Weimar Classicism

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Simon Richter (University of Pennsylvania)
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Weimar Classicism is one of the more disputed periods of literary history. The distinction of also possessing a classical period was first arrogated for German literature in the nineteenth century under the pressure of strong national feeling. German classicism purportedly extended from Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) to the death of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), including some seventy years of literary production. Of course, this was a stretch by any precise definition of classicism, and the assertion of a German Classicism of this kind won no international recognition. Matters were further complicated by the fact that the putative German Classicism coincided with a succession of acknowledged European and German literary periods: Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang, Sensibility…

2766 words

Citation: Richter, Simon. "Weimar Classicism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 September 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1476, accessed 09 December 2023.]

1476 Weimar Classicism 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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