Frederick the Great over his contemporaries.
His great literary success, hailed with enthusiasm at the time but less prized by posterity, is the long descriptive poem : J tvr In later life, however, he adopted a graver style and wrote the Odes : "Das bedrangte Deutschland " and " Theodicee. At this period, a poetess known as the " German Sappho," in the exaggerated phraseology of the time, Anna Luise Karsch was in great renown among her contemporaries, but posterity has forgotten her once celebrated " Gelegenheitsgedichte.
Gottlieb Wilhelm Jlabener , wrote satires in many forms, influenced by Swift and Cervantes. He satirized especially the German middle-class of the period, and his writings are now out of date, as the state of things parodied has in great measure passed away. Johann Andreas Cramer, died , wrote Odes, sacred poems, and a biography of Gellert. Gellert himself belonged to this circle of poets, and was greatly admired by them. The sentimentality which has ceased to please in our time pleased in his, and Gellert charmed his readers as Richardson in England delighted his public. A man whose best work comes very near the first rank of genius, who in a way achieved a great and admirable success, and who yet, judged from the highest standpoint, may be considered to have missed his own grand ideal, was Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, born at Quedlinburg, , died The Swiss poet Bodmer's enthusiasm for Milton had not been confined to a limited circle.
Through all the interminable length of what is, rightly judged, a grand and lasting literary monument, Klopstock never surpassed, if he equalled the first Gesange which he had finished when he was little more than a boy. A long life was granted him, but the immortality of Milton will not justly be his. He was capable of grandeur, capable of noble emotion, able to clothe his thought in the majesty of a grand hexameter ; the consciousness of the dignity of his high theme was upon him, the realization of its pathos ; and his own exuberance of sympathy was his fatal stumbling- block.
Klopstock was born for a lyric poet ; the power of representation necessary to an epic was beyond his grasp. He dares not describe our Lord's sufferings, they are " un- speakable. Lessing's words apply only too well : " Wer wird nicht einen Klopstock loben? Doch wird ihn jeder lesen?
The English poet knew that human interest is indispensable to human beings ; Klopstock floats away into the ethereal, and his creations are bodiless, mere abstrac- tions, which the mind cannot grasp. As Schiller says : " Klopstock zieht allem, was er behandelt, den Korper aus, um es zu Geist zu machen.
The following lines may serve as an example : "Ichbin Ewig! Indem die Ewigen sprachen, Oing durch die ganze Natur ein ehrfurchtvolles Erbeben. Seel en, die jetzo wurden, noch nicht zu denken begannen, Zitterten und empfanden zuerst. The manifold attempts made to interest Frederick the Great in German literature had failed in every case. He shewed some appreciation of Gellert " le plus raisonnable de tous les savants allemands " as he called him but remained cold enough in reality to the whole movement. The " Messias " was the last thing to kindle enthusiasm in a man nourished on the French of Yoltaire.
The Ode " Hermann und Thusnelda " is one of his finest efforts. The poet's later life was passed in great part at Copen- hagen, where he was provided for by the King of Denmark, and so enabled to live without the sordid care of bread- winning. In the days of his early fame, the old puritanical Bodmer had urgently invited him to Zurich, and Klop- stock acceded to his request. However, the old admirer of Milton and the inspired youth who was to write the new immortal epic were sadly disappointed in each other.
Klopstock drank wine, smoked, and preferred the society of the young and frivolous to that of the grave and respect- able associates of Bodmer. He had left Zurich greatly out of favour with his host. Klopstock died in , having lived to be nearly eighty years of age. His life was almost contemporaneous with that of Immanuel Kant, the great metaphysician, who was born the same year as Klopstock, and died one year later.
His work in versification, too, may be compared to that of Kant in philosophy a thorough re-construction and remodelling of all that had gone before. The poet of the " Messias " had remained faithful to the serious in literature ; he had not, in his works at least, been swept from one standpoint to another under the influence of the conflicting doctrines of the times.
