Matthias Claudius Criticism - Essay

Herbert Rowland (essay date 1982)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Matthias Claudius's Paul Erdmanns Fest and the Utopian Tradition," in Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies, Vol. XVIII, No. 1, February, 1982, pp. 14-26.

[In the following essay, Rowland positions Claudius's Paul Erdmanns Fest in the Utopian tradition and interprets it as a critical tool "designed to elucidate society's essential elements and possibilities so that they might better be realized by those with the power to do so and to the extent possible in an imperfect world. "]


When Matthias Claudius published Paul Erdmanns Fest in Book IV of his Sämtliche Werke in 1783, he entered into a tradition...

(The entire section is 5396 words.)

Herbert Rowland (essay date 1983)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Major Motifs: Religion: Self-imposed Separation," in Matthias Claudius, Twayne Publishers, 1983, pp. 33-55.

[In the following excerpt, Rowland explores the major themes that recur in Claudius ' writings, including his treatment of man's self-imposed separation from God, the relationship of man and God through nature, his ambivalent feelings toward death, the centrality of love, his political views, and his comments on the artistic process.]

In an introductory study such as the present one there is no room for an exhaustive treatment of any of Claudius's motifs, least of all religion.1 A brief summary of the religious substance of many complete...

(The entire section is 9816 words.)

Herbert Rowland (essay date 1987)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Matthias Claudius and Science: A Foot-note on an Eighteenth-Century Figure and Theme," in Modern Language Notes, Vol. 102, No. 3, April 1987, pp. 655-62.

[In this essay, Rowland explores Claudius's interest in science and its thematic expression in his writings, and positions him in the Enlightenment tradition.]

The use of science as theme and motif in German literature has been studied systematically for only two literary periods. Walter Schatzberg has examined the Enlightenment through 1760, while Alexander Gode von Aesch has investigated Romanticism.1 Scholarship has yet to inquire thoroughly into the intervening time and, indeed, will still...

(The entire section is 3209 words.)

Herbert Rowland (essay date 1997)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Dualistic Analogues: Claudius's Notion of Language and Its Relationship to His View of Nature and Man," in Matthias Claudius: Language as "Infamous Funnel" and Its Imperatives, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1997, pp. 17-53.

[In the following essay, Rowland examines the theoretical implications of Claudius's writings for a philosophy of language and attempts to position him in the history of semiotic thought, describing Claudius's attitude toward language as "a compound consisting of an Augustinian base, an element of Lutheran biblicism, another of Pietist inwardness, and a healthy dose of Enlightenment skepticism."]


Since the...

(The entire section is 19537 words.)