A History- 2nd Revised and Augmented Edition
4 The Reception of Robert Burns in Germany 1980-2013
4.1 An Overview of Recent Research Developments That neither the Burns canon nor the Burns criticism were comprehensive, and that consequently a “Burns for today” was required were the final results of Rosemary Anne Selle’s 1981 dissertation. She requested a change in the schol- arly as well as in literary approaches to Robert Burns; editors and translators should seek for a more diverse representation of Burns and show the immense variety within the poet’s oeuvre. Thus, a “new Burns” would complement the insufficient and fragmentary picture of the Scottish national poet, particularly in Germany. The illustrated bilingual Robert Burns: Liebe und Freiheit. Gedichte und Lieder (1988) by Rudi Camerer, Rosemary Selle, Horst Meller and Joachim Utz constitutes a notable exception. However, since then, Selle’s plea seems largely to have gone unheard. There are only two recent examples of including often ignored works – such as his satires and prose letters – which are Heiko Postma’s collections Mit Whisky trotzen wir dem Satan (2003) and Auf wildem Pfad durch Fels und Heide (2008). It is but a stepping stone leading into the right direction. Regarding the academic perspective, a noticeable shift in Burns criticism has taken place within the past thirty years. Especially the studies published in the early twenty-first century give evidence of this. They feature a “new Burns” viewed from a transgressive and global perspective. The poet’s transnational influence is no longer evaluated merely on the basis of his talents and works, but also on the grounds of the different forms...
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