Issue 1/2005, 101. Volume
Das volkskundliche Herbarium und das Spiel der Phantasie
Die Herausbildung des folkloristischen Paradigmas
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The hermeneutics of „Volkskunde“ of the last two centuries are substantially shaped by a specific, culture-pessimistic perspective on the expressions of folk culture, which developed in the early 19th century in the course of the implementation of historicism and the establishment of German language and literature studies. This folklorist paradigm confronts art poetry with folk poetry. Since the latter is supposed to trace back to nature poetry of divine origin this paradigm forbids the transposition of historical expressions of folk culture into the present. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, who demanded historical loyalty and truth and hence the critical appraisal of sources of tradition without, however, fulfilling this demand themselves, put their historic-philosophical position rapidly through against Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano, who followed tradition poetic principles. Regardless of further criticism that Grimm’s handling of traditions breaks them away from their location in life, the folklorist paradigm became a deep structure of thinking in „Volkskunde“. Lately it particularly affected the debate on folklorism, but still recently it denies the legitimacy of cultural phenomena or devalues them.