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The Best Tales of Hoffmann Paperback – April 1, 1979
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From the Back Cover
They open our eyes to an extraordinary world of fantasy, poetry, and the supernatural. Remarkable characters come vividly to life. With exciting speed, Hoffmann moves from the firm ground of reality to ambiguity, mystery, and romance. His imaginativeness is unsurpassed, and his handling of allegory, symbolism, and mysticism is unusually skillful. These qualities make his tales some of the most stimulating and enjoyable in the world's literature. They can be read on many levels of enjoyment; as exciting fiction brilliantly told, as a fascinating statement of many of the major concerns of the Romantic era, and as a culmination of German Romantic literature.
This collection contains ten of his best tales: "The Golden Flower Pot," "Automata," "A New Year's Eve Adventure," "Nutcracker and the King of Mice," "The Sand-Man," "Rath Krespel," "Tobias Martin, Master Cooper, and His Men," "The Mines of Falun," "Signor Formica," and "The King's Betrothed."
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Top Customer Reviews
This volume, consisting as it does of the "best" tales of Hoffman, contains a wealth of eclectic stories peopled with fractured and tortured characters. It includes, of course, the well known story of the Nutcracker and the King of Mice, although your typical ballet lover might find the story a shade darker and more menacing than contemporary stagings of Tschaikovsky: Godpappa Drosselmeier is a somewhat sinister figure, for example. Still, the tale of the Nutcracker is light fare when compared to works such as the Mines of Falun in which a sailor turns miner at the urgings of a shadowy mentor and pledges his soul to the underworldly Queen of the Mine. This tale becomes more and more sinister with the black pit of the mine eventually swallowing the protagonist in a rock fall, exacting revenge on him for falling in love with human woman. The tale ends when his petrified body is recovered 50 years later.
Of course, all is not as it seems in most of these tales. They can be read as fanciful fairy tales - albeit very dark, adult ones - or they can be seen as investigations of the dark areas of the human psyche, at the edge of madness, where vaguely unusual events suddenly become twisted into disturbing patterns.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant, dated fantasy topics circa 1800, instructive about living conditions and social relations and conditions at the time. Some of it turgid and over-drawn. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Senseibobo
Great read from long ago!
His stories really grab you.
Fun reads. The opera is good too.
He also wrote "The Nutcracker"
A collection of stories devoted to exploring, as did Hoffmann fan Hawthorne years and miles father along, the relationship between appearance and reality, and in particular the... Read morePublished on February 11, 2013 by I. Turner