Rüdiger Görner

German Literature and Cultural History, London
Aufenthalt: 01.09.2012-31.08.2013; 01.03.-31.08.2020


Professor Rüdiger Görner (born 1957) is Professor of German with Comparative Literature and Founding Director of the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Director of the Institute of Germanic Studies where he founded the Ingeborg Bachmann Centre for Austrian Literature. Presently, his main research areas comprise literary representations of the five senses, the poetics of voice, Georg Trakl and literary Modernism, the Tower as a literary figuration. He has published studies on Hölderlin's poetics, the Goethezeit, Austrian literature from Stifter to Thomas Bernhard, on Rainer Maria Rilke and Thomas Mann and his notion of finality in culture as well as studies on literary aesthetics.

Rüdiger Görner is a Visiting Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and held Visiting Professorships at the Universities of Mainz, Hannover, Heidelberg, Vienna and Salzburg. He is a member of various advisory boards of cultural institutions, publishing houses and academic journals. As a literary critic he writes for some of the leading journals in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, including Die ZeitFrankfurter Allgemeine ZeitungDie Presse and Neue Zürcher Zeitung. He is Corresponding Fellow of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung and member of the following Editorial Boards: Jahrbuch für Internationale Germanistik (the UK representative) / Internationale Forschungen zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft (Vienna/Amsterdam) / Comparative Critical Studies/Études Germaniques / Literaturwissenschaftliches Jahrbuch.

In 2012 he was awarded the Deutsche Sprachpreis of the Henning Kaufmann Foundation in Weimar. In 2012/13 he was Senior Research Fellow at the Internationale Kolleg Morphomata of Cologne University and in 2013/14 he held the Georg Trakl Visiting Professorship at the University of Salzburg. In 2015 he was awarded the Reimar Lüst Prize of the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung. In 2017 he received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz) in recognition of his achievements in developing Anglo-German Relations.

Rüdiger Görner is a Visiting Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and held Visiting Professorships at the Universities of Mainz, Hanover, Heidelberg, Vienna and Salzburg. 



  • European Romanticism
  • History of Anglo-German cultural relations
  • Life of Anton Bruckner
  • Forms of Anticipation – from Prologues to Ouvertures
  • Thomas Mann’s self-representation



Selbstdarstellung und Autorenporträts bei Thomas Mann

In Thomas Mann’s œvre, self-reflexivity and the portraying of other self-centred writers and fictive characters complement each other. This research project will investigate the intrinsic interrelationship between Thomas Mann’s self-representation and his essayistic characzer studies with particular emphasis on his late works. It endeavours to analyze the structures and approaches he applied in his characterizations, if not approptiations, of the Other, including the variants of himself or, to be more precise, his Self.
The psychological and, more importantly, aesthetic components and indeed constituents of these respective Selfs will be examined in terms of Thomas Mann’s rhetorical strategies in his portraying pursuits. To a certain extent they depended on the media for their dissemination but mainly on his cencern with the appropriateness of his essayistic and/or narrative approaches. With the exeption of his essays on Richard Wagner and Hans Pfitzner and a small number of miscellaneous pieces on visual artists Thomas Mann's portraying interests focussed on writers, ranging from Platen to George Bernhard Shaw and, surprisingly, to Herman Melville. But they tended to disregard any major figures pre-Goethe, with the notable exception of Lessing. The question will be asked whether Thomas Mann cultivated these interests in lieu of self-inspections or whether he drew from Others decisive insights into his own public and private persona.


Publikationen (Auswahl)

  • A Tale for All Seasons. Reflections on the German Preoccupation with Shakespeare. (Globe Education: London, 2013), 30 pp. ISBN 978-1-902037-76-9.
  • Das parfümierte Wort. Die fünf Sinne in literarischer Theorie und Praxis. Die Salzburger Vorlesungen I. (Rombach: Freiburg i.Br., 2014), 257 pp. ISBN 978-3-7930-9763-1.
  • Georg Trakl. Dichter im Jahrzehnt der Extreme. (Paul Zsolnay: Wien 2014), 350 pp. ISBN 978-3-5520-5697-8.
  • Hadesfahrten. Untersuchungen zu einem literaturästhetischen Motiv. Morphomata Lectures Cologne. (Wilhelm Fink: Paderborn 2014), 100 pp. ISBN 978-3-7705-5734-9.
  • Stimmenzauber. Über eine literaturästhetische Vokalistik. Die Salzburger Vorlesungen II. Rombach. Freiburg i.Br. 2014. 205 pp. ISBN 978-3-7930-9785-3.
  • »Bruchflächen funkeln lassen«. Aufsätze zu einer literarischen Morphomatik. Rombach. Freiburg i.Br. 2014. 409 pp. ISBN 978-3-7930-9781-5.
  • Ästhetik der Wiederholung.Versuch über ein literarisches Formprinzip. Kleine Schriften zur literarischen Ästhetik und Hermeneutik Bd. 6. Hrsg.v. Wolfgang Braungart und Joachim Jacob. Wallstein Verlag. Göttingen 2015. 110 pp. ISBN 978-3-8353-1759-8.
  • Höher hinaus. Über Türme. Eine literarische Motivgeschichte. Berlin University Press/Verlag Römerweg.Wiesbaden 2016. 158 pp. 978-3-7374-1325-1
  • Hölderlin und die Folgen. J.B. Metzler Verlag. Stuttgart 2016. 157 pp. 978-3-476-02651-4
  • Hat man mich verstanden? Denkästhetische Untersuchungen zu Nietzsches (Selbst-) Wahrnehmungen. Schwabe Verlag. Basel 2017.  216 pp. 978-3-7965-3637-3
  • Thomas Manns erzählte Welt. Studien zu einem Verfahren. J. B. Metzler Verlag. Stuttgart 2018. 123 pp. 978-3-476-04584-3
  • Oskar Kokoschka. Jahrhundertkünstler. Zsolnay Verlag. Wien 2018. 351 pp. 978-3-552-05905-4
  • Brexismus oder: Verortungsversuche im Dazwischen. Universitätsverlag Winter Heidelberg 2018. 129 pp. 978-3-8253-6853-1
  • Franz Kafkas akustische Welten. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2019. pp. 192  ISBN 978-3-11-054061-1. Link: https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/488009
  • Europa wagen! Aufzeichnungen, Interventionen und Bekenntnisse. Tectum/Nomos Verlag, Baden-Baden 2020, 179 pp. 978-3-8288-4431-5
  • Im Zeichen des Windrads. Literarische Orientierungen. Edition pen/Löcker Verlag Wien 2019. 248 pp. 978-3-85409-989-5