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Frontier and Utopia in the Fiction of Charles Sealsfield

A Study of the "Lebensbilder aus der westlichen Hemisphäre</I>

Series:

Jerry Schuchalter

This study examines the work of Charles Sealsfield (1793-1864), the Moravian-American writer, whose fiction marked the first serious literary treatment of America in the German language. More specifically, Sealsfield's work is discussed in the light of his experience in America and, above all, in the light of his change of identity from Karl Anton Postl - Moravian monk to Charles Sealsfield - American writer. It employs two concepts - frontier and utopia - to show how Sealsfield was influenced by the antebellum tradition in America, and how he, in turn, used the governing myths and symbols of his time to create an important statement about the relationship between ideology and power in the Age of Jackson.
Contents: Analysis of the concepts - frontier and utopia - and their relationship – Interpretation of Sealsfield's change of identity – Discussion of Sealsfield's political ideas and his narrative structure – Sealsfield as an American writer and his place in the American literary canon.