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The Sandman. The Elementary Spirit (Two Mysterious Tales. German Classics)

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No literature can produce a more original writer than Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann (1776 1822), a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, better known by his pen name E. T. A. Hoffmann (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann). His works are very numerous and were published at Berlin in fifteen volumes. He is the subject and hero of Jacques Offenbach's famous but fictional No literature can produce a more original writer than Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann (1776 1822), a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, better known by his pen name E. T. A. Hoffmann (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann). His works are very numerous and were published at Berlin in fifteen volumes. He is the subject and hero of Jacques Offenbach's famous but fictional opera The Tales of Hoffmann.---Of the two tales in this book, "The Sandman" is from the collection "Night Pieces," and The Elementary Spirit is from his "Later Works." In these stories, Hoffmann's purpose is to point out the ill-effect of a morbid desire after an imaginary world, and a distaste for realities. Different as their adventures are, there is a striking similarity in the characters of Nathaniel (in "The Sandman") and Victor (in "The Elementary Spirit"). However wild may be the subjects of Hoffmann, and however rambling his method of treating them, his style is remarkably lucid.---The story of the Sandman had its origin in a discussion which actually took place between La Motte Fouque (a German writer of the romantic movement, 1777 1843) and some friends, at which Hoffmann was present. Some of the party found fault with the cold, mechanical deportment of a young lady of their acquaintance, while La Motte Fouque zealously defended her. Here Hoffmann caught the notion of the automaton Olympia, and the arguments used by Nathaniel are those that were employed by La Motte Fouque."


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No literature can produce a more original writer than Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann (1776 1822), a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, better known by his pen name E. T. A. Hoffmann (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann). His works are very numerous and were published at Berlin in fifteen volumes. He is the subject and hero of Jacques Offenbach's famous but fictional No literature can produce a more original writer than Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann (1776 1822), a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, better known by his pen name E. T. A. Hoffmann (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann). His works are very numerous and were published at Berlin in fifteen volumes. He is the subject and hero of Jacques Offenbach's famous but fictional opera The Tales of Hoffmann.---Of the two tales in this book, "The Sandman" is from the collection "Night Pieces," and The Elementary Spirit is from his "Later Works." In these stories, Hoffmann's purpose is to point out the ill-effect of a morbid desire after an imaginary world, and a distaste for realities. Different as their adventures are, there is a striking similarity in the characters of Nathaniel (in "The Sandman") and Victor (in "The Elementary Spirit"). However wild may be the subjects of Hoffmann, and however rambling his method of treating them, his style is remarkably lucid.---The story of the Sandman had its origin in a discussion which actually took place between La Motte Fouque (a German writer of the romantic movement, 1777 1843) and some friends, at which Hoffmann was present. Some of the party found fault with the cold, mechanical deportment of a young lady of their acquaintance, while La Motte Fouque zealously defended her. Here Hoffmann caught the notion of the automaton Olympia, and the arguments used by Nathaniel are those that were employed by La Motte Fouque."

30 review for The Sandman. The Elementary Spirit (Two Mysterious Tales. German Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Logan

    3.5 stars I read this for class and it was just weird. It had some interesting horror imagery and the imagery in general was really great. It felt a tad disjointed, but I still liked it. I didn't realize until someone in class pointed this out, but the story seems to advocate for respect for women and their opinions. This was written during a time where that wasn't discussed much, so that element of the story was a pleasant surprise. This is a fun, quick horror-esque read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mary Overton

