The revolution of 1848 in the works of Georg Weerth, Robert Prutz, Johannes Scherr and Adolf Glaβbrenner
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
In this work, The German Revolution of 1848 is treated in its literary context. The writings of four contemporary authors - Georg Weerth, Robert Prutz, Johannes Scherr and Adolf Glaβbrenner - are used to illustrate the revolutionary expectation shown in the 'Vormärz' years, the varying experiences of the Revolution itself, and the disillusionment of the Reaction. The thesis is divided into three sections. The first examines three novels, Wreerth' s Fragment eines Romans, Prutz' s Das Engelchen and Scherr's Eine deutsche Geschichte, in order to ascertain the differing attitudes towards social change in the light of the Revolution. The second section moves from the social schemata expressed in novels to the more directly political satires of 1848 itself. The anti-authoritarian satires of Glaβbrenner, Prutz's pre-revolutionary drama Die politische Wochenstube, and two satirical narratives by Weerth, Humoristische Skizzen aus dem deutschen Handelsleben and Leben und Taten des berühmten Ritters Schnapphahnski, all receive attention in the light of their application to revolutionary conditions. In the third section, the post-revolutionary writings of Scherr and Prutz on the subject of history and literature are analysed in an attempt to assess the attitudes of those writers who became disillusioned with revolutionary activity. Some of the works selected for examination are minor, and an attempt has been made to show, not necessarily that their literary merit has been overlooked, but that their documentary function in the understanding of an era in which literature and society were closely related, is worthy of consideration.