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King Arthur and the privy councillor : Albert Schulz as a cultural mediator between the literary fields of nineteenth century Wales and Germany

Gruber, E. (2013) King Arthur and the privy councillor : Albert Schulz as a cultural mediator between the literary fields of nineteenth century Wales and Germany. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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Abstract

This thesis presents Albert Schulz, a lawyer and autodidact scholar, who won the first prize at the 1840 Abergavenny Eisteddfod with his Essay on the Influence of Welsh Traditions on the Literature of France, Germany, and Scandinavia. It was subsequently published in Britain in 1841 and was widely reviewed in literary journals. Its German edition, entitled Die Arthursage und die Mährchen des rothen Buchs von Hergest (1842), comprised the first translations into German of Welsh tales, the Mabinogion. At the time, Schulz was well-known among scholars in Wales and Germany, but today, he and his works are mostly forgotten, yet the memory of his essay survives in footnotes. This thesis has three main aims. First, the circumstances which allowed a German lawyer to enter the Welsh literary field were examined, in particular his cultural and educational background and his literary and philosophical influences, placing him in the Late Romantic period. The analysis of the essay confirmed this, as Schulz adapted Herderian and Schlegelian concepts of a common European literary heritage to the appraisal of the peripheral Welsh literary field. Secondly, the external factors for Schulz’ rise within the literary fields were taken into account, using Bourdieu’s theory of cultural production and the laws governing it. Research has shown that he was a part of a transnational scholarly network connecting Germany and Wales. He entertained correspondence with prominent figures in the literary fields such as the Karl Lachmann, the Brothers Grimm and Thomas Stephens. Thirdly, his membership in these networks enabled Schulz to become a cultural mediator, transmitting literary and cultural knowledge across linguistic and national borders with his essay and translations. While there was considerable interest in Celticism and the Celtic languages in Germany, Wales and its literature had not yet been the subject of scholarly research prior to Schulz’ efforts. Therefore, his work placed Wales on the literary map of Europe alongside the established literary traditions of France, Germany and Scandinavia.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of Modern Languages
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2015 15:17
Last Modified: 13 May 2016 15:50
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/5244
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