Trans-National Reception of Literature: The Reception of French
nationalism in Germany
Reception theory, despite its
influence, has been criticised for its lack of attention to the
social contexts of reception. It has also mainly been applied
within one national context. This essay examines the reception of
French naturalist novels, in particular those of Emile Zola,
within Germany’s literary culture of the late 19th
century. This examination reveals important tensions between
critics’ positions, and the demands of an emergent public for
French novels, which led to changes in the evaluation of these
reception theory, naturalism, Zola,
German literary culture
Reader reception theory, inaugurated
at the end of the 1960s by the Romance languages scholar Hans
Robert Jauss and the English scholar Wolfgang Iser, constituted,
at least for a decade, the dominant paradigm for literary research
Now this approach, which aimed to go beyond a substantialist
conception of the work of art, still remained largely dependent on
the hermeneutic tradition and conceived of reception as a solitary
dialogue between a reader, a critic, and an author or work.
Reception theory, whose primary aim was to evaluate the aesthetic
distance between the horizon of expectation and the end product,
was thus criticized for neglecting the social conditions
surrounding the reception process. It will not be possible to give
a complete account of this process by isolating one or the other
of its agents, but only by considering it as part of a whole, of a
system, and which I, using the same term as Pierre Bourdieu, will
call a field.
Research on the reception of
literature has been mainly done within a homogeneous national
Reception in a different speech area, however, does not obey to
the same laws. Pierre Bourdieu named very precisely the specific
conditions for the reception of literary and scientific texts in
foreign languages. He noticed that the texts often circulate
without their context of origin. Recipients, who are in a
different field of production, re-interpret foreign texts in
accordance with the structure of the field of reception. So the
sense and the function of a foreign work is in at least equal
proportion determined by the field of origin as by the field of
reception. The function of a work in its domestic field is often
unknown. Furthermore, the transfer process from one field to
another is made up of a series of social operations: a process of
selection, a process of labelling and the reading process itself,
as foreign readers are often determined by the categories of
perception and appreciation of their own domestic field. “In
actual fact”, Bourdieu explained, “all sorts of transformations
and deformations linked to the strategic use of texts and authors
are constantly going on, independently of any intention to
manipulate information. The differences are so great between
historical traditions, in the intellectual field per se as well as
in the ensemble of the social field, that the application to a
foreign cultural product of the categories of perception and
appreciation acquired from experience in the domestic field can
actually create fictitious oppositions between similar things and
false parallels between things that are fundamentally different.”
Therefore, it is important to detect
the determining factors for transfer (or non-transfer) of texts
and ideas from a national field of origin to a foreign field. This
could also serve to uncover the reasons for structurally based
misunderstandings, which characterize many trans-national
relations, and to pave the way for rational dialogue.
The reception of French naturalism
Nationalism was not a global social
movement like romanticism, but a literary group that functioned
like a structure accumulating symbolic capital within a field that
had become relatively autonomous. The specific nature of this
group, whose cohesion was provided by the figure of Zola
presenting himself as a “man of science” rather than as a
“prophet,” is aptly described by Christophe Charle.
Yves Chevrel has, in turn, analyzed the role of the group in the
development of the naturalist movement both in France and Germany.
The position of naturalism has as its particular characteristic
the fact that it serves as an intermediary between the dominant
and the dominated poles, a position which has provoked violent
reactions on the part of traditional critics who feel that
“legitimate literature is being threatened by a literature which
is aimed at a wide audience, without abandoning its literary
pretensions or its social implications.”
As for the chronological delimitation
of the movement within the filed, Jacques Dubois has given a good
definition of its various stages, from the appearance of the first
naturalist manifesto - which the 1868 preface to Thérèse Raquin
represents - up until the survey conducted by Huret in 1891, which
appeared to confirm the death of the movement.
As for Yves Chevrel, he considers 1893 to be the final date, the
year in which the last work in the Rougon-Macquart cycle
came out and also the year in which Die Weber (The Weavers)
was performed in Paris.
When discussing the reception of
naturalism, one must take into account not only the time
discrepancy and that between the country of origin of the work and
those in which it is read, but also, and in particular, the
specific structure of the host literary field. Within the host
field one should make a distinction between several important
mediating agencies, each playing a specific role that is also
influenced by their relative position in the field. First of all,
there are the translators and the translations; then there is the
immediate reaction by the critics of the time who often react on
the basis of a given aesthetic code; this is followed by the
creative reception of writers inspired by the foreign literary
model; and finally, we have the critical debate that arises from
the theoretical production, which always seems to accompany the
founding of a literary group.
Translations and translators
If naturalism is perceived first and
foremost through Zola’s works, we must recognize that his works
were translated relatively late in Germany. Thérèse Raquin
was published in 1867, but one had to wait until 1880 to see the
first German translation of a work by Zola, L’Assommoir,
which had come out in France three years earlier. Daudet’s Jack
had been translated before this, in 1876, which did not happen by
chance, since the less radical and more conciliatory works of the
author of Le Petit Chose found more
favor with German critics, at least initially. Now an
author does not become known only through translations in a
culturally similar zone. Zola was already present through the
original version of his works. As evidence of this, Yves Chevrel
quotes a remark by Fritz Mauthner, who in 1892 estimated at
100,000 the number of volumes by Zola circulating in French in
One may suppose, however, that it was only a small, cultivated
circle who had read Zola in French, and this would certainly have
been the case before 1880. The appearance of the first German
translation coincided with the high point of naturalism in France,
with the publication of Le Roman expérimental, considered
to be the “systematization and rationalization of the doctrine,”
and that of Les Soirées de Médan, seen as the “affirmation
of the coherence of the group.”
In 1881 Nana was brought out by
two publishers in Germany. The book had been published the
previous year in France. Translations now followed the original
editions almost immediately. In two years, 1881 and 1882, eleven
volumes were translated for the first time, and from the time
Germinal was published (1885) readers in other countries were
able to discover the works of Zola and Daudet at almost the same
time as the French reading public.
In 1880 two translations of Zola were published; in 1882 there
were seven; and in 1883, three. But these figures proved modest
compared with the circulation of Zola’s works in France since the
publication of L’Assommoir: in a single year (1880), ten
editions of L’Assommoir came out and twelve of Nana.
Similar circulation figures in Germany were only attained by
Geibel’s poetry of 1840, of which the hundredth edition came out
in 1884. Between 1892 and 1899 the publishing house Grim of
Budapest published the first complete version of the
Rougon-Macquart cycle. The complete edition of Les
Rougon-Macquart compiled by the Munic editor Wolff (1923-25)
was hailed by Fritz Rosenfeld as a literary event of great
significance. Since 1880, Zola has become extremely popular in
Germany. On the inventory of German translations of French texts
between 1700 and 1948, Zola retains third place with 311
citations, immediately following Alexandre Dumas (359 citations)
and Balzac (320 citations).
