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Table of contents
- English/French to German translator specializing in tourism, video games and psychology
- Editorial Reviews
- Paul S' way with books in 2018 - Depression and Dancing
Mielke, Christine. Die Welt 29 June Naughton, Leonie. Nause, Tanja. Niven, Bill. London: Routledge, Ossenbruegge, Julia. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, Pine, B. Joseph II, and James H. Plowman, Andrew. Rentschler, Eric. Mette Hjort and Scott MacKenzie. Ergebnisse der Trendforschung. Roland Conrady and Martin Buck. New York: Springer, Rosenfeld, Gavriel D.
New York: Cambridge UP, Schlant, Ernestine. Schulze, Gerhard. Die Erlebnisgesellschaft. Shaw, B. Is Hitler dead? And Best Nazi Humor. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger, orig. New York: Alcaeus House, Sich, Daniel. Aus der Staatsgegnerschaft entlassen. Staritz, Dietrich. Geschichte der DDR. Steakley, James D. Fernando de Diego and Agatha Schwartz. Ottawa: U of Ottawa, Sutton-Smith, Brian. The Ambiguity of Play. Taberner, Stuart, ed. New York: Camden House, Taberner, Stuart, and Paul Cooke. Stuart Taberner and Paul Cooke. Twark, Jill. Berlin: de Gruyter, Weber, Max.
Wichner, Ernest, and Herbert Wiesner. Zachau, Reinhard K. Banska Bystrica: Univerzita Mateja Bela, Zivier, Georg, et al. Kabarett mit K. Berlin: Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, At issue for eastern Germans was the sensitive negotiation between maintaining a sense of their own cultural heritage as eastern Germans and adapting to a western German mentality, a process of self-discovery complicated by the feeling that the West was colonizing the East.
Among these individuals are those who were born in Germany and have German citizenship, those who came to Germany as guest workers but remained citizens of their home countries, those who came to Germany illegally, and those who came to Germany seeking asylum. Satirical humor from this immediate postwall period illuminates these divisions and rivalries, caricaturing the participants in their ongoing identity negotiations and thereby depicting an eastern German identity based on what eastern Germans should not become, as seen from the viewpoint of the caricaturists: xenophobic vigilantes, western German impersonators, and GDR historical revisionists.
Stuart Hall writes that identities are constructed through, not outside difference. His definition applies particularly well to the case of eastern Germans, whose identity remains in flux after over twenty years as Bundesdeutsche citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany. In the immediate postwall period, this group sought solace first as western Germans, then as Bundesdeutsche, then finally as eastern Germans in a unified German context.
As popular cultural artifacts, their reach into German society was significant. Unofficially, the readership was far higher, as subscribers passed along their copies to friends and family. Sometimes it seemed to abandon any pretense of critique altogether. There was an emphasis on sexual humor and an abundance of amateur photographs of nude women with a deliberately rural aura to them. In the GDR, cultural policy dictated that satirists support socialism in that they focus on the behavior of the individual, as opposed to that of the collective Neubert 7.
This reaction reaffirms the importance of context. Getting eastern and western Germans en masse into that mindset beyond a temporary relocation, however, has proved difficult. Furthermore, because unification was not kind to many eastern Germans, it compounded their overall inferiority complex. Their presence disrupted the neatness of the East-West dialogue that began with the Mauerfall fall of the Berlin Wall.
Today, German citizenship is still based on jus sanguinis, although the process of naturalization was eased somewhat with the revised German nationality law, which came into effect in the year Tes Howell 33 help re define a German national identity? This hierarchy surfaced in jokes about Ossis eastern Germans and Wessis western Germans reproduced in published collections and on countless Internet websites.
Der lebt auf unsere Kosten. Henri Bergson viewed such humor as a discursive weapon against breaches of propriety. There was, indeed, a strong social-corrective thrust to eastern German humor in the s, as had been the case in the GDR. All texts discussed 11 Literature in East Germany was seen by socialist leaders, as well as many authors and artists, as an unambiguous tool that should assist in building a new, socialist society.
A gesture, therefore, will be its reply. Laughter must be something of this kind, a sort of social gesture. By the fear which it inspires, it restrains eccentricity. By exaggerating the potential impact of extreme right-wing groups and their nationalistic discourse in satirical texts and cartoons, Eulenspiegel humorists took a stand against the disastrous effects of racism and fear.
Tes Howell 37 Figure 1 that eastern Germans faced from a group whose members they had perceived as being the least likely to discriminate against them, particularly from a dominant position. The Vietnamese in eastern Germany, for example, maintained a reputation that they had acquired in the GDR for industriousness and dedication to their jobs Siemons They subsequently gained an advantage after over the newly unemployed eastern Germans in seeking employment in such low- paying occupations as street vending, bricklaying, textile production, and factory work. In fact, their presence was seen as provocative in the East, a provocation that quickly turned into violence as eastern German youths in particular realized that unification had actually brought them very little.
Prior to the March election in East Germany, the first and only free parliamentary election there, some pundits believed that this party would gain a strong foothold in what were to become the five new Federal States. Up to this point, Schulz has ironically claimed to address a right-wing audience, because the Eulenspiegel is generally leftist in its approach to contemporary German politics and society. Da sind wir deutsch wie die vom Rhein,13 Dem stopfen wir das Maul voll und mausert sich ein rotes Schwein14 — Reis, das schlagen wir zu Quark! Europa — das ist hier, uns schmeckt nur deutsches Bier.
The note thus serves to deflect responsibility for the content: Schulz makes an alarmist statement about the potential growth of right-wing extremists in the former GDR, while simultaneously avoiding being labeled a racist and a Republikaner sympathizer. Two reader reactions to the song testify to a favorable reader reception, although the overall paucity of published responses to such an inflammatory piece is surprising. Mach Dir betr. Sleeping with his wife would thus be an expedient way to dishonor the Turk. Schulz still felt compelled to disclaim any connection to it.
This inflammatory song only begins to make sense satirically in connection with the cartoons flanking it on the right and bottom. The image on the right is of a boorish-looking German man, dressed in a pea coat decorated with a swastika pin, with a closely shaved head, large nose and ears, close-set, almost crossed eyes, a toothbrush moustache resembling that worn by Adolf Hitler, and beard stubble, set against the backdrop of the unified German flag. This cartoon adds another layer of meaning to the song—that REP supporters are not only violent and belligerent, but they are also unintelligent.
Below both the song and the portrait of the oafish German male is a cartoon by Paul Pribbernow depicting a diminutive man, apparently of African descent, standing with arms at his sides on a scooter being pulled quickly along a track by a rope though the pulling mechanism is not visible and wearing a modern t-shirt with palm trees on it implying his equatorial country of origin. He looks ahead obliviously as beefy Nazis or neo-Nazis with billy clubs bolt from the gates at a racetrack resembling the kind used for greyhound races.
Such uniforms were, and are still today, worn by German neo-Nazis. The cartoon powerfully blends three conceptual spaces: 1 the Nazi era the Hitler figure, Nazis, police, military jackboots, billy clubs, circa ; 2 late twentieth-century xenophobic violence in Germany neo-Nazis, shaved heads, military jackboots, African male victim, circa ; and 3 the greyhound racetrack racetrack gates, bait animal, gate operator, greyhound dogs. The skinheads likely represent eastern German youth and its growing xenophobic tendencies, tendencies that are, ultimately, residues of fascism.
In the fictional world of the caricature, Hitler is still pulling the strings— even from the grave. The overarching goal of this Eulenspiegel page is to expose right-wing extremists as primitive bullies, as well as to condemn the prevalent racism and its destructive potential in eastern Germany in particular and Germany in general. Taken out of context, however, especially in the case of the song, the reader may be left to wonder how each text qualifies as satire as a letter writer named G.
Only taken together can the reader understand each text as satirical commentary on contemporary German society, intended to ridicule and correct the xenophobic tendencies that right-wing extremists fostered among some eastern Germans, youths in particular. The cartoon illuminates a hybrid space for new, postwall German counter-narratives, which defied harmonious governmental and media representations of the unification process in both East and West.
However, in the s, Turkish youth co-opted it, using it to denote not only a cultural, but also a discursive, community, as a sociolect particular to the Turks residing in Germany Zaimoglu Thus begins his journey through a Kafkaesque labyrinth of bureaucracy, during which he loses his job and, debatably, his sanity. A modern-day fool, Engin is continually a victim of his circumstances and cannot navigate the system well enough to vindicate himself. Engin grants the reader access to the experience of living with this threat. Engin and Leckmikowski are thus competitors in a truly capitalistic endeavor.
But Yusuf refuses to play this game, for money talks in post- unification Germany and can alter the parameters and rules of any given community. Auf dem Gebiet kenne ich mich bestens aus. Ich habe genug Philippinos aus der DDR rausgejagt! Satire dient dazu, auf Punkte zu zeigen, die nicht richtig sind, die menschenfeindlich oder menschenverachtend sind.
Satire selbst kann den Zustand ja nicht verbessern. Conclusion After the dynamic transformations of the Wende period and the unification process caused great uncertainty for eastern Germans, unleashing long-simmering resentments, anxieties, and rivalries. Humorists used this volatile time to reflect on existential questions and the potential for correction of uncivil behaviors, prompted, among other causes, by xenophobia, because, although eastern and western Germans had their difficulties reuniting, they always recognized each other as fellow Germans.
Tes Howell 51 German affairs and who never had a chance to achieve political representation in the GDR, were forced to compete with East Germans for recognition as equal citizens in the new bundesdeutsche reality. By presenting humorous texts with such sharp commentary on contemporary culture, humorists were able to draw attention to these failures and successes, ultimately aiding in the discursive creation of an eastern and unified German identity that was more tenable, through its rectitude and complexity, than what grew organically out of the unification process.
Onlein und in Farbe. Krause, Bernd. Eulenspiegel 29 : 2. Pribbernow, Paul. Schulz, Volker. Seidler, G. Eulenspiegel 25 : 2. Swienty, Dietmar. Eulenspiegel 28 : 2. Secondary Sources Ayim, May. Heimat und Einheit aus afro-deutscher Perspektive. Berlin: Orlanda Frauenverlag, Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic. Cloudesley Brereton and Fred Rothwell.
London: MacMillan and Green Integer, orig. Bhabha, Homi K. Homi K. Blackbourn, David. Oxford: Oxford UP, Cooke, Paul. Oxford: Berg, Epitroupolis, Mike-Frank G. American Culture in Europe: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Westport, CT: Praeger, Germany in Transit: Nation and Migration, A Sourcebook. Berkeley: U of California P, Gregson, Ian. Character and Satire in Postwar Fiction. NY: Continuum, Grub, Frank Thomas.
