Die Leseliste : kommentierte Empfehlungen [The Reading List : Annotated Recommendations] / ed. by Sabine Griese, Hubert Kerscher, Albert Meier, Claudia Stockinger. - Stuttgart : Reclam, 1994. - 199 p. ; 15 cm. - (Universal-Bibliothek ; 8900). - ISBN 3-15-008900-X : DM 8.00


Was sollen Germanisten lesen? : ein Vorschlag [What Should Germanists Read? : A Proposal] / by Wulf Segebrecht. - Berlin : Erich Schmidt, 1994. - 76 p. ; 20 cm. - ISBN 3- 503-03061-1 : DM 12.80

Two new reading lists may spark the canon debate again. The Reclam publication contains no title not worth reading. What is vexing are the annotations: in three to seven lines it is impossible to say anything meaningful about works such as the Iliad or Mann ohne Eigenschaften. Segebrecht eschews annotations for a variety of interesting illustrations. In addition to the dates of first editions, he provides information on numerous anthologies, along with recommended individual works. An unpardonable number of authors and titles are lacking from his section on world literature; the Reclam list offers much more. Both lists confine themselves to a manageable number of works, in contrast to the reincarnation of the Neues Kindler under the title Hauptwerke der deutschen Literatur that lists 19,000 entries. [hak/nb]


Handbuch literarischer Fachbegriffe : Definitionen und Beispiele [Handbook of Literary Terminology : Definitions and Examples] / Otto F. Best. - Revised and expanded ed. - Frankfurt am Main : Fischer-Taschenbuch Verlag, 1994. - 620 p. ; 19 cm. - (Fischer-Taschenbücher ; 11958 : Fischer-Handbücher). - ISBN 3-596-11958-8 : DM 26.90

This deservedly successful book is intended as a vademecum for students and others interested in literature. Its aim is to transmit established knowledge, not to discuss issues of current research. About 2,000 terms from all areas of literature are given precise and easily readable definitions. The large number of lemmata make the Handbook an excellent supplement to more encyclopedic treatments of the subject area, and the inclusion of numerous examples of texts make the work more useful than similar shorter publications (e.g. the Metzler-Literatur-Lexikon) that give only bibliographic information. All in all: the book is indispensable for students as well as for the reference section of even the smallest library. [hak/nb]


Moderne Literatur in Grundbegriffen [Basic Concepts of Modern Literature] / ed. by Dieter Borchmeyer and Viktor Zmegac. - 2nd revised ed. - Tüubingen : Niemeyer, 1994. - 471 p. ; 23 cm. - ISBN 3-484-10652-2 (pbk.) : DM 39.80 - ISBN 3-484-10687-5 (hdbk.) : DM 86.00

The authors understand the "modern" period in literature to begin with Naturalism, and they view it from the perspective of general or comparative literature. The handbook informs not about theoretical or methodological terms but about literary praxis, including styles, genres, and literary communication. The ca. 70 articles are encyclopedic in character, readable, and free of subject jargon and abbreviations. Each includes a selection of important secondary literature. Some changes have been made from the first edition: several articles have been completely revised to take new research into account, and ten articles have been added. This indispensable handbook should be included in the core collection of any academic library. [hak/nb]


Harenberg-Lexikon der Weltliteratur : Autoren, Werke, Begriffe [Harenberg Dictionary of World Literature : Authors, Works, Concepts] / ed. by Francois Bondy ... - Completely revised and updated student's edition. - Dortmund : Harenberg-Lexikon-Verlag, 1994. - Vols. 1-5 ; 25 cm. - Previously entitled: Harenbergs Lexikon der Weltliteratur. - ISBN 3-611-00338-7 (pbk.) : DM 198.00

A spot check of pages 19-36 indicates that in no case has this work been "completely revised," and that it has been only minimally updated. Any library that owns the first edition can forgo this later one. Worth waiting for instead would be a reasonably priced study edition of the Literatur Brockhaus.


