Main Dichter And Denker Discussion

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07:54:42 AM Feb 13th 2015
To the people that are editing this page: Can you explain what, in your opinion, is a) the subject and b) the purpose of this page?

I ask this because the subject gets fuzzier and the purpose more questionable with every edit.
08:41:37 AM Feb 13th 2015
Famous thinkers and creators from Germany? A bit foggy, yeah.
12:03:42 PM Feb 13th 2015
I never thought that the page offered an adeqate definition of its own subject, and I never understood what the supposed benefit of this page was. Fact is, while every German somehow has heard that "Germany is the country of poets and thinkers", historically the phrase has been used in different contexts and in a variety of ways, and not all of them positive. There is, however, a long-standing belief among German nationalists that their own nation is the single most productive, creative, and innovative in the world, and that somehow no other country's cultural achievements can compete with those of Germany.

I can't tell what the original creator intended this as (maybe he couldn't tell either), but what it is now is a self-indulgent "Hall of Fame" of German "anythings" ("writers, musicians, artists, architects, philosphers, theologians, scientists, engineers"). Its only detectable reason for existence is to demonstrate and extol the unparalleled excellence and superiority of the German nation in matters intellectual, artistical, and technical. A nationalist shrine.

I can't think of a reason why we would need or want that.
12:24:09 PM Feb 13th 2015
The page isn't really a nationalist shrine. There are many entries where they point out that certain figures were exiles or chased away by Nazism or were critical of the state.

As for justifying the page, the fact is several German writers were influential in European and so, global art and culture. But not all of them are likely to get their page on T Vtropes, so a general information page is fine. After all nobody complains about the omnipresence of American and British examples on Tvtropes.
02:19:35 PM Feb 14th 2015
edited by LordGro
I did not mention the Nazis or the Third Reich in my post, so I don't know why you think your reply refutes my point. Not all nationalists identify with the Nazis, not even in Germany and certainly not in today's Germany.

We already have indexes for German Media and German Literature. The creator indexes like Authors, Artists etc. list German creators just like any others. We don't have extra pages for famous American, British, or Japanese intellectuals, so why should we have one for Germany?

Nor is this page limited to writers or other creators that are relevant to our mission. Engineers and scientists are not creators of media. Architects as well as philosophers or theologians may qualify in some cases but more often they won't.

Relevant creators are free to get their own pages, and actually many of those listed here already have one. Showcasing them here again is redundant duplication of content.

After all nobody complains about the omnipresence of American and British examples on Tvtropes.

This page is not "examples". Examples are individual cases of tropes. This page has nothing to do with tropes.
05:07:37 PM Feb 14th 2015
One of the reasons I think this page exists is that before 1871 for a long time "Germany" was primarily defined by its culture, and that sets it apart from most other nations, which have existed as political units much longer. (Culture and the common pre-1945 history also was what defined "German" in the sense of "common to the Federal Republic and the GDR" before 1990). So in a way it makes sense that while for France and Great Britain you have "Useful Notes" pages listing their kings from the beginnings of time to the present (or until the end of the monarchy) with potted biographies etc. (not to mention that every single British prime minister has a page of their own), for Germany TV Tropes has a page of prominent German thinkers and creators.

Another reason why I think this page serves a useful purpose is pragmatic. Most people writing entries for TV Tropes are from the English-speaking world, so creators from the British Isles and North America are covered very well, but others not so much. So this page is useful - provided it is kept up to date - to see which creators already have a page (either for the person himself or herself or for an important work) and which ones still need one. And here I would suggest that one could cut down the entries of those creators who already have pages of their own to just the (linked) name and the dates of birth and death (so the chronological order can be maintained) and concentrate e. g. all information re. Goethe on the Goethe page, including the links to pages dealing with individual works.

This page is a place to gather useful information, and if it becomes big enough one can think about splitting it up some way, e. g. make a page with a general overview of German (or, if you prefer, German-language(1)) literature. Which would be useful to give a - hopefully enjoyable to read - quick overview to the majority of participants here who know relatively little about the subject.

(1) The German Literature page is already a page for German-language literature, it lists works by Swiss and (post-1866) Austrian nationals as well as works by German nationals.

Now re. some of Lord Gro's points of criticism:

"Its only detectable reason for existence is to demonstrate and extol the unparalleled excellence and superiority of the German nation in matters intellectual, artistical, and technical. A nationalist shrine." I think it is more that you are only able to see what you want to see. When e. g. re. Hartmann von Aue and Wolfram von Eschenbach I mentioned their indebtedness to Chrétien de Troyes or re. Wieland and Lessing the importance of Shakespeare to German literature in the 18th and 19th century, that does not demonstrate or extol an "unparalleled excellence and superiority" of German literature over all others. When I called Fontane the greatest German novelist of the 19th century, that says nothing about whether one should consider Hugo, Balzac, Dumas, Scott, Dickens, Melville, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky (all authors who will be much more familiar to most users of TV Tropes than Fontane) inferior or superior to him.

The indexes for German Media and German Literature have no use except to link you to pages that already exist, and the German Literature index is just a list of titles that does not even list the names of the authors. The general authors index apparently only lists German authors who have pages of their own (for the period 1650-1900 the only exception is Schiller, apart from him the only Goethe, E.T.A. Hoffmann, the Brothers Grimm, Karl May, and Nietzsche are listed - they overlooked Karl Marx), not authors who don't have pages of their own but who have written works with pages of their own (such as Bürger's "Lenore"). The "Dichter and Denker" page does offer more scope to include relevant information than you want to have on the general "Authors" index (where as a rule you don't want to have more about an author than fits into one line).

Re. nationalism and Nazism: Not all of those who fit the categories "exiles" or "critical of the state" in the "Dichter And Denker" list had anything to do with the Nazis. "Exiles" for instance includes Heine, Marx and Engels, "critical of the state" includes Müntzer, Klopstock (supporter of the French Revolution), the Brothers Grimm (two of the Göttingen Seven), Büchner, Bettina von Arnim, Tucholsky (before 1933), Böll and Grass. And some who fled from the Nazis did not return to Germany after the war (like Heinrich Mann) or went into exile again (Döblin).

Engineers, scientists etc. not relevant? I suppose you are asking for the removal of the existing pages for Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison and the like? Gutenberg and Senefelder are certainly relevant for the creation of media, in any case.
06:26:49 AM Jul 29th 2010
edited by Gemmifer
I've noticed a tendency on this wiki that is annoying to me as a German. It means something to me, because I really like this wiki and usually have respect for it's attitude.

But: You know, not everything about modern Germany's attitude, culture and ways go back to the experiences of WW2. A lot of these attributes simply... are. They are part of what makes Germany, Germany. The Dichter Und Denker thing is one of them, I think. It's part of German classes in school as a way to build the pupils understanding and appreciation of art and perhaps even to build their character. It's part of the culture, simple as that. Here on TV Tropes you don't believe you Americans shaped Japan's entire, innermost core by defeating them, do you? Germany has her own identity also, removed from America. As a general rule, not everything about other countries has to do with America.

But since this is an American wiki I hereby ask, before I delete that claim out of the opening paragraph, if it's okay with you. Simply changing it won't hold long because anyone can change it back.
08:11:17 PM Mar 18th 2013
But you have to concede that with the elimination of the nationalism and militarism as acceptable target for pride, Dichter und Denker became more important. Also umformulieren, aber direkt löschen würd ichs nicht.
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