Following the recent shift to'Animal Studies' within literary scholarship, this article focuses on the treatment of dogs in the history of German literature, emphasizing especially four examples in the Middle Ages and three examples in nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature. This study is aimed at outlining a dog-centered discourse in which strong emotional bonds between the human and the animal matter centrally. At times, however, there are no specific emotional bonds, and yet a strong focus on the dog as a messenger, guide, and conveyer of truth. As all examples chosen here indicate, friendship between a human and a dog mattered numerous times in major literary works, ranging from Gottfried von Straßburg's Tristan to Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach's Krambambuli and Die Spitzin to Thomas Mann's Herr und Hund: Eine Idylle. In most cases, the emotional bond emerges as the fulcrum of the narrative development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Literature and Literary Theory