Literary fragment

In a fragment in the literature, there is either an incomplete handed down, an unfinished literary work or a deliberately chosen by the artist literary genre.

Fragmentary tradition

In particular literary works of antiquity and the Middle Ages are often only survived in fragments. This is in many cases to an external cause back ( water damage, mold, Wurmfrass, fire, etc.), but has mostly to do with the time circumstances (political, cultural upheaval, migration, war, etc.). In the case of ancient literature, some works often encounter only in the form of quotations in later obtained authors, either from places of work or just mention the title. So we only because of the late antique Neoplatonist Simplicius quoted them in his work know many of the statements of older philosophers. The reasons for this can actively destroyed or ignored in certain eras and therefore not be re- copied manuscripts.

Unfinished business

Texts may have remained from time reasons inherent from the outset incomplete, such as the historical work of Thucydides, which breaks off in mid-sentence and partly manifestly represents a rough version, Gottfried von Strassburg Tristan or - if we may use the prologue to believe - almost the Eneasroman Henry of Veldeke.

Fragment as a literary genre

In the cultural era of the early Romantic period the fragment to the literary genre was developed. This was done primarily in the founded by brothers August Wilhelm and Friedrich Schlegel journal Athenaeum. The most famous of these fragments is the AF ( Athenäumsfragment ) 116 on the romantic, universal poetry. The theory goes well into the theory of the novel. A good novel should - remain Fragment - According to Schlegel. Examples include the romantic novels of Heinrich Novalis Novalis and Ludwig Tieck's Franz Sternbalds hikes. The romantic novel by Lucinda Schlegel himself is some performers also as unfinished.

Literary fragments of modernity are, for example, Georg Büchner's Woyzeck piece, or Bertolt Brecht unfinished novel The shops of Mr. Julius Caesar.