Hellmut Ammerlahn

Professor Emeritus, German Studies and Comparative Literature


Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin
Curriculum Vitae (386.67 KB)

I am interested in understanding the artistic qualities and humanizing impact of major works of Western high culture, beginning with the Greeks, and in helping students to see their value. My specializations are in German literature, esthetics, and intellectual history from the 18th to the mid-20th century. I have held visiting positions at the University of Sydney, Australia, Univ. of California at San Diego, and the Univ. of Copenhagen, Denmark. Publications include a monograph on Goethe's Torquato Tasso and articles investigating Goethe's early dramas, his theories of perception and cognition and his representation of human creativity in its formative and destructive aspects. The results of a long-term research project on Goethe’s most influential novel, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, analyzed in the context of a wide range of the author’s literary, critical, scientific, and biographical writings, was published in 2003. The book is entitled: Imagination und Wahrheit. Goethes Künstler-Bildungsroman ‘Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre’: Struktur, Symbolik, Poetologie. (Imagination and Truth. Goethe’s Bildungsroman of the Artist ‘WML’: Structure, Symbolism, Poetology). Würzburg, 2003 (448 pp.).


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