Wahlvaterschaften. Peter Szondi und die Patriarchen
Peter Szondi is considered to be one of the most influential scholars connected to the modernization of philologies after 1945. He studied in Zürich in the 50s, with Emil Staiger, the champion of so-called “immanent interpretation” being his supervisor. Szondi’s dissertation, Theory of Modern Drama, could have been a masterpiece of academic heredity – if only it had not opposed Staiger openly in the preface. The rejected “academic father” was replaced by new father figures, i.e. György Lukács, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno. Beginning here, Szondi created his own line of ancestors. Not only Staiger, but also Karl Kerényi and his own father Leopold Szondi gave way to (the early) Lukács, Benjamin, Scholem and Adorno, the last two of them being persons who Szondi actually met and accepted as mentors. Corresponding to this system of substitute fathers, there is a sibling, Paul Celan.
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