Rooth's study of Cinderella and Dr. Roberts's of the Frau Holle tale. Baughman's study of the British and American folktale — with bibliography of nearly 1, titles. Klipple's exhaustive treatment of the African tales of European and Asiatic tradition about titles covered.
Many additions to Greek mythology from special studies of the Troy story and from Grote's extensive notes in his History of Greece. Arabian Nights — some notes from Burton's well-known edition, as well as the summaries from Chauvin, mentioned above. Penzer's ten-volume Ocean of Story , with its excellent notes and indexes covering the classical Indic collections. Neuman's large motif-index of Talmudic-Midrashic Literature, opening up much biblical and other Jewish material. Comprehensive — over works indexed.
A comprehensive study, now in progress, of the principal tale and myth collections of Australia, Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia. References are made directly to these works. The Handbook of South American Indians , which in its six volumes gives a good summary of the myths of tribes over the continent.
- English literature notes pdf!
- Motif in literature.
Additional North American Indian references furnished by Dr. Remedios Wycoco Moore in her unpublished Ph. Of all fields of traditional literature included in this index, that concerning local legends is least complete. In addition, a large number of monographs on special legends have been used. Many motifs belonging to this genre are also included in the studies of novelle and jestbooks, mentioned shortly. The jests, of which so many collections were made in the Renaissance, also find a place here. In addition, of course, monographs on particular jests have been used. A whole series of motifs from the French conteurs of the Renaissance, such as Les cent nouvelles nouvelles and the Heptameron of Marguerite of Navarre have been furnished by a group of students at the University of South Carolina, whose help is acknowledged in the proper place.
The literary history of these tales is well known, so that no attempt was made to supply all of them with bibliographical apparatus, but only to place them definitely in the body of fable literature. In all, some five hundred fables appear in the classification. Certain additions have been suggested by Professor Ben Perry's monumental Aesopica , though the expected volume of comparative notes has not been available.
Am Urquell. Books and periodicals which have been explored with some thoroughness in the search for motif-studies are indicated in the general bibliography by an asterisk. They need no page reference. But when I have been in serious doubt, I have always included an item, and only after real consideration has any special treatment of narrative material been rejected.
For the purpose of deciding on inclusion or exclusion, I have had no hard and fast principle. Anything that goes to make up a traditional narrative has been used. When the term motif is employed, it is always in a very loose sense, and is made to include any of the elements of narrative structure. In general, any item in tales that other investigators have made notes on has been accepted. Sometimes, as in those treated in Chapter A, the events of creation, or the nature of the creator of of the gods, may be the subject of interest.
Again, as in Chapter C, the index may involve incidents based on certain principles of conduct e. Most of the items are found worthy of note because of something out of the ordinary, something of sufficiently striking character to become a part of tradition, oral or literary. Commonplace experiences, such as eating and sleeping, are not traditional in this sense. But they may become so by having attached to them something remarkable or worthy of rememberihg.
Mere eating is usually of no particular interest in a story. Eating on a magic table, food furnished by helpful animals, food that gives magic strength — these become significant and are likely to be handed down by the teller of tales. Aside from the general principle just given, no rule has been followed in choosing what should go into the classification. I have tried to include all that becomes a part of tradition — all that is found worth retaining when tale, ballad, jest, or myth is transmitted by word of mouth or on the written page from generation to generation or from land to land.
This classification of materials is the result of a gradual evolution, not of any preconceived plan. It has grown out of an attempt to arrange conveniently a large number of notes made from widely divergent fields of narrative. Many groupings have been made and later combined, with others which are clearly related; many also have been split up into two or more headings.
In the course of time there have emerged from this experimental process twenty-three divisions which have been finally retained. But no such progress is to be observed in all parts of the index: the last half is nearly all realistic. In Chapter A are handled motifs having to do with creation and with the nature of the world: creators, gods, and demigods; the creation and nature of the universe, and especially of the earth; the beginnings of life; the creation and establishment of the animal and vegetable world.
Chapter B is concerned with animals. Not all tales in which animals figure are placed here, for most frequently it is the action and not the particular actor that is significant in such stories. In Chapter B, on the contrary, appear animals that are in some way remarkable as such: mythical animals like the dragon, magic animals like the truth-telling bird, animals with human traits, animal kingdoms, weddings, and the like. Then there are the many helpful or grateful beasts, marriages of animals to human beings, and other fanciful ideas about animals.
Just as the motifs in Chapter B suggest some possible relation to the institution of totemism, those in Chapter C are based upon the primitive idea of tabu. Forbidden things of all kinds are here listed, as well as the opposite of that concept, the unique compulsion. The most extensive group is that devoted to magic Chapter D. The divisions are quite simple: transformation and disenchantment, magic objects and their employment, magic powers and other manifestations. The motifs listed in Chapter E concern ideas about the dead — resuscitation, ghosts, and reincarnation — as well as ideas concerning the nature of the soul.
Aside from magic and the return of the dead, traditional literature records many marvels: journeys to other worlds; extraordinary creatures such as fairies, spirits, and demons; wondrous places, such as castles in the sea; and marvelous persons and events. These form Chapter F. Because of the prominence of dreadful beings, such as ogres, witches, and the like, these have been given a special division, G. It will be seen that there is naturally much relation between Chapters E, F, and G; for example, between ogres and evil spirits, or between fairies and witches or ghosts.
These relationships are noted by means of cross-references. Beginning with Chapter H, the purely supernatural assumes a minor importance, though it is still occasionally present. Chapter H has been formed gradually from three separate divisions in the original plan. These, however, are all comprehended under the term "Tests". Tales of recognition are really tests of identity; riddles and the like, tests of cleverness; and tasks and quests, tests of prowess.
In addition are to be found sundry tests of character and other qualities. Their fundamental unity is apparent: the motivation is always mental. The first part Wisdom consists in large part of fable material. The tales of cleverness and of stupidity come in large measure from jest books. In the motifs in Chapter J the attention is directed primarily to the mental quality of the character. In K, on the contrary, primary importance is given to action. A very large part of narrative literature deals with deceptions. The work of thieves and rascals, deceptive captures and escapes, seductions, adultery, disguises, and illusions constitute one of the most extensive chapters in the classification.
