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By Hilda M. Brown

Critics have lengthy sought to explain the multilayered texts of E. T. A. Hoffmann via utilising to them a selected set of theories and concepts that Hoffmann himself subsumed below the heading of the "Serapiontic Principle." This precept, which Hoffmann expounded in his choice of stories Die Serapionsbr?der, contains a posh intersection of the artist's schools of mind's eye and belief. although, Hoffmann's mode of offering his thought offers an strange challenge: instead of the standard kind of an essay or treatise, he adopts a fictional framework, entire with a suite of "characters"; this in flip units up a couple of views at the conception itself. this mixture of literary and theoretical parts offers a serious problem to critics, and never strangely there was little contract approximately what the "principle" truly includes or its wider relevance. With the main as top concentration, this booklet offers particular research of a largely established number of Hoffmann's texts, either theoretical and literary. It deals new views on his narrative invention and the diversity of his theoretical pursuits, therefore redefining his position on the leading edge of German Romanticism. Hilda Meldrum Brown is professor of German at St Hilda's university, college of Oxford.

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T. A. Hoffmann als Erzähler (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1987), 52–53. ” 24 See Marianne Thalmann, Romantiker entdecken die Stadt (Munich: 1965), where Hoffmann’s works are cited passim; also Lothar Pikulik, E. T. A. Hoffmann als Erzähler, 21–22. 25 See below, chapter 4, “Über alte und neue Kirchenmusik,” in which there is discussion of the respective stimulus on the creative process of a rural or an urban environment. 26 Cf. “Zeitung für Einsiedler,” a Romantic periodical publication founded by Arnim, Brentano, and Görres in 1808.

Manfred Frank, vol. 2 (1801–3) (Frankfurt am Main: 1985), 564. 35 Cf. Neumann, “Hoffmanns Wissenschaftspoetik,” 114–17. 36 See Utz, Das Auge und Ohr im Text, 210. ” Reil and Herder have also been invoked as pioneers in placing the aural above the visual faculties; see Utz, Das Auge und Ohr im Text, 194. Part 1 1: Overture: Jacques Callot H OFFMANN’S FIRST COLLECTION OF TALES, the Fantasiestücke, was published in four books between 1814 and 1816, and right from the start of his compilation in 1813 he adopted deliberate principles in the order and presentation of the individual works.

It is “punitive satire” (as opposed to “scherzende”) to use Schiller’s helpful terminology;14 it employs black humor and is one-sided in its focus on ills that may be real but that are too closely linked with specific social or political conditions and need to be placed within a wider perspective. Irony and “scherzende Satire” work differently. Callot’s irony, for instance, presupposes a sovereign detachment on the part of the artist, who, by exercising his imagination, can look out over the entire range of human activity, some of it uplifting or amusing, some dark and disturbing, thereby displacing man from the complacent Enlightenment perch that he has attained by virtue of his position as the unique possessor of reason.

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