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Larissa de Assumpção (Universidade Estadual de Campinas)

Larissa de Assumpção

Larissa de Assumpção
Image Credit: Private image

Fellow in Research Area 4: "Literary Currencies" 

October 2021 – March 2022

The circulation and critical reception of Karl Franz van der Velde's historical novels in the nineteenth century

The aim of this work is to analyze the circulation and reception of the historical novels written by the German author Karl Franz van der Velde (1779-1824), in order to find evidence of where these books circulated and how they were read by some literary critics in the nineteenth century. 

Van der Velde's novels circulated in different countries and media, connecting readers of various nationalities and social classes. Records show that his works were translated into different languages, such as French, English, Portuguese, Swedish, Hungarian, Frisian and Russian. In Brazil, the library of the Brazilian Imperial Family contains more of his books than any other author; the catalogue features 23 of his novels – all of them edited in German. Translated editions of his books into Portuguese were found also in catalogues of public libraries of the nineteenth century, sold by booksellers in Rio de Janeiro and published serially in the newspaper for women Novo Correio de ModasHowever, he is little known today, which suggests that the analysis of his trajectory may reveal aspects about the process of canonization of German historical novels.

The corpus of the research consists of worldwide libraries' catalogues, critics evaluations published in two literary periodicals – die Leipziger Literaturzeitung (1800-1833) and die Jenaische Allgemeine Literaturzeitung (1804-1841) – and the information about his work written in eight Histories of German Literature published between 1835 and 1900. In the analysis, three main aspects will be considered: how many editions and translations his novels had in the nineteenth century, which opinions did literary critics have about these books and what was the importance given to his works in the Histories of Literature. The objective of this analysis is to collaborate on the studies about the circulation, reception and canonization of the historical German novel.

Larissa de Assumpção is a PhD student in Theory and Literary History at the State University of Campinas (Unicamp) with the research "The royalty reads novels: the mentions of fictional books in documents of the Brazilian Imperial Family", advised by Prof. Dr. Jefferson Cano and developed within the Research Group History of the Novel. She holds a master’s degree in Theory and Literary History (2018), a bachelor’s degree in Languages (2021) and a bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies (2016), all of them conducted at Unicamp. Between 2013 and 2018, she was a member of the international Research Group The transatlantic circulation of printed matter: the globalization of culture in the nineteenth century and in 2015 she undertook a research internship at the Faculty of Letters of Lisbon with the project "Books on the organization of libraries in the nineteenth century", under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Vanda Anastácio.