Bildungsroman Criticism

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Regarding bildungsromane, critics discuss whether novels other than the German ones written in the strict tradition of Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship qualify as examples of the genre. Purists argue that the Bildungsroman is so intertwined with German philosophical and literary heritage that the form does not occur in other languages. Others find common elements in many novels.

It is commonly held that Goethe's novel had widespread influence. For example, Ehrhard Bahr wrote for the Reference Guide to World Literature:

Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship had a great influence
on the Romantics and the history of the German
novel. It provided, so to speak, the blueprint for all
subsequent German novels. Early commentaries on
the novel occur in correspondence between Friedrich
Schiller and Goethe, in the letters by Wilhelm von
Humboldt and Christian Gottfried Körner, and in
Friedrich Schlegel's 1798 essay "On Goethe's
Meister." Goethe's novel became a prime example
of...








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This section contains 478 words
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Literary Movements for Students
Bildungsroman from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.