sample German Prt 1A set texts? Watch

butterfly_girl_5
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Hi- advice wanted- anyone who does a literature based course..


I have a place to study french & german at Cambridge 2009, and I want to sample all the set texts for the following reasons

- Help me decide which 'scheduled' papers to take- I think Im right in saying I have to chose between lit & ling?
-To have some prior knowledge in the texts- I know I dont need this but in my experience I enjoy topics/literature more when I already know something/a lot/have read and know the texts
- I want to get a good grounding in german literature both for cambridge and for my own enjoyment (so ill read some Mann, Goethe, Schiller ect in any case)

Since the reading list is so vast I dont have anything near the time or money to do it all- I would like your thoughts on what approch to take. Im moving to Berlin for 5 months so I think I'll get rapidly more fluent and Ill have access to a lot more books there

Thanks in advance

also- if anyone has ideas about french for the same thing of English literature generally (I want to get a grounding in the main texts/writers/movements/critical movements)

any ideas appreciated
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llys
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I don't know about set texts, but for German I would recommend you read:

Heinrich Heine: Deutschland, ein Wintermaerchen.

That should answer all your questions.

A general recommendation: once you are in Germany, find a bookshop, and there find the "Reclam" section (it's yellow!). Then just read whatever takes your fancy.

PS: Don't read Goethe's Faust, buy the Audio-CD, it's so much better to listen to it. Definitely do not read Die Leiden des jungen Werther. Possibly read some plays or poetry if you like that, but if you are going to Berlin anyway, I'd just recommend going to the theatre a lot once you're there.

If you like Schiller, read some of his ballads. Probably the most famous ones are Die Buergschaft and Die Glocke.

PPS: Re: Thomas Mann. Don't read Thomas Mann's Zauberberg or Dr. Faustus - read Die Buddenbrooks, it's much better.
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butterfly_girl_5
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(Original post by llys)
I don't know about set texts, but for German I would recommend you read:

Heinrich Heine: Deutschland, ein Wintermaerchen.

That should answer all your questions.

A general recommendation: once you are in Germany, find a bookshop, and there find the "Reclam" section (it's yellow!). Then just read whatever takes your fancy.

PS: Don't read Goethe's Faust, buy the Audio-CD, it's so much better to listen to it. Definitely do not read Die Leiden des jungen Werther. Possibly read some plays or poetry if you like that, but if you are going to Berlin anyway, I'd just recommend going to the theatre a lot once you're there.

If you like Schiller, read some of his ballads. Probably the most famous ones are Die Buergschaft and Die Glocke.

PPS: Re: Thomas Mann. Don't read Thomas Mann's Zauberberg or Dr. Faustus - read Die Buddenbrooks, it's much better.
thankyou- thats really helpful
yeah- Im also going to read Dante's Comedia and the major works of Shakespeare.. and Virgils Aeneid....on CD too :p:
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Ghassan
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(Original post by llys)
Definitely do not read Die Leiden des jungen Werther.
Why not... its one of Goethe's greatest works and definitely necessary to read if you want to study the literary period of "Sturm und Drang". I also would say that it is not to difficult to read.

I did not study German at uni but I chose it as one of my Abitursubjects and hence I would recommend the following texts if you want to get an overview of the different literary periods of German literature.

