Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“

New release: The Epic Imaginary. By Charlton Payne

29. June 2012


Political Power and its Legitimations in Eighteenth-Century German Literature. Berlin: De Gruyter 2012 (Studien zur deutschen Literatur, 197).

This study analyzes how the imagination of the epic genre as legitimately legitimating community also unleashes an ambivalence between telling coherent ‑ and hence legitimating ‑ stories of political community and narrating open-ended stories of contingency that might de-legitimate political power. Manifest in eighteenth-century poetics above all in the disjunction between programmatic definitions of the epic and actual experiments with the genre, this ambivalence can also arise within a single epic over the course of its narrative. The present study thus traces how particular eighteenth-century epics explore an originary incompleteness of political power and its narrative legitimations. (editor)

Charlton Payne, PhD, holds the Christoph Martin Wieland Postdoctoral Fellowship in the interdisciplinary research group “Plattform Weltregionen und Interaktionen” at the Universität Erfurt, where he will complete his habilitation on refugee narratives in German literature. He has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study Konstanz (January-December 2010).