Modern Languages

Humboldt funding for symposium on short prose

1 May 2014

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Dr Ian Cooper and Dr Deborah Holmes, both from the Department of German, have won funding from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to organise a symposium on German short prose, entitled 'Kurze Rede, langer Sinn' [‘Short on speech, large on sense’].

This symposium seeks to reappraise the contribution of the nineteenth-century German-language short prose narrative to European literature, culture and thought. At a time when the realist novel was emerging in other European traditions as the defining genre of the century, the short narrative remained the dominant prose fiction form in German. The possibilities it offered attracted an astonishing range of authors. Against the background of the Romantic Kunstmärchen, the stories of Kleist, and above all Goethe's shorter prose works, the short narrative was practised by most major names of the nineteenth-century German-language canon from around 1830 onward: Büchner, Droste, Keller, Mörike, Grillparzer, Stifter, Storm and Hauptmann are among the most significant, while other, less widely discussed figures such as Hebbel, Raabe, Ebner-Eschenbach, Saar and Andreas-Salomé populate the margins in intriguing ways. The significance of the form is also demonstrated by its successors in a later era, notably in the earlier work of Thomas Mann and Arthur Schnitzler.

The symposium will be held over two days, 23-24 June 2014 For full details, please see the page here:

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation was founded by the German government to promote international academic cooperation between and scholars from Germany and from abroad. For more information on the Foundation, please see its website here:

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