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Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch…
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Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch (Reclams Universal-Bibliothek) (original 1669; udgave 1986)

af Hans Jacob Christoph von Grimmelshausen (Autor)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,0251614,851 (3.82)74
The harrowing and hilarious Adventures of a Simpleton is unanimously acclaimed today as the greatest German novel of the 17th century. Set against the gristly background of the Thirty Years' War, it is a vivid and realistic re-creation of an age, evoked by an artless and earthy language new to German literature at the time.Walter Wallich, in this translation, aptly captures the zest, the pageantry and the humor of the original. He has also written a special postscript, with revealing sidelights on Grimmelshausen, whose life corresponded in many ways to that of his hero.… (mere)
Medlem:MrKillick-Read
Titel:Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch (Reclams Universal-Bibliothek)
Forfattere:Hans Jacob Christoph von Grimmelshausen (Autor)
Info:Reclam, Philipp, jun. GmbH, Verlag (1986), 840 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:to-read, classic

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Simplicissimus af Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen (1669)

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Engelsk (14)  Spansk (1)  Tysk (1)  Alle sprog (16)
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My friends and I read CV Wedgwood's history of the Thirty Year War a few years back I noted that Dame Cicily cited this meandering picaresque a number of times. I read it off and on through a cold spring and felt that it would've benefitted from editing. There a rasher of episodes that claw up in my subconscious from time to time. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Simplicissimus is the best-known German prose work of the baroque period. Like all great picaresque novels, it's made up of an unapologetically random succession of events, so many that between them they cover just about every possible literary mood - bucolic, military, nautical, comic, tragic, allegorical, satirical, didactic, fantastic, contemplative, religious, atheistic, luxurious, ascetic - everything from fart-jokes to scholarly discourses about the evils of worldly goods, not excluding battles, journeys to the centre of the earth, shipwrecks on desert islands, Miltonic debates between the devils in Hell, a witches' sabbath, and a Parisian erotic episode that seems to have been lifted from a 1970s French porn film. And then there are the two chapters in which a piece of toilet paper tells our narrator its life-story, illustrating the labour theory of value...

Essentially, it's the life-story of a small boy cast adrift in life when a random party of soldiers robs and destroys the farm in the Spessart on which he's grown up. He's taken in by a friendly hermit, who is amused to discover that the little shepherd-boy doesn't even know his own name - he's always just been "der Bub" (the lad). The hermit decides that the only fitting name to give him is Simplicius. Later, when the boy finds himself in the army for the first time, he needs a surname as well, and becomes Simplicius Simplicissimus. But by that time he isn't quite so simple any more.
Even though it's around 750 pages long, the pace is sometimes pretty hectic, and you will be doing quite well if you can keep track of how many times he is obliged to change sides between the Swedish and Imperial armies. Things are at their craziest in Book V, Chapter XXII, where, after the narrator has spent a couple of chapters doing nothing in Moscow (Moscow?!? - how on earth did he end up there?) waiting for the Czar to give him a job, in the space of two pages at the end of the chapter he is captured by Tatars, sent to the Far East and sold to the King of Korea, makes his way back West via Japan and Macao, but is captured in the Indian Ocean by Moslem pirates, sent to serve as a galley-slave in the Mediterranean, set free after a battle with the Venetians, and returns home to the Black Forest after making a pilgrimage to Rome. (The original 1668 book ended shortly after this, rather out of breath, but Grimmelshausen then added a sixth book, the Continuatio, where things get even more out of control.)

Fortunately it isn't always quite that extreme, especially when Grimmelshausen happens to be writing about something he knows about personally. Or has a detailed source to crib from - plagiarism was not so much frowned upon then as it is now, so even the battles we know he fought in himself are often described in the words of other writers.

Of course, all that colour, hectic movement and the remoteness of the baroque world he is writing about make it a fascinating read for us, but the thing that really sets it apart is the sheer energy and down-to-earthness of much of the language. When he's not putting on the voice of some hypothetical scholar - even then, it's often hard to tell when he's showing off his erudition and when he's mocking the way scholars see the world - Grimmelshausen talks to us exactly as you would expect someone from the depths of rural Germany to do. Hard, fast, simple prose, as few French or Latin words as possible, and plenty of earthy dialect expressions. Thomas Mann considered Simplicissimus a narrative work of extraordinary genius, and if you look at it sideways with one eye half closed you can convince yourself you can see something of what he took from it - Mann's discursive randomness is much more focussed and targeted than Grimmelshausen's, but it's obviously a development of the same way of seeing the progression of a story. Interesting! But pretty crazy, really. ( )
  thorold | Nov 30, 2018 |
Sometimes described as the first great German novel, Simplicissimus is a big, flatulent, romping picaresque that careens its way across the patchwork of German states at the height of the Thirty Years War. In its mixture of realist war commentary, knockabout scatology, and magic-realist flights of fancy, it comes across as something like Rabelais meets Goya's Disasters of War.

