Friedrich Gerstäcker

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gerstäcker, Friedrich

 

Born May 10, 1816, in Hamburg; died May 31, 1872, in Braunschweig. German writer and traveler.

Gerstäcker was the author of the following travel sketches: Roaming and Hunting in the United States of North America (vols. 1-2, 1844 [its English translation was entitled Wild Sports in the Far West]), Journeys Around the World (vols. 1-6, 1847-48), Pictures of the Mississippi (vols. 1-3, 1847-48), and Travels (vols. 1-5, 1853-54). His novels, The Pirates of the Mississippi (vols. 1-3, 1848), To America! (1855; Russian translation, 1857), Gold (vols. 1-3, 1858), The Colony (vols. 1-3, 1864), and The Mother (vols. 1-3, 1867), as well as California Sketches (1856), are rich in ethnographic material.

WORKS

Gesammelte Schriften, vols. 1-7 [1st series]. Berlin [1903].
In Russian translation:
Pod ekvatorom, parts 1-3. St. Petersburg, 1872.
Prikliucheniia nemetskoi kolonii v Amerike. St. Petersburg, 1875.
Syshchik. St. Petersburg [1905].
Prikliucheniia iunogo kitolova. Moscow, 1909.
Malen’kii zolotoiskatel’ v Kalifornii, 3rd ed. St. Petersburg-Moscow [1903].

REFERENCE

Prahl, A. J. Gerstäcker und die Probleme seiner Zeit. [Wertheim am Main, 1938.]

N. M. EISHISKINA

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Born in 1816 to a well-known opera singer and orphaned at age eight, Friedrich Gerstacker read Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719) as a young boy and found inspiration for a life of travel and adventure.
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Using as a critical base the New Historicism, Lothar Honnighausen, in "Political Landscapes of the Antebellum South: Friedrich Gerstacker and John Pendleton Kennedy," juxtaposes Gerstacker, a German who traveled in the United States (1837-1843, 1849-1851) then wrote about the Arkansas wilderness, creating an alluring impression of the natural environment, and John Pendleton Kennedy, best remembered as the author of two novels: Swallow Barn, the book that initiated the literary paradigm for the plantation tradition, and Horse-Shoe Robinson, a historical novel about the Revolutionary War.