A German reaction to Native Americans: Karl May's concept of cultural development
AuthorMay, Katja, 1961-
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe "demise" of Native American cultures and the possibility of their "renascence" is the subject of the literary work analyzed in this thesis. The German popular novelist Karl May (1842-1912) aspired to write the epic drama of the American Indians. Using randomly selected anthropological and linguistic information, he described particularly Apache and Comanche Indian cultures with regard to leadership, warfare, women, and intermarriage. May viewed the Indians' assimilation as necessary and arrogantly recommended the "benign" influence brought by Germans to the New World. The Indians would be able to withstand the lure of "Yankee" materialism and pursue the path of righteousness. As this thesis points out, there is a correlation between Karl May's biography and his compassion for a wronged people such as the Native Americans. This study analyzes Karl May's thoughts on the "Indian question" and his emphasis on the role of change.
Degree ProgramGraduate College