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From the editor...

I'm pleased with the current issue on two counts in addition to the high quality of the essays, of course. First, since I've been teaching in North Africa and the Middle East for more than a dozen years--most recently in a doctoral Comparative Literature Department in Istanbul, Turkey--I'm pleased with the international perspectives and connections of several of the essays and contributors to the current issue. Most obvious is Iliu Ratiu's essay on translations of Walden in Romania. When I first saw the topic, I thought the essay would be too narrow and specialized to be interesting. However, the essay soon evolved into a widening gyre that included the cultural influence of Thoreau on socialists and anarchists during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and on changing attitudes in Iron Curtain countries during the Cold War. That the early translations were from German and French, rather than from the original English, was also a significant cultural factor, reflecting changing cultural hegemonies during the twentieth century in Eastern Europe, especially during the Cold War when the works of Thoreau increasingly took on overt political significance when they were linked with democratic and nationalistic attempts to support Romanian culture against the hegemony of other cultural influences, whether German, French, or Russian. In short, an essay that I expected to be very narrow and limited turned out to be an excellent example of the circulation of world literature and its attendant cultural and political implications. This example of cultural dissemination through Translation Studies--often regarded as a sub-discipline of Comparative Literature or World Literature--suggests that even as "No man is an island," so, too, no work of literature or culture is an island. Literary works don't just influence individuals--they can influence societies and cultures by transforming the perceptions of entire populations. And as this example of the cultural influence of Thoreau demonstrates, the effects of a work of literature often far exceed the intentions and expectations of the author who sends it out into the world.

Other international connections are no less important. For example, Bulgarian scholar Albena Bakratcheva, who writes on '"Wild Apples' and Thoreau's Commitment to Wildness in the Last Decade of His Life," has translated the major works of Thoreau and Emerson into Bulgarian, has written several books on American literature, and in 2014 received the Thoreau Society's Walter Harding Distinguished Service Award. And Laura Dassow Walls a few years back co-edited with two French scholars a collection of essays on Thoreau from an international conference in Lyon, France. Another 'French connection' in the current issue is Julien Negre, an associate professor at the Universite de Lyon, who writes on maps that Thoreau copied. And then there is Walter Hesford, who during his career took sabbaticals in France and China. And there is guest editor, Richard J. Schneider, who served as a Fulbright Professor to Bulgaria some years back.

The second reason that gives me special pleasure in this issue is that Richard Schneider, who has been an active supporter of Nineteenth-Century Prose for decades, is serving as guest editor. As of the double bibliographic issue of Nineteenth-Century Prose, Vol. 37, Nos. 1/2 back in 2010, Dick had contributed eight essays and reviews to the journal, and since then his contributions have continued apace--including refereeing articles. He is a fine example of a teacher-scholar in the liberal arts tradition. We go back to the early 1970s as graduate school colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His services to Nineteenth-Century Prose during the past quarter century would be hard to overestimate.

Barry Charles Tharaud

Kosuyolu Mahallesi, Kadikoy-Istanbul
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Author:Tharaud, Barry Charles
Publication:Nineteenth-Century Prose
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Sep 22, 2017
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Next Article:Introduction: Thoreau Bicentennial essays.

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