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! By which at the outset the clearly appellative character of Scripture is evident