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Comedy

(2,917 words)

Author(s): Niefanger, Dirk
1. ConceptA comedy (German KomödieLustspiel) is a drama presenting primarily comic characters and light-hearted situations. Although no fixed definition exists, some dominant characteristics can be discerned in the early modern period. The ending is generally a happy one, not infrequently a wedding as a reconciliatory celebration of life, the “ending in peace.” The setting is often an everyday or private environment, certainly not a political one. The characters are people from the lower social o…
Date: 2019-10-14

Historical drama

(904 words)

Author(s): Niefanger, Dirk
1. DefinitionHistorical dramas are dramatic texts (Drama) based on historical material, not limited to a specific generic presentation (see Genre), but usually falling within the subcategory of  tragedy. This vague definition can be supplemented by noting several distinguishing features: historical drama claims historical authenticity for the dramatic events by means of stage directions and by-play or para-textual materials; the historical material is represented as not merely the past, but as fi…
Date: 2019-10-14

Ceremonial literature

(2,595 words)

Author(s): Niefanger, Dirk
1. Ceremonial as a readable system of signs The concept of Ceremonial (from Latin caerimonia, French cérémonial) denotes forms, rules, and behaviors that were valued as necessary and constitutive in respect of standardized, often solemnized actions in the course of social intercourse, political processes, and religious events. To this extent, it is reasonable to call ceremonial a “semiotic supersystem […] that is capable of rendering visible the political, legal, social, or religious order, and of regulating it within limits [5. 1500 f.]. Ceremonial might include visual ima…
Date: 2019-10-14

Folk play

(871 words)

Author(s): Niefanger, Dirk
1. ConceptThe folk play (German Volksstück) was a specific form of popular theater. The term is generally used in the context of German-language theater history. The most characteristic form emerged in the Vienna  Volkstheater in the late 18th century. Its heyday came in the 19th century and it spawned successors in variants of boulevard theater as well as (to this day) in sophisticated, sometimes socially critical plays. The Volkstheater [5] was relatively unstandardized and adopted effective modes of portrayal from a range of stage traditions, including m…
Date: 2019-10-14

Galant literature

(1,270 words)

Author(s): Niefanger, Dirk
1. Galantry as a European concept Within the cultural history of the early modern period, the term  galant literature denotes an important European literary movement (Literature) of the 17th and early 18th centuries; in Germany it dominated poetry between the Baroque and the Enlightenment. It reduced the Baroque rhetoricality of texts, decreased learned allusions, and thus focused on increased intelligibility of poetic language. For music, see galant style.Fundamental to galant literature is galantry, an ideal of conduct and converse (Communication) based o…
Date: 2019-10-14

Baroque

(7,592 words)

Author(s): Pfisterer, Ulrich | Niefanger, Dirk | Küster, Konrad
1. Introduction The term Baroque defines an era within the early modern period perceived by scholarly consensus in terms of its specific aesthetic and cultural characteristics in the spheres of art, literature, and music. It is therefore not a term drawn from the era itself (as were, for instance, Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Romanticism), but a retrospective chronological and thematic construction of scholars seeking to characterize works of art, literature, and music and their particular desi…
Date: 2019-10-14

Late modern period

(4,556 words)

Author(s): Jaeger, Friedrich | Petri, Grischka | Hottmann, Katharina | Niefanger, Dirk
1. Modernity and the late modern periodThe transition from the early to the late modern period, in the sense defined in the introductory chapter to this encyclopedia, came as a result of the range of profound changes - political, economic, technological, social, and cultural - that took place in the first half of the 19th century, culminating in the “year of revolutions” of 1848/49. Those changes came to define “modernity” in a new sense that endures to this day. To claim validity as a term for an epo…
Date: 2019-10-14