The present volume contains papers presented, in somewhat different form, at the University of Saarbrücken's international conference "Pioneering North America: Mediators of European Literature" (April 24-26, 1998) on interrelated aspects of the mediation of European literature in North America and of some of the authors, institutions, media, and other agents involved in it. The emphasis is on case studies, divided into four different thematic categories. Part One contains different approaches to Felix Paul Greve / Frederick Philip Grove and the crucial role of the Baroness Else von Freytag-Loringhoven. Part Two concentrates on seven other "Mediators of Culture," from Djuna Barnes to Paul Auster. Part Three, entitled "The Other and the New," presents a broad spectrum, from the impact of Derrida on American literary criticism to an analysis of the transformation of foreign patterns, themes and signs according to the needs of different cultural contexts. Part Four closes the collection with a number of fascinating insights regarding questions of mediation in "Literature and the Other Arts." Since much of America's modernist and postmodernist international cultural and literary impact has its origins in the diversity of European literatures and cultures, the convener of the conference and present editor feels that the time has come to rediscover and reexamine those influences and to see what has happened to some European cultural "goods" in their transatlantic transfer and, often enough, in their return home in different guises.
Der Herausgeber Klaus Martens, Professor of English & American Studies at the Universität des Saarlandes, is the author of several scholarly books, among them studies of Wallace Stevens (1980), the American Novel (1986), Longfellow Translations (1989), Frederick Philip Grove (1997) and, most recently, the editor (with Jutta Ernst) of the F.P. Greve-André Gide correspondence (1999). He is also a widely published poet and translator.