Gottes Freunde und aller Welt Feinde. Piraterie als historisches Phänomen und als literarisches Motiv.

My essay will be concerned with the diverse historical forms of piracy both in reality and in fiction. The focus of my analysis will be on piracy in the Caribbean in the early modern era, which has particularlly shaped our current ideas on the phenomenon. This type of piracy will be discussed in the context of the colonial venture of the major European powers. Paying closer attention to a number of fictional treatments of the theme (by Droste-Hülshoff, Brecht, Moers, etc.) my article will sketch an interesting shift in the image of the pirate from criminal to anarchist and freedom-fighter, to comic stooge or erotically attractive adventurer.