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Scientific American Mind - Truth about Pot. Next page 1 of 8. Curtius' point of departure is Goethe himself: for Curtius, contemporary readers of Goethe should not insist on the primacy of their concerns but seek instead to understand Goethe on his own tenns.

Milch defines this difference as that between normative philosophical thought and historical thinking, and feels that both approaches make profound and legitimate demands which both need to be considered. These two weaknesses show that Curtius is more interested in «the continuity of classical patterns» than in «certain basically Christian phenomena», and that his study is more aesthetic and literary rather than historical.

Alonso feels that Curtius forgot one thing, that «no hay ningun elemento formal en el gongorismo espaiiol que no proceda de la poesia italiana» []. As a correction of Curtius' mannerist criteria hyperbaton, annominatio, periphrasis, logodaelia, versefiillendes Asyndeton, versus rapportati, Summationsschema , Alonso proposes the following: Creemos que lo primero que habria que hacer -antes del inventario propuesto por Curtius -seria un inventario de los manierismos italianos; idesde antes dePetrarca, desde el mismo sigloXIII!

Modernism, Medievalism and Humanism, A Research Bibliography on Ernst Robert Curtius

S61o asi sabrfamos exactamente que fue, en poesia, el Renacimiento italiano, que quieren decir 'Edad Media' y 'Renacimiento' cuando se habla de literaturaitaliana. Battistessa, Angel J. Battistessa briefly summarizes ELLMA and then discusses in greater detail Curtius' handling of Gracian and of Mannerism, providing a paraphrase rather than a critical evaluation of Curtius' discussion, and seeming to accept readily the continuity of Latinity in Spain. Moreover, Auerbach continues, allegory was as important and as permanent a phenomenon as the surviving influence of classical rhetoric.

Curtius' application of topology is incorrect because it ignores allegory. Buist maintains that philology confronts an irresolvable problem in treating literary texts because earlier readings of a text escape reconstruction. The historicity or historical fortune of a text explodes its uniformity.

Buist argues that the meaning which a literary work possessed for its original historical audience is the major component of a work's historical character, not the participation of that same work in any literary tradition. Some years after the writer of the Roland had sung the praise of dulce France, Dante still had to defend the use of the vernacular for poetry, a vernacular which even for him was still only a vulgar form of Latin.

Jacques Heurgon,Curtius et Rome,[18][19][20]. Heurgon studies, in redirecting the discipline from primarily linguistic research and the study of a highly select canon of received authors. Bentmann also describes the fear of students in Curtius' seminars and notes that Curtius aimed at reaching «the happy few» in his seminars. Bentmann concludes by claiming that Curtius' evolving opinions on French culture were the result of a maturation in his outlook.

Since Curtius made relatively few theoretical pronouncements, the reconstruction of the philosophical ramifications of Curtius' work depends on a series of anecdotes, a procedure which underscores in turn the pragmatic, non-systematic nature of Curtius' approach:Die Anekdote namlich ist, im Gegensatz zur Theorie, die von der Sache allein zu handeln vorgibt, die Situation von Mensch zu Mensch. Die Anekdote ist ad hominem gerichtet, was in der Theorie verpont ist, und stellt den einzelnen auf die Probe. The intensive approach comprises a close reading of the text, a method borrowed from classical philology.

This intensive method, however, when pursued to its logical end, loses sight of the 'phenomenon' of the work itself and must therefore be supplemented with an extensive approach, that is, with a consideration of the work with regard to other works. Curtius' method might be better appreciated when viewed in light of remarks made by Benedetto Croce and by Karl VoB!

Croce's aesthetics, notes Horst, rely upon a reduction of literary works to pure autonomous aesthetic principles, divorced from the phenomenological aspects of a literary work that is, apart from considerations of sources, diction, historical linguistics, and rhetorical techniques. VoBler's idealism, on the other hand, admits the relevance of these phenomenological aspects only as a concession to the pedagogical necessities of teaching a particular literary work. Horst observes that Curtius' granting precedence to the phenomenological aspects of a literary work over theoretical concerns constitutes the only means of making an inten-sive textual reading productive, and requires the eclectical consideration of as many of the exterior or phenomenological aspects of a work as possible coupled with the application of as many critical methods as possible.

Curtius' approach thereby overcomes the methodological differences between the natural sciences and the humanities and demonstrates profound affinities to the philosophical approach of Max Scheler in his Die Wissensformen und die Gesellschaft, to the conviction of Ortega y Gasset that thought was an activity, and to the historical researches of Toynbee. April 16 , In considering the prospects for Romance philology, Roncaglia argues for a synthetic point of view encompassing the well-documented unity of the Romance world rather than for a comparative vision -like Curtius' -which endeavors to reconstruct a lost unity.

This synthesis requires professional specialization which strives for a universal point of view. For this reason Roncaglia rejects Curtius' call for abandoning specialization in favor of 'universalism'. He maintains that the progress of Romance philology will depend on the tension between the demands of specialization and those of universalism: «la necessita d'integrare un certo specialismo particolaristico con un certo universalismo panromanza ed europeo e ii problema fondamentale e addirittura costitutivo della nostra disciplina» [].

