German is spoken by about 175 million people (both primary and secondary)
German is an official language of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Belgium, and Luxembourg
Has several dialects: High German (only one with a literary standard), Low German, Alemannic, and some others
German has 3 genders: Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter
As well as an informal 4th “gender”: Plural
German has some VERY long words
Countries that regularly speak German
Paper 2: German Literature
German has, arguably, some of the best literature in the world
German has many compound and complex words, as well as sentences, that give way to a very different way of thinking about literature and put it in a new light
German literature has 3 main periods of “established greatness”: High Middle Ages (c.1160 – c.1230), the “age of Goethe” (late 18th – early 19th century), and the turn of the 19th century to the 20th
Literature is influenced
Protestant reform: Martin Luther translated the Bible into High German, which is why eventually High German became the standard German. This era produced many religious propaganda
Schiller’s “Die Jungfrau von Orleans” (1801; “The Maid of Orleans”) Joan of Arc dies on the battlefield instead of burning at the stake. Classicism.
WWI: Modernism such as “Menschheitsdämmerung” (1919; “The Dawn of Humanity”) Dada, Expressionism, and Neue Sachlichkeit
‘Fountain’ by Marcel Duchamp 1917
Die Lorelei by Heinrich Heine
Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten, Daß ich so traurig bin; Ein Märchen aus alten Zeiten, Das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn. Die Luft ist kühl, und es dunkelt, Und ruhig fließt der Rhein; Der Gipfel des Berges funkelt In Abendsonnenschein. Die schönste Jungfrau sitzet Dort oben wunderbar, Ihr goldenes Geschmeide blitzet, Sie kämmt ihr goldenes Haar. Sie kämmt es mit goldenem Kamme Und singt ein Lied dabei; Das hat eine wundersame, Gewaltige Melodei. Den Schiffer im kleinen Schiffe Ergreift es mit wildem Weh; Er schaut nicht die Felsenriffe, Er schaut nur hinauf in die Höh'. Ich glaube, die Wellen verschlingen Am Ende Schiffer und Kahn; Und das hat mit ihrem Singen Die Lorelei getan.
I know not if there is a reason Why I am so sad at heart. A legend of bygone ages Haunts me and will not depart. The air is cool under nightfall. The calm Rhine courses its way. The peak of the mountain is sparkling With evening's final ray. The fairest of maidens is sitting So marvelous up there, Her golden jewels are shining, She's combing her golden hair. She combs with a comb also golden, And sings a song as well Whose melody binds a wondrous And overpowering spell. In his little boat, the boatman Is seized with a savage woe, He'd rather look up at the mountain Than down at the rocks below. I think that the waves will devour The boatman and boat as one; And this by her song's sheer power Fair Lorelei has done.
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