The appearance of nature and landscape descriptions as a literary convention in late eighteenth-century German prose-fiction is presented here as a test case for discussing repertoire formation in cases where the literary institution undergoes transformation. Descriptions of Nature have long been established as a literary device par excellence, especially with regards to corpora which bear a "Romantic" imprint. As a rule, these descriptions are discussed either in structural analytical terms, such as means of focalization, and of symbolic or metonymic representation of a character's state of mind, or in more general terms, as a reflection of the philosophical idea of Nature. At any rate, the historical perspective is rejected by such discussions, or its relevance is reduced to the highly abstract notion of Zeitgeist: variations in the conventional specifics of descriptive passages may be considered of little importance as long as they yield to certain thematic or structural generalizations.
In opposition to all this, the notion of models and cultural repertoire suggests a shift of focus to the context of text production, assumming that textual features are subject to institutional constraints and demarcations (say, the limits of "descriptive" options recognized in a certain cultural milieu as appropriate for literary use).  From this viewpoint, looking for models of description will be the search for rules/norms of textual organization regulating the generation of texts, in view of their institutional affiliation. Accordingly, the leading questions here are how this repertoire was formed and how it functioned in the given literary field.
Descriptions of landscape and Nature appeared in literary prose fiction (ranging from novels to short stories) towards the end of the eighteenth century, particularly in works associated with "Romantic" tendencies, so as gradually to become, in the following generations, a solid convention in "artistic" prose-fiction. Such descriptions, however, did not seem to occur, as a rule, in the majority of the period's popular fiction (notably "the popular novel" - the Trivialroman). Furthermore, it emerges that even in texts with the most obvious artistic aspirations, this convention - for all its intensive exploitation by some of them - was eventually not an imperative. This point seems to be most revealing, since it suggests that in the context of the literary production of the time, such descriptions were only an optional convention, yet obviously a rather distinguished one. Since in terms of timing, the appearance of these descriptions more or less coincided with the gain in status of prose writing (the culmination of which was the explicite effort by the Early Romantics to canonize the novel),  questions concerning this linkage seem inevitable. My contention is that in view of this historical context, these descriptions functioned more than anything else as markers of "literary distinction" (i.e., of "artistry," refinement, intellectual and imaginative depth, and above all - prestige of canonical tradition), which was attributed to prose fiction at the time. I thus propose to examine the crystallization of this model went hand in hand with attempts to canonize the novel, and what were the sources which facilitated this model's availability for playing such a role.
1. Types and Distribution of Nature and Landscape Description in Prose
1.1. Two textual patterns
Let me start by an analysis of examples. The eighteenth century provides us with abundant "descriptive writing." Generally speaking, these descriptions tend to range from a "prosaic" factual topographical description to a conventionalized "lyrical" description of Nature.
Compare, for instance, the following passages:
Let me sketch briefly the two different descriptive patterns (for further examples see appendix).
First, although their stocks of reported items partly overlap (mountains, hills, rivers, woods, trees and bushes are common in both, often with the addition of valleys, grass, flowers, the sky and the sun, etc.), in each case these items make up different realemes (i.e., reported reality units).  In the former passage (see also example  in appendix), such items form a more 'practical' account of an area, its towns and villages, with indication of measures and directions (often with specific historical reference or proper names). In the latter passage, however, these items tend to appear more intensively yet with weaker reference to concrete scenery. Instead, they are accompanied by more sensuous predicates, mostly in repeated conventional clusters (e.g., "the golden glow of the evening"),  pertaining to a lexical inventory of non-specific nouns and predicates,  used to account for the "atmosphere," the fauna and the flora: clouds, air, waves, odor, stars, evening, morning, dawn, dusk, freshness, cool, light, brightness, glow, darkness, green, yellow, murmur, whispers, sounds, birds, foliage, buds, and the like.
However, these passages also differ in their principles of internal organization and standards of cohesion. By and large, the difference lies in the observe's "point of view" and its role in organizing the description. The topographical type yields completely to physical and mental constraints (the movement of an eye, or cognitive schemes of perception): the text proceeds from a generalization to the details, by way of comparison and juxtaposition,  with the indication of proportions and relative spatial pointers (left/right, above/under, in front of/behind), so that the sentence-topics are concatenated both "logically" and grammatically.
By contrast, the lyrical type is organized rather as simulation of the observer's passive reception of "impressions": the objects are introduced additively, along an imaginary order of contiguity in the "represented world,"  concatenated with the help of actional phrases  and temporal connectives,  usually using the past tense (in contrast to the habitual present-simple often used in the topographical descriptions), all of which imply a sense of "dynamism" (i.e., a "situation" rather than a "picture") in these descriptions. That is, whereas the former description, organized in spatial or logical order independent of any specific situation or event, is tightly cohesive in the formal sense, in this kind of description, the looseness of formal connection is bound up with temporal and spatial linearity, so that the text-continuum seems to derive its coherence from a simulation of a "dynamic scene" which is being depicted. 
In addition, each of the two types of description are differently concatenated in the overall text-matrix; in the case of topographical descriptions, they usually form whole separated paragraphs.  By contrast, the lyric descriptive sequences are as a rule shorter and rather dispersed, intersecting with the narrative and "dissolving" into it, mostly by focalizing on the characters, often through indication of its action or an explicit account of its mood (or else they are terminated through the mediation of a dialogue or a quasi "interior-monologue").  In other instances, they are terminated by the action of a character.  Hence, we may state that a topographical description contains information which is very specific, yet whose validity is not confined to any part of the text, whereas the lyrical type contains information whose relevance, for all the highly generalized nouns, is nevertheless more confined to a particular point along the text-continuum, often as introductory material where a micro-scene is composed.
Finally, these quasi-lyric nature description are also marked by exceptional syntactic regularity (i.e., [definite article] + [name]/[adjective + name] + [verb]; for instance: "der Abend sei so dunkel, die gruenen Schatten des Waldes so traurig, der Bach spreche in lauter Klagen [...]"). Such regularity, which is hardly reconcilable with the norm of syntactic variations in prose, introduces an uncustomary sense of rhythmical regularity into the sequence. Often, this rhythmic regularity is continued in an expressive tempo, typically imitating the form of "emotional" exclamation. 
