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Any German teacher able to suggest what this book is called?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by asnac, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. asnac

    asnac Established commenter

    Nearly twenty years ago, at university, a colleague who was studying German lent me a book which I started, and enjoyed, but had to return. I'd like to read it through to the end but don't know the author or title. All I remember is that it was eighteenth-century, that it was humorous, that it was a novel. It seemed to me way ahead of its time, though that could have been down to the translation into modern English. Also the edition he lent me was in Penguin Classics, but I've gone onto the Penguin website and there's nothing to jog my memory, so either I've missed it there or it's not published by them any more.It definitely wasn't by Goethe.I'd be grateful for any suggestions.
     
  2. asnac

    asnac Established commenter

    Nearly twenty years ago, at university, a colleague who was studying German lent me a book which I started, and enjoyed, but had to return. I'd like to read it through to the end but don't know the author or title. All I remember is that it was eighteenth-century, that it was humorous, that it was a novel. It seemed to me way ahead of its time, though that could have been down to the translation into modern English. Also the edition he lent me was in Penguin Classics, but I've gone onto the Penguin website and there's nothing to jog my memory, so either I've missed it there or it's not published by them any more.It definitely wasn't by Goethe.I'd be grateful for any suggestions.
     
  3. Was it maybe a Novelle? There wouldn't have been too much in the way of what we call 'novels' in the 18th century, but Novellen (roughly equivalent to a short story) appeared in the late 18th century onwards. If the work in question was long enough to be described as a novel I'm wondering whether it may have been early 19th century, something like Der goldne Topf (by E T A Hoffmann) which is longer than most Novellen.
     
  4. asnac

    asnac Established commenter

    Now you mention it, I do remember it as being fairly short, at least in comparison to the bulkier English novels of the era. But still long enough to warrant its own Penguin edition. I've just had a look at Der goldne Topf, and it wasn't that. I'm fairly sure it wasn't 19th century.
     
  5. LadyPsyche

    LadyPsyche New commenter

    Do you remember anything that happened in it?
     
  6. asnac

    asnac Established commenter

    Well, this isn't impressive, but not only do I not know the author or title, I also can't remember the plot! But you know, when a story just makes an impression on you, it's the impression that stays, hence my desire to read it to the end.This really makes it sound like a long shot.I suppose my hope in consulting this forum was that there can't have been many novels published at that time if 18th c. England was anything to go by, but I had not heard of this class of stories called Novellen which makes the range a large one.I suppose the ideal approach would be a bookshop that has 1990s Penguin Classics categorised by language of origin.
     
  7. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    How about Annette von Droste-Hülshoff's Die Judenbuche?
     
  8. asnac

    asnac Established commenter

    No, that's a bit late, I'm sure it's 18th c.
     
  9. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Maybe Adalbert von Chamisso's Peter Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte? Bloke with no shadow.
     

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