In: KulturPoetik 2010, Heft 2


Manfred Engel


Kulturgeschichte/n? Ein Modellentwurf am Beispiel der Kultur- und Literaturgeschichte des Traumes




One of the consequences of the interest in cultural and cultural literary studies is a renaissance of the genre ›cultural history‹. Probably due to the poststructuralist polemics against ›history‹, there have, however, been only few reflections on the genre recently. To fill this gap, the essay sketches a model for a cultural and literary history of the dream. It starts off with general reflections on the reasons for cultural dream-work (1) and on the special contributions which literary texts have to offer to it (2). After a brief survey on the ›prophetic dream‹ (3) – which dominated dream-narration until the 18th century – chapters 4-7 present four periods of the cultural and literary history of the dream (Enlightenment, Romanticism, Realism, and Modernism) and illustrate each of them with the interpretation of a literary dream (by F. Schiller, E.T.A. Hoffmann, C.F. Meyer, and F. Kafka).