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Biedere Exotik

Luís Vaz de Camões in Bühnenwerken der Restaurationszeit und ihr Bezug zu Gottfried Kellers ‚Grünem Heinrich‘

Peter C. Pohl


Pages 361 - 382



This article studies two different kinds of literary sources. (1) It analyses German and French theatre plays and operas from the middle of the 19th century dealing with the life of the Portuguese Renaissance writer Luís Vaz de Camões, and their reception in contemporary newspapers and journals. The Camões discourse contains key aesthetic concepts of the Restoration Era and provides insights into its social structures within the field of arts. Most of the authors are from the same generation and lead precarious lives while their texts feature epigonic tendencies and deploy a vast range of exoticisms and sexisms. (2) The article then focuses on the Swiss writer Gottfried Keller’s first novel. In explaining the references to Camões in his canonical Bildungsroman ‚Der grüne Heinrich‘ (1854/55), I develop the thesis that Keller’s realistic novel theory borrows equally from poetological reflections on classical epic poetry and from his aversion to the culture industry of contemporary theatre and opera.

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