The oldest Literary Society in the German-speaking world was founded in 1617. First orientated on the improvement of a national and popular language beyond the Latin of the scholarly world, they turned in the 19th Century to institutions of cultic worship of poets and poetry on the one hand, to places of literary research on the other. Today there are a variety of types of Literary Societies, which can be distinguished according to their objects, way of working or width of effect. Most of these associations from Germany, Austria and Switzerland are members of the umbrella organization ‹Arbeitsgemeinschaft Literarischer Gesellschaften und Gedenkstätten› (Berlin), which becomes a paradigm of transnational socialization beyond the conflict between particularity and centrality. Even the Literary Societies themselves can be located beyond this antagonism by providing a sustainable form of socialization, which is transcending the gap between generations as well as national boundaries or the difference between particular group interests and the public interest.
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Beise, Arnd: Wozu noch Literarische Gesellschaften? <http://germanistik.ch/publikation.php? id=Wozu_noch_Literarische_Gesellschaften> (Publiziert März 2013)
Beise, Arnd: Wozu noch Literarische Gesellschaften? In: Michael Stolz, Laurent Cassagnau, Daniel Meyer und Nathalie Schnitzer (Hg.): Germanistik in der Schweiz (GiS) Zeitschrift der Schweizerischen Akademischen Gesellschaft für Germanistik. Heft 10/2013. Bern: germanistik.ch 2013, S.295-303