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Germanic Languages & Literatures
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
19th Century German drama translation
In my thesis I have translated five dramas by Karoline von Günderrode: Mora, written at the latest 1804 but likely 1801/02; Hildgund, created before 1804; Nikator written the middle of 1804; Udohla originated around the turn of 1804/05; Magie und Schicksal written the beginning of 1805; all were published under the pseudonym Tian in 1805, except Mora which was printed in 1804. (Refer to Walter Morgenthaler's Karoline von Günderrode, Sämtliche Werke und Ausgewählte Studien, 90, 116, 142, 147, 156.) Günderrode is usually classified as a writer aligned with German Romanticism, however, her works, like her life, defy easy categorization. Her struggle with contemporary gender roles is especially evident in her dramatic texts, where her idiosyncratic choice of form, structure, themes, and linguistic idioms – which I will present here as a position between German Romanticism and Classicism – locate her in a poetic realm of her own creation. This is a realm in which she can transcend the personal tragedies that permeate her existence and in which her vision of love as a union of equals struggles to find a fulfilling conclusion. This utopian conclusion is denied her both in her dramatic texts and life which ends in tragedy and death.
Susan L Cocalis