Ein Handbuch. Hall, Stuart. Stuart Hall and Paul du Gay. London: Sage, Hensel, Jana. Hamburg: Rowohlt, Hermenau, Antje. U of California-Berkeley, Tes Howell 53 Jaschke, Hans-Gerd. Bonn: Dietz, Jung, Peter. Verordneter Humor. DDR Berlin: Edition Hentrich, Klein, Olaf Georg. Warum Ost- und Westdeutsche aneinander vorbeireden.
Kress, Gunther, and Theo van Leeuwen. Anderssein gab es nicht. Kuck, Dennis. Tes Howell. Kulish, Nicholas. Leue, Gunnar. Neubert, Werner. Die Wandlung des Juvenal. Satire zwischen gestern und morgen. Rosbach, Jens. Deutschlandradio Kultur 28 May Siemons, Mark. Slackman, Michael. Soldan, Angelika. Steinlein, Christina. Berlin: Eulenspiegel, Yesilada, Karin. Zaimoglu, Feridun. Kanak Sprak. Hamburg: Rotbuch, Go for Zucker, , Swiss director Dani Levy, who has been living in Berlin for decades, broke one of the longest-standing taboos of post German cinema: using the comedy genre to grapple with questions of Jewish identity in Germany and specifically the Berlin Republic.
It is presumed that if a Jewish director spins a humorous story around Jewish characters, Jewish humor must be in play. The purpose of this chapter is first to outline several characteristics attributed to Jewish humor in traditional and more recent scholarship. These features will then serve as a framework for exploring the wit that pervades Alles auf Zucker! Both in terms of content and technique, Alles auf Zucker! Establishing the type of humorous lens through which these relations are screened is critical, not only because it aids in understanding the mostly favorable reception this unlikely comedy has enjoyed in twenty-first century Germany and around the world,5 but also because it offers insights into the status of German-Jewish relations and Jewish life in Germany today from the perspective of this minority group.
He owes money to many lenders, has troubled relationships with his wife and children, and is in danger of gambling his way into homelessness. In fact, it took Levy over three years to secure financing for the film Biehl. After initially rejecting the script, the German broadcasting company Westdeutscher Rundfunk WDR finally decided to take on the project in Alles auf Zucker!
Can the Shoah Be Funny? Some Thoughts on Recent and Older Films. If the brothers cannot reconcile, the money will be donated to the Jewish community in Berlin. As mentioned above, much like humor in general, Jewish humor had until recently been the subject of many anthologies but only limited scholarly debate. Even after few instances of Jewish humor can be found there. Broder, and the author Esther Dischereit. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the vast immigration of Russian Jews to Germany in the s, however, Jewish artists, intellectuals, and authors are beginning to gain a more prominent voice in Germany, above all in its capital, Berlin.
The past two decades have been a period in which eastern and western Germans have had to negotiate their coexistence and reunification. In addition, Germans from the former East and West have had to adjust to an increase in minority residents and citizens, including Jews, whose population has grown from 10,, in to an estimated , today Knobloch. The reemergence of Jewish humor not only informs us about the status of these renegotiations, but it can also help set the tone for future efforts to establish a more normalized coexistence marked by mutual tolerance and respect.
It is also worth noting that the remarkable influx of the nineties has stalled since Germany limited the immigration of Russian Jews with the Immigration Act of Taberner traces the history of the term back to the Kohl era and highlights its particular importance for unified Germany. It includes the idea that because Germany continues to express remorse regarding its World War II and Holocaust crimes, it should be allowed to move beyond these admissions of guilt and to establish itself as a democratic, liberal, and tolerant nation.
Particularly the dialectical workings of Jewish humor allow Alles auf Zucker! In most discussions of Jewish humor, only one side of it is highlighted: its self-deprecating nature. Others, such as Edmund Bergler, Martin Grotjahn, and George Mikes, have supported the thesis that Jewish humor has a distinctly self-mocking and self-derogatory character, in which hostility or aggressiveness manifests itself in a masochistic way—that is, it is turned against the Jew himself.
Another critical characteristic of Jewish humor, however—the other side of the coin, really—is overlooked by these and other scholars. There are numerous instances in which Alles auf Zucker! The strict rules to which he subjects himself and his family as well during the shiva provide him with the stability and security that he lost when his relationship with his girlfriend and cousin Jana ended ten years ago.
While Levy criticizes the fact that Joshua does not really lead a Jewish life, but rather uses his faith to escape from it, the film also shows the motivation for this move, which in turn evokes understanding and empathy with the character and his plight. Along with this critique-cum-sympathy dynamic particular to Jewish humor, most scholars also mention the main topics and stock characters employed regularly in Jewish jokes.click here
English/French to German translator specializing in tourism, video games and psychology
Jewish humor traditionally targets backwardness, intolerance, greed, and hypocrisy Richter All family members, in fact, join in the hypocrisy of pretending to live an orthodox Jewish life and to observe the rules of the shiva. His irate reaction to the traffic holdup is followed by a lightning flash— presumably a sign from above—and prayers from Joshua. On another occasion, when the two families say a prayer before dinner together, Joshua continues to pray after everyone else has stopped.
In addition, Alles auf Zucker! While these stock personalities appear throughout the film, the most interesting character is the protagonist, Jackie Zucker, from whose perspective the story is told. Jackie belongs to the tradition of one of the central and most constant characters in Jewish comedy: the schlemiel. One might even venture to say that he emerges as a hero of sorts, one whose persona evinces the aforementioned critical dynamics of Jewish humor.
We must thus now turn our attention to this typical Jewish prankster. In the context of complex eastern and western German and German-Jewish relations, which are often framed in terms of loser-victor and victim-perpetrator dynamics, this dialectical schlemiel protagonist becomes particularly intriguing and holds critical meaning for the understanding of this film. How, then, does Levy paint Jackie Zucker as a schlemiel, and what implications do these schlemiel qualities have for his cinematic production?
On several occasions in Alles auf Zucker! Later, while high on Ecstasy pills mistaken for aspirin, he admits again to being an idiot for having turned his back on his daughter Jana when she became pregnant and could no longer compete in athletics championships. Jackie thus emerges as a prime example of the fool, whose weaknesses give cause for laughter. Choosing to stay out late, gamble, and squander the family savings, he does not think about the effects his actions will have on his family.
It is important to note, however, that he was born Jewish and ultimately returns to the Jewish faith at the end of the film. It is also fitting that—just like the eastern German Jackie Zucker—the schlemiel is often thought of as a character from the East Patai viii. In fact, it can be argued that his rediscovered faith may be more genuine because it is born out of sincere internal and external struggles, rather than blind acceptance of religious and cultural traditions.
Eventually, his foolishness and lies lead to his undoing, exemplified by his physical collapse, which occurs precisely at the moment in which his deceptions are about to be revealed by his wife Marlene. Conversely, when he finally begins to open up and communicate, not just with his wife and children, but also with his brother and his extended family, his health begins to improve as well.
Only after Jackie undergoes this transformation can his brother Samuel respond by expressing his understanding and willingness to help. A corresponding healing between eastern and western Germany, Levy implies in the film, will require similar efforts in opening channels of communication, recognition, and acceptance. This organ typically refers as much to the emotional and spiritual as to the moral core of a human being.
Like his forbears, Jackie, too, has a heart condition. Hast du noch eins? German and Jewish-German relations, Levy indicates that similar open conversations about the past are needed. If the Zucker mann family embodies the tension of German-German and German-Jewish relations, then the vision put forward by Levy is one of a normalized and peaceful coexistence, marked by tolerance and understanding.
But this, Levy contends, can only be achieved if all foolishness—political agendas, personal grudges, and mistrust—is set aside and all players embark on this process with honesty, forbearance, and an open mind. Just as the schlemiel Jackie reintegrates into his family, his religious community, and society as a whole by shedding his folly, so, too, can the different factions that make up a twenty-first century unified Germany also work to integrate into a society in which all constituents can flourish and have a voice.
Not only individual character traits, but also narrative perspectives are important in schlemiel fiction. One way the reader of schlemiel fiction gets to know the protagonist and his worldview is by experiencing him telling the story in his own voice. The reader, of course, is well aware of the conflicting nature of the versions told by the author and the schlemiel. Film is a medium that is especially well-suited to presenting simultaneous, conflicting textual and visual narration of a single event.
In Alles auf Zucker! Levy gives a voice to the schlemiel Jackie at the beginning and end of the film through nondiegetic commentary. This cinematic technique allows the events narrated visually by the camera to appear quite different from the way Jackie sees them and, thus, illustrates how he interprets his reality. Though Jackie seems to be on the losing side of every conflict during the greater part of the film, it would be amiss to interpret him as a victim of historical and personal circumstances.
In fact, Levy distinctly rejects the victim role for his character by treating it humorously in his film. By letting Jackie put on the victim hat whenever it serves him, Levy demonstrates the degree to which this role has become associated with the Jewish persona. He also shows, however, that Jewish identity comprises more dimensions than such narrow casting evokes, which is one of the main reasons this comedy has enjoyed such strong support from the Jewish community in Germany.
Multi-dimensional in his own right, Jackie is portrayed as a cunning, yet also naive, weak, and dreamy man, characteristic for the schlemiel figure Wisse 53, Sure enough, he cons his pool partners and lies to everyone in his family, but he does so in order to clear his debts, not out of greed. In fact, he proves his innate good-heartedness by displaying generosity toward others.
To Jackie, these surroundings not only include the conformist society of socialism, but also his new capitalist reality. In contrast, Jackie stands out as someone whose actions are not dictated by considerations of economic or social status, but who genuinely cares about other people.
Thus, his weaknesses—gambling and cheating—are intimately tied to his strengths: his heart, care for others, and willingness to get himself into trouble to help those in need. This dialectic—weakness turning into strength upon close examination—is one of the most important features of the schlemiel Wisse In fact, as is the case with Jackie, once this weakness—his inclination to help others even if by questionable means—is no longer ridiculed, but recognized as a strength, it reflects badly not on the schlemiel, but rather on those who mock him, turning the erstwhile loser into a moral victor.
Thus, while the schlemiel exemplifies those negative qualities of weakness that must be exposed and ridiculed to be overcome, schlemiel fiction also sets up inversions by producing a balanced type of humor that cuts simultaneously into the character and into those who belittle him Wisse At first, they appear to be the perfect counter-image to the eastern German loser Jackie and his clan. With his mother, wife, and two children, he led the life of an orthodox Jew, as both Jackie and Rabbi Ginsberg acknowledge.
He gained status, as his doctoral title suggests, and considerable wealth. Speculation, of course, has much in common with its low-brow cousin, gambling, which Jackie enjoys. Speculation typically involves the lending of money or the purchase of assets, equity or debt but in a manner that has not been given thorough analysis or is deemed to have a low margin of safety or a significant risk of the loss of the principal investment. The kind of activity in which Samuel Zuckermann engaged thus had little to do with respectable financial investing, but rather with imprudent risk-taking in hopes of receiving quick profits.
Not only do the two brothers share the weakness of indulging in speculation or gambling, but their families are also similarly dysfunctional. Even Samuel and his wife Golda turn out to be less orthodox when it comes to financial matters. It does not take long for them to discover that the Zucker household does not adhere to Jewish customs.
