n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Die empfindsame Aufklarung - Christian Ludwig Willebrands Geschichte eines Hottentotten (1773)

Volume 43, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1273



Until today little research has been undertaken on the writings of minor late Enlighten-ment author Christian Ludwig Willebrand (1750-1837), who according to Frederick Hale, wrote "the first German novel about South Africa" in 1773. While Hale highlights the sources which Willebrand uses for his novel - especially Olfert Dapper's UmbstĠndliche und Eigentliche Beschreibung von Afrika - the following article will concentrate on the influence that Christian Fürchtegott Gellert's adaptation of theâ?? Inkle and Yariko' motif both in his Fabeln und Erzählungen and in his Leben der schwedischen Gräfin von G*** had on the Geschichte eines Hottentotten. Willebrand presents the murder of one of his protagonists, Charles, at the hands of the Kochaker, a people living around Saldanha Bay, as the result of his excessively Enlightenment attitude, which repels his lover Duchala's people, while the other protagonist Kori's journey towards a happy ending stems from his ability to arouse feelings in the female figures of Willebrand's novel and to respond to them. Combining his father's Enlightenment principles and his mother Duchala's sensibility Kori becomes a prototype of (Willebrand's understanding of) Sentimentalism.

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