Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Saint Cecilia or the Power of Music - A Legend" by Heinrich von Kleist(1810)

The schedule and guidelines for participation are on the event webpage.  Just reading the  posts of all the other participants is tremendously informative. There is an interesting contest or two and some prizes to be won.  One of the tasks participants are charged with is reading a work first published in 2014 and this collection qualifies.  

I am very happy to be once again participating in German Literature Month, hosted by Caroline of Beauty is a Sleeping Cat and Lizzy of Lizzy's Literary Life.   Events like this are one of the great things about being part of the international book blog community.  I know there is a lot of work that goes into a month long event and I offer my thanks to Lizzy and Caroline

Works I have so far read for German Literature Month 2014

1.   Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

2.   Gertrude by Hermann Hesse 

3.  "Diary of a School Boy" by Robert Walser (no post)

4.  Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse

5.  Burning Secret by Stefan Zweig 1925

6.  Life Goes On by Hans Keilson

7.  Comedy in a Minor Key by Hans Keilson

8.  "The Wall" by Jurek Becker

9.  "Romeo" by Jurek Becker

10.   "The Invisible City" by Jurek Becker.

11.  Wittgenstein's Nephew by Thomas Bernhard

12. "Dostoevsky's Idiot" by Robert Walser

13.  "French Newspapers" by Robert Wasler 

14.  Jakob the Lier by Jurek Becker

15.  The Trial by Franz Kafka 1915

16.  "The Seamstress" by Rainer Maria Rilke  1894

17.  "The Experiement or the Victory of Children" by Unica Zürn 1950

18.  "The Star Above the Forest" by Stefan Zweig. 1924

19.  "Saint Cecilia or the Power of Music" by Heinrich von Kleist 1810

During German Literature Month in November 2012 I posted on an excellant story with occult overtones, "The Begger Woman of Locarno" by Heinrich von Kleist (1777 to 1811, born Franfurt, Germany).  Kleist was primarily a dramatist.  At times he has been considered nearly on a par with Schiller and Goethe.

"Saint Celilia or the Power of Music" begin on Corpus Christi day, in Aachen, Germany. Four Protestant brothers decide it would be great fun to totally trash the cloister housing the nuns and they assemble about 100 other like minded young men who begin throwing rocks trough stained class windows and such.  The nuns urge the abbess to cancel services but she will not.  In another bad omen, the nun who is a master organ player takes sick.

The service starts and just as the mob is ready to destroy the church, the nun takes her place at the organ and plays with more power than ever before.  The rioters are quelled by the majestic music.  

Years later, when the four brothers are never heard from by their family, their mother comes to Aachan looking for them. The chief magistrate recalls four brothers locked up, considered totally insane. To her horror,  the mother finds them in the town mental asylum.  They are sitting at a table, wearing long black robes, in front of a crucifix.  She is horrified.  She finds the brothers have been like this for six years, they never speak but at midnight when they sing Gloria in Excelsis, from the Catholic Mass.

I read this story in a really excellent anthology, Tales of the German Imagination edited, translated and introduced by Peter Wortsman. 

Mel von ü


Lisbeth said...

This sounds great and spooky! Would love to read it. You seemed to have read a lot of good German/Austrian literature this month. How do you have time?

I will note some of the authors and maybe next time participate in this month.
Lisbeth @ The Content Reader

Mel u said...

Lisbeth Ekelof. It is a very exiting fun to read story. I have a lot of reading time. I have luxury of reading almost all waking hours if I wish. Not to late for you to do a post for German Lit. Month!