Eberhard Lämmert

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Eberhard Lämmert (born September 20, 1924 in Bonn ; † May 3, 2015 in Berlin ) was a German Germanist and comparative scholar .


Eberhard Lämmert began studying mining, mineralogy and geology at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn . Then he studied German, history and geography at the universities of Munich and Bonn. In 1952 Lämmert received his doctorate through the dissertation supervised by Günther Müller . Structural forms and joining means of storytelling . In 1960 he obtained his habilitation in medieval and modern German philology in Bonn. His lecture at the German Association of German Studies in 1966 on “German Studies - a German Science” was groundbreaking as a plea for “the final abandonment of its tradition as a national science”. Lämmert taught in Heidelberg and Berlin. Eberhard Lämmert and his colleague Peter Szondi reacted to the rebelling students during the protests of 1967 " with remarkable nobility ". From 1977 until his retirement in 1992, Lämmert was Professor of General and Comparative Literature at the Peter Szondi Institute of the Free University of Berlin . In parallel to teaching and research, Lämmert has been institutionally committed:

As the successor to Rolf Kreibich , he was President of the Free University of Berlin from 1976 to 1983 . In this office, Lämmert advocated a group university and a culture of dialogue. And he was an opponent of the radical decree .

From 1992 to 1996 Lämmert headed the research focus literary studies within the Fördergesellschaft Wissenschaftliche Neuvorhaben, which continued the work of the Central Institute for the History of Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the GDR . At that time, the funding company was looked after by the Max Planck Society . This gave rise to the Center for Literary and Cultural Research in Berlin , of which Lämmert was the founding director from 1996 to 1999.

From 1998 to 2004 Lämmert was co-director at the European Enlightenment Research Center in Potsdam and from 1988 to 2002 President of the German Schiller Society - associated with the management of the literature archive in Marbach .

Eberhard Lämmert died on May 3, 2015 at the age of 90 in Berlin.


With his dissertation, which was published in 1955 under the title Baufformen des Erzählens , Eberhard Lämmert earned a place among the innovators of German German studies in the 1950s. As one of the first literary scholars, he tried to provide a systematic description of the epic narrative. Together with Franz Karl Stanzel and Käte Hamburger, Lämmert supplemented the work-immanent interpretation in German literary studies with a formal, analytical-functional methodology in contrast to a hermeneutics based on extra-textual assumptions. The analytical core was the differentiating and systematic presentation of the “relationship between narrative time and narrated time”.

According to Lämmert, a narrator makes a series of strategic decisions, above all the definition of a framework for action . By this he understands the modulation of time, i.e. the differentiation of narrated time and narrative time, the omission of action elements or their deepening, the division into phases, etc. In addition, the breaking of linear time by looking back and ahead, nesting, excursions, rearrangements and new approaches , whereby a time-lapse, time-expanding and time-covering storytelling can be distinguished. He also brought together various, often combinable forms and intensities of gathering that determine the narrative speed of a text. The definition of the topics (milieus, situations, résumés, mental states, etc.) and the uniform narrator presence are also decisive for the scope of action.

Lämmert also examined the logic of the connection of events , in which he distinguished between pure addition (as chronology or demonstrative abundance), correlation or texture (as an allegory of a general theme through different phenomena) and causal connection.

As the last of the strategic decisions, he saw the figure speech (direct, indirect, experienced or the inner monologue) in the function of a report or reflection, as action planning or in conversation, whereby the highest degree of fiction of reality is achieved.

Lämmert's analytical terminology has been considered elementary literary knowledge since the 1960s and has only recently been supplanted by the more systematic and more selective terminology of the French literary theorist Gérard Genette , who also gives particular weight to the structures of time.

His work focuses on literary theory , the history of literary genres, storytelling, literature of the late Middle Ages, the history of the free writer from the 18th century to the present, the history of science and educational policy .




Between 1954 and 2003 Lämmert published around 190 essays on literary theory and history of literature, the history of science and educational policy.