Translation is already an
interpretation of the original work. The way Zola’s works were
received in Germany was heavily influenced by the type of
translation. In a letter addressed to the writer in 1887, the
German translator Ziegler explained in the following way the
reactions provoked by translations that emphasized what could
appear rough and coarse without transfiguring it by means of
stylistic quality: “All of these immense numbers of readers had
found up to now only translations that vied with one another in
highlighting the more vivid scenes, and in rendering them in
unsuitable language. This crude prose struck a dissonant note in
our idiom, one that allows certain liberties of expression only at
the price of falling back into the obscene.... The worst thing is
that these translations... have neglected to transcribe with
subtlety the passages of your books that epitomize your
superiority and your grandeur.”
The growing coarseness went hand in hand with the opposite
reaction: censorship of certain passages that was motivated by the
prevailing false modesty (the translations of Nana and of
La Faute de l’abbé Mouret having been seized by the police
in Berlin). The translation of Germinal had thus banished
from the German text such scenes as the mutilation of Maigrat and
the famous gesture of La Mouquette.
Nevertheless Zola did, in fact,
inspire a massive response in the German public. The most
important reception was without doubt that of Zola’s readers. Yves
Chevrel has justifiably emphasized the fact that French
naturalism, and Zola in particular, created a community of readers
first of all in Germany. What is striking is the discrepancy
between, on the one hand, the massive welcome afforded by a public
avidly seeking a more open and more modern literature and, on the
other hand, the reticence of critics and writers tied to
traditional literary standards and to the notion of a literature
capable of transforming reality.
Reception by literary critics
Reception by the general public can
often only be evaluated by using quantitative data (circulation
figures, number of editions). It is only rarely that we have at
our disposal authentic documents of th period (diaries, letters)
that enable us to analyse the criteria that motivated readers to
read. As for the reactions of literary critics, they are easier to
grasp even though it is still necessary to have recourse to
time-consuming research in order to constitute a representative
Critical reception of naturalism in Germany has long been the
subject of analysis. In 1924 Félix Bertaux published his study
“The influence of Zola in Germany.”
Winthrop H. Root has already suggested
a first division in the periods of critical reception of Zola’s
works in his German Criticism of Zola, 1875-1893 (published
which has become a standard reference for scholars since that
time. Henry H. Remak takes as the starting point for his study
(1954) the reception of realist authors (“The German reception of
and he attributes greater importance to the impact of the type of
periodicals in which critical judgments appear. Finally we are
indebted to Rita Schober for having produced two studies
(published in 1968 and 1977 respectively) that examine the
reception of Zola’s works beyond the naturalist period up to the
present, notably by looking at social-democrat and Marxist
The most thoroughly researched study, based on almost exhaustive
documentation an d taking into account not only the reaction of
critics but the whole literary system, is Yves Chevrel’s major
thesis, defended in 1979, on Le Roman et la nouvelle
naturalistes français en Allemagne (1870-1893) (The French
Naturalist Novel and Novella in Germany (1870-1893)),
in addition to his numerous studies on particular aspects. Chevrel
had wanted a study specifically devoted to Zola’s reception in
Austria to be undertaken, and Karl Zieger took on this task in his
work, published in 1986, Die Aufnahme der Werke von Emile Zola
durch die österreichische Literaturkritik der Jahrhundertwende
(The Reception of Emile Zola’s Works as sees through Literary
Criticism at the Turn of the Century).
Vera Ingun Moe finally situated Zola’s influence on German
naturalism in relation to that of Ibsen and Dostoyevsky in her
book Deutscher Naturalismus und ausländische Literatur. Zur
Rezeption der Werke von Zola, Ibsen und Dostojewski durch die
deutsche naturalistische Bewegung (German Naturalism and
Foreign Literature: On the Reception of the Works of Zola, Ibsen,
and Dostoyevsky as witnessed by the German Naturalist Mouvement).
It would be impossible to consider each of these analyses in turn.
However it would be appropriate to outline some of their major
From discovering to conquering the
The first mention of one of Zola’s
works (La Curée) was made in an anonymous account that
appeared on 24 July 1873 in the Blätter für literarische
Unterhaltung (Literary Entertainment Bulletin). But the
first in-depth study on Zola came out only on 23 Ocober 1875 in
the Magazin für die Literatur des In- und Auslandes (Magazine
for German and Foreign Literature), a periodical that, by
definition, was open to foreign literature. Public opinion only
became aware of the existence of the master of naturalism eight
years after the publication of Thérèse Raquin, whereas this
novel was better known in Russia and Italy. Most scholars thus
take 1875 as their starting point for the critical reception of
Zola’s works in Germany. Root proposes a first period from 1875
to 1880, Remak another from 1875 to 1885. Rita Schober breaks down
her first period (1875 up until Zola’s death in 19029 into three
phases. The prenaturalist phase (1875-83), the naturalist phase
(1883-90) and the postnaturalist phase (1890-1902/4).
The most refined conception of the division into periods is to be
found in Yves Chevrel’s work. He suggests first of all a first
period of “discovery” for the years 1873-78, when one can discern
only a very slow penetration that almost exclusively concerned the
specialized critics who, moreover, preferred Daudet to Zola.
The second period is seen as encompassing the period from 1879 to
1882. The numerous translations attest to the fact that the
general public had been affected and that French naturalism had
begun to shake traditional aesthetic convictions that had sprung
from the ideal of poetic realism. Root recounts how negative the
judgements of the first period were, notably in periodicals such
as Die Gegenwart (The Present) and Blätter für
There was only one exception - the
Magazin für die Literatur des In- und Auslandes - directed by
Edward Engel, a personal friend of Zola’s, who in 1879 had invited
Zola to collaborate on his Magazin, “the most cosmopolitan
of all the literary journals and which is read all over the
world,” in order to affirm the universality of the new conception
of literature (“the right to realism in the novel,
especially in our present-day society, which is indeed the same
almost everywhere, whether it be in Berlin or Paris”).
In 1879 Engel had devoted an article to Nana, which had
begun to appear in serial form. In it he highlighted the salutary
function of Zola’s crude realism in the light of the material
excesses of modern urban life and the role of the writer, which
consisted in holding a mirror up to the people of his time so that
they would recognize themselves in all their horror. In 1877 in
the journal Unsere Zeit, a very positive article had
appeared on Zola by F.K. Petersen in a study devoted to new French
novelists. In it he refuted the criticism of amoralism leveled at
them: the portrayal of the baser passions, he argued, had a
cathartic effect since it brought home in a realistic way what was
morally reprehensible while at the same times explaining the
causes of the perversions.
