Project phase KFA Vol. III/1.2: Feuchtersleben’s Critical and Aphoristical Writings.
This research project and its methodical principles are an integrated part of the historical critical edition of the Collected Works and Letters of Ernst Freiherrn von Feuchterleben (1806–1849). It represents the first effort to publish the complete works of one of the most significant scholarly writers of the epoch of the Austrian “Vormärz”. In contemporary cultural life he was engaged as a poet, an art critic, as a philosopher, pioneer of psychiatry and first school reformer after the revolution of 1848. The first complete representation of his literary, pedagogic and medical writings and his assembled complete letters and diary notes should replace the obsolete and insufficient edition of his works, edited by Friedrich Hebbel (Vienna 1851–1853).
The Critical Writings represent a complete collection of all scholarly articles, reviews and reports on literature, arts, philosophy and natural science Feuchtersleben published dispersed in the different journals, magazins and “Almanachs” of the Austrian “Biedermeierzeit”. Excluded out of this text collection are those writings which Feuchtersleben already published in his formerly books: “Beiträge zur Literatur, Kunst- und Lebens-Therorie” (1838) as well as “Lebensblätter” (1841). Many of the edited texts are focused on the reception of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, particularly his late works like “Faust II” and “West-Östlicher Divan” (articles on Rahel Varnhagen und Betttine von Arnim; reviews of ‘Goetheanian’ works of Enk, Deycks, Kannegießer, Wurm, Löwe, Zauper). On the other side Feuchtersleben shows also close readings of the liberal writings of the “Junge Deutschland”. His reviews on Wienbarg and Gervinus – both members of this forbidden group of opposite German literature – brought Feuchtersleben into sharp conflicts even with Chancellor Metternich, infamous head of the repressing political system of the Austrian “Vormärz”.
Beside this extensive spectrum of themes the treaties and reviews are dealing of, Feuchtersleben wrote more than 1500 aphoristical texts which show in literary ‘short cuts’ his personal sight on “knowledge”, “arts” and “life”. Most of them are collected in a posthumous book, “Confessionen” (generated 1849, published 1851).
Content of the actual part of the edition project: KFA, vol. III, part 1 & 2:
Critical Writings on Literature, Theatre and Music (1834–1848)
Prefaces, epilogues, introductions, biographies etc.
Writings on arts (1835–1846)
(Edition of the texts, commentary)
2nd part: Critical Writings on Philosophy und Natural Science (1840–1848) ‘Confessionen’ (A collection of aphoristical texts: finished 1849/posthumous published: 1851) Aphoristical Texts (1825–1849: published in periodicals/unpublished writings) (Edition of the texts, commentary) The texts are represented in its original historical orthography. They are explained by an extensive accompanying commentary which offers a detailed insight into the epoch of the Austrian “Vormärz”, specially mirroring the history of literature, arts, philosophy, medicin, and the education system: a resource for investigating the texts of Feuchtersleben in its specific contemporary historical horizon. Alongside the documentation and commentaries the volumes also supplies potted biographies. The volume rounds off with an extensive index of the complete aphoristical texts (alphabetic list of the text beginnings) and an index of persons.