I first heard of das Schlaraffenland a few years back from a Swiss colleague. He told me it was a place where, once you ate through ten feet of pudding to get inside (blecch!) you could eat whatever you want. I recently asked another German colleague about this and he corrected it as a wall of porridge. Inside flew preroasted birds. Preroasted swine wander about with forks stuck in their backs, in case you want to take a bite.
I tried to Google something about this, but all of the sites I found were in German and I’m too lazy to dig through the German since there’s bound to be a lot of stuff that I’d have to look up in my trusty Oxford German dictionary. When I looked up Schlaraffenland in said Oxford dictionary, it translated to Cockaigne.
Now I’d never heard of Cockaigne until today. So I googled on that. This seems to come from a 13th century poem, in either Middle French or English, about a place called Cokagyne. Pais de cocaigne translates as land of plenty, at least according to Webster.
[li]Any idea where to find a good translation of the original stories of Schlaraffenland or Cockaigne?[/li]
[li]Is the German an adaptation/later version of the Middle English/French, or a separate story? If separate, was it influenced by the earlier poem about Cockaigne?[/li]
[li]In English/American mythos, is there such a place? I’ve heard the phrase “land of plenty” (prior to the seminal Land Down Under by Men at Work), but never really thought of it as a place as much as just a saying. I did find one cite that suggested that the American equivalent is the Big Rock Candy Mountain.[/li]
[li]What is really in Schlaraffenland and how would one get there?[/li][/ul]