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Author: Hoffmann, Ernst Theodor Amadeus (PSEUD Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann) [1776–1822]

Year: 1984

Publisher: Crown Publishing

Place: New York


xiv+102 pages with illustrations. Square quarto (10 1/4" x 10") issued in dark blue cloth with silver lettering to spine and front cover and blind stamped vignette to cover. Illustrations by Maurice Sendak. Translated by Ralph Manheim. 1st edition.

Hoffmann wrote novels and short stories, and he composed music, including an opera, Undine (1814). However, when reading the original text of E. T. A. Hoffmann's stories, one soon realizes that these stories were conceived and written at a very sensitive time politically. Comparable messages were expressed in earlier animal stories such as Reinicke Fuchs or Aesop's Fables. His most familiar story is Nussknacker und Mausekönig ("The Nutcracker and the Mouse King", 1816), which inspired Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker (1892). His story Der Sandmann ("The Sandman", 1816) similarly inspired Léo Delibes's ballet (1870).The Nutcracker story is full of charming mimed phantasies with Marie (Clara in the ballet), Fritz and Pate Drosselmayr, the mean Mouse King and the popular Nutcracker. Many versions of the story have been published as children's books. Nutcracker performances have become a yearly feature in many cities around Christmas. Yet these stories, as with the majority of his literary work, point beyond themselves in philosophical terms; Hoffmann invariably moves into territory where an exploration of the nature of Selfhood, Art and value-judgements are required in order for the reader to enjoy Hoffmann's writings more fully. Stories are, in their various media, the ultimate form of self-definition and world-interpretation; it is through stories that Hoffmann expresses his aesthetic, ethical and political concerns. Moreover, the original Hoffmann stories (including the Nutcracker) often have dark themes.


Jacket chipped at spine head with some tears else a very good copy in like jacket.

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