Play in the Age of Goethe: Theories, Narratives, and Practices of Play around 1800 (New Studies in the Age of Goethe) (Paperback)

Play in the Age of Goethe: Theories, Narratives, and Practices of Play around 1800 (New Studies in the Age of Goethe) Cover Image
By Edgar Landgraf (Editor), Elliott Schreiber (Editor), Christian P. Weber (Contributions by), Samuel Heidepriem (Contributions by), Nicholas Rennie (Contributions by), Patricia Anne Simpson (Contributions by), Ian F. McNeely (Contributions by), Christiane Frey (Contributions by), Michael Powers (Contributions by), David Martyn (Contributions by), Brian Tucker (Contributions by)
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We are inundated with game play today. Digital devices offer opportunities to play almost anywhere and anytime. No matter our age, gender, social, cultural, or educational background—we play. Play in the Age of Goethe: Theories, Narratives, and Practices of Play around 1800 is the first book-length work to explore how the modern discourse of play was first shaped during this pivotal period (approximately 1770-1830). The eleven chapters illuminate critical developments in the philosophy, pedagogy, psychology, politics, and poetics of play as evident in the work of major authors of the period including Lessing, Goethe, Kant, Schiller, Pestalozzi, Jacobi, Tieck, Jean Paul, Schleiermacher, and Fröbel. While drawing on more recent theories of play by thinkers such as Jean Piaget, Donald Winnicott, Jost Trier, Gregory Bateson, Jacques Derrida, Thomas Henricks, and Patrick Jagoda, the volume shows the debates around play in German letters of this period to be far richer and more complex than previously thought, as well as more relevant for our current engagement with play. Indeed, modern debates about what constitutes good rather than bad practices of play can be traced to these foundational discourses.

Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press. 

About the Author

EDGAR LANDGRAF is a professor of German at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He studied philosophy and literary theory in Zurich, Chicago, and Baltimore. In addition to play studies, his research interests include: critical improvisation studies; German Romanticism; eighteenth- and nineteenth-century German literature, aesthetics, and philosophy; sociological approaches to literature; neo-cybernetics, posthumanism, and Nietzsche.

ELLIOTT SCHREIBER is an associate professor of German studies at Vassar College in New York. He is author of The Space of Autonomy: Karl Philipp Moritz and the Topography of Modernity, as well as articles on numerous authors of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He is currently at work on a book that investigates the rise of the discourse of imaginative play in Enlightenment and Romantic pedagogy, and its development through the genre of the German literary fairy tale.

Praise For…

"Play in the Age of Goethe is a brilliantly conceived and edited volume that explores the topic of "play" with a view to both its historical development and its contemporary importance. While canonical authors receive their due, the essays likewise address domains of research not usually treated in literary historical studies. Theory and practice are skillfully blended and the various perspectives represented in the essays are mutually enhancing. The contributions fully realize the intention of the volume to make clear how rich and various, how intellectually compelling and fecund the thoughts about and fictional treatments of play in the German­-speaking lands at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries in fact were."

— David E. Wellbery

"This is a superb collection of essays on a topic of central interest to scholars of eighteenth-century literature and culture, as well as students of continental philosophy and theoreticians of play. The introduction is lively and intriguing, setting the stage for the essays to come and maintaining interest via a very concise, yet wide-ranging account of the importance of play and games in contemporary life and what is at stake in the practice."

— Gail K. Hart

Product Details
ISBN: 9781684482061
ISBN-10: 1684482062
Publisher: Bucknell University Press
Publication Date: August 14th, 2020
Pages: 336
Series: New Studies in the Age of Goethe
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