1.2. Nature Description as Textual Markers of Canonicity
To sum up, there appear to have been, roughly speaking, two practices of Nature and Landscape description which differed in their principles of textual organization, as well as in their distribution in the various prose genres:
a factual and "prosaic" topographical description: a non- narrative, intact and relatively long segment, logically and grammatically cohesive, concatenated in accordance with the logic of the "spatial object" described. This type of description appeared in texts which were not associated with the canonical literary tradition, such as travel reports, private journals and some types of novels.
a highly conventionalized "lyrical" description of Nature: a "linearized" and rather fragmentary unit, constituting a scene and usually dissolving into an account of the character's emotions, loosely concatenated, and organized instead by rhythmic patterns. This kind of description appeared sporadically in "artistic prose" (and increasingly so, later on, in that of the Romantics, such as Tieck, Eichendorff or Arnim).
Now, this latter point is especially telling: Rhythmical order is clearly the most distinctive (although not necessarily the most "important") formal marker of "poeticalness," and indeed was viewed at the time as essential, to the extent of creating a serious impediment regarding the novel's affiliation to the realm of poetry.  In addition, the very association of nature descriptions with the "subjective inner view" of the observer and his emotional and philosophical contemplation, is a well established literary convention characteristic of traditional lyrical genres par excellence. Therefore, we can conclude that as a rule, descriptions of nature in "artistic" prose fiction tend to exhibit formal and compositional norms more akin to those dominating the lyric-idyllic discourses both in verse and prose (e.g., examples [e]). This seems to comply, if only approximately, with the inclination often exhibited in Schlegel's theorization about the novel's reliance on the canonical literary tradition,  where he stresses its association with such notions as the Lyrische and Idyllische (however generalized). Consider, for instance, the following examples from Schlegel's Fragments:
"Offenbar lesen wir oft einen lyrischen Dichter wie einen Roman; so oft man lyrische Gedichte vorzueglich auf die Individualitaet des Dichters bezieht, betrachtet man sie romantisch." 
"Rein ethische Schriften muessen idyllische Waerme Fuelle und Einfachheit mit lyrischer Gleichartigkeit und Schoenheit, und mit rhetorischer Strenge verbinden." 
"Der romantische Ep[os] ist eine Art Idylle. -" 
For all that Schlegel refers to these notions on the most generalized and abstract level of classifications pertaining to "poetry," the existence of these forms in the literary production of the period obviously played a considerable role in their availability for his argument: their availability for critical discourse relied on their availability in practice. Moreover, it emerges from Schlegel's rhetoric that the desired image of the most valued classical genres, such as the Epic, was not easily reconcilable with prose fiction (see e.g., fragments 66, cited above. Regarding the Epos in particular, in spite of previous efforts to "revive" and appropriate it by German literature [notably in Klopstock's Messias] or to find in the novel its direct "modern" continuation, it remained a "dead" canonical form scarcely generative in the literary production of the time). It thus seems that precisely these minor lyrical forms served most effectively to confer the mark of literary distinction on prose writing due to their ambivalent status as both very "popular" and at the same time still endowed with "classical" prestige.
Furthermore, the two descriptive types also differ in the information which, by general agreement, they are perceived as conveying, and which does not necessarily derive from mere difference in "content." More likely, this has to do with the "literary competence" required on the part of both writers and readers in order to produce or judge these kinds of texts appropriately. While it can be assumed that topographical descriptions are intended as "informative reports" (however predictable the reported information might be), lyrical Nature descriptions in narrative prose definitely seem to be "depleted" (i.e., more or less deprived of a "referential" function),  and hence appear more overtly as conventional stylistic signals rather than as a means of conveying "new information."  Admittedly, a "literary" theory would argue that these descriptions are common instances of the device of "narrative delay," or that they are usually inserted into texts in subordination to characterization. This is certainly a highly established rationalization (proceeding from the naive belief in the "thematic cohesion" of literary texts) for the appearance of such sequences in so many literary texts, so established in fact that it is already believed to be the initial "motivation" for this kind of order in these texts. However, this is itself clearly a matter of convention: a procedure so eminently traceable in certain literary texts, yet totally inconceivable in others. Therefore, the stylistic markedness of these descriptive passages strikes one as predominantly carrying the function of establishing norms of "poeticalness," and thereby marking the institutional affiliation of the texts which contain them.
Such a claim can be maintained if we assume that there are texts (or segments thereof) destined for indicating status more than for "conveying information." This, in my view, is chiefly the function of canonized texts, which can actually be viewed in this light as "textual markers of the claim for canonicity."  Proceeding from such assumptions, I would like to make the following observations:
The Status of Small Scale Repertoremes: It emerges that often, the function of small scale textual segments such as descriptive passages (rather than entire texts or "genres" in general) is more central than we tend to think for analyzing textual models. 
The Exemplary Status of Repertoremes: Further, it also appears that although statistically these descriptions do not prove to have prevailed in quantities (at least not in the beginning), they still can indicate canonized rules for literary writing, as exemplary representatives which later induced a larger reproduction.
The Mode of Existence of "Canonized Rules": It certainly also emerges that the status of canonized elements is to be inferred not only from explicit formulations by authorized critics (or by the writers themselves); it can also be deduced from their perpetuation in a body of texts which, as a whole, are gaining prestige. In this light, it appears that the taste for Nature descriptions was gradually appropriated in the allegedly "poetical" prose writing since in the given literary field these descriptions seemed to accord most aptly with the general idea of "artistic prose" invoked by its canonizers. The question is then what were the sources for such repertoire that made it both "appropriate" and "available" in this connection.
2. Sources for the Formation of Nature Description in Artistic Fiction
2.1. The Availability of Nature Poetry: The Popularity of Minor Canonical Lyrical Genres
In terms of production and circulation, lyrical poetry in its various genres enjoyed an enormous popularity in the cultural milieu of late eighteenth-century Germany to no lesser (if to no greater) extent than the popular fiction. Yet from the viewpoint of retrospective scholarly studies, these genres hardly constitute a focus of "sociological research of the popular" the way the novel does. On the other hand, they do not constitute a focus of interest for mainstream literary theory either, nor are they valorized or glorified by it.  Generally, lyrical poetry is held to have flourished in the last three decades of the century in particular.  This increasing production was widely distributed in the various poetical annuals and collections which, in respect of their "large literary spectrum and their impact on the public" are considered "the most important publication form of poetical literature of eighteenth century," and which grew extremely fashionable, to the extent that "the decades between the Sturm und Drang and Fruehromantik was called [by many literary agents of the eighteenth century] 'the epoch of Musealmanach'". 
