Overview of the Immersion

One of the main objects of Bard Mythologies is to help in the understanding of the archetypal and mythic roots of Culture. What drives this is that some of those who are most effective at the use of cultural myths in the last two centuries have been autocratic strong men such as
Hitler, Mussolini and more recently Trump and Putin. We will primarily be working with the Nibelung but will take an occasional foray into the world of the Grimm Brothers. What we will look at in this series is the Mythic History of Germany in the 19th and 20th Centuries. We will explore the development of the playbook of these tyrannical figures during this period of history. We will also consider the role of emergent media such as radio, television and film as well as print media. We will also continue our exploration of Myth and Trauma and Intergenerational Trauma with input from Barbara Fitzgerald


The Bard Myth Teller for the program is a long time Bard friend. Peter is an Entertainer whose live performances are unique events that combine Harp and Oral Storytelling. He has prepared, with some trepidation, his own version and telling of the great German epic. He is keeping alive the Minnesinger tradition of the Middle Ages and challenging Walter Benjamin – storytelling is not dead!


Eda was a  professor in German Studies at Trinity College Dublin. She will help design and guide us through the Program. She is the author  A Social History of Germany 1648-1914  and an An introduction to Nineteenth Century  Germany. As one of the world’s top academics in the field we are delighted to have her with us.

 The Telling of the Nibelung Key Historical/ Cultural Moments Traumas and the Deep Emotions
I Introduction to the Nibelung and The Dragon Slayer Brief overview of German History the Holy Roman Empire & the Thirty Years War Despair and Hopelessness from years of War and Plaques
2 The King of the Nibelungs and At Court of Worms Germany and the Napoleonic Wars  early C19th  + Influence of French Revolution Shame and the humiliation of the Napoleonic Invasion
3 The Wooing of Brunhild Metternich and years of repression under a monarchical society Fear – a widespread system of spies and censorship to suppress
4 The War of the Wives Rape and Treason Revolutions, especially 1848/9 & its consequences. German National Unity Movement Anger about the repressive policies and consequent revoltuions
5 Siegfried´s End Prussian Hegemony, Wars of Unification, Austro Prussian War + massive industrialisation Excitement – real sense of progress, Customs Union, Railways,  industrailisation
6  The Cursed Treasure and  Vibrations of doom Bismark and Wilhelm II Germany as a world power. State plays a big role + Reasons for the First World War Hatred and Despair Consensus vs Catholics, Jews and Socialists Pride and Arrogance from military economic success
 7 Revenge The Loss of the First World War and the ‘stab in the back’ myth… the Blame Game Shame and Blame after the failure of the first WW
8 Re-Tellings and Re-Framings Exploring the Use and Abuse of Cultural Myths and the matter of Intergenerational Trauma Hope and Inspiration. We will hope to gain much insight from this hugely important exploration.

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