Fontane. Ein Jahrhundert in Bewegung

12. Dezember 2019 19:00

Prof. Iwan-Michelangelo D’Aprile

Theodor Fontane, famous and loved for «Effi Briest» and «Trials and Tribulations», was one of the most modern authors of his time. In a fulminating mixture of epoch portrait and biography, the literary scholar and historian Prof. Dr. D’Aprile reflects on new perspectives on the classic of bourgeois realism – and on the age of modernity.
Fontane wrote ballads and poems about American steamships and railroad accidents in Scotland, as a journalist and novelist, he was a tireless collector of materials. In his book Fontane. Ein Jahrhundert in Bewegung, D’Aprile does not only focus on Fontane in Prussia and Brandenburg but also sees him out in the midst of the accelerated, increasingly electrified and globalized world in which he lived.
For Fontane, no other culture was as influential throughout his life as the British. From the youth reading of the novels of Walter Scott and the dramas of William Shakespeare, it had the function of a literary role model. Already in his early 20s, Fontane took one of the first tourist-organized package tours to London and got to know not only the modern pharmacy sector, but also enjoyed visiting street ballads and city theaters. During his time as a Prussian press correspondent in London (1855-1859) he studied intensively the British press landscape. In this respect, Fontane is only right when writing from London in 1857 to his wife Emilie in Berlin: „England has done me very well again.“
In his reading, Iwan-Michaelangelo D’Aprile will take a closer look at the connections of this successful German-British cultural exchange with the most famous author of German-speaking realism.

Prof. Dr. Iwan-Michelangelo D’Aprile teaches German Literature at the Professorship for Cultures of the Enlightenment at the University of Potsdam. He was a guest professor at the National University of Ireland in Galway, at the University of Bordeaux-Montaigne, at Duke University Durham, North Carolina and at the Baptist University of Hong Kong. D’Aprile has published numerous books on the literature of the European Enlightenment, the history of the press and the media as well as the cultural history of Berlin in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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