Such positive criticism was somewhat
rare. Most critics were opposed to Zola on moral and ideological
grounds. In H. Breitinger’s view, expressed in the review Nord
und Süd (North and South) in 1877, a pathological
process was being used to further the cause of pessimistic
socialism. In the same year, in the review Die Gegenwart,
Paul D’Abrest condemned Nana as a form of “literary onanism.”
In the publication of the Association of German Writers, Gustav
Wast called Zola the leader of a school that had declared war on
idealism and put into the limelight prostitutes, madmen, and
drunkards - in short, he was a “literary social democrat.” The
reaction of moral and political conservatives tended then,
already, to associate naturalism with moral defilement, hence with
nihilism and thus with socialism. Ludwig Pfau does not place
himself on this level of moral condemnation in his much more
elaborate essay on Zola in 1880 in the review Nord und Süd.
If at times the author, who was himself
an opposition poet condemned to exile abroad, criticized Zola, he
based his criticism on the aesthetic and philosophical conceptions
of the writer. In his view, Zola’s claim to scientific
authenticity was not to be taken seriously since the novelist
invents the facts. The critic takes the author of Nana to
task for his inability to control detail, his mania for the
complete inventory, and his failure to distinguish between what is
essential and what is fortuitous. According to Pfau these faults
are the result of a double error: the aesthetic error of confusing
what is real and what is true and the philosophical error of
confusing matter and strength. Inspired as he is by his
positivistic conception of reality, Zola takes appearances for
reality - hence his inability to grasp the laws that constitute
While remaining critical, it must at
least be said to Pfau’s credit that he was able to familiarize the
German public with the epistemological basis of Zola’s literary
The opposition group of German
naturalists formed around the brothers Heinrich and Julius Hart,
who presented, in the form of the 1882 review Kritische
Waffengänge (Critical Confrontations), a springboard for the
recent movement and continually gave vent to their opinions
through critical comment and their literary works. What they
advocated was a new kind of literature describing the modern
world, but based on a code of ethics and criticizing the dominant
society on those grounds. Opposed to dilettantism and formalism,
to any salon literature, they were not insensitive to the Utopian
dimension they discovered in works such as those of Sacher-Masoch.
In the second issue of their review, the Hart brothers devoted an
eleven-page essay entitled “For and Against Zola” to the master of
They shared Zola’s great concern for truth. They also opposed
critics for whom the subject (be it moral or immoral) was a
decisive criterion. What the writer portrays was of little
importance in their opinion; what was important was that he should
handle the subject as a poet would.
The decisive point was the poetic transformation of the subject.
It was on this point that the Hart
brothers criticized Zola, blaming him for the accumulation of
details and lack of inventiveness — faults they attributed to a
theory that was as original as it was false. One should never
confuse literature with science: the writer does not observe
nature, but rather creates a second nature, using the former as
raw material. The domestication of poetry by the scientific
conception of literature was rejected for the same reasons as was
the false idealism of Zola’s opponents. Science seeks the
universal by abstracting from the particular, whereas literature
grasps the universal through the particular. Faithful as they were
to an idealist aesthetic, the Hart brothers demanded not only
truth, but truth transfigured by poetry, which, using everyday
reality as its starting point, would transform nature into
something ideal. The leader of this movement would more probably
have been Gottfried Keller than Zola.
The period from 1883 to 1888 is
considered by Yves Chevrel to have been Zola’s period of triumph.
The author of L’Assommoir had become the most widely read
and criticized foreign writer in Germany. Once again one can note
a time lag in relation to the situation in France, where the
height of the period of naturalist success occurred between 1877 (L’Assommoir)
and 1880 (Le Roman experimental). During the
1880s a rival school had become established in France, the school
of the psychological novel, which had already begun to make a name
for itself in 1883 with the Essais de psycholo-gie
contemporaine by Bourget. With A rebours (1884)
Huysmans, having at first been an adept at naturalism, published
an idealist novel, and the second naturalist generation overtly
opposed its leader through the Manifeste des cinq (Manifesto of
the Five) against La Terre.
Now, even during the period of
Zola’s triumph in Germany, opinion was far from undivided.
Evidence of this is to be seen in the article published in 1884 by
Gerhard von Amyntor in the Magazin fur
die Literatur des In- und Auslandes
that warned the German public about the danger of Zolaismus
(Zolaism). This neologism had been invented in order to
differentiate between a naturalism that was accepted and the
exaggerated naturalism in Zola’s style that people continued to
reject; in this way Zola was singled out from other foreign
writers associated with the naturalist movement such as
Dostoyevsky, Ibsen, and Daudet. Other German critics such as Karl
Bleibtreu understood by the term Zolaismus Zola’s
aesthetic, which was fortunately transcended by the novelist’s
Von Amyntor did not, however, share this opinion. In his view, the
theory of the experimental novel only served to give a scientific
appearance to “productions de feu et de boue” (“explosions of fire
and mud”). Thus it would be necessary to raise barriers so that
the products of Parisian fashion, the “mixed pickles de Zola”
(Zola’s mishmash) could not enter Germany and corrupt good taste,
namely German literary food shaped by conciliatory tendencies. It
was impossible to treat reality in the light of an idea, and the
ideas chosen by Zola were obviously not worthy of literary
Michael Georg Conrad was one of the
intermediaries who was most favorable toward Zola in Germany. He
had regularly visited the writer during his stay in Paris from
1878 to 1882
and as early as 1880 called him the “grand master of naturalism.”
Inspired by the French example, in 1885 he founded the review
Die Gesellschaft (Society), which called itself
a “realist weekly” and which was to play in Munich a role similar
to that played by the Hart brothers’ group in Berlin. Having made
Nietzsche’s acquaintance in 1876, Conrad argued for a resolutely
realist vision of the world, basing his argument on an ethical
concept of truth, as well as for an enlightened national culture
that was to be the work of a spiritual aristocracy personified by
figures such as Bismarck, Wagner, and Nietzsche.
In his book Parisiana, published in 1880, he had associated
Zola with the same spiritual family when comparing the writer to
Bismarck, whose brusque methods and herculean strength he shared.
His father having served under the Austrians, Zola apparently
resembled Bismarck, Hutten, and Luther much more than any
representative of an overrefined French society. Where Zola’s
enemies had denounced in him a taste for the obscene, which was
seen as specifically French, Conrad found in him a strength and
virility fit to serve as a model for a new movement in German
What is striking is the national trend of German naturalism. Karl
Bleibtreu had implied a similar type of recuperation of Zola by
speaking in 1885 purely and simply of the novelist’s German
origins, which were revealed, for example, by his sympathy for
animals - a specifically German trait!
