B -- Cultural Studies

Metzler-Lexikon Literatur- und Kulturtheorie: Ansätze - Personen - Grundbegriffe [Metzler Lexicon of Literary and Cultural Theory: Approaches, Persons, Fundamentals]. Ed. Ansgar Nünning. Stuttgart; Weimar: Metzler, 1998. 593 p. 24 cm. ISBN 3-476-01524-6: DM 49.80 [99-1/4-129] This German dictionary represents a belated and urgently needed response to the ongoing boom in new theories in the areas of literary and culture studies. It contains over 600 signed articles in alphabetical order, on topics such as avant-garde, deconstruction, gay and lesbian studies (which seems to have no German translation), and popular culture. The emphasis is on these modern topics, though sufficient homage is still paid to traditional topics such as mimesis and historicism. Many of the terms found in Jeremy Hawthorn's A Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory (3d ed., London: Arnold, 1992) are deplorably absent. Articles on persons are also included, from Horace and Plato to contemporaries, with a special emphasis on German theoreticians who sometimes are given short shrift in the Anglo-Saxon dominated international scholarly community.

Though the intended audience is "students of all philologies and cultural studies," the articles vary greatly in their readability as well as in their length. They contain internal references to other topics covered in the dictionary, as well as brief bibliographies at the end of many articles. A nine-page selective bibliography of works on literary and cultural theory concludes the volume.

Due to the trend in the last decades to expand the concept of literature well beyond its previous boundaries, resulting in a proliferation of new concepts and terminology, this dictionary is indeed a welcome addition to the reference collection of any (German) academic or large public library. [wb/hh]

Aby-M.-Warburg-Bibliographie 1866 bis 1995: Werk und Wirkung; mit Annotationen [Aby M. Warburg Bibliography 1866-1995: Work and Influence; with Annotations]. Dieter Wuttke. Baden-Baden: Koerner, 1998. xxiv, 511 p. 25 cm. (Bibliotheca bibliographica Aureliana, 163) ISBN 3-87320-163-1: DM 200.00 [99-1/4-131] This comprehensive bibliography of writings by and about Aby Warburg (1866-1929), one of the most important art historians of the twentieth century and founder of the Warburg Institute (originally in Hamburg, now London), begins with an extensive section on "Publications." They are compiled in a strictly chronological fashion, with no separation of primary and secondary literature. This serves some purposes, to be sure, such as a sweeping overview of Warburg's influence during his own lifetime, yet it poses problems from a reference work point of view. Starting with the first document by or about Warburg (his birth certificate!) and ending arbitrarily with 1995, this hefty tome contains 3,102 annotated entries plus eighty-two more in the addenda for 1996-1998. Some of the annotations are quite opinionated. A second section, "Archival Materials," gives an abbreviated inventory of the holdings of the Warburg Institute and lists other institutions which own letters and documents about Warburg, as well as art objects collected by Warburg on his expeditions. The author index is a straightforward alphabetical listing of authors, editors, compilers, translators and collaborators named in the bibliography entries, but the subject index, titled "Names and Objects," is not at all transparent in its structure and therefore not easy to use. Though the idiosyncratic form of this bibliography (which however serves exactly the purpose the compiler intended, to show the works and reception and influence of a scholar on his field) makes it almost more of a textbook than a reference work, it is nonetheless an excellent example of a comprehensive personal bibliography and belongs in every academic library. [wb/hh]

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