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Tales of the German Imagination from the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann (Penguin Classics) Paperback – February 26, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

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Appealing -- The New Yorker All twenty-five tales make absolutely riveting reading and are almost all suitable for reading to children as bedtime stories. As for the adults - within the pages of Tales of the German Imagination is a treasury of delicious, old fashioned story-telling -- The Bay A solid collection of classic stories ... a labor of love -- Library Journal

About the Author

Peter Wortsman is a freelance translator and journalist. He was a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin and is the author of A Modern Way to Die: Small Stories and Microtales, and of the plays Burning Words and The Tattooed Man Tells All. He lives in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1 edition (February 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014119880X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141198804
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #832,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dubbed a "20th-century Brother Grimm" (Bloomsbury Review) and "a delinquent Hans Christian Andersen" (by playwright Mark O'Donnell), Peter Wortsman was saluted by the late Hubert Selby, Jr. (author of Last Exit to Brooklyn) as "an excellent artist...Wortsman [succeeds] so well in his craft and art that it reads 'artless' and 'spontaneous,' which to me is the highest of compliments." The Boston Phoenix wrote: "Wortsman hangs with the masters."

He is the author of a book of short fiction, A Modern Way to Die (Fromm Int'l, 1991); a novel, Cold Earth Wanderers (Pelekenesis, 2014); a limited edition artists' book, it-t=i, produced in collaboration with his brother, artist Harold Wortsman, comprising his prose poetry and his brother's etchings (here and now press, 2004), in several major collections, including The Library of Congress, and a travel memoir, Ghost Dance in Berlin, A Rhapsody in Gray (Travelers' Tales, 2013). His anthology, Tales of the German Imagination, From the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann, which he compiled, edited and translated, was published by Penguin classics in 2013. He has also written two stage plays, The Tattooed Man Tells All, 2000, and Burning Words, 2004. The latter play was premiered by the Hampshire Shakespeare Company at the Northampton Center for the Arts, in Northampton, Mass., in 2006, and premiered,in German translation, at the Kulturhaus Osterfeld, in Pforzheim, Germany, in 2014.

His many English translations from the German include: Posthumous Papers of a Living Author, by Robert Musil, now in its third edition (Eridanos, 1987, Penguin 20th-Century Classics, 1995; Archipelago Books, 2006); Peter Schlemiel, by Adelbert von Chamisso (Fromm Int'l, 1993); Telegrams of the Soul: Selected Prose of Peter Altenberg (Archipelago, 2007); Travel Pictures, by Heinrich Heine (Archipelago, 2008); Selected Prose of Heinrich von Kleist (Archipelago, 2010); Selected Tales of the Brothers Grimm (Archipelago, 2013); and The Creator, by Mynona, aka Salomo Friedlaender (Wakefield Press, 2014).

Also a travel writer, his work has appeared in major newspapers, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, as well as magazines and websites, and was selected five years in a row for The Best Travel Writing, 2008-2012. New Word City issued two short eBooks of his travel writing, The Urban Nomad - Paris, and The Urban Nomad - Vienna.

His essays have appeared, in German translation, in Die Welt, Die Zeit, The Atlantic Times, and Cicero, Magazin für Politische Kultur.

His prose poetry has appeared in various anthologies, including The Best of the Prose Poem: An International Journal, Providence, RI, and White Pine Press, Buffalo, NY, 2000; 110 Stories: New York Writes After September 11, New York University Press, NY, 2002; The House of Your Dream: An International Collection of Prose Poetry, White Pine Press, Buffalo, NY 2008; and Short, An International Anthology, Persea Books, NY 2014.

He was the recipient of the 1985 Beard's Fund Short Story Award and the 2008 Gertje Potash-Suhr Prose Prize of the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German. A former Fellow of the Fulbright (1973) and Thomas J. Watson (1974) Foundations, he was the Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in Spring 2010.

His travel memoir "Ghost Dance in Berlin, A Rhapsody in Gray" was short-listed for a 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Award and won a 2014 Silver Independent Publishers Book Award (IPPY) in the "travel essay" category. Wortsman's novel "Cold Earth Wanderers" was selected as a finalist in Foreword Reviews' 2015 INDIEFAB Best Fantasy/Science Fiction Book Competition.

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A fantastic collection, in all senses of the word - This is the first book of German tales from the Romantic & modern period that puts Kafka in the right company: with Hoffmann, Kleist, Tieck, et al. And the stories themselves are an illumination. "Peter Schlemiel," "Descent into the Mines," "A New Kind of Plaything," and later masterworks by Robert Musil and Georg Heym are a fresh reminder of the darkly inventive brilliance that threads all through the better-known modernist German cinema. Peter Wortsman's superb translations, and his skill in constructing a lineage of imagination, make this an essential book in any reader's library of fiction. In gothic parlance, all three thumbs up!
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By wretchee on June 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am currently reading and loving this book. I am excited to read a few I've never heard of before now. A great collection of stories to enjoy for sure!
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