Sturm und Drang [Storm and Stress]

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Gerhard P. Knapp (University of Utah)
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Sturm und Drang

” [Storm and Stress] is the name of a fairly brief (approximately 1767-1786) but highly productive period in German literature situated between the literary manifestations of the Enlightenment and Weimar Classicism. This period is also called


[the era of “universal”, “original” or “powerful” genius]. The established English translation “Storm and Stress” is not entirely felicitous: “passion and energy” or “energy and rebellion” would be more appropriate.

Sturm und Drang

derives its name from a drama by Friedrich Maximilian Klinger (1752-1831) originally titled




] and re-named

Sturm und Drang

(1776) on the suggestion of Christoph Kaufmann (1753-1795), a propagator of the cult of genius and minor writer of the time.

It has

2477 words

Citation: Knapp, Gerhard P.. "Sturm und Drang [Storm and Stress]". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 February 2003 [, accessed 15 June 2024.]

1266 Sturm und Drang [Storm and Stress] 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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