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The Literary Legacy of a «Poor Devil»

The Life and Work of Robert Reitzel (1849-1898)


Randall P. Donaldson

Robert Reitzel published Der arme Teufel, a weekly journal in Detroit, Michigan, from December 6, 1884, until his death on March 31, 1898. During his years as editor, Reitzel used Der arme Teufel as a forum for his frequently unorthodox and occasionally radical views. Nonetheless, Reitzel attracted a devoted circle of readers who enjoyed Der arme Teufel not so much for the radical theories of its editor, as for its considerable attention to literature. In addition, Reitzel frequently contributed his own original prose sketches, which charmed many readers and earned Reitzel a reputation as the best prose stylist in German-America. This book broadens the scholarly view of Robert Reitzel by analyzing his literary commentary as well as his original prose and evaluating them specifically in the context of German-American literature.