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John Van Cleve analyzes the influence of the merchant class on what Leo Balet termed the Verburgerlichung (the 'becoming middle-class') of German literature during the eighteenth century. He describes the origins and development of the class and examines its successive images in works by Haller, Schnabel, Borkenstein, Luise Gottsched, J. E. Schlegel, Gellert, and Lessing. Between the years 1729 and 1750, merchants were better able to lend financial support to the literary world than were civil servants and professionals. Although merchants were central in the cultural life of the German states, they were usually less educated than other members of their social stratum and therefore less disposed to literature. Tradition has cast the merchant class in a highly unflattering light as ethically indefensible. Van Cleve's in-depth analysis traces the evolution of attitudes toward merchants from negative, underdeveloped images to positive, heroic portrayals.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. p. cover
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  1. Half-title
  2. p. i
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  1. Series note
  2. p. ii
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  1. Title Page
  2. p. iii
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  1. Copyright
  2. p. iv
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  1. Dedication
  2. p. vii
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  1. Table of contents
  2. p. ix
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  1. Front matter
  2. p. xi
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xiii-xv
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  1. Part One: The Merchant in Society
  2. p. 1
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  1. I. The Merchant in Society
  2. pp. 3-10
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  1. Part Two: The Merchant in Literature
  2. p. 43
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  1. II. Menace and Menaced: Haller, Schnabel
  2. pp. 45-69
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  1. III. From Fool to Friend: Borkenstein, L. A. V. Gottsched, J. E. Schlegel
  2. pp. 70-90
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  1. IV. Virtue in the “Jewish Profession”: Gellert
  2. pp. 91-108
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  1. V. The Merchant as Hero: Lessing
  2. pp. 109-133
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 137-140
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 141-153
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 157-165
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 167-173
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781469656878
Related ISBN
9781469656861
MARC Record
OCLC
1155227553
Launched on MUSE
2020-06-05
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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