Bumke shows convincingly that Wernher von Elmendorfs adaptation of the Moralium dogma represents an extensive reworking of the original. This shift reflects in all likelihood, Bumke demonstrates, the influence of didactic passages in Gautier de Chatillon's popular Alexandreis. The critic-scholar, says Hennecke, must love his subject as a precondition for understanding it, as Curtius did.

Hourlier, J. Jackson criticizes the superficial application of the concept of topos by many writers who have failed to study the particular merits and specific ramifications of the topoi which they pretend to be investigating.


This approach has little purchase for the continued study of rhetoric in the Middle Ages. Jackson comments on the polemic regarding «das ritterliche Tugendsystem», finding that while Curtius was justified in general, he was frequently unfair and sometimes inaccurate in his criticism of Ehrismann. Jackson concludes by noting that Curtius' research fulfills an important precondition for a greater synthesis of medieval literary scholarship.

Lansberg examines succinctly the contents of the Freundesgabe. Societa 14 , This famous Marxist scholar sees in Curtius' ELLMA a fundamentally Roman Catholic book which diverts literary criticism away from historical problems by transforming the topos into a metahistorical construct. Previously, Petronio notes, the Marxist critic had to fight against Croce; now, he contends, the danger comes from so-called philologists and stylistic critics, both groups having an aesthetic rather than an historical orientation.

Curtius' cultural analysis is all the more dangerous for Petronio because it hides an elitist ideology. Petronio discounts Curtius' nova rhetorica, finding it not so different from the 'old' rhetoric. As a counter-example to Curtius' plea for continuity, Petronio compares the syntax of Boccaccio with that of Guittone d'Arezzo.

Finally, Curtius' approach is dangerous not only because of its alleged Catholicism but also because of its appeal to irrazionalismo psicanalitico i. Pickering, F. Pickering reduces Curtius' approach to a mechanical topology, and having set up this straw man, proceeds to tear it down. Curtius felt that the origin of Old French epic should be viewed in the context of historical events during the period of Philip II Augustus ca.

This approach could cast light on the intimate relationship between the chanson de geste and history and provide the basis for appreciatin individual differences between the various epic poems according to their proper narrative and stylistic context. Adler finds that the 'Carolingian' aspirations of Philip II Augustus played a significant role in the «fermentation» of epics dealing with Charlemagne; thus the formation of epics in the cycle du roi re-fleets a symbiosis between history and popular tradition.

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Adler warns, however, that Curtius' emphasis of the need for a repertory of topoi tends to lead to a mechanical treatment of literary works. Adler connects Curtius' antagonism toward Auerbach's theory of the separation and hierarchy of styles in Mimesis with Curtius' failure to differentiate between various Old French epics whose individuality in fact often derives from the peculiar combination of styles found in a single work.

Adler characterizes Curtius' discussion of Renaut de Montauban as «a beautiful document humain of a German scholar's faith in the redeeming power of Romanic culture», recalling the young Goethe's love for Renaut and his three brothers Die Kinder Heyemann and Jacob Grimm's enthusiasm for the same poem. P6ggeler expatiates on the theoretical assumptions and ramifications of Curtius' «poetological topology», providing an implicit defense of Curtius' method against the criticism that Curtius had abused the historical application of the term topos.

P6ggeler repeatedly refers to Curtius' use of the topos as the foundation of an historical topology historische Topik which is not systematic and normative like the topology of classical Antiquity die antiken Topoi :Curtius hat die normative Topik der antiken Rhetorik umgeformt zu einer historischen Topik, zu einer Erforschung von Grundaussagen, von Denk-und Ausdrucksschemate, die immer wieder von der Tradition weitergegeben, die neu gefunden oder neu verlebendigt werden und zum bloBen Klischee erstarren k6nnen.

Rizzo contests in a somewhat fussy manner Curtius' contention that Dante's works reflect the essential characteristics of medieval Latin literature and that medieval Latin literature is as important as troubadour lyric and the poetry of the dolce stil nuovo for understanding the Commedia. Rizzo, moreover, objects to Curtius' claim that a critical orientation which considers Dante within the context of medieval Latin is in effect contrary to 'official' Dante scholarship.

Rychner, Max, Nachwort, in: E. In reviewing the literary career of his longtime friend, Rychner stresses the similarity in approach and intention found in all of Curtius' writings: ELLMA and Buchertagebuch both share the same kind of intellectual breadth and both underscore the need for a broad perspective in literary criticism. Tijeras, Eduardo, Ensayos criticos de Curtius, Cuadernos hispanoamericanos 44 , Tijeras gives a resume of each of Curtius' essays, demonstrating implicitly the consistency in Curtius' critical approach from the earliest essay on Emerson, written in , to the last essay on Goethe, composed in Vinay, Gustavo, Filologia e ambizioni storiografiche, Studi medievali, ser.