But it was other- wise with the poet who takes higher rank than he, as the producer of a great epic poem, Christoph Martin Wieland The son of a Suabian clergyman, he was strictly and piously brought up, probably in that narrow and puritanical way which, as a rule, produces sooner or later the opposite effect to that desired. Wieland's first literary efforts, however, were in perfect harmony with his upbringing and education. During the first period of his intellectual activity, Wieland wrote lyrical, didactic, and narrative poems, all with strong religious tendency.
Such are : " Von der Natur der Dinge oder der vollkommensten Welt," " Lob- gesang anf den Friihling,' ' in which he prefigured the eternal spring-time of Heaven, " Moralische Briefe," " Anti-Ovid," where the praises of love and wine were hardly dealt with ; a Biblical epic after Bodmer's own heart, " Der geprufte Abraham ; " " Sympathieen, Empfindungen des Christen," and songs in which he idealized his cousin, Sophie Gutei- mann, whom he treated as the personification of all angelic qualities in woman.
The sentimental piety of the poet, however, which was purely artificial and in nowise connected with true religious faith, began to make way for the charm of antiquity the Greeks replaced Abraham and the Biblical heroes. As was to be expected, Wieland exchanged from one extreme to the other before he recovered his mental balance, and attained the fulness of his poetic development.
The second phase through which he passed was that of sensuousness and materialism, under the influence of Shaftesbury, Sterne, Rousseau, Voltaire, and Diderot. During this period of his life Wieland wrote " Nadine," " Don Sylvio von Bosalva," and AgatJion, which was the story of his own life set in a framework of Greek cities, modern in colouring though classic in design. As a rule, Wieland 's Greek descriptions are marred by the intermixture of modern sentimentality and an affectation of culture, wholly alien to the noble simplicity of antiquity.
Wieland was growing to a higher development than Klopstock ever attained. In appeared Afusarion, a delightfully fresh, graceful tale in verse, where a misanthropical philosopher is converted to the doctrine of Epicurus that pleasure is the highest good that is to say, the doctrine of Epicurus himself, whose definition of " pleasure " was absence of pain, not the coarse enjoyment understood by his later followers.
Wie- land intended to teach a philosophy of the Beautiful in " Musarion. He had arrived at the capability of doing his best. Shakespeare attracted him,, and he made a prose translation of a number of his plays, not of great intrinsic merit, but very remarkable in the effect it produced. The novel " Die Abderiten " ranks among the poet's best works.
In , Wieland's masterpiece, the epic poem, Oberon, was published amid a burst of applause. The interest is throughout well sustained, and the treatment not too subjective for an epic : the poet keeps himself in the background, and avoids the exaggeration of his earlier style. A quarrel and final reconciliation between Oberon, the king of the fairies, and his wife Titania are inter- woven with the adventures of Huon and his love, who first failing in a solemn promise are as a punishment shipwrecked, undergo hardships and privations innumerable, but at last being purged from their fault by suffering, enjoy the per- fection of happiness.
After Oberon, Wieland's epic attempts were inconsider- able. Towards the end of his literary career he made excellent translations of Horace's " Satires and Epistles," the whole of Lucian, Cicero's " Letters," and some plays of Aristophanes and Euripides. One of the most striking characteristics of Wieland's genius is its inexhaustible productiveness.
Von Thummel, died ; " Beise in die mittaglichen Provinzen Frankreichs. IN the year , a society of young men in Gottingen, mainly students at the university, a number of whom mis- took exuberant vitality and the excitability of youth for poetic inspiration, founded what they called the Qottinger Dichterbund or the " Hain. They reverenced Homer, and after him Shakespeare and the English ballad Bishop Percy's " Reliques " were received with enthusiasm in Germany and, as German idol, they adored Klopstock. This superabundant love of Klopstock was only equalled by their unmitigated abhorrence of Wieland, whom they styled " Sittenverderber," and, as a protest against his dangerous teaching, they once burnt his works.
France and French literature shared with them the fate of Wieland, but amid all this bluster of abuse and prejudice, glimpses of genius were not absent. The greatest among them in ori- ginality and strength is the well-known ballad writer, Gottfried August Burger He was a man of dissipated life, and his talents were in great measure wasted.
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Still, for fire and headlong irresistible force in the representation of the weird and unearthly, Burger has rarely been equalled. Lenore, is perfect of its kind. The girl, carried away by her ghostly lover or Death himself in the form of her lover in a frantic race through the moonlit night, the grim triumph of the refrain, "Hurrah! Der wilde Jdger also translated by Scott is founded on a well-known German legend, and can be classed with " Lenore. Raspe, a German. Frau Schnips and Der Kaiser und der Abt are lively comic ballads, and if his life had been less torn and wasted by his own unbridled passions it is probable that Burger would stand higher than he does among the writers of his age and nation.
The man who was really the life and soul of the Got- tinger Dichterbund was Johann Heinrich Voss, , a most diligent and clever translator. His is the merit of having really translated Homer, not according to the letter alone but according to the spirit, with a real echo of the Homeric grandeur and full comprehension of the Greek genius. Unfortunately he wished to be too true to the original, and so, in part, spoilt his work. Prominent members of the Ham in the matter of noisy enthusiasm and hero-worship, were the two brothers Christian, Graf zu S toll erg, , and Friedrich Leopold, Graf zu Stolberg,Il9, the younger being the better poet of the two.
The brothers published their works together. Their youthful search after ideals was marked by considerable eccentricity, but they ended quietly enough ; Graf Friedrich-Leopold joined the Church of Rome and forgot his revolutionary tendencies. Schiller wrote of them in the " Xenien " : " Als Centauren gingen sie einst durch poetische Walder; Aber das wilde Geschlecht hat sich geschwinde bekehrt.
His chief poems are : " Elegie in den Buinen eines alten Bergschlosses geschrieben," where, from the starting-point of a description of the life of the knights of old, he falls into reflections on the past; u Genfersee " and " Abendlandschaft. Gaudenz von Salis , was the author of "Lied eines Landmanns in der Fremde. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was born in Saxony in His busy life ended in He continued on other and broader lines the work of Gottsched ; his literary career differs from that of Klopstock, in that he did not, like Klopstock, determine on the object of his life at its outset and remain firm to his early resolution ; it has greater resemblance with the development of Wieland, but does not present the sharp contrast of Wieland's change from exaggerated affectation of piety to licentiousness in tone, LESSING.
Lessing was never narrowly strict in his religious views. It is possible that he showed too great laxity, that his large toleration may have had its source in religious indifference- rather than in charity, but he is throughout the writer of noble works, containing grand thoughts and high ideals. His popularity and rise to fame were far from being the work of a moment.
As a boy, he showed that fondness for books which is possibly more frequently found in Germany than in any other country. He early grasped the meaning of the tendency, and saw its potential result pedantry. And the knowledge, or the fear, of that pedantry caused him to write his first very mediocre play " Der junge Gelehrte. Lessing obtained an introduction to Yoltaire, and the- veteran of brilliant reputation frequently invited the young man to visit him, and advised him freely on literary style- and matter. The rupture came after a time, as with the majority of Voltaire's friends.
He had shown the MS.
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Voltaire taxed him with dis- honest motives, and the two parted with considerable ill-feeling. Meanwhile Lessing was writing with great application. His early plays, after the " Junge Gelehrte," were : " Der Misogyn," and "Der Freigeist," where the freethinker is brought to change his views by a very upright and straight- forward theologian.
The " Jude " preaches that religious toleration which was afterwards to find its full expression in his masterpiece "Nathan der "Weise," and censures the cruel prejudices entertained by Christians against the Jews. This friendship no doubt confirmed him in his tolerant views. Lessing felt that an attempt to depart from the stereo- typed tragedy of historical character, and the introduction of a more familiar element, the tragedy or the comedy of daily life in the middle classes, would be likely to meet with success.
This, as possessing the larger proportion of interest for the every- day spectator, was greeted with enthusiasm, and Lessing made his first essay at this " biirgerliche " tragedy in his somewhat painful play, Miss Sara, Sampson. The actors bear English names, though that is their only claim to distinctively English character, and the plot is founded on the novel " Clarissa Harlowe. In Lessing returned to Leipzig, the theatre there being superior to the theatre in Berlin, and after the end of the Seven Years' War , he wrote the first of his three dramatic masterpieces, Minna von Barnhelm The time for the publica- tion of this comedy was wholly favourable.
The Seven Years' War was at an end, but military life and fortune occupied all minds. Saxony had been conquered, and Frederick the Great was again triumphant, but many of the officers who had served under him were rich in the memory of their brave deeds alone, for the king's ex- chequer was exhausted.
The hero, Major von Tellheim, a noble, generous man, experiencing the reverses of fortune, and reaping only ingratitude for having risked his life for his country, had before the close of the war become betrothed to the heroine, a young Saxon lady of great fortune, Minna von Barnhelm. Discharged from the army, and in distress for money, he thinks himself no longer worthy of her ; but she, knowing the disinterestedness and modesty of his character, comes to Berlin to find him, and insists on pre- venting him from sacrificing himself.
Her maid, Franziska, and his"Wachtmeister," Paul Werner, are two delightful characters ; Franziska, with her unfailing repartee and quickness of comprehension, contrasting with the slow and honest Paul, who would lay down his life for his major. The king in the end rights Tellheim's wrongs, and the close of the play, with its two pairs of lovers happy, is in every way satisfactory. Lessing's prince is represented as ruling over a small Italian state, a man dabbling in art and literature, not in himself especially tyrannical or vicious, but accustomed to deny himself nothing, whether allowable or not, and wholly guided and influenced by a most villainous favourite, the chamberlain Marinelli.
The Prince sees Emilia Galotti, who is the affianced bride of a brave soldier, Count Appiarii, falls in love with her, and determines, on the advice of his evil counsellor, to prevent the marriage.
Then the plot unfolds itself on the lines of the history of the Roman maiden, Virginia. Lassen Sie mich sie kiissen, diese vaterliche Hand. If in " Minna von Barnhelm" and "Emilia Galotti" we admire the un- alterable beauty of diction, the purity of taste in words, which is one of Lessing's most salient points, we find in "Nathan," the culminating perfection of this wonderful mastery of language in the faultless five-footed iambic verse, here first introduced into the German drama and destined to a noble future.
The clearness and force, the directness and elegance, which mark Lessing's writings above all others, are the more remarkable because by no means common in German even in writers of great genius. It is probable that his early association with Voltaire, who, faulty as he often is in subject-matter, has an almost perfect style of his own, may have contributed towards this high excellence in Lessing. However that may be, his readers can only be thankful that he attained it, from whatever source it came.
There is no doubt that " Nathan " cost its author more thought and more serious effort than his other plays. It is the gravest and the most uniformly elevated in style. Its centre-point and leading idea is that religious toleration which Lessing sometimes with unchristian bitterness had always striven to inculcate; but the setting is in itself picturesque and interesting, the glamour of that noble theme of song, the Qrusades, lies over it, and a great historic hero, Saladin, is one of the actors.
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Nathan, surnamed among his people the Wise, is a merchant possessing great wealth, and living at Jerusalem with his adopted daughter, Becha, and her nurse, Daja. He has gone on a journey ; during his absence a fire consumes his house, and Becha would have perished had she not been rescued by a Knight Templar, who saves her from the flames and disappears from sight, but not from the memory of the maiden. The Jew returns, and is summoned before Saladin, who is in need of money and accepts a loan from him ; and in this scene the story of the " Three Rings," beginning, "Vor grauen Jahren lebt' ein Mann im Osten," which is the keynote of the whole piece, is told by Nathan to the Sultan.
