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Schwellenkunst. Liminale Ordnungen bei Benjamin, Kafka und Proust Beitrag

Achim Geisenhanslüke

Comparatio, Volume 8 (2016), Issue 1, Page 15 - 33

La notion de liminalité a été introduite dans le discours des sciences humaines par l’ethnologue Arnold van Gennep en 1909. Par la suite, elle a subi beaucoup de modifications qui, d’une part, l’éloignent de ses origines, de l’autre part fondent un nouveau réseau de recherche dont les contours restent à déterminer. C’est notamment Walter Benjamin qui a transformé la notion de liminalité en la rapprochant à la psychanalyse et, en même temps, à la littérature. Comme les oeuvres de Proust et de Kafka le démontrent bien, Benjamin a été largement inspiré par la littérature moderne en établissant la liminalité comme un des pieds fondateurs de sa pensée de la modernité. The notion of liminality has been introduced into the discourse of the humanities by the ethnologist Arnold van Gennep in 1909. In the following decades, it has undergone many modifications, which on the one hand alienated it from its origins, on the other founded a new network of research, whose outlines are yet to be defined. It was Walter Benjamin who transformed the notion of liminality by bringing it closer to psychoanalysis, and, at the same time, to literature. As the works of Proust and Kafka reveal, Benjamin was inspired by modern literature when establishing liminality as one of the foundation stones of modern thought.


Die zwei Körper der Königin. Daniel Casper von Lohensteins "Sophonisbe" Beitrag

Achim Geisenhanslüke

Comparatio, Volume 6 (2014), Issue 2, Page 195 - 216

Taking as a point of departure Walter Benjamin’s study on the origin of the German baroque drama (‘Trauerspielbuch’) the article elucidates the reciprocal relation between nature and history in Lohenstein’s play Sophonisbe. The comparison to the French model, a play with the same title written by Corneille, enables the observer to discover the specific particularities of the German baroque ‘Trauerspiel’. The difference between tragedy and ‘Trauerspiel’, which Benjamin has pointed out in his study, is in fact overcome by Lohenstein’s adaptation of the Sophonisbe material. By presenting his heroine as a politically active and influential queen, who, however, fails when confronted with the power of Rome, he offers a crucial contribution (still underestimated today) to the Europeanisation of literature which also functions as a critical commentary on the history and politics of the Habsburg monarchy.

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