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Tales of the German Imagination from the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

Peter Wortsman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

6 Dec 2012 Penguin Classics

'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.

Translated, selected and edited with an introduction by Peter Wortsman


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Tales of the German Imagination from the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann (Penguin Classics) + Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov (Penguin Classics) + Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1 edition (6 Dec 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014119880X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141198804
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 183,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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 2010 Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin and is the author of Modern Way to Die: small stories and microtales, the plays Burning Words and The Tattoed Man Tells All. Wortsman's translations from the German include Telegrams of the Soul: Selected Prose of Peter Altenberg, Travel Pictures by Heinrich Heine, Posthumous Papers of a Living Author by Robert Musil, and Peter Schlemiel, the Man Who Sold His Shadow, by Adelbert con Chamisso.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant collection 11 May 2013
By D. M. Purkiss VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
I enjoyed every one of these stories. Sometimes macabre and even disturbing, and sometimes bursting with inventiveness, they were all richly rewarding, though for me the standouts were Kafka's harrowing - literally - In the Penal Colony, and Ingeborg Bachmann's astonishing fairytale, both of them elegantly translated. warmly recommended, especially for people who don't know German fiction writers well; this should introduce many wonderful writers to new audiences.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential book for my library 30 April 2013
By Jane Brenda - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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!
5.0 out of 5 stars fresh 28 Jun 2014
By wretchee - Published on Amazon.com
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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