Two hundred years after his death, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) continues to resonate as a fascinating, ambivalent, and polarizing figure. Differences of opinion as to whether Bonaparte should be viewed as the executor of the principles of the French Revolution or as the figure who was principally responsible for their corruption are as pronounced today as they were at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Contributing to what had been an uneasy German relationship with the French Revolution, the rise of Bonaparte was accompanied by a pattern of Franco-German hostilities that inspired both enthusiastic support and outraged dissent in the German-speaking states.
The fourteen essays that comprise Inspiration Bonaparte examine the mythologization of Napoleon in German literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and explore the significant impact of Napoleonic occupation on a broad range of fields including philosophy, painting, politics, the sciences, education, and film. As the contributions from leading scholars emphasize, the contradictory attitudes toward Bonaparte held by so many prominent German thinkers are a reflection of his enduring status as a figure through whom the trauma of shattered late-Enlightenment expectations of sociopolitical progress and evolving concepts of identity politics is mediated.
SEÁN ALLAN is Professor of German at the University of St Andrews. JEFFREY L. HIGH is Professor of German Studies at California State University, Long Beach.
Table of Contents
Part I: Napoleon: Art, Literature, and Occupation
1: Prelude-Pre-Occupation Bonaparte:
Historical and Literary Conquerors in Schiller's Life, Thought, and Works
Jeffrey L. High
2: Schiller's Johanna and Collin's Bianca as Women('s)-Liberators in Anti-Napoleonic Drama
3: Friedrich Hölderlin, the French Revolution, and Napoleon: Politics, Poetry, Philosophy
Laura Anna Macor
4: The Anecdote on the Battlefield: Napoleon-Kleist-Kluge
5: "Der große Schauspieler, Napoleon Buonaparte": August von Kotzebue's Antitheatrical Politics
6: An Ingenious Tyrant: The Representation of Napoleon Bonaparte by German Women Writers
7: Icons of Resistance: Kleist, Le Musée Napoléon, and Queen Luise of Prussia
Part II: Napoleon: Political Science and Natural Science
8: The European Machine God: The Image of Napoleon Bonaparte in the Political Writings of Jean Paul
9: Saul Ascher's Napoleon
10: Napoleon's Campaigns: Models for "French" Revolutionary Science Abroad and at Home?
11: Napoleonic Occupation and the Militarization of the Sciences:
The Case of Johannes Scherr and the Zurich Polytechnic
Part III: Inspiration Bonaparte: German Receptions from Vormärz to the Present
12: "We are all possessed"! Napoleon and Inspiration in German Naturalist Drama
Michael White (University of St Andrews)
13: "Arnold Schoenberg's Setting of Byron's Ode to Napoleon: Fighting Hitler's Regime in Byron's and Beethoven's Wake
Wolf Kittler (University of California, Santa Barbara)
14: The Emperor's Clothes: Napoleon as a Screen Icon