Knaurs grosser Schauspielführer : mehr als 1000 Einzeldarstellungen zu Werken und ihren Autoren [Knaur's Theater Directory : Over 1000 Entries Concerning Works and their Authors] / ed. by Rudolf Radler. - [New ed.]. - München: Droemer Knaur, 1994. - 791 p. ; 23 cm : Ill. - ISBN 3-426-26707-1 : DM 64.00

Updated nine years after its first appearance, this work has retained the concept, structure, and scope of the 1985 edition, while layout and typeface have been modernized for the sake of clarity. Twenty dramatists and 70 works have been newly included, but articles about 40 other dramatists and nearly 100 works have been dropped. Information taken from the previous edition has not been revised; photos of productions (mainly from the '70s) and portraits of living authors have not been replaced with newer ones. Articles about authors who have died since 1985 have been updated merely by their death dates, with the past tense only seldom replacing the present. [sh/nb]


Bertelsmann-Lexikon deutsche Autoren : vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart [Bertelsmann Dictionary of German Authors : From the Middle Ages to the Present] / ed. by Walther Killy. - Gütersloh ; München : Bertelsmann-Lexikon-Verlag, 1994. - Vols. 1-5 ; 18 cm. - ISBN 3-570-10530-X (pbk.) : DM 69.00

About 1000 articles have been taken unchanged from the volumes on works and authors of Bertelsmann's more extensive Literaturlexikon. Very little updating has been done. The shortened paperback version does not retain the previous edition's most significant asset: solid information about minor authors. Further, the rigidly mechanical inclusion of only those contemporary writers who were born before or during World War II has had the effect of excluding articles about a number of authors who should have been covered. It is to be hoped that if the earlier dictionary's two subject volumes are published in paperback, they will remain unabridged. [hak/nb]


Deutsche Dichter der frühen Neuzeit (1450- 1600) [German Writers of the Early Modern Period] : ihr Leben und Werk / ed. by Stephan Füssel. - Berlin : Erich Schmidt, 1994. - 680 p. ; 23 cm. - ISBN 3-503-03040-9 : DM 238.00

This volume introduces the life and work of 36 early modern writers, including several whose importance has been discovered by recent research or about whom new information has become available, such as Johannes Turmaiar, called Aventinus or Hermann Bote. The articles are written by outstanding scholars, and include the broader context as well as extremely readable biographical portraits and analyses of the works. In his brief and clear introduction, the editor provides a description of the characteristics of the period and the most important problems for research. This is a very useful handbook for students as well as a reference book, since all articles include bibliographies of primary texts as well as of recent secondary literature. One quibble--only major editions of the works are cited; the easily accessible editions published by Reclam are not included. [hak/vh]


Deutsche Dichter des 20. Jahrhunderts [German Writers of the 20th Century] / ed. by Hartmut Steinecke. - Berlin : Erich Schmidt, 1994. - 912 p. ; 23 cm. - ISBN 3-503-03073-5 : DM 198.00


Geschichte der deutschen Literatur von 1945 bis zur Gegenwart [History of German Literature from 1945 to the Present] / by Wilfried Barner ... Ed. by Wilfried Barner. - München : Beck, 1994. - XXIV, 1116 p. ; 23 cm. - This volume is simultaneously vol. 12 of Geschichte der deutschen Literatur von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart. - ISBN 3-406-38660-1 : DM 78.00

The collection edited by Hartmut Steinecke includes articles on 60 twentieth-century authors, ranging from "classical" authors like Schnitzler, George and Thomas and Heinrich Mann to contemporaries Christa Wolf, Peter Handke and Heiner Müller. All contributions include biography, analysis of the works and their influence, the political and social background, and a bibliography. A good selective bibliography of works on 20th century German literature closes the volume.

The Geschichte der deutschen Literatur von 1945 bis zur Gegenwart is an exceptional work. German literature of this period has never received an analysis using both synthesizing and contrastive methods to such good effect. Swiss and Austrian authors are wisely integrated into the volume. Chapters cover each decade, and are subdivided into sections on literary life and genres in the West and literary life and genres in the GDR. Indexes and a well- organized 60-page bibliography close the volume. There are no illustrations. With regard to both contents and method, this is by far the best handbook on post-war German literature. [hak/vh]


Bibliothek der deutschen Literatur [Library of German Literature] : Mikrofiche-Gesamtausgabe nach Angaben des Taschengoedeke / eine Edition der Kultur-Stiftung der Länder. - München : Saur. - ISBN 3-598-50000-9 (diazo) : DM 35,800.00 - ISBN 3-598-50001-7 (silver halide) : DM 52,800.00.

1990-1994. - 19,963 microfiches.
Bibliographie und Register [Bibliography and index] / comp. under the direction of Axel Frey. - 1995. - XV, 581 p. ; 30 cm. - ISBN 3-598-50100-5 (cloth) : DM 48.00 - ISBN 3-598-53763-8 (paper) : free for subscribers to the collection

We now have the bibliography and index volume to the microfiche edition of the Bibliothek der deutschen Literatur. It includes a list of the titles included in the collection organized by author, an alphabetical title index, and an index of authors by region and subject field. It is intended to be a finding tool for the collection and nothing more, and does not go beyond the Taschengoedeke entries on which it is based. The decision of the editors and publisher to limit inclusion to the texts in the Taschengoedeke was extremely practical, preventing delays which would have resulted from a broader project. The entire project remains a valuable one, since it makes the works of little-known authors available, and enables smaller libraries to purchase the work of individual authors in microformat at a reasonable price. [hak/vh]


Informationshandbuch deutsche Literaturwissenschaft [Information Handbook for the Study of German Literature] / Hansjürgen Blinn. - 3rd newly revised and expanded ed. - Frankfurt am Main : Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1994. - 490 p. ; 19 cm. - ([Fischer-Taschenbücher] ; 12588: Fischer-Informationshandbücher). - ISBN 3-596-12588-X : DM 24.90

Content and organization of this handbook have not changed since the 1990 edition. It covers introductory overviews, handbooks, lexika, bibliographies, journals and newspapers with substantial sections devoted to belles lettres, and libraries, archives, literary societies and prizes etc. Entries have been updated to the point just before the volume went to press. There are some cases of editorial carelessness, perhaps more disturbing because we were not used to this in earlier editions. Nevertheless, the handbook has quite rightly achieved the status of a dependable standard. [hak/vh]


Bibliographie zur deutschen Literaturgeschichtsschreibung 1827-1945 [Bibliography on German Literary History] / Andreas Schumann. - München [etc.] : Saur, 1994. - XXXII, 278 p. ; 25 cm. - ISBN 3-598-11229-7 : DM 198

This bibliography lists studies of German literary history aimed at diverse reader groups in alphabetical order by author. Requirements for inclusion are: (1) first publication between 1827 and 1945 (the earlier years are covered by Klaus J. Bartel's bibliography German Literary History, 1775-1835 [1976]) (2) written in German and (3) not limited to regional aspects, which includes Switzerland and Austria. These requirements are quite amazing. Why, for example, are literary histories which include Austrian literature without comment included, while those which expressly discuss it are excluded? There are inconsistencies and mistakes everywhere you look. This reflects the fact that approximately one third of the works were not examined. There are several indexes and an appendix containing short lives of the authors which is a total failure. The topic deserves a more solid bibliography. [hak/vh]


Wissenschaftsgeschichte der Germanistik im 19. Jahrhundert [History of German Literary Studies in the 19th Century] / ed. by Jurgen Föhrmann and Wilhelm Vosskamp. With contributions from Uwe Meves... - Stuttgart [etc.] : Metzler, 1994. - VIII, 792 p ; 24 cm. - pp. 742-767: Bibliographie zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte der deutschen Literaturwissenschaft 1973-1989 [Bibliography of the History of German Literary Studies 1973-1989.] - ISBN 3-476-00990-4 : DM 168.00

This volume contains 14 contributions and 2 bibliographies, all by experts in their fields. Föhrmann's introduction outlines the history of the discipline and the four levels of investigation covered: 1) the social system of the discipline, 2) the development of literary methodology, 3) attempts at academic self-reflection and 4) the achievements of literary studies. All authors are to be congratulated for evaluating source material difficult to access. The two bibliographies cover literary self-reflection from 1792 to 1914 and the academic history of German literary studies, 1973-89. This indispensable tool concludes with an index of persons. It is a useful supplement to the standard Geschichte der deutschen Literaturwissenschaft bis zum Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts by Klaus Weimar (1989). [rt/rp]


Herder-Bibliographie / Stiftung Weimarer Klassik, Herzogin Anna-Amalia- Bibliothek. - Stuttgart [etc] : Metzler. - 24 cm. - (Personalbibliographien zur neueren deutschen Literatur; ...) - The main vol. (to 1976) was published in 1978 by the Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin and Weimar.

