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"Voluptas" und "Frühbürgerliche Revolution:" Neue Sichtweisen der Literatur des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts

Max L. Baeumer
Monatshefte
Vol. 65, No. 4 (Winter, 1973), pp. 393-415
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30155133
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
"Voluptas" und "Frühbürgerliche Revolution:" Neue Sichtweisen der Literatur des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts
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Abstract

Previous histories of the literature of 15th and 16th centuries by L. Uhland, W. Scherer, W. Stammler, G. Müller, and others were regarded by their authors only as material collections and broad outlines of a vague and obscure period, usually paraphrased as Renaissance, Humanism, and Reformation. Four new historical presentations, based on conclusions of recent research, offer different fundamental conceptions for a first real and comprehensive history of literature of that age. H.O. Burger and H. Rupprich take the conservative approach of a history of intellectual and aesthetic ideas ("Geistesgeschichte"). Burger follows up the leitmotif of "Voluptas" as "affective rhetoricism" and as change from the medieval "contemptus mundi" to the "voluptas mundi" in every domain of worldly pleasure. B. Könneker (West Germany) and an East German authors' collective emphasize the popular character of the literature of the period and the revolutionary tendency and impact of the Reformation, two aspects entirely neglected by Burger and Rupprich. Könneker and the East Germans measure Renaissance and Humanism by their influence on the rising bourgeois society and its realistic, didactic, and propagandistic literature. Following remarks of Marx and Engels, the collective considers the writings of that era exclusively as literature of the early-bourgeois revolution. The critical review of these antagonistic views leads to the conclusion that future histories of literature of the 15th and 16th centuries will have to proceed from the sociological basis of the early-bourgeois society, but avoid the extreme of an exclusively socioeconomic point of view.

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