The Golden Pot and Other Tales

The Golden Pot and Other Tales

The Golden Pot and Other Tales

The Golden Pot and Other Tales

Synopsis

Hoffmann, among the greatest and most popular of the German Romantics, is renowned for his humorous and sometimes horrifying tales of supernatural beings. This selection, while stressing the variety of his work, focuses on those stories in which the real and the supernatural are brought into contact and conflict. This new translation includes The Golden Pot, The Sandman, Princess Brambilla, Master Flea, and My Cousin's Corner Window.

Excerpt

The misfortunes of the student Anselmus. Sub-Rector Paulmann's health-tobacco and the green and gold snakes.

On Ascension Day, at three in the afternoon, a young man ran through the Black Gate in Dresden and right into a basket of apples and cakes which an ugly old woman was offering for sale. Anything that luckily avoided being squashed was scattered all over the pavement, and the street-urchins merrily shared the booty which the impetuous gentleman had thrown to them. Hearing the old woman's outcry, the other crones left the tables where they were selling cakes and brandy, surrounded the young man and scolded him with plebeian fury, so that, speechless with embarrassment and annoyance, he merely held out his small and not particularly well-filled wallet; the old woman seized it greedily and hastily tucked it away. The tight circle around them now opened, but as the young man was dashing off, the old woman called after him: 'Yes, run--run your hardest, child of Satan--into glass you'll soon pass--into glass!' There was something so horrific about the old woman's screeching, croaking voice that the passers-by stopped in astonishment, and the laughter that had begun to spread suddenly died away.

Although the student Anselmus (for that is who the young man was) did not understand the old woman's strange words, he gave an involuntary shudder and hastened his steps still more in order to escape from the gaze of the inquisitive crowd. As he forced his way through the throng of smartly dressed people, he heard mutterings on all sides: 'Poor young man! Why, that accursed old woman!' In some peculiar way the old woman's . . .

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