Penguin Classics £12.99
IoS paperback review: Tales of the German Imagination, Selected and translated by Peter Wortsman
Sunday 06 January 2013
As Wortsman notes in his introduction, "a streak of melancholy and depression bordering on madness runs through the authors and tales in this book." Which begs the question, are these writers running away from their demons or facing them?
The familiar Grimms' tales here – "Hansel and Gretel", "The Children of Hameln" – play into children's fears of being abandoned and adults' fears of harm coming to their offspring, but Rainer Maria Rilke's "The Seamstress", about a young man who cannot resist making love to a filthy old hag and thereby ruining his future prospects forever, speaks more about sexual fears and adult weakness. Or it's the state controlling us in absurd ways, as in Kafka's familiar nightmare. Heinrich Heine speculates on the particularly rural German identity behind so many tales, and the depths of meaning attached to simple objects.
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' close to camp
This house and dental clinic 'piled up like bricks on the brink of collapsing' is why Japan wins at architecture
Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
James Cameron hypes up Avatar sequels: 'You will s**t yourself with your mouth wide open'
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'