On the Literature and Thought of the German Classical Era: Collected Essays - cover image

Copyright

Hugh Barr Nisbet

Published On

2021-05-20

ISBN

Paperback978-1-78374-769-6
Hardback978-1-78374-770-2
PDF978-1-78374-771-9
HTML978-1-80064-594-3
XML978-1-78374-774-0
EPUB978-1-78374-772-6
MOBI978-1-78374-773-3

Language

  • English

Print Length

344 pages (viii+336)

Dimensions

Paperback156 x 24 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.94" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 27 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.06" x 9.21")

Weight

Paperback1442g (50.87oz)
Hardback1835g (64.73oz)

Media

Illustrations11

OCLC Number

1255690748

LCCN

2020447499

BIC

  • D
  • JFCX
  • FC
  • 3J

BISAC

  • LIT004170
  • LIT004130
  • LIT024030

LCC

  • PT3805

Keywords

  • eighteenth-century
  • nineteenth-century
  • thought
  • philosophy
  • science
  • literature
  • religion
  • Goethe
  • Germany
  • Enlightenment
  • Lessing
  • Herder
  • Schiller
  • politics
  • German thought
  • Locke
  • Voltaire
  • Winckelmann
  • biology
  • environmentalism
  • natural history
  • art
  • 'Age of Goethe'
  • Europe
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On the Literature and Thought of the German Classical Era

Collected Essays

  • Hugh Barr Nisbet (author)
This elegant collection of essays ranges across eighteenth and nineteenth-century thought, covering philosophy, science, literature and religion in the ‘Age of Goethe.’ A recognised authority in the field, Nisbet grapples with the major voices of the Enlightenment and gives pride of place to the figures of Lessing, Herder, Goethe and Schiller.

These eleven essays range widely in their compass of thought and intellectual discourse, dealing incisively with themes including the philosophical implications of literature and the relationship between religion, science and politics. The result is an accomplished reflection on German thought, but also on its rebirth, as Nisbet argues for the relevance of these Enlightenment thinkers for the readers of today.

The first half of this collection focuses predominantly on eighteenth-century thought, where names like Lessing, Goethe and Herder, but also Locke and Voltaire, feature. The second has a wider chronological scope, discussing authors such as Winckelmann and Schiller, while branching out from discussions of religion, philosophy and literature to explore the sciences. Issues of biology, early environmentalism, and natural history also form part of this volume. The collection concludes with an examination of changing attitudes towards art in the aftermath of the ‘Age of Goethe.’

The essays in this volume have been previously published separately, but are brought together in this collection to present Nisbet’s widely-acclaimed perspectives on this fascinating period of German thought. It will be of interest to scholars and students of the intellectual life of Europe during the Enlightenment, while its engaging and lucid style will also appeal to the general reader.

Endorsements

This volume provides a valuable contribution to our knowledge of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century intellectual life inside and outside Germany.

Prof. Karl S. Guthke

Harvard University

Reviews

Das vorliegende Buch ist das wissenschaftliche Vermächtnis von Hugh Barr Nisbet (1940–2021), Emeritus des Sidney Sussex College und Nestor der britischen Aufklärungsfor-schung. Nisbet schloss die Arbeit an diesem Band im Dezember 2020 ab, wenige Wochen vor seinem Tod am 6. Februar 2021. Seine Absicht war es, so der Verfasser und zugleich Herausgeber in seinem konzisen Vorwort, einige der zentralen Probleme und Ideenbe-wegungen des Klassischen Zeitalters der deutschen Literatur und Kultur zu konstellieren. Die von ihm für diesen Zweck aus einem reichen Fundus ausgewählten Studien haben daher trotz ihrer jeweils konkreten Denkanlässe Anspruch auf überzeitliche Bedeutung – sie sind in den Jahren nach ihrer Erstpublikation nicht durch weitere Forschungen ‚gelöst‘ oder ‚überholt‘ worden: „I have selected them", so Nisbet, „as the most important items in connection with problems presented by the major thinkers and writers working at that time" (S. vii). Entsprechend groß ist die thematische Vielfalt der Beiträge. Sie verhandeln philosophische, ästhetische, theologische, religiöse und natürlich literatur-, rezeptions-, wis-senschafts- und ideengeschichtliche Fragen und widmen sich Autoren wie Winckelmann, Kant, Lessing, Herder, Goethe, Schiller, Hegel und anderen. Als britischen Philologen inte-ressieren Nisbet dabei naturgemäß auch Fragen des Kulturtransfers und der Kanonisierung [...] Damit steht der Lektüre der hier angezeigten Studien, die alle an der Literatur der Aufklärung und der klassisch-romantischen Wende um 1800 Interessierten reizen dürfte, nichts mehr im Wege.

Cord-Friedrich Berghahn

"Hugh Barr Nisbet: On the Literature and Thought of the German Classical Era". Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift (2698-4865), vol. 71, no. 4, 2021.

Full Review

Contents

1. Lucretius in Eighteenth-Century Germany: With a Commentary on Goethe’s Poem ‘Metamorphosis of Animals’

(pp. 3–33)
  • Hugh Barr Nisbet
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0180.01

2. On the Rise of Toleration in Europe: Lessing and the German Contribution

(pp. 35–55)
  • Hugh Barr Nisbet
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0180.02

3. On the Function of Mystification in Lessing’s Masonic Dialogues Ernst and Falk

(pp. 57–79)
  • Hugh Barr Nisbet
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0180.03

4. The Rationalisation of the Holy Trinity from Lessing to Hegel

(pp. 81–107)
  • Hugh Barr Nisbet
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0180.04

5. Lessing and Misogyny: Die Matrone von Ephesus

(pp. 109–127)
  • Hugh Barr Nisbet
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0180.05

6. The German Reception of an Irish Eccentric: The Controversy over Thomas Amory’s The Life of John Buncle, Esq. (1778–79)

(pp. 129–143)
  • Hugh Barr Nisbet
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0180.06

7. Herder’s The Oldest Document of the Human Race and his Philosophy of Religion and History

(pp. 145–161)
  • Hugh Barr Nisbet
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0180.07

8. The Ethical Foundation of Goethe’s Scientific Thought

(pp. 163–177)
  • Hugh Barr Nisbet
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0180.08

9. Natural History and Human History in Goethe, Herder, and Kant

(pp. 179–213)
  • Hugh Barr Nisbet
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0180.09

10. Schiller’s ‘Ode to Joy’: A Reappraisal

(pp. 215–239)
  • Hugh Barr Nisbet
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0180.10

11. Laocoön in Germany: The Reception of the Group since Winckelmann

(pp. 241–290)
  • Hugh Barr Nisbet
https://doi.org/10.11647/obp.0180.11

Contributors

Hugh Barr Nisbet

(author)
Fellow of Sidney Sussex College at University of Cambridge