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Transnational Longfellow

A Project of American National Poetry


Armin Paul Frank and Christel-Maria Maas

This study marks a decisive advance in Longfellow studies. Instead of making do with documenting the poet’s literary contacts in a biographical context, as has been the custom in the past, the authors inquire into the uses he made of European works for the English-American literature in the making. Focusing on Longfellow’s widely famous poem, Evangeline, and the internationally most ambitious poet’s anthology, Tales of a Wayside Inn, they demonstrate that the poet-professor’s program and practice of an integrative, transnational American poetry that includes translations adapts the model that the Schlegel Brothers recommended for German literature – a cultural late-comer as was that of the U.S.A. In the process, they identify a number of correlative works so far overlooked.
Contents: From British Associationism to German Integrative Internationalism – Evangeline: A Composite American Historical Pastoral and Feminine Quest Epyllion – Tales of a Wayside Inn: A Poet’s Anthology – The Translation and Transformation of Tales: The Falcon of Ser Federigo – The Translation and Transformation of Tales: An American Version of Karolus, the Emperor – Longfellow’s Poetry and Poetics in American Literary History: A Suggestion – The International Range of Tales of a Wayside Inn - A Documentation.