Saturday, August 3, 2019

Book cover: "Boonastiel"

  • Title: Boonastiel
  • Cover subtitle: "Pennsylvania German"
  • Title page subtitle: "Pennsylvania Dutch"
  • Author: Thomas Hess "T.H." Harter (1854–1933)
  • Publisher: Schneider Printing Company (Palmyra, Pennsylvania)
  • Publication year: 1928
  • Original price: None listed
  • Pages: 240
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Dimensions: 4⅝ inches by 7¼ inches
  • First sentences: Liever Kernel Harder: Kensht du mich? Ich bin der Boonastiel!
  • Last sentence: Duch wos du doosht, do's we's gadoo si set ⁠— Kitzel mich net!
  • Random sentence from the middle: Der Billy is uff de Betz g'folla un hut sich net wæ gadoo, awver de Betz hut era tzoong tswisha era folshe tzæ greeked un hut about en tzoll-un-a-holva derfun ob ga-bissa.
  • From the preface:
    "Recognizing the need for some definite and decisive action for the preservation of Pennsylvania German literature, the Public presents this volume as a first step toward gathering some of the well loved gems of this language into a form that will be available to all admirers of Pennsylvania German.

    "The articles contained in this volume are from the pen of T.H. Harter, 'The Dean of Pennsylvania German Writers' and appeared from time to time in the Middleburg (Pa.) Post, which has been edited by Mr. Harter for many years.

    "Writing at first for personal amusement, the public demanded more BOONASTIEL letters and Mr. Harter was forced to write these letters every week.

    "From these letters addressed to himself a 'Liever Kernal Harder' and signed 'Gootlieb Boonastiel' and published under the head of 'Brief Fum Hawsa Barrick', Mr. Harter has created the best loved character in Pennsylvania German literature. Gottlieb Boonastiel is known and quoted wherever Pennsylvania German is spoken."
  • About Pennsylvania German language (from Wikipedia):
    "Pennsylvania German ... (often called Pennsylvania Dutch) is a variety of West Central German spoken by the Old Order Amish, Old Order Mennonites and other descendants of German immigrants in the United States and Canada, closely related to the Palatine dialects. There are possibly more than 300,000 native speakers in the United States and Canada. In Pennsylvania 29.9% of the population currently claim to have German ancestry.

    "It has traditionally been the dialect of the Pennsylvania Dutch, descendants of late 17th- and early to late 18th-century immigrants to Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina from southern Germany, eastern France (Alsace and Lorraine), and Switzerland. Although for many, the term 'Pennsylvania Dutch' is often taken to refer to the Amish and related Old Order groups exclusively, the term should not imply a connection to any particular religious group."
  • Modern observation: In a 2018 article in the The Daily Item of Sunbury, Pennsylvania, Lee Knepp, a Snyder County commissioner and secretary of the Snyder County Historical Society, states: "Probably without question, Thomas Harter’s letters are Snyder County’s main contribution to Pennsylvania German literature. They were humorous. A kind of rule of thumb is, it’s funny in translation but not nearly as funny if you understand Pennsylvania Dutch. They were very, very popular.”

Related posts
(not a complete list)

1 comment: