Adele Schopenhauer, Florenz: Ein Reiseführer mit Anekdoten und Erzählungen (1847/48) (review)


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Although Waltraud Maierhofer chose to transcribe an unfinished and incomplete manuscript in Adele Schopenhauer’s travel guide to Florence, Italy, her work enriches studies of the nineteenth century and travel literature alike. Along with the text about Florence, the publication contains two other short manuscripts, Italienisches Landleben in which she describes the impressions Italian rural culture makes on her, and the three-page Albano, den 1. Juni [1846] describing the burial of Pope Gregory XVI. While these short texts are autobiographical and offer insight into Schopenhauer’s personal experiences, Florenz takes on a more academic tone, even though the author’s intention is not scholarly but rather poetic: “Denn wie einer dieser mosaikartig zusammengefügten Blumensträuße, welche man diesem reichen Boden abgewinnt und die man in ganz Italien, besonders aber in Florenz dem dahin reitenden Reisenden in den Wagen wirft, so möchte ich in gewissem Sinn dem Leser mein Werk bieten: Blüte and Blüte, Krone and Krone gereiht, in bunter, doch nicht unüberlegter Farbenmischung” (40–41). Although the author shines through her expertness in art history, she does not revel in her knowledge and instead makes sure to point out her own limitations (140–41). Describing her publication as a “Büchlein,” she implies that she does nothing more than offer her layman opinion about antique art and architecture. Hence