1. read some "Barock"-Sonnets (literary period between 1600 and 1720) - I would recommend Martin Opitz and Andreas Gryphius
2. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing - Emilia Galotti / Nathan der Weise as a representative text for the period of Enlightment ( 1720 - 1785)
3. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - Die Leiden des jungen Werther as a representative text for the literary period called "Sturm und Drang"(1767 - 1785)
4. Friedrich Schiller - Wilhelm Tell - representative text for the literary period called "Weimarer Klassik"(1786 - 1805)
5.E.T.A. Hoffmann - Elixiere des Teufels - wonderful novel and one of the most famous texts of Romanticism ( 1795 - 1835)
6. Heinrich Heine - Deutschland ein Wintermärchen // Georg Büchner - Woyzeck - I would also do Büchner, as his Woyzeck is the first German play that can be called a modern tragedy as it does not follow the rules of the classical tragedy anymore - However both are good texts if you want to become familiar with the literary period called "Vormärz" (1830 -1848)
7. Theodor Fontane - Effi Briest / Irrungen, Wirrungen - in fact I never found Fontane to be interesting to read, however he is THE represantative of German realism - also called "Bürgerlicher/Poetischer Realismus" ( 1850- 1890)
8. From now its not that easy anymore to define the literary periods, however I would read some of Rainer Maria Rilke's works such as Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge. That way you will get a good idea of what the literature of the turn of the century was like.
9. Some poems of the representatives of "Expressionism"(1910 -1925) such as Georg Trakl or Gottfried Benn - You should also read some Kafka, however he cant be called a representative of any literary period
10. For 20th century German literature I would recommend to read the works of Brecht, Böll and Grass.

Last but not least you also have to read the works of Hermann Hesse But thats just a personal recommendation

I hope I could help in some way. I mean as I said I dont know what the set texts are, but I am sure that you will have a good basic knowledge of the different periods of German literature if you read some of the above texts.
However there are many alternatives if one of the texts is too difficult. The given texts are just the ones that I read and of which I thought that they might be helpful.
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llys
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Why not... its one of Goethe's greatest works and definitely necessary to read if you want to study the literary period of "Sturm und Drang". I also would say that it is not to difficult to read.
LOL, I just looked at my post. All the books I recommended not to read are about/written from the perspective of a whining young man (one is suicidal, one is a hypochondriac, and one has syphilis). It seems I'm just allergic to that kind of thing.

Anyway, in addition to what you said I would also recommend Theodor Storm - maybe not as mainstream as Theodor Fontane, but I like him very much. Maybe also some novellas by Gottfried Keller.

OP, I would also dearly recommend Krabat by Ottfried Preussler. It's not canon nor classical and probably doesn't feature on any Cambridge lists but it's still one of my favorite books.
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Kallibra
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Hi, I am a student from Germany, just got my Abitur and took the German special subject class as well. In the state I am living in (and in many others as well) there are set texts for students that are meant to give a general overview over the periods of German literature. You read them in the last two years of school. So this is not really my recommendation, but the government's on the best way to approach German lit. The books are as follows:

Nathan der Weise, Lessing - Aufklärung
Leiden des jungen Werther, Goethe - Sturm und Drang
Don Karlos, Schiller - Weimarer Klassik
Der Sandmann, E.T.A. Hoffmann - Romantik
The poetry of Joseph Eichendorff - Romantik
Woyzeck, Büchner - Vormärz
Effi Briest, Fontane - Poetischer Realismus
Faust, Goethe - more than one literary period
Buddenbrooks, Mann
Leben des Galilei, Brecht
Die Verwandlung, Kafka - Expressionismus (also looked at a lot of his parables and poetry of the period namely Benn)
Homo faber, Frisch - Nachkriegsliteratur

I just realized that this repeats a lot of Ghassan's post...however I hope it helps a little.
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llys
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I'm so sorry, I just keep thinking about things you should do - I never knew I was that interested in German literature. I'm also German BTW, but I'm a scientist, so unlike Ghassan & Kallibra I didn't take German as Leistungskurs, so I just read around for pleasure.

I guess now you have a lot to read already, I would just add to this: Heinrich von Kleist's Der zerbrochene Krug - why? because he's probably the only German playwright with a down-to-earth sense of humour.

(Heine is very funny of course - and he emigrated, LOL.)


I also recommend you do the following things while you're there - just for fun

> watch Drillinge an Bord with Heinz Erhardt - very well known German actor-comedian of the 50's (very well known to my parents and grandparents ) - the movie is still black and white, and a bit sexist (that's a German 50's movies thing - they should in general be avoided), but he's so funny, I hope you can get it somewhere! You can also read some of his 'poetry' - probably not 'serious' enough if you're literary-minded, but good fun.