Certainly, neither these forms of publication nor the material they contained were uniform, nor was the literary status they were assigned. On the whole, this field of literary production is portrayed as the mediocre work of mediocre poets, a corpus by no means rejected as unfitting, yet still left out of the text-canon in later generations.  However, the stances taken by literary agents towards this proliferating institution were ambivalent. Both Ueding and Mix cite some contemporary agents' contempt and mockery towards the "progress of the Germans in poetry- making," and the "sentimentality epidemic" (Empfindsamkeitsseuche).  On the other hand, they also report the active participation of some notable critics and poets, such as Goethe and Schiller, as producers in this field. 
Apparently, from the viewpoint of the literary field of the time, this was a kind of a "twilight zone," a marginal yet broadly circulated set of practices whose very structure provided the possibility of a "double market". Thanks to its allegedly drawing on the classical literary tradition, it more obviously allowed for a combination of "highly valued literary activity" with "popularity," a combination which seems to have made it a most reliable precedent for the canonizers of the novel. That is, it was apparently already rather justifiable even for the most exclusive poets who were deeply engaged in the literary activities of restricted circles to profit by investing in the large-scale "marketable" literary production (or at least by claiming to be doing so). This field of production, for all its wide spectrum and variability as "trivial" "entertaining" and "societal" lyrics "for the everyday,"  in short, for all that it was held by and large "Poetry for all situations in life, for all classes and occupations and accessible to every one",  it simultaneously also constituted an arena for highly conscious literary activity which pertained to the dynamics of the leading and most exclusive literary circles.
Admittedly, it is claimed that such activities constituted nothing more than a separate narrow layer in the institution of "poetic almanacs." Mix argues that "as a rule, the literary taste of the Almanacs' readership was much more conservative and hardly influenced by the aesthetic maxims of the Weimar classicists".  Nevertheless, he also reveals that the status of these almanacs as agents of the crystallization of the exclusively literary field also had bearing on the growing prestige of lyrical writing in general.  As a rule, this relatively marginal corpus exploited the inventory of minor poetical Classical forms and perpetuated them in the literary scene of the time. In this connection, the impact of the anacreontic fashion on the cultural scene is emphasized. This fashion, which still prevailed at the turn of the century, is claimed to be the direct continuation of the "revival of Greek and Latin poetry," allegedly persistently appropriated and adapted by contemporary German literature, from seventeenth-century Baroque poets through mid-eighteenth-century Enlightenment ones. 
On the whole, the lyrical production of the time was well-provided with patterns for "making Nature portrayed by verbal means"  which stemmed from the quasi-classical Naturlyrik, so that "descriptive poetry" could actually indicate the reliance of contemporary German poetry on the Classical heritage.  However, the preponderance of the Naturlyrik in the its supposedly thematic actuality on both an individual and a societal scale. It is either viewed as pertaining to - and evidence of - the wave of "sentimentality" and the focus on "individual experience" associated with the improvement of the poetical style.  Alternatively, it is discussed as coinciding with social tendencies. In this respect, the idyll is a prominent object of discussion. More than (and quite unlike) any other lyrical form, the proliferation and wide circulation of idyll writing gained an ideological rationalization and is therefore acknowledged to some extent as constituting an issue of sociological interest,  in that it supposedly constituted the representative form of the period's literature, a classical form "updated" so as to express the era's "prevailing social tendencies," thanks to its supposed generic aptness. 
At any rate, albeit the claim about a "political" message that is said to have constituted the aim of this practice, the dubious connection drawn between actual country life and the literary (fantastic) natural-setting of the idylls seems to be revealing in quite a different direction.  Apparently, the effect of such intensive reference to the ancient classics in the case of the idyll was more likely one of indicating the idyll's legitimacy and primacy as a literary repertoire, than one of enhancing its alleged relevance to the actual social scene. This is made especially conspicuous in the following passage by Batteux (1747/8), where part of the conventionalized lexical inventory of literary nature descriptions is even explicated:
Wenn die Ekloge unter den Schaefern entstanden ist, so muss sie eine von den aeltesten Dichtungsarten sein; denn das Schaefersland ist dem Menschen der alternatuerlichste, und ist auch das erste gewesen, worin er gelebt hat. Man kann sich leicht vorstellen, dass die ersten Menschen, als ruhige Besitzer einer Erde, die ihnen alles, was zu ihren Beduerfnissen dienen und ihrem Geschmacke schmeicheln konnte, im Ueberflusse darreichte, dem allgemeinen Wohltaeter ihre Dankbarkeit werden bezeugt und in ihrer Entzueckung die Fluesse, die Wiesen, die Berge, die Waelder, in ihre Empfindungen hinein gezogen haben. 
2.2. The Accessibility of Descriptions in Prose: Travel Reports
It is fairly tenable that the learned novelists (Schriftsteller, or Romanschreiber) were exposed to "nature poetry," and presumably even mastered its patterns (particularly these most aware of the modern Dichter of later generations who also wrote fiction in their attempt to cultivate the writing of literary prose). Nevertheless, it is still not self-evident that these patterns were accessible for the writing of fiction even when both types of writing were practiced by the very same people. The practice of lyrical writing had a different status of existence and apparently constituted a separate activity altogether from that of the writing of fiction. For such lyrical conventions to be "naturalized" in prose-fiction, the mediation of patterns already more accessible in prose writing was needed, so that on the basis of some overt resemblances, "prosaic" descriptions might appear to carry similar functions as lyrical ones.
I suggest that a widely circulated stock of descriptions of landscape in written texts or in art, as well as other practices of the Cult of Nature in the relevant cultural milieu, provided fertile ground for the accessibility of more "poetic" descriptive patterns found in lyrical genres. This is particularly true of the model of topographical Landscape description most commonly practiced in prose genres (e.g., travel reports and letters, but also in certain types of novel). It is beyond the scope of this work seriously to account for the preponderance of the taste for landscapes and of the Cult of Nature in eighteenth-century culture, in art as well as in societal conduct and pastimes. However, all evidence suggest that the frequent practice of descriptions in travel-reports certainly constituted a most suitable repertoire in this connection.
