Author of the Month: Jeffrey L. HighPublished: June 15, 2009
Schiller’s Literary Prose Works: New Translations and Critical Essays
Jeffrey L. High, Associate Professor of German, Romance/German/Russian Languages and Literatures
Published in November 2008 by Camden House, Schiller’s Literary Prose Works is a collection of seven short tales and fragments by German aesthetic theorist, historian, dramatist and poet Friedrich Schiller. New translations of the seven works (The Spiritualist, A Magnanimous Act from Most Recent History, The Criminal of Lost Honor: A True Story, A Remarkable Example of Female Revenge, The Duke of Alba’s Breakfast at Rudolstadt Castle, Game of Fate: A Fragment of a True Story and Haoh-Kiöh-Tschuen) appear together with introductory critical essays by prominent Schiller scholars from the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Although the stories from early in Schiller’ career include some of his then most resonant works, they are largely overlooked today, and several of the pieces have either never before appeared in English translation or not in some 150 years. High believes the works represent a seminal link in the evolution of the then-nascent German novella. “They exhibit the anthropological curiosity and moral confusion that made Schiller’s first drama, The Robbers, a sensation, demonstrating an original artistry that justifies consideration of scholars and students today, on the eve of the 250th anniversary of his birth,” he said. High contributes “Schiller and the German Novella,” the translation “The Criminal of Lost Honor,” and “(A fragment of) A True Story (from most recent History): The Truth in Schiller’s Literary Prose Works.” Other contributors include Lesley Sharpe, Nicholas Martin, Otto Johnston, Gail Hart and Dennis Mahoney with translations by High as well as Francis Lamport, Ian Codding, Ellis Dye, Edward Larkin and Carrie Ann Collenberg. High confessed to a certain amount of nerves in editing such a distinguished list of scholars. “It was terrifying,” he laughed. “Most of them are more talented and established than the rest of us will ever be, and debating a choice of word with Frank Lamport is a questionable pursuit to begin with.” His previous book was titled Schiller’s Rebellionskonzept und die Französische Revolution in 2004 from Edward Mellen Press. High, a native of Merrimac, Mass., has directed the German Summer School at the University of New Mexico for several years. He earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts and coordinated German Language courses at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis before joining CSULB in 2002.