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Talvj`s impact in creating national identity of Germans and Serbs

by Juliana Jovicic

Within this paper, special topic of research is Talvj`s impact in creating national identity of Germans and Serbs, most of all in building up national emancipation of small nations. At the beginning of 19th century the cultural and literature connections between Germans and Serbs were strong and fruitful. It was a very important moment in creating national identity in this to countries. Serbia was under power of Ottoman Imperia for a long period and Germany was under the power of Napoleon. This was the time, when history, literature and fight of small Slavic nations against occupiers were very popular in Germany, who was occupied with their national identity under the boundary of Napoleon. Slavic nations, like the Ukraine, Bulgarians, Serbs, Croats, Slovenians, Czech, Slovaks or Sorbs, build themselves to citizen nations under foreign occupation and states. Among other great German and Slavic intellectuals like Goethe, Jacob Grimm, Jernej Kopitar, Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic, Leopold von Ranke and others, Therese Albertine Luise von Jakob-Robinson (Talvj, 1797-1879), who was a German woman writer, translator and intercultural mediator between, played a very important role in this. She translated Serbian Folk Poems and wrote about Slavic/Serbian culture, history and literature.

I will outline Talvj`s role and merits as translator, scholar and intercultural mediator between Slavs/Serbs and Germans and the impact she made. As translator, she used a new way of translating literature that made the content of it understandable for a broader public, which is important from the reception side. As scholar, in her anthologies, scholarly works, reviews and books she wrote about Slavic and Germanic languages, history, culture and literature. She so became a recognized expert in these fields and was the founder of Slavic studies in America. Most of these works she published in Germany in German and America in English. As intercultural mediator, she provided entrance of small nation’s culture and literature into European cultural heritage. I also will point out the reception of her works in Germany, America and other European countries.

AsK, September 2012

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