Howard Gaskill

Honorary Fellow


Appointed as Lecturer in German in 1969. Retired as Reader in 2001, and since then Honorary Fellow. This has included supervision of PhD theses on Hölderlin, Friedrich Schlegel, Hoffmann, George Mackay Brown (and Th. Mann), Novalis (and Derrida), Herder (and Latvian folksong), James Macpherson (and theKalevala), and Translation Studies (Goebbels in English and French).

Research summary

Sturm und Drang, Romanticism (in particular Hölderlin); Scottish-German literary relations (in particular German Ossianism); Ossian-Macpherson; literary translation.

Project activity

The  main long-term project is a new translation of the 1774 version of Goethe's Die Leiden des jungen Werthers.  Presently looking at Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon in its various incarnations.

2007 - Present

  • (2019) 'Why "Ossian"? why "Comala"?', in Sensibility and Passion: Studies in Early Italian Opera, LIR.journal, 11: 7-23.
  • (2019) Friedrich Hölderlin: Hyperion, or the Hermit in Greece, translated and with an introduction by Howard Gaskill (Open Book Classics).
  • (2017) 'Ossian und die Geburt der Romantik/Ossian and the Birth of Romanticism', Salzburg Festival Programme/Blog, 17 May --
  • (2016) 'Afterword', Ossian in the 21st Century, Special Issue of the British Journal for 18th-Century Studies, ed. Sebastian Mitchell, 249-251.
  • (2013) (ed.) Versions of Ossian: Receptions, Responses, Translations (guest-edited issue ofTranslation and Literature, 22.3).
  • (2013) ‘Introduction: The Translator’s Ossian’, in Versions of Ossian (ed. Gaskill), pp. 293-301.
  • (2013) ‘Arise, O magnificent effulgence of Ossian’s soul!’: Werther the Translator in English Translation’, in Versions of Ossian (ed. Gaskill), pp. 302-21.
  • (2012) ‘“Ich seh’, ich sehe, wie das enden muß”: Observations on a Misunderstood Passage in Hölderlin’s Hyperion’ (Modern Language Review, 1981): ‘Open Circles: Hoffmann’s Kater Murr and Hölderlin’s Hyperion’ (Colloquia Germanica, 1986), reprinted in Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism, vol. 263, ed. Lawrence J. Trudeau, Detroit etc.: Gale, pp. 16-20, 20-34.
  • (2012) (ed., with Gerald Bär), Ossian and National Epic (proceedings of international conference held in Lisbon, November 2010), Frankfurt a/M: Lang.
  • (2012) ‘Why Ossian?’, in Ossian and National Epic, eds Gerald Bär and Howard Gaskill, pp. 17-28.
  • (2012) ‘Ossian und die Volkslieder’, in Übersetzen bei Johann Gottfried Herder. Theorie und Praxis, ed. Clémence Couturier-Heinrich (proceedings of international conference held in Amiens, March 2009), Heidelberg: Synchro, pp. 125-42.
  • (2012) ‘Ossian in Europe’, in Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland, vol. 2, 1707-1800, eds Warren Macdougall and Stephen Brown, Edinburgh: EUP, pp. 246-53.
  • (2011) ‘“Von Celtischen Galischen Sachen soll nächstens etwas folgen”: Goethe und Ossians schottisches’, in Album Amicarum et Amicorum: Für Hans Grüters, Frankfurt am Main, pp. 69-78.
  • (2010) ‘Ossian na Europa’, Introduction to:Gerald Bär (ed.), As Poesias de Ossian. Antologia de Textos traduzidos em Português, Lisbon: UCP Editora, pp. 13-53.
  • (2008) ‘“The Homer of the North”’, Interfaces: Ossian: Then and Now (proceedings of the international conference held at the Université Paris 7 and UNESCO, Sat. 19th November 2005), 27: 13-24.
  • (2008) ‘“So dacht’ ich. Nächstens mehr”: Translating Hölderlin’s Hyperion’, Publications of the English Goethe Society, 77, 90-100.
  • (2007) ‘“So dacht’ ich. Nächstens mehr”: Translating Hölderlin’sHyperion’, Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies, 13: 35-48.

1970 - 2006

  • (ed.) The Reception of Ossian in Europe (Bristol: Thoemmes Continuum:, 2004).
  • (ed., with Wolf Gerhard Schmidt) ‘Homer des Nordens’ und ‘Mutter der Romantik: James Macpherson’s Ossian und seine Rezeption in der deutschen Literatur, vol 4: Kommentierte Neuausgabe wichtiger Texte zur deutschen Rezeption (Berlin, New York: De Gruyter 2004).
  • (ed., with Fiona Stafford) Ossianic Translations: From Gaelic to Romantic (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1998).
  • (ed.) The Poems of Ossian and Related Works (Edinburgh UP, 1996).
  • (ed.) Ossian Revisited (Edinburgh UP, 1991).
  • (ed., with K. McPherson and A. Barker) Neue Ansichten: The Reception of Romanticism in the Literature of the GDR (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1990).
  • Hölderlin's Hyperion (Durham Modern Language Studies, 1984).
  • (ed.) Eudo C Mason, Hölderlin and Goethe (Bern and Frankfurt: Lang, 1975)

Articles, essays, and entries in reference works on: Macpherson, Herder, Goethe, Lenz, Moritz, Hölderlin, Hoffmann, Tieck, Iwar von Lücken, Hermann Broch, Edwin Muir.

Invited Papers (2005 - Present)

  • (2019) 'Translating "classics": Goethe's Werther and Hölderlin's Hyperion' (paper at Edinburgh symposium 'Germany and Scotland: Translation, Transmission, Adaptation).
  • (2016) 'Why "Ossian"? why "Comala" (paper at symposium, 'Comala and Nina: Operatic Performance in the Age of Sensibility', Vadstena,Sweden).
  • (2015) 'No mere "episode in literature": Macpherson's Ossian and its wider wignificance' (keynote speaker at Kingussie conference, 'The Legacy of James Macpherson and his Ossianic Publications').
  • (2013) ‘Wie singt Werther Ossians Lieder? Aspekte englischer “Werther”-Übersetzungen’ (invited lecture, part of programme of events to accompany Werther exhibition at the Goethe-Haus, Frankfurt) – sole speaker.
  • (2010) ‘James Macpherson’s Ossian: A case for taking it seriously’ (Art in Translation. International conference on language and the arts. University of Iceland and the Nordic house, Reykjavík) – plenary speaker.
  • (2010) ‘Why Ossian?’(“Translating Europe across the Ages”: 250 anos: Ossian e as ‘Epopeias Nacionais’, Universidade Católica, Lisbon) – keynote speaker.
  • (2009) ‘Ossian und die Volkslieder’(Übersetzen bei J. G. Herder. Theorie und Praxis: international conference, University of Picardy, Amiens).
  • (2005) ‘“So dacht’ ich. Nächstens mehr”: Translating Hölderlin’s Hyperion’, English Goethe Society, London.
  • (2005) ‘“The Homer of the North”’ (Ossian: Then and Now: international conference held at the Université Paris 7 and UNESCO)