November 5, 2008

See also Program (click on the titles).

1. Presidential Panel on Faust

Chair: Meredith Lee, University of California at Irvine

  1. Benjamin Bennett, University of Virginia
    Verse in Faust
  2. Abstract not available.

  3. Ellis Dye, Macalester College
    Knowledge and Nothingness in Goethe’s Faust 
  4. Goethe was prominent among the contributors to Heidegger’s intellectual “world,” elements of which are prefigured in Faust’s rejection of traditional scholarship, in his desire to transcend selfhood into the ecstasy of nothingness (isomorphic with Mephistopheles’s aim to reverse the ex nihilo creation of the world and restore Mutter Nacht upon her throne), and in the idea implicit in Faust and explicit in Heidegger that truth and Erlösung come not from the striving of a vainglorious “subject” but as unprompted gifts from Being or the Divine. “Denn alles muß in Nichts zerfallen, / Wenn es im Sein beharren will.”

  5. Dan Wilson, Royal Holloway, University of London
    Goethe, Greek Love, and Faust
  6. “Greek love”, as male desire for other men and particularly boys was commonly known in the eighteenth century, makes numerous appearances in Goethe’s diaries, letters, conversations, and works. However, “queer studies” scholarship has ignored these explicit references and instead examined literary works from an unhistorical modern perspective, finding homoeroticism almost everywhere and finding in it evidence of Goethe's own supposed sexual desires and practices. Examining the penultimate scene of Faust II, "Burial", this paper argues that attention to the Greek heritage can call into question easy assumptions about homoeroticism in Goethe's works.

Respondent: Jane Brown, University of Washington, Seattle

Coffee Break
2. The Divan

Chair: Thomas Beebee, Pennsylvania State University

  1. Angus Nicholls, Queen Mary, University of London
    From Natural to Human Science? Scientific Method in Goethe’s Noten und Abhandlungen zum West-Östlichen Divan
  2. Goethe’s West-Östlicher Divan (1819) has recently been seen to elaborate a distinctively German version of Orientalism which, in purportedly being largely free of colonial interests, offers a less prejudiced depiction of the Orient. Yet less attention has been paid to the possible influence exerted by Goethe’s natural scientific writings upon his theoretical approach to non-European cultures. This paper will examine to what extent epistemological assumptions found in Goethe’s post-Kantian natural scientific studies may have influenced his theoretical approach to literatures of the Orient, as outlined in the Noten und Abhandlungen zu besserem Verständnis des West-östlichen Divans.

  3. Alexander E. Pichugin, University of Pennsylvania
    The Late Goethe’s Dialectics of Time
  4. Treated in depth in the West-Eastern Divan, the motif of time and its different aspects is paradigmatic for all major works of Goethe’s post-classical years. In my presentation I will argue that Goethe’s approach to the topic of time is a dialectical one, i.e., the poet focuses his interest primarily on the ambivalence of time and its individual phenomena. In dealing with the issues of time Goethe concentrates on the binarity of two opposite aspects of temporality or time perception, such as a contemplative approach to time vs. active time perception, fleetingness vs. stability, instantaneity vs. eternity.

  5. Kamaal Haque, Dickinson College
    Des Deutschen Divans manigfaltige Glieder: A New Look at the Structure of an Early Version of the West-östlicher Divan
  6. Goethe’s “Wiesbadener Register” of 1815 lists the poems that were to form Des Deutschen Divans manigfaltige Glieder.  Goethe eventually expanded and reorganized this collection into the West-östlicher Divan, which he published in a first edition of 1819.  Des Deutschen Divans manigfaltige Glieder is a crucial step in the development of the West-östlicher Divan and an examination of its structure and content reveals how Goethe transformed his Divan from one emphasizing its Eastern origins, to one that was truly west-östlich in scope.

3. Representation in Faust

Chair: Angela Borchert, University of Western Ontario

  1. Johannes Anderegg, Universität St.Gallen, emeritus
    Dürers Handzeichnungen und das Konzept der letzten Szenen von Goethes Faust
  2. Sucht man im ersten Jahrzehnt des 19. Jahrhunderts nach Dokumenten, in denen Goethes Distanzierung vom klassizistischen Credo sichtbar wird, so verdient ein in der Jenaischen Allgemeinen Literaturzeitung erschienener, wenig beachteter Aufsatz über Albrecht Dürers christlich-mythologische Handzeichnungen besondere Aufmerksamkeit. Nicht nur repräsentieren diese Zeichnungen eben jene Traditionen religiöser Bildmotive, die in den letzten Szenen von Faust aufgerufen werden; in der Würdigung der Dürerschen Werke entwickelt Goethe, zusammen mit seinem Freund Heinrich Meyer, eine Kunstkonzeption, die sich, mutandis mutatis, als Nukleus einer geradezu revolutionären Poetologie verstehen lässt: In der irritierend modernen Komposition der ebenfalls »christlich-mythologischen« Szenen »Grosser Vorhof des Palasts«, »Grablegung« und »Bergschluchten« wird sie von Goethe theatralisch realisiert.

  3. Clark Muenzer, University of Pittsburgh
    Forms of Figuration in Faust I
  4. While the allegorical-symbolic structures of Faust II have been the topic of critical reflection for decades, their theoretical relation to the metaphorical investments of Part I has remained largely unexplored, with the exception of Neil Flax’s “The Presence of the Sign in Goethe’s Faust.” This paper, by contrast, frames the work of the figurative imagination as staged in Faust I  (Makrokosmos, Erdgeist, Helena, Gretchen) with reference to Kant’s treatment of the productive role that presentation (Darstellung) plays in making epistemological and aesthetic judgments. I undertake my analysis, which privileges judging (Urteilen) in its reflexive aspect, in order to demonstrate that the Goethean figure (Bild) becomes processual and should not be reified in terms of any specifiable content.  What Part II “unpacks and displays” from Part I, then—to borrow Jane Brown’s felicitous phrase—and what accomplishes the crucial turn from “gerichtet” to “gerettet,” is an ongoing symbolic staging of the Goethean sign, which is itself driven by an insatiable desire. The power of a time- and space-bound figurative imagination, which renders unknowable concepts intuitable for Kant, is also the power of Goethe’s synthesizing thought, which his Faust overlooks when he locates the goal of his own cognitive desire outside of the striving mind. “Was die Welt im Innersten zusammenhält,” as the only authentic source of our connection with the world, is for Goethe the formative power of the figurative imagination itself.

  5. Nicholas Rennie, Rutgers University
    Goethe’s Theatrum Naturae et Artis
  6. This paper considers Goethe's Faust as a drama that both imitates and reflects on two distinct models of representation - that of the encyclopedia, and that of the Naturalienkabinett and Kunstkammer, or what Leibniz conceives as a theatrum naturae et artis. Of particular interest is the degree to which both models, within the drama, imply 1) a spatialization of time, and 2) a rhetoric of innocence.

4. Fairy Tales

Chair: John Lyon, University of Pittsburgh

  1. Jane Brown, University of Washington
    Little People: The Ethics of Dwarfism
  2. Although the title of "Die neue Melusine" announces a fairy tale about a mermaid, the story substitutes instead an up-to-date dwarf princess for the mermaid and a barber for the knight who should be her lover. This paper analyzes dwarf imagery in Goethe and the generic roots of this particular narrative to show how the modernization and reclassification of the heroine illuminate one another and reveal Goethe's prescient social analysis of the invisible and marginal labor on which modern society rests.

  3. Christian Clement, Brigham Young University
    Ästhetische Erfahrung als apokalyptisches Ereignis - Goethes Märchen und die Johannesoffenbarung
  4. On several occasions, Goethe has hinted at a mysterious connection between his famous Märchen of 1795 and the biblical Book of Revelation. Yet the intertextuality between both texts has never seriously been examined. The article at hand explores the imagery and implicit poetology of both texts and suggests that the Märchen can be read as an apocalyptic text: it presents, as it were, the aesthetical experience as an apocalyptic, i.e. a revelatory and at the same time transformative event. The proposed reading of the Märchen also leads to a reexamination of Goethe's poetic and scientific views in general. A relationship between Goethean Weltanschauung and what might be called the aesthetics of apocalypticism is revealed, that scholarship has not yet fully addressed.

  5. Hellmut Ammerlahn, University of Washington, emeritus
    Torheit, Talent und Kunstgeschick: Goethes “wahrhaftes” Märchen "Die neue Melusine“
  6. In „zweierlei Gestalt“ erscheinen nicht nur die Zwergenprinzessin und ihr Kästchen, sondern auch der vagabundierende Abenteurer, der sich zum Barbier, Wundarzt und Erzähler „mit besonderer Kunst und Geschicklichkeit“ entwickelt. Über den poetologischen Schlüssel „zweierlei Gestalt“ erschließen sich viele der ironisch gestalteten Größenverhältnisse, Metamorphosen und übermütigen Paradoxien dieses Märchens. Die Frage, warum die Zwergenprinzessin ausgerechnet einen törichten Abenteurer zur Auffrischung ihres Stammes erwählt, lässt sich anhand von Analogiegestalten im Faustdrama und in beiden Wilhelm-Meister-Romanen beantworten. Ein kurzer Überblick über die dreistufige Konfiguration der Leitsymbole „Schlüssel“ und „Kästchen“, wie sie sich bei Felix, dem Abenteurer und Wilhelm Meister vorfinden, beschließt den Vortrag..

5. Nature

Chair: Astrida Tantillo, University of Illinois at Chicago

  1. Jennifer Mensch, Pennsylvania State University
    "Both Cause and Effect of Itself": Understanding Organism in Kant and Goethe
  2. In this paper I consider the account of organism presented by Kant in his 1790 Critique of Judgement in relation to Goethe’s Die Metamorphose der Pflanzen appearing the same year.  My interest in describing the respective accounts will be guided in part by the influence had by the so-called Pantheism Controversy of the mid-80’s.  I close my discussion with some consideration of Goethe’s subsequent appraisal of Kant’s position.

  3. Elizabeth Millán-Zaibert, Department of Philosophy, DePaul University
    In Search of Unity: From Goethe’s Urpflanze to Humboldt’s Naturgemälde
  4. For Goethe and Humboldt, the presentation of nature is both a scientific task and an aesthetic task, because for each thinker, to achieve a full understanding of nature, we must grasp the unity of nature.  The tool Humboldt uses to unveil the unity of nature is the Naturgemälde, while Goethe develops the notion of the Urpflanze.  I present Humboldt’s notion of the Naturgemälde within the context of Goethe’s notion of the Urpflanze.  I argue that this matter of “seeing” the Urpflanze is related to the crucial role that aesthetic experience plays in the scientific work of Humboldt and Goethe.

  5. Dalia Nassar, Villanova University
    From a Philosophy of Self to a Philosophy of Nature: Goethe in German Idealism
  6. One of the most significant moments in the development of German Idealism is Schelling’s break with Fichte. While various studies have investigated this break, not one has adequately accounted for Goethe’s role in Schelling’s thinking at the time. During November of 1799, Schelling and Goethe saw each other regularly to edit the introduction to Schelling’s newest work on the philosophy of nature. In this introduction, Schelling questions the primacy of the Wissenschaftslehre and puts forth a new methodology. This paper examines the role that Goethe’s scientific work had on Schelling’s turn from Fichte and from the method of the Wissenschaftslehre.

6. Music, Text, and More

Chair: Wulf Koepke, Texas A&M, emeritus

  1. Ingrid Broszeit-Rieger, Oakland University
    Goethe’s Novella “The Man of Fifty Years” – Codes of Intimacy in Flux
  2. Nicolas Luhmann develops the theory that social codes of communicating love purposefully create feelings of love. Codes change over time from public to private paradigms. Therefore, code elements become ambiguous. Goethe’s novella captures such ambiguity as a source of conflict and change. Underlying codes of non-verbal and ritualized communication such as affectionate gestures, gift giving and acts of service carry arbitrary meanings that effect communication between characters and their sense of identity. The crisis of code interpretation ultimately revolutionizes the perception of self and world. This fictional process, in turn, becomes a model for change in the eye of the reading public..

  3. Meredith Lee, University of California at Irvine
    Goethe and Vocal Music: The Hauskapelle
  4. In  1807 Goethe created a small chamber choir in Weimar. From the outset he identified a specific purpose for his “Hauskapelle”: the regular performance of multi-part religious choral music. It is an agenda he realized only in part. In this paper I would like to probe the “what” and the “how” of Goethe’s foray into religious choral music, in order to discover why he invested so much effort into it.  Repertoire will be a particular focus.

  5. Francien Markx, George Mason University
    Johann(a)philia: Reichardt's and Zelter's Settings of Goethe's "Johanna Sebus"
  6. In his ballad “Johanna Sebus” Goethe honored the selfless deed of a 17-year-old girl, who died in January 1809 in the attempt to rescue a family from the rising waters of the Rhine. Goethe’s musical friend and adviser Carl Friedrich Zelter then set the text as a cantata. Almost simultaneaously, Johann Friedrich Reichardt also composed the ballad, but chose a setting for solo song and piano. This paper will examine the attraction of the story for Goethe and both composers, and will also investigate and elucidate how these compositions reflect different interpretations of the text.

7. What Remains in Faust

Chair: Gail Hart, University of California at Irvine

  1. Frederick Amrine, University of Michigan
    “The Unconscious of Nature”: Analyzing Disenchantment in Faust I
  2. There is an uncanny affinity between Goethe’s Faust and Freud’s Traumdeutung.  I interpret the “Romantische Walpurgisnacht” as a dream that exhibits precisely the same distorting devices Freud will later elaborate in his Traumdeutung.  But the surprising result extends into realms I would like to call ‘the unconscious of nature.’  Gretchen’s demonization is a projection of our own fears and alienation that – surprisingly – goes hand-in-hand with the Weberian ‘disenchantment of the world’ that defines modernity.  Francis Bacon announces that “knowledge is power,” while in the next room, King James scribbles his treatise on demonology.  Witch trials are a form of ‘disenchantment by other means.’

  3. Elisabeth Krimmer, University of California at Davis
    “Wer im Frieden wünschet sich Krieg zurück, der ist geschieden vom Hoffnungsglück.” Warfare in Goethe’s Faust II.
  4. Abstract not available.

  5. Heather I. Sullivan, Trinity University
    Faust and the Four Elements: Hybridity and Ecocriticism
  6. Contentious debate continues as to whether Goethe’s Faust is a fragmentary aggregate or a unified totality; surprisingly, one finds a rather blatant structure for the two-part drama provided by the four elements of air, fire, water, and earth. After summarizing the play’s structure in terms of the four elements, I consider the implications for Goethe’s understanding of “nature,” which exists in his scientific writings in contrast to the elements. Faust dreams of nature but the play itself enacts battles with the elements from which no one can escape. These elements—not essences—portray  polarized hybridities with provocative potential for ecocriticism.

Coffee Break
8. Nation-Building

Chair: Kamaal Haque, Dickinson College

  1. Wulf Koepke, Texas A&M, emeritus
    Goethe as a Literary Critic and Historian
  2. In contrast to authors like Lessing and Herder, Goethe is rarely seen as an important literary critic. However, his depiction of the development of German literature in the eighteenth century in Dichtung und Wahrheit has had an enormous impact on the conception of the history of literature by subsequent critics and scholars. It is, above all, the concept of Entwicklung and Bildung that dominates this view, a evolution leading in the eighteenth century to a climax – which is Goethe’s own life and work. This intertwinement of personal and social history gives a new dimension to the seemingly straightforward narration in the autobiography, creating a particular kind of “Dichtung” that, with its claim of “Wahrheit”, has had a decisive impact that literature and its history have been interpreted. The same, to a lesser degree, goes for a number of Goethe’s book reviews from the early 19th century, especially his reviews of Hebel, Voss, and Des Knaben Wunderhorn. My paper analyzes some of these intricacies and their consequences.

  3. Patrick Fortmann, University of Illinois at Chicago
    Untiming Old German: Goethe and Medieval Literature
  4. In the Tag- und Jahres-Hefte of 1807, Goethe admitted that he had received a copy of the Nibelungenlied decades ago but never found the time to open or read the work. When he finally turned to Old German literature in the same year, in particular to the Nibelungenlied as the only work he read repeatedly as well as extensively, he did not embrace the Old German tradition, like his contemporaries, but rather untimed it. With respect to politics, philology, and poetics, Goethe read medieval literature against the grain and repositioned it in order to position his aesthetics vis-à-vis Romanticism.

  5. William H. Carter, Tulane University
    Overestimating the Significance of Adam Smith for Goethe’s Economic Knowledge
  6. In 1806 Georg Sartorius published Von den Elementen des National-Reichthums und von der Staatswirtschaft nach Adam Smith. Sartorius’s work plays a decisive role in our understanding of Goethe’s economic knowledge, particularly his reception of Adam Smith. Bernd Mahl, in Goethes ökonomisches Wissen (1982), emphasizes Sartorius’s role in the German reception of the Wealth of Nations. While he gives credit where it is due, he overestimates the value of Smith’s work for Goethe precisely by failing to read carefully Sartorius’s work, which is not simply a translation of the Wealth of Nations but rather a careful, critical analysis of Smith’s work.

9. Ordering the World

Chair: Burkhard Henke, Davidson College

  1. Chad Wellmon, University of Virginia
    Goethe’s Object Thinking, or the Overgrowth of Nomenclature
  2. Goethe spent decades writing and re-writing the various editions of Zur Morphologie, which was to chart new forms and methods of organizing the natural world. His thinking was driven by a desire to observe and account for the vastness, the sheer glut of knowledge about natural objects. This paper considers the shift in thinking about organic structure that allows Goethe to envision a radically different form of organization. Goethe’s revision of Linnaean botany challenged both the structural assumptions of scientific nomenclature and modern, Baconian science as such. Goethe draws on analogical, comparative and developmental forms of organization and structure in what he terms his object thinking. In doing so he re-imagined both scientific nomenclature and the structure and organization of knowledge itself.

  3. Markus Wilczek, Harvard University
    gegen: Verflechtungen einer Präposition in Goethes "Mann von funfzig Jahren"
  4. Unter der Prämisse, dass sich die raumzeitliche Struktur eines Textes am direktesten aus dem Netzwerk seiner Präpositionen rekonstruieren lässt, soll der Versuch einer Lektüre unternommen werden, die den Funktionen der Präposition ‹gegen› besondere Aufmerksamkeit schenkt. Diese Lektüre sucht die These sinnfällig zu machen, dass sich Goethes Text als Widerstreit der Bewegungsmodi des ‹Begegnen› und ‹Entgegen› fassen lässt, in dem die gleichzeitige Privilegierung und Subversion des ‹Entgegen› auf eine Öffnung der textuellen Struktur hindeutet, die als ‹postklassisch› gefasst werden könnte. Komprimiert im Vexierbild zwischen ‹Gegen-› und ‹Widerwärtigkeit› werden dabei Züge einer grammatologischen Zeichenkritik avant la lettre greifbar.

  5. Andrew Piper, McGill University
    Mapping Vision: Goethe, Cartography, and the Novel
  6. In the first half of the nineteenth century, geological maps, periodicals, and atlases came to occupy a key position within the market for printed material.  Embodied in the work of figures like Alexander von Humboldt, Carl Ritter, and Heinrich Berghaus, the principal project of geo-graphy – the relationship of writing to space – had assumed renewed cultural urgency.  Through readings of Goethe’s post-classical novels and several important related cartographical projects, this talk will explore how the print genres of the map and the novel worked in concert to reorient readers’ envisioning of space and thus envisioning of themselves after 1800.


Ulrich Gaier, Universität Konstanz
Helena, then Hell: Faust as Review and Anticipation of Modern Times

Saturday, November 8, 2008
10. Narrative and Philosophy: Spinoza, Kant, and Hegel

Chair: Patricia Anne Simpson, Montana State University

  1. Jeff Champlin, New York University
    At the Pleasure of Spirit: Hegel's Faust
  2. Hegel's Phänomenologie des Geistes cites Faust. Ein Fragment with an inaccuracy that draws attention to that which it omits: the "übereiltes Streben" at the center of the quoted monolog. In my paper I read Hegel's insistence on the terms "Begierde," "Lust," and "Genuß" following this citation as signs of a careful avoidance of "Streben" that both structures his system's forward motion and points to a threat to teleological interpretations of both the Phänomenologie des Geistes and Goethe's Faust.

  3. Michael Saman, Harvard University
    Resonances of Kantian Philosophy in Goethe’s Thought Between 1805 and 1817
  4. During the 1790s, Goethe had read Kant's work above all with an interest in natural science, and remained largely critical of his contemporaries' responses to the aesthetic dimensions of Kant's thought. Resuming work on morphology in 1817, Goethe would read Kant intensively once again, and, as both literary and scientific works of the 1820s testify, would thereafter remain deeply engaged with Kantian thought. From about 1805 to 1817, though, Goethe's comments regarding Kant are relatively few, and most often consist in reflections upon the past era of the 1790s, or anticipations of his work after 1817. Within the larger picture of Goethe's forty-year reception of Kant, this presentation will discuss these reflections and anticipations.

  5. Horst Lange, University of Nevada at Reno 
    Spinoza, Entsagung, Werther: On Book 16 of Dichtung und Wahrheit
  6. This paper holds that the most common interpretations of Werther and of Goethe’s relationship to Spinoza are flawed. Taking its cue from the puzzling fact that in Book 16 of Dichtung und Wahrheit Goethe credits Spinoza for giving him the concept of “Entsagung,” the paper tries to understand the Werther novel via central concepts of Spinoza’s Ethics, particularly via the concept of conatus (the drive to continue one’s existence). A picture emerges according to which the common paradigm of a Goethe whose biography is marked by a sequence of supersessions (the Classical supersedes the Sturm-und-Drang, the Post-Classical supersedes the Classical) should be replaced by one in which Goethe’s intellectual biography should be seen as an unfolding of a small set of original intuitions.

11. 20th- and 21st-Century Reception

Chair: Nicholas Rennie, Rutgers University

  1. Bernd Hamacher, Universität Hamburg
    Goethes „gegenklassische Wandlung“: Eine historische und eine systematische Untersuchung
  2. Hans Pyritz’ seit den späten 1930er Jahren verfolgte These von Goethes „gegenklassischer Wandlung“ wurde lange Zeit als erledigt betrachtet. Sie steht indes in einer Reihe mit einigen etwa gleichzeitigen Entwürfen, die ebenfalls durch eine Neubeleuchtung und Aufwertung des nachklassischen Goethe und des Goethe’schen Alterswerkes eine neue Perspektive für sein Gesamtwerk gewinnen wollten. Pyritz schrieb gegen alle Harmonisierungen Goethes im Sinne der von ihm bekämpften Humanitätsideologie und Klassikerverehrung gerade auch nach 1945 an. Seine These und ihre Implikationen werde ich zum einen wissenschaftshistorisch kontextualisieren und zum anderen ihre systematische Bedeutung für die heutige Goetheforschung untersuchen.

  3. Elizabeth Powers, independent scholar
    The Prehistory of Fritz Strich’s Goethe und die Weltliteratur: A Case Study of Changing Paradigms in Literary Scholarship
  4. The scholarship on world literature was very sparse before Fritz Strich's 1946 publication Goethe und die Weltliteratur. This paper will discuss the prehistory of scholarship on the subject before Strich's study as well as the prehistory of Goethe und die Weltliteratur, which begins with essays by Strich from the years 1926 to 1932. These essays reflect the interwar political and cultural isolation during which Germany began to narrow its cultural horizons. This prehistory sheds light on changing paradigms in Goethe scholarship, including the growth subject that world literature has become since the appearance of Strich's 1946 study.

  5. Edith Anna Kunz, Universität Genf
    Goethes Faust I: Gelesen aus der Sicht des postdramatischen Theaters
  6. Während wir es im Faust I mit (scheinbar) individualpsychologisch motivierten Figuren zu tun haben, sind die Figuren im zweiten Teil „mehr als Träger allgemeiner Zwecke, in deren Vollbringung ihre Persönlichkeit und Eigenheit aufgeht“ (Paul Rosenkranz). Diese Charakterisierung  verweist unweigerlich auf die Figurenkonzeptionen des sogenannten postdramatischem Theaters des 20. Jahrhunderts, das seine Artifizialität mit Insistenz zur Schau stellt und keine Figuren, sondern nur noch Sprachflächen" (Jellinek), die hinter den Repliken keine eindeutig identifizierbaren Charaktere mehr erkennen lassen, auf die Bühne bringt. Mein Vortrag ist ein Versuch, Goethes Faust I – besonders vor dem Hintergrund der Inszenierung von Thomas Bischoff am Deutschen Theater in Göttingen (2007) – aus der Sicht des postdramatischen Theaters zu lesen. Bischoffs Inszenierung, die sich nicht von Goethe entfremdet, sondern diesen vielmehr radikalisiert, eröffnet eine Leseweise, die den ersten Teil des Faust eng mit dem zweiten verbindet und die Bezüge, die im Text angelegt sind, einleuchtend aufscheinen lässt.

12. Masquerades and Poetic Roles

Chair: Ingrid Broszeit-Rieger, Oakland University

  1. Angela Borchert, University of Western Ontario
    Goethe between the court and the salon: Sociability, Occasion and Courtly Masques
  2. Goethe’s renewed interest in masques around 1808 arises in a threefold context, as he strives for complete transmission of his works, reconsiders his understanding of occasional poetry while writing his autobiography and reevaluates courtly culture from a more conservative political position. Significant, however, is that the masques around 1810 actually emerge in a new sociable context outside the court, the salon and the Mittwochsgesellschaft, from which sociable and poetic interests are transferred, translated and transformed into multi-media events in order to entertain the court and to further the self-representation of the court as a court of the muses.

  3. Evelyn Moore, Kenyon College
    Biographical Masquerade: Goethe's Confessions of a Public Life
  4. Abstract not available.

  5. Christian Weber, Florida State University             
    “Herr von Goethe” and Goethe: Self-Observations of a Poetic Mind
  6. The aging Goethe reused many of his early poetical characters for new literary projects. Under the general assumption that his work can be regarded as a life-long endeavor to observe and control the sometimes exuberant creativity of his imagination, my talk discusses this seemingly narcissistic obsession as a paradigm shift in Goethe’s poetological self-analysis by using the example of the Prometheus figure in the early ode and in the later festive play "Pandora".

Coffee Break

Robert J. Richards, University of Chicago
Theories of Species Evolution in Goethe and Schelling

13. Questions of Literary Paternity

Chair: Susan Gustafson, University of Rochester

  1. Catherine Sprecher, University of Chicago
    Dichtung und Wahrheit vs. Goethe's Briefwechsel mit einem Kinde: A Re-Evaluation of the Relationship between Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Bettine von Arnim
  2. 20th-century feminist critics tend to posit Arnim against Goethe. They celebrate Arnim as a postmodern subject aware of its own fragility and oppose her to Goethe, whose autobiography they dismiss as an attempt to create a sovereign subject. Feminist critics read Arnim as one of the first critics to expose Goethe's failure to create such a stable subject. I propose, however, that Arnim does not merely criticize Goethe's work, but rather develops a mode of writing which enables her to respond to the fact that Goethe's work itself is more complex than many critics assume.

  3. Rebecca Steele, Rutgers University
    Illegitimate Daughter – Illegitimate Woman. Goethe’s Die natürliche Tochter
  4. Eugenie, the androgynous border figure in Goethe’s Die natürliche Tochter, challenges notions of femininity, marriage, sexuality, and legitimacy. Ultimately though, the text can hardly be read as in support of women’s emancipation for, in the end, Eugenie’s goal is to be legitimated within the old patriarchal structure. Like the natural storm of revolution which is repeatedly mentioned throughout the text, this illegitimate woman, natürliche Tochter, does suggest that all of these changes – definitions of femininity, marriage, sexuality, etc – are naturally occurring and unavoidable.

  5. Patricia Anne Simpson, Montana State University
    Paternity and Play
  6. Can Goethe be the father of all things? Recent scholarship has revived interest in childhood and paternity in the 18th century, particularly in the ability to disclose the complex relationships among shifting definitions of enlightened thought, pedagogy, and culture against the background of the institutionalization of bourgeois subjectivity and the family. In this paper, I explore the relationship between paternities and play in several drawings that attest to Goethe’s pursuit of life as a visual artist and his need to document the impulses related to play, pedagogy, and portraiture. In pursuit of visual inscription, Goethe reveals a need for documentation and also decoration—connected to his paternal identity.

14. Readerly Experience

Chair: Markus Wilczek, Harvard University

  1. Kevin Boyd, University of Virginia
    The Dramatization of the Reader in Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister Novels
  2. Abstract not available.

  3. Fritz Breithaupt, Indiana University
    Is There an Alternative to Identification? Goethe’s Fiction
  4. Abstract not available.

15. Epistemologies in Faust

Chair: Clark Muenzer, University of Pittsburgh

  1. Jan Söffner, Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung Berlin
    What Nature Feels Like: The Epistemology of Sensing and Feeling in Goethe’s Faust I
  2. “… Und seh’, daß wir nichts wissen können.” When Faust in his introductive monologue states that his study of all canonical knowledge has been vain, the question is about the boundaries of a representation-based epistemology. Faust recurs to magic – and more importantly to an ‘understanding from inside’: Emotionality and embodied sensing, far from being irrational, become epistemic as such – and even before translating them into concepts. My paper is about the relations of this ‘emotional understanding’ on the one hand, and a disembodied knowledge on the other – relations, the drama acts out as a conflict between two concurring deficient perspectives.

  3. Arnd Bohm, Carleton University, Ottawa
    Baconian Science and Faust
  4. At stake is Faust’s ignorance of the cautions raised by Francis Bacon’s allegory of the four idols in the Novum Organum. Bacon warned that inductive reasoning was susceptible to four kinds of distorting influence: idols of the tribe, the cave, the market, and the theatre. The scientist must be alert for their influence and must struggle against them in order to advance knowledge of the real world. Faust, naive about the methods of sound scientific reasoning, falls prey to the idols rather than contending against them.

  5. Stefan Hajduk, University of Limerick
    Vom Weltverlust zum Machtwillen. Neognostische Heillosigkeit und das epistemische Ganze in Goethes Faust I
  6. Abstract not available.

Coffee Break
16. Conjurations, Pacts, and Proposals

Chair: Horst Lange, University of Nevada at Reno

  1. Gerrit Brüning, Freie Universiät Berlin
    Understanding the Wager in Goethe’s Faust I
  2. Surprisingly, scholars have not yet been able to establish consensus or clarity about the meaning of the wager and its connection to the rest of the play. The wording of the wager obscures the fundamental motives that form its actual foundation. This wording allows the protagonist to take advantage of the Devil’s services while maintaining the comforting belief that he will never have to pay the price for those services. Mephistopheles’ goal does not reveal itself in the wording of the wager either. Instead of satisfying Faust and thus winning the wager, Mephistopheles tries to lead Faust into the paths of evil.

  3. Karin Schutjer, University of Oklahoma
    Beyond Job: Faust as Solomon
  4. This paper explores the Solomonic subtext in Faust I, locating it within a constellation of Hebrew Bible subtexts in both parts of the drama. Goethe plays on the many dimensions of the figure of Solomon as he emerges both through biblical and post-biblical traditions— Solomon as servant of God, seeker, skeptic, magician, demonologist, lover and idolater.  The Solomon comparison illuminates central themes in the work, including the paradoxical character of the pact.

  5. Charlotte M. Craig, Rutgers University, emerita
    “Bilde mir nicht ein, ich könnte was lehren ...“: A Modest Proposal for the Teaching of Faust I, Revisited
  6. This paper is to share my experience of teaching Goethe’s Faust I in various institutions of higher learning, under various conditions.  Among the problems facing the instructor are students’ distaste for poetry, an attenuated vocabulary, less familiarity with the German syntax, the idiom of another age, limited class-time exposure, and the necessity to “socialize” students to certain literary conventions. Concentrating on characters and relationships, attention to colloquialisms and proverbs, and creating concrete situations enhanced comprehension, discussion, and appreciation.

17. Remembering Classicism

Chair: Catherine Sprecher, University of Chicago

  1. Simon Richter, University of Pennsylvania
    Another Memorial to Classicism: Johanna Schopenhauer's Biography of Carl Ludwig Fernow
  2. After years of art historical and art theoretical activity in Rome, Carl Ludwig Fernow came first to Jena in 1803 as a professor of aesthetics and, as his health failed him, moved to Weimar where he enjoyed a warm and solicitous reception from Anna Amalia and became the intimate friend of Johanna Schopenhauer, just as her salon, graced by Goethe’s regular attendance, flourished as Weimar Classicism Central. My interest in this paper is to explore the representation of Fernow’s life and death in 1808 by Schopenhauer as a memorial reflection on the end of Weimar Classicism.

  3. Christopher Schnader, Dartmouth College
    Goethe's Theatrical Memorials to Schiller
  4. This paper examines one of the first projects undertaken by Goethe in the wake of Schiller's death: the Weimar court theater's Gedächtnisfeier for Schiller in the summer of 1805. With scenes from Maria Stuart, a dramatic performance of Das Lied von der Glocke, and the premier of Goethe's Epilog zu Schillers Glocke, the event in Lauchstädt ­ and its reincarnations in the decade that followed ­ not only celebrated the memory of Schiller and his work, but enabled Goethe to give it shape.

  5. Ellwood Wiggins, Johns Hopkins University
    Before the Eyes of the Spirit: The "Anagnorisis" Scene between Goethe and Schiller
  6. Twelve years after Schiller's untimely death, Goethe accorded his account of their famous meeting, the encounter which sparked their fateful, decade-long friendship, a prominent position in his botanical publications. In it, Goethe reconstructs the "fortunate encounter" in the form of a drama in classical style: he first emphasizes their original estrangement to make the peripeteia of their moment of recognition even more moving and sensational. I argue first that this narrative is informed with all the traditional tropes of a classic 'recognition scene,' and then contend that it simultaneously dramatizes the paradox of knowledge of the whole that is the central problem of anagnorisis and intellectual intuition.

18. Limits of the Visual

Chair: Daniel Purdy, Pennsylvania State University

  1. Steven Tester, Northwestern University
    White: Goethe and Lichtenberg on Color and Language
  2. In 1792 Goethe wrote G.C. Lichtenberg seeking his input on the early parts of his Beiträge zur Optik. While Lichtenberg had little directly to say about the aims of the Beiträge project, the correspondence between them nevertheless occasioned a reflection on the relationship between sensation, inference and language in perception. In this paper I will be evaluating Lichtenberg's response to Goethe's colored shadow experiments and discussing the influence this may have had on Goethe's own work on color.