The latter, of course, is not easily fooled and eventually admits that he has knowingly ignored the breaking of shiva law as long as he could pretend not to be in the know. He is aware that sitting shiva and having a conciliatory talk with his brother will require putting forth the pretense of following Jewish customs and concealing his assimilation to gentile culture, as well as his true persona. The film gradually reveals the fact that life in western Germany is not as grand as Samuel makes it out to be.
In effect, Jackie gains moral superiority over his brother by refusing to pretend to be better than he actually is and by simply accepting his status as an unlucky trickster. Presenting the dynamic of East-West relations in Germany in the framework of a schlemiel story whose plot develops as a family feud offers a new perspective on this cultural conflict. In this dynamic, western Germany is often seen as the strong, intact, and dominant force, while eastern Germans are mostly regarded as inept or naive.
The schlemiel Jackie gives voice to the latter perspective, while simultaneously turning this dynamic on its head. According to Wisse, this represents the essence of the schlemiel dialectic: In fashioning the schlemiel, the Jew admits how weak and foolish he appears to those who dominate him […]. Yet […] he does not submit to self-hatred, and stands proudly on his own record. After all, so goes the inevitable dialectic, he survives. And after all, is he as foolish as he seems? And above all, who are they to judge him? At its best, the finished irony holds both the contempt of the strong for the weak and the contempt of the weak for the strong, with the latter winning the upper hand.
By presenting the schlemiel as an eastern German Jew, Levy engages a potent technique of Jewish humor: he suspends the typical winner-loser dichotomy and instead promotes the notion that the winner is not necessarily he who gains the upper hand politically or economically, but rather he who admits to and accepts his weaknesses, remains true to himself, and demonstrates generosity and tolerance toward others.
Such a definition of winner status opens the door to anyone, regardless of ethnic belonging, or geographical or historical heritage, and is based solely on modes of behavior. Levy proposes, is up to the individual, each of whom possesses a free will to alter his fate. Inversions also occur in the realm of moral standing and further highlight the schlemiel character of Jackie. Through his demeanor throughout the film, the western brother leaves no doubt that he perceives himself to be the superior of the two brothers.
In this instance, the supposed loser once more proves himself morally superior by refusing to respond to insults and physical aggression with the same. In this confrontation, Jackie additionally unmasks the tendency of the West to draw attention to and exaggerate the involvement of the East German secret service, the infamous Staatssicherheit or Stasi , in every facet of life in the GDR—a stereotype that has prevailed for years after the fall of the Wall. This play on words is amusing and its clever use of language a staple of Jewish humor. Levy conveys the moral message in this Jewish parable that inherited, historical roles need not be stagnant, but rather must adapt to an ever-changing reality.
It was introduced in to bolster public investment in eastern Germany. This is done, for example, by highlighting this traditional, stereotypical discourse in scenes that provoke sympathetic laughter, and by choosing not to recast the Jews in the victim role they typically inhabit in post German films. These roles evolve as the plot unfolds and are presented from different perspectives throughout the film. Just as Levy refuses to label one group in German society the perennial victim, his use of Jewish humor also denies any one group the attribute of winner. Discussions of the prototypical Jewish prankster, the schlemiel, have shown that this kind of humor turns such norms upside down, criticizing both the fool as well as those deriding him.
The supposed loser thereby gains the upper hand, mocking his mockers. Levy joins the postwall plea of scholars and the media in Germany and abroad for normalization in the Berlin Republic. He paints a vision of tolerance and acceptance between different social, religious, and ethnic groups. He draws on and mingles familiar stereotypes of eastern and western Germans, as well as Jews, asking his audience to look beyond these and to see the Other as a human being, sharing the same weaknesses, problems, and joys.
His goal appears to be an easing of the tension-fraught relations between East and West, as well as Jew and Gentile, by means of a kind of humor that underscores commonalities. Instead, this film serves as a plea for open and productive interactions, which can lead to a new freedom in identity formation, along with the acceptance of diverse expressions of group belonging.
Levy signals that Jewish citizens living in Germany today want to leave behind their marginalized, passive position of victimhood and instead become active, equal members of German society. This resurgence of Jewish humor in postwall Germany indicates a strengthening, as well as a certain degree of emancipation, of Jewish culture there. This creates a sense of otherness that is imbued with a guilty conscience arising out of history. Senator Film, Dani Levy. First Run Features, DVD orig. X Verleih, , released 6 Jan. Becker, Jurek. Berlin and Weimar: Aufbau, Die Blechtrommel [The Tin Drum]. Argos Films, Comedian Harmonists [The Harmonists].
Joseph Vilsmaier. Bavaria Film, Ehe im Schatten [Marriage in the Shadows]. DEFA, Hitlerjunge Salomon [Europa, Europa]. Agniezka Holland. CCC Filmkunst, Frank Beyer. Warner Home Video Germany, X Verleih, Margarethe von Trotta. Katja Riemann and Maria Schrader. Hamburg Letterbox, Gerald Frank Else. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, Bassewitz, Heike von, ed. Der Esel Des Propheten. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgellschaft, Bergler, Edmund.
Laughter and the Sense of Humor. New York: Intercontinental Medical, New York: Macmillan, Biehl, Jody K. Spiegel Online International 25 Jan. Bremer, Michael. Gisela Dachs. Bronner, Gerhard. Chase, Jefferson S. Clifford, Robin. Reeling: The Movie Review Show. Cohen, Sarah Blacher. Jewish Wry: Essays on Jewish Humor. Detroit: Wayne State UP, Dachs, Gisela, ed. Eilbirt, Henry. What is a Jewish Joke? Northvale, NJ: Aronson, Freud, Sigmund. The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious. Joyce Crick. John Carey. New York: Penguin, Gilman, Sander.
Goldman, Albert. Murray Mindlin and Chaim Bermant. Graham, Benjamin, and David L. New York: McGraw-Hill, Grotjahn, Martin.
Werner M. Mendel and Martin Grotjahn. Los Angeles, CA: Mara, Halkin, Hillel. Hansen, Eric T. The Hollywood Reporter. Eric T. Jauss, Hans-Robert. Wolfgang Preisendanz and Rainer Warning. Deutsche Welle. Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Judgement. Nicholas Walker. James Creed Meredith. David Ferdinand Swenson. Walter Lowrie. Princeton: Princeton UP, Knobloch, Charlotte. Goethe Institut. Lepelmeier, Ulf. Mikes, George. English Humour for Beginners. London: Deutsch, Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, Patai, Raphael.
Anat Zajdman and Avner Ziv. Westport, CT: Greenwood, Pinsker, Sanford. Justin Cyril Bertrand Gosling. Oxford: Clarendon, Richter, Jens. Let there be laughter! Chicago: Spertus Museum, Rosten, Leo Calvin, and Lawrence Bush. The New Joys of Yiddish. New York: Crown, Schopenhauer, Arthur. The World as Will and Idea. Richard Burdon Haldane and John Kemp. Spalding, Henry D. Classic Jewish Humor in America. Middle Village, NY: David, Rochester, NY: Camden House, Telushkin, Joseph.
New York: Morrow, Wisse, Ruth R. The Schlemiel as Modern Hero. Chicago: U of Chicago P, Zajdman, Anat, and Avner Ziv, eds. Semites and Stereotypes: Characteristics of Jewish Humor. Ziv, Avner. Jewish Humor. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, Immediately following the opening of the border between East and West Germany the desire to abolish all symbols of the forced separation was overwhelming. The photographs provide insights into the daily life of GDR citizens and include a series of long-term portraits depicting children during the s in the GDR and accompanying their arrival into a new society after the upheaval Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 14 Aug.
Anne Hector 79 humans had started was taken over by natural forces, and Mother Nature reasserted her dominion over politics, replacing the man-made border with wetlands and wildlife. At the same time, substantial efforts were made, especially in Berlin, to preserve collective memories of East German history: a double line of cobblestones was embedded in the ground to mark where the Wall once stood, and an interactive GDR Museum with several life-size dioramas opened in Many books have also been written by and about those who lived in the GDR, and this terrain is not the sole prerogative of humor and satire—the dialogue is ongoing.
However, in a parallel process that mimics Mother Nature, to some extent forty years of East German culture is being distorted and covered up as biting satire, demeaning humor, and tawdry memorializing take their toll, eating away at the memories of those who grew up there. I intend to show that this erosion is the socioliterary equivalent of Mother Nature transforming the landscape, turning now fossilized memories into grotesque aberrations.
Myths and legends can serve as means to convey a critical distance from events and experiences and prolong their reification as art. The reader identifies with such scenes as they emerge from the felt and lived experience of East German and Soviet citizens, despite their grotesque distortion of this experience.
Although former citizens of the GDR and the USSR can identify with these scenes more easily than others who did not experience such systems firsthand, all readers are provided easy access to 3 The former detainee, Carl-Wolfgang Holzapfel, planned his return to the prison cell as part of a live art project with the artist Franziska Vu. Most scenes also provide a critical counterpoint from which postwall society can be evaluated. While other writers also read at public gatherings, for Hein and Kaminer reading and performing are linked: their public performances highlight the humor and playfulness in their texts.
He became known widely in Germany after his semi- autobiographical vignette collection recording his memories of East Germany, Mein erstes T-Shirt, was published in Other group members have also made a name for themselves outside the group. Anne Hector 81 music and shows geared toward immigrants and xenophilic Germans from until He, too, though not born in Berlin, has lived there since His views of the city—including its food, the Berlin dialect, as well as German culture in general—have been shaped by his position as an immigrant.
Here, as in his other books, Kaminer displays his now famous ability to create puns and wordplays, mixing descriptions of awkward and humorous incidents with historical facts about Berlin as a reinvigorated center of fashion and culture. They thus provide an ambiguous camouflage for the scar left by the Wall: humor mitigates the travail of memorialization. Strategies of Humor: The Grotesque and the Rhetorics of Play Methods for creating humor include the carnivalesque as put forward by Mikhail Bakhtin and the grotesque as outlined by Geoffrey Harpham.
Bakhtin defines the carnival as a social institution and the carnivalesque as a method in literature of depicting a time when the ordinary rules of society and culture are in abeyance and there is a flattening or reversal of the social hierarchy, creating the potential for the masses to criticize the authorities Bakhtin Grotesque configurations of the physical body 5 The radio show was shut down by the RBB on December 31, , because of a lack of funding; however, it continues to be broadcast on the Internet under the name Radio multicult2. Harpham sees the grotesque as a gross exaggeration that holds onto some aspects of reality, but allows familiar and unfamiliar objects to intermingle Harpham 5.
Although the unfamiliar paints a gloss over the familiar, the two together transcend the sum of their parts and create a new, independent entity. The carnivalesque and grotesque modes provide a basic strategy of humor that appears simple on the surface: humor is produced when incongruous events, actions, or words are juxtaposed. In fact, it is talismanic of their brand of humor. Often this playfulness also serves to convey grotesquerie, rebellion against authority, or satirical criticism.
