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LRC Speaker Series presents, Dr. Stefan Höppner

Date & Time:
November 14, 2017 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
CHD 419
Dr. Stefan Höppner, Klassik Stiftung Weimar / University of Calgary

Re-Measuring the World (of Books): Goethe’s Library in Context

To date, scholars have identified numerous sources for the writings of Germany’s preeminent national writer, but have paid little attention to the material side of his artistic and scientific production, namely his personal library and the traces he left in his books. A new research project, “Goethe’s Libraries in Weimar”, aims to fill the gap by cataloging Goethe’s personal books as well as those he borrowed from the court library in the small German duchy of Saxe-Weimar, where he lived and worked. Marginalia and pencil markings provide insights into the actual writing processes, handwritten dedications and other sources document an impressive intellectual network spanning most of Europe and the US, and a “distant reading” of the roughly 10,000 volumes in this project show the changes in Goethe’s literary and scholarly interests over time. Not only is archival work fascinating, it can also provide fresh insights into the life of works even of prominent, well-researched writers.

Dr. Stefan Höppner is head of the research project "Writer's Libraries" at the Marbach Weimar Wolfenbüttel research association, a cooperation of three of Germany's leading literary archives. He teaches German literature at the University of Freiburg and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Calgary's School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures.