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

Friday, November 13, 2020

Immensee by Theodor Storm - A Novella - 1849 - translated from the German by C. W. Bell

“ Theodor Storm, yes indeed. Nobody reads him anymore. Schwab—yes, Schwab loved Storm.” from Abel and Cain by Gregor Von Rezzori

Immensee- 1849 - A Novella - translated from the German by Theodor Storm - translated from The German by  C. W. Bell

Theodor Storm

1817 - Born  Schleswig -Holstein. Then an independent state 

1846 - Marries a cousin

1853- moves to Potsdam in Prussian when Schleswig -Holstein is incorporated into Denmark, being very Germanic in orientation.  Becomes a circuit judge- he had a law degree

1864 - when Schleswig -Holstein is conquered by Prussia, he moves back

1888 - dies

This is part of my participation in German Literature 10

During German Literature Month 8 in November of 2018 I read 

my first work by Storm, The Rider on The White Horse.

I enjoyed this work and was glad to find another of his works, Immensee,  in translation available for free as a Kindle on Amazon.  The translation is by C. W. Bell.

According to Wikepedia Immensee was the work that made Storm famous and is still his most read work.

The novella is structured as told in ten life episodes by an elderly man, Reinhardt.  It begins with his pre-adolescent love for Elisabeth, follows through his meanderings about on business as a young man, to his mother telling him upon his return from a long hiatus that Elisabeth married his best friend Eric, takes us to his visit to Eric’s estate (the characters are affluent) up to his solitary life as an old man.  We see his emotional weakness which made him unable to act on his feelings deprived him of a full life.

Along the way there are lovely descriptions of natural beauty and some interesting notes on business matters in mid-19th century Germany.

I am glad I was motivated to read Immensee.  The reading time is under an hour.  It would be a good start in 19th Century German Fiction.

Mel u


George said...

Most interesting. In Teacher in America, Jacques Barzun mentions Immensee as a book that was used in German courses in his day (middle or late 1920s) at Columbia. Barzun did not regard the book as an optimal choice, as I recall.

Mel u said...

George, my reading options are limited as I only read in Kindle format and read no German, thanks for your comment