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Tales of Hoffmann by E. T. A. Hoffmann

Tales of Hoffmann

by E. T. A. Hoffmann

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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German Library 26
  archipelagos | Jul 31, 2014 |
"Intenta, estimado lector, penetrar en el mundo de las hadas, lleno de maravillas que provocan las grandes alegrías y los grandes terrores, donde las diosas levantan sus velos para que podamos contemplar sus rostros...bien, pues en este reino, que por lo menos en sueños se nos abre algunas veces, trata de penetrar querido lector, y de reconocer las figuras tal y como las ves en la vida diaria. Entonces creerás que el tal reino está más cerca de ti de lo que te figurabas." ( )
  darioha | Jan 4, 2013 |
Ernst Theodor Wilhelm (Amadeus) Hoffmann may very well be the grandfather (or great-grandfather) of a number of fictional genres and this collection of his short stories provides a great overview of his work.

Mademoiselle de Scudery is a classic murder mystery with plot twists, false heros and a surprise ending. The Entail is a creepy ghost story, set in a dilapidated castle with secret rooms, that plays on some Gothic themes such as mental illness and payment for “sins of the father.” However, where Hoffmann truly shines is in his favored genre of romantic tragedy.

Doge and Dogaressa and The Mines at Falun are both stories of love cut short by misfortune. These tales are full of missed opportunities and strangled attempts at happiness then culminate in brief victory only to be cut short by a devastating event. Of the entire collection, I think The Mines at Falun may have been my favorite because of the clarity of characterization, the succinct plot and the surprise ending.

While the stories were enjoyable and they were all relatively short, this wasn’t an easy read. Hoffmann was a prolific writer and, in addition to fiction, also wrote plays and operas. His broad style combined with his native German may have resulted in a rough translation. The writing appeared choppy in parts and I attribute this to the edition I read. I may try picking up a different edition someday to see if there is much difference. ( )
  pmtracy | Nov 19, 2011 |
A novel about Jewish immigrants in St. Paul Minnesota in the first half of the 20th century.
  Folkshul | Jan 15, 2011 |
Franklin Library, 1983. Leather Bound. Book Condition: Near Fine. Nearly Fine Condition! Full genuine leather with silk moire end papers. Elaborate gold embossed decorations, raised spine bands, all page edges gilt, and permanently bound-in ribbon page marker. A magnificent volume
  Czrbr | Jun 7, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
E. T. A. Hoffmannprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bullock, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There are several different selections of the tales listed under this title, notably those from Penguin, Ungar and U. Chicago, but possibly others as well. Unfortunately it is probably impossible to accurately sort them all out, so the contents of the the identifiable editinos are given in the Book Description field.
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Book description
Contents of the Penguin edition:
Mademoiselle de Scudery --
The sandman --
The Artushof --
Councillor Krespel --
The entail --
Doge and Dogaressa --
The mines at Falun --
The choosing of the bride.

Contents of the Ungar edition: The Sandman; Mademoiselle de Scudery; Datura Fastuosa; the King's Bride; Gambler's Luck.

Contents of the U. Chicago edition: Ritter Gluck The Golden Pot The Sandman Councillor Krespel The Mines of Falun Mademoiselle de Scud??ri The Doubles

Contents of the New English Library edition: The Sandman; Mademoiselle de Scudery; Datura Fastuosa; The King's Bride
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140443924, Paperback)

E.T.A. Hoffman's wildly original fictions are some of the most unusual examples of German Romanticism's dark passions, and the stories in "Tales of Hoffman" are selected and translated from the German with an introduction by R.J. Hollingdale in "Penguin Classics". This selection of Hoffmann's finest short stories vividly demonstrates his intense imagination and preoccupation with the supernatural, placing him at the forefront of both surrealism and the modern horror genre. Suspense dominates tales such as "Mademoiselle de Scudery", in which an apprentice goldsmith and a female novelist find themselves caught up in a series of jewel thefts and murders. In the sinister "The Sandman", famously used by Sigmund Freud to illustrate both his concept of the unheimlich, or 'uncanny', and of Oedipal guilt, a young man's sanity is tormented by fears about a mysterious chemist; while in "The Choosing of a Bride" a greedy father preys on the weaknesses of his daughter's suitors. Master of the bizarre, Hoffman creates a sinister and unsettling world combining love and madness, black humour and bewildering illusion. This edition contains authoritative translations of Hoffman's best stories. In his introduction, R.J. Hollingdale explores the background of these works and examines the duality of Hoffman's life - a lawyer by day and creator of a world of fantasy by night. E.T.A Hoffmann (1776-1822) studied law and entered the Prussian civil service, but his over-riding ambition was to become a graphic artist and painter. He turned to fiction only in his thirties, living a Jekyll-and-Hyde existence as lawyer by day, author by night - and became one of the most influential authors of his time. If you enjoyed "Tales of Hoffman", you might also like Jorge Luis Borges' "Fictions", available in "Penguin Modern Classics".

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:33 -0400)

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