In the new review directed by Conrad,
Die Gesellschaft, Zola appeared from its very first year as
a model. In 1885 three stories by Zola, an essay, a chapter of
Germinal, and eight studies on Zola were published in it,
including a study by Conrad entitled “Zola and Daudet.”
According to Conrad, Zola’s work, founded on observation, was in
keeping with the scientific spirit of the time. It served the
supreme value, truth, which was inconceivable outside the realm of
science. This in no way excluded artistic work and a concern for
the harmony of the whole and of its parts, and it would be
mistaken to charge Zola with being only a photographer of reality.
Conrad’s review, Die Gesellschaft,
was not the only one that supported the German naturalist
group. The latter also expressed itself through a first anthology
of lyrical poetry, Moderne Dichter-Charaktere, as well as
through regular meetings from 1886 onward of the literary
association Durch. The program of the German naturalists was,
however, far from homogeneous. The Hart brothers scarcely shared
Conrad’s enthusiasm for Zola. In a study published in 1886 in the
review Die Gegenwart, Julius Hart launched an attack
exposing the harm done by Zolaism in Germany.
According to him, Zola’s aesthetic represented the death of all
poetry. A literature of this type could henceforth only be a
reflection of reality, and in his eyes the role of the creative
subject would be neglected. It was significant, wrote Hart, that
works of such German initiators as Max Kretzer (with his Berlin
novels), the novellas of Karl Bleibtreu, and the books by Oskar
Welten all failed through their lack of composition. Oskar Welten,
as favorable toward Zola as Conrad was, had in 1883 published a
work entitled Zola-Abende bei Frau von S., in which he had
presented the author of the Rougon-Macquart cycle as a new
Lessing. Like Conrad, however, he reinterpreted Zola’s claim to
the scientific validity of literature. The concept of naturalism
did not imply for him, or for Zola, reference to the methods of
natural science, but referred to an art that simply represented
nature and that was distinguished by its naturalness. The German
naturalists could hardly be said to be following Zola in his
conception of literature as a new science. Some, like Conrad and
Welten, reinterpreted the concept (taking away its radical
character); others simply repudiated it.
In Julius Hart’s view, poetry would
transcend the scientific character of Zola’s aesthetic: “In the
veins of the German people a vital force still circulates; it is
not a nation of decadence, but of fulfillment. This guarantees
that a healthy idealism will destroy the pessimistic and perturbed
materialism of the French writer and that a literature dominated
exclusively by what is ugly and depressing will be transformed
into a genuinely realistic literature of the real, the great and
In this conclusion recurrent elements of Zola criticism in Germany
are concentrated: the national element, the idealist heritage, and
the criticism regarding pessimistic exaggeration. The latter
argument was already to be found in Fontane, who had read La
Fortune des Rougon and La Conquete des Plassans as
early as 1883 and had confided to his wife: “Life is not like
that. . . . There is beauty in it; one needs only to open one’s
eyes and not to shut oneself off from this obvious truth. Realism
will always be full of beauty. For beauty, thanks be to God,
belongs as much to life as does what is ugly. Perhaps it has not
even been proven that ugliness predominates.”
Similarly, the writer Fritz Mauthner, author of several novels on
Berlin, criticized Zola in his book Von Keller zu Zola
(1887) for being only the mud and not the flowers; in Mauthner’s
opinion this bias endangered the very principle of
Interpretation of Naturalism
The fourth period of the reception of
naturalism, still according to the periodization proposed by
Chevrel, is that which spans the years from 1889 to 1893 when
Zola’s and naturalism’s contributions were integrated and
At the end of the 1880s Zola no longer played the role of standard
reference point in debates about a new kind of literature, as he
did in 1885, but his works continued to be read on a massive scale
by the German public. At this time, Zola’s naturalism ceased to be
received primarily by an avant-garde; he was now received by a
much larger audience. For the year 1892 V.I. Moe has counted
forty-seven articles representing the highest number of reviews
devoted to Zola.
Reactions were printed in new reviews of modern literature such as
Moderne Dichtung (Modern Literature) and Freie Bühne
(Free Theater). The latter, founded in 1890 in Berlin, took
over the role of mouthpiece for naturalism previously played by
the Munich review Die Gesellschaft. Subjectivism - opposed
to an objectivism inspired by the model of the natural sciences -
had now become an important point in naturalist policy. It was the
social sciences, psychology and philosophy of life, which attained
the status of reference paradigm. Zola’s definition of the work of
art as “un coin de la nature vu a travers un temperament” (“a
corner of nature seen through a temperament”) was recalled, and
the contribution of the subject in the conception of art was
emphasized. This was certainly the case for Georg Brandes who, in
a wonderful study of Zola published in 1888 in the review
brought out the tendency toward symbolization in Les
Rougon-Macquart, thus inciting readers to proceed with a
reinterpretation of Zola’s works. Critics now looked in his novels
for proof of the part played by the subject who arranges the facts
in order to create specific effects, who takes up traditional
themes, uses symbols, simplifies and reduces psychic traits, and
personifies abstract ideas.
The fourth period was above all that
of the creative reception of naturalism. The year 1889 and the
ones following saw the publication of naturalist works that
acquired a certain notoriety. In 1889 A. Holz and J. Schlaf
published the novella Papa Hamlet and Gerhard Hauptmann
published his play Vor Sonnenaufgang (Before Dawn). Chevrel
has reminded us of the extent to which the latter work, in which
Zola is explicitly cited alongside Ibsen, was influenced by French
naturalism, notably by the idea of heredity.
The play’s main character is a militant in the workers’ movement
who plans to conduct inquiries in the milieu of the mines, but who
is shown in all his ambiguity, torn apart by the conflict between
social and private interests - a constellation of themes that
brings Zola to mind.
In addition, in 1889 the Freie Bühne was set up in Berlin, which
was to be the home of naturalist theatre - an event of some
significance, since the German movement, unlike the French,
excelled in the field of drama.
Creative reception and assimilation
of the theory
The fourth period was also one of
autonomous theoretical activity within German naturalism, for
which we are particularly indebted to Arno Holz, initially an
author of poems of social inspiration who, after a trip to Paris
in 1887, had discovered Zola’s writings and the works of Flaubert
and the Goncourt brothers. From the beginning of 1890, he edited
Freie Bühne and, in the same year at the Freie Bühne
theatre staged his play Die Familie Selicke, which he had
written with Johannes Schlaf. As early as 1890, he attacked Zola’s
theoretical writings in an article in his review entitled “Zola
als Theoretiker” (“Zola as Theoretician”),
in order to demonstrate the lack of pertinence of the
argumentation of the experimental novel, in which experiments were
made in the imagination of the writer and not in reality. This
refusal of the theses of the experimental novel is highly
significant, according to J. Kolkenbrock-Netz.
