The German Novelle - GE574

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) DR ID Cooper


Completion of Stage 1 in German or Grade A/B German language qualification or similar.





Students will learn to analyse literary texts and respond critically to a challenging body of work, with a particular emphasis on commentaries and close reading. Both their linguistic and their analytical skills will be developed through sustained exposure to a representative cross-section of one of the key genres in German literature, the Novella. The module will trace the emergence of the short prose narrative around 1800 and examine its adaptation during the nineteenth century, when realism asserted itself and became the subject of critical controversy. It will look at the major writers of the period to see what scope the development of realism offered them for artistic variation and psychological depth. Their works will be studied as reflections of the societies and regions to which they belonged and as indications of the profound political and economic changes occurring during the period.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

2 hours per week


Also available under code GE573 (Level 5)

Method of assessment

100% Coursework

Preliminary reading

Indicative Reading List

Kleist, Das Erdbeben in Chili [1807] (Reclam, 1984)
Fouqué, Undine [1811] (Reclam, 1953)
Chamisso, Peter Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte [1814] (Reclam, 1980)
Hoffmann, Der Sandmann [1817] (Reclam, 1991)
Eichendorff, Das Marmorbild [1819] (Reclam, 1967)
Büchner, Lenz [1835] (Reclam, 1987)
Grillparzer, Der arme Spielmann [1847] (Reclam, 1979)
Stifter, (stories from) Bunte Steine [1853] (Reclam, 1994)
Storm, Der Schimmelreiter [1888] (Reclam, 1963)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module, all students will be able to:

11.1 Demonstrate a basic familiarity with nineteenth-century German literature.
11.2 Demonstrate an awareness of issues of genre.
11.3 Demonstrate the ability to analyze closely short stories.
11.4 Demonstrate the ability to read stories both thematically and stylistically, as well as how to place them in their relevant contexts.
11.5 In addition, level-6 students will be expected to show significantly greater awareness of the social, political, historical, and literary background of the nineteenth-century German-speaking world.

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