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Horvath, Zsuzsa (2010) THE EDUCATION OF THE PROTAGONIST AS READER IN THE EARLY BILDUNGSROMAN. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The dissertation investigates reading behaviors in Goethe's Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (1795-96), Tieck's Franz Sternbalds Wanderungen (1798/1843) and Novalis' Heinrich von Ofterdingen (1802) within the framework of the history of reading and book production. Social and technological pressures during the latter part of the eighteenth century resulted in a re-definition and re-invention of the reading process as the modern book was being "invented." New themes and genres appeared on the literary horizon that had as a goal the education of a new kind of reader. Goethe's, Tieck's, and Novalis's novels, which were products of the paradigm shift in reading, did not, however, just embrace changes that were already in place. By engaging in the contemporary discussion about new and old reading behaviors, each of these works promoted a new kind of reading that in one way or another maintained older forms while still recognizing the revolution that the irreversible technological advances had initiated. Drawing on discussions by Engelsing and Schön on the history of reading, the dissertation shows that the three novels record new reading strategies by analyzing the epochal changes in terms of a three-fold movement from intensive to extensive reading, reading aloud to reading silently, and communal to solitary reading. Additionally, it shows how the novels investigate the relationship between the reception of textual and visual artifacts and, thereby, contribute to the contemporary discourse on changes in the aesthetic status of image and text.The three novels explore these shifts from different angles. The Lehrjahre thus analyzes the transition from intensive to extensive reading by placing these modalities between reading in a community and reading in solitude. Sternbald, less concerned with the complexities of this transition, focuses on the communal aspect of reading by exploring how a revitalized orality can affect a rapidly changing reading culture. Ofterdingen, by contrast, reflects on the inherent contradiction of efforts to enhance reading culture by restoring orality. For Novalis, the emergence of extensive solitary readers was final and irreversible.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Horvath, Zsuzsazshst2@pitt.eduZSHST2
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMuenzer, Clarkmuenzer@pitt.eduMUENZER
Committee MemberFavorini, Attiliobucfav@pitt.eduBUCFAV
Committee MemberLyon, Johnjblyon@pitt.eduJBLYON
Committee MemberVon Dirke, Sabinevondirke@pitt.eduVONDIRKE
Date: 27 January 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 2 October 2009
Approval Date: 27 January 2010
Submission Date: 23 November 2009
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Germanic Languages and Literatures
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Age of Goethe; Bildungsroman; History of reading; Ludwig Tieck; Novalis; Orality in Literature
Other ID:, etd-11232009-212156
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:06
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:52


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