The rest of the work is made up of smaller chapters. In "L" appear such reversals of fortune as the success of the unpromising child or the downfall of the proud. In "N" the large part that luck plays in narrative is shown. Tales of gambling, and of the favors and evil gifts of the Goddess Fortuna appear here. Chapter P concerns the social system. Not all tales about kings and princes belong here, but only such motifs as rest upon some feature of the social order: customs concerning kings, or the relation of the social ranks and the professions, or anything noteworthy in the administration of such activities as law or army.
A very great number of cross-references appear in this chapter. In "Q" are recorded rewards and punishments, in "R" motifs concerning captives and fugitives, and in "S" instances of great cruelty. In "T" are treated together the motifs dealing with sex, though there are, of course, many other parts of the index where such motifs are also of interest.
Here particularly come wooing, marriage, married life, and the birth of children, as well as sundry types of sexual relations. In Chapter U are gathered a small number of motifs, mostly from fable literature, that are of a homiletic tendency. A tale is told with the sole purpose of showing the nature of life. Many incidents depend upon religious differences or upon certain objects of religious worship.
These motifs make up Chapter V. In "W" stories designed to illustrate traits of character are classified. The last of the systematic divisions, "X", contains incidents whose purpose is entirely humorous. Many cross-references to merry tales listed elsewhere are, of course, given. At the end, in Chapter Z, appear several small classifications which hardly deserve a chapter each. In the future should other small classifications seem desirable, they can easily be added as new parts of Chapter Z. The fact that the classification does with relative completeness really cover the ground chosen was shown during the last six months of work on the first edition of the index.
When the time came to throw the slips into the proper place, they nearly always ranged themselves easily and rapidly. This test gave me some confidence in the practical usefulness of the index as a means of cataloguing the materials of traditional narrative. Subsequent experience of those making indexes has confirmed this conviction.
Within the chapter the items are arranged in grand divisions, to each of which is assigned a hundred numbers, or some multiple of a hundred numbers. In a similar manner, within the grand division the arrangement is by tens or groups of tens. The first of these "tens" in a grand division treats the general idea of the grand division. Specific ideas are then taken up in the succeeding divisions. The last division in a grand division deals with miscellaneous material concerning the grand division. Mythical animals — general. Mythical beasts.
Mythical birds. Mythical fish. Other mythical animals. Within the division e. B10—B19 the arrangement is according to a similar principle. The first number ending in "0" refers to the general concept for the division. Succeeding numbers are used for specific aspects, and the last number for miscellaneous or additional material concerning the division. Thus in the division B10—B19 Mythical beasts we have the following sub-divisions: B Other hybrid animals.
Animals with unusual limbs or members.
- Maos Last Revolution.
- An introduction to Platos Laws;
- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
- Algebra, Logic and Combinatorics!
- English Literature, Volume 1!
- Feeding the Fire: Recipes and Strategies for Better Barbecue and Grilling;
- Motif-Index of Folk-Literature/Volume 1.
- Notes to Literature, Volume 1;
- About this Journal.
Devastating animals. Other mythical beasts. Usually not all numbers are employed, since room is left for indefinite expansion of the classification. Should more items appear than enough to exhaust the numbers, these can be added indefinitely to the last number It is frequently desirable to subdivide a number.
This is done by pointing, thus: B Origin of the dragon. Dragon from cock's egg. Dragon from transformed horse. Form of dragon. Dragon as compound animal. This system of subdivision maybe carried on indefinitely. A short handling of the classification will undoubtedly make the system clearer than can any explanation, no matter how lucid.
Nothing new or strange will be found, but only the well-tested principle of division and subdivision common to all attempts to systematize knowledge. Many items in this classification are of interest in connection with other parts of the work. Many also could with good reason be assigned to any one of several places. In these instances the use of cross-references becomes necessary. Thus at the beginnings of many grand divisions are listed items from other places that might also be expected at that point, or that for one reason or another are of special interest there.
The finding of motifs in the index becomes easier in proportion to the completeness of such cross-references. It has not been my purpose to make a special study of any item listed in this classification. Where I have been able to do so, I have furnished references to books or monographs about a motif, or at least to some reasonably extensive listing of its occurrences.
But for many items I know of no such studies. In these cases I have given such references as I happen to have accumulated. At least one instance of the appearance of each motif is listed. The arrangement of the references has been made according to a relatively uniform plan. First come the names of special treatments and of works listing variants. Here also appears the reference to The Types of the Folk-Tale.
Special studies are indicated by two asterisks; valuable lists of variants by a single star. Next follow notices of particular versions of the motif, arranged usually by continents or other convenient groupings. Ordinarily these references are additions to those treated in the special studies, though duplication has not been altogether avoided. To assume responsibility for bibliographical completeness for so many thousands of motifs has been quite impossible.
A preliminary glance over the general synopsis at the beginning of the first volume will usually serve to indicate the chapter in which a motif is found. The detailed synopsis preceding the appropriate chapter should next be examined for the special division which lists the motif. If the item is not discovered at the point thus indicated, it will probably be listed in the cross-references which are placed there. Even with careful search a motif may not immediately be found, for often the fundamental nature of an item may not seem to be the same to the searcher as it has seemed to me.
To meet such difficulties a detailed alphabetical index appears at the end of the work. The principal use of the present index, I hope, will be for cataloguing motifs in various collections of tales and traditions. If gradually all the tales, myths, ballads, and traditions were catalogued according to the same system, great progress would be made in rendering possible completer comparative studies than can now be undertaken.
Each worker must, of course, evolve the details of any plan of work. But by some convenient scheme it will be possible with relative ease to place all motifs in the appropriate chapter often with cross-references to another chapter. Then the items forming these chapters may in turn be distributed into the proper divisions. It is my hope that the list of motifs in the present index may be so extensive that most items will be found already entered and numbered.