For whatever historical reasons, travel in general still constituted a well-established institution (or regained its status as such ) in the second half of the eighteenth century, and was viewed as indispensable in the experience and cultural qualifications of the learned German bourgeois.  Already in the context of the "polite society," travels, especially to Italy and to Paris, were a means of cultivating Hochkultur ; later on, with respect to the cultural sphere of the Enlightenment, they were regarded as "instrument of education and enforcement of bourgeois consciousness."  Then, in the second half of the eighteenth century, a decline in the French cultural hegemony brought about a change in the preferred destinations of travel, which were now, apart from Switzerland, notably England and the local German area itself (e.g., examples  and  in appendix), as well as the Netherlands. This certainly had to do with the wave of romanticism and the increased impact of English culture as a source for modelling the German intellectual life of the time. 
However, it appears that no less constitutive to the "Gelehrte Welt" than travel itself (especially in view of the high costs and technical complications)  was the practice of reading and writing about it, to the extent that in many cases travel reports are accused of being fictive and based entirely on the studious encyclopedic reading of the authors.  Travel literature was a no less popular form of reading material than the so-called "popular novel," only a more respectable one.  At any rate, unlike prose-fiction, no claim is made regarding travel descriptions that they reached all social layers (particularly not those allegedly growing "minority" reading publics of the period, such as women and children). As already stated, the tremendous prosperity of this literate practice, which accelerated in Germany particularly during the late eighteenth century, is confined, as a rule, to the cultural orbit of the learned man, and in this context, is in fact defended as one of the central channels for cultural exchange and one of the most important agencies for establishing cultural taste and tendencies. 
This respectable practice thus provided established patterns of descriptive prose which gradually assumed more aesthetic aspirations, in both content and form. Roughly speaking, this development involves three aspects. First, the change in content of the descriptions. This seems particularly to be the case regarding the fashion of worshiping "Nature" and "landscape" as target of travel, which, according to Robel, took precedence increasingly in the second half of the century along with the spread of the notions of Gefuehl ("feeling") and Natur as the era's catchwords.  Moreover, according to him, it was literary activity that modelled the taste for travelling and shaped travel reports.  (And this holds not only for the craze of travelling, but also for the Cult of "Nature" and the "picturesque" in all its petty societal manifestations, which were to large extent modelled on art and literature, and actually became an art in themselves). 
Secondly, along with the gain of status, in the last decades of the century, travel descriptions penetrated the realm of literary writing more and more - primarily as a theme - in a variety of forms (e.g., Reisetagebuch, Reiseschilderung, Reisemaerchen, Reisenovelle, Reiseskizzen, and so forth).  However, the connection of travel reports to the literary field was apparently bi- directional: topographical descriptions also found their way into novels. 
And finally, all these allowed the aesthetization of descriptive passages in literary prose through models of Nature lyrics: As mentioned above, a shift in conventions of description is detected in the style of the travel reports, from a "technical-factual" geopographical style to a more "poetical" one.  This break occurred at the beginning of the 1770s, when "travelers for the first time turned extensively, and sometimes almost exclusively, to descriptions of the beauties of Nature".  This, in Batten's opinion, was bound up with an improvement in the style of these reports. However, for all that he detects their literary aspirations, Batten, biased by romantic attitude himself, neglects to realize that this breakthrough of romantic interest in nature in the travel reports was conventional to no lesser extent than those patterns of "factual" reports. Unintentionally, he reveals the apparent reliance of these newly fashioned reports on the most conventional descriptive repertoire of lyrical discourse (see the list of repertoremes discussed above):
[The accounts] frequently become more 'literary', and the travelers themselves often achieve a higher degree of sophistication in their observations. [...] No longer loaded with facts, their accounts become collections of evocative descriptions focusing on the almost poetic qualities of mountains, forests, rivers, and lakes. 
Whereas mountains, plains, and rivers had formerly served to instruct the reader concerning their utility as boundaries, sources of food, defenses, and their influences on national manners and customs, these natural features now become the primary topics of description [....] Pleasure alone now begins to supplant the Horatian idea of pleasurable instruction as the artistic goal of travel literature. 
So much for the "poeticization" of travel literature. Finally, for all that Batten (like many others who proceed from the inside point of view of a literary agent), is concerned with the adaptation of literary norms as such, his account nevertheless helps to reveal the accessibility of travel descriptions to more central types of literary writing. The conclusion to be drawn from all this is that this material, by infiltrating into the realm of literary writing, provided prose fiction with a (topographical) descriptive repertoire which could facilitate the appropriation of more "poetical" descriptive patterns characteristic of more typically canonized literary forms. These patterns apparently turned out to be highly felicitous for the "poetic" image to which the practice of novel writing aspired.
See Itamar Even-Zohar, "The Literary System," Polysystem Studies (1990) pp. 27-44.
For discussion of the canonization of the novel by the Romantics, see Rakefet Sheffy, "Strategies of Canoniozation: Manipulating the Idea of the Novel and the Intellectual Field in Eighteenth Century German Culture" (forthcoming).
Finally we arrived at the magnificent Westminster bridge. [...] in contrast to the round, modern majestical Church of St. Paul on the right, there raises up to the left the Gothic oblong Westminster abbey with its huge pointed roofs. On the right hand side, down the Themes, the Black-friars bridge is seen, which is not lesser in beauty. On the left bank of the Themes lovely terraces loaded with trees, and the new buildings which bear the name of Adelphi- Buildings. On the Themes itself, a great number of small boats traveling to and fro with mast and sail, carrying people of all social standings, making the river almost as lively as a street in London. Great ships are not to be seen here anymore, since in the other end of the city they do not sail any further then the London bridge. [Karl Pilipp Moritz, "Die Aussicht von London," in Karl Philipp Moritz Werke, ed. Guenther Horst (Insel Verlag, 1981 [Berlin: Den Friedrich Maurer, 1785]) p. 12. Translation mine].
