By Walter Grunzweig
During this first accomplished research in English of Walt Whitman's reception within the German-speaking international locations, Walter Gr?nzweig posits a really widely established thought of tradition, embodying a large choice of parts resembling excessive literature, politics, early life events, sexuality, and different subcultures.
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Extra info for Constructing German Walt Whitman (Iowa Whitman Series)
22 This lack of appreciation for Whitman's poetic revolution is also reflected in the efforts of a third Whitman translator of the period, Ernst Otto Hopp, another returnee from America, otherwise little known. In his anthology entitled Unter dem Sternenbanner (Beneath the Star-Spangled Banner, 1877), Hopp included the Page 18 translation of just one work by Whitman. It was the poem Whitman was "almost sorry [he] ever wrote," "O Captain! ": Auf Linkoln's Tod DER KAPITÄN Wach' auf, mein guter Kapitän, die Reise ward vollbracht, Wir trotzten Sturm und Wettersgraus, der Mühen Lohn uns lacht, Der Port ist da, die Glocke tönt, es jubelt fern und nah, Bewundernd folgt das Aug' dem Kiel, der Noth und Schrecken sah Was klopfst du, Herz, in tiefstem Schmerz?
It is the type of reading which allows Knortz to interpret Whitman's multifaceted symbolic "grass" as a "simple, useful, natural product" (KK, 25). Knortz seems to have worried little about the incompatibility of this prosaic Whitman with the Christ-like individual he introduced in the be- Page 23 ginning. Rather, the mythic elements serve to strengthen the power of Whitman's "message" the way Knortz understands it. Knortz also offers his readers a reading of Whitman as a poet of modern life. As a "true American," Whitman admires "technological, industrial, and social progress" (KK, 10).
1 However, the revolutionaries failed miserably, in part because the weak German and Austrian bourgeoisie was not ready to opt unequivocally for democracy; its eventual compromise with the feudalist forces allowed the reactionary regime to continue. A large number of revolutionaries, the so-called Forty-Eighters, joined the ranks of exiles in England, the United States, and elsewhere. Individuals like Freiligrath had to face long periods away from home. In order to earn his living, he worked for the London branch of a Swiss bank while keeping up his literary activity and engaging in translations of international poetry.
Constructing German Walt Whitman (Iowa Whitman Series) by Walter Grunzweig