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Eligius von Münch-Bellinghausen und die Kritik der Quellenforschung in der zweiten Hälfte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts

Martin Wagner


Pages 73 - 88



Abstract: How did literary writers of the nineteenth century relate to the rise and professionalization of philology? This article approaches this question through a case study of Eligius von Münch- Bellinghausen (1806-1871). Münch (or Friedrich Halm, as he called himself as a writer) was not only one of the most successful Austrian playwrights of his time, but also the author of a series of philological essays. A chronological survey of these essays reveals that Münch increasingly sought to include philosophical and aesthetic reflections in his philological work. However, rather than arriving at a full synthesis of philological and aesthetic interests, Münch eventually pointed to the tensions between them, and he abandoned philology in favor of aesthetics. Specifically, his essays imply that the philological search for textual sources is misguided to the extent that it fails to consider the aspiration of literary works to be grounded first and foremost not in any specific text, but in the human condition. While further research is needed to determine whether Münch’s critique of philology is representative of broader trends in intellectual history, his case directs us to the assessment of literature’s sources as a potential point of contention between philologists and writers.

Keywords: philology, nineteenth-century literature, Austrian literature, Friedrich Halm, Giovanni Brevio

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