While this singing (was heard) the sun sank deep down, and broad shadows all fell through the narrow valley. A cool dusk crept over the earth and away, and only the tops of the trees and the rounded mountaintops were covered with the golden glow of the evening. Christian's mood was getting more and more gloomy [...]. Ludwig Tieck, "Der Runenberg," in Der blonde Eckbert, Der Runenberg, Die Elfen (Muenchen: Winkler Verlag, 1986 ) pp. 25-50. Translation mine].
See Itamar Even-Zohar, "Reality' and Realemes in Narrative," in Polysystem Studies (Durham: Duke University Press, 1990) pp. 207-18. Poetics Today 11:1.
Other examples would be: "das Fluestern der Baeume" (the whisper of the trees) [Ludwig Tieck, "Der blonde Eckbert," in Der blonde Eckbert, Der Runenberg, Die Elfen (Muenchen: Winkler Verlag, 1986 ) p. 9]; "Sterne traten zwischen den Wipfeln hervor der dunkelnden Baeume" (stars beamed through the dark tree- tops) [Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff, "Das Marmorbild," in Deutschland Erzaehlt, comp. Benno von Wiese (Frankfurt am Maim: Fishcer, 1978 ) p. 209]); "Getoene und Murmeln eines Baches" (the sounds and murmur of a stream) [Ludwig Tieck, Franz Sternbalds Wanderungen. Ein altdeutsche Geschichte, in Ludwig Tieck: fruehe Erzaelungen und Romane, ed. Marianne Thalmann (Muenchen: Winkler Verlag, 1798) p. 707); "der Fluss rauschte [...] durch die erquickende Kuehle" (the river's whisper was heard [...] through the refreshing cool) [Joseph Freiherr von Eihendorff, "Das Marmorbild" p. 209]); "eine kuehlende Daemmerung" (a fresh dawn) [Ludwig Tieck, "Der Runenberg" p. 27]); "das helle funkelnde Gruen des Eichenlaubs" (the bright glowing green of the oak foliage) [Achim von Arnim, "Hollins Liebeleben (Roman)," in Saemtlische Romane und Erzaehlungen (Muenchen: Carl Hanser, 1963 ) p. 21]; "Strom von Kuehle und Duft" (a stream of cooling wave and odor) [Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff, "Das Marmorbild" p. 217]); and the like.
Especially because of their definite articles - "der," "das," "die," which render them general concepts rather than individual entities.
For example, "not lesser in beauty;" "almost as lovely as a street in London" (example a); etc.
For example, the sun - [and] shadows; going downwards (sun [sank down] - shadow [fell] - vally) or upwards (tops of trees - mountaintops) [example b].
For example, the sun sank [...]; a dusk crept [...] (example b). Another example would be: "die Sonne tritt [...] aus dem Gewoelke hervor" - "die Naesse [verdampft] in der [...] Luft welche durch die Strasse weht" (E. T. A. Hoffmann, "Ritter Gluck," in Hoffmanns Werke, ed. Viktor Schwizer (Lepzig und Wien: Bibliographisches Institut, 1896 ) p. 181).
For example, "schnell [verdampft die Naesse];" "Dann [sieht man];" "Bald [sind alle Plaetze [...] besetzt"] (E. T. A. Hoffmann, "Ritter Gluck" p. 181).
Indeed, the issue of the linearization of "descriptive segments" has received much attention in literary study, both by theoreticians of "description," who are at pains to reconcile the possibility of "dynamic" aspects of a descriptive text with its supposedly "static" and "simultaneous" nature (e.g., Meir Sternberg, "Ordering the Unordered: Time, Space and Descriptive Coherence," Yale French Studies 61 (1981)), as well as by critics of "the Romantics" who see "dynamic" picturing linked with the character's point-of-view as a distinctive feature of Romantic nature descriptions (see Marianne Thalmann, The Literary Sign Language of German Romanticism, trans. Harold Basilius (A. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1972 ). However, in both accounts the objective is usually to reconcile the "dynamism" observed in the texts with some seemingly "intrinsic poetic" characteristics that are presupposed for these texts. Therefore their generalizations, for all that they reveal much about the established categories of criticism, are in themselves hardly of any help for reconstructing a repertoire of descriptive writing which may have historical explanatory power.
Often, creating homogeneous chapters, and entitled accordingly. In addition, the descriptive sequences are often introduced formally, sometimes with explicit indication of the observer's viewpoint, and acclamation formulas.
For instance, "Ich hatte lange in dem frohen Gefuehle geschwelt [...]" (Achim von Arnim, "Hollins Liebeleben (Roman)" 21); "Florio betrachtete verwundert Baeume, Brunnen und Blumen, denn es war ihm, als sei das alles lang versunken, [...]" (Joseph Freiherr von Eihendorff, "Das Marmorbild" pp. 217-18).
For example, "Franz setzte sich auf den weichen Rasen und zog seine Schreibtfel heraus [...]" (Ludwig Tieck, Franz Sternbalds Wanderungen. Ein altdeutsche Geschichte 707-708); "Er sprang auf, griff in seine Gitarre und sang:[...]" (Joseph Freiherr von Eihendorff, "Das Marmorbild" p. 209).
"The evening was so dark, the green shade of the forest so gloomy, the stream murmured with silent moan [...]"[Ludwig Tieck, "Der Runenberg" p. 25]. Although the elliptic variant frequently occurs: "das helle, funkelnde Gruen des Eichenlaubs, der rankende Epheu von einem Stamme zum andern, die dichten Gebuesche mit ihren Blueten, durch die der Gusssteig sich muehsam windet, die erwachenden zahllosen Stimmen der Nachtigallen, das Rauchen des aufgehaltenen Stimmes, [...]" [Achim von Arnim, "Hollins Liebeleben (Roman)" p. 21].
This is supposed to indicate the subordination of the whole passage to the character's point of view through the mediation of combined discourse: "wie erquickend war der kuehle Duft [...]" ("how refreshing was the cool odor [...]" [Ludwig Tieck, Franz Sternbalds Wanderungen. Ein altdeutsche Geschichte p. 707]) with the exclamation mark at the end of the phrase. And compare this with idyllic passages, where this tone is supported by repetitions, such as the following: "Dort hinter der Wiese [...]; dort eilt der rieselnde Bach, [...], ich hoer', ich hoere seine Rauschen; [...]." ("There, behind the meadow [...]; there rushes the running stream, [...], I hear, I hear its rustle [...]" [Salomon Gessner, "Die Nacht," in Werke, ed. Adolf Frey (Hildesheim: Olms, 1973 ) p. 4]).
