Emil Staiger

Staiger, Emil


Born Feb. 8, 1908, in Kreuzungen, Switzerland. Swiss literary scholar. Writes in German.

Staiger became a professor at the University of Zürich in 1943. With W. Kayser (1906–60; Federal Republic of Germany) he established the “school of interpretation,” which is related to the New Criticism. The school of interpretation views the literary work as being outside and independent of the social, historical, and biographical factors entering into its creation; it perceives the work as a specific phenomenon of human consciousness that can be understood by “direct impression” and by the interpretation of its individual aspects and components as a united whole. Staiger expounded his critical views in such works as Time As the Imagination of the Poet (1939) and The Art of Interpretation (1955).

Staiger also wrote on the classics of German literature, including the works of Geothe, and translated works of ancient Greek authors into German.


Musik und Dichtung, 2nd ed. Zürich-Freiburg, 1959.
Stilwandel. Zürich-Freiburg, 1963.
Grundbegriffe der Poetik, 8th ed. Zürich-Freiburg, 1968.


Starostin, B. A. “Staiger E.” In Kratkaia literaturnaia entsiklopediia, vol. 8. Moscow, 1975.
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