Frequently a new motif will be a subdivision of one already in the index. If so, the system of subdivision here used may be continued. If such is not the case, it will ordinarily be found that the new motif will easily fall into a particular "ten". Usually many vacant places are left in each "ten". This has often necessitated slight modifications of the numbers assigned particular motifs. Since such changes are confusing as well as troublesome, it would seem advisable for those who make such indexes in the future not to attempt exact assignment of new motif-numbers but only to indicate the closest approximation possible e.
This will serve for all purposes of reference and will make incorporation into a possible further revision of the index simpler. In anticipation of the appearance of this index, the numbers have been used in several works. In each of the types given in the Aarne-Thompson Types of the Folk-Tale  the mention of motifs is immediately followed by the number in brackets.
Likewise they are inserted after all additional motifs appearing in Boggs' Index of Spanish Folktales. In my Tales of the North American Indians the motifs are all listed by the present plan. The works indexed by this system since its first publication are mentioned on pages 12— Such surveys are indicated in the bibliography p. The preparation of this classification has brought with it many pleasant associations, for I have found my fellow-workers in the field extremely kind in their help and encouragement.
It is possible here to give but the briefest notice of their help and to express my heartfelt thanks to them all. From its very inception I profited by the friendship and advice of Prof. Archer Taylor. Not only did he give the advantage of his deep scholarship, but at the expense of great labor he read the entire manuscript with the critical eye of a foster-father.
Jan de Vries of Leiden explored the entire manuscript, gave me hundreds of references, and during a week in which I was guest in his home made many very valuable suggestions. Large parts of the manuscript were read by Dr. Albert Wesselski of Prague, and by Dr. Reidar Th. Christiansen of Oslo. The main burden of seeing the work through the press rested on the shoulders of Prof. Kaarle Krohn of Helsinki, to whom I am indebted for much help and cordial hospitality.
It is most pleasant to record my particular appreciation for those who, by furnishing me with the result of their reading in special fields, added to the completeness of the work. Chester N. Gould of Chicago gave me free access to his rich notes on the Old Norse saga material; Miss Hortense Braden of Indianapolis permitted me to use her classification of incidents in African tales; Miss Thelma James of Detroit turned over to me the manuscript of her classification of the Alphabetum Narrationum , as did Dr.
Luella Carter of her classification of the tales in the Scala Celi and Prof.
When I excerpted the second half of the work, I realized the magnitude of this kindness so freely given. Ernest J. Simmons was good enough to supplement my inadequate knowledge of Russian, so that the motifs in a certain Russian work could be included. John W. Spargo, of Northwestern University, has in a number of cases enriched the classification from the fields of his special interest.
Lastly, must be mentioned a whole group of students of my seminar in the Folk-Tale, who for some years were most generous of their time in excerpting important works. For the new edition the help for which I am very thankful has continued on all sides through the years. First must be mentioned those who have devoted great labor to the preparation of indexes of special fields and have thus made possible this revision — Jonas Balys, Ernest W. Espinosa, Paul Delarue, Helen L. Flowers, Theodor H. Roberts, D. To these may be added a group from the University of South Carolina who have listed motifs from various writers of the French Renaissance — J.
Woodrow Hassell, Jr. Hardee, Cecilia P. Irwin, Sarah C. Pinkney, F. Perry, Kenneth Fay and Andrew H. Aside from those mentioned as having completed motif-indexes, a number of my students have excerpted motifs to the number of many thousand from various fields — Richard Bartel Greek drama , Kenneth Clarke Africa , Bacil F.
Mayer, Jr. Finally, I have been extremely fortunate in having gifted and willing research assistants whose work has gone far beyond the line of duty — Jonas Balys —52 and Remedios Wycoco Moore — The expense attached to the preparation and publishing of a work such as the present is not trifling.
For clerical help the American Council of Learned Societies has twice given me grants. For the second half of the college year —31, this foundation also awarded me funds to permit my taking leave from my university work in order to finish the present classification. Indiana University generously supplemented this grant. In the years during which the new edition has been prepared generous support of this work has continued.
Indiana University has always provided clerical help and for six years a full time research assistant. Preparation of the alphabetical index has been facilitated by a grant from the American Philosophical Society. The expense of printing the first edition was borne by the Finnish Academy of Sciences and Indiana University. Rosenkilde and Bagger and the Indiana University Press have jointly borne the responsibility for publication of the revised edition. To these and to all who have so generously aided in making this work possible, I wish here to express my thanks.
Works indicated with an asterisk have been examined with some thoroughness for motifs. Books infrequently cited are not listed here. Helsingfors, Boston, London, — Andree, R.
Literature Study Guides - SparkNotes
Die Flutsagen. Braunschweig, Ethnographische Parallelen und Vergleiche. Stuttgart, Neue Folge, Leipzig, Leningrad, Halle a. Auning, R. Mitau, Balys, Jonas. Bloomington, Indiana, Chicago, Tautosakos Darbai Vol. Kaunas, Publication of the Lithuanian Folklore Archives I. The Pentamerone trans. London, Baskerville, Rosetta Gage. King of the Snakes and other Folklore: Stories from Uganda.
Contes populaires d'Afrique. Paris, Paris, — Indiana University dissertation. Ann Arbor, Michigan. As advances and specialization have made new scientific research inaccessible to most audiences, the "literary" nature of science writing has become less pronounced over the last two centuries. Now, science appears mostly in journals.
Scientific works of Aristotle , Copernicus , and Newton still exhibit great value, but since the science in them has largely become outdated, they no longer serve for scientific instruction. Yet, they remain too technical to sit well in most programs of literary study. Outside of " history of science " programs, students rarely read such works. Philosophy has become an increasingly academic discipline. More of its practitioners lament this situation than occurs with the sciences; nonetheless most new philosophical work appears in academic journals. Major philosophers through history— Plato , Aristotle , Socrates , Augustine , Descartes , Kierkegaard , Nietzsche —have become as canonical as any writers.