    The child, Nathaniel, spies on his father and the mysterious nightly visitor, Coppelius, who is called "The Sandman" by Nathaniel's mother: "My father silently and gloomily drew off his dressing gown, and both attired themselves in long black frocks. Whence they took these I did not see. My father opened the door of what I had always thought to be a cupboard. But I now saw that it was no cupboard, but rather a black cavity in which there was a little fireplace. Coppelius went to it, and a blue fl The child, Nathaniel, spies on his father and the mysterious nightly visitor, Coppelius, who is called "The Sandman" by Nathaniel's mother: "My father silently and gloomily drew off his dressing gown, and both attired themselves in long black frocks. Whence they took these I did not see. My father opened the door of what I had always thought to be a cupboard. But I now saw that it was no cupboard, but rather a black cavity in which there was a little fireplace. Coppelius went to it, and a blue flame began to crackle up on the hearth. All sorts of strange utensils lay around. Heavens! As my old father stooped down to the fire, he looked quite another man. Some convulsive pain seemed to have distorted his mild features into a repulsive, diabolical countenance. He looked like Coppelius, whom I saw brandishing red-hot tongs, which he used to take glowing masses out of the thick smoke; which object he afterwards hammered. I seemed to catch a glimpse of human faces lying around without any eyes - but with deep holes instead. "'Eyes here, eyes!' roared Coppelius tonelessly. Overcome by the wildest terror, I shrieked out and fell from my hiding place upon the floor. Coppelius seized me and, baring his teeth, bleated out, 'Ah - little wretch - little wretch!' Then he dragged me up and flung me on the hearth, where the fire began to singe my hair. 'Now we have eyes enough - a pretty pair of child's eye,' he whispered, and, taking some red-hot grains out of the flames with his bare hands, he was about to sprinkle them in my eyes. "My father upon this raised his hands in supplication, crying: 'Master, master, leave my Nathaniel his eyes!'" (Kindle location 79-90)

  3. 4 out of 5

    luiloth

    The Sandman - https://germanstories.vcu.edu/hoffman... The Elementary Spirit - https://dmdujour.wordpress.com/2016/1... The Sandman - https://germanstories.vcu.edu/hoffman... The Elementary Spirit - https://dmdujour.wordpress.com/2016/1...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anne-Marie Noble

    Being a huge admirer of the Golden Pot I expected this story to be less of a horror to read. But I saw a sort-of moral in the story (which is to get to know someone before you intend to marry them) and Nathanael was a cute madman 10/10 on him.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Fernanda Valadez

    A very good story, not a bit old. It is the language in which it's written that has aged. But still very enjoyable.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mun

    it is indeed uncanny. but full of foreshadowing that made it easy for me to expect every upcoming event.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Liv

    It was pretty good, except for the automaton part that was kind of hard to believe and find scary. But well written, could see all the scenes in my head :)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Astrid Rondero

  9. 4 out of 5

    Frederico Machado

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shurrn

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Lansing

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aline

  13. 4 out of 5

    Angel Guardado

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  15. 5 out of 5

    Natalie R.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vincent Arnheim

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emma (Wandering Words)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emīlija

  20. 5 out of 5

    Edith Garcia

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hazel

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lia Freitas

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

  24. 5 out of 5

    EdEn

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rodrigo Alatorre

  26. 4 out of 5

    Monica Sotelo

    Nathaniel gives a small glimpse to madness. Since an early age he started to manifest symptoms of paranoia, schizophrenia, anxiety, and dissosiation. Might be interesting to figure out when or why everything started specially the reason why Nathaniel desperatetly needs to create a fantasy. Was it because of a traumatic event since childhood? Evation was the best tool Nathaniel found to disguise his repressed emotions and fears. He also developed several narcisistic traits. He became incapable to Nathaniel gives a small glimpse to madness. Since an early age he started to manifest symptoms of paranoia, schizophrenia, anxiety, and dissosiation. Might be interesting to figure out when or why everything started specially the reason why Nathaniel desperatetly needs to create a fantasy. Was it because of a traumatic event since childhood? Evation was the best tool Nathaniel found to disguise his repressed emotions and fears. He also developed several narcisistic traits. He became incapable to love others and to value peoples perspective. Isolated he created his own world detached from reality.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Izzy Gardner

  28. 5 out of 5

    AgentinStarling

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Østergaard

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