Lexikon literaturtheoretischer Werke [Encyclopedia of Literary Theory] / ed. by Rolf Günter Renner und Engelbert Habekost. - Stuttgart : Kröner, 1995. - XIV, 520 p. ; 18 cm. - (Kröners Taschenausgabe ; 425). - ISBN 3-520-42501-7 : DM 48.00

For many years students and scholars of German literature have lacked a guide to works of literary theory. This handy reference work lists some 400 entries for important works of literary theory published in English, French and other European languages. According to the preface, emphasis was placed on 20th century writings; however, its coverage of historical writings is a great benefit as well.

The entries are listed alphabetically by original title and are easy to read due to the two-column format. Access to the entries is enhanced by the following indexes: overview of the subject, author/title and subject term. Unfortunately, a chronological index is lacking, which would have been useful to scholars.

The quality and structure of each entry is not uniform, and the authors were not always successful in their attempts to clarify complex theory. In spite of these shortcomings, this new work is welcome but does not replace the titles reviewed in IFB 94-3/4-427-431. [rni/msc]


Schriftstellerinnen in Berlin 1871 bis 1945 [Women Writers in Berlin 1871 to 1945 ] : ein Lexikon zu Leben und Werk : / Petra Budke ; Jutta Schulze. - 1st ed. - Berlin : Orlanda-Frauenverlag, 1995. - 407 p. ; 24 cm. - (Der andere Blick). - Simultaneously published in part by: Berlin, Freie Univ., Diss. - ISBN 3-929823-22-5 : DM 58.00

For many decades Berlin was a cultural center, and from the beginning of the 19th century women such as Rahel Varnhagen, became important figures in the city's literary community. This reference work shows the central function as catalyst that Berlin (as a metropolis) offered to writing women.

This work documents the development and literary creations of about 200 writers, selected from the more than 1000 female writers working in Berlin between 1871 and 1945. Writers of all genres are included but co-authored writings are not. Almost each entry provides a picture of the writer, followed by biographical data, and a chronological listing of published works. References to secondary and biographical information are somewhat selective. Although some writers are not included and errors exist, this new reference work compliments existing works (e.g., Lexikon deutschsprachiger Schriftstellerinnen 1800-1945 [1986].) The volume concludes with information about the archives containing primary sources for these writers, as well as references to anthologies, collected works, and reference works that provide additional information. [jb/msc]


Bibliographie der deutschsprachigen Gegenwartsliteratur im Elsass [Bibliography of Contemporary German-Language Literature in the Alsace] / Bernard Bach. - Berne ; Frankfurt am Main [etc.] : Lang, 1992. - 227 p. ; 21 cm. - (Collection Contacts : Sér. 3, Etudes et documents ; 18). - ISBN 3-906750-04-3 : SFr. 54.00, DM 66.00

This bibliography covers over 100 Alsatian authors who have published in German after 1945. Its informational content surpasses what can be gleaned from standard reference works. Following a brief biographical sketch, book publications as well as publications in anthologies and periodicals (including French and dialect works) are listed. A bibliography of secondary literature concludes the entry for each author. A welcome contribution to our knowledge of contemporary German-language literature in the Alsace. [hak/rs]


Johann Wolfgang Goethe / Benedikt Jeßing. - Stuttgart ; Weimar : Metzler, 1995. - X, 259 p. ; 19 cm. - (Sammlung Metzler ; 288). - ISBN 3-476-10288-2 : DM 26.80

This volume aims to provide an introduction to the literary, scientific and autobiographical works of Goethe, using selected text excerpts combined with summaries of the secondary literature pertaining to these texts. It is comprised of the following sections: 1) Poetry; 2) Drama; 3) Prose; 4) Scientific Writings; 5) Autobiographical Writings; 6) Reception; 7) Abbreviations; 8) Bibliography.

The chapter on the Goethe reception ignores contemporary writers, such as Ulrich Plenzdorf (Neue Leiden des jungen W.), Peter Hack's (Gespräch im Hause Stein), and many others. The Goethe cult of Stefan George and his circle is also not discussed. A close look at the bibliography reveals many inconsistencies, inaccuracies and omissions of important editions and secondary literature. For a superior selective bibliography one should turn to Goethe-Bibliographie : Literatur zum dichterischen Werk, ed. by Helmut G. Hermann (1991). [hak/rs]


Erich Kästner und Walter Trier : eine fast vollständige Büchersammlung & Bibliographie der beiden Moralisten und Menschenkenner [Erich Kästner and Walter Trier: An Almost Complete Book Collection and Bibliography...]. - Heidelberg : Antiquariat Hatry, 1994. - 118 p. ; 21 cm. - (Katalog / Antiquariat Hatry ; 5). - DM 23.00. - (Antiquariat Hatry, Plöck 93a, 69117 Heidelberg)

The bulk of this publication is made up by a sale catalog for a private collection (that of Georg and Luise Sauer, although this is not mentioned in the text). The listings are interspersed with well-chosen biographical texts and numerous illustrations. The bibliographies, however, are of limited value; the one on Kästner, for example, lists only few items published after 1975. Fortunately, reference is made to some standard bibliographies, such as the one contained in the exhibition catalog Erich Kästner 1888-1989 (1989). [hak/rs]


Istorie bellissime : italienische Volksdrucke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus der Sammlung Reinhold Köhlers in Weimar [Most Beautiful Stories : Italian Popular Literature from the Collection of Reinhold Köhler in Weimar] / Rudolf Schenda ; Ingrid Tomkowiak. - Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz in comm., 1993. - 150 p. ; 24 cm. - (Veröffentlichungen des Leipziger Arbeitskreises zur Geschichte des Buchwesens : Schriften und Zeugnisse zur Buchgeschichte ; 5). - ISBN 3-447-03424-6 : DM 38.00

This bibliography lists 191 items of Italian popular literature from the 19th century (pamphlets and broadsides), including annotations and some reproductions of title pages as well as relevant secondary literature. Various indexes (printers and publishers, place of printing and publication, authors, first lines of songs and poems) add to the value of this publication. [rni/rs]

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