As the term is used here, the rhetorics of play express the way play is placed in context within broader value systems, which are assumed by the theorists of play rather than studied directly by them. The seven rhetorics he delineates are the rhetoric of play as progress, as fate, as power, as identity, as the imaginary, and as frivolous, as well as the rhetoric of the self.
All furthermore contribute to producing defamiliarization. This identity- forming rhetoric, displayed during carnivals, group rituals, and festivals, reaffirms existing affiliations and differentiates one group from all others. In the texts by Hein and Kaminer discussed here, identity is constantly under assault. Who or what is German? What is Germany? Who or what is Self, who is the Other? Their game-like constructions are playful and amusing, often containing fantastical and untrue segments, but they also set up situations that provoke serious reflection regarding the characteristics that make up German identity.
Play can have many different applications, but art and literature showcase it as a major instigator of creativity. Frivolity is the third rhetoric utilized in this chapter: The rhetoric of play as frivolous […] is usually applied to the activities of the idle or the foolish. But frivolity, as used here, is not just the puritanic negative, it is also a term to be applied more to historical trickster figures and fools, who were once the central and carnivalesque persons who enacted playful protest against the orders of the ordained world. In his texts the formerly oppressed get a chance to speak up and find vindication by criticizing the authorities without being punished for it, a benefit that Bakhtin associates with the carnivalesque Bakhtin It is a fact that drivers had to use a GDR highway to get to their destination in the West; however, Hein invents imaginary clauses to his law, one of which stipulates that people found wandering on the berm should automatically be considered GDR citizens and treated as such.
Humor here comes in the guise of absurdity; it is used to stop the action for a moment to give the reader a chance to think. Stopping the forward action and presenting a distorted, funhouse mirror of the world are means Hein uses to produce defamiliarization so that his readers come to see objects in unfamiliar formats. Instead, Hein focuses entirely on the difficulties the boy encounters in adjusting to his new life in the East. He is adopted immediately, but his East German parents struggle to fulfill his consumer demands.
The parents cannot deal with a child socialized in the West. Hein describes this incident and its consequences with an objective tone, although, had they been experienced in real life, they would have been traumatic. Not surprisingly, these differences have dominated public and private discussions since unification. After this failed experiment, Holger was reunited with his parents in the FRG. Did Holger remain single because of his childhood trauma?
We will never know. Ambiguity is the result of this mixing of modes. Although we are presented with real memories, their scars are disappearing from view. Definition eines Genres. Against the backdrop of what appears to be an amusement park, the two adoptive parents stand with obligatory smiles on their faces, while the child in the middle maintains a bemused expression. The shot captures a moment of forced togetherness that appears ironic in the context of what should have been experienced by participants as a happy outing.
This time, a group of acting students is required to work in factories to learn about the everyday life of the working class He suggests that budding actors, and not writers, accompany the workers and study them to be able to portray them properly on stage in future theatrical productions. The story takes an unexpected turn, however, as the students assimilate perfectly; one student even gives up acting to continue working at the factory. In the process writers were sent to factories to speak with workers. Furthermore, acknowledging the ideas of the future actors would have undermined the privileged status of the factory workers.
These particular supervisors, in fact, were so rigid that they did not see the actors as possessing the legitimacy to make suggestions at all and thus abolished the experiment altogether. In this vignette Hein demonstrates how, although purportedly a classless society, social distinctions persisted in the GDR. His vignettes are embedded in the context of real existing socialism—that is, people experience shortages of consumer goods and work supplies; they can only travel to a limited number of countries, generally belonging to the Eastern Bloc; and education follows a predetermined path.
As befits the humorist, however, Hein portrays people who defy the system and look beyond these restrictive conditions. Even though the head of the GDR government is enthusiastic about the project, it is never realized because the leader of the Soviet Union has to approve it and denies the request without any explanation. This inexplicable display of power shows how the GDR government was under the yoke of the Soviet Union and could not act independently.
After his antlike machine is rejected, Pape gets so discouraged with his restrictive working conditions that he builds an airplane modeled after a dragonfly and flees to France. Here, we laugh about the ant and dragonfly research because it appears fantastical and incredible, but at the same time we learn how scientists were treated in Eastern Bloc countries and realize why some left for a freer environment where they could pursue their dreams and further their careers.
The author sheds light on many similar incidents in his other vignettes and the black humor in some emerges from a similarly incongruous final plot twist. One nuclear scientist featured in this series, Heinz Barwich, who was not granted the freedom to perform his work in the GDR, defected to the West. Hein not only crafts new myths about the GDR, but he also shows how such myths came into being in the wake of unification. One example of this myth creation is the way daily life in the GDR has become elevated to a new plane of remembrance which emphasizes its enjoyable sides and ignores the actual hardships living there entailed.
Life in the GDR was difficult, but not much of this truth remains or is getting passed down to younger generations. The episode that gives the book its title is an application for permanent residence in the Federal Republic submitted by the head of the East German government, First Party Secretary Erich Honecker, in July The technique of defamiliarization depicts familiar events or objects in unusual contexts, making them appear novel: if the leader of East Germany wants to be a West German, what does his request imply about the desirability of living in the GDR? There could be no greater questioning of GDR identity.
And, by extension, who or what is a GDR citizen? Along with this defamiliarization, carnivalesque effects are achieved through exaggeration and the introduction of the unusual, even as the event depicted here questions the validity of the East German identity. Again we witness an incongruity that elicits humor while issuing a critique of GDR society and its cumbersome bureaucratic rules.
Seeing such an absurd statement, the reader will likely grab the volume with a smile on his or her face to find out what is behind it. We can imagine what awaits us in a book bearing such a title. Because they were next-door neighbors, East Germans yearned for West German consumer products shown to them on television, sent to them in care packages by their West German relatives or friends, or brought back by pensioners who were allowed to travel there.
Das Cajiitenbuch , we even read this rather 3 4 Fricdrich Armand Struhhcrg startling footnote :" He appears to have had an uncommon acquaintance with English literature, and his fondness for allusion to English authors in the course of his works cannot always have been pleas- ant to his German readers, nor is his display of learning always in good taste.
Strubberg's works are essentially for the general mass of readers. His language is smooth, and re- markable for its lucid sentences and lack of Germanized Latin words. Knowles The Beggar of Bethual Green. Mn Nathan, der Squattor-Regulator we read p. Friedrich Aniiaiid Striihhcrg 5 author's long residence abroad. Striibberg seldom attempts to characterize by means of peculiarities of language. His Indians express themselves usually in a highly poetic German.
This may be a point subject to criticism, and will therefore be referred to in the consideration of his individual works. Foreign words are seldom introduced and footnotes in explanation of textual peculi- arities rarely appear. Here it must be observed that Strubberg had by no means enjoyed a literary training. His literary career is in many respects a unique one. Although he enjoyed excellent educational facilities under the parental roof, they must nevertheless have been only of a general nature.
He never attended a German uni- versity, for he had been destined for a business career and to that end entered a mercantile house in Bremen at the age of sixteen. During these years of his first stay in America nothing could have been farther removed from his mind than the intention of putting his American experiences into literary form. If the impressions which America made on his really susceptible tem- perament sought a medium of expression it was rather that of the pencil or brush. At the close of the thirties, at a time when Sealsfield already rivalled Scott in letters, Strubberg returned to America to try his fortune anew.
Jagd u. Reiseabenteuer was illustrated by sketches from his own pen. Far removed from the book markets of the East he could not even have been informed of Germany's literary activities, had his interests lain that way. Though he had lived in Germany during the upris- ings of the thirties, and though he often expresses "Young Ger- man" ideas in his works, we have no reason to suppose that Strub- berg was personally deeply interested in those political differences which led the "Zweiunddreissiger" to emigrate to America. When the "Aclitundvierziger" came, Strubberg had already lived on the frontier many years.
Strubberg occupies a unique position in the history of German letters. He was led to a literary career by the merest accident, but for the intervention of which he might have ended his days as a planter in Arkansas. Far from being a literary man, not even widely read in his own literature, much less in a foreign, we see him publishing his first work in his fifty-second year.
Influenced by no literary tendency, a member of no literary school, he wrote, so to speak, "frei von der Leber. He sought to express that which he had seen, experienced, and heard, in a simple, straightforward manner. Having lived a life which again proves that truth is stranger than fiction, it is but natural that on having the pen pressed in his hand he should draw on his own varied experiences. An endeavor to appeal to the popular reader can be noticed in all of Strubberg's novels.
Friedrich Armaiid Strubbcrg 7 though it must always be considered the most important element in his works, was in itself not sufficient to warrant interest. Strubberg therefore made this material readable by adding a thread of romance. It must be acknowledged that Strubberg never quite learned how to create anything like a finely motivated plot. His novels are often extremely bizarre and do not conform to the stricter canons of novelistic art. The means which he employed for holding the attention of the reader through four or five volumes is best illustrated by the following anecdote, related by W.
Bennecke : "Bei meiner Bekanntschaft mit Armand war es. He loves to deal in strong contrasts and not infrequently passes over into the sensational. Also, for the reader of today there is an excess of sentimentality. Strubberg had in reality but one theme : His own life on the extreme frontier of Texas, but he knew how to play numberless variations upon that theme. No matter in what part of America or in what period he opens a novel he is almost certain to have recurrence later to the rolling prairies of the State which he knew so well. It is not surprising then to find his works to a large degree auto- biographic.
Strubberg himself appears in the third person in a great number of his works, and is always an interesting and attractive character. Between the ages of 52 and 72 Strubberg published 57 volumes of novels, all of which appeared under his second baptismal name, that of Armand. A detailed account of the contents of these somewhat loosely knit works, would take us far beyond the bounds of this monograph. Only a brief treatment of Strubberg's works follows here in the order of their appearance : See Alls Armand' s Lcbcn. Kassel, Mai, li 8 I'licdvicli Aniiand Stnihhcrg Novels. Mit 24 vom Ver- fasser nach der Natur entworfenen Skizzen.
Von Armand. Cotta, Stuttgart, i Bd. In this first work Strubberg at once transports the reader to his settlement on the Leona, a tributary of the Rio Grande. Here on the extreme western frontier of Texas, on territory of the Comanche Indians, at the foothills of the Cordilleras, Strubberg, in company with three other German colonists, had erected his dwelling place, one side facing the river, the other three enclosed by palisades fourteen feet in height. To the North was a dense, primitive forest; to the South stretched the rolling prairie; to the West lay unexplored Indian lands; to the East, the nearest set- tlement was eighty hours distant on horseback.
