Edited and translated by Leonard J. Kent and Elizabeth C. Knight. Illustrated by Jacob Landau.
These seven tales create an intensely rich fictional world. Sometimes sinister and terrifying, it is often animated by brilliant humor and satire. Here Hoffmann paints his complex vision of humanity of men engaged in an unending struggle to establish his identity in a hostile, absurd, and surprisingly contemporary world. Fascination with abnormal psychological states, with doubles and the nature of duality, with alienated man, with dreams and the subconscious drives they represent, with co-existent realities all these anticipate twentieth-century concerns.
The stories included in this edition range from macabre fantasies to fairy tales and stories of crime. Leonard Kent and Elizabeth Knight have based their selection not only upon the literary merit of the works, but also upon the themes and motifs relevant to Hoffmann's development and his influence on literature of the past 150 years.
Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann (1776–1822), better known by his pen name E. T. A. Hoffmann (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann), was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist. He is the subject and hero of Jacques Offenbach's famous but fictional opera The Tales of Hoffmann. Hoffmann's stories were tremendously influential in the 19th century, and he is one of the key authors of the Romantic movement.
E. T. A. Hoffmann. Wikipedia.