Erich Scheurmann has not even stolen only the person of “Tuavii” to sell his ideas on The Papalagi; the very idea of his book is based on that of another German. Erich Scheurmann, a German novelist, in the s visited Samoa, then a German colony. When World War I broke out, he was interned until the end of it. Erich Scheurmann / Los Papalagi Discursos de Tuiavii de Tiavea Jeffe Samoano Originaltitel: Der Papalagi Die Reden des Südseehäuptlings.
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Erich Scheurmann / Los Papalagi // Illustration 10
A tribal leader of the Samoans leaves his island in the Pacific and comes to Europe to “study” the Papalagi the white man in Samoan. Upon his return he writes his observations in a book intended to be read by his tribe se.
This book translated by a german anthropologist is a stunningly accurate study on western civilisation, as accurate as any of “our” scientists sociologists, psychologists etc could ever make.
Furthermore, the observations the Samoan leader makes are characterised by a strickingly obvious “innosence” and innocense here is very discussable as a term and an even more stricking honesty.
Erich Scheurmann / Los Papalagi // Illustration 2 | Erich Sc… | Flickr
This Samoan who travels over the ocean to come and “study” us has no scientific interest in his mission. His motive is that he feels that his tribe is threatened by the influence of the “Papalagi” which he deems pa;alagi.
Exactly because this Samoan wants to talk scheurann his people from a position of someone who can justify why he feels threatened he come sto Europe intent to watch every little detail, every motion, everything that the Papalagi does.
He attempts to explain all that he sees, doesnt stay on the surface, goes beneath it, and applies naturally the Samoan philosophy on life to criticise. And what critique this is indeed. Papalag Samoan leader observes that the Papalagi and his “civilisation” is heavily deseased.
Erich Scheurmann / Los Papalagi // Illustration 6 | Erich Sc… | Flickr
He observes that the white man is obsessed with illusions, obsessed with things that keep eluding him either because they dont exist or because the Papalagi has made an art out of scheuramnn mostly everything on this world. But what makes erkch “warning book” even more interesting is the mostly unintentional humor that keeps eminating through its pages.
Most of the things the Samoan sees are brand new to him. In his effort to make whatever sense there is about them he uses a descriptive language that will smoothen scjeurmann the bitterness of his comments because at times it’s hilarious. Us, the “papalagi” dont get many chance to hear what an “alien” thinks about us and how he sees us.
In fact, most of the time we’d rather avoid it no matter how important it actually is. This book “Papalagi, Los” is the evergreen for me. There is no book with which this book affected me.
Supposing the viewpoint of the man who came to Western Europe from the ls of this south carries out or, it may be strange to a man of today. However, if it sees from the long history after this earth is made ,os man is born, which will be strange?
We “the Japanese” still understand. I think that you the Americans also surely understand. Especially, if the Native American man has not lost the original soul, he considers being felt by the heart by him.
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