Birgit Tautz offers a rare and welcome account of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century German literary history within its contemporaneous cultural and historical contexts. Translating the World begins by jettisoning the long prevailing belief in the imagined German nation in favor of people, places, and events in the city and around the globe. The study zooms in and out between the bustling cosmopolitan port of Hamburg, provincial Weimar as it transitions to German cultural capital, and various locations around the world. By expanding the scope beyond the nation, Tautz reveals a network of texts and institutions, writers and significant figures. Of course, no history of German literature around 1800 would be complete without the usual suspects: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Friedrich Schiller, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Tautz delivers insightful readings of Lessing's Hamburg Dramaturgy (1767–1769), Schiller's Aesthetic Letters (1794), and Goethe's “On German Architecture” (1773 and 1823), two essays sharing...

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