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Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890)
Wendy Arons (Project Director: December 2011 to May 2018)

Scholarly Editions and Translations
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage][Prizes]

$289,697 (approved)
$289,697 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2012 – 8/31/2017

The Hamburg Dramaturgy by G.E. Lessing: A New and Complete Annotated English Translation

The preparation of an edition the Hamburg Dramaturgy consisting of 101 short essays of critical commentary on stage productions at the Hamburg National Theater, written by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781), a seminal figure of the German Enlightenment. (36 months)

The purpose of this project is to publish the first complete and fully annotated English translation of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's "Hamburg Dramaturgy" (1767-1769). This text, a collection of 101 short essays written as critical commentary on productions staged at the short-lived Hamburg National Theater, represents one of the first sustained critical engagements with the potential of theater as a vehicle for the advancement of humanistic discourse. A complete translation of this seminal work of the Enlightenment will open new areas of inquiry to scholarship across many disciplines, including philosophy, history, aesthetic theory, and the history of performance. Lessing's discussion of a broad array of topics in this text--including Shakespeare, Aristotle, religious tolerance, the role of compassion in human relations, and his own approach to criticism and argumentation--offers rich material that promises to broaden our understanding of his contribution to the humanities.