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The Rider on the White Horse (1888)

by Theodor Storm

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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9071718,066 (3.64)28
First English translation in thirty years of Storm's Der Schimmelreiter, one of the masterpieces of nineteenth-century German fiction. This tremendous tale, with which Storm made his conception of the Novelle the epic sister of drama...--Thomas Man
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» See also 28 mentions

English (14)  German (3)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
First encountered Theodor Storm in my teens, in his beautiful poem "Schliesse mir die Augen beide" (I want that on my gravestone!)
These short stories all have a real Storm feel to them...all set in his native Schleswig Holstein, a sense of almost a fairy tale setting...which can be lovely (beautiful young women, flower filled gardens) but simultaneously VERY eerie...but in a kind of uncertain way. There is, too, a brooding melancholy...regrets, sad recollections.
The title story wasn't my favourite, though it is considered one of the author's finest. It's a vey hard to analyse tale....a clever, dogged, determined local rises from obscurity to become overseer of dike building on the wild N Frisian coast. But is he a good guy (devoted to preserving the land; almost a Christ-like figure) or in league with the devil? ; (proud; at odds with his fellow men)... ( )
1 vote starbox | Mar 23, 2021 |
Gelesen im April 2020 ( )
  julia1999 | Apr 13, 2020 |
This is another of those books that tends to get dismissed as a “school text” - I'm sure that's why it took me so long to get around to reading it. And it's a shame, because it's a great story, and you can read it quite comfortably in a couple of evenings. Preferably stormy winter evenings, of course.

The Frisian atmosphere, with plenty of dikes and storms and seagulls, is exactly what you'd expect, but it's a bit of a surprise to discover that it's a reflection on the conflict between conservative superstition and enlightened scientific progress cast in - of all things - the hackneyed format of a Romantic ghost story, complete with a stormbound traveller, a lonely country inn, and an indigenous storyteller. A nice touch, with plenty of scope for irony. Thomas Hardy eat your heart out... ( )
  thorold | Aug 6, 2014 |
At the North Frisian coast dwellers of a village have to struggle hardly against the forces of nature. Superstition is part of their defense. A dike master tries to adept them to reality with a new dike, based on exact mathematical calculations. Old methods collides with new. In a violent storm it comes inevitably to tragic events.
  hbergander | Feb 18, 2014 |
finally read it. easier to read than expected. a little bit spooky and mysterious. you dont really know what happens with the schimmelreiter and his family. how did their lives end? ( )
  kakadoo202 | Feb 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Storm, TheodorAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boswell, PatriciaEditormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Almon, MurielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Both, Kees deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heybey, WolfgangAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jackson, DenisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Münsterberg, MargareteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rusch, JensIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verduyn, A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wagener, HansAnnotationssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wingenbach, HansCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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to his son (Ernst)
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Was ich zu berichten beabsichtige, ist mir vor reichlich einem halben Jahrhundert im Hause meiner Urgroßmutter, der alten Frau Senator Feddersen, kundgeworden, während ich, an ihrem Lehnstuhl sitzend, mich mit dem Lesen eines in blaue Pappe eingebundenen Zeitschriftenheftes beschäftigte; ich vermag mich nicht mehr zu entsinnen, ob von den »Leipziger« oder von »Pappes Hamburger Lesefrüchten«. (German)
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Wenn wir uns recht besinnen, so lebt jede Kreatur, jede für sich in fürchterlicher Einsamkeit; ein verlorener Punkt in dem unermessenen und unverstandenen Raum. Wir vergessen es; aber mitunter dem Unbegreiflichen und Ungeheuren gegenüber befällt uns plötzlich das Gefühl davon; und das dächte ich, wäre etwas von dem, was wir Grauen zu nennen pflegen.
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First English translation in thirty years of Storm's Der Schimmelreiter, one of the masterpieces of nineteenth-century German fiction. This tremendous tale, with which Storm made his conception of the Novelle the epic sister of drama...--Thomas Man

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