Lessing did not invent the story himself.
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Boccaccio tells nearly the same tale of Saladin, and in the eleventh century it was attributed to a Spanish king. Saladin in Lessing's play, asks which is the preferable of the three religions, Mohammedanism, Judaism, or Chris- tianity? And Nathan in reply tells his story : There was once a man who possessed a ring, which had the secret property of making its wearer agreeable to God and man. This ring passed on through generations, from father to best-loved son, until its possessor for the time was the father of three sons, whom he loved equally. He would not exalt one above the two others, and therefore before his death he caused two other rings to be made, so exactly similar to the original that they could not be distinguished from it.
Then he died, the three sons were each in possession of a ring, and each claimed that his was the original. The sons appealed to a judge who heard their claims, and pro- nounced judgment. Their father, he said, had proved that he loved them equally by giving them each a ring. Saladin was struck with the story, and treated Nathan with high honour. Meanwhile Becha, nursing her enthu- siastic admiration of the Templar, whom she at first believes to be an angel in human form, and who loves her in secret, is proved to be the daughter of a Christian ; and the Patri- arch a caricature of Lessing's bitter opponent Goze, an orthodox pastor interferes to take her away from her adopted father.
In the end, it is discovered that she and the Templar are brother and sister, and the children of Saladin's younger brother, who had married a Frankish lady and disappeared years ago. The minor characters in the play are drawn with great skill. There is a dervish of wild and lawless temperament, who can bear the utmost destitution of poverty, but not the slightest restraint; a timid " Klosterbruder," the cowardly, almost dishonest Christian nurse, Daja, and the Patriarch, who has all the characteristics of a Grand In- quisitor.
The fault of the detail of the play from the standpoint of justice is the inferiority of the Christians as compared with Saladin, his sister Sittah, and Nathan. Lessing fell into an error, too common in writers who cry out against intolerance among Christians they are them- selves intolerant of the Christians.
That, however, does not interfere with the artistic value of a great literary master- piece. Side by side with the drama, Lessing had done excellent work in other fields of literature. Lessing is indeed the real founder of aesthetic criticism in Germany, and Macaufay has justly called him " the first critic of Europe. Such are the essays : Wie die Alien den Tod gebildet, a wonderfully keen and intelligent criticism of classic art, and the deservedly cele- brated "Laokoon," in which Lessing established principles until then unthought of in Germany.
The Laokoon was called into being by the work of Winckel- mann, a 'talented writer on art. Lessing, always inclined to controversy, in which his unrivalled critical faculty in- variably allowed him to shine, combated many of the prin- ciples laid down by Winckelmann. Then, starting from the criticism of the celebrated Laokoon group in statuary, where he describes and explains every contortion of the writhing figure, and every line in the martyred brow the " Sitz des Ausdrucks," as he styles it he proceeds from plastic to poetic art, and lays down the most excellent rules for epic poetry.
He insists on the avoidance of long de- scriptions, enumeration of qualities, and attractions, point- ing out the superiority of Homer over Virgil in that parti- cular, and, as a general principle, the preferability of action to mere words. The " Laokoon " is worthy of a high place not only for its style, but also for the value and soundness of its artistic teaching. Lessing's versatile genius found manifold expression.
We may mention Fcibeln und Sinngedichte, almost epigrammatical in their conciseness, Anmerkungen uber das Epigramm, Brief e antiquarishen Inhalts, and the Hamburgische Dramaturgie. The remembrance of his early quarrel with Voltaire, which was almost all the king could be per- suaded to know of Lessing, prevented Frederick II. Lessing went to Hamburg, attempted there to reform the theatre, and published periodically the " Hamburgische Dramaturgic.
