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2 Observations on the Historiographical Status of Research on Self-Writing

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Chapter Summary

Early modern self-narratives, that is, autobiographies, diaries, family chronicles and the like, may be considered to represent a social act. Among the authors whose texts are discussed in this chapter the peasant Caspar Preis and the prophetess Anna Vetter explicitly wanted their accounts to be read by others. However, the same can also be assumed for the records left by the pewterer Augustin Güntzer, the architect and city councillor Joseph Furttenbach and the tradeswoman Glückel von Hameln, whose works are likewise the object of the chapter. Self-writing of the German speaking realm from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries does not only represent a social act. Five self-narratives are discussed in the chapter. Augustin Güntzer's autobiography is amongst the relatively few first-person narratives written by seventeenth-century craftsmen. Even more than Augustin Güntzer's, Anna Vetter's text is deeply marked by the experience of physical pain.

Keywords: Anna Vetter; Augustin Güntzer; autobiographies; Caspar Preis; family chronicles; Glückel von Hameln; self-narratives; seventeenth century

10.1163/9789004283978_004
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