Philosophical writing spans from humanistic prose to formal logic , the latter having become extremely technical to a degree similar to that of mathematics. A significant portion of historical writing ranks as literature, particularly the genre known as creative nonfiction , as can a great deal of journalism, such as literary journalism. However, these areas have become extremely large, and often have a primarily utilitarian purpose: to record data or convey immediate information. As a result, the writing in these fields often lacks a literary quality, although it often and in its better moments has that quality.
Major "literary" historians include Herodotus , Thucydides and Procopius , all of whom count as canonical literary figures. Law offers more ambiguity. Some writings of Plato and Aristotle , the law tables of Hammurabi of Babylon , or even the early parts of the Bible could be seen as legal literature. Roman civil law as codified in the Corpus Juris Civilis during the reign of Justinian I of the Byzantine Empire has a reputation as significant literature. The founding documents of many countries, including Constitutions and Law Codes , can count as literature.
Drama is literature intended for performance. A play is a subset of this form, referring to the written dramatic work of a playwright that is intended for performance in a theater; it comprises chiefly dialogue between characters , and usually aims at dramatic or theatrical performance rather than at reading.
A closet drama , by contrast, refers to a play written to be read rather than to be performed; hence, it is intended that the meaning of such a work can be realized fully on the page. Greek drama exemplifies the earliest form of drama of which we have substantial knowledge.
Tragedy , as a dramatic genre , developed as a performance associated with religious and civic festivals , typically enacting or developing upon well-known historical or mythological themes. Tragedies generally presented very serious themes. With the advent of newer technologies, scripts written for non-stage media have been added to this form.
War of the Worlds radio in saw the advent of literature written for radio broadcast, and many works of Drama have been adapted for film or television. Conversely, television, film, and radio literature have been adapted to printed or electronic media. Literary techniques encompass a wide range of approaches: examples for fiction are, whether a work is narrated in first-person , or from another perspective; whether a traditional linear narrative or a nonlinear narrative is used; the literary genre that is chosen.
Literary devices involves specific elements within the work that make it effective. Examples include metaphor , simile , ellipsis , narrative motifs , and allegory. Even simple word play functions as a literary device. In fiction stream-of-consciousness narrative is a literary device. Literary works have been protected by copyright law from unauthorized reproduction since at least Literary works are not limited to works of literature, but include all works expressed in print or writing other than dramatic or musical works.
There are numerous awards recognizing achievement and contribution in literature. Given the diversity of the field, awards are typically limited in scope, usually on: form, genre , language, nationality and output e. The Nobel Prize in Literature was one of the six Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in ,  and is awarded to an author on the basis of their body of work, rather than to, or for, a particular work itself.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Written work of art. This article is about the art of written work. For the card game, see Literature card game. For literature in the field technical publications, see Academic publishing. This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. This section needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. This section is written like a personal reflection, personal essay, or argumentative essay that states a Wikipedia editor's personal feelings or presents an original argument about a topic. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style. May Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: History of literature. Main article: Poetry. Main articles: Prose and Literary fiction. Main article: Novel.
Main article: Novella. Main article: Short story. Main article: Essay. Main article: Drama. Main article: List of narrative techniques. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. February Main article: List of literary awards. Literature portal Writing portal. Main articles: Outline of literature and Index of literature articles. List of authors List of books List of literary magazines List of literary terms List of women writers List of writers. Asemic writing Childhood in literature Children's literature Cultural movement for literary movements.
A Definition Based on Prototypes". Retrieved 11 February Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 9 February Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. Glossary of Literary Terms. Philosophy, Literature and the Human Good. London: Routledge. Historical-critical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mythology. Lord Byron: The Major Works. McGann, J. Flood , p. Dover ed , Oxford University Press , Intro. The English Journal.
Discontinuous Discourses in Modern Russian Literature. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Children's Literature and its Effects. Language in India. If the essay's truth gains its force from its untruth , that truth should be sought not in mere opposition to the dishonorable and proscribed element in the essay but rather within that element itself, in the essay's mobility, its lack of the solidity the demand for which science transferred from property relations to the mind.
Those who believe that they have to defend the mind against lack of solidity are its enemies: the mind itself, once emancipated, is mobile. Rhetoric was probably never anything but thought in its adaptation to communicative language. Such thought ai med at something unmediated: the vicarious gratification of the listeners. In the essay the satisfactions that rhetoric tries to provide for the listener are sublimated into the idea of a happiness in freedom vis a vis the object, a freedom that gives the object more of what belongs to it than if it were mercilessly incorporated into the order of ideas.
While happiness is always supposed to be the aim of all domination of nature, it is always envisioned as a regression to mere nature. This is evident all the way up to the h ighest philosophies, even those of Kant and Hegel. These philosophies have their pathos in the absolute idea of reason, but at the same ti me they always denigrate it as insolent and disrespectful when it relativizes accepted values.
Whereas a self-critical reason should, according to Kant, have both feet firmly on the ground, should ground itself, it tends inherently to seal itself off from everything new and also from curiosity, the pleasure principle of thought, something existential ontology vilifies as well. What Kant saw, in terms of content, as the goal of reason, the creation of humankind, utopia, is hindered by the form of his thought, epistemology.
It does not permit reason to go beyond the realm of experience, which, in the mechanism of mere material and i nvariant categories, shrinks to what has always already existed. By reflecting the object without violence, as it were, the essay mutely laments the fact that truth has betrayed happiness and itself along with it, and this lament provokes the rage directed against the essay.
The persuasive element of communication is alienated from its original aim in the essay-just as the function of many musical features changes in autonomous music-and becomes a pure determinant of the presentation itself; it becomes the compelling element i n its construction, whose aim is not to copy the object but to reconstitute it from its conceptual membra disjecta. The essay uses equivocations not out of sloppiness, nor in ignorance of the scientific ban on them, but to make it clear- something the critique of equivocation , which merely separates meanings, seldom succeeds in doing-that when a word covers different things they are not completely different; the unity of the word calls to mind a unity , however hidden, i n the object itself.
