The calendar story is a brief, easy-to-understand story in prose, which has been published in calendars since the 16th century. The calendar story is a form of the literary addition in the calendar, which is related to the sway, the anecdote, the short story, the saga, the narrative, the legend and the satire, and usually end with a pointe.
Calendar stories emerge in the 16th century to satisfy the ever-growing need for readiness of the population. The popularity of such stories has grown considerably since 1780, although they are bound to the calendar until the 19th century. It was only in the early 20th century that such texts can claim to be a proper short prose and are grouped together in collections.
Above all, the collection of tales, short stories and anecdotes published by Johann Peter Hebel, a German theologian as well as a writer, as a treasure chest of the Rhenish house-friend (1811). The individual works of this collection appeared between 1803 and 1811 in the Badische Landkalender, which lever itself published. The later collection, however, was published by Cotta-Verlag.
Characteristics of text location
Overview: Special features and essential features of the text
Calendar histories are usually easy to understand and can be understood as folklore short prose. Apart from that, they do not have any distinct features. Only the fact that they were published in calendars have the individual works in common.
Accordingly, there are no structural or specific characteristics. They are distinguished by their individual characteristics, but are usually short and narrow in scope. Linguistically they are often simple and orientated to the dialect of the respective region.
Besides, they usually end up being pointed, have a moral undertone or want to teach. This form of moral instruction or enlightenment had its climax in the Age of Enlightenment, which was why they were a means of education.
In addition to these entertaining stories and strange events, the popular calendars of that time also contained recipes, weather rules, health tips, practical advice and general life style, as well as isolated jokes.
These literary supplements were often the only confrontation with the written word for the peasant people – apart from the Bible and the hymnbook. This may have contributed to the popularity of these stories.
It is also characteristic that all calendar histories deal with the almost paradoxical balancing act between the Enlightenment and the people, and are often told in a refined manner, even though the language is quite dialectical and close to the dialect.
Well-known authors of such calendar histories
Johann Peter Hebel (1760 – 1826)
Jeremias Gotthelf (1797 – 1854)
Berthold Auerbach (1812 – 1882)
Gottfried Keller (1819 – 1890)
Ludwig Anzengruber (1839 – 1889)
Peter Rosegger (1843 – 1918)
Karl May (1842 – 1912, Marian calendar stories)
Oskar Maria Graf (1894 – 1967)
Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956)
Origins and evolution of calendar history
These literary supplements in the Volkskalender were typical for the southern German area. Nevertheless, since the sixteenth century, the medium has been developing in many regions of the country and has also been successful in modernity. The following is an overview.
In the 17th and 18th centuries the short calendar histories were generally the only reading material of the peasant population, which probably contributed to the popularity and popularity of the genre. The genus was shaped mainly by Hebel, who established it through its extensive collection.
Lever also contributed to the fact that the medium was no longer exclusively linked to the Volkskalender, but in the 19th century was an epic small form. Lever continued to contribute to making calendar histories more prominent in terms of language and style.
In this artistic way, Bertolt Brecht, in particular, had the flowering of calendar history in the twentieth century. The author Franz Kafka and Walter Benjamin, a German critic and philosopher, also made a strong impression on the genre of calendar history.