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Die poetische Ukraine. Eine Sammlung kleinrussischer Volkslieder. Ins Deutsche übertragen von Friedrich Bodenstedt [Poetic Ukraine. A collection of folk songs from Little Russia. Translated into German by Friedrich Bodenstedt]
Stuttgart und Tübingen: J. G. Cotta'scher Verlag, 1845. Small octavo (17.3 × 10.8 cm). Contemporary marbled boards; gilt title to spine; XII, 132 pp. Text block lightly resized to binding; light foxing throughout; tiny embossed private owner stamp; still about very good. First attempt to introduce a German readership to the riches of Ukrainian folklore and lyric poetry, and to its culture in a broader sense, with special attention given to the songs and history of the Cossacks. The work is also the first publication by Bodenstedt (1819-1892), a relatively little-known German writer, scholar, and translator of Russian literature, who introduced German readers to the works of Derzhavin, Batiushkov, Zhukovsky, Pushkin, Kol'tsov, Fet, and others. After studying philosophy and philology, he worked as a teacher in Moscow, where he became acquainted with the poet Vasily Krasov (1810-1854), who lectured him on the difference between Russian and Ukrainian folklore, and inspired him to undertake the present work without having spent time in Ukraine himself. Bodenstedt's translations are largely based on Mikhail Maksimovich's 'Ukrainskie narodnye pesni' (Moscow, 1834) and an earlier compilation of Ukrainian songs by Nikolai Tsertelev. After moving to Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1843, Bodenstedt was aided by Aleksandr Afanas'ev-Chuzhbinskii and Polish writer Tadeusz Lada-Zablocki. He was finally encouraged to publish the work by the German orientalist scholar and diplomat Georg Rosen (1821-1891). After Cotta in Stuttgart agreed to publish the work, Bodenstedt added a lengty introduction in the Romantic style: "Was ich hier gebe, soll nichts sein als eine kurze Berichtigung der irrigen Ansichten, welche allgemein in Deutschland uber den Ursprung und die Entwicklung des weitverzweigten Kosakensystems herrschen; zugleich mogen diese Blatter als Fuhrer dienen durch den duftigen Liedergarten, der sich in bunten, wilden, aber anmutigen Verschlingungen vor den Augen des Lesers ausbreitet." He presents thirty-three lyric songs and twelve Dumy, or sung epic poems, selected for their aesthetic beauty and significance for Ukrainian history. His preface states that "in no other country has the tree of folk poetry produced such magnificent fruits as among the Ukrainians." The preface also mentions that, should the work be well received, Bodenstedt planned to issue similar editions for Georgian, Armenia, Tartar and Persian folk songs. In Tbilisi he had met the poet Mirza Shafi, who introduced him to these languages and their respective literary traditions. With epigrams by Goethe and George Ellis. The book appeared in 750 copies, of which only 227 copies sold. Bodenstedt himself complained, in 1860, that copies were impossible to find, and it is likely that the publisher remaindered a large portion of the print run. See also: Richard J. Brunner and Oleksandr Bilous, "'Die Poetische Ukraine' von Friedrich Bodenstedt: Entstehungsgeschichte und eine Übersetzungsanalyse," in Naukovi zapysky, no. 126.
      [Bookseller: Penka Rare Books, ILAB]
Last Found On: 2018-02-19           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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