For the essay does not stand in simple opposition to discursive procedure. It is not unlogical; it obeys logical criteria insofar as the totality of its propositions must fit together coherently. No mere contradictions may remain unless they are established as belonging to the object itself. But the essay does not develop its ideas in accordance with discursive logic. It neither makes deductions from a principle nor draws conclusions from coherent i ndividual observations.
But at the same time, as a constructed juxtaposition of elements it is more static. Its affinity with the image lies solely in this, except that the staticness of the essay is one in which relationshi ps of tension have been brought , as it were, to a standstill. The slight elasticity of the essayist's train of thought forces him to greater i ntensity than discursive thought, because the essay does not proceed blindly and automatically, as the latter does, but must reRect on itself at every moment.
Otherwise the essay, which fancies itself more than science, becomes fruitlessly prescientific. The contemporary relevance of the essay is that of anachronism. The time is less favorable to it than ever. The essay, however, is concerned with what is bli nd in its objects. It wants to polarize the opaque element and release the latent forces in it. Its efforts are di rected toward concretizi ng a content defined in time and space; it constructs a complex of concepts interconnected in the same way it i magines them to be interconnected in the object.
It eludes the dictates of the attributes that have been ascribed to ideas since Plato's definition in the Symposium, "existing eternally and neither coming into bei ng nor passing away, neither changing nor diminishing," "a being in and for itself eternally uniform , " and yet it remains idea in that it does not capitulate before the burden of what exists, does not submit to what merely is. The essay, however, judges what exists not against somethi ng eternal but by an enthusiastic fragment from N ietzsche's late period: If we affirm one single moment, we thus affirm not only ourselves but all existence.
It has no name but a negative one for the happiness that was sacred to N ietzsche. Even the highest manifestations of the spirit, which express this happi ness, are always also guilty of obstructing happiness as long as they remain mere spirit. Hence the essay's innermost formal law is heresy. Through violations of the orthodoxy of thought, something in the object becomes visible which it is orthodoxy's secret and objective aim to keep invisible. BIBIB On Epic Naivete " 11 nd as when the land appears welflcome to men who are swimming, after Poseidon has smashed their strong-built shi p on the open I water, pounding it with the weight of wind and the heavy I sea ,.
This roaring is the sound of epic discourse, in which what is solid and unequivocal comes together with what is ambiguous and flowing, only to immediately part from it again. The epic poem wants to report on something worth reporting on , something that is not the same as everything else, not exchangeable, something that deserves to be handed down for the sake of its name. Because, however, the narrator turns to the world of myth for his material, his enterprise, now impossible, has always been contradictory.
Hence there is an anachronistic element in all epic poetry: in Homer's archaistic practice of invoking the muse to help proclai m events of vast scope as well as i n the desperate efforts of Stifter and the late Goethe to pass bourgeois conditions off as primordial reality, a reality as open to noninterchangeable language as to a name. The epic poem imitates the spell of myth in order to soften it. Karl Theodor Preuss called this attitude "Urdummheit, " or "pri mal stupidity," and Gi lbert Murray has characterized the first phase of Greek religion, the one precedi ng the Homeric-Olympian phase, in precisely these terms.
For what occurred once and only once is not merely a defi a nt residue opposing the encompassing universality of thought; it is also thought's innermost yearning, the logical form of somethi ng real that would no longer be enclosed by social domination and the classificatory thought modeled upon it: the concept reconci led with its object. It holds fast to a possibility of experience that is destroyed by the bourgeois reason that ostensibly grounds it.
Its restrictedness in the representation of its one subject is the corrective to the restrictedness that befalls all thought when it forgets its unique subject in its conceptual operations and covers the subject up instead of comi ng to know it. It is easy to either ridicule Homeric si mplicity , which was the opposite of simplicity, or deploy it spitefully in opposition to the analytic spirit. Through this kind of remembrance of what cannot really be remembered any more , Keller expresses a truth in his description of the two shyster lawyers who are twin brothers, duplicates of one another: the truth about an interchangeability that is hostile to memory.
Only a theory that went on to provide a transparent definition of the loss of experience in terms of the experience of society would be able to match his achievement. The precision of descriptive language seeks to compensate for the falseness of all discourse. The impulse that drives Homer to describe a shield as though it were a landscape and to elaborate a metaphor until it becomes action, until it becomes autonomous and ultimately destroys the fabric of the narrative - that is the same impulse that repeatedly drove Goethe, Stifter, and Keller, the greatest storytellers of the nineteenth century, at least i n Germany, to draw and paint instead o f writing, and i t may have i nspired 27 ON EPIC NAIVETt Flaubert's archaeological studies as well.
The narrator's stupidity and bli ndness - it is no accident that tradition has it that Homer was blind - expresses the impossibility and hopelessness of this enterprise. It is precisely the material element in the epic poem, the element that is the extreme opposite of all speculation and fantasy, that drives the narrative to the edge of madness through its a priori impossibility.
Stifter's last novellas provide the clearest evidence of the transition from faithfulness to the object to manic obsession , and no narrative can partake of truth if it has not looked into the abyss i nto which language plunges when it tries to become name and i mage.
Homeric prudence is no exception to this. In his poem "An die Hoffnung" [liTo Hope"] the following lines appear:. The flight of ideas, discourse in its sacrificial form, is language's Right from its prison. I f it is true, as 1. Engrossed in its own meaning , the image developed in language becomes forgetful and pulls language itself into the i mage rather than maki ng the image transparent and revealing the logical sense of the relationship.
In great narrative the relationshi p between image and plot tends to reverse itself. Goethe's technique in the Elective Affinitie. Not that the epic poems were dictated by an allegorical intention. It i s not individuals but ideas that are in combat, says N ietzsche in a fragment on "Homer's Contest. It is only by abandoning meaning that epic discourse comes to resemble the i mage, a figure of objective meaning emerging from the negation of subjectively rational meamng.
