Dear all,

The panel "Alpine Myth or the Myth of the Alps in Austrian and Swiss 
Literature and Film" (NeMLA conference) is looking for a replacement 
paper. I had a ski accident and can't travel right now:-(  Richard 
Ruppel and Margrit Zinggeler are the other two presenters on the panel. 
NeMLA will allow the replacement participant to register without a late 
fee. Please contact Margrit Zinggeler directly at [log in to unmask]

The panel description is below - please note that both Austria and 
Switzerland are included.

Karin Baumgartner
University of Utah


*NEMLA Conference*

*Toronto, April 30 –May 3, 2015*


*Panel(s) *(3-4 participants)

Title: Alpine Myth or the Myth of the Alps in Austrian and Swiss 
Literature and Film

The representation of the sublime in the Alps as a location of mysticism 
and aesthetic essence of nature as trumpeted by Albrecht Haller in /Die 
Alpen/ in 1729 had transformational impact, in that it altered attitudes 
toward the Swiss Alps and the Alpine regions in general from a forbidden 
realm of passage, in which myths abound, to a region of scientific and 
aesthetic investigation, making the Alpine region a travel destination 
as manifested in the writings of classical German authors Johann 
Wolfgang v. Goethe in his poetry and prose and then immortalized in 
Friedrich Schiller’s drama /Wilhelm Tell/ which became the Swiss 
national epic. This literary, scientific and travel interest in the Alps 
gained momentum in the nineteenth century, the Golden Age of Alpine 
First Ascents in conjunction with the founding of National Alpine 
Mountain Clubs which spurred tourism in the Alps in close conjunction 
with the rapidly expanding rail systems, that brought visitors and sport 
enthusiasts comfortably into the Alps. Austrian and Swiss literature 
offers a plethora of authors such as Gotthelf, Keller, Meyer, Stifter, 
Rosegger and German imports such as Th. Mann, Hermann Hesse and Carl 
Zuckmeyer whose fiction is set in the Alps revealing the lives of the 
Alpine dwellers or of visitors to those regions.Not to forget the 
influence of the Alps on English authors, such as in Mary Shelley’s 
/Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus /and Arthur Conan Doyle’s 
Sherlock Holmes who fought Moriarty to death in the Bernese Alps.

By the 19^th century, the Alpine regions became a place to sample the 
pure water, take mineral baths, enjoying high altitude cures, hence 
because a region known for its spas and its wellness and tourism began 
to flourish.During the Second World War, the Swiss military devised a 
strategy to use the Alpine territory as a fierce fort, the “Swiss 
Reduit,” which metaphorically inspired a new national Swiss 
characterization. Furthermore, many sought literary inspiration in the 
Alpine landscape such as Max Frisch, Meinrad Inglin, or Annemarie 
Schwarzenbach. The majesty of such a landscape inspires myth and lore 
from Johanna Spyri’s /Heidi/ to Ödön von Horvath’s /Bergmärchen/, 
traditional myths which have spawned a new interest through recent Swiss 
films (e.g. “Alpsummer” (2013) and the controversial movie 
“Sennentuntschi” (2010), travel media, and literature by a new 
generation of writers discovering the lure of mountain life and alpine 
culture. To be fair, there are two sides, the majesty and the beauty of 
the Alps, but also the dangers, the isolation, the poverty, the hard 
life of the Alpine dweller which is neither majestic, nor aesthetic 
evidenced by Franz Böni and other contemporary authors. This session 
presents a critical discussion of the “Alpen Mythos” both traditional 
and rediscovered.Abstracts addressing representations of the Alps in 
Austrian and Swiss literature and film are welcome.

Karin Baumgartner
Associate Professor German
Department of Languages and Literature
University of Utah
1400 LNCO
255 S. Central Campus Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Phone: 801-585-3001
Fax: 801-581-7581
[log in to unmask]

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