An Early ‚Schelmenroman‘
The Picaresque Elements in the German Barbary Narrative ‚Verzeichnis der Reise‘ (1558) by Balthasar Sturmer
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The ‚Verzeichnis der Reise‘ (1558) by Balthasar Sturmer is an early modern manuscript recounting the authentic adventures of a Prussian sea merchant who was captured by Ottoman pirates in the Mediterranean Sea and became a witness of the conquest of Tunis by Charles V in 1535. It has a curious narrative quality and parts of it read almost like a proto-picaresque novel. This essay embeds the Verzeichnis der Reise in a context of European literary history and argues that it can be considered a precursor not only of the Barbary captivity narrative but also of the picaresque tradition in Germany.