Lynne Tatlock

Lynne Tatlock

Hortense and Tobias Lewin Distinguished Professor in the Humanities
PhD, Indiana University
research interests:
  • German Literature
  • Book History
  • Gender Studies and Women’s Writing
  • History of the Novel
  • Literature and Medicine
  • Literature and Society
  • Nationalism
  • Reading Cultures
  • Regionalism
  • Translation and Cultural Mediation

contact info:

office hours:

  • On Leave
    Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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mailing address:

  • Washington University
    CB 1104
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

​Professor Tatlock has published widely on German literature and culture from 1650 to the 1990s with a concentration in the late seventeenth century and the nineteenth century.

Tatlock has maintained an abiding interest in the novel and its origins, the construction and representation of gender, reading communities and reading habits, nineteenth-century regionalism and nationalism, and the intersection between fiction and other social and cultural discourses. Some of her recent publications include books, edited and co-edited volumes, translations, and articles on the seventeenth-century poet Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg, the American translator of E. Marlitt, nineteenth-century American reading of German women’s writing, Gustav Freytag's alternative address to national community, Gabriele Reuter as contributor to the New York Times, new approaches to book history and literary history, reception and the gendering of German culture, and cultural transfer.

She has undertaken literary translations of two novels by women, Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach’s Their Pavel (Das Gemeindekind) and Gabriele Reuter’s From a Good Family; selections from Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg's meditations on the incarnation, passion, and death of Jesus Christ; and Justine Siegemund’s seventeenth-century midwife’s handbook. Her activity as literary translator has fueled her scholarly work on cultural mediation, reception, and the international book trade.

Her teaching at present centers on questions of regionalism and nationalism and reader communities, nationalism and French-German relations, the construction and representation of community, nineteenth and early twentieth-century women writers, bourgeois literature and reading habits, literary genres and violence, and book history.

Selected Publications

German Writing, American Reading: Women and the Import of Fiction, 1866-1917. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2012.

Ed. Enduring Loss in Early Modern Germany: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2010. Studies on the experience of and responses to forms of material and spiritual loss in early modern Germany, including how individuals and communities dealt with war, religious reform, bankruptcy, religious marginalization, the death of spouses and children, and the loss of freedom of movement via poetry, diaries, monuments, book collections, singing, painting, reconfiguring space, repeated migrations.

Ed. Publishing Culture and the “Reading Nation”: German Book History in the Long Nineteenth Century. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2010. Essays on facets of German book history in the shadow of 19th-century nation building, including Tatlock's "Afterlife of Nineteenth-Century Popular Fiction and the German Imaginary: The Illustrated Collected Novels of E. Marlitt, W. Heimburg, and E. Werner," which examines the repackaging and enduring reading of popular domestic fiction in Imperial Germany.
  
Trans. and ed. Meditations on the Incarnation, Suffering, and Dying of Jesus Christ. By Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg. The Other Voice. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2009. Annotated translation, complete with editor's introduction of select religious meditations in prose and poetry by Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg, Germany’s leading 17th-century woman poet; introduction to Greiffenberg’s life, works, historical context and the meaning of her mediations for women’s history and the study of gender.  
 
Ed., with Matt Erlin. German Culture in Nineteenth-Century America: Reception, Adaptation and Transformation. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2005. Examines cultural transfer from Germany to 19th-century America, with particular emphasis on creative adaptations of German culture for American purposes. This volume includes Tatlock's "Afterlife of Nineteenth-Century Popular Fiction and the German Imaginary: The Illustrated Collected Novels of E. Marlitt, W. Heimburg, and E. Werner," which treats the translation, marketing, and reading of Marlitt's works in 19th-century America.

From our podcast:

Hold That Thought Podcast

Jane Eyre and the Art of Translation

Lynne Tatlock discusses 19th century German romance novels in translation and reveals some of the challenges and insights that she has personally encountered as a translator.

German Writing, American Reading: Women and the Import of Fiction, 1866-1917

German Writing, American Reading: Women and the Import of Fiction, 1866-1917

In postbellum America, publishers vigorously reprinted books that were foreign in origin, and Americans thus read internationally even at a moment of national consolidation. A subset of Americans’ international reading—nearly 100 original texts, approximately 180 American translations, more than 1,000 editions and reprint editions, and hundreds of thousands of books strong—comprised popular fiction written by German women and translated by American women. Tatlock examines the genesis and circulation in America of this hybrid product over four decades and beyond. These entertaining novels came to the consumer altered by processes of creative adaptation and acculturation that occurred in the United States as a result of translation, marketing, publication, and widespread reading over forty years. These processes in turn de-centered and disrupted the national while still transferring certain elements of German national culture. Most of all, this mass translation of German fiction by American women trafficked in happy endings that promised American readers that their fondest wishes for adventure, drama, and bliss within domesticity and their hope for the real power of love, virtue, and sentiment could be pleasurably realized in an imagined and quaintly old-fashioned Germany—even if only in the time it took to read a novel.