For the German critics - we have seen this very clearly - did not
accept the radical proposal that art and literature be transformed
into a science, thus removing the former from the field of
philosophical-aesthetic discourse. German critics such as Holz,
Bölzsche, and Alberti proposed only to “scientificize” aesthetics
(but not art) by associating the former, as Taine previously done,
with the humanities.
The recourse of the scientific
paradigm, however, as J. Kolkenbrock-Netz justly states, worked in
both cases as a strategy to legitimize art at a time when art was
in crisis. If Holz also refused the idea of art as a reproduction
or reflection of nature, it was in order to develop his own
conception of art as a second nature, which he made public in 1891
in his essay L’Art. Son essence et ses lois: “L’art a la
tendance de redevenir la nature: il la redevient en proportion de
la qualité des instruments de reproduction employés et de habileté
dans leur maniement.” (“Art has a tendency to become nature again:
it does this in proportion to the quality of the instruments used
to reproduce it and with the cleverness involved in their
The artistic raw material and the transformation technique are at
the heart of this reflection. Brauneck has justly emphasized the
innovative nature of these proposals, which foregrounded the
process of artistic production; no longer were the cognitive and
ethical functions in relation to a preexisting reality to be
reproduced considered to be of prime importance, as was the case
with the theoreticians of the 1880s. The consequence of and the
stylistic basis for this theory was Sekundenstil
(second-by-second style), illustrated by Holz and Schlaf in the
novella Papa Hamlet, in which, by using the artistic means
of language, the subjective element x (in keeping with Holz’s
formula “art = nature – x”) was reduced to a minimum. This was
done by privileging direct speech and dramatization of prose so
that the style resembled “la transcription d’un enregistrement
magnétique” (“the transcript of a tape recording”)
This aesthetic ideal was in (at least partial) contradiction with
the interpretation of Zola at this time in Germany, which, as we
have seen, emphasized the contribution of temperament while being
based on a mimetic conception of literature. The new style was not
without influence on Hauptmann, who dedicated his first play,
Vor Sonnenaufgang, to Bjarne P. Holmsen (Holz’s and Schlaf’s
pseudonym) using the words “réaliste conséquent” (“consequent
realist”). It is moreover significant that Hauptmann used the term
realist. There was a certain reticence about using the
denomination of naturalism so as not to make the new literature
look like a servile copy of the French model. In 1885, Conrad had
thus given the subtitle “organe réaliste” (“realist publication”)
and not naturalist to his review Die Gesellschaft. Yves
Chevrel has noted that the writers who are designated today as
naturalists were grouped together under two headings: firstly the
concept of Jüngstdeutschland (the Youngest Germany),
underlining the social and national orientation through its echo
of the Young Germany revolutionary movement of 1835; and secondly
around the term die Moderne, in order to bring out the will to
break with the past.
The height of naturalist production
was undoubtedly the play Die Weber (The Weavers) by
Gerhart Hauptmann in 1892, which was published in 1893 and staged
in 1894. The social subject, but also the method (Hauptmann had
conducted investigations into the weavers’ milieu in Silesia)
immediately brought Zola to mind. Zola attended the Théâtre
Libre’s production of the play in 1893 – it was the first
performance of a contemporary German play in Paris. He took up the
defense of the play, noting in it the influence of French writers
as well as a certain similarity to Germinal; however he was
scarcely sensitive to the innovative nature of Die Weber,
regretting as he did – in accordance with traditional criteria –
its lack of plot.
If the first three periods mentioned
above can be considered as embodying above all a reaction to
French naturalism, the fourth was characterized by a form of
creative assimilation, indeed even of autonomous production in the
fields of theory and literary creation – production that did not,
however, provoke any response in France, since at the time of the
performance naturalism was already nearing its decline.
The surpassing of Naturalism
But in Germany, too, the zenith of
naturalism coincided with the idea of its passing. In 1891 Hermann
Bahr brought out a study, Die Überwindung des Naturalismus
(The Surpassing of Naturalism),
in which he claimed to belong to Bourget’s school of psychology as
well as Zola’s naturalism to form a new synthesis, which he could
already see taking shape in the works of Huysmans and Rod. If
Bahr’s reaction was still relatively serene, that of others was
characterized by aggression and malevolence; this was especially
true of Julius Langbehn, who in his book Rembrandt als Erzieher
(Rembrandt as Educator) of 1890 displayed reactionary
chauvinism by declaring war on Gallo-Roman influences, democracy,
and scientific rationalism. For him Zola was the representative of
an Italian and Celtic (!) anti-Germanic cast of mind that had
nothing in common with the authentically German creations of Dürer,
Goethe, or Mozart. The master of French naturalism embodied, in
his view, the brutality of feeling and the arrogance of duty. The
fatherland would only be saved if a profoundly German essence
succeeded in conquering the deeply rooted superficial French wit!
A similar perspective was adopted by
Max Nordau, a doctor who had been practicing in Paris since 1880
and who was also a press correspondent. If, in 1882, he had
boasted of the Rougon-Macquart novels as forming a work of
great importance, conceived of under the sign of truth, from the
beginnings of the 1890s he classified Zola among the degenerates –
products of city life. In his work Entartung, published in
1892 and translated in 1895 under the title Degeneracy, he
considered that the stories of love, jealousy, and adultery in
Zola and Ibsen were foreign to a vital and healthy organism and
were the expression of an exaggerated individualism that one could
also find in a writer like Nietzsche.
The presence of demented, maniacal, and criminal characters or
prostitutes in Zola’s work is not condemned by Nordau on moral,
but biopathological grounds, which foreshadowed, just as
Langbehn’s aggressive chauvinism did, the ill-fated future
developments of German history.
It is appropriate also to note the
social-democrat press reaction, especially as witnessed by its
publication Die Neue Zeit, which had followed Zola’s
production from the 1880s onward; the judgments it contained
scarcely differed from those of the bourgeois press. Zola was
criticized for his lack of taste and artistic delicacy. However
in spite of its faults (a lack of concision, borrowings from
science), Germinal was considered by Robert Schweichel to be an
important work for socialists since the author had been able to
portray the workers’ cause as no other novelist before him. In an
article published in 1891-92 in Die Neue Zeit, Paul
Lafargue, Marx’s son in law, who considered Zola to be an
innovator, at the same time criticized his portrayal of the
working-class world as the product of an outside observer who
could only note appearances. In this way Lafargue defended the
point of view of the leaders of the Social-Democrat party who,
using Liebknecht as spokesman, had condemned the leftist
opposition within the party that as favorable toward naturalism.
