Künstlerroman Criticism: Overviews And General Studies - Essay

Maurice Beebe (essay date 1964)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Beebe, Maurice. Introduction to Ivory Towers and Sacred Founts: The Artist as Hero in Fiction from Goethe to Joyce, pp. 3-18. New York: New York University Press, 1964.

[In the following introduction to what is generally considered the definitive study of the künstlerroman, Beebe examines the theory of the “Divided Self” whereby the main character of a book is an outward expression of the author himself; he also explores the “Ivory Tower” tradition in which the writer “exalts art above life” and the “Sacred Fount” theory where the artist equates art with experience.]

No sooner has Denis Stone, the young poet in Aldous Huxley's Crome...

(The entire section is 7089 words.)

Ursula R. Mahlendorf (essay date 1985)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Mahlendorf, Ursula R. Introduction to The Wellsprings of Literary Creation: An Analysis of Male and Female “Artist Stories” from the German Romantics to American Writers of the Present, pp. xii-xx. Columbia, S.C.: Camden House, 1985.

[In the following introduction to Mahlendorf's book-length examination of the künstlerroman, she surveys the ways in which the künstlerroman can be studied psychologically.]

A Künstlernovelle and Künstlerroman (artist story and artist novel) contains the creation of a work of art as a central event of its plot. Based on the creative work and psychology of a fictitious sculptor, painter, poet or...

(The entire section is 3001 words.)

Roberta Serat (essay date 1992)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Serat, Roberta. “Origins of the Künstlerroman.” In Voyage into Creativity: The Modern Künstlerroman, pp. 17-27. New York: Peter Lang, 1992.

[In the following essay, Serat traces the origins of the modern künstlerroman from its manifestation during the German Romance period to its current form.]

Although the voyage motif traditionally embodies both social and psychological elements, during the Romantic period the emphasis is concentrated on the latter as the artist becomes aware of his difference from other members of society. Rousseau's Confessions1 and Goethe's Werther2 present early delineations of this...

(The entire section is 4186 words.)