By Waldemar Zacharasiewicz
Even supposing German americans quantity nearly forty three million and are the most important ethnic crew within the usa, students of yank literature have paid little recognition to this influential and ethnically varied cultural crew. In a piece of unprecedented intensity and variety, Waldemar Zacharasiewicz explores the cultural and historic historical past of the various photos of Germany and Germans during the prior centuries. utilizing an interdisciplinary procedure referred to as comparative imagology, which borrows from social psychology and cultural anthropology, Zacharasiewicz samples a vast spectrum of unique resources, together with literary works, letters, diaries, autobiographical debts, travelogues, newspaper stories, movies, or even cartoons and political caricatures. В В В beginning with the concept of Germany because the perfect web site for educational research and go back and forth within the 19th century and concluding with the twentieth-century snapshot of Germany as an competitive nation, this leading edge paintings examines the ever-changing snapshot of Germans and Germany within the writings of Louisa may well Alcott, Samuel Clemens, Henry James, William James, George Santayana, W. E. B. Du Bois, John Dewey, H. L. Mencken, Katherine Anne Porter, Kay Boyle, Thomas Wolfe, Upton Sinclair, Gertrude Stein, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon, William Styron, Walker Percy, and John Hawkes, between others. В В В
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Extra info for Images of Germany in American Literature
A few years earlier Taylor had published his essay on the Teutoburger Forest,43 which described the dark appeal of this landscape but primarily evoked the memory of a historical event with far-reaching consequences, namely the decisive victory of Arminius, the leader of the Cherusci, over the Romans. Two years after the publication of Henry James’ sketch the long-planned monument to Arminius in the Teutoburger Forest was unveiled. 45 Henry’s aversion to the Germans colors his depiction of the small and allegedly dirty city surrounding an ugly castle which is compared to its detriment with picturesque Italian princely courts.
37 In his autobiography the word “ugly” is prominent when he summarizes his earlier impressions of Germany, and he is of the opinion that all German phenomena lack form and shape. In addition to the unfavorable experiences in his childhood and youth, Henry’s growing bias against Germany reﬂects the increasing political tensions between the German Empire and his favorite countries. 38 The rapid development of German science and medical research, which prompted the rise of Berlin and Vienna to the status of meccas for American physicians in the last third of the nineteenth century, recommended Central Europe to William as a suitable destination both for his research work (long before Henry settled permanently in the Old World) and for the convalescence needed after his serious illness during his travels in Brazil.
The equanimity with which he receives the news of the fortune waiting for him in America bears witness to the power of the genius loci of the university town and the stereotype, for Claudius is presented as a “phlegmatic” northerner,25 who is rarely shaken out of his constitutional composure. It is true, the exigencies of the plot allow Claudius to slip into the role of the typical hero of a romance. He undergoes a remarkable change into a surprisingly polished and attentive cavalier when he is confronted with a rival for the hand of the beautiful Countess Margaret in cosmopolitan Baden-Baden, to which the setting moves.