Here is a course I’d love to take…just wish I could read and speak German… so that I could figure out how to express, in words, what I seek to express with my paintings.
„Stimmung“: Mood – Attunement – Atmosphere in Literature and Literary Criticism (AS.213.654) Monday 5:00 -7:00 The course title marks a problem of translation which already Leo Spitzer in his ―Prolegomena to an interpretation of the word ̳Stimmung ̳ underscores: ―It is a fact that the German word Stimmung as such is untranslatable.‖ Mood, attunement, atmosphere are facets of an aesthetics of Stimmung as it developed in literature and philosophy from the 18th to the 20th century. Most recently, Stimmung has had a renaissance as a methodological term in a Literary Criticism which seeks to overcome the paradigm of post-structuralism. As David Wellbery has demonstrated, the linguistic usage of the word Stimmung comprises three aspects: a subjective mode of experience/perception, an atmospheric dimension and a communicative efficacy. It is along those lines that the course analyzes the poetics and aesthetics of Stimmung in German Literature and Thought from the 18th through the 20th century. Stimmung proves to be fertile ground for contagious forms of communication, specific modes of representation (i.e. coloring, nuance), and the dissolution of subject/object boundaries. Furthermore, we will discuss Stimmung as a term of Literary Criticism from the 20th century to the present. Readings will include: Kant, Schiller, Stifter, Fontane, Hofmannsthal, Hermann Bahr, Thomas Mann, Georg Simmel, Martin Heidegger, Leo Spitzer, Erich Auerbach, Gernot Böhme, Hans-Ulrich Gumbrecht. Readings and Discussion in German.