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Then there is the fact that Fritz and Marie Stahlbaum have their counterparts in the Fritz and Marie that the narrator constantly appeals to in his telling of the story. The structure of the Nutcracker suggests a sense of multiple identities. The children in their playing with dolls and soldiers adopt identities relevant to their play, as well as having well-defined family and social relationships with their parents and godfather.

Marie adds a further dimension to this through the extended nocturnal dream world, which constitutes a greater reality to her than the events within the family. But these worlds are not separate from each other: their personnel, concerns and emotions overlap and intersect. When this is done the two stories become intertwined. There is no traditional happy ending: the astronomer simply sees a solution in the stars.

With Hamilton this centres on the sultan and female storyteller that he envisages as the listeners to the story of the four Facardins, patterning himself on the Arabian Nights. With Hoffmann it is the more closely involved Stahlbaum family. Despite the many differences between Hamilton and Hoffmann in terms of length, artifice and, above all, tone, Hoffmann was obviously stimulated by the French author and adapted some of his ideas and techniques to suit his own purposes. Although Marie is explicitly stated not to have a natural aversion to mice, her initial reaction to them as ridiculous rapidly turns into fear and dread.

Hoffmann cleverly draws his audience into the emotions he is evoking by suggesting that Fritz, whom he addresses by name, would have run away, jumped into bed and pulled the bedclothes over his head.

Book: E. T. A. Hoffmann. The Nutcracker

The Mouse King, emerging from sand, mortar and crumbling brick or stone, is as though driven by a subterranean power. Here, as in other instances, Hoffmann has made a gender change in the fairytale figure, though the role in the story remains the same. This metamorphosis applies also to Princess Pirlipat, the heroine of the fairytale, who, in a trait that immediately associates her with the Nutcracker, is born with two rows of pearly teeth.

The preparation of the royal sausage feast that opens the fairytale parallels the Christmas preparations with which the Nutcracker begins.

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When he learns what has happened he vows vengeance on Frau Mauserinks and her seven sons. At this point Pate Drosselmeier breaks off his narrative, promising to take it up the next evening. Marie asks him whether he really is the inventor of mousetraps. For her the world of the fairytale and that of everyday reality are not separate. All the blame for this is placed on Drosselmeier just as Marie has accused her godfather of failing to look after the Nutcracker and of causing her own injury and illness , and the King demands that he shall find a cure for Pirlipat within four weeks or face execution.

On the Wednesday of the fourth week Drosselmeier realizes that Pirlipat, with all the sharp teeth she has, is fond of eating nuts. This nut has to be bitten open by a man who has never shaved or worn boots and then given to the princess with closed eyes, after which he must retreat seven steps and then open them.

This cure is announced to the court on Saturday lunchtime, but the nut has still to be found. Drosselmeier and the astronomer are charged with finding it, and advertisements are placed in all the newspapers, including the foreign ones, looking for the man to bite the nut. Again at a critical point in the narrative Pate Drosselmeier breaks off. But he now only requires a robust wooden pigtail connected to his lower jaw to become the proper Nutcracker to bite the nut for the princess.

In fulfilling this task, he restores Pirlipat to her former beauty. However, in stepping back the prescribed seven steps, he treads on Frau Mauserinks, who has just appeared on the scene, and kills her, though not before she has turned him into an ugly misshapen creature and vowed revenge through her seven-headed son. At this point the embedded fairytale ends. Marie thinks Pirlipat ungrateful, while Fritz is sure that the Nutcracker can deal with the Mouse King and regain his former shape. In this way a link is made between the inner and outer stories. They are not separate, but intertwined.

Two themes weave particularly strong threads through them — physical appearances and food. Is anything just what it seems? Pate Drosselmeier is both grotesque and kind, acting in ways that sometimes seem cruel or unfeeling, sometimes helpful and amusing. He too belongs to both the inner and the outer stories. Similarly, the Nutcracker is both victim and saviour, derided as completely ugly by Drosselmeier, but fallen in love with at first sight by Marie.

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None of it is true, he says, but it is not reason that tells him this: it is a different angle on the fantasy. The next day the family see how they have been nibbled at by mice. He tells her that all he needs is a sword. Fritz, shocked that his hussars acquitted themselves so badly in the fight, gives them a dressing-down and takes a sabre from a pensioned-off colonel.


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The city that they reach is Konfektburg, the Town of Sweets, where there are handsomely dressed ladies and gentlemen, Armenians and Greeks, Jews and Tyroleans, officers, soldiers, clergymen, shepherds and clowns and every kind of people in the world. Marie may have known them in toy form, but in specifically naming the Armenians, Greeks, Jews and Tyroleans Hoffmann is adverting to contemporary troubles. But Marie is dreaming of a peaceable kingdom that exists only in fairytales or the realms of utopian desire.

The end of the story is a wish-fulfilment, but linked as before with a loss of consciousness. This time Marie simply faints while Pate Drosselmeier is mending a clock.

