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Beliefs and Superstitions of the Pennsylvania Germans [Paperback]

Edwin Fogel

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Book Description

Jan. 1 2010 American Germanica
Since its publication in 1915, Beliefs and Superstitions of the Pennsylvania Germans has been not only a valuable addition to the catalogue of American folklore but also a vital resource in preserving a linguistic culture and traditions that were already fading from the American consciousness. Edwin Miller Fogel's years of research in both Pennsylvania and Germany led to this collection, the most complete of its time, of more than two thousand Pennsylvania German aphorisms. This work displays a panorama of beliefs reflecting every aspect of Pennsylvania German life, from superstitions about childbirth and babies (such as "A child born on Sunday will become saucy") to concerns over marriage, farming, religion, medicine, and death. A section on sex that was originally available only to readers who requested it "for purely scientific use" has been included as an appendix to the Metalmark edition. Each entry in the collection is composed of a saying in the Pennsylvania German dialect and an English translation, followed, where applicable, by a correlated phrase recorded in Germany or the British Isles and a listing of counties in which the phrase was recorded. Fogel's comprehensive introduction explores the historical origins of these superstitions and the intricacies of his methods for phonetic notation and translation to English.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 387 pages
  • Publisher: Metalmark; Bilingual edition (Jan. 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0271036443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0271036441
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 23 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 621 g

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating collection of folk beliefs Aug. 2 2010
By Christopher R. Travers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
(Originally a review of the original printing, not this facimile.)

This was originally work supporting the author's doctoral thesis in folklore and published in 1915. The work is a catalog of beliefs and superstitions among the Pennsylvania Germans, along with translations in English and comparative sources. For those of us who are interested in folklore, this is quite an interesting collection. The book is well organized and the introduction quite informative. Some of the beliefs have clearly a rational basis while others seem to be a part of the collective folk mentality.

My only complaint is that the author chose to move the sexual beliefs and superstitions out of the book and into a supplement that doesn't seem to be available, though no doubt this was due to the assault on medical textbooks and the like from that era under obscenity laws.

All in all, it's a worthy resource.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating collection of folk beliefs July 31 2010
By Christopher R. Travers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was originally work supporting the author's doctoral thesis in folklore and published in 1915. The work is a catalog of beliefs and superstitions among the Pennsylvania Germans, along with translations in English and comparative sources. For those of us who are interested in folklore, this is quite an interesting collection. The book is well organized and the introduction quite informative. Some of the beliefs have clearly a rational basis while others seem to be a part of the collective folk mentality.

My only complaint is that the author chose to move the sexual beliefs and superstitions out of the book and into a supplement that doesn't seem to be available, though no doubt this was due to the assault on medical textbooks and the like from that era under obscenity laws.

All in all, it's a worthy resource.
5.0 out of 5 stars An old, somewhat obscure book on superstition Oct. 26 2009
By Dennis Hendrix - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Published in 1915, this is one of the older books on the topic of superstitions in America. The book has 2,085 beliefs listed (in both German and English). I find this book particularly interesting because it has a lot of beliefs in it that I've never read anywhere else, and I have many books on this topic. Furthermore, because of it's age I believe it contains beliefs you will not see quoted elsewhere, if anything, books written on the topic of superstition may actually quote this book. All of that said, I imagine that today this little-known book would be of primary interest to folklorists, not the average person.
5.0 out of 5 stars Black cats- please the PA Dutch are superstitious about everything Sept. 2 2012
By Stacy Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was another that I had to have for my PA Dutch library. This book lays out the superstitions of the PA Dutch. I can trace my Dutch ancestors to the 1700's before they came to the US and so I've grown up with some of these things never really knowing why and never really questioning it, it just was. This book can be funny, but it also makes you realize how hard life was back then for these farmers

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