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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:Europe / Germany
  • Language:English
  • Pages:262
  • Format:Hardcover
  • Hardcover ISBN:9781543944822

Journey Through the Island Of Rügen

A Classical Journey

by Arthur Strohmeier and Johann Grümbke View author's profile page

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Overview
In 1803, during a hike through the island of Rügen in northern Germany, Johann Jacob Grümbke wrote a series of letters to his sweetheart. A noted naturalist, Grümbke paints a colorful picture of the island as it was in the 19th century, describing it in both scientific and scenic terms. Arthur Strohmeier, fascinated by this contemporary account of his family's ancestral home, translates it from German to English so that those who might otherwise not know of the island's existence can experience it for themselves.
Description
In 1803, during a hike through the island of Rügen in northern Germany, Johann Jacob Grümbke wrote twelve letters to his sweetheart. A noted naturalist, Grümbke paints a colorful picture of the island as it was in the 19th century, describing it in both scientific and scenic terms. Arthur Strohmeier, fascinated by this contemporary account of his family's ancestral home, translates it from German to English so that those who might otherwise not know of the island's existence can experience it for themselves. Grümbke's tour begins in the coastal town of Stralsund, where he studies the characteristics of a typical islander, the history, and the circumstances under a life of serfdom. As he traverses the area, he reveals to the reader both the natural, water-borne beauty of the coastline, the daily lives of the members of the religious Mönchguter community, and the peculiarities of the fisher-folk of the island of Hiddensee. Exploring both Grümbke's original text and the updates made to it by Albert Burkhardt, including the addition of Grümbke's artwork, Strohmeier's skillful translation of the text reveals not only an interest in the factual existence of Rügen, but a deep emotional and spiritual connection to a community and a homeland from which he was borne.
About the author
In early 2000, while taking Deutsche classes at the Phenix Club, a local German-America Club established in 1962, Arthur Strohmeier searched for something he could translate in order to hone his language skills. Peter Stromeier, a distant relative in Germany, had sent Albert Burkhardt's 1987 publication of Johann Jacob Grümbke's letters, 'Streifzuge durch das Rügenland', which described the conditions and environment in the Island of Rügen, Peter and Arthur's ancestral homeland, during the time their ancestors lived there. If he hadn't had the desire to know how his ancestors lived, Arthur Strohmeier probably wouldn't have completed a work of this magnitude. But he began the translation in 2004 and completed it within two years. His strong desire to preserve the original text led Strohmeier to refrain from modifying the translation, except in cases where it was absolutely necessary. But between his knowledge of the German language and an 1851 German-English dictionary, he was able to create a text that normally would not have been available to the general public, and in doing so, made the knowledge of this little-known part of the world accessible, understandable, and enjoyable.
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