Abstract

Emphasizing the continuity of ideas throughout the long eighteenth century, the essay traces a German obsession with the figure of the noble savage to an emerging middle class longing for a national and cultural identity that was impeded by social, political, and economic conditions. Increasingly educated and well read, this group imagined a mutating and polymorph cultural identity that was inspired by images of the "masculine" noble native, drawing from poetic figures such as the ancient Germanic tribesman, the South Pacific islander, German "naturalized" castaways, and the conflated North-American Indian/frontiersman.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 91-129
Launched on MUSE
2008-10-10
Open Access
No
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