Posts In: Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann

Master Flea: A Fairy-Tale in Seven Adventures of Two Friends

April 5, 2017 Fantasy novel

Master Flea: A Fairy-Tale in Seven Adventures of Two Friends is a fairy tale by E. T. A. Hoffmann. It was written in 1821-1822 and became the last major work of the author. The actions take place in Frankfurt am Main. The main character is an oddball Peregrinus Tyss, who was living isolated and was afraid of women. He was involved in a mysterious game of mystical forces in the background of the life of a typical bourgeois city. Each character of the novel has his occult doppelganger. In everyday life, they are servicemen and handicraftsmen, salesmen or scientists, and in the mystical sense they are magicians and geniuses, personifications of the mysterious forces of nature, plants, minerals and so on. Every Christmas eve Tyss throw a feast. Buying a lot of sweets and toys beforehand, he imagines himself a little boy, enjoys gifts, and then gives them to the poor children. On one of these nights Peregrinus meets a mysterious stranger who confesses her love to him and demands to return to her a mysterious prisoner who allegedly stays with Tyss. It turns out that, without knowing it, Tyss sheltered Master Flea who had previously been a captive of the mystical doppelganger of the Dutch naturalist Leuwenhoek . The stranger in the occultl sense is the princess, who...

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The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr

December 31, 2016 Novel

The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr is the last, almost autobiographical novel of the great German writer E. T. A. Hoffmann, the brilliant result of his work, combining reality and fantasy, a romantic impulse and satire. This unusual, novel is written in a form of a note of a self-taugh cat, a pragmatist and an epicurean Murr. According to the writer, Murr had a prototype: “It is a cat of marvelous beauty and even greater intelligence, which I raised, and he gave me a reason for this amusing mystification.” I understand why literature scholars especially highlight this novel in Hoffmann’s work and in the history of literature. For example, the structure of the novel is very interesting, two storylines alternating one another; each part ends literally in the middle of a sentence… For us, accustomed to postmodernism, it is not particularly surprising, but for the beginning of the 19th century it was unusually and boldly. Romantic ideals are combined with the satirical depicting of real society, a twisted plot – with ageless morality. It is magnificent work of art. It should be mentioned that this novel itself is not independent, but it is part of the Kreisleriana – a small cycle of individual texts consisting mainly of stories about the life and work...

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The Devil’s Elixirs

December 16, 2016 Gothik novel, Novel

Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann is famous German writer, composer and artist. In his work, Hoffmann paid tribute to Romanticism and Occultism, and to a fairy tale for adults, as well as to social satire. His works, bizarre and elegant, truly fascinate showing their amazing and fantastic world. It is one of the most interesting and unusual works of the great writer. A masterpiece of the Gothic novel. The plot. Hundreds of years ago, the devil tempted St. Anthony by offering him to feel an enormous satisfaction, drinking the elixir from his many bottles. St. Anthony managed to fight off the devil, and as a trophy he got several diabolical bottles with an elixir, which were preserved in one of the Capuchin monasteries until the time to which the narrative relates (apparently 17-18 centuries). The monk Medard gives in to dark temptation and tries the drinks. This becomes the first step in the path of his numerous crimes and troubles. If I had the opportunity to live in someone else’s body for one day, I would like to be a monk. I would like to understand this state of mind when you are constantly thinking about sin and saving, when you can pray for hours and and feel enlightened and after...

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