Exploring the Interior: Essays on Literary and Cultural History - cover image

Copyright

Karl S. Guthke

Published On

2018-05-24

ISBN

Paperback978-1-78374-393-3
Hardback978-1-78374-394-0
PDF978-1-78374-395-7
HTML978-1-80064-545-5
XML978-1-78374-528-9
EPUB978-1-78374-396-4
MOBI978-1-78374-397-1

Language

  • English

Print Length

366 pages (vi + 360)

Dimensions

Paperback156 x 19 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.76" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 21 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.81" x 9.21")

Weight

Paperback1133g (39.97oz)
Hardback1519g (53.58oz)

Media

Illustrations1

OCLC Number

1043409881

LCCN

2018404467

BIC

  • D
  • JFCX
  • 3J

BISAC

  • LIT004130
  • LIT024030

LCC

  • PN751
  • G88

Keywords

  • Europe
  • Enlightenment
  • geographical exploration
  • indigenous populations
  • interest in human nature
  • exploration of the self
  • literary and cultural history
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Exploring the Interior

Essays on Literary and Cultural History

  • Karl S. Guthke (author)
In this fascinating collection of essays Harvard Emeritus Professor Karl S. Guthke examines the ways in which, for European scholars and writers of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, world-wide geographical exploration led to an exploration of the self. Guthke explains how in the age of Enlightenment and beyond intellectual developments were fuelled by excitement about what Ulrich Im Hof called "the grand opening-up of the wide world”, especially of the interior of the non-European continents. This outward turn was complemented by a fascination with "the world within” as anthropology and ethnology focused on the humanity of the indigenous populations of far-away lands – an interest in human nature that suggested a way for Europeans to understand themselves, encapsulated in Gauguin’s Tahitian rumination "What are we?”

The essays in the first half of the book discuss first- or second-hand, physical or mental encounters with the exotic lands and populations beyond the supposed cradle of civilisation. The works of literature and documents of cultural life featured in these essays bear testimony to the crossing not only of geographical, ethnological, and cultural borders but also of borders of a variety of intellectual activities and interests. The second section examines the growing interest in astronomy and the engagement with imagined worlds in the universe, again with a view to understanding homo sapiens, as compared now to the extra-terrestrials that were confidently assumed to exist. The final group of essays focuses on the exploration of the landscape of what was called "the universe within”; featuring, among a variety of other texts, Schiller’s plays The Maid of Orleans and William Tell, these essays observe and analyse what Erich Heller termed "The Artist’s Journey into the Interior.”

This collection, which travels from the interior of continents to the interior of the mind, is itself a set of explorations that revel in the discovery of what was half-hidden in language. Written by a scholar of international repute, it is eye-opening reading for all those with an interest in the literary and cultural history of (and since) the Enlightenment.

Reviews

It is to be hoped that this book will find a large academic and nonacademic readership as it imparts historical depth as well as a wealth of colorful details to a topic of great current interest.

Prof Monika Fick, Techn. University Aachen

Lessing Yearbook/Jahrbuch, vol. XLVI, 2019.

Contents

1. Faust and the Cannibals: Geographical Horizons in the Sixteenth Century

(pp. 19–56)
  • Karl S. Guthke
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0126.01

2. “Errand into the Wilderness”: The American Careers of Some Cambridge Divines in the Pre-Commonwealth Era

(pp. 57–76)
  • Karl S. Guthke
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0126.02

3. At Home in the World: Scholars and Scientists Expanding Horizons

(pp. 77–100)
  • Karl S. Guthke
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0126.03

4. In the Wake of Captain Cook: Global vs. Humanistic Education in the Age of Goethe

(pp. 101–116)
  • Karl S. Guthke
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0126.04

5. Opening Goethe’s Weimar to the World: Travellers from Great Britain and America

(pp. 117–152)
  • Karl S. Guthke
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0126.05

6. In “A Far-Off Land”: B. Traven’s Mexican Stories

(pp. 153–180)
  • Karl S. Guthke
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0126.06

7. Nightmare and Utopia: Extraterrestrial Worlds from Galileo to Goethe

(pp. 183–204)
  • Karl S. Guthke
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0126.07

8. Lessing’s Science: Exploring Life in the Universe

(pp. 205–236)
  • Karl S. Guthke
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0126.08

9. A Saint With Blood on her Hands: Schiller’s Joan of Arc

(pp. 239–262)
  • Karl S. Guthke
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0126.09

10. The Curse of Good Deeds: Schiller’s William Tell

(pp. 263–288)
  • Karl S. Guthke
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0126.10

11. Revelation or Deceit?: Last Words in Detective Novels

(pp. 289–318)
  • Karl S. Guthke
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0126.11

12. Genius and Insanity: Nietzsche’s Collapse as Seen from Paraguay

(pp. 319–336)
  • Karl S. Guthke
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0126.12

Introduction: From the Interior of Continents to the Interior of the Mind

(pp. 3–16)
  • Karl S. Guthke
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0126.13

Contributors

Karl S. Guthke

(author)
Kuno Francke Research Professor of German Art and Culture at Harvard University