edited and introduced by H.B. Nisbet
This anthology, part of a three-volume series devoted to German aesthetic and literary criticism from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, charts the development of aesthetic and literary theory in Germany in the latter half of the eighteenth century and its emancipation from the hitherto dominant influence of France. This development helped to produce an unprecedented flowering of German culture and art which culminated in the classicism of Goethe and Schiller and in the rise of the Romantic movement, with momentous consequences for Europe as a whole. The texts gathered together here represent the main theoretical phases in this process. Their unifying theme is classicism and the author examines the theories of Winckelman, Lessing, Herder, Schiller and Hamann. The volume concludes with Goethe's essay on Winckelmann, which is both a reaffirmation of neo-classical principles and a definitive statement of the mature Goethe's own aesthetic theory.