Leidner, Alan C.

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PERSONAL: Male. Education: University of Virginia, Ph.D.

ADDRESSES: Office—Department of Classical and Modern Languages, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, professor of German.


(Editor) Sturm and Drang, Continuum (New York, NY), 1992.

(Editor with Helga S. Madland) Space to Act: The Theater of J. M. R. Lenz, Camden House (Columbia, SC), 1993.

The Impatient Muse: Germany and the Sturm und Drang, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 1994.

(With Karin A. Wurst) Unpopular Virtues: The Critical Reception of J. M. R. Lenz, Camden House (Columbia, SC), 1999.

SIDELIGHTS: Alan C. Leidner is a professor of German at the University of Louisville. He is also coeditor, with Helga S. Madland, of Space to Act: The Theater of J. M. R. Lenz. The volume of essays is the result of a 1991 University of Oklahoma International symposium on the work of writer Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz who died mysteriously in Moscow in 1791. The book is divided into three parts: "The Nature of Lenz's Writings," "Lenz's Concept of Action," and "Performances, Adaptations, and Fiction." E. M. Batley wrote in Modern Language Review that the book's division into three sections fulfils "in fair measure" the aim of achieving "overall coherence.... Lenz's oeuvre, which includes poetry, prose narratives, and a range of essays on theology, morality, and social issues, does not of course fit in its entirety into the frame set by the title, and comprehensiveness is therefore inevitably limited. On the other hand, comprehensive understanding of Lenz's dramaturgical thinking is achieved, most markedly in the middle section, on the concept of action." Batley felt the collection's "signal achievement, enhanced by the liberating essays of John Guthrie on Lenz's style of comedy, Richard Alan Korb on sex comedy, and Roman Graf on male homosocial desire, is that it shows Lenz to be emerging at last, strongly and clearly, from beneath the long shadow of Goethe's inhibiting judgement."

John Alexander wrote in Rocky Mountain Review that in the introduction to The Impatient Muse: Germany and the Sturm und Drang, Leidner takes exception to the view that this period was "simply a youthful precursor to Weimar Classicism" or a "mere extension of the European Enlightenment." Leidner writes that it can be better explained by an absence of political unity and the reaction of the literati to this situation. Alexander noted that this theory is the link between the book's seven chapters but felt the organization could have been better if the content were "more focused" and if the title "had reflected the content more accurately rather than simply reflecting a property of the age." Alexander concluded by calling The Impatient Muse "an original and sophisticated piece of scholarship" and an "elegantly written book."



Modern Language Review, January, 1996, E. M. Batley, review of Space to Act, pp. 251-252.

Rocky Mountain Review, February, 1995, John Alexander, review of The Impatient Muse, pp. 193-194.


University of Louisville Web site,http://www.louisville.edu/~a0leid01/ (March 10, 2003), "Alan C. Leisner."