See Diana Behler, The Theory of the Novel in Early German Romanticism (Bern, Frankfurt and Las Vegas: Peter Lang, 1978) and Rakefet Sheffy, "Strategies of Canoniozation" (forthcoming). This is rather obvious from Friedrich Schlegel's rationalizations on the relation of the novel to poetry. Consider, for instance, the following fragment: "Die Meinung, der Roman sei kein Gedicht, gruendet sich auf den Satz: Alle P[oesie] soll metrisch sein. [...] Der Roman ist noch ungleich gemischteres Mischungsgedicht [...]" (The claim that the novel is not poetry is based on the phrase: all poetical forms should be metrical [...] The novel is a far better mixed mixture-poetry [...]" [Friedrich Schlegel, Literary Notebooks, 1797-1801, compiled, introd. & prepared by Hans Eichner (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1957 ) p. 20 [Fr. 4]]).
For detailed analysis of Schlegel's (and the Early Romantics') canonizing strategies in their theory of the novel, see Rakefet Sheffy; "The Eighteenth-Century German 'Trivialroman' as Constructed by Literary History and Criticism," Texte (1992) [special issue on literary history] and Rakefet Sheffy, "Strategies of Canoniozation: Manipulating the Idea of the Novel and the Intellectual Field in Eighteenth Century German Culture" (forthcoming). Schlegel's leading strategy was to maintain a delicate balance between conforming to and evading the rules of the Classical canon in the name of "naturalness" and "inner spirit."
Friedrich Schlegel, Literary Notebooks, 1797-1801 p. 145 [Fr. 1395]. "Undoubtedly we often read a lyrical poet as a (romantic)novel; as long as a lyrical poem is related above all to the poet's individuality, it is viewed as romantic [novel-like]" (translation mine).
Friedrich Schlegel, Literary Notebooks, 1797-1801 p. 22. [Fr. 29]. "Pure ethical writing must combine idyllic warmth, richness and simplicity with lyrical equilibrium and beauty, and with rhetorical sharpness" (translation mine).
Friedrich Schlegel, Literary Notebooks, 1797-1801 p. 25. [Fr. 66]. "The romantic Epic is a type of Idyll" (translation mine).
See Itamar Even-Zohar, "Depletion and Shift," in Polysystem Studies (1990). For instance, regarding example  in the appendix, the fact that the object described is the area of Dresden is doubtlessly less relevant to the coherence of the whole passage than the fact that the specific sequence is recognized as a "diversion" (in both thematic and compositional terms, especially in comparison with topographical descriptions in travel reports which often open by explicit introductions).
Although I reject the too automatic and utterly false polar equation of "primary referential/practical" vs. "secondary aesthetic/conventional." The effect of depletion is necessarily context-dependent, and I certainly do not mean that "the referential" is always "the initial" function (neither intrinsically nor chronologically), as if "depletion" is its opposite by definition. Indeed, the reference to the notion of "referential" vs. "Poetical" function, notably as emerges from Roman Jakobson's article ["Concluding Statement: Linguistics and Poetics," in Style in Language, ed. Thomas A. Sebeok (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT, 1960], is possible here only with considerable reservation, as stated above, namely, that by "referential" I mean only "what is agreed on as having primarily a referential function," and is by no means "an innate property" supposedly structuring certain forms of discourse and not others, as ultimately implied by Jakobson. Such reservation is especially necessary with regard to Jakobson's idea of the " poetic function" which he explicitly relates to "the empirical linguistic criterion [...], the indispensable feature inherent in any piece of poetry" [Roman Jakobson, "Concluding Statement: Linguistics and Poetics" p. 358. My emphasis]. Given this reservation, however, the notion of "poetic function" is nevertheless perfectly applicable to the case of lyrical nature descriptions, which, in view of their depletion of the "referential function" prevailing elsewhere in these texts, attract attention first and foremost to their "poeticalness."
For the notion of canon and canonicity, and particularly for canon-of-rules vs. text-canon, see discussion in Jurij Lotman, "The Dynamic Model of Semiotic System," Semiotica 3-4 (1977); Goetz Wienold, "Kanon und Hierarchiebildung in Sprache und Literatur: Sprachentwicklungstyp, Diglossie und Polysystem," in Kanon und Zensur: Archaeologie der literarische Kommunikation II, ed. Aleida Assmann and Jan Assmann (Muenchen: Fink, 1987); Rakefet Sheffy, "The Concept of Canonicity in the Polysystem Theory," Poetics Today 11 (1990).
This coincides with the fact that often the canon of rules for producing literary texts in a certain period is not necessarily in full accordance with - and not simply to be extrapolated from - the enduring selected list of canonical finalized texts (see Rakefet Sheffy, "The Concept of Canonicity in the Polysystem Theory").
See York-Gothart Mix, Die deutschen Musenalmanache des 18. Jahrhunderts (Muenchen: Beck, 1987) p. 13.
See Gert Ueding, Klassik und Romantik. Deutsche Literatur im Zeitalter der franzoesischen Revolution 1789-1815. Hansers Sozialgeschichte der deutsche Literatur vom 16. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart (Muenchen: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1988) pp. 571, 578-9.
York-Gothart Mix, Die deutschen Musenalmanache des 18. Jahrhunderts p. 13. Translation mine.
Gert Ueding, Klassik und Romantik. Deutsche Literatur im Zeitalter der franzoesischen Revolution 1789-1815 p. 617.
Joachim Heinrich Campe, for instance, who estimated the "Corps der Versemacher" as being about twenty thousand strong, complained that "schon Kinder von fuenf Jahre anregte, Idylle zu dichten, und Knaben und Juenglinge lieber Verse machen als nuetzliche Kenntnisse erwerben liess." (Even five-year old children are dragged into composing idylls, and lads and youngsters would rather make verse than acquire useful knowledge). (Gert Ueding, Klassik und Romantik. Deutsche Literatur im Zeitalter der franzoesischen Revolution 1789-1815 p. 571. Translation mine).
