Christian Felix Weisse, Translator of Mrs. Pinchard’s Didactic Dramas

Serena Spazzarini, University of Genoa, Italy;      Abstract: Christian Felix Weisse (1726-1804), mainly known as German playwright and writer for children during the late Enlightenment, boasted a huge production as translator, and rightly he is defined a cultural mediator of European importance. From English he translated more prolifically. Between 1752 and 1794 he published at least twenty-eight translations of English Books. Starting from an analysis of his translations of Elizabeth Pinchard’s didactic dramas, especially of fourteen dramas which he published in 1787 and in 1794, the paper aims to contribute to the reflection on the role that Weisse’s translations had in the wider discourse of an international circulation of pedagogical concepts and ideas. In general, Weisse reworked explicitly the source texts, he expanded or modified them and, in doing so, he adapted to German reality a Europe-wide pedagogical model.


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Mauer M., Europäische Kulturbeziehungen im Zeitalter der Aufklärung. Französische und englische Wirkungen auf Deutschland, in: Das Achtzehnte Jahrhundert 15 (1991), S. 35-61

Pinchard E., Dramatic dialogues for the use of young persons, London, 1792

Weisse C. F., Dramen zur Belehrung junger Frauenzimmer von einer englischen Dame, Erster Theil, Leipzig, Weidmanns Erben, 1787

Weisse C. F., Dramatische Unterhaltungen zur Belehrung und Vergnügen junger Personen, Leipzig, 1794

Willenberg J., Distribution und Übersetzung englischen Schrifttums im Deutschland des 18. Jahrhunderts, München, Saur, 2008



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