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Van Cleve, John W.

Dr. John W. Van Cleve holds a Ph.D. in German literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He currently teaches at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Country Pastors by J.C. Kruger and Good Women Triumphant by J.E. Schlegel: Two Comedies of the Early Enlightenment
2019 1-4955-0737-3
The plays in this volume are from the 1740s. Works from the early literary Enlightenment respond not only to the demand of educated people for rational responses to real-world situations but also to a new desire within the developing middle class to read about recognizable joys, sorrows and tensions within families and between husbands and wives. The audience for this literature held those expectations, and playwrights tried to satisfy them on the contemporary stage.

Julius of Taranto by J.A. Leisewitz and The Twins by F.M. Klinger: Two Tragedies of the German Sturm und Drang Theater
2020 1-4955-0833-1
Julius of Taranto and The Twins> first appeared during a brief literary movement that launched the career of Germany’s finest writer, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, and set the direction taken by the literature, art and music of the West during the nineteenth century, Romanticism. That German movement, commonly styled “Sturm und Drang,” or “Storm and Stress,” begins in the latest 1760s and is coming to an end by 1780. It is in German literature of the 1790s that European Romanticism first emerged fully formed, and for over a century scholars have cited the debt that Romanticism owes to Storm and Stress.

Fables and Tales by the German Aesop, C.f. Gellert (1715-1769): A Moral Teacher of the German Nation
2013 0-7734-4514-5
These are translations of fables and tales written by C.F. Gellert. Gellert was an eighteenth century folklorist whose work has been canonized. Critics have argued that the stories are fundamentally homegrown and come from the German people (the “Volk”), and they speak directly to the heart of the people. These works are used less often for moral instruction in contemporary society, something the author laments, but are still important components of German folklore.

Palisades Island: A Translation of Insel Felsenburg by J.G. Schnabel
2017 1-4955-0548-0
Novel is a translation of the German book known as Insel Felsenburg originally published in 1731. Its narrative was first suggested by Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719). This German version presents a man and woman shipwrecked on an island in the South Atlantic. They marry and with their children establish a utopian society.

Two Plays by Christoph Martin Wieland in English Translation: Lady Jane Grey (1758) and Clementina of Porretta (1760)
2018 1-4955-0647-9
Along with G.E. Lessing, and the famous pair, Goethe and Schiller, Christoph Martin Wieland (1733-1813) is a member of the pantheon of German eighteenth-century writers. The plays of Wieland's youth have not appeared in English translation until now.