At the party congress held at Gotha in October 1896, naturalism
was discussed for a day and a half; when Zola died in 1902, Franz
Mehring reiterated in Die Neue Zeit grievances of a formal
nature against Zola, while emphasizing his combative nature that
linked him to a prime quality of the proletariat: the class
The writer’s new status
Literary criticism and the formulation
of its reactions in new reviews, the groups that form around a
program, and the literary production and theoretical
justifications of writers all constitute important elements of the
literary field. Now in France, naturalism had upset the very
structure of the field, characterized from the beginning of the
nineteenth century by the dichotomy between restricted production
(that is, aimed at a small elite, mostly other writers) and broad
(aimed at a wide public) production.
The Zola movement maintained the literary aims particular to the
restricted field, while aiming at the popular success of the broad
The public thus became a new,
important agent of the field, which implied at the same time a new
status for the writer. This was clearly perceived by Zola in 1880
in his famous article “L’Argent et la littérature” (“Money and
Literature”) in which he opposed the modern writer, affirming his
freedom through struggle and owing his success only to an
anonymous audience, to the pre-revolutionary model of the writer
with a private income writing literature for an elite. While the
prevailing critical school regretted the “industrialization” of a
literature being produced for the press and the general public,
Zola condemned the hoax of the poet of the Ancien Régime being
maintained in a state of precarious dependency by the wealthy
ruling class, and at the same time Zola favorably portrays the
modern writer who, having lost his aura, “a worker like anyone
else”, had attained greater freedom.
In fact an autonomization of the literary field was occurring,
endowing itself with structures specific to itself, through, for
example, an institution such as the Société des Gens de Lettres,
over which Zola presided, and through the struggle for royalties
that finally led to the Berne Convention (1886). It was, of
course, an institutional process of autonomization, and not
autonomy as regards literary content, with the writers claiming as
professionals (having ceased to be dilettantes) a recognized
social status in addition to the right to intervene as such in the
affairs of society. This transformation of the French field could
also be perceived in Germany, where the public, as Yves Chevrel
has noted, also became an important element of the field. It was
the public that was the first to become sensitive to the new
naturalist literature from France, whereas the critics, heavily
influenced by the standards of the past, proved rather reticent.
It was the demands of this public that provided the stimulus for
an authentically German naturalist production. Writers of the new
generation demanded public recognition of their social status,
expressing themselves in this way with the aid of the state
without the latter claiming to be in charge of what they produced.
Evidence of this is the open letter
addressed in 1882 by the Hart brothers to Bismarck,
as well as Karl Bleibtreu’s protest in the review Die
Gesellschaft in 1885 against the chancellor’s view of writers
and scientists as people who were, economically speaking,
Even Fontane, in an article on the “social position of the
writer”, had requested public recognition for literary
professionals, even if he was sceptical about the usefulness of a
state office for the arts and literature.
Yet the context of Bismarck’s and William II’s Germany was not
identical to that of France. Not enjoying the legitimacy afforded
by wide popular success, the German naturalists were more
constrained to make compromises, particularly in their relations
with the state. J. Kolkenbrock-Netz
aptly demonstrated that Zola based the modern writer’s legitimacy
on the capitalist organization of the literary market via the
press and bookshops, whereas the German naturalists opposed the
writer to the journalist and the reader of literary works to the
newspaper reader. Conditions of modern reproduction appeared to
Zola to be an arrangement that was favorable to a new literature,
even though these same conditions were considered by German
writers to be the negation of literature as art. As J.
Kolkenbrock-Netz notes, the former had to compensate for their
economic failure, whereas Zola was forced to legitimize his
The reception of French naturalism in
Germany was far from being simply a passive reaction. Zola’s
movement provoked responses to literary and theoretical production,
forcing the critics to reformulate their long-standing position.
Zola contributed perhaps the most – more than Ibsen and Tolstoy – to
the creation of a new literature in Germany, even though its
blossoming lasted for only a very brief period of time. The impact
of a new type of literature considerably modified the structure of
the literary field, even though the changes in Germany were less
radical. If the French model constituted the starting point and the
reference point for the movement, neither the literary products
(especially in poetry and drama), nor theoretical thinking (less
scientifically based), nor the legitimizing strategies (less
market-oriented) were identical.
H. R. Jauss, Literaturgeschichte als Provokation
(Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp, 1970); W. Iser, “The Reading Process: A
Phenomenological Approach”, New Literary History 3
(1972): p. 1-46; J. Jurt, “De l’analyse immanente à l’histoire
sociale de la littérature. A propos des recherches littéraire en
Allemagne depuis 1945”, Actes de la recherche en sciences
sociales 78 (June 1989): p. 99-100.
P. Bourdieu, Les règles de l’art (Paris: Seuil, 1992);
The Rules of Art (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996).
This applies also to the first texts I presented on the
establishment of a sociology of reception. J. Jurt, “Für eine
Rezeptionssoziologie”, Romanistische Zeitschrift für
Literaturgeschichte 3 (1979): p. 214-231; id., La
Réception de la littérature par la critique journalistique
(Paris: J.-M. Place, 1980): p. 30-34. The texts referring to
this approach were also dedicated to the reception of literature
within a homogeneous national area. Ingrid Galster, Le
théatre de Jean-Paul Sartre devant ses premiers critiques
(Paris: J.-M. Place /Tübingen: G. Narr, 1986); Eva Ahlstedt,
André Gide et le débat sur l’homosexualité de ‘L’immoraliste’
(1902) à ‘Si le grain ne meurt’ (1926) (Göteborg: Acta
Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 1954); Maurice Arpin, La
fortune littéraire de Paul Nizan. Une analyse des deux
réceptions critiques de son œuvre (Bern/Berlin/Frankfurt/M.:
P. Bourdieu, Forschen und Handeln. Recherche et Action
(Freiburg: Rombach, 2004; ed. J. Jurt), p. 28. P. Bourdieu, “The
social conditions of the International Circulation of Ideas”, in
Bourdieu, A Critical Reader. Ed. R. Shusterman (Oxford:
Blackwell, 1999), p. 255.
C.Charle, La Crise littéraire à l’époque du naturalisme.
Roman. Théâtre. Politique (Prais: P.E.N.S., 1979), pp.
Y. Chevrel, “Nature et rôle du groupe dans le développement du
mouvement naturaliste en France et en Allemagne,” Cahiers
roumains d’études littéraires (1979), pp. 97-107.
