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I'm reading a letter by Kleist in which he describes a visit to a panorama. At one point he says:

Nächst diesem Vordergrunde, folgt eine ohngefähr 3 Fuß hohe im Kreise senkrecht umhergestellte Tapete, mit Blättern, Gesteinen, und Trümmern bemalt, welches gleichsam den Mittelgrund, wie auf unsern Theatern, andeutet."

Normally I'd say this means "three feet high," but that doesn't make sense to me in this context. Is it possible that Kleist is describing a horizontal distance rather than a vertical distance?

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Your translation is absolutely right and makes total sense: it is a three feet high circle of wallpaper, painted with leaves, boulders and rocks.

I don‘t see any clue for vertical distance in there.

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    You mean you don't see any clue for horizontal distance, right? My assumption of a horizontal surface is based on how these panorama structures were normally arranged. If Kleist is talking about a vertical surface, then this particular structure was unusual--and interesting! – Emma Dec 24 '18 at 22:57
  • I don‘t get it. How do you read vertical distance in any of the words? This is like a cylinder. And its height is 3 feet. – Torsten Link Dec 25 '18 at 7:47
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    height is a vertical distance. – hkBst Dec 25 '18 at 11:05
  • Sorry, messed up "vertical distance" (that is indeed height) and "vertical surface"... – Torsten Link Dec 26 '18 at 11:50

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