It was an "Art of the" Drama," calculated to extinguish the false ideas then prevailing ; it pointed out the serious defects of the French school, and their wrong interpretation of Aristotle's " Three Unities," insisted on the paramount necessity of action, and set up as models Sophocles and Shakespeare. Lessing's reform of the drama had begun with Miss Sara Sampson.
In the " Drama- turgie " he produced a masterpiece of criticism, and the most important work on poetry of the eighteenth century. After leaving Hamburg Lessing was at last made librarian at Wolfenbiittel Brunswick. Here the least praiseworthy part of his literary work was accomplished in his bitter controversial writings against Pastor Goze, and the strictly dogmatical party.
He had lately lost his wife and infant child, and his grief may have embittered his thought and warped his judgment. The controversy was stopped officially, and Lessing wrote as a noble expression of his views, "Nathan der Weise. It is fitting to mention here besides Moses Mendelssohn died , author of " Phadon oder iiber die Unsterblich- keit der Seele," Lessing's other friend, Nicolai, died , one of the principal agents in the German revival of letters. THE period was full of new awakening. The glory of the Second Golden Age of German Literature shone in multi- farious lustre, every branch of study, every field of thought, found its respective workers, and among those who opened up new paths, disseminated new ideas in other minds and scattered everywhere fruitful seed, was Johann Gottfried Herder.
He was born in East Prussia in , and died at Weimar in Educated for the Church, he hoped through his calling to influence the great, and make himself a lasting reputation. He was full of ambition, of high aims and great thoughts, but a certain incapability of finishing the work in hand, haunted him, and prevented the realization of his greatest plans, possibly on account of their vast scope and difficulty of fulfilment, for his central idea, throughout his varied work, was the progress of the human into harmony with the divine.
Herder's genius as a linguist and as a translator has never been surpassed. He possessed the rare talent of grasping the inner meaning of foreign song of putting himself in the place of the writer, of seeing with his eyes. He studied with wonderful perseverance the sources of the most diverse kinds of poetry. Hebrew, Greek, Italian, Spanish, French, English folk-lore and song, as well as the songs and legends of the less cultured peoples of other parts of the world.
An assemblage of these varied elements is contained in his Stimmen der Volker in Liedern, and in the same groove of study he wrote Vom Geiste der hebraischen Poesie. Prior to these in date, Herder's important works were Fragments zur deutschen Litteratur , and Kritische Walder , the latter bearing in many re- spects a resemblance to Lessing's " Laokoon. From to his longer work, which, like most of his more voluminous writings, remained unfinished, Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit, was published.
Herder brought to bear on it a wonderful power of imaginative description, and vast stores of knowledge. One of his leading ideas is the survival of right among humanity. The right lives, the wrong dies. He overflows with admira- tion for the civilization and culture of the Greeks, but the work breaks off when it reaches mediasval times. The Brief e zur Beforderung der Humanitdt contain portraits of great historical characters, whom Herder holds up as types and models of virtue.
Among others, he draws a striking picture of the genius of Frederick the Great. Herder wrote also " Legenden," a subject long neglected in Germany. According to R. Kohler, the greater part of " Der Cid " is imitated from a French prose text. In summing up Herder's work and influence, it may be said that his labours in the study of language were the most extensive and the most fruitful.
An essay written in the earlier period of his career, to which a prize was awarded, in , by the Berlin Academy, Tiber den Ursprung der Sprache, opened an entirely new course of study, and gave ideas by which the philologians of to-day profit. He recognised in its full significance the intimate connection between language and thought, and, going back to the origin of literature, found the antiquity of poetry to be greater than that of prose. Hence his wonderful collection of songs of all nations, and the importance he ascribed to poetry as the " mother-tongue of the human race.