Charle, La Crise littéraire, p.84.
J. Dubois, “Emergence et position du groupe naturaliste dans
l’institution littéraire,” in Le Naturalisme, ed. P.
Cogny (Paris: U.G.E.. 1978), p. 77.
Chevrel, “Der Naturalismus in Deutschland und in Frankreich,”
in: Gallo-Romanica (Nancy, 1986), p.310.
Y. Chevrel, “De l’histoire de la réception à l’histoire des
mentalités: l’exemple du naturalisme en Allemagne au tournant du
siècle.”Synthesis 10 (1983), p. 55.
Dubois, “Emergence et position du groupe naturaliste”, p.77.
Y. Chevrel, “La naturalisme français en Allemagne: l’année
1892,” in Feindbild und Faszination, ed. J.-J. Lüsebrink
and J. Riesz (Frankfurt /M.: P. Lang, 1984), p.86.
H. Fromm, Bibliographie deutscher Übersetzungen aus dem
Französischen, 1700-1948 (Baden-Baden: Verlag für Kunst und
Wissenschaft, 1953), 6, pp. 309-33.
Y. Chevrel, “Les relations de Zola avec le monde germanique,”
Les Cahiers naturalistes 46 (1973), pp. 237-38.
Y. Chevrel, “Germinal et la ‘révolution littéraire’ en
Allemagne.” Les Cahiers naturalistes 50 (1976), p. 151.
Jurt, “Für eine Rezeptionssoziologie”.
F. Bertaux, “L’influence de Zola en Allemagne”, Revue de
littérature comparée 4 (1924), pp. 73-91.
W.H.Root, German Criticism of Zola, 1875-1893 (New-York:
Columbia University Press, 1936).
H.H. Remak, “The German Reception of French Realism,” PMLA
19 (1954): 410-31.
R. Schober, “L’Actualité de Zola en R.D.A.,” Europe 46
(1968): 222-32; id., “Für oder wider Zola. Zum Verhältnis von
Rezeption, Kritik und Bewertung,” Weimarer Beiträge 3
(1977), pp. 5-43.
Y. Chevrel, Le Roman et la nouvelle naturalistes français en
Allemagne (1870-1893) (Ph.D. diss., University of Paris,
Die Aufnahme der Werke von Emile Zola durch die österreichische
Literaturkritik der Jahrhundertwende
(Frankfurt/M.: P. Lang, 1986).
Deutscher Naturalismus und ausländische Literatur. Zur Rezeption
der Werke von Zola, Ibsen und Dostojewski durch die deutsche
(Frankfurt/M.: P. Lang, 1983).
Schober, “Für und wider Zola,” p. 77.
Y. Chevrel, “Fontane lecteur de Zola,” in Université de
Picardie, Lectures, systèmes de lectures (Paris: Presses
Universitaires de France, 1984), p. 54.
Chevrel, “Les relations de Zola avec le monde germanique”, p.
M.Brauneck and C. Miller, eds., Naturalismus. Manifeste und
Dokumente zur deutschen Literatur, 1880-1900 (Stuttgart:
Metzler, 1987, pp. 646-52.
Brauneck und Müller, eds., Naturalismus, pp. 655-59.
J. Osborne, “Zola, Ibsen, and the Development of the Naturalist
Movement in Germany,” Arcadia 2 (1967), pp. 196-203.
C. Charle, La Crise littéraire, pp. 91-113, and J. Jurt,
“Les mécanismes de constitution de groupes littéraires:
l’exemple du symbolisme,” Neophilologus 70 (1986), pp.
Brauneck and Müller, eds., Naturalismus, pp. 60-62.
Moe, Deutscher Naturalismus, p. 84.
Chevrel, “Les relations de Zola avec le monde germanique”, pp.
E. Ruprecht, ed., Literarische Manifeste des Naturalismus,
1880-1882 (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1962), pp. 55-58.
Moe, Deutscher Naturalismus, p. 81.
Brauneck und Müller, eds., Naturalismus, pp. 672-78.
Brauneck und Müller, eds., Naturalismus, p. 678.
Brauneck und Müller, eds., Naturalismus, p. 678.
T. Fontane, Briefe (Munich: Nymphenburger Verlag, 1981),
vol. 2, 1879-1898, p. 103; see also Chevrel, “Fontane lecteur de
Zola”, pp. 62-64.
Chevrel, “Fontane lecteur de Zola”, p. 54.
Moe, Deutscher Naturalismus, p. 86.
Brauneck und Müller, eds., Naturalismus, p. 683-700.
Root, German Criticism of Zola, 1875-1893, pp. 81-85.
Y. Chevrel, “Naturalismus allemand et français: écarts et
rencontres,” in Le Naturalisme, ed. P. Cogny (Paris:
U.G.E., 1978), p. 48.
H. Scherer, Bürgerlich-oppositionelle Literatur und
sozial-demokratische Arbeiterbewegung nach 1890 (Stuttgart:
Metzler, 1974), pp. 96-99.
Brauneck und Müller, eds., Naturalismus, pp. 66-70.
J. Kolkenbrock-Netz, Fabrikation. Experiment, Schöpfung.
Strategien ästhetischer Legitimation im Naturalismus
(Heidelberg: Winter, 1981), pp. 286-88.
Brauneck und Müller, eds., Naturalismus, p. 149.
Chevrel, “Naturalismes allemand et français”, p. 55.
Chevrel, “Naturalismes allemand et français”, p. 57.
Chevrel, “Les relations de Zola avec le monde germanique”, p.
344; id., “De Germinal aux Tisserands: histoire,
mythe, littérature”, Revue d’histoire littéraire de la France
85 (1985), pp. 446-63.
Brauneck und Müller, eds., Naturalismus, pp. 180-184.
Brauneck und Müller, eds., Naturalismus, pp. 713-17.
Root, German Criticism of Zola, 1875-1893, pp. 92-93.
P. Bourdieu, “Le marché des biens symboliques”, L’année
sociologique 23 (1971), pp. 49-125.
H.J. Neuschäfer, Populärromane im 19. Jahrhundert. Von Dumas
bis Zola (Munich: Fink), pp. 10-12.
E. Ruprecht and D. Bänsch, eds., Literarische Manifeste der
Jahrhundertwende, 1890-1910 (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1970), pp.
Ruprecht, ed., Literarische Manifeste, p. 27.
Ruprecht, ed., Literarische Manifeste, pp. 1-4.
Kolkenbrock-Netz, Fabrikation, pp. 67-121.
