Simpliciana Bellica: Grimmelshausens Kriegsdarstellung und ihre Rezeption: 1667-2006

Battafarano, Italo Michele (2011) Simpliciana Bellica: Grimmelshausens Kriegsdarstellung und ihre Rezeption: 1667-2006. IRIS. Forschungen zur europäischen Kultur / herausgegeben von Italo Michele Battafarano; 26 . Bern [et al.] : Peter Lang. ISBN 978-3-0343-1007-9

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    The Thirty Years War is still often referred to as the Urkatastrophe of German history, the tragic beginning of modern Germany. Few individuals have contributed more to that tradition than Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen. His first novel Simplicissimus Teutsch of 1668/69 marked the beginning of a ten-volume cycle of works completed in 1675. Often read simply as a picaresque account of the war and its horrors, it is in fact an extremely complex work. […] Italo Michele Battafarano’s new study revisits this extraordinary work and explores its reception from the appearance of the first volume to 2006. The book is divided into three parts. The first part examines Grimmelshausen’s strategies as an author and puts his work in the context of other writings of the period, with particular reference to autobiographical elements and their relation to fictions and metafictions. The second part explores the relationship between key elements of Grimmelshausen’s depiction of the Thirty Years War and the reality of the war. […] The third part […], devoted to Grimmelshausen’s reception, contains material that is genuinely new. According to Battafarano, the reception of Grimmelshausen’s work really began with the publication of the first critical edition by Adelbert von Keller in 1854, and specifically with the re-evaluation of the Thirty Years War in the wake of German unification in 1871. […] Battafarano then traces the work’s subsequent reception in the First and Second World Wars, finding Grimmelshausen cited as a precursor of pan-Germanism, as well as a proponent of every conceivable pro- and anti-war view. Two particularly fascinating sections examine French views of Simplicissimus in the 1940s and references to the work at the Nuremberg Trials. Finally, Battafarano finds Grimmelshausen invoked again in Godard’s Finis Germaniae (1991), in the German discussion of the Second Gulf War (1991), and in Grass’s 2006 autobiography. These chapters of Battafarano’s book are fascinating: suitably extended, they would have made an excellent book on their own. (Joachim Whaley, "Simpliciana Bellica : [review]", in Modern Language Review (July 2013), vol. 108, pt. 3, p. 993-4)

    Item Type: Book as author
    Department or Research center: Humanities
    Subjects: P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literatures > PT0001 German literature
    Repository staff approval on: 26 Aug 2013 16:11

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