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Exemplarity and Mediocrity – The Art of the Average from Bourgeois Tragedy to Realism - Stanford Scholarship Online
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Exemplarity and Mediocrity: The Art of the Average from Bourgeois Tragedy to Realism

Paul Fleming


Following Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's analysis of art's increasing difficulty to both engage and extricate itself from prosaic reality, this book investigates the strategies employed by German literature from 1750 to 1850 for increasingly attuning itself to quotidian life—common heroes, everyday life, non-extraordinary events—while also avoiding all notions of mediocrity. It focuses on three sites of this tension: the average audience (Gotthold Ephraim Lessing), the average artist (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller), and the everyday, or average life (Franz Grillparzer and ... More

Keywords: modern art, German literature, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Franz Grillparzer, Immanuel Kant, mediocrity, exemplarity, Adalbert Stifter

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780804758901
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804758901.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paul Fleming, author