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Literature I – Older German literature

Class at Faculty of Education |


The aim of the course is to provide students with an overview of German written literature against the cultural background of the time and in the European context from the beginning to the Baroque period. The objectives of the course also include the recognition and aesthetic appreciation of the literary works of the period as well as the cultural environment in which the works were written and performed.

At the same time, emphasis will be placed on the development of communicative skills in relation to literary and cultural themes. The content of the lecture will focus on the monuments of the Germanic period.

Early Middle Ages. Historical and spiritual climate.

Cultural centres. The Carolingian Renaissance.

The Ottonian Renaissance. The Cluniac movement.

The beginnings of religious drama. The antediluvian epic.

High Middle Ages. European context.

Courtly and heroic epic. Lyric: Minnesang, Spruchdichtung, Vagante poetry.

Representatives of each genre. Late Middle Ages.

Scholasticism and mysticism. Cultural centres.

Lyric and Meistersang, epic, didactic writing, early German prose, spiritual drama, carnival plays. Renaissance-Humanism-Reformation.

Centres and representatives. Luther.

Didactic and "madman" literature. Forms of drama.

Books of popular reading. Baroque.

Transformations of genres. The main representatives of Baroque literature.

Content of the seminar: Introduction to selected texts of the period. Analysis and interpretation of texts (e.g.

Germanic sagas, Minnesang, the work of Johnannes von Tepl, "madman" literature, Fastnachtspiel, Baroque epic, etc.).

Study programmes