  3. Beate Allert, Purdue University
    Goethe’s Later Work on Color: Nachbilder, Entoptische Farben und Chromatik
  4. Goethe’s late work on color is in my understanding characterized by 1) a preference of “chromatics” over “optics“ 2) a discovery of extreme brightness, flashes of mutually enhancing reflections or intensified afterimages, 3) a deep interest in the most subdued colored shadows, 4) a concept which he calls “Chroagenesie,” 5) “entoptic colors” which he claims are made possible only via a medium or something he calls “das Trübe” (opaqueness) – which I find has become a key term in his late work where he makes a move from color perception to phenomenology and art.

  5. Birgit Tautz, Bowdoin College
    Crisis Management: Goethe on Vision and Text
  6. This talk investigates the extent to which Goethe’s Wahlverwandtschaften (1809) and West-Östlicher Divan, especially Noten und Abhandlungen (1819) can be considered indicative of a crisis in Goethe’s understanding of literary aesthetics, specifically the role of immediacy and mediation.  The thesis is that Noten und Abhandlungen subtly advocates a return to reading – and the text – in conceptualizing subjectivity, whereas Wahlverwandtschaften delineates the defining power and limitations of vision in this process.

19. Die Wahlverwandschaften

Chair: Peter Schwartz, Boston University

  1. Catriona MacLeod, University of Pennsylvania
    Tournez s’il vous plaît: Die Wahlverwandtschaften Between Stage and Page
  2. Abstract not available.

  3. Claire Baldwin, Colgate University
    Prospects of Coherence in the Wahlverwandtschaften
  4. Goethe’s Wahlverwandtschaften famously presents a social order that is coming unhinged. The characters within the novel and the novel itself as aesthetic experiment seek interpretive frameworks through which to respond to this disjunction. One way they do so is by positing and testing different models of cohesion. This paper explores articulations of cohesion in the Wahlverwandtschaften, with particular attention to the novel’s interest in the activity of aesthetic framing and its ironic awareness of the insufficiencies of such models of knowing.

  5. Laura Deiulio, Christopher Newport University
    “Die Vergänglichkeit der menschlichen Dinge”: Goethe’s Critique of Human Relationships in Die Wahlverwandtschaften
  6. On his birthday in 1808, Goethe told Friedrich Wilhelm Riemer that his goal in Die Wahlverwandtschaften (1809) was “soziale Verhältnisse und die Conflicte derselben symbolisch gefaßt darzustellen.” This paper investigates Goethe’s use of two chief strategies to represent the marital bond: the portrayal of marriage as similar to a text, and the introduction of a range of metaphors for this relationship. By suggesting that each such strategy is flawed, however, Goethe demonstrates that no single symbol can adequately encompass human relationships. By extension, the novel forces us to question the role of making meaning in other aspects of human existence.

20. Religion, Nature, Art

Chair: Karin Schutjer, University of Oklahoma

  1. Regina Sachers, University of Cambridge
    Ideas of Unity in Gott und Welt
  2. This paper shows that the collection Gott und Welt, Goethe’s late version of a long poem on nature, has to be understood as an organic unity in which Goethe was able to combine his philosophy of nature with the self-fashioning gesture of his autobiographical writing. The collection brings together the constant oscillation of Goethe’s voice between public and private with the idea of nature as a unity of the multiple. Describing a morphology of poetry, Goethe thus formulates a poetic answer to Kant’s philosophy which, because it made the distinction between practical and theoretical reason, was able to accommodate moral philosophy – and so theology – at the beginning of the age of science.

  3. Luke Fischer, University of Sydney
    Goethe and the Metamorphosis of Nature into Art
  4. In this paper I will draw on Goethe’s scientific and aesthetic writings to reconstruct his view of nature and the relationship between nature and art. Art will be articulated as the highest metamorphosis of nature, which for Goethe is dynamic, formative, and inclusive of the divine. Differences between Goethe’s aesthetics and the aesthetics of German Idealism will be discussed. I will illustrate that Goethe’s aesthetics attributes a unique function to art that is not susceptible to Hegel’s logic of sublation, and thus challenges the dictum of the "end of art".

  5. John H. Smith, University of California at Irvine
    Die Gretchenfrage: Philosophies of Life and Religion – Goethe, Kant, Hegel, and Schelling
  6. In the nearly 30 years from the conception to publication of Faust I major revolutions took place in conceptions of nature and God, science and religion.  Goethe was at the heart of them, being influenced by and influencing Kant, Fichte, and Schelling (the three I can deal with here).  The issues—what and why must one believe? what is the relationship between faith and knowledge and between faith and morality? does the order of the world conceived as a living organism tell us anything about God?—resonate loudly today in what some are calling our turn to a “post-secular” age.

21. Faust, Puppet Theater and Cinema

Faust, re-adapted for puppet theater, a film by Steven Ritz-Barr and Hoku Uchiyama (30 minutes)

Respondent: Randall Halle, University of Pittsburgh

Discussion with filmmaker Ritz-Barr moderated by Simon Richter