MONIKA NENON - In January 2002, I began work on my project on the literature and culture of the sentimentality movement by reading the most important secondary literature on this epoch in German literature (Sauder, Wegmann, Christ, Seibert, Hertz).  In February, I then wrote the introduction to the book and the first of four chapters.  In this chapter, I concentrated on the authors Sophie von La Roche and Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi with a special emphasis on t he interconnections among the various persons involved in the main circles that led this movement.  One of the main lessons here is the degree to which enlightenment was seen as a process of communication by these figures. 

I spent the first two weeks in March in Germany at the Johann Georg Jacobi Archives in Freiburg and at the Christoph Martin Wieland Archives in Biberach, where I gathered material for my second chapter on the culture of learned correspondence in the second half of the 18th Century in Germany.  I worked on a draft of that chapter after I returned in the middle of March until the end of April.  Here I examined the literary relationships between Sophie von La Roche and Freidrich Heinrich Jacobi, between Johann Georg Jacobi and Goethe, and between Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi and both Goethe and Wieland.  This chapter illustrates how the direct personal contacts and relationships were continued and strengthened through written correspondence that had both a personal and a professional intent.  This led to a literary network that played a central role in collaborative literary projects at that time. 

During the months of May and June, I studied the literary works of Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi and the secondary literature on those works, and then during the second half of June and in July, I completed the third chapter that analyses some of the most important novels produced as part of the sentimentality movement.  The fourth chapter that will concentrate on the literary journal Iris, in which all of these authors were involved, must still be completed.  I hope to be able to complete that chapter by the end of this year and to begin revising the book for submission to publishers during 2003. 

The Professional Development Assignment was essential for me to be able to complete the first three chapters of this book.  Without the time to devote to this work, it would not have been possible for me to work my way into this field far enough to undertake such an ambitious project.

Last Updated: 10/9/15