It is in Weimar that he lies buried with the inscription on his tomb, " Licht, Liebe, Leben. Hamann gloried in the abasement of human reason, human logic, before the mysteries of life and death, which no philosophy can explain. He placed poetry before science, and maintained that faith is better than knowledge, since knowledge is necessarily limited by the limits of human intelligence.
They were revolutionary in literature and in politics, and intolerant of all barriers. They " stormed " through life, hence the name which, originally the title of a play by Maximilian Klinger, came to be distinctive of the writers themselves, who were called " Sturmer und Dranger. Herder, when writing with the fervour which sometimes distinguished him, was classed among the Sturmer und Dranger. Goethe, when he wrote " Gotz von Berlichingen," was one of them, as also Schiller at the time of his writing the " Bauber.
He was for a time at the Court in Weimar with Goethe, but his culpable foolishness in writing a pasquinade on the Duchess Amalia, of which his incipient mental malady was the cause, compelled him to leave it. Lenz wrote 73 touching lyrics, but in his dramatic attempts, such as "Der Hofmeister" and "Die Soldaten," the most ex- travagant ideas run riot, relieved by occasional excellence of character- drawing.
Maximilian Klinger wrote wild and inflated plays, such as " Sturm und Drang," which, although it gave the name to the whole period, is inferior to " Die Zwillinge," his best work "Der Schwur " and "Die falschen Spieler," which are filled with declamatory hatred of tyranny, and treated again the popular theme : " Fausts Leben, Thaten und Hollenfahrt.
One of the impassioned enemies of tyranny under whose influence Schiller fell in his early days was the poet and musician, Daniel Friedrich Schulart He was a typical Sturmer und Dranger.
His Filrstengruft " Sepulchre of Princes " was a stormy invective against royal tyranny, and full of bitter reproaches of the crimes of rulers. Some of Schubart's songs are good. With the foregoing poets must be classed Goethe and Schiller in their youth. Both were animated by the aims and aspirations of the revolutionaries in literature and politics, and this phase of their development was embodied in their early writings, which shall be mentioned here before the account of their later works, to be given in the two following chapters.
He was intended by his father for the law. The father, a grave, perhaps com- monplace man, had not the lively sympathy for his gifted son which the mother felt. It was to his mother that Goethe owed the training of his imagination, and the charm of bright companionship. Shakespeare early be- came his idol. In , when twenty-four years of age, he made himself famous by the publication of his first play, Gotz von Berlichingen, written with Shakespearian free- dom from dramatic rules, and in the revolutionary spirit of the rising generation.
The " Gotz " of history, " der Hitter mit der eisernen Hand," was probably more of a f reebooting noble than a champion of ideal liberty ; Goethe, however, makes him a defender of the oppressed, and the victim of cruel tyranny, and draws a vivid picture of the lawlessness of the German princes, and of the inability of the emperor to cope with the disturbances of his realm. Gotz is a model husband and father, a hero of somewhat rough stamp, but of noble if rugged nature, contrasting with the polished effeminacy of the weak and treacherous Weislingen, who had formerly been his friend.
An attempt to quell a rising of the peasantry is construed into an attempt at insurrection on his part, and he dies while imprisoned, murmuring " Freiheit! It is the anti- podes of Goethe's later style, drastic, coarse in its original editions, but in many parts true to nature, as was Shake- speare, the great master, whose leadership he followed, and it appealed to for it was the outcome of the spirit of the times.
Clavigo was published in The book, written in a series of letters by the hero, Werther, is false in morality and sentiment, but possesses great and remarkable beauties. The descriptions of nature are among the finest Goethe ever penned. The motive of the tale is the suicide of the young Jerusalem, which had just occurred at Wetzlar y blended with the story of his own love for Charlotte Buff, Bat with that discretion which is undoubtedly, in such a case, the better part of valour, Goethe refrained from the decisive pistol-shot by which his hero ended his moaning, and as an alternative wrote the history of his sorrows.
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