By Barbara Fischer, Thomas C. Fox
Probably the most self sustaining thinkers in German highbrow heritage, the Enlightenment writer Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) contributed in decisive and lasting style to literature, philosophy, theology, feedback, and drama thought. As a playwright, Lessing invented a brand new German dramatic style, the bourgeois tragedy or bürgerliches Trauerspiel, and wrote one of many first profitable German tragedies, Miß Sara Sampson, in addition to one of many best German comedies, Minna von Barnhelm. In his ultimate dramatic masterpiece, Nathan der Weise (Nathan the clever, 1779), he writes of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, of non secular tolerance and intolerance and the conflict of civilizations. Lessing's dramas are the oldest German theater items nonetheless played on a regular basis on German and foreign phases. either his performs and his drama thought have inspired such writers as Goethe, Schiller, Hebbel, Hauptmann, Ibsen, Strindberg, Schnitzler, and Brecht. Addressing an viewers starting from graduate scholars to pro students, this quantity introduces Lessing's lifestyles and instances and locations him in the broader context of the eu Enlightenment. It discusses his pathbreaking dramas, his both progressive theoretical, severe, and aesthetic writings, his unique fables, his leading edge paintings in philosophy and theology, and his major contributions to Jewish emancipation. the amount concludes through analyzing the reception of Lessing and his oeuvre in Nazi Germany, within the former East and West Germanys, and in modern serious concept. participants: Barbara Fischer, Thomas C. Fox, Steven D. Martinson, Klaus L. Berghahn, John Pizer, Beate Allert, H. B. Nisbet, Arno Schilson, Willi Goetschel, Peter Höyng, Karin A. Wurst, Ann Schmiesing, Reinhart Meyer, Hans-Joachim Kertscher, Hinrich C. Seeba, Dieter Fratzke, Helmut Berthold, Herbert Rowland. Barbara Fischer is affiliate professor of German and Thomas C. Fox is professor of German, either on the collage of Alabama.
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Extra resources for A Companion to the Works of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)
1767–1770: Hamburg In 1767 Lessing moved to the Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg, a welcome change after Prussian Berlin. His hopes for employment as Royal Librarian in Berlin or at the famous art gallery in Dresden had not materialized, and he accepted a position as theater critic and dramaturge of the newly founded first German National Theater in Hamburg. On 22 April 1767 the theater opened, and in the same year, on 30 September, Minna von Barnhelm, oder das Soldatenglück (Minna von Barnhelm, or A Soldier’s Fortune) had its premiere.
Lessing’s contemporaries called the elegant city a “little Paris”; international trade fairs, among them the annual book fair, lent it a worldly touch. It was during his time here that Lessing, through his relative Christlob Mylius (1722–1754), a journalist, writer, and genial bohème, came into contact with touring theater companies and traveling actors. The actress and stage director Friederike Caroline Neuber administered the most prominent of these companies. Neuber had also worked with the famous Leipzig professor and theater reformer, Johann Christoph Gottsched (1700–1766), in earlier years, but their working relationship ended in acrimony.
He worked actively as a translator, an occupation with which he earned much-needed money. Lessing read and translated widely from Greek, Latin, English, French, Spanish, and Italian, especially dramas, history, philosophy, and religious works. He also reflected upon the process of translation and was interested in translation theory in general. In the eighteenth century, translations fulfilled a double purpose: they brought German readers into contact with non-German literature, philosophy, and culture, and they exerted a considerable influence on the formation of German as a literary language.
A Companion to the Works of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture) by Barbara Fischer, Thomas C. Fox