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The Nineteenth-Century German Recitation Anthology and the Fortunes of Weltliteratur

Mary Helen Dupree, Georgetown University

March 5, 2020 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 205 East Pyne

Department of German

Throughout the nineteenth century, a significant portion of the German-language book market was devoted to the publication of “recitation anthologies,” collections of poems meant to be read aloud by amateur performers in schools, in clubs, and in the middle-class home. Such anthologies typically featured “classical” and canonical works of German literature alongside selections of comic and occasional poems, with the balance tipping decisively in favor of the latter as the century wore on. Although largely neglected by literary historians, German-language recitation anthologies offer a wealth of information not only about literary recitation and declamation in the nineteenth century, but also about the ever-shifting role of the literary canon in shaping and negotiating regional, national, and cosmopolitan identities.

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