Karl S. Guthke

Karl S. Guthke

Kuno Francke Research Professor of German Art and Culture

Professor Guthke is a member of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and Magdalene College, Cambridge, and a former Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Edinburgh, the Humanities Research Center, Canberra, and the Wolfenbüttel Research Center. He is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies (London).

Professor Guthke was trained at the universities of Heidelberg, Texas (M.A.), and Göttingen (Ph.D.). Before coming to Harvard in 1968, he taught at the University of California (Berkeley) and at the University of Toronto. His main interest is the literary and cultural history of the several German-speaking countries but he has also strayed into history of science and occasionally teaches in the Comparative Literature Department. Recent interests include a Freshman Seminar on "Last Words in Western Civilization" and one on the history of the idea of extraterrestrial intelligence as well as one on Goethe's Faust. He has published books, in English and German, on pre-Romanticism, Lessing, Haller, Hauptmann, literary life in the eighteenth century, tragicomedy, and literature after "the death of God." His publications also include B. Traven: The Life Behind the Legends (a biography of the author of Treasure of the Sierra Madre); The Last Frontier: Imagining Other Worlds, from the Scientific Revolution to Modern Science Fiction; Last Words: Variations on a Theme of Cultural History; Die Entdeckung des Ich; Trails in No-Man's Land; The Gender of Death, and Der Blick in die Fremde: Das Ich und das andere in der Literatur. His most recent works are Goethes Weimar und "die grosse Öffnung in die weite Welt"; Epitaph Culture in the West; Lessings Horizonte: Grenzen und Grenzenlosigkeit der Toleranz; Schillers Dramen, enlarged edition; Die Erfindung der Welt: Globalität und Grenzen in der Kulturgeschichte der Literatur; Das deutsche bürgerliche Trauerspiel, 6th edition;Sprechende Steine: Eine Geschichte der Grabschrift; Die Reise ans Ende der Welt ;Lebenszeit ohne Ende: Kulturgeschichte eines Gedankenexperiments in der Literatur; "Geistiger Handelsverkehr": Streifzüge im Zeitalter der Weltliteratur, Goethe's Reise nach Spanisch-Amerika: Weltbewohnen in Weimar; Life without End: A Thought Experiment in World Literature from Swift to Houellebecq. He is the translator of H.B. Nisbet, G.E. Lessing.

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