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Sturm und Drang

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 14 October 2010

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the artistic movement known as Sturm und Drang.

In the 1770s a small group of German writers started to produce plays, poetry and novels which were radically different from what had gone before. These writers were all young men, and they rejected the values of the Enlightenment, which they felt had robbed art of its spontaneity and feeling. Their work was passionate, ignored existing conventions and privileged the individual's free will above the constraints of society.

The most prominent member of the movement was Johann von Goethe, whose novel The Sorrows of Young Werther became its most notable success, translated into more then thirty languages. Despite this and other successes including Schiller's play The Robbers, the Sturm und Drang disappeared almost as quickly as it had emerged; by the mid-1780s it was already a thing of the past.

With:

Tim Blanning
Emeritus Professor of Modern European History at Cambridge University

Susanne Kord
Professor of German at University College, London

Maike Oergel
Associate Professor of German at the University of Nottingham

Producer: Thomas Morris.

  • FURTHER READING

    David Hill, ed., ‘Literature of the Sturm und Drang’ (Rochester: Camden House, 2003)

    Walter Hinck, ed., ‘Sturm und Drang’ (Kronberg: Athenaeum, 1978)

    Bruce Duncan, ‘Lovers, Parricides, and Highwaymen: Aspects of Sturm und Drang Drama’ (Rochester: Camden House, 1999)

    Roy Pascal, ‘The German Sturm und Drang’ (Manchester UP, 1953)

    Isaiah Berlin, ‘The Roots of Romanticism’ (Princeton UP, 1999)

    Nicholas Boyle, ‘Goethe: The Poet and the Age, vol. I: The Poetry of Desire’ (Oxford UP, 1991)

    Tim Blanning, ‘The Romantic Revolution’ (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2010)

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