Karten 213 Karten
Lernende 10 Lernende
Sprache English
Stufe Universität
Erstellt / Aktualisiert 25.04.2018 / 11.12.2019
Lizenzierung Namensnennung (CC BY)     (Prof. Dr. Thomas Claviez Prof. Annette Kern-Stähler PD Dr. Ursula Kluwick Prof. Gabriele Rippl)
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Periodisation satisfies a profound need of human beings:

• manages change and gives us the illusion of control

• estabishes a limited and protected area in which to work

• terms given refer to different things: centuries, kings or queens (Victorian/Elizabethan age), cultural innovations (printing press), authors (Shakespearean age)


Pitfalls: American romanticism (1828-1865) vs. British Romanticism (1780-1830); did not happen at the same time and needs therefore to be separated although ideas might have been very similar

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Recent developments

  • Literature has expanded to include various forms of expression (scientific writing, diaries, autobiography, journalism, film )

  • The history of literature is now generally understood to be several stories, not one,
    e.g.: English did not suddenly stop being used with the arrival of the Normans; American Indian writers did not fall silent when Europeans arrived

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The canon

• the books of the Bible officially recognized by the Church (canonical texts)

• texts that have a seal of approval from cultural and academic establishments.

• an authoritative list of the works of an author (the Shakespeare canon)


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How do works find their way into a literary canon?


• Influential literary critics, editors (anthologies, literary histories)

• Teachers (school, university)

• Booker Prize Committee etc.

Canon: subject to change

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the Middle Ages

“Between” two eras of greatness:
ancient Greece and Rome – medieval – revival of ancient Greece and Rome (Renaissance: rebirth; or: Early Modern period)

  • A period of darkness (tenebrae) (Francesco Petrarca, 1304- 74)
  • “a misty time” (Sir Philip Sidney, 1554-86)

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  • The 'Pre-English' days

  • Celtic tribes (Britonnic language) / Roman colony (43-410 AD)

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  • The English Middle Ages

  • — Anglo-Saxon arrival (5th century)

  • — Scandinavian invasions (late 8th-11th century)

  • — Norman conquest (1066)

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Anglo-Saxon migration

  • Jutes: from the north of the Danish peninsula

  • Angles: from the south of the Danish peninsula (modern-day Schleswig- Holstein)

  • Saxons (south and west of the Angles, roughly between Elbe and Ems)