Literature through the Ages


Studying literature means being in constant contact with literary periods and movements all the time; creating a visualisation of them is helpful in creating a general overview. Being a dual graduate in English and German literature, an appealing visualisation of German epochs and movements was missing. Therefore, creating a visual recollection of how literature has changed within the German literary field with appropriate dates will be helpful, not just for my further studies but also for other people interested in the field, as one can simply interact with the timeline and even use it comparatively to existing English epoch visualisations. The visualisation further offers a description of the main theme of each epoch as well as relevant authors, aiding in the development of a general understanding of the evolution of the German literary canon.

Visualisation 1

The data for this visualisation is directly linked to the German epochs and movements; the various literary movements are linked directly to the dates that they took place in; therefore, using a timeline to help visualise them was a must. Timeline even allows to showcase that some of these movements were happening at the same time with the bar at the bottom. Adding relevant information to each, such as important themes and authors, allows the user to easily access a good amount of information without needing to look up each epoch and movement but having it all in one slideshow. The interactive nature of the timeline provides a comprehensive understanding of the German literary landscape, which contains a great deal of information in a visually appealing format.

Visualisation 2

The second visualisation is meant as an attention-grabber to showcase how the literary experience has changed, not just the content of the written words themselves. The older literary production is a fragment from Hartmann von Aue’s Iwein epic, which was written in the 13th century. It showcases the intricate designs that were transferred mostly by monasteries to paper during the High Middle Ages. In contrast to this, the newest innovation when it comes to literature is shown: the e-reader, which is just as much a piece of human mastery as the handwritten books were. These e-readers are how a great number of people interact with literature. The juxtaposition of the evolution of the consumption of literature from handwritten manuscripts to modern-day e-readers showcases how much more accessible and convenient reading literature has become.