What is odd in the Nutcracker is the ending, in which the fantasy replaces everyday reality. Ronald J. For Marie, the hero myth has ended in her loss of consciousness. Her descent into the land of the Confectioner is an end, not a beginning. It is not surprising that she is still deep in a world of fantasy. We have to remember that, while there are undoubtedly elements in the Nutcracker that make a call on adult sensibilities, the story is suffused with playfulness and was explicitly designed for children. It was presented as a separate, complete tale, omitting the narrative context with Marie and Pate Drosselmeier entirely, and thus as a single uninterrupted entity.

The translator was the youthful William Makepeace Thackeray , and his work has all the charm, liveliness and humour that one could wish for. His time in Germany enabled him to get a good grasp of the language, and it provided him with the stimulus for some later writing — A Legend of the Rhine and The Kickleburys on the Rhine , under his pseudonym M.

Just occasionally he mistranslates a word or phrase or omits something that he does not understand.

um E.T.A. Hoffmann

These are trivial faults in what is otherwise an engagingly readable conversion of Hoffmann into English. It is a pity that Thackeray did not translate the whole of the Nutcracker when this first attempt was so successful. It is even more of a pity that the translation fell quickly into oblivion, since the newspaper in which it was published collapsed in The name of the English translator is nowhere indicated. The English text, however, contains a fair number of allusions to contemporary England, for example, to toy-stalls in Soho Bazaar, the Pantheon and Lowther Arcade, and to the march of the British Grenadiers, which are presumably additions to Dumas.

Hoffmann does not name the location, though we may infer it to be Berlin, since that was where the Hitzigs and Hoffmann were living at the time. Minor , 1: Zur Entstehung einer Musikanschauung in der Romantik —92 Pfaffenweiler: Epoche — Werk — Wirkung Munich: Beck, , Musicological opinion is, however, sharply divided on the extent to which Hoffmann can be regarded as a pioneer of the revival of early church music in the nineteenth century.

It is common in Romantic writings; see Schelling: Manfred Durner et al. The tale also enlarges on the topic of allegory, which had only been summarily addressed so far. By a happy coincidence — the presentation to Hoffmann of eight original Callot prints of the Carnival by a friend1 — he had a suitable model on which to expand and develop in more theoretical terms what had become central features of his own narrative technique.

Die Serapionsbrüder: Vollständige Ausgabe

However, such a procedure can be justified on several counts. First, the allegorical element embedded in the elaborate structure of the tale is more fully developed than hitherto and the issue of allegory itself becomes a focus of discussion. Since, however, within the tale itself opinions differ on the interpretation of the term allegory, and it is linked to the concepts of irony and humour, the presentation of this issue becomes one of some complexity. Second, the subject of the allegory in Prinzessin Brambilla itself relates to aesthetic matters and forms of creativity, and, more narrowly, to theatrical performance.

No more than those, I suggest, can they be easily deconstructed. The Callot prints in turn became, in true Serapiontic fashion, the catalyst for his setting in motion a purely fictitious narrative plot, based on the Roman carnival. As was already suggested, this irony would turn out to be an offshoot of the Serapiontic Principle. The operation of an ironic principle takes various forms in Prinzessin Brambilla; sometimes it is expressed in a discursive, sometimes in an exemplary mode. But Lothar brings a more guarded response to the practical limitations faced by the individual artist. Hoffmann, for his part, is following the trend established by Schlegel, which situates irony firmly in literaryphilosophical territory and away from the rhetorical sphere, which it had occupied almost exclusively since antiquity.

Her contact with the theater world, as a costume maker, starts at a modest level, but she ultimately moves closer to the higher reaches of this art world through her active involvement in the carnival in the metamorphosed form of Prinzessin Brambilla.

Nussknacker und Mausekönig - Märchen für Kinder (Hörbuch auf Deutsch)

In Prinzessin Brambilla the reader is offered contrasting readings by the hero Giglio and the masterful Celionati respectively: Mainly through the popularity in the eighteenth century of the fable, a kind of miniature allegory, it was deemed to have become virtually a mechanical device. Both Schelling17 and Solger18 allow for its having a double significance; in other words the figures and characters take on a fictional identity independently of any meanings or interpretations to which they might be subject, and cannot therefore be reduced to mere chiffres.

The situation escalates to the point where their mental paralysis precipitates a universal stagnation throughout the entire kingdom. Hoffmann is presenting two levels of artistic creativity in Prinzessin Brambilla: It offers an interesting twist to the subject of humor by relating it to national differences between the Germans and the Italians. In this capacity it connects with the principle of irony in its positive form; that is, the ability to draw back even from painful experiences and, in a spirit of amused detachment, to view things without exaggeration or excess.

Now the voice of the narrator-author provides a wider frame of reference as he launches into general reflections on creativity and the process by which the creative mind operates. This metaphor of the excavation and recovery of hidden treasures is one of which many creative artists are fond. But soon, in a visionary effusion, the narrator has returned to consider a more interesting aspect, namely the state of mind — a kind of waking dreamstate or reverie — that is most propitious for creative inspiration and that can serve almost as a compensation for all earthly woes: Our understanding of it, I would suggest, is greatly enriched by our awareness of the principles on which his ingenuity and imagination are based and by means of which he is able to achieve his ends.