Fonds MG 2014 - Hermann Walter Fonds

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Hermann Walter Fonds

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CA MUA MG 2014

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  • [approximately 1906]-1952 (Creation)
    Walter, Hermann, 1863-1952

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Physical description

20 cm of textual records.

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Biographical history

Hermann Walter was born in Basel, Switzerland, and studied at the University of Neuchâtel and at Edinburgh University, where he received his M.A. He earned his doctorate in oriental languages, specializing in Sanskrit and Pali, from the University of Tubingen. After teaching in private schools and colleges in Great Britain, Walter came to Montréal in 1900 to take up a post as lecturer in modern languages at McGill. After only a few months, he was appointed Professor and head of the department. The department was divided in 1922 and Walter became Chairman of the Department of Germanic Languages. In 1936, he retired as Emeritus Professor. Walter was a prolific writer and speaker; his major work was a study of Heine which appeared in 1931. He was a founder of the Montréal branch of the Goethe Society of America, and had a special interest in drama, producing plays by German and Scandinavian dramatists both at McGill and at the Montréal Repertory Theatre.

Custodial history

The Department of German Studies donated the records to the McGill Archives on June 1st, 1964.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of manuscripts and typescripts of articles and lectures on literary topics. A few items reflect Walter’s interest in drama and his private life.

The literary addresses and articles fall into three subject-areas: German, French, and Indian. A series of lectures to the Montréal Goethe Society (1932, 1933, 1935, 1936) discusses Goethe's biography, his attitudes to music, and his dramatic works. Goethe is also the subject of a McGill lecture (1906) and an article for the University of Toronto Quarterly. In other lecture series, Walter treated Ibsen and the 20th century German novel (1936); as well, shorter studies of Adolf Schafheitlin, Superman in German literature, German bibliography, and an address to Shaar Hashamayim regarding the political conditions in Germany in 1933 can be found here. Addresses delivered to the McGill Cercle Français and to the University of Toronto discuss French phonetics, neologisms, symbolist literature, German universities, and Paul Lemaître. Walter's interest in Oriental civilization is reflected in a series of four lectures on Indian philosophy, religion and literature (1949) and an address on Yogis. His work as a book reviewer and drama critic is revealed by a file of clippings and typescripts.

Walter's 1936 production at McGill of von Kotzebue's “Die deutschen Kleinstadten” is documented by his annotated copy of the script and a scene design. This and other dramatic productions are the subject of photographs and newsclippings in a biographical scrapbook. The scrapbook also contains testimonials to Walter and clippings of articles by and about his literary activities, and about a case of alleged attempted poisoning at which he was the plaintiff.

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  • English

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Material in English.

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42, 107, 164, 166, 1177, and 04-053

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