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SOURCE:    Philology. Theory & Practice. Tambov: Gramota, 2023. № 9. P. 2829-2836.
SCIENTIFIC AREA:    Philological Sciences
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“The Hermit. A Pendant to Werther’s Sorrows” by J. M. R. Lenz: An early attempt at therapeutic writing

Gladilin Nikita Valer’evich
A. M. Gorki Literature Institute

Submitted: 02.07.2023
Abstract. The article is devoted to the epistolary short novel “The Hermit. A Pendant to Werther’s Sorrows” (1776) by J. M. R. Lenz, insufficiently explored by Russian literary studies, in its comparison to the obvious “praetext”, the novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther” (1774) by J. W. von Goethe. The author of the article assumes that both the short novel by Lenz and the novel by Goethe need to be analysed through the lens of the Sturm und Drang revolutionary aesthetics. The aim of the research is to identify the degree of relevance in intertextual references between the two works. Special emphasis is placed on the reason why Lenz, a fairly original writer, had had to follow the path trodden by Goethe. The article offers a contrastive-comparative analysis of Goethe’s and Lenz’s texts, clarifies the biographical background that prompted the two writers to create these texts. The scientific originality of the research lies in detecting autotherapy among the authors’ intentions; it is determined by a new early modern personality concept formed in the last third of the XVIII century, in particular by representatives of the Sturm und Drang movement. As a result, it has been proved that, especially in Lenz’s case, we deal with the early attempts at therapeutic writing to overcome individual psychological traumas.
Key words and phrases: Я. М. Р. Ленц, И. В. Гете, движение «Буря и натиск», ранний модерн, терапевтическое письмо, J. M. R. Lenz, J. W. von Goethe, Sturm und Drang movement, early modern, therapeutic writing
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