Germans on Harleys


Scott Carrier’s ecstatic piece on Germans in the landscape of southern Utah is now up on the Goethe Institute’s site (#11). Beautiful, idyllic, isn’t it, Scott says, channeling Alex Caldiero. The Germans he interviews keep saying it is the “wideness” of the scene that impresses them, everything is so wide.  The motorcycles they ride give them access and freedom and openness they wouldn’t have in a car. I talk with Scott about Kant’s theory of the sublime and Schelling’s “Nature is visible Spirit/Mind and Spirit/Mind is invisible Nature” and Goethe’s nature poetry. Scott recites Goethe’s “Wie herrlich leuchtet mir die Natur” like a nature loving German.

We also talked about the first Harley dealership in German that opened the year after the film Easy Rider came out, about the German Harley radio ad that claims riding a Harley is better than sex. Unfortunately, the Goethe Institute editor cut those last thoughts, as well as the music with which Scott ended: Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild.”

Still, it’s a good podcast. Take a listen.

About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at
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2 Responses to Germans on Harleys

  1. Michaela Giesenkirchen Sawyer says:

    Well, how would you properly re-translate “wide” here? I think it would have to be “wide open”


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