It is 1939. Paula Becker, thirteen years old and deaf, lives with her family in a rural German town. As rumors swirl of disabled children quietly disappearing, a priest comes to her family’s door with an offer to shield Paula from an uncertain fate. When the sanctuary he offers is fleeting, Paula needs to call upon all her strength to stay one step ahead of the Nazis.
The Song of Hiawatha is based on the legends and stories of many North American Indian tribes, but especially those of the Ojibway Indians of northern Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. They were collected by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, the reknowned historian, pioneer explorer, and geologist. He was superintendent of Indian affairs for Michigan from 1836 to 1841.
Schoolcraft married Jane, O-bah-bahm-wawa-ge-zhe-go-qua (The Woman of the Sound Which the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky), Johnston. Jane was a daughter of John Johnston, an early Irish fur trader, and O-shau-gus-coday-way-qua (The Woman of the Green Prairie), who was a daughter of Waub-o-jeeg (The White Fisher), who was Chief of the Ojibway tribe at La Pointe, Wisconsin.
Jane and her mother are credited with having researched, authenticated, and compiled much of the material Schoolcraft included in his Algic Researches (1839) and a revision published in 1856 as The Myth of Hiawatha. It was this latter revision that Longfellow used as the basis for The Song of Hiawatha.
Longfellow began Hiawatha on June 25, 1854, he completed it on March 29, 1855, and it was published November 10, 1855. As soon as the poem was published its popularity was assured. However, it also was severely criticized as a plagiary of the Finnish epic poem Kalevala. Longfellow made no secret of the fact that he had used the meter of the Kalevala; but as for the legends, he openly gave credit to Schoolcraft in his notes to the poem.
I would add a personal note here. My father's roots include Ojibway Indians: his mother, Margaret Caroline Davenport, was a daughter of Susan des Carreaux, O-gee-em-a-qua (The Chief Woman), Davenport whose mother was a daughter of Chief Waub-o-jeeg. Finally, my mother used to rock me to sleep reading portions of Hiawatha to me, especially:
Woodrow W. Morris
April 1, 1991
The Village on Horseback features mesmerizing new work from the author of Samedi the Deafness and The Way Through Doors, one of the New Yorker’s Best Books of 2009. This collection of new pieces by experimental writer Jesse Ball is a philosophical recasting of myth and legend. Unearthing parables from the compost heap of oral tradition, folklore, literature, and popular culture, The Village on Horseback can be read as a sort of fabulist’s compendium by an author who has been called charming, lyrical, fanciful, and "disturbingly original."
«They cut it down, and where the pitch-black aisles
Of forest night had hid eternal things,
They scaled the sky with towers and marble piles
To make a city for their revellings…»
Torquato Tasso ist ein Schauspiel in fünf Aufzügen von Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, das als Protagonisten den Dichter Torquato Tasso in den Mittelpunkt der Handlung stellt. Zwischen dem 30. März 1780 und dem 31. Juli 1789 entstanden, lag das Werk im Februar 1790 im Druck vor und wurde am 16. Februar 1807 in Weimar uraufgeführt.