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Gender literature: How much is it underpinned by authors’ private lives?

The study is concerned with Gender Literary Criticism and the teaching of German Literature in school and at university. The paper examines ‘close reading’ as one of the key methods in Gender Literary Studies and applies it to explore August von Platen’s poems to come to a better understanding of one of the most important German poets of the 19th century and demonstrate the essential meaning of Gender Literary Criticism for the development of a proper interpretative skill in class. The analysis is exemplified by a close reading of Platen’s homoerotic writings. The authors argue that exposing layers of public consciousness based on the assessment of an outstanding personality such as Platen can help de-stigmatise public attitudes and overcome a deep-rooted framework of public thinking.

KEYWORDS: close reading, feminist literature, gender literary criticism, gender consciousness, gender poetics, August von Platen

Oleg Radchenko. DSc in Linguistics. Professor in the Dpt of General and Comparative Language Studies, Moscow State Linguistic University (Russia). Member of Modern Language Association USA, Community of Language History studies Germany, Canadian Association of German Language Teachers. Titular member of the Academy of Pedagogical and Social Sciences (Moscow). Honoured Worker of Higher Education of the Russian Federation.

Viktoriya Vetrinskaya. Teacher and Lecturer in Foreign Languages Dpt, Faculty of Economics, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University). A member of the Business and Vocational Foreign Languages Teachers National Association. Research interests cover the German language, professional and business communication. Member of the Russian authors group that developed the language examination for the school-leaving certificate.


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