There are still several days left in German Literature Month IV. Lots of time left to participate. There are already over a hundred posts, reading through them is much like a fine class in German literature at a top academy.
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
20. Amok by Stefan Zweig 1923
21. Concrete 1982
22. "Kleist in Thun" by Robert Walser 1913
23. "Incident at Lake Geneva" by Stefan Zweig (1924)
24. "The Governess" by Stefan Zweig 1927
25. "The Sandman" by E. T. A. Hoffmann 1817
26. "The Secrets of the Princess of Kagran" by Ingeborg Bachmann 1971
27. "Twilight" by Stefan Zweig 1928
28. "The Lunatic" by Georg Heym 1913
29. "Dissection" by Georg Heym 1913 - no post
30. "Blackbird" by Robert Musil
"Peter Schlemiel" by Adelbert Chamisso (1781 to 1838, born Klagenfurt, Austria-Hungaria), "Schleiel" is a Yiddish word referring to a person who is a hopeless screw up, is a very influential story. Peter meets a mysterious man at a party, what ever anyone requests he can pull out of his pocket, he evens pulls out three magnificent horses. The man, who is a minion of the devil if not the devil, offers Peter an endless purse of gold in exchange for his shadow. Peter excepts but when people see he has no shadow he is shunned and repudiated by his fiancé. He tries to hide his loss by going out at night ad on cloudy days mostly. He finds a faithful servant and luxuriates in his endless supply of gold coins.
However, compressing a good bit, he meets up with the devil again, the devil says he will return his shadow in exchange for his soul. Peter refuses and begins to explore the world in seven league boots. To me this was the most interesting part of the story. I will leave the end untold.
This story is important for its historical impact. The author was a poet and botanist living in a time when one person could still hope to "know every thing" and you can see this in Peter's trips around the world, studying nature and cultures.
I read this story in Tales of the German Imagination, edited, introduced and translated by Peter Wortsman, a very good anthology.
Mel von ü