  • Types of storytelling. At the same time dissertation from 1952. Metzler, Stuttgart 1955.
  • Rhyming art in the late Middle Ages. An examination of the Teichner speeches . Metzler, Stuttgart 1970.
  • The unleashing of Prometheus. Self-assertion and criticism of artist autonomy from Goethe to Gide. 1985.
  • The humanities in the industrial age. Hagen 1986.
  • The covered labyrinth. Locations of literary studies 1960–1990. Metzler, Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 3-476-00694-8 .
  • Coping with the ever growing body of human knowledge. Instituto de Estudos Avançados, Universidade de São Paulo 1994.
  • Prefaces. German Schiller Society, Marbach 1999.
  • Respect for the poets. Studies on the Status of the Freelance Writer . Wallstein, Göttingen 2009, ISBN 978-3-8353-0526-7 .
  • Experience with literature: collected writings . Weidmann, Hildesheim 2012, ISBN 978-3-615-00401-4 .


  • with Werner Richter: Wilhelm Scherer , Erich Schmidt . Correspondence. Erich Schmidt, Berlin 1963.
  • Friedrich von Blanckenburg . Try about the novel. Facsimile edition with table of contents, index, epilogue, etc. Biographical note. Metzler, Stuttgart 1965.
  • with Walter Killy, Karl Otto Conrady and Peter von Polenz : Germanistik - a German science. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1967.
  • with Hartmut Eggert , Karl-Heinz Hartmann, Gerhard Hinzmann, Dietrich Scheunemann, Fritz Wahrenburg: Romantic theory. Documentation of their history in Germany. 2 volumes. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 1971 and 1975, ISBN 3-462-00789-0 .
  • with Lieselotte Maas: Handbuch der Deutschen Exilpresse 1933–1945. Hanser, Munich / Vienna 1981.
  • Narrative research . A symposium. Metzler, Stuttgart 1982, ISBN 3-476-00472-4 .
  • with Horst Denkler : "That was just a prelude ...". Berlin Colloquium on literary politics in the 'Third Reich'. Frölich and Kaufmann, Berlin 1985, ISBN 3-88331-936-8 .
  • with Jörn Rüsen u. Peter Glotz : The future of the Enlightenment. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1988.
  • with Justus Fetscher, Jürgen Schutte : Group 47 in the history of the Federal Republic. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1991.
  • The narrative dimension. About a commonality of the arts. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1999.
  • “To stand for many by standing for yourself.” Forms of literary self-assertion in modern times. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-05-004007-6 .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Winfried Menninghaus, Klaus R. Scherpe (ed.): Literary studies and political culture. For Eberhard Lämmert on his 75th birthday. Metzler, Stuttgart 1999, p. 1 u. 303
  2. Lothar Müller : Departure into world literature. The Germanist Eberhard Lämmert has died . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung, May 5, 2015, p. 14.
  3. a b c d Winfried Menninghaus, Klaus R. Scherpe (ed.): Literary studies and political culture. For Eberhard Lämmert on his 75th birthday. Metzler, Stuttgart 1999, pp. 2-3.
  4. ^ Germanist Eberhard Lämmert has died: Long-time FU president. In: Focus from May 4, 2015 (accessed on May 4, 2015).
  5. Eberhard Lämmer: Types of the narrator . 6th unchanged edition. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart 1955, p. 301 .
  6. E. Lämmert: Structures of narration . S. 21st ff., 37 f., 73 ff .
  7. E. Lämmer: Types of narration . S. 32 ff., 100 ff .
  8. Helga Bleckwenn: Morphological poetics and forms of narration. In: Wolfgang Haubrichs (Ed.): Erzählforschung , Volume 1, Göttingen 1976, pp. 184-223.
  9. E. Lämmert: Structures of narration . S. 45 ff., 62 ff .
  10. E. Lämmert: Structures of narration . S. 52 ff., 55 f., 65 .
  11. E. Lämmert: Structures of narration . S. 56 ff .
  12. E. Lämmert: Structures of narration . S. 195 ff .
  13. ^ University of Duisburg-Essen, Genres and Text Structures I
  14. Center for Literary and Cultural Research ( Memento from October 19, 2007 in the Internet Archive )