"Humboldt war davon ueberzeugt, dass ein Groessteil der klassischen Dichtungen Schillers nur auf 'Veranlassung" des Musenalmanaches entstanden sei, und auch Goethe mass den kleinen Baendchen eine epochale Bedeutung zu" (York-Gothart Mix, Die deutschen Musenalmanache des 18. Jahrhunderts p. 38).
"Lyrik fuer den Alltag," "Gelegenheitsgedichte," etc. (see Gert Ueding, Klassik und Romantik. Deutsche Literatur im Zeitalter der franzoesischen Revolution 1789-1815 578), including "Lieder," rhymes for children, or even verse for pedagogical purposes ("fuer die Erziehung zur Sittlichkeit," ibid).
Gert Ueding, Klassik und Romantik. Deutsche Literatur im Zeitalter der franzoesischen Revolution 1789-1815 p. 578.
York-Gothart Mix, Die deutschen Musenalmanache des 18. Jahrhunderts p. 45. Translation mine.
For instance, through the almanacs these minor "provincial" publications were redeemed from their regionality, so that not only celebrated authors like Goethe, Buerger, Matthias Claudius, Hoelty, Jacobi, Schiller, Stolberg and Voss (all of whom are constantly present even in modern anthologies of the period) were read in all the states of Germany, but so were the "poetae minores," too, whose names today are doomed to oblivion (York-Gothart Mix, Die deutschen Musenalmanache des 18. Jahrhunderts p. 43).
Gert Ueding, Klassik und Romantik. Deutsche Literatur im Zeitalter der franzoesischen Revolution 1789-1815 pp. 621, 580, 564-565.
Gert Ueding, Klassik und Romantik. Deutsche Literatur im Zeitalter der franzoesischen Revolution 1789-1815 p. 600.
See also Hans Buch, Ut Pictura Poesis. Die Beschreibungsliteratur und ihre Kritiker von Lessing bis Lukacs. Literatue als Kunst. (Muenchen: Carl Hanser, 1972) pp. 22-23.
Gert Ueding, Klassik und Romantik. Deutsche Literatur im Zeitalter der franzoesischen Revolution 1789-1815 p. 600.
See Renate Boeschenstein-Schaefer, Idylle (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1967); Norman Gronke, Idylle als literarisches und soziales Phaenomen (Frankfurt am Main: [s.n.], 1987); Gert Ueding, Klassik und Romantik. Deutsche Literatur im Zeitalter der franzoesischen Revolution 1789-1815.
Norman Gronke, Idylle als literarisches und soziales Phaenomen pp. 21, 29. "Empfindsamkeit und im 18. Jahrhundert einsetzender Aufschwung der Idyllendichtung sind deutliche Manifestationen [der] Tendenz, die ihren reinsten Ausdruck im Werk Salomon Gessners fand. Er verschafft mit seinen Idyllen, die in fast alle europaeische Sprachen uebersetzt wurden und auf dem europaeischen Markt eine noch nie dagewesene Verbreitung fanden, der alten Gattung einen neuen Aufschwung. Das 18. Jahrhundert wurde quasi zur 'Epoche' der buergerlichen Idylle, deren beruehmteste Vertreter neben Gessner, Maller Mueller, Voss und Goethe waren." (Norman Gronke, Idylle als literarisches und soziales Phaenomen p. 21). "Rueckzug in die Innerlichkeit, in die Familie oder in die laendliche Idylle ist ein wesentlisches Merkmal der buergerlichen Literatur im 18. Jahrhundert. Die Renaissance der Gattung "Idylle" ist - neben dem buergerlichen Trauerspiel - der Kulminationspunkt dieser literarischen Entwicklung. Die Idyllische Gattung schliesst die Darstellung gesellschaftlicher und politischer Verhaeltnisse aus und erscheint somit als das Medium des buergerlichen Lebens jenseits der beschraenkenden feudalen Wirklichkeit." (Norman Gronke, Idylle als literarisches und soziales Phaenomen p. 29).
For this matter, see also Norbert Elias, The Court Society, trans. Edmund Jephcott (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1983 ) p. 215.
Cited in Helmut Schneider (compiler & introd.), Deutsche Idyllentheorien im 18. Jahrhundert. Deutsche Textbibliothek (Tuebingen: Narr., 1988) p. 100 (My emphasis). If the eclogue emerged among the shepherds, then it must be one of the oldest poetical forms; for, the shepherds' land is the oldest natural land of man, and was the first place where he lived. It is easy to imagine that the early people, as peaceful residents of the earth, which provided them in abundance with everything that served their needs and could indulge their taste, showed their thankfulness to the benevolent patron and in their delight welcomed the rivers, the meadows, the mountains, the forests into their feelings. (translation mine).
Namely, poets; for differences in the status and ethos of these professions see Helmut Kiesel and Paul Muench, Gesellschaft und Literatur im 18. Jahrhundert. Voraussetzungen und Entstehung des Literarischen Markts in Deutschland. Beck'sche elementarbuecher (Muenchen: Beck, 1977) pp. 94-96.
See William E. Stewart, Die Reisebeschreibung und ihre Theorie im Deutschland des 18. Jahrhunderts, ed. Karl Otto Conardy (1978).
See Wolfgang Griep and Hans-Wolf Jaeger (eds.), Reise und soziale Realitaet am Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts. Neue Bremer Beitraege (Heidelberg: Winter, 1983); Thomas Grosser, Reiseziel Frankreich. deutsche Reiseliteratur vom Barock bis zur Franzoesischen Revolution (Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1989); Manfred Link, Der Reisebericht als Literarische Kunstform von Goethe bis Heine (Koeln, 1963); Gert Robel, "Reisen und Kulturbeziehungen im Zeitalter der Aufklaerung," in Reisen und Reisenbeschreibungen im 18. und 19. jahrhundert als Quellen der Kulturbeziehungsforschung, ed. B. I. Krasnobaev, Gert Robel, and Herbert Zeman (Berlin: Verlag Ulrich Camen, 1980). Certainly, this was by no means a tradition of German origin, and its full effect in Germany was actually delayed (see William E. Stewart, Die Reisebeschreibung und ihre Theorie im Deutschland des 18. Jahrhunderts)
Gert Robel, "Reisen und Kulturbeziehungen im Zeitalter der Aufklaerung" p. 9.
