The Epic Imaginary: Political Power and its Legitimations in Eighteenth-Century German Literature

Mixed media product
This study traces how calls for poetic legitimations of community led particular eighteenth-century epics to explore an originary incompleteness of political power and its narrative legitimations. The analysis uncovers a new type of epic emerging in the second half of the eighteenth century in texts by Klopstock, Goethe, Wieland, and Brentano that enacts the disruptive potential of poetic language and narrative to question the legitimations of imaginary political origins and unities.