German Program

Lenz unter anderem. Aspekte einer Theorie der Konstellation

The works by Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz (1751–1792) emerge in relations: they are published as Observations on the Theatre, along with an attached translated play by Shakespeare, thus connecting a poetics of theatre with a literary translation. They are entitled The Tutor, or, the Advantages of Private Education. A comedy and situate themselves in the discursive network of literature and pedagogy. Or, they bear the title of The Forest Hermit. A Pendant to Werther’s sufferings and refer explicitly to Goethe’s pretext. This book explores the specificity of Lenz’ writing ‘in relations’ from a methodological perspective: it pursues the question of how Lenz’ fleeting textual objects can become a subject of literary studies without losing their elusive productivity. In this context, the term constellation designates a problem of reading: constellation as a methodological concept captures the complex existence of an observable object at the same time as it describes its epistemic constitution as a distinct object of literary studies. Constellation as a practice of reading draws attention to the preconditions of the reading process and it transforms them into a way of reflecting representation in academic discourse.