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The Transformation of Heroes – Siegfried and the Nibelungen through the Centuries
May 28, 2011 - 8:00 am - 10:00 am
Winder McConnell is a Professor of German Studies at UC Davis.
England has its King Arthur and St. George, France, Charlemagne and Roland, ancient Babylon, Gilgamesh and Enkidu, Greece, Odysseus, Rome, Aeneas, and, in more modern times, America can boast of Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. The hero appears to be part of the integral psychological make-up of society, regardless of time or place. It is no different in Germany; although heroes and the heroic enjoyed little currency in the wake of the Second World War, the “Siegfried” film, The Dark Kingdom (2004; directed by Uli Edel), emerged as the highest-rated mini-series shown on German television that year. Had Siegfried emerged again as the apotheosis of the German “national” hero?
In his talk, Professor McConnell will look at the portrayal of the by no means unproblematic hero, Siegfried, in the Middle High German Nibelungenlied, the Old Norse analogues of the Siegfried story, the transformation of the figure into a buffoon-like character in later literary treatments of the sixteenth and seventeenth century, and Wagner’s recognition of Siegfried’s ambivalent nature in his Ring. Finally, he will also give some consideration to the reception of Siegfried and the Nibelungen in extra-literary venues in the twentieth and twenty-first century, where the accent is devoid of the burlesque, so that one might speak with some justification of the “rehabilitation” of the German hero
Parking on-site $3.50 per hour (max $15) or the $5 UCSF lot or street parking
From the East Bay: BART to Embarcadero and transfer to the MUNI #1 California line
NON-MEMBERS $10 DONATION
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