1977/92. By Doris Kuhles. - 1994. - XII, 360 p. - (...; 1). - ISBN 3-476-01247-6 : DM 228.00

This is an exemplary continuation of the excellent 1978 volume. The classification of the earlier volume has wisely been retained - most valuable in the case of Herder, whose work does not conform to traditional subject boundaries. Over 200 items are referenced, including supplementary items to the first volume and some items published after 1992. Only 2 gaps in its coverage could be identified. Marginal annotations aid orientation; reviews are cited under work reviewed. This work concludes with a combined name title and subject index. [hak/rp]


Romantik-Handbuch [Handbook of Romanticism] / ed. by Helmut Schanze. - Stuttgart : Kröner, 1994. - XXIV, 802 p.; 18 cm. - ISBN 3-520-83101-5 : DM 98.00

The first of this publisher's handbook series to deal with a literary epoch, this volume covers only German romanticism, though from a comparative perspective. It consists of four parts: 1) the phases of Romanticism and its influences and effects; 2) literary forms and basic concepts of irony, symbolism, etc; 3) interconnections between literature and other arts and sciences. Each of these chapters has selective but very current bibliographies. 4) Romantics' biographies (only literary figures) and bibliographies. This work is of fundamental importance for research and teaching. [hak/rp]


Lexikon sozialistischer Literatur [Lexicon of Socialist Literature] : ihre Geschichte in Deutschland bis 1945 / ed. by Simone Barck... - Stuttgart [etc.]: Metzler, 1994. - XII, 580 p. ; 25 cm. - ISBN 3-476-01237-9 : DM 78.00

This literary dictionary was begun in 1987 as a project of the Academy of Sciences of the German Democratic Republic.It covers German, Austrian and German-Czech, but not Swiss authors. It is intended to draw attention to little-known authors, but most are included with similar depth of coverage and more consistency in Walther Killy's Literatur-Lexikon (1988-93). It includes some journalists, theoreticians, and women authors who are not listed in Killy, as well as general articles on periodicals, institutions, etc. It differs from Lexikon sozialistischer deutscher Literatur (Leipzig, 1964) by including illustrations and some "marginal" authors. Recommended only for substantial literary collections. [hak/rp]


Die englische Literatur / ed. by Bernhard Fabian. - Original ed. - München : Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag. - 18 cm. - (Dtv; ...)

Vol. 1. Epochen, Formen / by Willi Erzgräber ... - 1991. - 632 p. - (...; 4494). - ISBN 3-423-04494-2 : DM 24.80

Vol. 2. Autoren / by Willi Erzgräber ... - 1991. - 483 p. - (...; 4495). - ISBN 3-423-04495-0: DM 22.80.

Vol. 1 of this history treats the history of English literature by periods and by literary forms, and vol. 2 offers an author lexicon of 175 major writers. The structure of the articles in the author lexicon is good: biography and primary and secondary bibliography with an average length of 5 pages, but the selection is too conventional; modern authors and especially women are under-represented. Editions quoted are sometimes not the best, and the secondary literature is not always critically analyzed. Yet this new venture is still useful and reliable. [sk/rp]


Englische Literaturgeschichte [History of English Literature] / with Stephan Kohl ... ed. by Hans Ulrich Seeber. - 2nd ed. - Stuttgart [etc.] : Metzler, 1993. - X, 461 p. : ill. ; 25 cm. - ISBN 3-476-00911-4 : DM 39.80

Unlike Seeber (95-1-084), this history of English literature by leading German scholars also covers literature of the former Commonwealth and the U.S., if only briefly and not always convincingly. Unfortunately, some major modern authors are missing, and the bibliography was not done with the necessary care. Nevertheless, this work improves upon previous literary histories by successfully rendering the intellectual and historical context of literary developments and includes much contemporary illustrative material. It should be in every [German?] academic library. [sk/sl]


