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11.   Ferdinand Avenarius on the Fine Arts: Inaugural Issue of Der Kunstwart (October 1, 1887)
Ferdinand Avenarius (1856-1923) studied science, philosophy, literature, and art history. In the 1880s, he worked as an author and publicist in Dresden. In 1887 he founded the magazine Der Kunstwart....
12.   Theodor Storm on the Genre of the Novella (1881)
In this reply to a disparaging newspaper commentary on the novella, Theodor Storm (1817-1888) defends the genre against charges that it is a superficial and inferior art form. Himself a renowned....
13.   Changes in German Vernacular Language (1884)
Commenting on contemporary developments in linguistic usage – not in literature but in everyday life – the Kassel lawyer and liberal parliamentarian Otto Bähr (1817-1895) identifies the most important....
14.   German-Language Book Production in Central Europe (1840-1890)
Book production in Germany experienced a crisis after 1848, when a sharp decline followed the revolutions of 1848/49. The emigration or incarceration of many revolutionary publicists contributed....
15.   Illustrated Periodicals as a Means of Popular Education (1868)
The text below appeared in the Illustrirte Zeitung (Leipzig), Germany’s first illustrated newspaper. Published weekly from 1843 to 1944, it featured scenes from all corners of the globe. Edited....
16.   The Influence of Lending Libraries on the Sale of Novels (1884)
Lending libraries exerted a strong influence on German reading habits throughout the nineteenth century, but, as this document shows, their impact was not uncontroversial. In these years, a typical....
17.   Satirical Poem about "Founding Era" Speculators (c. 1873)
The economic boom of the “Founding Era” [Gründerzeit] from 1871 to 1873 was fueled in part by the heavy war indemnity imposed on (and quickly paid off by) the French after the Franco-Prussian....
18.   Theodor Fontane on Changing Public Tastes in Theater (1878-1889)
Theodor Fontane (1819-1898) was regarded by many as the most important German-language realist writer in the nineteenth century. But before taking up novels, he served as drama critic for the liberal....
19.   Gerhart Hauptmann, Before Daybreak, First Performed to a Scandalized Reception (October 20, 1889)
The German writer and dramatist Gerhart Hauptmann (1862-1946) was one of the chief representatives of the Naturalist movement. In 1912, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. His first drama,....
20.   The Social Status of Actors, Musicians, and Visual Artists (1890)
As the German bourgeoisie acquired greater income and status, members of that class began reappraising the value of culture and the arts. As the following commentary suggests, this process ultimately....
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