'Eine grobe tafel in holz geschnitten. Goethes 'erklärung eines alten holzschnittes vorstellend hans sachsens poetische sendung als ekphrasis gelesen

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The subject of this paper is Goethes poem 'Erklärung eines alten Holzschnittes vorstellend Hans Sachsens poetische Sendung, which should be read as an ekphrasis. This term indicates a rhetorical genre dealing with detailed descriptions, generally of images. First the poem is analysed using the rhetorical category evidentia, in order to determine how the text visualizes the imaginary woodcut. Then it is compared to a copper engraving that served as a frontispiece to an edition of Aesops fables from 1740. This picture may have been a visual model for the image created by the poetic description. The conclusion is that Goethes poem presents Sachs less as a medieval writer, but rather as a Renaissance poet by using an ancient genre and specific rhetoric strategies.

Translated title of the contribution"A big panel carved in wood". Goethe's 'explanation of an ancient woodcut representing Hans Sachs' poetical mission' read as ekphrasis
Original languageGerman
JournalPublications of the English Goethe Society
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)149-163
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 01.10.2014