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Document Details :
Title: Het schrijvershuis als autobiografisch kunstwerk en als lieu de mémoire
Subtitle: Op bezoek bij Goethe in Frankfurt, Rome en Weimar
Author(s): HENDRIX, Harald
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 52 Issue: 4 Date: 2010
Over the last decades, writers’ houses have increasingly become a central element in the literary heritage industry. This article assesses how research on writers’ houses can contribute to our understanding of literature. Focusing on the case of the three major Goethe-houses turned into museums (in Frankfurt, Weimar and Rome), it argues that the documentary value of such places is of minor importance to literary scholarship. More relevant is the information such places may yield on authors’ strategies of autobiographical self-fashioning, and on their efforts to find alternative ways of expressing themselves by building or decorating their houses. The history of these places moreover enables us to better understand not only the variations in reception histories, but also the desire of at least part of the author’s readers to enter into a physical and material contact with the imagined world suggested in literary texts, thus challenging the non-material nature of literature.