Nachlassprofile – Nachlassbewusstsein – Nachlasspoetik (English version)

Project description

The German word Nachlass is more neutral than its English quasi-equivalents archive or estate. A literary Nachlass refers to all the materials that have not reached the form of a work of art / literature during the lifetime of an author (cp. Sina / Spoerhase 2013). Therefore, a Nachlass cannot be part of the Werkpolitik (Martus 2011, meaning the policies of establishing an oeuvre) consciously regulated by an author. However, Nachlässe can partly be arranged and formed by the author in advance. If this is the case, the term Nachlassbewusstsein (awareness for the phenomenon of one’s future Nachlass) applies: Then, a Nachlass is a theoretical construct that is supposed to enclose the lives and works of the author in question and put into effect a conception of authorship that like a work of art or an oeuvre includes poetic principals (cp. Wirtz 2013) – the Nachlasspoetik.

Taking into account the current state of research, the project develops a typological differentiation of Nachlassbewusstsein and Nachlasspoetik. As a more neutral umbrella term, the so far rarely used term Nachlassprofil (profile of a Nachlass) shall be established. Unlike the other terms, Nachlassprofil includes those cases where a lack of Nachlassbewusstsein or the loss of control of Werkpolitik can be diagnosed. Case studies on literary Nachlässe will show whether the absence of Nachlassbewusstsein also is significant for research in regards to the poetics or the development of oeuvres.

Programmförderung BMBF 2017–2019
Head researcher(s): Hannah Markus