In this Book

Folklore Theory in Postwar Germany
summary

Can the study of folklore survive brutal wars and nationalized misappropriations? Does folklore make sense in an age of fearsome technology? These are two of several questions this book addresses with specific and profound reference to the history of folklore studies in Germany. There in the early nineteenth century in the ideological context of romantic nationalism, the works of the Brothers Grimm pioneered the discipline. The sublimation of folklore studies with the nation's political history reached a peak in the 1930s under the Nazi regime. This book takes a full look at what happened to folklore after the end of World War II and the defeat of the Nazis. A special focus on Lutz Röhrich (1923-2006), whose work spans the decades from 1955 to 2006, makes this book a unique window into a monumental reclamation.

In 1945 Röhrich returned from the warfront at the age of twenty-three, a wounded amputee. Resuming his education, he published his seminal Märchen und Wirklichkeit (Folktale and Reality) in 1956. Naithani argues that through this and a huge body of scholarship on folktale, folksong, proverbs, and riddles over the next decades, Röhrich transformed folklore scholarship by critically challenging the legacies of Romanticism and Nazism in German folklore work. Sadhana Naithani's book is the first full-length treatment of this extraordinary German scholar written in English.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgment
  2. pp. ix-2
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  1. Introduction: Does Folklore Matter?
  2. pp. 3-8
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  1. Part I. Parallel to History
  2. pp. 9-10
  1. 1. Mega Legacies: German Folklore Studies in Historical Perspective
  2. pp. 11-30
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  1. Part II. Lutz Röhrich: The Advocate for Folklore
  2. pp. 31-32
  1. 2. Triangles of Analysis
  2. pp. 33-60
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  1. 3. Circles of Interpretation
  2. pp. 61-81
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  1. 4. Folksong for History from Below
  2. pp. 82-106
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  1. Part III. Continuity of Folklore
  2. pp. 107-108
  1. 5. Röhrich beyond German Borders
  2. pp. 109-124
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 125-132
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 133-136
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 137-142
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