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Reflections and experiences in epistolary perspective: Goethe's correspondence

Grant number: 18/18760-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): November 26, 2018
Effective date (End): February 09, 2019
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Modern Foreign Literatures
Principal Investigator:Marcus Vinicius Mazzari
Grantee:Marcus Vinicius Mazzari
Host Investigator: Michael Jaeger
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Freie Universität Berlin, Germany  

Abstract

This research project refers to Goethe's letters, considered one of the most extensive and relevant in the world literature. After selecting among more than 15 thousand already cataloged letters, I intend to translate them and present them to Brazilian readers and researchers in a book containing notes, commentaries and a throughout study on such letters. In a broader sense, I will also present the history and theory of the genre "letter", whose extinction process (as addressed by Adorno as early as 1962 in a post-script to an edition of the anthology of letters Deutsche Menschen published by Walter Benjamin in 1936) intensified greatly with the Internet, the electronic mail, Smartphones etc. Letters relating to Brazil will occupy a foreground position (as also the anthology), specially the correspondence with the traveler-scientist Carl Friedrich Phillip von Martius, a name of world importance for the botany of our country. In addition to focusing on Goethe's letters regarding their scientific, philosophical, historical and highly cultural aspects, I intend to address their aesthetical dimension as prominent "works of art", placing them thus side by side with the great literary creations of the author of the concept of Weltliteratur ("world literature").

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