This article is based on the correspondence between the first editors of the German cultural magazine Merkur (since 1947) and the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, archived in the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach. By taking a comparative approach to the journal Revista de Occidente (since 1923) and the Merkur, this article explores how the publications reacted to their reception of crisis in different European cultures and thereby promoted a particular idea of European and national intellectual renewal. This was a crucial dynamic of their respective post-war discourses. An important link was the romance philologist Ernst Robert Curtius, who published in the Spanish magazine and whose critical essayistic work set in motion a transfer of ideas from the South to the North.
IASL explores the relationship between literary texts and socio-historical contexts, focusing on German literary history from the Middle Ages to the present. Main interests are the foundations of literary history in literary theory, especially where literary studies meets with history and the social sciences.