By Barbara Fischer, Thomas C. Fox
Essentially the most autonomous thinkers in German highbrow historical past, the Enlightenment writer Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) contributed in decisive and lasting type 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 most interesting 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 frequently on German and overseas phases. either his performs and his drama concept have inspired such writers as Goethe, Schiller, Hebbel, Hauptmann, Ibsen, Strindberg, Schnitzler, and Brecht. Addressing an viewers starting from graduate scholars to professional students, this quantity introduces Lessing's lifestyles and instances and areas him in the broader context of the ecu Enlightenment. It discusses his pathbreaking dramas, his both innovative theoretical, serious, 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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Additional info for A Companion to the Works of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)
Finally, he combined elements from the first two phases. 32 In parts of the Briefe, die Neueste Litteratur betreffend Lessing also discusses the work of translation. 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.
He utilized some of them as the basis for further publications, among them the sixvolume Zur Geschichte und Litteratur. Aus den Schätzen der Herzoglichen Bibliothek zu Wolfenbüttel (On History and Literature: From the Collections of the Ducal Library in Wolfenbüttel, 1773–1781), which, due to its exemption from censorship, would later (from 1774 until 1777) be used for the publication of the Fragmente eines Ungenannten. That publication and Lessing’s commentaries, the so-called Gegensätze des Herausgebers (Editor’s Counter-Propositions, 1777) led to a heated controversy with numerous contemporary theologians.
Although a belief in progress through education is not unusual among Enlightenment thinkers, Lessing refused, both in his life and in his work, to acquiesce to the disciplining of the senses through reason that would appear to be one logical outcome of rationalist thought. In his personal life, Lessing early expressed his preference for the theater, the café, the pub, and the gaming table over the scholar’s study. ”4 Lessing’s theology also affected his literary work. Although hardly unusual in his view that literature should serve a social purpose and improve morals, Lessing again differed from the rationalists in that he did not think this possible by reason alone; he sometimes called the stage his pulpit.