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Der Fall Jauß und seine Konsequenzen für die Literaturwissenschaft

Eine Auseinandersetzung mit Ottmar Ettes ‚Der Fall Jauss. Wege des Verstehens in eine Zukunft der Philologie‘

Hartmut Stenzel

Pages 447 - 458

This article discusses Ottmar Ette’s theses regarding the scientific work of Hans Robert Jauß. Ette contrasts this work against Jauß’ youthful national-socialist convictions and his engagement in the Waffen-SS. This ‘first life’ of this prominent and once undisputed scholar has been elaborated and documented in the detailed biography of Jens Westemeier. In accordance with Westemeier’s historical considerations, Ette argues that there is a fundamental continuity of Jauß’ ‘first life’ in his later scientific work, which he qualifies as a “writing in the modus of attack”. In this way, Ette sees Jauß’ career influenced by his past, his criticism of Ernst Robert Curtius for example being a case in point. Repudiating Ette’s theses, this article proposes to understand Jauß’ scholarly ‘second life’ as a coming to terms with his former life, as a sort of amendment of a past which, nevertheless, secretly always haunted him. It discusses and contests various examples that form the basis of Ettes interpretation and underlines the importance of Jauß’ writings in the modernization of post-war literary criticism in the Federal Republic of Germany prior to 1989.


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