„Zucht und lehr“ – Johann Wilhelm Simlers Teutsche Gedichte (1648)

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Julia Amslinger Seminar für Deutsche Philologie, Universität Göttingen Göttingen Deutschland

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Nathalie Emmenegger Neuere deutsche Literatur, Institut für Germanistik, Universität Bern Bern Switzerland

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Swiss literature between Niklaus Manuel as an example of a 16th century poet and Albrecht von Haller as a writer of the Age of Enlightenment has been little researched – despite the fact that a large body of literature dealing with a particularly ‘Swiss’ language, culture, and poetry can be linked to the political status of the sovereign confederation in the 17th century. This article presents the book Teutsche Gedichte by the Zurich author Johann Wilhelm Simler in the context of its creation as well as its reception. The work was first published in 1648, the year of the separation of the Confederate cantons from the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and at the end of the Thirty Years’ War. Due to its resounding success, it was reprinted three times until 1688. In addition to various epigrams, doctrinal and occasional poems, the collection consists mainly of sacred and secular songs, printed in four-part notation. The melodies were written by various composers. As well as working with musicians, Simler also collaborated closely with the Zurich engraver Conrad Meyer. We would like to highlight Simler’s work as a cultural broker in the cultural scene of his city and for Swiss poetry in the German-speaking world.

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