The pamphlet, also libel, pamphlet, and pamphlet, is a written treatise that criticizes grievances, attacks people and institutions, or even demands the implementation of specific demands. The pamphlet often has a polemical, attacking character and is often characterized by a passionate style. In this case the objectivity of the argumentation and the rhetorical design of the slogans suffer in many instances. The primary goal of the pamphlet is thus the denunciation or the targeted reduction of a person or thing.The origin of the concept is unclear. However, there are approaches that try to fathom the etymology of the word. Thus in the etymologicon Linguae Anglicanae (1607) there is a reference that the name is related to the Dutch noun Pampier, which could be translated with little paper or writing. Another theory introduces the Pamphilus seu de amore (Pamphilus or Love), the Pseudophilus seu de amore (Pamphilus or love), and calls the protagonist the title of the title.
It is essential, however, that the term has undergone a change in meaning. Originally, he mostly described smaller pamphlets, that is, a single, widespread, non-regular printed copy of rather small size, which was taken up by a current theme of the day or time. Later, the word mainly meant writings with a religious, political, or philosophical content, characterized by an attacking, polemic style and pejorative character, as well as contesting misgivings.
Overview: Characteristics of the text location
The pamphlet in the original sense meant a pamphlet, later a genre which was still quite negligibly a political or religious pamphlet, and is now negatively connoted. The pamphlet attacks, criticizes and downplays people or institutions, often culminating in a clear appeal.
Stylistically, it is characterized by an accusing, uncovering and demanding character. An essential feature is the reduction of the respective opponent. For this, diminutive forms (diminutive), exaggerations (hyperbola) and animal metaphors are often used (see example metaphors). Even an ironic or sarcastic undertone is typical.
Proverbs can be written in verse and prose. There are examples for both. However, the proportion of prose writings is clearly the most important. They were also of smaller size and usually had less than five sheets of paper.
The genre at the time of the Confessional War in the 16th and 17th centuries was a first highlight. The recently invented book-printing was of particular benefit to the dissemination of the smaller writings, which usually included only one page. The content of the book was, among other things, the followers of Martin Luther, the theological author of the Reformation, as well as their Catholic opponents (eg Thomas Murner) (→ Literaturepochen).
In the course of time, however, religious themes moved into the background and, especially since the nineteenth century, social, political and philosophical questions have increasingly been the focus of pamphlet literature. Pamphlets were also used more intensively for propaganda attacks and distributed in a targeted manner to the respective addressees.
The distribution and distribution of such slogans took place rarely over the traditional book trade. Until the 19th century it was common for ambulatory traders, peddlers and street vendors to bring the pamphlets to the reader. Only later, when pamphlets were also used for the purposes of propaganda and opinion formation, political parties or other groups also appeared as distributors.
The person who makes a slander is called a pamphleteer. As a pamphletist, the Venetian Pietro Aretino made a name, which also made numerous commissioned works for high pay. Well-known pamphlets include the Hessian Landbote (1834) by Georg Büchner and J’accuse! (I accuse, 1898) of Emile Zola.
Pamphlet: The Hessian Landbote (1834)
The Hessian Landbote is an eight-sided pamphlet by the German writer Georg Büchner, which was developed in collaboration with the theologian Friedrich Ludwig Weidig. Even if his oeuvre is quite manageable, he is one of the most important representatives of the Vormärz and also as a revolutionary. Some of his works are exiliterate.
In the Hessian Landboten, which begins with a brief preliminary report, which informs the reader of how the latter has the illegal text to handle, Büchner attacks the noble upper class and the rich, liberal middle classes. The slander begins with the exclamation peace to the huts! War to the palaces, as a result of which the clear, appellative character of the Scriptures becomes apparent. The text is a call to revolution.
With many examples and comparisons, Büchner and Weidig illustrate the obvious differences between artisans, peasants and the upper class, and question whether such a distribution of power is appropriate. For this they use a biblical image and ask whether the signature may have been created together with the beast, and may be governed by the princes and nobles.
This picture is directly linked to the high expenditure of the state of Hesse, whereby the high tax revenues are compared with the seemingly senseless expenditures. The pamphlet tries to convince the addressees of the necessity of a revolution against the upper class.
The attacked authorities reacted violently to the slander, which was probably made in a piece of about 1500 among the people. As a result, Buechner was searched for letters, but in 1835 he was able to leave for neighboring France. Weidig, however, was arrested and exposed to inhuman conditions of imprisonment. In 1837 he was killed under unexpected circumstances.
Pamphlet: J’accuse! (1898)
Another example is the Pamphlet J’accuse! (I lament!) From the year 1898 by Emile Zola. Zola, a French writer and journalist, is regarded as the founder of all-European naturalism. His abuse J’accuse is one of the most important documents in the evaluation of the Dreyfus affair, and he took a key position in rehabilitating the officer Alfred Dreyfus ,
Three years before the pamphlet was published, the main man Alfred Dreyfus was sentenced to life imprisonment for alleged espionage, which was co-operating with the German Reich. A later investigation of the case showed that Dreyfus was innocent and Major Walsin-Esterházy had committed the act. The General Staff, however, maintained the condemnation of Dreyfus.
When Walsin-Esterházy was briefly released, Zola began collecting information about the case and made it public in his argument. He accused many of the officers of the military jury, as well as some reviewers of anti-Semitism and lies. The open letter was published on the newspaper’s pages, whereupon Zola was accused of slander and escaped to England.
The above example shows the heading of the open letter that Emile Zola published. The publication spun the population into two camps after the publication. Anyone who clung to the verdict of the verdict directly asserted a closeness to the conservative views of the state and the Catholic Church, who expressed a sympathy with Zola, and thus believed in the innocence of Dreyfus, had evidently a liberal attitude.
Ultimately, the liberal forces in the parliamentary elections in 1902 were able to push through and passed a law on the separation of church and state. On July 11, 1906, a court ruled that Dreyfus was innocent and released him from the heavy reproaches. Zola’s pamphlet, therefore, had a strong influence on the process, but also had a decisive influence on the character of today’s French Republic.
Short overview: The most important part of the text collection at a glance
The pamphlet, also a slander, is an attacking, attacking text, often characterized by a polemic character and always of a short scale. Their goal is to publicly denigrate a person, thing or institution and thereby draw attention to grievances or present their own demands and views. Pamphlets are usually characterized by a passionate style, which sometimes suffers from the rhetorical design or the practicality of the argument.
As a literary genre such slogans survived the invention of book printing. This contributed enormously to the spread of the flyings, which were distributed not over the book trade, but over individual persons or groupings.
Basically, the pamphlet can handle any topic. In the late Middle Ages, however, religious themes were the main focus, with social, political and philosophical issues being the medium.
Note: The pamphlet is also sometimes referred to as tract in German. However, the treatise actually means a treatise on any subject and does not have to be an attack, even if it is characterized by a dogmatic character.