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Call for Papers

Special GSNA Sessions at ASECS
17-20 March 2011, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Organized by Christian Weber, Florida State University
www.goethesociety.org

Goethe’s Figures and the Poetics of Configuration

Goethe’s work displays a plethora of interesting and mysterious figures such as Mignon, Ottilie, or Faust. However, they are not quite as palpable and realistic as, for example, Shakespeare’s heroes or Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. Goethe’s figures, it seems, represent types rather than personalities. They either tend towards allegorical figuration at the one end of the spectrum or towards symbolic configuration at the other. This panel invites papers that investigate the meaning of specific figures in Goethe’s poetry and/or how meaning is configured in his writings. For example: How do female figures in Faust such as Gretchen, Helena, die Mütter, the Sirens represent “das Ewig-Weibliche”? How is love configured in poetry and what is the figurative status of the lyric speaker or the beloved? What are the origins of figures, how and why do they develop, how do they interact with other figures within Goethe’s oeuvre and communicate inter-textually with other literary or real figures?

Send proposals by 15 September 2010 to:

Christian Weber, Dept. of Modern Languages & Linguistics
Florida State U., 316C
Diffenbaugh Building,
P.O. Box 3061540, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1540;
Tel: (850) 645.7842
Fax: (850) 644.0524
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