An apparently nomadic diaspora nation of Indian provenance, the Romanies are present with notable frequency in Germanic literature of the long nineteenth century from Wolzogen, Kotzebue, Brentano and Immermann to Stifter, Keller, Storm, Raabe, Jensen, Carl Hauptmann, Saar, Alscher and Thomas Mann. Against the background of the still officially unacknowledged Romany Holocaust, Saul analyses in a series of close readings the stations of the literary construction of the Gypsy prior to that human disaster, and interrogates the category of Orientalism traditionally applied to locate the Gypsy presence in the symbolic landscape of Germanic culture. The book's synthesis of scholarship in anthropological, social and institutional history, the history of ideas and literature will appeal to the scholarly community across traditional disciplinary boundaries, and will also serve as a valuable introduction for students from diverse fields.
Nicholas Saul is Professor of German and chairs the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Durham.
‘Nicholas Saul’s excellent monograph traces what might be termed the prehistory of genocide... Saul discusses many of the major writers and best-known works of nineteenth-century German literature, but also unearths long-forgotten authors and texts. Most welcome is his carefully differentiated understanding of the Gypsy in German literature: most of the writers perpetuate popular myths, but not all are negative in the same way, and some actually introduce more positive images of the Gypsy or portray them as persecuted victims. Taken together, Saul's subtle analyses of individual authors and texts build to an encyclopaedic, if largely depressing, history.’ — Todd Kontje, Modern Language Review 103.4, October 2008, 1154-55 (full text online)
‘In addition to providing a valuable contribution to understanding the cultural history leading up to the Romany Holocaust, the book offers a foundation for comparing representations of Gypsies and Jews in German culture, which Saul begins to consider in the context of his study.’ — Laurel Plapp, German Quarterly Fall 2008, 502-04
‘In this book Nicholas Saul endeavours to "reconstruct the shifts in the representation of the Gypsy in German culture through the medium of literature and anthropology from around 1850 to the First World War"... well-written and thought-provoking.’ — Gertrud Reershemius, Romani Studies 19.2, 2009, 183-85
‘Nicholas Saul widmet sich in seiner Studie einem von der literaturwissenschaftlichen Forschung lange Zeit vernachtlässigten, in den letzten zehn Jahren jedoch deutlich ins Zentrum des Interesses gerückten Thema: der Repräsentation der sogenannten 'Zigeuner' in der deutschen Literatur vor dem Hintergrund ethnographisch-anthropologischer Diskurse.’ — Stefani Kugler, Jahrbuch der Raabe-Gesellschaft 2009, 194-200
‘Adds an intelligent and long overdue analysis of Romany imagery, helpful for anyone preparing a seminar on Romanticism or Realism and all the way up to Holocaust studies.’ — Roger Russi, Monatshefte 101.3, 2009, 434-36
Saul, Nicholas, Gypsies and Orientalism in German Literature and Anthropology of the Long Nineteenth Century (Cambridge: Legenda, 2007)
First footnote reference:35 Nicholas Saul, Gypsies and Orientalism in German Literature and Anthropology of the Long Nineteenth Century (Cambridge: Legenda, 2007), p. 21.