Der Hessische Landbote und seine Lesbarkeit: Textstruktur, Adressatenbezug und Rezeption

Patricia Czezior


The political pamphlet Der Hessische Landbote, a co-production of Georg Büchner and Ludwig Weidig, had always been regarded as a text destined to be mainly read by the rural population seeking to provoke a rebellion in the wake of the French revolution of 1830. Without contesting this principal aim, one must remember that at the time the illiteracy rate of the agricultural workers and other people of the rural underclass, the main target group of the text, was still very high. Even though Büchner and Weidig tried to take into account the low educational level of their addressees, it is doubtful whether there was ever a realistic chance to produce the desired effect, namely a rebellion or at least an awareness of the oppressive system, by distributing such a complex text with arguments and allusions that displays the profound education of its authors, but probably expects too much of its potential recipients. Besides, the pamphlet also shows elements which are clearly meant for a different target group, the bourgeoisie of the region. Taking into account these aspects the text is examined with respect to its unevenness and its potential recipients against the background of the sociocultural situation of the time. (PC; in German)

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