Deutschland's Donald Duck Quacks Philosophical

Translated comics enjoy huge success
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2009 2:20 PM CDT
Donald Duck has taken on a new life in Germany, enjoying massive popularity for his intellectual quotations and philosophizing.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
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(Newser) – Donald Duck, German intellectual? The reputation may sound silly to Americans, but Susan Bernofsky explores in the Wall Street Journal how the Donald enjoys popularity in Germany that goes far beyond wacky adventures. In fact, thanks largely to souped-up German translations, he is known better for his complex intellectual opining and for quoting German intellectual figures such as Goethe and Wagner.

“He has strengths and weaknesses, he lacks polish, but is also very cultured and well-read,” explains the head of a German Donald Duck fan club. The more erudite Donald was introduced by Erika Fuchs, a translator with a PhD in art history who reinterpreted the English comics with an emphasis on intellectual history and politics.