Editoriale | pp. 5
Hartmut Böhme - La ricezione letteraria dell’incisione di Albrecht Dürer «Melencolia I»
Albrecht Dürer’s 1514 master engraving «Melencolia I» has attracted complex scholarship since the establishment of art history as an academic discipline. The wealth of historical contextual material and iconographic interpretations is inexhaustible. However, the reception of «Melencolia I» by artists—and since the eighteenth century—by literary figures is much older. This paper addresses the literary reception history in German Classicism and Romanticism as well as the engraving’s reception by English and French writers of the modern era and the avant-garde. For the 20th century, Gottfried Benn, Günter Grass, and Peter White will serve as examples. Here, as in all other testimonials of reception, it becomes comprehensible why the engraving’s semantic ability to connect allowed for historical updates that secure the vitality of the very old melancholy-tradition also for the self-positioning of the aesthetic and political modernity.
Ute Planert - Il «revenant». Il ritorno di Napoleone nella storia della cultura europea ai primi del XIX secolo
«Scum of mankind», «monster» and «Satan incarnate»—the media battle accompanying the anti- Napoleonic wars 1813-1815 did not lack in attacks on the French emperor. However, the half-life of these attacks was limited. After the return of the monarchs to the thrones of Europe, not only Goethe asked himself if with the banishment of the Emperor, one tyrant had been replaced with many. Supported by his posthumous self-dramatization, Napoleon soon appeared as a Titan to the following generations, whose oversized features contrasted fi ercely with the small-mindedness of his conquerors. Veterans mourned the charismatic soldier emperor; freethinkers chose Napoleon as an icon of liberalism; for the poor, he stood for ideals of political equality; nationalists from Poland to Ireland saw a champion of national unity and freedom in Bonaparte; and many a freshly crowned regent on this and on the far side of the Atlantic was inspired by the authoritarian populism of the Napoleonic regime. The myth of the enraptured hero was as variable as the needs of his worshipers.
Holger Afflerbach - Il «topos» della guerra improbabile in Europa prima del 1914
This article challenges the claim that prior to 1914 Europe was affl icted by a pervasive warmongering atmosphere. Yet, if the governments and the populations believed a war to be inevitable because of the arms race and the international tensions, they should have recognized the gravity of the situation and envisaged the outbreak of the confl ict immediately after the assassination of Sarajevo. However, as we will show here, this was not the case. In July 1914, Europe was in a holiday mood and, only after the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia, did the fear of a great war begin to spread. And even at the beginning of August 1914, many people still did not believe it would really happen. Instead of a universal belief in the inevitability of war, there was a downright dangerous trust in peace in Europe in the last few years before 1914. A major European war was considered suicidal and therefore held to be «unlikely»—and exactly this belief contributed to the outbreak of war in 1914.