How to Read: Lessons from Christoph Martin Wieland’s Shandean Turn in Der neue Amadis

Andrea Speltz


This article situates Wieland’s Der Neue Amadis within the history of reading pedagogy in Germany. It begins by arguing that Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy furnishes Wieland with the narrative techniques for advancing critical reading practices. It proceeds with a brief outline of the major developments in eighteenth-century reading pedagogy, which culminate in the use of imaginative literature as a means to develop various mental faculties. Lastly, it formulates the pedagogical goals of Der Neue Amadis and compares them to other reading methodologies of the time. The main argument is that reading Der Neue Amadis with an eye for its pedagogical goals gives us a clearer picture of how imaginative literature could be seen to promote the goal of enlightenment. (AS)

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