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Forms and Genres

(5,675 words)

Author(s): Trappen, Stefan | Rösel, Martin | Dormeyer, Detlev
[German Version] I. Literary Theory – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament I. Literary Theory Genres are literary forms. They group multiple texts into a conceptual unit on the basis of formal similarity. Poetics determines the genres of literature and how they are constituted. Both literature and poetics stand within their own autonomous traditions. Therefore the conceptuality of genre, despite intensive interchange between poetics and literature, is not simply a reflection of literature. Every genre, in …


(1,052 words)

Author(s): Trappen, Stefan
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Epic I. Terminology The literary term epic derives from the Greek literary genre of ἔπος (epic) and is used today as a comprehensive term for all narrative texts and for the essential characteristics of narrative in general. Nevertheless, the term still centers around the epic genre and comparable genres (e.g. idyll, didactic poem, novel). II. Epic 1. Concept In antiquity and in the period of humanism, the epic was defined, with effects reaching far beyond ¶ these epochs, as follows: it is a poetic, invar…

Grimmelshausen, Johann Jacob Christoffel von

(373 words)

Author(s): Trappen, Stefan
[German Version] (pseudonym: Samuel Greifnson von Hirschfeld; c. 1620, Gelnhausen – Aug 17, 1676, Renchen near Offenburg), one of the best-known poets of the German Baroque (IV). His major opus, the Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus (1668; ET: Simplicissimus, 1999) numbers among the few books of that era that were still being appreciated in the 20th century. This novel, with many sequels by Grimmelshausen himself ( Continuatio; Courasche [1670; ET: The Life of Courage, 2001]; Springinsfeld [1670; ET: Tearaway, 2003]; Vogelnest [Bird's nest]), ¶ surpasses the portions of his o…