The author describes in great minuteness several years of his life here on the frontier of Texas, beyond which no other colonist had at that time ventured. Strubberg's chief pursuit was the hunt, which frequently took him for weeks from the settle- ment. Mounted on his white stallion Czar, sired by one of the six white Berber horses presented to President Taylor by the Sultan of Morocco, and his faithful bloodhound Trust, two faithful companions which become familiar figures in others of his works, Strubberg exploited the surrounding country far and near.
It is the description of these journeys that forms the chief substance for this work.
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His struggles with the Indians are most vividly narrated. Comanches, Weicos, Catos, Lepans, the peace- ful Delawares, who had been given government lands along the Kansas, Mescalieros, Blackfoots, Kitscheis, Apaches, Kikapus, and Pahnees cross our path at various times. Strubberg appears to have the closest acquaintance with the Comanches, though by description of manners and customs, and the delineation of features or dress, he makes careful efforts to distinguish between the various other tribes.
The Indian of the West has perhaps nowhere in German literature been treated in a more strikingly objective manner. His Indians, with possibly a few exceptions. Fricdricli Arniami Stnihbcrg 9 are not the academic type, made so popular through the works of Cooper. Strubberg knew much less of the history of the Ameri- can Indian than did Cooper, but he had a more direct acquaint- ance and did not hesitate to draw him as he was. The North American Indians were, as he himself said, pronounced "Lumpe.
His ardor for the hunt with all that pertains to it explains the minuteness with which he relates his experiences. Overlooking a certain tedium which results from a detailed narra- tion of adventures somewhat similar in nature, the book is quite unexcelled in its faithful pictures of animal and plant life in Texas before the approach of the white man.
Though we may rest assured that the author has invented many of the incidents employed, and that his marksmanship was somewhat less phenom- enal, the fact nevertheless remains that the work could only have been written by one who had had direct acquaintance with that of which he wrote. Strubberg's eye was always open to nature. Nothing is overlooked. The buffalo moving over the prairie in herds of thousands, the various species of bears, deer, antelope, panther, jaguar, Mexican pig, wolf, beaver, and condor, are all carefully described.
With the knowledge of one who has lived for years beyond the boundaries of civilization, he further de- scribes the preparation of the various animals for food, and the process of tanning their hides for raiment. The rich plant life of Texas equally engages his attention. With the scrupulousness of a botanist and the eye of an artist he acquaints us with the magnolia, pecan, yucca, cactus, aloe, mosquito tree, laurel, live oak, and numberless other trees, shrubs and herbs. Strubberg is peculiarly happy in bringing local atmosphere into his landscapes.
The following is a fair illustration of his poetic yet realistic method p. Die ganze Natiir schicn sich der Schonheit dieser Nacht zii frenen und Tausende von Insekten aller Art taiimelten in ihren Orgientanzen vor mir in mein kleines Lagerfeuer. Es war eine Nacht, wie sie Elfen zu ihren Spielen sich erwahlen, und lange habe ich unverwandt nach der uner- griindlichen blauen Tiefe vor mir gebHckt. Die Quellen rollten wohl unaufhorhch ihre frischen Krystalhvellcn der Oberflache zu, aber die Loreleys wollten nicht kommen, sie haben sich nach Amerika noch nicht verirrt.
Der Morgen war so herrlich wie die Nacht. Im Osten begrenzte die flache Prairie den Hori- zont gleich einem Meer; der dunkle Himmel prangte noch im vollsten Schmuck mit alien seinen Juwelen, wahrend schon der Saum seines Gewandes in brennendes Karmin getaucht war; es floh die Nacht schnell den Bergen zu und ihr nach zog der Tag in seinem schonsten Festkleide. Die Sonne stieg gross iiber die Prairie auf und beleuchtete ein Feld, worauf eine Saat von Bril- lanten aufgegangen war, und der schwere Thau beugte die Haupter der zarten Pflanzen, als hielten sie ihr Morgendankgebet fiir die Ercjuickung, welche ihnen zu Theil geworden.
Auch ich war vollig von dem Thau durchnasst und musste meinen hirsch- ledernen Anzug zum Trocknen an das Feuer hangen ; das Leder war namlich iiber Holzrauch durchgerauchert. Strubberg excells especially in describ- ing nature's grander and more sombre phenomena: the dark hurricane whirling across the rolling plains, the crash of thunder, the flash of lightning, and the devastating hail ; or the all-devour- ing prairie fire, with the mad stampede of cattle, mustangs, and wild animals of the prairie fleeing before its scorching flames.
The following description of a prairie fire is a characteristic example of Strubberg's simple but vivid prose style p. Zwar sah ich noch nicht das Feuer selbst, aber die schwarzen Rauchwolken drang- ten sich schon dicht tibereinander fortrollend am Horizont herauf und der Sturm trng sie bald vor mir iiber die letzte blaue Stelle des Himmels. Nur eine Rettung noch war moglich ; es gait eine Hohe zu erreichen, wo das Gras niedriger war, und ohne mich zu besinnen, gab ich Czar die Sporen und Ziigel und flog mit dem Sturmwind um die Wette iiber den Graswald vor mir.
Die ganze Ebene schien lebendig zu wer- den; so weit das Auge reichte, war sie iibersaet mit fliehenden Herden der Bewohner dieser Wildniss, deren schwarze Gestal- ten mit einem Feuerschein umgeben waren und sich iiber die in der Gluth zitternde Flache fortdrangten. Es war wie das Bild des jiingsten Gerichts, das mir meine Phantasie oft gemalt hatte.
Mit dem Feuerzeug in der Hand rannte ich zuriick nach dem hohen Gras, ziindete es an, und im Augenblick schlugen die Flammen, wild gegen den Sturm ankiimpfend, in die Hohe und schwangen sich, die schwarzen dicken Rauchwolken gegen den finstern Himmel rollend, um meinen Hiigel herum, bis sie sich an seiner ostlichen Seite vereinten und unter lautem Knistern und Krachen sich wie eine Lawine mit dem heulenden Sturme fortwalzten.
Jetzt erst blickte ich zuriick, mein braves, von der Hobble wieder befreites Pferd am Ziigel haltend, hinunter auf die fiirchterlich belebte Flache, und sah, wie die dunkeln leben- den Gestalten, sich rechts und links in dem Thai unter dem Hiigel fortdrangten. Die ganze Thierwelt schien hier vereint und die letzten Krafte anzuspannen, um dem Flammentode zu 12 Friedricli. Iniiaiid Striihhcrg entriniieii. Zu beideii Seitcii iinter mir donnerte im wirren Ge- vviilil Heerde hinter Heerde voriiber, Biiffel, Pferde, Hirsche und Antilopen drangten sich bunt dnrcheinander, und zwischen ihnen stiirzten Baren, Tiger, Panther und Wolfe, einer nach dem an- dern, unbekiimniert vorwiirts, das Gesicht von der Gluth abge- wandt, die der Sturm mit einem dichten schwarzen Aschenregen iiber das Land blies.
Dunkle, schwarze Nacht hiillte mich jetzt ein, nur ein matter rotlilicher Schein schimmerte von den Flam- men her durch das dichte Aschengestober, wiihrend der Orkan seine hochste Wuth entfaltete und sein Gewimmer mit dem dump- fen, die Erde erschiitternden Donner der tliehenden Thiermassen unter mir verschmolz. The arrival of an occasional bee-hunter, trapper, or prospective squatter, was an occurrence of great sig- nificance in the history of this solitary settlement.
Strubberg's own adventures, however, afford the greater part of the material. Much of the second half of the work describes a journey to the Rocky Mountains which Strubberg made in company with Konigstein, one of the three German colonists, and several other young men who had lately settled on the frontier.
In the vicinity of the Black Hills the party met the exploring expedition of a certain Lord S. The author giyes the reader a picture of the motley components of such early expeditions to the West before the great transcontinental mi- grations to the gold fields of California began. In a manner most interesting to the American of today the author also shows the gradual appearance of other frontiersmen in the domain where he had been sovereign for a number of years.
Encroaching civilization was disturbing the happy, idyllic life which he had so long enjoyed here in the solitude of nature. Somit war das sorglose, gliick- liche Leben, welches mich hier, fern den Menschen, jahrelang ungestort iimgeben hatte, zii Ende, nnd der Geldgott mit seinen tansenderlei Leiden, Gehassigkeiten nnd Sorgen fing an seine despotische Herrschaft auch hier zu griinden.
Die Ruhe war verschwunden und hatte der rastlosen Thiitigkeit der Civili- sation Platz gemacht. In fact the work harks back to Robinson Crusoe and the novel of adventure. In true epic fashion the hero, here the author himself, recounts his adventures. In this work there is no atempt to appeal to the reader by means of a story. There is nothing to relieve the tedium of octavo pages but tlie author's animating style and his ability to give ex- periences often somewhat similar in character, fresh interest by minute descriptions of plants, animals and natural beauties.
The book, by virtue of its matter, must appeal more to male readers. The author would have us believe that these adventures were originally written for his sister Emilie, while he was still in America. The written sketches made a very favorable impression upon his friends. The work is illustrated with twenty-four sketches by the author himself.
Jagd- u. Aus Armand's Leben, Hesscnland. Kassel, 2. Mai, House had identified itself with the publication of "Young German" literature, and especially with works relating to America. Cotta had also published Sealsfield's first work. That he engaged in sketching while living on the frontier is further shown in a passage on page 6 of the above work. The value of the work for us of today lies in just this faith- ful portrayal of animal and plant life, and in the wealth of ethno- graphic material it contains concerning the aborigines at a time in American history when the culture of the white man had not yet overtaken them.
The second edition of the work appeared in ; the third in ; the fourth in This is Strubberg's first pretentious literary venture. Its lack of form as a novel may be due to the fact that the author's interest lay more in the tracing out of his own life than in the romance itself. This work is one of the richest for autobio- graphical material. How much of it is "Truth" and how much "Fiction," it would be difficult to determine with definiteness. Strubberg had evidently early conceived the plan of embodying the various periods of his life in America in literary form.
It is to be noted, too, that it is in his first works in which he himself plays the most prominent part. The time of action of this work antedates that of his first work Amer. Jagd- und Reiseabenteuer. It covers the period be- tween the author's departure from Europe and the beginning of his life on the banks of the Leona.
The novel opens in Rotter- dam. Armand sails for America on the sailing vessel "Medina. His first visit, made about ten years earlier, is also referred to. Madame Brillot, a Creole lady and her seven daughters are fellow-passengers on the "Medina" to New Or- leans. Strubberg, like Cooper, shows himself at home at sea and introduces some striking effects.
In the first volume Strubberg first manifests his interest in the slavery of the South. Slavery afterwards is given prominent consideration in a number of his works. Armand, while on the "Medina," falls in love with Eugenie, the eldest of Madame Brillot's daughters. On arriving in New Friedrich Arniand Striibberg 15 Orleans he accompanies the Brillots to their summer home on Lake Ponchartrain, where he and Eugenie become betrothed.
Marriage with Eugenie is prevented through the intervention of a Methodist clergyman. After a short time he goes to Wilmington, N. C, and thence by rail to Richmond whence he takes a steamer to Baltimore, "die Stadt der Monumente. Armand takes up residence in New York as a shipping merchant. We are now made acquainted with the New York of the thirties through the medium of a German. Here is intro- duced the love episode with Mary Mercer and the fatal duel with her cousin John Mercer, upon which Armand leaves New York as a fugitive from the law.
He journeys to Cincinnati as Mr. Frederick, thence to Louisville, becomes a student of medicine in the medical school there, and after two years receives his doctor's diploma. He now prepares himself for his journey to the West in search of a suitable place to settle. Starting from Memphis on his lately purchased white stallion Czar, and accompanied by his bloodhound Trust, he crosses the river into Arkansas, continues by way of Little Rock and Ultima Thule, a border town of Arkansas, across Choctaw Indian lands to Dallas, Texas, and on to the San Saba Mountains.
At Natchez he takes the steamer to Memphis. On arriving he sets about at once to prepare himself for his proposed stay on the frontier, and to that purpose interests three men, a saddler, a carpenter and an agriculturist, to accompany him. The work closes with the erection of the palisaded fortress on the Leona.
The ravages of yellow fever in New Orleans, the sufferings and mal- treatment of slaves on the Southern plantations, the religious fervor and emotionalism of Methodism, the famous quadroon balls of New Orleans and the sensuous beauty of their partici- pants, society life in New York, horse-racing, a great political convention in Baltimore in the interests of the presidential candi- date Clay — these form a part of the extensive panorama of Amer- ican life here shown.
Strubberg's observations are sometimes exaggerated and betray an endeavor to appeal by sensation. On page of Vol. Ill, Armand describes the cowcatcher of the American train: "Um das tJberrennen von Vieh zu vermeiden, befand sich vor der Lokomotive eine grosse, holzerne, eisenbeschlagene Schaufel, geraumig genug, um mehrere Stiick Rindvieh aufzunehmen und so breit, dass sie zu beiden Seiten die Schienen iiberragte. Ill : "Dabei unterhielten sich Viele derselben mit einem Gedankenspiel, wel- ches so originell als seltsam erscheint, jedocli seine Reize haben muss, da es in ganz Amerika sehr beliebt ist.
Es hat namlich der sich auf diese Weise Unterhaltende ein Stiick weiches Holz in der Hand und schneidet nun mit seinem scharfen Taschenmesser grosse und kleine Spiihne von demselben ab, bis es ganzlich ver- braucht ist, und er in einem Haufen von Holzschnitzeln sitzt, wo- rauf er sein Messer auf der Schuhsohle wetzt und sich wieder nach einem anderen Stiick Holz umsieht. Diese Liebhaberei geht so weit, dass, wenn kein solches zu bekommen ist, man Stiihle, Tische und Banke mit dem Messer angreift, weshalb namentlich in den niedrigren Wirthshausern stets fiir Holz zu diesem Ge- brauch gesorgt wird.
Unwillkiir- lich drangte sich mir das schone Wort von Goethe auf : "Greift nur hinein in's voile Menscheleben und wo man's packt, da ist's interessant. Der Verfasser giebt, was er horte, sah und erlebte, giebt es ohne die Zuthat der ausschmiickenden Phantasie Oder der sinnenden Betrachtung. Er greift hinein in den Schatz seiner reichen Erfahrung und seines treuen Gedachtnisses, Bege- benheiten reihen sich an Begebenheiten, Charaktere an Charak- tere, das voile Menschenleben, wie es die alte Welt schon lange nicht mehr bietet, und dessen Anschauen nur Wenigen gestattet ist, entrollt sich vor den erstaunten Blicken des Lesers.
Das Meer mit seinen Gefahren, seiner erhabenen Grosse, der Urwald in seiner unentweihten Schonheit und seinen Schrecken, das Thierreich und die Pflanzenwelt, wie sie unter tropischer Sonne sich entwickeln, der Farmer und der Stadter, der rothe Wilde und der kiihne Frontier, die Freiheit und das Sclavenleben, das La- ster und der Edelmuth, die Liebe und der Hass ; das sind die Ele- mente, aus denen der Verfasser mit sicherer Hand und offenem Auge seine Schilderungen zusammengewebt. Es steht diese Schrift einzig in ihrer Art da, wird eine bleibende Stelle in der Literatur behaupten und fiir Deutschland, wie fiir England und Amerika von hochstem Interesse sein.
A second edition of Bis in die Wildniss appeared in This third of Strubberg's works is in many respects his most valuable contribution to literature. In no other of his works has the cultural condition of American border life been depicted so graphically; in no other has Strubberg drawn such an array of 1 8 Fricdrich Aniiand Stnihhcrg individual characters. Sensationalism has been replaced by a gen- nine realism. At the same time this work includes some of Strub- berg's most poetic endeavors.
It is a happy combination of the romantic and the realistic. Jagd- und Rciseabentctier de- votes itself to those years when Strubberg still lived in his fort on the Leona, far from the haunts of men. Bis in die Wildniss depicts Strubberg's life before he settled on the frontier.
The time of An der Indiancr-Grenze is a few years later, when Strub- berg had, so to speak, again been overtaken by civilization. The surrounding territory was gradually becoming settled. The single squatter, the rich planter with slaves and cattle from the South- ern States, as well as the criminal and outcast of society, became his neighbors. To give an inclusive account of this motley soci- ety, its political, religious and social activities, was the task Strub- berg set himself to do. It is safe to assert that the work of no American writer gives a more complete account of the cultural conditions of the period and place under consideration.
At the opening of the work Strubberg, who has assumed the name of Farnwakl, already appears on his white stallion. His trusty bloodhound bears the name of Joe in this novel. We read p. I :" "Es war ein schlanker, kraftiger, junger Mann, dessen Aus- seres die Stellung in der menschlichen Gesellschaft verriet, wel- cher er jetzt angehorte. Er war ein Mann von der aussersten Frontiere, von der Grenze der Civilisation Nord-Amerikas, war in Hirschleder gekleidet, trug ein Paar Revolver in dem Giirtel um den Leib, ein langes Jagdmesser an der Seite und eine Dop- pelbiichse schaukelnd vor sich auf dem Sattel.
Der lange schwarze Bart und der schwarze Filz, dessen breiter Rand sein Gesicht iiber- schattete, gaben seiner Erscheinung fast etwas Finsteres; im Widerspruch damit standen jedoch die Liebkosungen, die er sei- nem Pferde durch Klopfen und Streichen mit der Hand zukom- men liess, und die freundlichen Worte, die er einem ungewohn- lich grossen gelben Hunde, der vor ihm hinrannte und von Zeit zu Zeit zu ihm zuriickkehrte, zurief. The Weimar Ed. On page 23, Vol. I, Strubberg mentions the visit of the owner and editor of one of the most important newspapers in the United States, who visits Farnwald in order to be able to inform his readers of the advantages in settling in those parts.
In consequence, immi- grants and land speculators soon begin to arrive. During the third year of Farnwald's sojourn in the fort, the first squatter appeared and erected his hut about an hour distant. Upon the approach of other settlers Farnwald forsook the fort and built himself a more modern residence among his neighbors. A part of the first volume is devoted to Farnwald's love for Owaja, a beau- tiful Lepan-Indian maid.
This delightful little episode, no in- tegral part of the work, has been called the most poetic thing Strubberg has ever written. She is one of Strubberg's Rousseauian cre- ations, a descendant of the children of Chateaubriand and Bernar- din St. Pierre, only more effective. Strubberg was clever at contrasts. It is his skilful handling of the romantic over against a background often harshly realistic, that makes this novel de- lightful reading, in spite of its inadequacy of form.
With little regard for the sympathy of the reader Owaja is left to die early in the work, and Farnwald's love for Dorolice, the daughter of a wealthy Spanish settler, supplies most of the romance for the "Cf. Berlin, Around these tender tales of love Strub- berg has woven the varicolored threads of frontier life. Life among the Indians, their customs and habits both in their villages and on the hunt, their attacks on the whites, the abducting of white childern, life among the planters, both cultured and crass, the conditions of slavery, quarrels over land claims, the execution of the law in a time when the law lay largely in the hand of the individual ; all is depicted in a most vivid manner.
Nor are the minor occurrences of frontier life omitted : The preparation of food and raiment, the squatter in his fields or on the hunt, thril- ling court-room scenes, the gambling table, a Methodist revival meeting, all find place. The reader is spared nothing. The gauging and lynching scenes are realistic and thrilling enough to please the most hlase of readers. The negro fight in Chap. II is a splendid bit of narrative, and finely illustrates the author's graphic, visualizing style.
In the later half of the second volume scenes from the Mexi- can War are introduced. Commanding General Taylor is sta- tioned at Corpus Christi, awaiting orders from Washington to begin the attack on the Mexicans. In the army are many volun- teers from the Eastern States. Farnwald himself gathers a com- pany, and as its Colonel leads it to the field of action. We wit- ness the beginning of the war on the broad plains of Palo Alto. The Mexican War, however, occupies a very subsidiary place. It serves to bring together Farnwald and Dorolice, his Spanish love.
The work closes with an intimation of their union, though Strub- berg in good taste never permits himself as a character to enter into matrimony. Farnwald is the predominating figure throughout the work. Strubberg's fondness for portraying himself in high lights, as a character epically heroic, a paragon of bravery and nobility of mind, a benefactor of humanity in times of peace and a mediator in periods of strife, is not always pleasing to the reader.
To be fair, he does not hesitate to ascribe petty weaknesses to his own character, but his virtues are always greatly in preponderance. Throughout the work his successes as a doctor of medicine are brought out with special emphasis. Fricdrich Armand Stnihhcrg 21 Perhaps the most evident weakness of this work is the author's inabihty to harmoniously wield the great mass of ma- terial at hand.
After the fashion of the ancient epic writer, all must be told whether interesting or otherwise at an expense of the progress of the action. Nevertheless An der Indianer-Grenze remains one of Strubberg's most valuable achievements. It ap- peared in serial form in the Kolnische Zeitimg in the same year with its publication in book form. A second edition was pub- lished in as "Erste Abteilung" in Armand' s ausgew.
Ro- mane. Eduard Trewendt. As a novel this is one of the most readable of Strubberg's works. As a cultural document it is invaluable for the fine pic- ture it gives us of one of the darkest periods in the history of the State of Texas : the planting of German colonies in Texas by the "Mainzer Adelsverein," through whose misdirected efforts thou- sands of Germans suffered untold miseries and hundreds died a wretched death.
In November, , the first ship with immi- grants sent by the "Verein" had arrived; soon thereafter came two others, bringing in all about seven hundred people.
Late in four thousand three hundred and four more arrived. They were obliged to camp on the coast, and only after some time were transported to the interior, where the town of Neu-Braunfels was founded. Those of fared even worse. Transportation was made practically impossible through the fact that nearly all vehicles had been called into service by the American Army for the Mexican War.
