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Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (1797–1848)

Author of The Jew's Beech

114+ Works 920 Members 9 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: By Johann Joseph Sprick (German, 1808-1842) - http://www.bildindex.de, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=213262

Series

Works by Annette von Droste-Hülshoff

The Jew's Beech (1842) — Author — 576 copies
Werke (1950) 44 copies
Gedichte (1974) 23 copies
Sämtliche Gedichte (1988) 13 copies
Gedichte und Prosa (1965) 12 copies
La casa nella brughiera (1988) 8 copies
Ausgewählte Werke (1959) 7 copies
Sämtliche Erzählungen (1993) — Author — 4 copies
Judeträdet (2019) 4 copies
Werke in einem Band (1994) 3 copies
Ledwina (1988) 2 copies
Werke und Briefe (1976) — Author — 2 copies
Der Knabe im Moor (2010) 2 copies
Gedichte (1969) 1 copy
Lieder und Gesänge (1976) 1 copy
Gedichte / Prosa / Briefe — Author — 1 copy
Biographie 1 copy
Geistliches Jahr. (1997) 1 copy
Vivos miaj kantoj: 12 poemoj (2021) — Author — 1 copy
Gesammelte Werke in vier Bänden, (1948) — Author — 1 copy
Gesammelte Werke (1950) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Penguin Book of Women Poets (1978) — Contributor — 297 copies
Deutsche Gedichte (1956) — Contributor, some editions — 135 copies
Great German Short Novels and Stories (1933) — Contributor — 104 copies
Eight German Novellas (Oxford World's Classics) (1997) — Author — 24 copies
Three eerie tales from 19th century German (1975) — Contributor — 12 copies
Deutsche Novellen von Tieck bis Hauptmann — Contributor — 8 copies

Tagged

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Reviews

I listened to this story, included in a compendium of 15 famous novellas, but I can't say I enjoyed it much. It is based on true events in Europe, but I didn't find it held my interest, and I only finished it because I was walking and didn't want to choose something else to listen to.
 
Flagged
ffortsa | 6 other reviews | Mar 12, 2023 |
Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (1797-1848) was born into an aristocratic Catholic family near Munster and spent most of her life in rural Westphalia. She never married and rarely tasted city life. This notwithstanding it appears that she was well aware of the prevailing literary trends of the day and her apparently "limited" life experiences did not stop her from exploring deep philosophical issues in her works.

Take this strange novella - "The Jew's Beech". It is, ostensibly, a murder mystery inspired by true events - the unsolved murders of a forester and a Jewish moneylender - which were recorded in the archives of the author's family. The story itself however is just a pretext for an exploration of such themes as good and evil, the corruptibility of young minds and the stifling prejudices which, in a small community, can cloud the minds of even the best of people.

Annette von Droste-Hülshoff was primarily a poet and Die Judenbuche is her only piece of prose. For better or for worse, it is very much a poet's work. Let's start with the weaknesses first. A master storyteller could have made a nail-biting thriller out of this. Von Droste-Hülshoff however seems blissfully unconcerned about narrative conventions. Many facts are left unexplained, new characters appear with barely an introduction, the structure sometimes feels lopsided with flashbacks and flashforwards. Then there is the famously obscure ending, which lends itself to multiple interpretations and raises more questions than it answers. It leaves one wondering whether the author was being consciously obscure - a proto-(post)modernist, if you will - or whether she was merely unable to tie up the plot's loose ends.

But in the novella's weaknesses lie also its strengths. The work is rich in allusion and metaphor - chief amongst them the striking image of the lone beech tree of the title. Although the book is firmly rooted in reality, the atmosphere conjured up by the novella is straight out of Brothers Grimm - magical forests, eerie apparitions and unsettling premonitions abound. Indeed this has been justly described as a "Gothic" work - it has many of the genre's tropes and is close in style to the literature of the "Uncanny" exemplified by Hoffmann and like-minded authors.

English editions of this novella are rare. This Alma classics edition uses the 1958 translation by Doris and Lionel Thomas and includes an introduction and timeline.

It may not be "entertaining" in the usual sense of the word and is ultimately frustrating as a murder mystery, but this strange work is certainly worth reading.
… (more)
 
Flagged
JosephCamilleri | 6 other reviews | Feb 21, 2023 |
Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (1797-1848) was born into an aristocratic Catholic family near Munster and spent most of her life in rural Westphalia. She never married and rarely tasted city life. This notwithstanding it appears that she was well aware of the prevailing literary trends of the day and her apparently "limited" life experiences did not stop her from exploring deep philosophical issues in her works.

Take this strange novella - "The Jew's Beech". It is, ostensibly, a murder mystery inspired by true events - the unsolved murders of a forester and a Jewish moneylender - which were recorded in the archives of the author's family. The story itself however is just a pretext for an exploration of such themes as good and evil, the corruptibility of young minds and the stifling prejudices which, in a small community, can cloud the minds of even the best of people.

Annette von Droste-Hülshoff was primarily a poet and Die Judenbuche is her only piece of prose. For better or for worse, it is very much a poet's work. Let's start with the weaknesses first. A master storyteller could have made a nail-biting thriller out of this. Von Droste-Hülshoff however seems blissfully unconcerned about narrative conventions. Many facts are left unexplained, new characters appear with barely an introduction, the structure sometimes feels lopsided with flashbacks and flashforwards. Then there is the famously obscure ending, which lends itself to multiple interpretations and raises more questions than it answers. It leaves one wondering whether the author was being consciously obscure - a proto-(post)modernist, if you will - or whether she was merely unable to tie up the plot's loose ends.

But in the novella's weaknesses lie also its strengths. The work is rich in allusion and metaphor - chief amongst them the striking image of the lone beech tree of the title. Although the book is firmly rooted in reality, the atmosphere conjured up by the novella is straight out of Brothers Grimm - magical forests, eerie apparitions and unsettling premonitions abound. Indeed this has been justly described as a "Gothic" work - it has many of the genre's tropes and is close in style to the literature of the "Uncanny" exemplified by Hoffmann and like-minded authors.

English editions of this novella are rare. This Alma classics edition uses the 1958 translation by Doris and Lionel Thomas and includes an introduction and timeline.

It may not be "entertaining" in the usual sense of the word and is ultimately frustrating as a murder mystery, but this strange work is certainly worth reading.
… (more)
 
Flagged
JosephCamilleri | 6 other reviews | Jan 1, 2022 |
Plot:
Friedrich grows up under tough circumstances with an alcoholic, abusive father. Even after his father dies and he is adopted by his uncle Simon, Friedrich grows up to become a very hard man who is followed around everywhere by Johannes, Simon’s illegitimate son. When a group of wood thieves turn more violent, Friedrich is involved. And when a Jewish man, Aaron, is murderd, Friedrich is also implicated.

Die Judenbuche is an interesting novella that I think could have even profited from being expanded into a novel. In any case the slim volume does carry quite a punch already.

Read more on my blog: https://kalafudra.com/2018/04/25/die-judenbuche-the-jews-beech-annette-von-drost...
… (more)
 
Flagged
kalafudra | 6 other reviews | Jan 19, 2019 |

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Works
114
Also by
17
Members
920
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Rating
½ 3.4
Reviews
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ISBNs
129
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8
Favorited
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