Historical Dictionary of German Literature to 1945 covers a wide swath of literary analysis and achievement, from Old High German lays and ecclesiastical encomia to Middle High German epics, sagas, and love lyrics. While extensive in its chronological dimension, the Historical Dictionary of German Literature to 1945 is equally comprehensive in the geographical and genre areas it covers.
The history of this period in German literature is told through a detailed chronology, an introductory essay, a comprehensive bibliography, and over 200 cross-referenced dictionary entries on poetry, novels, historical narrative, philosophical musings, and drama. The exceptional writers who emerged and shaped German literature over the centuries—including Walther von der Vogelweide, Johann Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Heinrich Heine, Friedrich Nietzsche, Thomas Mann, and many others who are well known and admired worldwide—are also covered.
William Grange —
William Grange is Hixson-Lied Professor in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at the University of Nebraska. He has written several other books and has received numerous awards for his scholarship and teaching.
Grange, William. Historical dictionary of German literature to 1945. Scarecrow, 2011. 351p bibl afp (Historical dictionaries of literature and the arts, 47); ISBN 9780810875197 e-book, contact publisher for price; ISBN 9780810867710. Outstanding Title! Reviewed in 2011aug CHOICE.
Although at first glance a single volume of 351 pages seems an unlikely candidate to do justice to such a vast topic as German literature to 1945, this historical dictionary provides an excellent overview of the material. Following in the footsteps of earlier works written by Grange (Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln) on German literature since 1945 and on German theater, this volume provides well-written, authoritative entries on the most important authors, works, and movements of this period. In a crowded field of general encyclopedias of German literature, one might expect it to be easily outclassed by other entrants such as Henry Garland and Mary Garland's Oxford Companion to German Literature (3rd ed., 1997) and Matthias Konzett's edited, two-volume Encyclopedia of German Literature (CH, Nov'00, 38-1280). However, Grange's work more than holds its own in the quality of its articles, though it does not have the depth of coverage of the two previous works. The articles are lively, highly original, and informative, filled with Grange's own personal opinions and likely to be of great value to students and nonspecialists. This book will be an excellent addition to any college, university, or large public library that may not need the larger, more detailed Oxford Companion and Encyclopedia.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty; general readers. -- J. H. Spohrer, University of California, Berkeley