Heidelberg: Julius Groos, 1918. Engravings. First Edition--text in German facing Italian. Leather with blind- & gilt-stamping. 8vo, red leather with gilt stamping, illustrated with B&W engravings, 640 pages--German text & commentary with Dante's original Italian facing German translations. Near Fine / None. Item #1347
An attractive leather-bound, lightly illustrated, very scholarly edition of Dante's Divine Comedy in German with facing Italian poetry, plus detailed learned commentaries.
Leonardo Olschki (1885-1961) was a literary scholar and expert in matters italian Romanist, Italianist, and Oriental. As a dedicated student of Italianate literature, Dr. Olschki had lived as a student in Venice, Florence, and Rome before departing for more studies in Germany at Munich, Strassburg, and Heidelberg.
Slight wrinkling to the title page, else clean, bright, solid text throughout!
The good professor taught at Heidelberg University from the 1918 end-of-war date of this profound and attractive edition until the Nazi ascendency and persecution of Jews became widespread in 1933. At that time, he fled to Italy (refusing thence-forward to write anything in German!); thence, as Fascism, Nazism, and Anti-Semitism spread poisonously and war broke out, he emigrated to safety in the United States during 1939.
In his new homeland, as a deeply learned and persecuted German-Jew, the professor also became involved with Jewish affairs. Now safe, this learned expert on Dante and related literature also joined other prominent faculties, becoming, for instance, a lecturer at Johns Hopkins; a private tutor at Harvard; a trainer in German for the U.S. Army; and an associate & lecturer at Berkeley.