Эссе: A Poet Among Explorers - Chamisso in the South Seas, Herbert Lang


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Английский язык
Тип работы:
Эссе
Количество страниц:
28

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On the atolls of Ratak, visited by the Rurik twice, each time after Hawaii, Chamisso had befriended an islander by the name of Kadu, who had originated from the Carolines, and with whom Chamisso explored the world of the low-lying coral islands, the reefs, and the customs of their inhabitants whom Chamisso praised as "uncorrupted." He took his new friend along on the attempt of the Rurik to discover theNortheast Passage in the summer of 1817, which ended in ultimate failure due to von Kotzebue's ill health. Chamisso experienced with Kadu a deep relationship with a true child of nature. The islander became Chamisso's own "noble savage," although Chamisso himself would have taken exception to this very term, and a friendship of a special kind developed, since the two met on an equal footing, and not as in the case of the proverbial association of Robinson Crusoe and his goodman Friday on the basis of master and servant.

Chamisso showed his love for innocent nature in a humorous anecdote related in Reise um die Welt. During his first stay inHawaii he was faced on one of his many botanical excursions with the necessity of crossing a river flowing into theharbor ofHonolulu. He undressed in order to swim or wade through the stream, but the water reached only to his knees. Suddenly he heard a hearty peal of laughter emanating from an approaching outrigger canoe. A lady of high birth was delighted to happen upon the poet in his embarrassing situation and she behaved as a European young blood would if he were to surprise an innocent young lady bathing. But laughing inHawaii was the most natural of all spontaneous reactions, and king as well as commoner, according to Chamisso, had the right to laugh at each other without incurring censure...

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