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In this bizarre misinterpretation of Curtius in what is supposed to be a review of the French translation of ELLMA, Vinay criticizes Curtius for the discontinuity of his argumentation: the density of philological, theological, philosophical, sociological and psychoanalytical references confuse and annoy Vinay who speaks of «Un mare agitato di riferimenti Vinay claims that Curtius' critical dogmatism contradicts his professed defense of liberty. The breadth of Curtius' perspective means that the field for research is limited only by the individual researcher's physical stamina.

Vinay makes short shrift of Curtius' claim that Dante's Commedia can be understood as an encounter with Vergil. This contention shows, according to Vinay, that Curtius confuses the solution of a critical problem with a catalogued summary of cultural influences «la somma di una elencazione culturale». Curtius therefore fails to see how simple the relation of Dante to Vergil really is! Vinay argues that Curtius' literary and aesthetic emphasis misconstrues medieval Latin literature as well as the important problems of medieval Latin philology.

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Finally Vinay reproaches Curtius for erecting an edifice of literary critical thought in which concern for literary technique replaces concern for philosophical content. Bischoff and L. Rohrich, GieBen, , ;reprinted in Eifler ed. Wentzlaff-Eggebert demonstrates how homilies treating the crusades repeatedly appeal to a notion of chivalric devotio which fuses Christian and Classical values, and argues that historical reality is more clearly revealed in this one example of the semantic development of devotio than in a reconstructed system of chivalric virtues.

Gruenter presents a detailed and nuanced investigation of the locus amoenus topos in Gottfried's Tristan, supplemented with carefully chosen comparisons to such other Tristan texts as the Saga, Sir Tristrem and La Tavola Ritonda and to a number of medieval Latin works. Gruenter persuasively and exhaustively shows that Gottfried was indeed influenced by the use of the locus amoenus topos by his predecessors, but by the same token borrowed elements from descriptions of Paradise in clerical poetry, from the long exegetical tradition of the Song of Songs, and from the Natureingang so characteristic of Minnesang.

The importance of this detailed analysis which supplants that of Tubach, see entry no. Klemperer, Victor, Das neue deutsche Frankreichsbild, , Ein historischer Oberblick, Beitrage zur romanischen Philologie 1 , ; 2 , This posthumously published essay by Klemperer, written between March 11th and April 16th, , and a moving document humain more than a finished piece of scholarship Klemperer did not publish it with his collected essays, Var 'Nach '45, Gesammelte Aufsiitze, [Berlin, , reviews in detail German studies of French culture undertaken between and Curtius' attempt to call literary pieces Mannerist if they used hyperbaton, annominatio, periphrasis a thing we can indeed determine and agree on provided no criterion; for all literature does so, and for a hundred reasons.

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Curtius himself moved toward one of the ways to make this observation of something ubi-quitous into a criterion that can differentiate, by implying that it was the presence of very many or too many such devices which could bring a work under the rubric of Mannerism. One's discomfort about this is not due to an unwillingness to depend on evaluations referable chiefly to a reader's impressionistic report of his reactions. People can agree that there is «too much» of something, but usually they do so not because firm evidence can be brought to bear, but rather because their tastes click and their linguistic sensibilities are similar.

Tuve's criticism of Curtius distorts Curtius' remarks on mannerism rather severely. In the first of these two articles, Schlumberger recalls a conversation with Curtius in January, , in which the two discussed the problems attending the reception of Goethe. Curtius characterized the failings of the academic critics of Goethe in the following terms: «Leur critique est retrospective. Ils traitent Goethe comme un mort, alors que sa place est parmi Jes vivants». This pronouncement shows to what extent Curtius' later dispute with Jaspers on Goethe could have been predicted from Curtius' attitude toward Goethe even prior to the Nazi takeover.

In the second essay Schlumberger praises Curtius' analysis of France, hinting that Curtius' consciousness of, and pride in his Germanness helped him to a clearer perspective of France.

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Schlumberger mentions Curtius' joy in visiting the French provinces, for there he could see firsthand the settings so often portrayed by Balzac in his novels. Cases, Cesare, I tedeschi e lo spirito francese, in: Saggi e note di letteratura tedesca, Turin, , ; German translation: Die Deutschen und der franzosische Geist, in: Stichworte zur deutschen Literatur, Kritische Notizen, Vienna, , , Cases sketches out a clear history of the German love-hate relationship to French culture.

If one drastically simplifies the wealth of documentation which Cases provides, this relationship has historically posited French culture as the opposite of classical civilization as for Goethe, Schiller and Nietzsche or of German culture as for Wagner. Out of this dichotomy evolved the notion of the inalterability of French culture, of the Dauerfranzoser, and led to a polemic involving the leading German Romanists of the first half of the 20th century VoBler, Curtius, Schalk, Spitzer, Friedrich.

Cases explains:In sostanza questi studiosi, in modo indipendente e in forme pill serie, proseguono la linea nietzschiana del recupero di una cultura francese pili accetta al palatto germanico del periodo imperialistico, ma la proseguono in un momento in cui e diventato pill evidente che e la stessa cultura francese a modificarsi in tal senso, ciO che riduce le deformazioni e guarantisse una maggiora obiettivita, ma al con tempo segna i limiti che presiedono a mo I ti degli sforzi per un 'intesa culturale franco-tedesca nel periodo di Weimar.