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Title: England and America in the writings of Wilhelm Raabe : a critical study of his knowledge and appreciation of language, literature and people
Author: Butler, Geoffrey Patrick Guyton
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1962
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Raabe's views on England and America, as manifested above all in his characterization of the English and the Americans, are examined in detail, and attention is drawn to various works by his contemporaries in which comparable views are expressed or implied. Certain historical figures, events, and situations - and certain happenings during the author's own lifetime - did little to dispose him favourably towards the English. In some ways he found America attractive; but he did not portray it as a friendly country, and he disapproved of several supposedly American characteristics. There follows an account of Raabe's familiarity with the English language, based largely on the evidence of his published writings and correspondence. He was self-taught, it appears, and the English he wrote is a strange mixture of good and bad: his was primarily a reading knowledge. Raabe reveals much of his knowledge and appreciation of English and American literature through quotations and allusions. Quotations and expressions of literary origin which were popular in his day are treated separately: the more hackneyed the quotation, the more likely it is that he was not aware of its source - or at least did not have the original context in mind at the time of writing. Occasionally the new contexts point to his knowledge of the source in question. In general, however, these tags merely serve to strengthen impressions gained elsewhere - notably from less common quotations (and from other references to English and American writers and their works) which occur in Raabe's novels and Novellen. The relevant passages are considered at some length. Biographical material is also taken into account. Of particular interest are the passages relating to Shakespeare, whom Raabe knew well. Appended is a brief survey of the writer's personal contacts with people who knew England and America from direct experience.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: German Literature