How do you learn literature

Reading - interpreting and analyzing literature

Why learn to read?

Reading - for many it is most beautiful leisure activity of the world. This is a great way to escape the dreary everyday life in bad weather or to travel into the world of fantasy. If you want to know what's going on in the world, you can read the main news over breakfast. Everyone is responsible for themselves and reading becomes much more than just a hobby. Reading can also increase creativity, expand your vocabulary, or prevent boredom. These are all reasons why you start on the first day of school Read and understand sentences and texts.

What is literature?

Poetry, Drama and Epic - these are the three major literary genres that you come across again and again in German lessons. Originally denotes the word literature (from lat. littera for letter) all written products. According to this definition, you could assign a personal letter or a handwritten note to literature just like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's “Faust” or “The Threepenny Opera” by Bertolt Brecht. You notice: In school, the term literature is mostly used in its narrower sense, that is, in connection with poetic texts. Are you wondering why you're even learning this? The poet Novalis sums up a poet's mission: "The poet understands nature better than the scientific head."

In school, however, you not only learn to read dramatic, lyrical and epic texts, but also Factual texts to analyze and understand. A factual or practical text is understood to be a pragmatic, logical or functional text, the intention of which is usually to provide facts and to inform about things.


Literature lessons are like a little journey through time: You travel from the Middle Ages to the beginnings of the modern era and the immediate past. You sit down with different literary eras and Currents apart. The main focus in school is literature from around 1770:

  • 18th $ ~ $ century: Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang
  • 19th $ ~ $ century: Weimar Classic, Romantic, Biedermeier, Vormärz and Young Germany, Realism, Naturalism
  • 20th $ ~ $ century: Expressionism, Weimar Republic and New Objectivity, exile literature and literature in the Third Reich, post-war literature, contemporary literature

In addition, you will find information about the literature of the Middle Ages as well as about the Baroque literary era. Against the background of the respective epoch, you not only look at the text itself, but also always intellectual, political and social developments of that time.


Among the significant Works German-language literature includes older texts such as "Nathan the Wise" by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, "Kabale und Liebe" by Friedrich Schiller, Georg Büchner's Woyzeck or "The Sandman" by E.T.A. Hoffmann as well as more modern works such as "The Tin Drum" by Günter Grass, "The Parfum" by Patrick Süskind or "Measuring the World" by Daniel Kehlmann. These works can be of a dramatic, lyrical or epic nature; they range from a short poem to a long tome or multi-part novel. It is precisely this variety of poetic texts that makes literature lessons at school so exciting and varied.


Whether tragedy, ballad, novel or short story - the numerous German-speaking ones Authors have something to offer for every taste! According to the definition, the author is the intellectual originator of literary, technical or factual literature. Of Goethe and Schiller everyone has heard it before, but do you know it too Walther von der Vogelweide, Gerhart Hauptmann or Friedrich Dürrenmatt? So if you have thought up to now that literature classes are dull and boring, you can be convinced of the opposite here!