The aspect I have chosen is the position of the narrator. Today that position is marked by a paradox: it is no longer possible to tell a story , but the form of the novel requires narration. At its origins stands the experience of the disenchanted world i n Do" Quixote, and the artistic treatment of mere existence has remained the novel's sphere. Realism was inherent i n the novel; even those that are novels of fantasy as far as their subject matter is concerned attempt to present their content in such a way that the suggestion of reality emanates from them. Through a development that extends back into the nineteenth century and has become accelerated in the extreme today , this mode of proceeding has become questionable.
Where the narrator is concerned, this process has occurred through a subjectivism that leaves no material untransformed and thereby undermi nes the epic precept of objectivity or material concreteness [GegmIt jndlichkeit]. He would be guilty of a lie: the lie of delivering himself over to the world with a love that presupposes that the world is meaningful; and he would end up with insufferable kitsch along the lines of a local-color commercialism. Just as painting lost many of its traditional tasks to photography, the novel has lost them to reportage and the media of the culture i ndustry, especially film.
This would imply that the novel should concentrate on what reportage will not handle. The identity of experience in the form of a life that is articulated and possesses internal continuity -and that life was the only thing that made the narrator's stance possible -has disi ntegrated. One need only note how i mpossi ble it would be for someone who participated i n the war to tell stories about it the way people used to tell stories about their adventures. A narrative that presented itself as though the narrator had mastered this kind of experience would rightly meet with impatience and skepticism on the part of its audience.
Notions like "sitting down with a good book" are archaic. The reason for this lies not merely in the reader's loss of concentration but also in the content and its form. The reification of all relationships between individuals, which transforms their human qualities i nto lubricati ng oil for the smooth running of the machinery, the universal alienation and self-alienation, needs to be called by name, and the novel is qualified to do so as few other art forms arc.
The novel has long si nce, and certainly si nce the eighteenth century and Fielding's Tom Jones, had as its true subject matter the conflict between living human beings and rigidified conditions. In this process, alienation itself becomes an aesthetic device for the novel. For the more human beings, individuals and collectivities, become alienated from one another, the more enigmatic they become to one another.
The anti-realistic moment in the modern novel, its metaphysical dimension, is called forth by its true subject matter, a society in which human bei ngs have been torn from one another and from themselves. What is reflected in aesthetic transcendence is the disenchantment of the world. The novelist's conscious deliberations are hardly the place for all this, and there is reason to suppose that where such considerations do enter the novelist's reflections, as in Hermann Broch's very ambitious novels, it is not to the advantage of the work of art.
Instead, historical changes i n the form are converted to idiosyncratic sensiti vities on the part of authors, and the extent to which they function as instruments for registering what is requi red and what is forbidden is a crucial determinant of thei r rank. No one surpasses Marcel Proust in aversion to the report form. The immanent daim that the author cannot avoid making- that he knows precisely what went on - requires proof, and Proust's precision , which is taken to the point where it becomes chimerical, his micrological technique through which the unity of the living is ulti mately split into its atoms, is an endeavor on the part of the aesthetic sensorium to provide that proof without transgressing the limits of form.
He could not have brought himself to begin by reporting something unreal as though it had been real. For this reason, his cyclical work begins with the memory of what it was like to fall asleep, and the whole first book is nothing but an exposition of the difficulties one has in falling asleep when the beautiful mother has not given the boy his goodnight kiss.
The narrator establishes an interior space, as it were, which spares him the false step into the alien world , a faux pas that would be revealed in the false tone of one who acted as though he were familiar with that world. The epic enterprise of depicting only those concrete things which can be given in their fullness ultimately cancels out the fundamental epic category of concreteness.
This technique was one of illusion. The narrator raises a curtain: the reader is to take part in what occurs as though he were physically present. There is a heavy taboo on reflection: it becomes the cardinal sin agai nst objective purity. TURE I with the illusionary character of what is represented, is losing its strength. It has often been noted that in the modern novel , not only in Proust but also in the Gide of the Faux-Monttayeurs, in the late Thomas Mann, or in M usil's The Man Withoul Qualities, reflection breaks through the pure immanence of form.
But this kind of reflection has scarcely anything but the name in common with pre-Flaubertian reflection. The latter was moral: taki ng a stand for or agai nst characters in the novel. The new reflection takes a stand against the lie of representation , actually against the narrator hi mself, who tries, as an extra-alert commentator on events, to correct his unavoidable way of proceeding. This destruction of form is inherent in the very meaning of form. When, in Proust, commentary is so thoroughly i nterwoven w ith action that the distinction between the two disappears, the narrator is attacking a fundamental component of his relationshi p to the reader: aesthetic distance.
I n the traditional novel, this distance was fixed. Now it varies, like the angle of the camera in film: sometimes the reader is left outside, and sometimes he is led by the commentary onto the stage, backstage, i nto the prop room. Among the extremes- and we can learn more about the contemporary novel from them than from any "typical" case-belongs Kafka's method of completely abolishing the distance. Through shocks, he destroys the reader's contemplative security i n the face of what he reads.
His novds, i f indeed they even faJJ under that category, are an antici patory response to a state of the world in which the contemplati ve attitude has become a mockery because the permanent threat of catastrophe no longer permits any human being to be an uninvolved spectator; nor does it permit the aesthetic i mitation of that stance.
Not that the depiction of the imaginary necessarily replaces that of the real, as in Kafka. He is ill-suited to be a model. But the difference between the real and the imago is abolished in principle. A common feature of the great novelists of the age is that i n their work the novelistic precept "this is how it is," thought through to its ultimate consequences, releases a series of historical archetypes; this occurs in Proust's involuntary memory as in Kafka's parables and Joyce's epic cryptograms.
Thus a second language is produced , distilled to a large extent from the residue of the first, a deteriorated associative language of things which permeates not only the novelist's monologue but also that of the innumerable people estranged from the first language who make up the masses. Forty years ago, in his Theory of the Novel, LuHcs posed the question whether Dostoevski's novels were the foundation for future epics, or perhaps even themselves those epics.
