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Transatlantic Crossings and Transformations

German-American Cultural Transfer from the 18th to the End of the 19th Century


Kurt Mueller-Vollmer

This volume attempts for the first time a comprehensive view of the momentous process of German-American cultural transfer during the 18 th and 19 th centuries, which played an important part in the formation of an American national and cultural identity, a process to which the New England Transcendentalists contributed some of the decisive ingredients, but which has largely escaped the attention of German and American scholarship. In each chapter a specific problem is treated systematically from a clearly defined perspective, deficiencies of existing translation theories are exposed, so that in the concluding chapters 13 and 14 (with an unpublished memorandum by Alexander von Humboldt) a cohesive view of the entire process emerges. A comprehensive bibliography will facilitate further scholarly pursuits.
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1. German Missionaries, Native Americans and the Multicultural Origin of American Linguistics and Ethnology


„Der Amerikaner, der den Kolumbus zuerst entdeckte, machte eine böse Entdeckung.“ “The American who first discovered Columbus made a horrible discovery.”

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799)

“…and these neglected dialects of our own continent certainly do offer the philosophical inquirer some of the most curious and interesting facts of any languages with which we are acquainted.”

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