Ahlstedt, Eva, André Gide et le débat sur l’homosexualité de
‘L’immoraliste’ (1902) à ‘Si le grain ne meurt’ (1926),
Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 1954
Arpin, Maurice, La fortune littéraire de Paul Nizan. Une
analyse des deux réceptions critiques de son œuvre,
Bern/Berlin/Frankfurt/M.: Lang, 1995.
Bertaux, F, “L’influence de Zola en Allemagne”, Revue de
littérature comparée 4, 1924: 73-91.
Bourdieu, P, The Rules of Art, Cambridge: Polity Press,
Bourdieu, P, “Le marché des biens symboliques”, L’année
sociologique 23, 1971: 49-125.
Bourdieu, P, “The social conditions of the International
Circulation of Ideas”, in Bourdieu, A Critical Reader.
Ed. R. Shusterman, Oxford: Blackwell, 1999.
Bourdieu, P, Forschen und Handeln. Recherche et Action,
(ed. J. Jurt) Freiburg: Rombach, 2004.
Bourdieu, P, Les règles de l’art, Paris: Seuil, 1992
Brauneck, M and C. Miller, eds., Naturalismus. Manifeste und
Dokumente zur deutschen Literatur, 1880-1900, Stuttgart:
Charle, C, La Crise littéraire à l’époque du naturalisme.
Roman. Théâtre. Politique, Prais: P.E.N.S., 1979.
Chevrel, Y, “De Germinal aux Tisserands: histoire,
mythe, littérature”, Revue d’histoire littéraire de la France
85, 1985: 446-63.
Chevrel, Y, “De l’histoire de la réception à l’histoire des
mentalités: l’exemple du naturalisme en Allemagne au tournant du
siècle.”Synthesis 10, 1983.
Chevrel, Y, “Der Naturalismus in Deutschland und in Frankreich,”
in: Gallo-Romanica, Nancy, 1986.
Chevrel, Y, “Fontane lecteur de Zola,” in Université de
Picardie, Lectures, systèmes de lectures, Paris: Presses
Universitaires de France, 1984.
Chevrel, Y, “Germinal et la ‘révolution littéraire’ en
Allemagne.” Les Cahiers naturalistes 50, 1976.
Chevrel, Y, “La naturalisme français en Allemagne: l’année
1892,” in Feindbild und Faszination, ed. J.-J. Lüsebrink
and J. Riesz, Frankfurt /M.: P. Lang, 1984.
Chevrel, Y, “Les relations de Zola avec le monde germanique,”
Les Cahiers naturalistes 46, 1973.
Chevrel, Y, “Naturalismus allemand et français: écarts et
rencontres,” in Le Naturalisme, ed. P. Cogny, Paris:
Chevrel, Y, “Nature et rôle du groupe dans le développement du
mouvement naturaliste en France et en Allemagne,” Cahiers
roumains d’études littéraires, 1979: 97-107.
Chevrel, Y, Le Roman et la nouvelle naturalistes français en
Allemagne (1870-1893), Ph.D. diss., University of Paris,
Dubois, J, “Emergence et position du groupe naturaliste dans
l’institution littéraire,” in Le Naturalisme, ed. P.
Cogny, Paris: U.G.E.. 1978.
Fontane, T, Briefe (Munich: Nymphenburger Verlag, 1981,
vol. 2: 1879-1898
Fromm, H, Bibliographie deutscher Übersetzungen aus dem
Französischen, 1700-1948, Baden-Baden: Verlag für Kunst und
Galster, Ingrid, Le théatre de Jean-Paul Sartre devant ses
premiers critiques, Paris: J.-M. Place /Tübingen: G. Narr,
Iser, W, “The Reading Process: A Phenomenological Approach”,
New Literary History 3, 1972: 1-46
Jauss, H. R., Literaturgeschichte als Provokation,
Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp, 1970
Jurt, J, “De l’analyse immanente à l’histoire sociale de la
littérature. A propos des recherches littéraire en Allemagne
depuis 1945”, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales
78, June 1989.
Jurt, J, “Für eine Rezeptionssoziologie”, Romanistische
Zeitschrift für Literaturgeschichte 3, 1979: 214-231
Jurt, J, “Les mécanismes de constitution de groupes littéraires:
l’exemple du symbolisme,” Neophilologus 70, 1986: 20-33.
Jurt, J, La Réception de la littérature par la critique
journalistique, Paris: J.-M. Place, 1980
Kolkenbrock-Netz, J, Fabrikation. Experiment, Schöpfung.
Strategien ästhetischer Legitimation im Naturalismus,
Heidelberg: Winter, 1981.
Moe, V I,
Deutscher Naturalismus und
ausländische Literatur. Zur Rezeption der Werke von Zola, Ibsen
und Dostojewski durch die deutsche naturalistische Bewegung
Frankfurt/M.: P. Lang, 1983.
Neuschäfer, H J, Populärromane im 19. Jahrhundert. Von Dumas
bis Zola, Munich: Fink.
Osborne, J, “Zola, Ibsen, and the Development of the Naturalist
Movement in Germany,” Arcadia 2, 1967: 196-203.
Remak, H H, “The German Reception of French Realism,” PMLA
19, 1954: 410-31.
Root, W. H, German Criticism of Zola, 1875-1893,
New-York: Columbia University Press, 1936.
Ruprecht, E and D. Bänsch, eds., Literarische Manifeste der
Jahrhundertwende, 1890-1910, Stuttgart: Metzler, 1970.
Ruprecht, E, ed., Literarische Manifeste des Naturalismus,
1880-1882, Stuttgart: Metzler, 1962
Scherer, H, Bürgerlich-oppositionelle Literatur und
sozial-demokratische Arbeiterbewegung nach 1890, Stuttgart:
Schober, R, “L’Actualité de Zola en R.D.A.,” Europe 46
Schober, R, “Für oder wider Zola. Zum Verhältnis von Rezeption,
Kritik und Bewertung,” Weimarer Beiträge 3, 1977: 5-43.
Die Aufnahme der Werke von Emile Zola
durch die österreichische Literaturkritik der Jahrhundertwende,
Frankfurt/M.: P. Lang, 1986.
JOSEPH JURT is Professor of Romance
Literature at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg/Germany. In
1989, he was one of the founders of the University of Freiburg’s
‘Centre for French Studies’ of which he was chairman from 1993 to
2000. From 1984 to 2000, he headed three research projects founded
by the German Research Council (reception of French literature in
Germany; nation and modernity; construction of identities in
Germany, France and Great Britain). He is author/editor of fifteen
books and numerous journal articles. In 1995, he published a
monograph on Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of the literary field. Since
2000, he is a member of the Swiss Science and Technology Council.
Contact (by email):