In fact, the contemporary novels that count , those i n which an unleashed subjectivity turns into its opposite through its own momentum, are negative epics. They are testimonials to a state of affairs i n which the individual liquidates himself, a state of affairs which converges with the pre-individual situation that once seemed to guarantee a world replete with meaning. These epics, along with all contemporary art, are ambiguous: it is not up to them to determi ne whether the goal of the historical tendency they register is a regression to barbarism or the realization of humanity , and many are all too comfortable with the barbaric.
There is no modern work of art worth anything that does not delight in dissonance and release. But by uncompromisingly embodying the horror and putting all the pleasure of contemplation into the purity of this expression , such works of art serve freedom - something the average production betrays, simply because it does not bear witness to what has befallen the i ndividual in the age of liberalism. Karl Kraus once formulated the idea that everything that spoke morally out of his works in the form of physical, non-aesthetic reality had been imparted to him solely under the law of language, thus in the name of fart pour farl.
It is a tendency inherent in form that demands the abolition of aesthetic distance in the contemporary novel and its capitulation thereby to the superior power of reality - a reality that cannot be transfigured in an image but only altered concretely I in reality. You will expect a sociological analysis of the kind that can be made of any object, just as fifty years ago people came up with psychologies, and thi rty years ago with phenomenologies, of everything conceivable. You will suspect that an i ntellectual will be guilty of what Hegel accused the "formal understanding" of doing, namely that i n surveying the whole it stands above the individual existence it i s talking about, that is, it does not see it at all but only labels it.
This approach will seem especially distressing to you in the case of lyric poetry. The most delicate, the most fragile thing that exists is to be encroached upon and brought into conjunction with bustle and commotion, when part of the ideal of lyric poetry, at least in its traditional sense , is to remain unaffected by bustle and commotion. Can anyone, you will ask, but a man who is insensitive to the Muse talk about lyric poetry and society?
This relationship should lead not away from the work of art but deeper into it. But the most elementary reflection shows that this is to be expected. For the substance of a poem is not merely an expression of individual impulses and experiences. Those become a matter of art only when they come to partici pate in somdhing uni versal by virtue of the specificity they acquire in being given aesthetic form.
Not that what the lyric poem expresses must be immediately equivalent to what everyone experiences. Rather, immersion in what has taken individual form elevates the lyric poem to the status of something universal by making manifest something not distorted, not grasped , not yet subsumed. It thereby anticipates, spi ritually, a situation in which no false universality , that is, nothing profoundly particular, continues to fetter what is other than itself, the human. The lyric work hopes to attain universality through unrestrained individuation. The danger peculiar to the lyric , however, lies in the fact that its principle of indi viduation never guarantees that somethi ng binding and authentic will be produced.
It has no say over whether the poem remains within the contingency of mere separate existence. The un iversal ity of the lyric's substance, however, is social in nature. Only one who hears the voice of humankind in the poem's solitude can understand what the poem is sayi ng; indeed, even the solitariness of lyrical language itself is prescri bed by an individualistic and ultimately atomistic society, just as conversely its general cognecy depends on the intensity of its individuation. For that reason , however, reflection on the work of art is justified in inquiring, and obligated to inquire concretely into its social content and not content itself with a vague feeling of something universal and inclusive.
This kind of specification through thought is not some external reflection alien to art ; on the contrary , all linguistic works of art demand it. The material proper to them, concepts, does not exhaust itself in mere contemplation. In order to be susceptible of aesthetic contemplation, works of art must always be thought through as wel l , and once thought has been called into play by the poem it does not let itself be stopped at the poem's behest. In phi losophical terms, the approach must be an immanent one.
Social concepts should not be applied to the works from without but rather drawn from an exacting examination of the works themselves. To determine that, of course, requi res both knowledge of the interior of the works of art and knowledge of the society outside. Special vigilance is required when it comes to the concept of ideology, which these days is belabored to the point of intolerability. For ideology is untruth, false consciousness, deceit. It manifests itself in the failure of works of art , in their inherent falseness, and it is countered by criticism.
To repeat mechanically, however, that great works of art , whose essence consists in giving form to the crucial contradictions in real existence, and only in that sense in a tendency to reconcile them, are ideology, not only does an i njustice to their truth content but also misrepresents the concept of ideology.
That concept does not maintain that all spirit serves only for some human beings to falsely present some particular values as general ones; rather, it is i ntended to unmask spirit that is specifically false and at the same time to grasp it in its necessity. The greatness of works of art, however, consists solely in the fact that they give voice to what ideology hides.
Their very success moves beyond false consciousness, whether intentionally or not. Let me take your own misgivings as a starting point. Your feelings insist that it remain so, that lyric expression, having escaped from the weight of material existence, evoke the image of a life free from the coercion of reigning practices, of uti lity, of the relentless pressures of sel f-preservation.
This demand, however, the demand that the lyric word be virginal, is itself social in nature. The work's distance from mere existence becomes the measure of what is false and bad in the latter. In its protest the poem expresses the dream of a world in which things would be di fferent. The aesthetic weakness of this cult of the thing, its obscurantist demeanor and its blending of religion with arts and crafts, reveals the real power of reification, which can no longer be gilded with a lyrical halo and brought back within the sphere of meani ng. To say that the concept of lyric poetry that is in some sense second nature to us is a completely modern one is only to express this i nsight into the social nature of the lyric in different form.
I know that I exaggerate in saying this, that you could adduce many counterexamples. The most compelling would be Sappho. But the mani festations i n earlier periods of the speci fically lyric spirit familiar to us are only isolated Rashes, just as the backgrounds in older painting occasionally anticipate the idea of landscape pai nting. They do not establish it as a form. The great poets of the distant past- Pi ndar and Alcaeus, for i nstance, but the greater part of Walther von der Vogelweide's work as well - whom literary history classifies as lyric poets are uncommonly far from our pri mary conception of the lyric.
