In the mid-1880s, the Realist author and Anglophile Theodor Fontane observed: ‘nowhere is so much translation done as in Germany.’ Characterizing Germany as a special locus of literary translation and reception, Fontane contests a prejudice which has since become a significant problem for nineteenth-century German studies, namely the frequent assessment of the epoch as narrowly national. The present collection of essays by thirteen eminent literary scholars and historians is intended to correct this prejudice: it demonstrates that literary life and production in the nineteenth century were governed by complex networks of intercultural exchange, influence and translation, and it does justice to this complexity through its range of complementary critical approaches, focussing on Fontane, Anglo-German relations, translation, and European reception. In so doing, this book not only offers a nuanced appreciation of literary production and reception in the nineteenth century, but also demonstrates the continued relevance of that period for Germanists today.
‘This volume contains thirteen varied contributions which the editors successfully present as a coherent group of essays in honour of a distinguished Fontane scholar, whose own work provides an implicit point of reference... The strengths of this volume lie for the most part in the expository sections, the light that is thrown on unfamiliar corners of nineteenth-century German literary life, and the commitment shown by this group of commentators to its preservation as an object of study.’ — John Osborne, Modern Language Review 112.1, January 2017, 284-86 (full text online)
‘This expertly edited, wide-ranging and engaging collection of essays admirably fulfils its aim of putting Fontane’s oeuvre in a European context, thus challenging a narrow view of his work and implicitly of late nineteenth-century German realism as a whole... This is an appropriately eclectic and com- prehensive volume and as such a fitting tribute to its dedicatee, Professor Emerita Helen Chambers, who has done so much to make the German department at St Andrews a centre of intercultural German Studies.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 53.2, April 2017
‘A rich panorama of case studies on Anglo-German, trilateral, and multilateral cultural exchange and dialogue (mostly) in the nineteenth century. It will be of particular interest to those who wish to look beyond canonical works and established knowledge.’ — Dirk Göttsche, Translation and Literature 26, 2017, 231-37
‘Represents British Germanistik at its broadest, best, and most inter-connected... In overcoming prejudices both against the nineteenth century and against the genre which originated in it, this book really does accomplish the ‘Great Festschrift Makeover’.’ — David Gillett, Angermion 2017, 202-06
‘The scope and ambition of the thirteen essays that make up this volume are impressive. Each contribution displays a captivating commitment to detailed study of the primary texts in question, yet, at the same time, never restricting itself to simply textual microanalysis.’ — Paul Whitehead, Comparative Critical Studies 14, 2018, 397-401
Robertson, Ritchie, and Michael White (eds), Fontane and Cultural Mediation: Translation and Reception in Nineteenth-Century German Literature, Germanic Literatures, 8 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2015)
First footnote reference:35Fontane and Cultural Mediation: Translation and Reception in Nineteenth-Century German Literature, ed. by Ritchie Robertson and Michael White, Germanic Literatures, 8 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2015), p. 21.
Subsequent footnote reference:37 Robertson and White, p. 47.