Joan of Arc, Faust and the 68ers

Stephanie Wodianka talks with Ursula Kundert

According to the Metzler Lexikon moderner Mythen (Lexicon of Modern Myths), in the modern age, almost “anything can become a myth”. The lexicon analyses a selection of people, characters and events which have acquired a mythical quality, from the 19th century to the present day. But how and where do new myths prevail over time? How can they assert themselves against already canonised myths, which often date back thousands of years? And how do they feed on such old myths, or instead, erase old sources of meaning?

Lexicon editor, Stephanie Wodianka. Photo: Anne-Katrin Hapke

Ursula Kundert, who leads the MWW research project Text and Frame – Modes of Presenting Canonical Works met Stefanie Wodianka, joint-editor of the Metzler Lexikon moderner Mythen to discuss these questions and find out whether this reference book also contributes to painting the canonised image of the modern age. The interview is available as an audio file (in German).

Listen to the interview


Dr. Stephanie Wodianka is Professor of French and Italian Literature at the University of Rostock. She co-edited the ‘Metzler Lexikon moderner Mythen’ with Julianne Ebert in 2014. Prior to the lexicon project, her work focussed on her monograph ‘Zwischen Mythos und Geschichte. Ästhetik, Medialität und Kulturspezifik der Mittelalterkonjunktur’ (Between myth and history: aesthetics, mediality and the cultural specifics of the medieval economy), in particular on myth and memory theories in relation to Joan of Arc and the Matter of Britain.

Dr. Ursula Kundert is Associate Professor of Medieval and Early Modern German Literature at the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel. She leads the MWW research project ‘Text and Frame – Modes of Presenting Canonical Works'.

Find out more about the Metzler Lexikon moderner Mythen here (in German).