> possibly watch Der Hauptmann von Koepenick with Heinz Ruehmann (1956 version) - I don't like him that much but again he was a very well-known actor and this is probably his most famous role. I think the movie is based on the play by Carl Zuckermayer, which is based on a true story.

(forgot these:
> watch the Pater Brown movies with Heinz Ruehmann - they're fun. You can also read the stories for English Lit. - they're by G. K. Chesterton.)

> watch Pension Schoeller with Harald Juhnke and Guenter Pfitzmann (not the newer version, not as good). Actually this play is probably on in some Berlin theatres (different version, obviously)...

> watch (hahaha OMG - sorry) watch some plays by the
Maeulesmuehle
(Svabian dialect theatre = good fun ) - try to find Bei ons verklemmt nix! or some other plays with the old guy - Otto Braig (his son, grandson, wife and so on also act - but he was the real thing).*

> the Northern (koelsch) equivalent to this is the Millowitsch clan - I can't think of the name of a play right now but try to find something before 1980s with Willy Millowitsch.

*If you do watch this, definitely let me know how it made you 'feel'. I'm interested in what effects it has on foreigners.
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butterfly_girl_5
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I think since people have given such detailed responses I might have to wait until Im in Berlin to respond to them all.

Thanks very much all of you- this was exactly what Im after
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NickEM
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(Original post by llys)
IDefinitely do not read Die Leiden des jungen Werther.
:O

I absolutely loved Werther!! Read it!!!
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kjc_us
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First of all, congratulations on getting an offer! I'm very jealous, I'm applying for the same course as you at Cambridge.

I don't know if you've looked at this or not but I apologise if it's useless...

http://www.mml.cam.ac.uk/german/courses/ugrad/ge3.html
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llys
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(Original post by NickEM)
:O

I absolutely loved Werther!! Read it!!!
My god! What kind of person are you?! LOL. (just kidding )
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Duck and Cover
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If people here are into Goethe and Schiller, then hopefully the uni will be running the Weimar trip again ! It was great, learnt so much! Although I think it depends on your college as it's run by college Lektorinnen. There was also a trip to Luebeck in the year just gone, to the Weihnachtsmarkt, where we visited Mann and Grass's houses. So yeah, depends on whether they want to do it again or if there's anything being run by the specific colleges, but I just thought I'd take this opportunity to say that if ever any of you do get the chance to go on one of these organised trips to Germany, then do so!!

p.s. bleed the uni dry re: paying for the trip!!
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NickEM
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Oh, I went to Weimar, and I absolutely loved it! It's such a lovely, lovely place. I hope there's a trip!

llys- hahaha :P, why didn't people like it?
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llys
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Hehe, to be perfectly honest I think part of the "problem" was that we had to read it at school, in year 9 or 10 (? I don't remember..), where it just didn't click.. I mean he's obviously manic depressive (with his moodswings), suicidal AND lovesick and he talks about it ALL THE TIME (which I suppose is kind of unavoidable it being an epistolary novel.. ). You constantly want to slap some sense into him. As you can probably imagine (or not?) the whole class hated him with a passion. :p: Maybe I should reread it now though with a different perspective.

Oh and of course I realise this is totally subjective and as some people would say, irrational.
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NickEM
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Haha. :P I can see what you mean; he was a bit frustrating at times. I think, if I'd have read the book in year 9 or 10, I wouldn't have liked it at all either!
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Zanshin
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(Original post by NickEM)
Haha. :P I can see what you mean; he was a bit frustrating at times. I think, if I'd have read the book in year 9 or 10, I wouldn't have liked it at all either!
A bit frustrating at times? It´s one of the most irritating books I´ve ever read... I couldn´t stand the lovesick and depressive protagonist. But I suppose I did read it in class. Still, I can´t imagine I´d like it any better now.
On the other hand, there´s a modern version called "Die neuen Leiden des jungen W." by Ulrich Plenzdorf. That´s interesting and definitely worth a read. Might be a bit easier to read than some of the classics recommended here.
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