William E. Stewart, Die Reisebeschreibung und ihre Theorie im Deutschland des 18. Jahrhunderts p. 193.
Gert Robel, "Reisen und Kulturbeziehungen im Zeitalter der Aufklaerung" p. 19.
See Harald Witthoeft,"Reiseanleitungen, Reisemodalitaeten, Reisekosten im 18 jahrhundert," in Reisen und Reisenbeschreibungen im 18. und 19. jahrhundert als Quellen der Kulturbeziehungsforschung, ed. B. I. Krasnobaev, Gert Robel, and Herbert Zeman (Berlin: Verlag Ulrich Camen, 1980).
"[...] George Forster spricht von 'Gelehrten, der auf seinem Studierzimmer reiset', und der Hamburger Spaetaufklaerer Jonas Ludwig Hess hat zu den Unternehmungen seines Berliner Gelehrtenkollegen buendig resmiert: [Friedrich] Nicolai habe 'sein Nest in Berlin unter der Stechbahn' nie verlassen, sondern alles, was er sah, dorthin, 'zurueckgezweckt'" (Harro Segeberg, "Die Literarische Reise im spaeten 18. Jahrhundert. ein Beitrag zur Gattungstypologie," in Reise und soziale Realitaet am Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts, ed. Wolfgang Griep and Gans-Wolf Jaeger. Neue Bremer Beitraege 1 (Heidelberg: Carl Winter/Universitaetsverlag, 1983) p. 18).
According to the statistics cited by Stewart, for instance, the proportion of travel publications in the overall book market increased considerably in Germany in the last decades of the eighteenth century, from 1.86% in 1740 to 2.57% in 1780 and 4.51% in 1800. According to his sources, travel reports published in Germany during the eighteenth century number five to six thousand titles (William E. Stewart, Die Reisebeschreibung und ihre Theorie im Deutschland des 18. Jahrhunderts 190). It should be remembered, however, that as is usually the case in discussions of popular genres, the figures are more tenable with regard to literary production than the scope of actual consumption.
Gert Robel, "Reisen und Kulturbeziehungen im Zeitalter der Aufklaerung" p. 17. "Reiseberichte, welcher Art auch immer waren nach dem Geschmack der Zeit, waren Mode. Und sie beeinflussten die Mode: Die ausfuehrlichen Beschreibungen dessen, was in der Gesellschaft von Paris, London u. a. eben in Gunst stand, wirkten ebenso wie die moendlichen Berichte der heimgekehrten Reisenden oder auch die Gemaelde der aus Italien oder anderen Laendern zurueckgekehrten Kuenstler" (Gert Robel, "Reisen und Kulturbeziehungen im Zeitalter der Aufklaerung" p. 17. My emphasis).
See also Charles L. Batten, Pleasurable Instructions: Form and Convention in Eighteenth-century Travel Literature (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987). Although Batten's book refers to the English corpus of travel descriptions, I find it nevertheless directly relevant to the discussion, given the impact of English models on the reorganizing of German culture, precisely in these fields.
In the final analysis, he puts literary activities first on the list of factors that helped fashion the practice of travel reports: "Das Reiseland der zweiten Jahrhunderthaelfte aber wurde die Schweiz. Den grossen Landesbeschreibungen Johann Jakob Scheuchzers folgte die literarische Entdeckung in Hallers "Die Alpen" und ihre idyllische Verklaehrung durch Salomon Gessner - Werke, denen der Einfluss der Schweizer Literaturkritik im deutschsprachigen Raum zu breiterer Bedeutung verhalf. Obwohl englische Reisende schon frueher gern die Schweiz aufsuchten, wurde sie erst in den siebziger Jahren in den "Kanon" der zu bereisenden Laender aufgenommen, als sich das neue Naturverstaendnis durchsetzte, das die Gebirgswelt [...] als unberuehrte und unverfaelschte Natur empfand und suchte. Rousseau's Nouvelle Heloise und die grosse Reisebeschreibung Saussures haben dazu massgeblich beigetragen." (Gert Robel, "Reisen und Kulturbeziehungen im Zeitalter der Aufklaerung" p. 18).
John Barrell, The Idea of Landscape and the Sense of Place: An Approach to the Poetry of John Clare (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) pp. 4-5.
See Manfred Link, Der Reisebericht als Literarische Kunstform von Goethe bis Heine p. 5.
See Ulrich Braeker, Lebensgeschichte und Natuerliche Abenteurer Des Armen Mannes Im Tockenburg, ed. and afterword by Werner Guenther (1969 ). An earlier, most renowned example is Johann Gottfried Schnabel, Insel Felsenburg, ed. Volker and Springer-Strand Meid, Ingeborg (Stuttgart: Reclam, 1979 ).
See Harro Segeberg, "Die Literarische Reise im spaeten 18. Jahrhundert. ein Beitrag zur Gattungstypologie" pp. 14-15. "[ein] Typus einer empirisch deskriptiven Reiseprosa entsteht im Umkreis der gelehrten Aufklaerungswissenschaften; diese 'statische', das meint: den Zustand (status) eines oder mehrerer Staaten, einer Stadt oder einer Region systematisch inventarisierende Reisebeschreibung laesst sich daher exakt als 'wirkliche' (und auch 'objektive') Reisebeschreibung charakterisieren. Denn fuer den Leser sind hier die Wahrheitskriterien stets offengelegt. Die Autoren - Friedrich Nicolai oder Anton Friedrich Bueching sind zu nennen - gingen als Geographen und Statistiker auf die Reise und haben daher die Laender, die sie sahen, so exakt wie moeglich erforscht und vermessen" (Harro Segeberg, "Die Literarische Reise im spaeten 18. Jahrhundert. ein Beitrag zur Gattungstypologie" pp. 14-15).
Charles L. Batten, Pleasurable Instructions: Form and Convention in Eighteenth-century Travel Literature p. 97.
Charles L. Batten, Pleasurable Instructions: Form and Convention in Eighteenth-century Travel Literature p. 97. My emphasis. Compare to the above citation from Batteux in Helmut Schneider (Deutsche Idyllentheorien im 18. Jahrhundert) concerning the idyll.
Charles L. Batten, Pleasurable Instructions: Form and Convention in Eighteenth-century Travel Literature p. 99. My emphasis.