Popularizing the Grand Tour: Julius Stinde's Fictional Travelogues

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Julius Stinde (1841-1905), a German chemist, began his writing career by publishing articles on scientific and cultural topics as well as short fiction in journals such as the <i>Hamburger Gewerbeblatt </i>and the <i>Münchner Fliegende Blätter</i>. Stinde moreover wrote plays in Low-German, which were performed with great success in Hamburg and were later taken on tour throughout Germany. In 1876 Stinde moved to Berlin, where he began to write his <i>Familie Buchholz</i> texts, which would establish him as writer of popular bestsellers throughout Germany. Since 1878 <i>Familie Buchholz-</i>episodes were published in the <i>Deutsche Montagsblatt</i> and <i>Schorers Familienblatt</i> followed by individual book publications in the 1880s. Especially the first three novels, <i>Buchholzens in Italien</i> (1883), <i>Die Familie Buchholz </i>(1884) and <i>Frau Buchholz im Orient</i> (1888) were extremely popular and successful, so much so that other writers wrote sequels using the Buchholz main characters. The Buchholz family remained popular well beyond the beginning of the 20<sup>th</sup> century and became the subject of two films in the 1940s and a ZDF TV-series in 1974.<br>In my paper I want to focus on two of the early volumes, <i>Buchholzens in Italien</i> and <i>Frau Buchholz im Orient</i> as comedic fictional travel texts. In both novels, the comedy lies in the confrontation between the narrator of these texts, Wilhelmine Buchholz - Berlin housewife with a husband who owns a factory for woolen socks and stockings - and the elite travel itineraries, the Grand Tour and the classical pilgrimage to Egypt and the Holy Land. The middle-class pragmatism with which Wilhelmine encounters the sites on her journey stands in comical and satirical contrast to the classics, such as Goethe’s <i>Italienische Reise </i>or the popular travelogues by Richard Lepsius, and Georg Ebers, whose coffee-table volumes on Egypt were popular in the second half of the nineteenth century. Beyond the satirical elements, these books also give testimony to a German, and uniquely Berliner, new self-confidence in the way this essentially lower middle-class housewife conducts herself, reflecting critically on the status of Berlin and the German Empire on an international stage. Similarly to Fürst Pückler’s oriental travelogues, ethnical and cultural prejudices against the various native populations are largely exaggerated. But in some cases, it is exactly Wilhelmine’s lower social status, her female gender identity and her lack of formal education that allows her to move beyond common prejudices of her time. This paper will highlight the instances in which Stinde’s wit moves beyond slapstick to illustrate a process of critical and self-aware negotiation of what it means to be a Berliner in an increasingly globalized late 19th century.<br><br>In addition, I was invited to serve as commentator for another panel on the German 19th-century journal Die Gartenlaube.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Sep 30 2022
EventGSA (German Studies Association): 45th Annual Convention - Indianapolis
Duration: Sep 30 2022Sep 30 2022


ConferenceGSA (German Studies Association): 45th Annual Convention


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