K problematice literatury německého a rakouského biedermeieru
On the topic of German and Austrian Biedermeier period literature
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Instead of using the term Biedermeier to label the literary period between Romanticism and Realism, the terms “literature of the Restoration period” or “pre-March period literature” are sometimes used. Biedermeier designates the period between 1815 (Congress of Vienna) and 1850 (the aftermath of the revolutionary years 1848/49). Paul Kluckholm was the first to use the term “biedermeier” (in 1927) after it had lost its pejorative overtones at the end of the 19th century and, at the beginning of the 20th, taken on a meaning designating the lifestyle and fashion of the first half of the 19th century. The Biedermeier epoch does not have a specific aesthetic or theoretical programme, which led to a stylistic discontinuity: a naïve concatenation of various forms of expression, mixing ofgenres, and underestimating the formal aspects of a work of art — putting emphasis on “detailed descriptions”, frequent reflections. This allowed for an unprecedented proliferation of trivial fiction issued in a multitude of almanacs, pocket editions, and numerous “family” magazines. Drama became an important genre, mainly the Viennese people play and conversational plays (Raimund, Nestroy, Bauernfeld).
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