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Dennis McCort

Dennis McCort

Dennis McCort

Professor Emeritus


Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics



Research and Teaching Interests

Professor McCort specializes in German Romanticism, 19th-century fiction, literature and religion, and Franz Kafka. Much of his research focuses on common ground among these: e.g., his book on Romanticism, Zen Buddhism and deconstruction is not only a study of East-West comparative literature and religion but considers the work of Franz Kafka as well. His articles have included such topics as the influence of Rilke and Zen on J. D. Salinger, the Zen style and spirit of Kafka’s short fiction and the representation of madness in the fiction of E.T.A. Hoffmann. Currently, he is concluding a memoir that traces the shaping influence of the mind and personality of Kafka on a nine-year-long Jungian analysis he recently completed. He is also at work on a novel.


Ph.D. German Language and Literature, Johns Hopkins University (1970)

M.A. German Language and Literature, Johns Hopkins University (1964)

B.A. Modern Languages, St. Peter's College (1963)


Professor Emeritus of German, retired from Syracuse University, 2007-present

Professor of German, Syracuse University, 2001-07

Program Coordinator of German Unit, LLL, Fall 1996-Spring 1999

Program Coordinator of German Unit, FLL, ca. 1989-91

Associate Professor of German, Syracuse University, 1979-01

Associate Chairman of German Unit, FLL, 1978-80

Assistant Professor of German, Syracuse University, 1968-79


Perspectives on Music in German Fiction: The Music-fiction of Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl. German Studies in America, 14. Bern: Lang, 1974.

Edited and trans. “In the Lion’s Den” and “The Panther,” by Felix Mitterer.
Co-trans. Patrick Drysdale, Mike Lyons and Victoria Martin. Riverside, Ca.: Ariadne, 2011.

Edited Journal Issue

Symposium 55, Winter 2002, special issue. Theme: Kafka and the East.

Journal Articles

“Kafka and the Coincidence of Opposites.” Romanticism and Buddhism. Ed. Mark Lussier. February 2007. 33 pars. of text. Romantic Circles Praxis. 15 Feb. 2007.

Jena Romanticism and Zen.” Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 27 (2005): 98-118.

Dennis McCort Responds.” Symposium 56 (2002): 168-73.

Kafka and the East: The Case for Spiritual Affinity.” Symposium 55 (2002): 199-212.

Kafka and the East: Introduction.” Symposium 55 (2002): 187-89.

"Hyakujo's Geese, Amban's Doughnuts and Rilke's Carrousel: Sources East and West for Salinger's Catcher." Comparative Literature Studies 34.3 (1997): 260-78. Rpt. in Modern Critical Interpretations: J. D. Salinger’s "The Catcher in the Rye.” Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2000. 119-34. Rpt. in Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations: J. D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” (New Edition). Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Bloom’s Literary Criticism, 2009. 45-62.

"Romanticism, Zen and Deconstruction: A Synoptic View." European Studies Journal 9.1 (1992): 1-17.

"Kafka Koans." Religion and Literature 23.1 (1991): 51-74.

"Lena Dahme contra Psychobiographical Character Assassination: Towards the 'Rehabilitation' of Frau Betsy Meyer." German Life and Letters 36 (1983): 294-300.

"The Dreadful Weight of Days: The Hilarious Heroism of Old Age in Kingsley Amis's Ending Up." Sphinx 4 (1982): 101-08.

"R. D. Laing and the German Romantic Quest for Transcendence." West Virginia University Philological Papers 28 (1982): 23-28.

"The Method in Ritter Gluck's Madness: An Existential View." Journal of Altered States of Consciousness 4 (1978-79): 1-21.

"Historical Consciousness versus Action in C. F. Meyer's Das Amulett." Symposium 32 (1978): 114-32.

"Goethe and the Threnody." University of Dayton Review 11.2 (1974): 89-105.

"Johann Conrad Beissel, Colonial Mystic Poet." German-American Studies 8 (1974): 1-26. Rpt. in German-American Literature. Ed. Don Heinrich Tolzmann. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1977. 108-27.


Gail Hart. Friedrich Schiller: Crime, Aesthetics, and the Poetics of Punishment. Symposium 59 (2006): 258-60.

Birgit Röder. A Study of the Major Novellas of E.T.A. Hoffmann. Monatshefte 96 (2004): 443-44.

Magdolna Orosz. Identität, Differenz, Ambivalenz: Erzählstrukturenund Erzählstrategien bei E.T.A. Hoffmann. Monatshefte 95 (2003): 509-12.

Carl Olson. Zen and the Art of Postmodern Philosophy. Two Paths of Liberation from the Representational Mode of Thinking. Journal of the American Academy of Religion 71 (2003): 225-28.

Victor Brombert. In Praise of Antiheroes: Figures and Themes in Modern European Literature 1830-1890. Symposium 54 (2001): 259-60.

Alice A. Kuzniar. Delayed Endings: Nonclosure in Novalis and Hölderlin. Symposium 43 (1989): 75-77.