The article compares J.W. Goethe's “Marienbad Elegy” (1823) and a poetic text with the same title written in 1999 by W.G. Sebald. “Marienbad Elegy” by Goethe is a precedent text of German culture, its historical and literary authority being additionally supported by the popular biographical myth of the love of the 73-year-old poet to the 19-year-old Ulrike von Levetzow. On the one hand, Sebald's own “Marienbad Elegy” is an attempt to decanonize the classical text by updating its references (restoration of the biographical context associated with the aging Goethe in Marienbad, his acquaintance with the von Levetzow' family, and actualization of the realities of the spa town and the “museum” objects related to the occurrence of the Goethean text) and by consistently reducing the elegiac pathos of the original. On the other hand, as this article demonstrates, Sebald puts in place of Goethe's elegiac tune his own - melancholic - pathos inherited from a philosopher of the Frankfurt school Walter Benjamin whom he greatly appreciated.
|Translated title of the contribution||Two “marienbad elegies”: J.w. goethe and w.g. sebald|
|Number of pages||16|
|State||Published - 2020|
Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Literature and Literary Theory