The "I" whose voice is heard in the lyric is an "I" that defines and expresses itself as something opposed to the collective, to objectivity; it is not immediately at one with the nature to which its expression refers. It has lost it, as it were, and attempts to restore it through ani mation, through immersion in the "I" itself. It is only through humanization that nature is to be restored the rights that human domination took from it. One is tempted to use the line "Ach, ich bin des Treibens mude" ["I am weary of restless activity"] from the companion poem of the same title to i nterpret the "Wanderers Nachtlied.
In the line "Watte nur, balde" the whole of l i fe , with an enigmatic smile of sorrow, turns into the brief moment before one falls asleep. The shadow has no power over the image of life come back i nto its own , but as a last rem i nder of life's deformation it gives the dream its profound depths beneath the surface of the song.
Imperceptibly, silently, i rony tinges the poem's consolation: the seconds before the bliss of sleep are the same seconds that separate our brief life from death. After Goethe, this subl ime irony became a debased and spiteful irony. It is commonly said that a perfect lyric poem must possess totality or universality , must provide the whole within the bounds of the poem and the infinite within the poem's finitude.
If that is to be more than a platitude of an aesthetics that is always ready to use the concept of the symbolic as a panacea, it indicates that in every lyric poem the historical relationshi p of the subject to objectivity, of the individual to society, must have found its precipitate in the medium of a subjective spirit thrown back upon itself. The less the work thematizes the relationshi p of " I " and society , the more spontaneously it crystallizes o f its own accord in the poem, the more complete this process of precipitation will be.
You may accuse me of so sublimating the relationshi p of lyric and society in this definition out of fear of a crude sociologism that there is really nothing left of it; it is precisely what is not social in the lyric poem that is now to become its social aspect. We will leave it an open q uestion whether Dore's deputy was truly only the stupid, cynical propagandist the artist derided him for being or whether there might be more truth in his uni ntentional joke than common sense admits; Hegel's philosophy of history would have a lot to say in his defense.
I am not tryi ng to deduce lyric poetry form society; its social substance is precisely what is spontaneous i n it, what does not si mply follow from the existing conditions at the time. But the m edium of this is language. The paradox specific to the lyric work, a subjectivity that turns into objecti vity, is tied to the priority of Jinguistic form i n the lyric ; it is that priority from which the pri macy of language in literature in general even in prose forms is derived.
For language is itself something double. But at the same time language remains the medium of concepts, remains that which establishes an i nescapable relationshi p to the universal and to society. This is why the lyric reveals itsel f to be most deeply grounded in society when it does not chime i n with society, when it communicates nothing , when , instead , the subject whose expression is successful reaches an accord with language itself, with the inherent tendency of language. On the other hand , however, language should also not be absolutized as the voice of Being as opposed to the lyric subject, as many of the current ontological theories of language would have it.
The moment of unself-consciousness in which the subject submerges itself in language is not a sacrifice of the subject to Being. It is a moment not of violence , nor of violence against the subject, but reconciliation: language itself speaks only when it speaks not as something alien to the subject but as the subject's own voice. When the "I" becomes oblivious to itself in language it is fully present nevertheless; if it were not, language would become a consecrated abracadabra and succumb to reification , as it does in communicative discourse.
But that brings us back to the actual relationship between the i ndividual and society. It is not only that the individual is inherently socially mediated, not only that its contents are always social as well. Conversely, society is formed and continues to live only by virtue of the individuals whose quintessence it is. The lyric is the aesthetic test of that dialectical philosophical proposition.
In the lyric poem the subject, through its identification with language, negates both its opposition to society as something merely monadological and its mere functioning within a wholly socialized society [vergesellschaftele Gesellschaft]. But the more the latter's ascendancy over the subject increases, the more precarious the situation of the lyric becomes. Baudelaire's work was the first to record this; his work, the ultimate consequence of European Wellschmer:r.. In Baudelai re a note of despair already makes itself felt, a note that barely maintains its balance on the tip of its own paradoxicalness.
My thesis is that the lyric work is always the subjective expression of a social antagonism. But since the objective world that produces the lyric is an inherently antagonistic worJd , the concept of the lyric is not simply that of the expression of a subjectivity to which language grants objectivity. This inalienable right has asserted itself again and again , in forms however impure, mutilated , fragmentary, and intermittent - the only forms possi ble for those who have to bear the burden. A collective undercurrent provides the foundation for aJl i ndividual lyric poetry.
When that poetry actually bears the whole in mind and is not simply an expression of the privilege, refinement, and gentility of those who can afford to be gentle, participation in this undercurrent is an essential part of the substantiality of the individual lyric as wel l : it is this undercurrent that makes language the medium in which the subject becomes more than a mere subject.
Romanticism's link to the folksong is only the most obvious, certai nly not the most compeJling example of this. For Romanticism practices a kind of programmatic transfusion of the collective into the individual through which the indi vidual lyric poem indulged in a technical illusion of universal cogency without that cogency characterizing it inherently. Often , in contrast, poets who abjure any borrowi ng from the collective language participate in that collective undercurrent by virtue of their historical experience.
I will forgo making a judgment about whether the poetic principle of individuation was in fact sublated to a higher level here, or whether its basis l ies in regression, a weakening of the ego. The collective power of contemporary lyric poetry may be largely due to the linguistic and psychic residues of a condition that is not yet fully individuated, a state of affairs that is prebourgeois in the broadest sense-dialect.
Until now, however, the traditional lyric, as the most rigorous aesthetic negation of bourgeois convention , has by that very token been tied to bourgeois society. Because considerations of principle are not sufficient. I would like to use a few poems to concretize the relationship of the poetic subject, which always stands for a far more general collective subject, to the social reality that is its antithesis.
In this process the thematic elements, which no linguistic work, even po!. The way the two i nterpenetrate will require special emphasis, for it is only by virtue of such inte rpenetration that the lyric poem actually captures the historical moment within its bounds. I want to choose not poems like Goethe's, aspects of which I commented on without analyzing, but later ones, poems which do not have the unqualified authenticity of the "Nachtl i ed.
But I would like to call your attention especially to the way in which in them different levels of a contradictory fundamental condition of society are represented in the medium of the poetic subject.