Our eponymous hero – nicknamed for his naïveté – is born in the Spessart, and grows up in a little farming hamlet which is unfortunate enough to be in the path of some marauding soldiers, who promptly kill the men in a variety of inventive ways before raping the women. Simplicissimus, as a child, is spared long enough to escape to live wild in the forest. The harsh naturalism of these early scenes, and others like them throughout the book, is still genuinely shocking, and has a documentary interest; much of it is thought to be autobiographical. From there, our ingenuous hero travels up to Westphalia and down to the Breisgau, with excursions to France, Switzerland, and the centre of the earth, fighting at various times on both sides of the conflict.

Like many picaresque novels, Simplicissimus presents the world as a place of endless opportunity, novelty and adventure; and yet the wartime realities give it a grounding in real life, and a consequent seriousness, that I find somewhat missing in, say, its more famous contemporary Don Quixote. Though occasionally moralistic, it's never boring, if only because the genre shifts almost as often as the setting – from satire to fantasy to religious allegory to shaggy-dog story. One minute he's expatiating on the importance of Christian virtues, the next he's devoting a whole chapter to how he farted at an inopportune moment.

At times too it is fascinatingly subversive. Despite all the fighting, the only real description of wartime combat we get is a parodic one, when Simplicissimus goes off alone into the woods to kill the lice infesting his body:

I took off the cuirass, even though others put one on before going into battle and started such a massacre that soon my two swords – my thumb-nails – were dripping with blood and covered in dead bodies. Those I could not kill I sent into exile, wandering under the tree.

And his status as eternal innocent allows him to ask the religious questions that no one else can; when a Reformed minister demands that he recognise the truth of his denomination, Simplicissimus objects immediately:

‘But, pastor,’ I answered, ‘that is what all the other churches say of their faith as well. Which one should I believe? […] Which one should I join when each is screaming that the others are the work of the devil?’

The translation from Mike Mitchell is just fantastic, employing a complex, often specialist vocabulary which reads completely fluently while also giving plenty of seventeenth century flavour. (Unfortunately, there are some editing mistakes – ‘gaol’ has been replaced by ‘goal’ in every instance, apparently by some overzealous spellchecker, and similarly we read more than once of someone getting their ‘just desserts’, which rather puts me in mind of people being punished with bowls of Angel Delight.) In any case, this strange and exuberant novel is of much more than historical interest – full of life, and learning, and delights that have been snatched from a capricious world. A world closer to us than we sometimes remember. ( )
4 stem Widsith | Jun 18, 2018 |
Match found in the German National Library.
  glsottawa | Apr 4, 2018 |
This is the tale of the orphaned Simplicissimus, living during the 30 year war, very much at the mercy of changing circumstances. The casual way he deals with such things as being robbed of all worldly goods or gaining fame and wealth as a bandit or being beaten within an inch of his life is amazing. Some of the thought felt astonishingly modern and the social commentary could in a large part be transferred to our times with few adjustments. I enjoyed the comic aspects but found it a bit repetitive at times.
I listened to a new 'translation' into a more modern German by Reinhard Kaiser. This update and the narration are both very well done and made the book more accessible to me without losing the historic feel.
( )
  sushicat | Jan 14, 2016 |
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (207 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Grimmelshausen, Hans Jakob Christoffel vonprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Bonfatti, EmilioRedaktørmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Borcherdt, Hans HeinrichIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Cramer, KevinIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
De Loecker, ArmandOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Ebnet, Karl-HeinzRedaktørmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Kaiser, ReinhardÜbersetzermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Kelletat, AlfredHerausgebermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Sauerbruch, HansIllustratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Underwood, J. A.Oversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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The harrowing and hilarious Adventures of a Simpleton is unanimously acclaimed today as the greatest German novel of the 17th century. Set against the gristly background of the Thirty Years' War, it is a vivid and realistic re-creation of an age, evoked by an artless and earthy language new to German literature at the time.Walter Wallich, in this translation, aptly captures the zest, the pageantry and the humor of the original. He has also written a special postscript, with revealing sidelights on Grimmelshausen, whose life corresponded in many ways to that of his hero.

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