Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Comparative Literature


Andre Aciman

Committee Members

Frank Hentschker

William P. Kelly

William Kornblum

Subject Categories

Comparative Literature | German Literature | Translation Studies


Eduard von Keyserling, "Über die Liebe"


My dissertation is built around an annotated translation of Eduard von Keyserling’s 1907 essay, “Über die Liebe.” The author’s citations are often made from memory and consequently, are not always entirely accurate. This fact is discussed and inaccuracies are corrected.

Chapter One begins with an overview of the historical background of the Keyserling family. It includes biographical material that describes the author’s life and experiences, and introduces his illustrious forbears. It also points to the writers and philosophers who influenced the author’s thinking.

Chapter Two, a review of the literature, discusses some of the dissertations, articles and books that were published about Eduard von Keyserling during his lifetime and in the years succeeding his death. In some cases, certain conclusions are challenged.

Chapter Three consists of the annotated translation of “Über die Liebe.”

Chapter Four is a commentary on the essay, discussing how it relates it to Keyserling’s fiction as well as his reviews and several other of his essays.

Chapter Five deals with the themes found in Keyserling’s fiction. These themes are discussed and analyzed, including the particular works in which these themes appear, namely the novels, short stories and essays.

The Conclusion expresses the dissertation’s main argument, namely, that to understand Keyserling’s point of view and the reasons why unhappy love figures in almost all his stories, the essay “Über die Liebe,” must be read because it, along with the earlier 1905 essay “Zur Psychologie des Komforts,” contain Keyserling’s ideas about love and thus clarify how those ideas have influenced his fiction.

Finally, the dissertation suggests that more of Keyserling’s reviews and essays, as well as his fiction, ought to be translated so as to introduce him to the non-German speaking world and to ensure that he is recognized as the important fin du siècle writer that he is.