Diccionario de escritores hispanoamericanos [Dictionary of Latin American Authors] : del siglo XVI al siglo XX / Aaron Alboukrek ; Esther Herrera. - Buenos Aires : Larousse, 1992. - VIII, 306 p. ; 21 cm. - (Referencias Larousse). - ISBN 950-538-904-3 : price not available. - (Ediciones Larousse Argentina, Valentin Gomez 3530, 1191 Buenos Aires, Argentina)


Autorenlexikon Lateinamerika [Dictionary of Latin American Authors] / ed. by Dieter Reichardt. - 1st ed. - Frankfurt am Main : Suhrkamp, 1994. - XVI, 738 p. ; 19 cm. - (Suhrkamp-Taschenbuch ; 2328). - ISBN 3-518-38828-2 : DM 32.80

The Diccionario treats 309 important Latin American authors from all periods (and including Brazil) in brief articles of one to three columns, providing biographical information, a brief discussion of literary merits, and a selective listing of "representative" works. Secondary literature is not included. Recommended only for very comprehensive or specialized collections, as a complement to the works reviewed in IFB 93-3/4-171-184, and in particular to the Autorenlexikon Lateinamerika (IFB 93-3/4-171) which is now available in an unrevised paperback edition. [sh/rs]


Escritoras argentinas contemporaneas [Contemporary Argentinean Women Authors] / Gustavo Fares ; Eliana Hermann. - New York ; Frankfurt am Main [et al.] : Lang, 1993. - XI, 255 p. ; 24 cm. - (University of Texas studies in contemporary Spanish-American fiction ; 8). - ISBN 0-8204-2096-4 : DM 100.00

Covers only 13 Argentinean women writers (with portrait, biography, bibliography, interview, and, above all, lengthy excerpts from their works). The useful bibliography on Latin American women's literature (pp. 241-255) is unfortunately not annotated. Because of its limited informational content recommended only for highly specialized collections. [sh/rs]


Geschichte der römischen Literatur [History of Roman Literature] : von Andronicus bis Boethius ; mit Berücksichtigung ihrer Bedeutung für die Neuzeit / Michael von Albrecht. - 2nd rev. and augm. ed. - München [etc.] : Saur, 1994. - 1 - 2 ; 24 cm. - 1st ed. (1992) publ. by Verlag Francke, Bern. - ISBN 3-598-11198-3 : DM 248.00


Geschichte der römischen Literatur [History of Roman Literature] : von Andronicus bis Boethius / Michael von Albrecht. - Unrevised paperback reprint of the 2nd rev. and augm. ed. publ. by Saur-Verlag in 1994. - München : Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, 1994. - 1 - 2 ; 19 cm. - (dtv ; 4618). - ISBN 3-423-04618-X : DM 78.00

A great treatment of a great subject, by far surpassing the run-of- the-mill academic production that is all too prevalent today; von Albrecht has succeeded in providing us with a superbly written and well-organized handbook of the Latin literature of antiquity. Von Albrecht divides his subject matter into five major chapters, the first one dealing with the conditions under which Roman literature developed, the subsequent four focusing on particular periods. The latter four chapters are subdivided into three sections: Overview, Poetry, Prose. Individual genres and authors are treated within these sections. The segments dealing with individual authors are implicitly (but consistently) organized in the following pattern: 1. life, biographical data; 2. overview of the author's works; 3. sources, influences, genres; 4. literary technique; 5. language and style; 6."intellectual world" I (poetics, theoretical notions); 7. "intellectual world" II (themes, motifs, etc.); 8. textual tradition; 9. influences on later authors; 10. bibliography.

Thanks to this consistent systematic structure the reader is never allowed to become disoriented in the mass of facts. The work also contains copious and well-organized bibliographic notes and an excellent index of authors and subjects. As a worthy counterpart to Albin Lesky's overview of the history of ancient Greek literature (Geschichte der griechischen Literatur, München, 1993 [reprint of the 3rd rev. and augm. ed. of 1971]), this handbook will serve students and scholars of Roman literature for generations to come. It is also of great value to students of modern European literature, in particular those interested in tracing the influences of Roman literature on their areas of study.[hak/rs]

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