Modern Intellectual History 8 (1):61-90 (2011)

A tension between cosmopolitanism and nationalism characterizes the career of the poetckert. The German orientalist and mentor to Paul de Lagarde translated remarkable quantities of Sanskrit, Farsi, and Arabic verse, while earning popular acclaim for his Biedermeier celebrations of the German Heimat. The contradiction in these scholarly pursuits can be reconciled by examining the intersection of the local, national, and global in Rckert expected to transform German into a universal language of spiritual reconciliation, thereby transcending Babel and distinguishing the German nation as a chosen people. This article investigates the process of cultural translation through which Rworld poetry” intelligible to a German audience, arguing that cosmopolitanism underlay a German claim to cultural dominance in post-Napoleonic Europe
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DOI 10.1017/s1479244311000059
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