By Birgit Röder
The German Romantic author and composer E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822) -- maybe top identified to the English-speaking international via his Nutcracker and during Jacques Offenbach's opera Tales of Hoffmann -- struggled to persuade his predominantly bourgeois public of the benefits of paintings and literature. now not strangely, a lot of his most crucial novellas are sure up with the dilemmas of artwork and the demanding situations confronted via the Romantic artist, and it truly is those Künstlernovellen which are the focal point of this learn. Birgit Röderargues that Hoffmann's artists usually are not easily people who create artistic endeavors, yet fairly figures via whom the writer explores the trouble of these who reject the traditional global of bourgeois fact and search to claim the claims of the mind's eye in an international ruled by means of prosaic rationalism. opposite to prior students in spite of the fact that, Röder demonstrates that Hoffmann's novellas basically warn opposed to a view of paintings as an independent aesthetic realm bring to an end from the area of truth. this can be quite obvious in Röder's research of gender kinfolk in Hoffmann's oeuvre -- specifically the connection among (male) artist and (female) muse -- which underlines the level to which artwork, literature, and the mind's eye are inseparably certain up with the existing social truth. The novellas which are given vast attention are Das Fräulein von Scuderi, Der Sandmann, Die Jesuiterkirche in G., Die Fermate, Der Artushof, Don Juan, Das Sanctus, and Rat Krespel.
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Additional info for A Study of the Major Novellas of E.T.A. Hoffmann (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)
First, who is the main character? Is it Cardillac or Scuderi? And second, how does the story end? Does it end on a positive note insofar as 5 the central protagonists bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion, or 6 are we invited to take a more skeptical view of the denouement? Given the number of diametrically opposed interpretations of the story, it is hardly surprising that some critics have turned their attention to the formal qualities of the novella instead and viewed it as an early example of a detective 7 novel.
Hoffmann (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1988), 111. 40 See, for example, Sergio Givone, “Hoffmanns moderne Ästhetik,” MHG 30 (1984): 59–68 (59). 41 Briefwechsel I, 194 (26 September 1805). ” See Safranski, 28. , E. T. A. Hoffmann in Aufzeichnungen seiner Freunde und Bekannten. Eine Sammlung von Friedrich Schnapp (Munich: Winkler, 1974), 459. 34 E HOFFMANN AND THE ROMANTIC DILEMMA 44 Schmolling was the model for Büchner’s Woyzeck in the play of the same name. In order to understand Hoffmann’s verdict, the case must be seen in its wider context.
Often Hoffmann saw the cases he presided over as complex socio-psychological situations involving real human beings and HOFFMANN AND THE ROMANTIC DILEMMA E 25 45 not as instances of abstract legalistic argument. This was to expose him to the charge of treasonable activities that constituted a threat to others, a charge against which he mounted a spirited defense even though his 46 health was failing him and his days were numbered. His commitment to a Kantian theory of ethics did not blind Hoffmann to the irrational aspects of the human psyche or the wider social and psychological dimension of the legal code.