Germans as Noble Savages and Castaways: Alter Egos and Alterity in German Collective Consciousness during the Long Eighteenth Century
Emphasizing the continuity of ideas throughout the long eighteenth century, the essay traces a German obsession with the figure of the noble savage to an emerging middle class longing for a national and cultural identity that was impeded by social, political, and economic conditions. Increasingly educated and well read, this group imagined a mutating and polymorph cultural identity that was inspired by images of the "masculine" noble native, drawing from poetic figures such as the ancient Germanic tribesman, the South Pacific islander, German "naturalized" castaways, and the conflated North-American Indian/frontiersman.
Reusch, Johann J. K., "Germans as Noble Savages and Castaways: Alter Egos and Alterity in German Collective Consciousness during the Long Eighteenth Century" (2008). SIAS Faculty Publications. 297.