Article Details

In: KulturPoetik 2018, Issue 1


Paula Wojcik


Klassik als kulturelle Praxis. Modellierungs- und Popularisierungsmechanismen am Beispiel der Loreley




What is a classic? This question has been asked by many writers, such as T.S. Eliot, Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, Alain Viala or J.M. Coetzee. The common answer to this question is: classics are outstanding works of art, which teach us human values and last over the centuries. In this article, using Heinrich Heines Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten (Loreley) as an example, I explore another possibility: classics are cultural artefacts that are being used. This makes ›classics‹ the result of a cultural practice of modelling, multimedial and intercultural distribution, and popularizing throughout different social or cultural groups. Thus classics are seen not as something everlasting and unchangeable, but cultural phenomena with variable functions that change according to the time and place they are used in and the specific social or cultural milieu they are used by.