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Washington Irving

Geburtstag: 3. April 1783
Todesdatum: 28. November 1859

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Washington Irving war ein amerikanischer Schriftsteller. Mit an englischen Stilvorbildern geschulten Satiren über die Gesellschaft und Geschichte der Stadt New York wurde er im ersten Jahrzehnt des 19. Jahrhunderts zunächst in seiner Heimat bekannt. Mit seinem Skizzenbuch wandte er sich zunehmend Einflüssen der europäischen Romantik zu und wurde so der erste amerikanische Schriftsteller, der auch in Europa Erfolge feiern konnte. Mit den in diesem Band enthaltenen Erzählungen Rip Van Winkle und The Legend of Sleepy Hollow begründete Irving die Gattung der Kurzgeschichte. In späteren Jahren verfasste Irving vor allem Biografien, unter anderem über Christoph Kolumbus und George Washington.

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Zitate Washington Irving

„Seine militärischen Erfolge haben bei ihm keinen Stolz noch Eitelkeiten hervorgerufen wie es geschehen wäre, wären diese für eigene Zwecke erlangt worden. In der Zeit seiner größten Macht bewahrte er die gleiche Einfachheit in seinem Benehmen und seinem Erscheinen wie in den Tagen der Not. So weit entfernt von Königsgebaren, war er verärgert, wurden ihm beim Betreten eines Raumes ungewöhnliche Ehrerbietungen dargebracht.“

—  Washington Irving
Life of Mohammed, IX Original engl.: "His military triumphs awakened no pride nor vainglory, as they would have done had they been effected for selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest power, he maintained the same simplicity of manners and appearances as in the days of his adversity. So far from affecting a regal state, he was displeased if, on entering a room, any unusual testimonial of respect was shown to him."

„Er war äußerst abstinent und enthaltsam in seiner Diät und ein rigoroser Verfechter des Fastens. Er frönte keiner Pracht in seiner Kleidung, was die Zurschaustellung eines kleinlichen Gemüts bedeutet hätte. Noch war die Einfachheit seiner Kleidung affektiert, sondern Ergebnis von Geringschätzung einer Vornehmheit solch trivialen Ursprungs.“

—  Washington Irving
Life of Mohammed, Kap. VIII Original engl.: "He was sober and abstemious in his diet, and a rigorous observer of fasts. He indulged in no magnificence of apparel, the ostentation of a petty mind, neither was his simplicity in dress affected, but the result of a real disregard to distinction from so trivial a source."

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„In seinen privaten Handlungen war er gerecht. Er behandelte Freunde und Fremde, reich und arm, die Starken und die Schwachen mit Gleichheit und wurde von dem einfachen Volk für die Freundlichkeit, mit der er sie empfing und ihre Beschwerden anhörte, geliebt.“

—  Washington Irving
Life of Mohammed, VIII Original engl.: "In his private dealings he was just. He treated friends and strangers, the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak, with equity, and was beloved by the common people for the affability, with which he received them, and listened to their complaints."

„Glück strahlt zurück wie das Licht des Himmels.“

—  Washington Irving
Old Christmas Original engl.: "Happiness is reflective, like the light of heaven."

„Eine scharfe Zunge ist das einzige Schneidwerkzeug das bei andauerndem Gebrauch schärfer wird.“

—  Washington Irving
Rip van Winkle Original engl.: "A sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use."

„Spekulation ist der Zauber des Handels und blickt mit Verachtung auf dessen nüchterne Wirklichkeit. Es erhebt den Aktienhändler zu einem Zauberer und die Börse zu einem Ort der Hexerei.“

—  Washington Irving
A Tale for Our Times: The Great Mississippi Bubble Original engl.: "Speculation is the romance of trade, and casts contempt upon all its sober realities. It renders the stock-jobber a magician, and the exchange a region of enchantment."

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„Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.“

—  Washington Irving
Disputed, Attributed to Irving as early as 1883. [Hit and miss : a story of real life, Angie Stewart, Manly, Chicago, J.L. Regan, 1883, i, http://hdl.handle.net/2027/osu.32435018229575?urlappend=%3Bseq=7] However, it does not seem to appear in Irving's known works. Other citations from the same year leave the quotation unattributed. [Henry S. (ed.), Clubb, The Peacemaker and Court of Arbitration, Volume 1, Universal Peace Union, 1883, 125, Philadelphia, https://books.google.com/books?id=Uu84AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA125] [The Australian Women's Magazine and Domestic Journal, Vol. 2 No. 2 (May 1883), 1883, Melbourne, 435, https://books.google.com/books?id=mq0sAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA435]. A similar passage is found in a pseudonymous novel published two years earlier in 1881: "Julia knew that sacrifices to patience are not in vain. Although they often do not produce the happiness for which they are made, they will, always, flow back and soften and purify the heart of the one who makes them". [Illma, Or, Which was Wife?, Miss, M.L.A., Cornwell & Johnson, 1881, 239, New York, http://hdl.handle.net/2027/osu.32435017658592?urlappend=%3Bseq=245]

„There rise authors now and then, who seem proof against the mutability of language, because they have rooted themselves in the unchanging principles of human nature.“

—  Washington Irving
The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon (1819–1820), Context: There rise authors now and then, who seem proof against the mutability of language, because they have rooted themselves in the unchanging principles of human nature. They are like gigantic trees that we sometimes see on the banks of a stream; which, by their vast and deep roots, penetrating through the mere surface, and laying hold on the very foundations of the earth, preserve the soil around them from being swept away by the ever-flowing current, and hold up many a neighboring plant, and perhaps worthless weed, to perpetuity. "The Mutabilities of Literature".

„Language gradually varies, and with it fade away the writings of authors who have flourished their allotted time; otherwise, the creative powers of genius would overstock the world, and the mind would be completely bewildered in the endless mazes of literature.“

—  Washington Irving
The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon (1819–1820), Context: Language gradually varies, and with it fade away the writings of authors who have flourished their allotted time; otherwise, the creative powers of genius would overstock the world, and the mind would be completely bewildered in the endless mazes of literature. Formerly there were some restraints on this excessive multiplication. Works had to be transcribed by hand, which was a slow and laborious operation; they were written either on parchment, which was expensive, so that one work was often erased to make way for another; or on papyrus, which was fragile and extremely perishable. Authorship was a limited and unprofitable craft, pursued chiefly by monks in the leisure and solitude of their cloisters. The accumulation of manuscripts was slow and costly, and confined almost entirely to monasteries. To these circumstances it may, in some measure, be owing that we have not been inundated by the intellect of antiquity; that the fountains of thought have not been broken up, and modern genius drowned in the deluge. But the inventions of paper and the press have put an end to all these restraints. They have made everyone a writer, and enabled every mind to pour itself into print, and diffuse itself over the whole intellectual world. The consequences are alarming. The stream of literature has swollen into a torrent — augmented into a river — expanded into a sea. "The Mutabilities of Literature".

„Great minds have purpose, others have wishes. Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortunes; but great minds rise above them.“

—  Washington Irving
The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon (1819–1820), "Philip of Pokanoket : An Indian Memoir". A more extensive statement not found as such in this work is attributed to Irving in Elbert Hubbard's Scrap Book (1923) edited by Roycroft Shop:

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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