They were obliged to camp on the coast in wretched shelter, with only the poorest food. The winter was a severe one, disease spread, and hundreds died. Strubberg has taken for his subject the hardships of the first arrival of immigrants, but he has apparently drawn on the inci- dents connected with the combined arrivals of and The action of the novel consequently takes place during the latter " Cf.
The author was at this time in all probability living in the interior of Texas, in the vicinity of the Leona. It was only in that he was called to Friedrichs- burg as Colonial Director. He was consequently not acquainted with his material at first hand. Through his connections with the colony of Friedrichsburg in the following year he learned to know many of the immigrants themselves, and had beyond a doubt abundant opportunity to hear them relate their wanderings from the coast to the interior of Texas.
The author introduces us to the Werner family in their comfortable little home in South Germany. Few people had had occasion to wander from the prosperous little town, but the "Ver- ein zum Schutze deutscher Auswanderer" Mainzer Adelsverein had issued such glowing reports of the beauties of Texas and the advantages of emigrating thither that Herr Cassirer Werner and family decided to embark on the emigration ship to sail for Amer- ica from Havre in October evidently The adventures of this family form the framework for this novel.
In the second chapter we stand on the coast of Texas with hundreds of other Germans and await an incoming ship. On it is the Werner family. The idealistic anticipation of these naive Germans is most pathetic: "Nun, Kinder, ist alles Schwierige iiberwunden, bald werden wir auf unserer Plantage sein," sagte Herr Werner, als der Steg das Werft erreicht hatte und Alles dariiber hinunter rannte.
The immigrants for want of means of trans- portation are obliged to remain in Galveston, some in hotels, the poorer in wooden shacks without the city. It was a motley crowd. Hier sah man den unbehilflichcn. Man erblickte pur- purfarbene und rothe, mit Schnuren reich besetzte sammetne Paletots, spanische Uberwiirfe mit aufgeschlitzten wciten Armeln, italienische Anziige nach Rinaldo Rinaldini und Masaniello, Le- deranziige nach Natti aus Cooper's Letztem der Mohikaner, Strumpfmiitzen, mittelalterliche Reiterhiite mit aufgekrampten breiten Randern und mit Federn, spitze graue Filzkappen, wie sie die Narren auf deutschen Maskeraden zu tragen pflegen, und Stiefel-FaQons aus alien Jahrhunderten, in denen solche getragen wurden.
In einer Hinsicht aber stimmten diese Leute sammtlich iiberein; sie waren Alle bis an die Zahne bewaffnet und trugen Pistolen, Jagdmesser, so wie Dolche im Giirtel, was ihnen, im Verein mit ihren abnormen Barten, ein desperates, martialisches Ansehen gab. Food and drink was sold at exorbitant prices. By means of a little sailing vessel the Werners are taken from Galveston to Indian Point, where other Germans had also pitched their camp.
From here the Werners had hoped to be conveyed to the colony's lands, but the same difficulties pre- vailed, and they remained here. The extreme heat and want of proper food soon brought on disease, and many fell victims, among them one of Werner's daughters. The immigrants are driven to despair. Many of them, taking with them only the barest necessities, started out to reach Neu-Braunfels on foot, two hundred miles distant ; only a few ever reached their destina- tion, the remaining ones fell by the wayside. An historical account of these hardships: Franz Loeher's Gesch.
Zustdnde der Deutschen in Amerika. Cincinnati und Leipzig, Also Olmsteed's Wanderungen durcJi Texas, etc. Their son Albert had been sent to Neii-Brannfels in the hopes of having a vehicle sent from thence. A few native whites hearing of the distress of the Ger- mans, came to camp with their vehicles and extorted exorbitant prices for transportation. The Werners finally submit themselves to a heartless teamster, who extracts an enormous sum from them. Their drive over the sandy waste under a glaring sun, is strikingly pictured.
The teamster turns off from the road to Neu-Braunfels, forsakes them there, returns and extorts more money from them. The Werners contract the fever on this pro- tracted journey and only the eldest daughter, Matilda, survives. The teamster and his brother seize all the Werner possessions.
Albert remains in Neu-Braunfels for some time ; the author incidentally introduces the life and activities of that German settlement. Albert, on returning to Indian Point finds the graves of his parents. The Mexican War occupies a prominent place in the latter part of the work.
We follow Albert as one of the Texas rangers a body of ununiformed, undisciplined men, says the author, whose only Commando lay in the words "at them! A beauti- ful romance develops between Albert and Dona Rosa, which results in a happy union. The novel ends with a brilliant wedding scene. Strubberg's manner of treating his- torical matter is well illustrated by his introduction of the Mexi- can War. Conspicuous figures such as Generals Taylor and Fricdrich Aniuutd Slnihhcrg 25 Worth are mentioned, but seldom permitted to take an active part.
A Captain Falkland takes part in the dialog and remarks that he is a German. Definite historical references in connection with Strubberg's introduction of the settlement of Neu-Braunfels is more or less avoided. Mention is made of Graf H. This is Strubberg's first attempt at a shorter form of the novel. It is perhaps unfortunate that Strubberg did not resort to a briefer form more frequently, though it must be admitted that material, so varied in nature, was ill adapted for expression in a brief concise form.
This work appeared in the same year with An der Indianer- Grenae. In the introduction to these two "Scenen" the author has given a historical account of the differences that led to the war between Mexico and the United States. The first novelette. Die Amerikaner in Mexico, occupies pages. It is the first of Strubberg's works to have a Spanish milieu. It is in reality a series of scenes. A slender romance is introduced toward the end of the work, but it is almost obscured by the wealth of military and cultural details introduced.
In the harbor lay the American fleet of war, also sending forth volleys of thunder. Under similar strains the Mexican in- "The first two abbreviations probably refer to Graf Edmond von Hatz- feld and Graf Karl von Castell ; the last two the writer has not located.
List of members of the "Mainzer Adelsverein" in Festaufgahe, p. Festaiisgabe, pp. Now the fall of the City of Mexico itself is announced. Colonel Harris, Captain Falkland and Lieutenant Moorland, three officers who had marched triumphantly with the American General Scott into Mexico, had brought this message to Vera Cruz at break of day. The joy of the people knew no end. The stars and stripes waved over the black fortress.
The American Army is described thus p. Strubberg always appears well in touch with the activity of the Germans then in North America. The author delights to introduce Germans into his works, and usually portrays them in an attractive manner. Holzinger had during the bombardment of Vera Cruz heroically defended Fort Santa Barbara against the Americans, and when the flag pole was broken by an American ball, had, amid a torrent of bullets, held up the flag.
Through his bravery he had won the esteem of the Americans and been given his freedom on condition that he would no longer serve in the Mexican Army. We are led into the country palace of Santa Anna, the Na- poleon of the South, as he is called. A vivid picture of the Spanish guerillas is drawn.
Gambling, horsethieving and love- making between American soldiers and Spanish beauties give the scenes a dash of color. The second novelette, Der Sturm von San Antonio, is better proportioned and contains more unity. The author first gives a brief historical sketch of Texas, "das Nordamerikanische Ita- FricdricJi Aniiaiid Sinihbcrg 27 lien," since the days of Ferdinand Cortcz up to , when the great migrations to Texas began.
Strubberg writes p. Taugenichtse, Schwindler, Diebe, Ranber und Morder siichten hier eine sichere Zufluchtsstatte, imd Sklaveneigner, die von ihren Glaubigern be- driingt waren, flohen mit Hunderten von Negern nach diesem Asyl. It is about this time that the action of the novel takes place. Sealsfield, we remember, had operated in about the same period in his Cajiltenhitch. Unlike that of most of the earlier works the milieu of this novelette lies beyond the author's own personal experience. It is perhaps for this reason, too, that we miss his own familiar figure in the work.
Strub- berg's intimate acquaintance with the territory aids him in strik- ing the proper atmosphere, even if the action takes place several years before his own activities in that region. The crude and vagabondish character of the population in these early days in Texas is happily depicted, and in strong contrast to the beautiful scenic background. In stronger contrast still is the pretty romance between young Gordon and the Spanish maid Beatrice de Al- monte. Gordon is an idealist and stands up for the Indian whom he thinks shamefully and unjustly treated.
Sie nahmen ihnen nicht allein ihr Eigenthum, trieben sie von ihrer Heimath weiter und weiter dem oden Gestein der Anden zu, sie jagten sie wie die wilden Thiere, sie erschlugen ganze Stamme; sie brachten ihnen zerstorende Krankheiten, sie gaben ihnen Branntwein und brachen alle Vertrage, alle Versprechungen, die sie ihnen gegeben hatten. The fol- lowing passage is almost Hebraic in character p. The author is very evidently in sympathy with the red man's cause. The ignoble actions of the whites, their faithlessness in upholding the peace contract with the Indians, the terrible vengeance which the latter reek upon them, to which Gordon and Beatrice fall innocent victims, form the machinery of the work.
Scencn aus den Kdmpfen der Mexicaner und Nordamerika- ner was never republished. Carl Riimp- ler. The work is dedicated as follows : "Dem Freiherrn J. Strubberg is here dealing with an historical Indian character. Mopotuska appears to be a perversion of Mopechucope old owl. Festausgabe, p. Fricdrich Armand Striihhcrg 29 "fiir manche hcrbe Stiinde meines langjahrigen ernsten Wander- lebens Ersatz zii finden.
Its ex- treme length, quite unmotivated, and the multitude of crimes and horrors scattered over its pages, prevent it from occupying a very high place as a literary work. The author for once steps out of the bounds of his own personal experience. The story begins a few years after the treaty between the United States and Spain February, 1 , in which the latter resigned her interests in Florida.
The scene opens on the northern border of Florida. It is the life and crimes of Ralph Norwood which form the material for Strubberg's novel. The history of the struggles of the Seminoles in Florida and the final removal of the small remaining number by the Government to the Far West serves as the ethnographic background.
No attempt is made to characterize the Indian by peculiarities of language. The following speech, delivered by Tallihadjo, the chief of the hunted Seminoles, is an example of the author's usual Indian speech Vol. Der Zorn des grossen Geistes liegt schwer auf unserm Volke, und das starke Herz Talli- hadjo's hat schon viel um dasselbe gelitten.
Er wollte ihm auch sein Land opfern und es den Weissen iiberlassen, darum zog er mit seinem Stamme davon, ohne dass seine Fahrte sagte wohin. A German sailor is on the pirate vessel. The author never neglects to introduce Germans into his works. The story now shifts to Florida, then again to Baltimore and along the sea coast ; the reader is even given an excursion up the Hudson to Trenton Falls, as well as Niagara.
The terrible atrocities against the Indians, partly brought on through Ralph Norwood, who acts as a government spy, reflect no credit on the whites. The author's sympathies point strongly toward the Indians. At the end of the fourth volume, the last decisive battle of the Seminole war is fought. The few remain- ing Seminoles are taken by the government to the western part of the State of Arkansas.
