Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New Book: Tales of the German Imagination from the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann

Tales of the German Imagination from the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann (Penguin Classics) edited and translated by Peter Wortsman was released in late February. Interesting choice of Grimms tales in the table of contents....

Book description:

'It was a very momentous day, the day on which I was to be slaughtered'

Bringing together tales of melancholy and madness, nightmare and fantasy, this is a new collection of the most haunting German stories from the past 200 years. Ranging from the Romantics of the early nineteenth century to works of contemporary fiction, it includes Hoffmann's hallucinatory portrait of terror and insanity 'The Sandman'; Chamisso's influential black masterpiece 'Peter Schlemiel', where a man barters his own shadow; Kafka's chilling, disturbing satire 'In the Penal Colony'; the Dadaist surrealism of Kurt Schwitters' 'The Onion'; and Bachmann's modern fairy tale 'The Secrets of the Princess of Kagran'. Macabre, dreamlike and expressing deep unconscious fears, these stories are also spiked with unsettling humour, showing stylistic daring as well as giving insight into the darkest recesses of the human condition.

Peter Wortsman's powerful translations are accompanied by brief overviews of the lives of each author, and an introduction discussing the notion of 'angst' and the stories' place in the context of German history.

Table of Contents:

Introduction: 'Making Bones Sing'


Part One

The Singing Bone The Brothers Grimm

Hansel and Gretel The Brothers Grimm

The Children of Hameln The Brothers Grimm

The Sandman E.T.A. Hoggmann

Rune Mountain Ludwig Tieck

St Cecilia or the Power of Music Heinrich von Kleist

Peter Schlemiel Adelbert von Chamisso

The Marble Statue Josef von Eichendorff

Descent into the Mines Heinrich Heine

Part Two

My Gmunden Peter Altenberg

The Magic Egg Mynona (aka Salomo Friedlaender)

The Seamstress Rainer Maria Rilke

The Island of Eternal Life Georg Kaiser

In the Penal Colony Franz Kafka

The Kiss Robert Walser

The Blackbird Robert Musil

The Lunatic Georg Heym

A Conversation Concerning Legs Alfred Lichtenstein

The Onion Kurt Schwitters

A Raw Recruit Klabund (aka Alfred Henschkle)

The Time Saver Ignaz Wrobel (aka Kurt Tucholsky)

The Tattooed Portrait Egon Erwin Kisch

Part Three

The Experiment or the Victory of the Children Unica Zürn

The Dandelion

Shadowlight Paul Celan

The Secrets of the Princess of Kagran Ingeborg Bachmann

Conversation Jürg Laederach

The Tales and Their Authors


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