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Weird Tales - Volume 1

E. T. A. Hoffmann

Book Overview: 

This recording includes both volumes of E. T. A. Hoffmann's Weird Tales, a collection of gothic novellas set in Germany, Italy, and some of the wilder parts of Europe. What there is of the supernatural in these tales is introduced with great subtlety if at all; most of the stories draw their "weirdness" from extraordinary characters, circumstances, or coincidences rather than from the paranormal, working out dark passions in dark settings. There are two themes dominating almost every one of these stories: not only the passion of young tragic love, but also a passion for Art in its every manifestation. With an almost religious fervor, Hoffmann builds each of his stories on a veneration for poetry, painting, craftsmanship, music. It is perhaps this passion for Art for Art's sake that made the stories of Hoffmann so profoundly influential on later writers, from the Bronte sisters of England to the Serapion Brethren and Marina Tsvetaeva of revolutionary Russia

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ons which are able to withstand his powerful remedies, it generally happens that he gets his picture out of the chattels left by the poor foreigner, who meanwhile has been carried to the Pyramid of Cestius, and buried there. It need hardly be said that Signor Splendiano always picks out the best of the pictures the painter has finished, and also does not forget to bid the men take several others along with it. The cemetery near the Pyramid of Cestius is Doctor Splendiano Accoramboni's corn-field, which he diligently cultivates, and for that reason he is called the Pyramid Doctor. Dame Caterina had taken great pains, of course with the best intentions, to make the Doctor believe that you had brought a fine picture with you; you may imagine therefore with what eagerness he concocted his potions for you. It was a fortunate thing that in the paroxysm of fever you threw the Doctor's bottles at his head, it was also a fortunate thing that he left you in anger, and no less fortun. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Note: This review is for both Weird Tales Vol. I and II.

E. T. A. Hoffman is best known for his story "Nutcracker and Mouse King" which was turned into the famous ballet. "Nutcracker" isn't included in this volume, but this collection does contain "Mademoiselle De Scuderi" which many consider to b...more

El magnetizador - 7
El hombre de arena - 8,5
La iglesia de los jesuitas de G. - 8
La casa vacía - 8
El Sanctus - 6
Los autómatas - 8,5

Debo admitir que tenía muchas expectativas frente a la escritura de E.T.A. Hoffman y si bien muchas de ellas en parte se han cumplido, la lectura me ha costado un poco. Los cuentos condensados en este primer tomo poseen una prosa magistral a tal punto que las descripciones dadas por el autor son...more

My review of these weird tales will become a weird tale as I tell it.

In a nightmare I encountered a being of pure evil, it was beat formless and it did not move for it was crushed between the walls of a stairway. I was alerted by another horrible creature that I had to leave, it said to me He is...more

Ξεκίνησα να διαβάζω αυτήν τη συλλογή διηγημάτων του E.T.A. Hoffmann, προφανώς, εντελώς απροετοίμαστη. Στην πραγματικότητα ήθελα απλώς να έχω μια ιδέα προκειμένου να δω στη συνέχεια την όπερα του Offenbach, με τίτλο "Les contes d'Hoffmann", η οποία βασίζεται σε τρία διηγήματα του συγγραφέα:

1. Der...more

The Cremona Violin - **
The Fermata - **
Signor Formica - ***
The Sandman - ***½
The Entail - ***
Arthur's Hall - **

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