The fifth volume opens there sixteen years later. The author is again on the territory he knows so well. He promptly introduces himself, his white stallion and his old dog, who here bears the name of Guard. He introduces himself as follows : "Farland, ein Deutscher von Geburt, war der erste Ansiedler in dieser Gegend gewesen, zu jener Zeit als dieselbe sich noch weit und breit in dem Besitz der Indianer befand. Er war Arzt, hatte aber seine wissenschaftlichen medizinischen Kennt- nisse seit seinem hiesigen Aufenthalt nie anders benutzt, als um unentgeltlich seinen, sich taglich mit jedem Jahr betrachtlicher mehrenden weissen Nachbarn und auch den ihm befreundeten In- dianern beizustehen, wenn sie seiner Hiilfe bedurften.
Er war ein Mann im kraftigsten Alter, von ungewohnlicher geistiger und korperlicher Ausdauer, der mit vielen schweren Schicksalen ge- kampft, herbe Leiden getragen und sich dennoch Antheil an den Freuden des Lebens und Theilnahme fiir das Wohl und Wehe seiner Mitmenschen erhalten hatte. Though so near the natural conclusion of the novel, a violent affair of the heart between Farland and Berenice, daugh- ter of Ralph Norwood, now comes into the foreground. Berenice dies. The work ends with Tallihadjo's terrible revenge on Ralph Norwood for his traitorous deeds against the Indians, his own mother's kin, while still in Florida.
Ralph Norwood and the pirate captain of the "Sturmvogel" are both burned at the stake. Friedrich Arriiand Striibberg 31 Carl Riimpler. They were written at a time when the agitations of slavery in America had reached their climax in the Civil War. Striibberg, though we infer from his works that he himself owned slaves, manifests an antipathy to slavery as an institution.
He frequently introduces slaves into his works, but usually por- trays them in such a way as to arouse the sympathy of the reader. This is the only one of Strubberg's works, however, devoted en- tirely to the negro. It would be gojng too far to credit Sklaverei in Amerika with direct anti-slavery tendencies.
The author aims less at giving a wide cultural panorama of slavery in its minutest details than an interesting literary product. Sklaverei in Amerika is in a sense an epic trilogy on the black man. The beauty of the black man's life in his natural surroundings in Africa, his re- moval to America and entrance into bondage, the loves, sorrows, and tragedies of his descendants in slavery; this is the machinery with which Strubberg operates.
The plots of these three novels are more carefully con- structed, better motivated and more finely proportioned, being less hampered by the usual mass of episodes. As a cultural document of the period of slavery in America it has less value; as a purely literary achievement, however, it takes the first place among the author's many works. The first novel. Die Quadrone, takes up pages. Strub- berg was very partial to the beautiful quadroons of the South and excelled especially in the description of those who had enjoyed exceptional advantages.
The " Cf. Description of quadroon ball in Bis in die IVildniss, p. Descriptions of a southern slave market, methods of buying and selling human ware, the sale of Leonta and her con- sequent life form the material for this novel. A fuller account of this work follows later in the considera- tion of its dramatized form. Die Midattin, the second novel, is somewhat longer, occupy- ing 33 1 pages. Rosiana, like Leonta, also has a white father, a clergyman. Her mother is a negress. In this work at least, the author shows himself able to motivate a real conflict.
Rosiana, possessed of great physical beauty, and having enjoyed excellent mental and moral training at the hands of her reverend father, is in every respect fitted to move on the same social plane as do the fairer daughters of the old city of Richmond. Though endowed men- tally, and physically, with great beauty, Rosiana is an outcast.
It is the clash of white against black. Lincoln, a prominent young advocate, an anti-aboli- tionist, remarks Vol. Note the various names Strubberg assumes when he himself appears. In "Farnwald" in An der Indianer- Grenze, "Farland" in Ralph Nonvood, and "Franval" in the above novel, the similarity of the vowels and consonants is very striking. This similarity vvas no doubt resorted to in order to make the identification of the character with the author himself more easily perceptible.
FricdricJi Armand Stntbbcrg 33 lass mich sehen, ob Dii gleichgiiltig gegen ihre Reize bleibst und ob Du ihnen gegeniiber noch behaupten kannst, class sie den Thieren niiher standen, als die zerbrechlichen geistlosen weissen Damen," sagte Fehrmann. Der Gedanke daran macht sie mir schon zuwider," entgegnete Lincoln. Franval had been overtaken by misfortune and lost his bride. He had fled from the world and sought solace on the frontier of the West, where he had settled with several other unfortunates.
Lincoln had fallen a victim to Rosiana's charms, staked his promising career, forsaken his friends, and fled with Rosiana to the extreme West, where he settled in a little town near the borders of Mex- ico, several hundred miles south of Franval's settlement. Here Lincoln lived happily with Rosiana and their children. Strubberg is now again in his own frontier atmosphere. He stops to describe himself — the familiar, weather-beaten rider in leathern garments and his white stallion.
Franval and Lincoln are again brought together. Lincoln's happiness is soon to be interrupted. Rosiana's father had neglected to officially declare the freedom of his daughter, and upon his death his heirs claim her as saleable property. Lincoln's home is attacked ; he defends himself and family; Rosiana manages to escape, and Lincoln is imprisoned, but escapes by bribery and joins his family.
Fran- " The time of action of the first half of the novel, though not designated by definite textual data, is probably the latter thirties, when S. Die Negerin is the longest of the three novels comprised in Sklaverei in Amcrika. It occupies the last 95 pages of the second volume and the entire third volume of pages. Though not any of these three novels published under Skla- verei in Amerika are related to each other, a more natural order would have been: i.
Die Negerin; 2. Die Mulattin; 3. Die Qua- drone. In Die Negerin the author has opened the scene of action among the negro tribes of Africa, where half of the story is en- acted.
Paul S' way with books in 2018 - Depression and Dancing
In no other work is the author's imaginative and inventive ability more clearly shown. He is here operating with material totally foreign to him. This may account to a degree for the pre- ponderance of the romantic spirit. The negro prince Buardo, son of the King of the Annagus, and Semona, a negress of another tribe, are two of Strubberg's most poetic creations.
Buardo, while with his warriors on an elephant hunt, meets the slave-dealer Sarfzan, who has for years brought slaves from the eastern to the western part of Africa. His destination is the coastland of the King of Dahomey, whom he has long furnished with wives. Sarfzan, on hearing that Buardo is prince of the Annagus, de- sires to sell him some of his human wares. Buardo, however, had enjoyed instruction in the Christian Mission in Cape Coast, and Sarfzan's dark beauties have little effect on him, until Sem- ona, the gem of the collection, is brought before him, "wie cine aus Ebenholz geschnittene Venus," writes Strubberg with his marvelous visualizing power Vol.
II, p. Sie war eine hohe, edle Gestalt, ihr " Strubberg again describes the familiar palisaded fort and its interior furnishings. He mentions some valuable paintings on the wall Vol. Letters in the Appendix, Fricdrich Aruiand Stnihhcrg 35 Kopf war klein, ihr Nacken schlank und rnnd, und ihr voller Bu- sen wie aus schwarzem Marmor gehauen. Um ihre breiten Hiif- ten lag ein scharlachrother seideiier Shawl gebunden, und mit gol- denen Schniiren waren die Sandalen itnter ihren kleinen Fiissen um ihre zierlichen Enkel befestigt.
Ihr regelmassig schones Ge- sicht trug die Form der edelsten weissen Menschenrace Asiens, und eine Cirkassierin wiirde sie um ihr Profil beneidet haben. Das Weiss ihrer grossen tiefdunkeln Augen war rein, wie die Perle an Persiens Gestaden und die Reihen ihrer wunderbar schon geformten Ziihne glanzten wie der Schnee auf den Gebirgen In- diens. Ihre reizend geschnittenen iippig vollen Lippen gliihten, wie die Granatbliithe in einer schwarzen Marmorschale und in ihrem melanchohschen seelenvollen Antilopenblick stand ihr Schicksal geschrieben.
Ihr glanzend schwarzes Haar rollte sich dicht an ihrem Kopf in unzahHge kleine zierliche Lockchen zu- sammen und auf ihrer zarten Haut lag ein weicher Sammet- hauch. The gentle love of these two negroes is depicted with a beauty and delicacy that puts to shame that of their white brethren. Of course Strubberg has idealized beyond recognition.
He is again embodying Rous- seauian ideas. Strubberg has spared no effort to give his story color by the introduction of African scenery, and plants and ani- mals native to Africa. The fierce wars between savage negro tribes are vividly described. At times, however, the reader feels that the author has transferred Indian customs to the negro. The love of Buardo and Semona, the recapture of Semona, together with Buardo by Sarfzan, their final disposal to a slave dealer who transports them to a slave-ship bound for America, form the contents of the first half of the novel.
The author does not omit giving his readers an account of life on the slave ship, and the manner of plying between the African and American coasts under difficulties of the law. In America Buardo and Semona are sold to the same planter. They live happily and are permitted to unite in marriage. The good fortune of the two slaves continues but for a little while, when conditions cause their owner to sell them apart.
Their unhappy fate as slaves in America is told with a realism strongly in contrast with their romantic life in their tropical homes in Africa. The author, in poetic justice, finally after many difficulties brings Buardo and Semona together on a whaling ship. While on an expedition south of Cape Horn, they manage one dark night to lower one of the small boats and effect their escape to a little island.
Here amid beautiful surroundings Buardo and Semona live out the rest of their days in happiness. Through whale ships which occasionally stopped at the island they had re- ceived fowls and garden seeds, and wanted none of the necessi- ties of life. The virtues of man in his simple state are very strikingly set forth in Buardo and Semona. That Rousseau's works were in the author's mind appears evident from a passage in which a prospective slave- buyer, being told of Semona's beauty and her present intense mourning for the lost Buardo, says Vol.
HI, p. Pierre's Paid et Virginie, one of the first literary pieces to reflect Rousseau. Sklavcrei in Amerika was never republished. One of its novels Die Mulattin was, however, published separately in Fricdrich Armand Struhhcrg 2 7 Ahenteuer eines deittschen Knaben in Aincrika.
In a manner similar to that pursued in Alte iind Neue Hci- moth, Strubberg again introduces us to a German family, the Turners, on their comfortable little farm in the beautiful valley of the Werra. Through a cousin, who possesses a farm along the Chesapeake Bay in America, they are persuaded to migrate to America. The family consists of Herr and Frau Turner, one daughter, two sons, and a related orphan, Carl Scharnhorst, whom the Turners had received into their family as one of their own.
We follow the Turners over the Atlantic to Baltimore. Through a bank which has de- faulted in Baltimore they lose much of their money. In despair they conclude to find a home in the Far West. On the voyage to America the Turners had become acquainted with one of the crew, the negro Daniel. The Turners, being Germans, did not enter- tain the same prejudice against negroes, and were especially kind and friendly to Dan.