The Wounded Storyteller: The Traumatic Tales of E. T. A. Hoffmann
E. T. A. Hoffmann’s classic tales of Gothic horror and fantasy are presented in a new translation accompanying the beguiling drawings of Natalie Frank
“Sumptuous. . . . [Natalie Frank’s] artwork . . . is gruesome perfection.”—Meghan Cox Gurdon, Wall Street Journal
E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776–1822) was one of the greatest German Romantic authors of fantasy and a pioneer in the genre we now call Gothic horror. His innovative stories explore ideas of madness, genius, doppelgängers, artificial intelligence, and the boundaries between realities and dreams. Artist Natalie Frank and leading fairy-tale scholar Jack Zipes have joined forces in this lavishly illustrated volume of five of Hoffmann’s most influential tales: The Golden Pot, The Sandman, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, The Mystifying Child, and The Mines of Falun.
In addition to offering fresh translations, Zipes introduces the project and sheds light on how Hoffmann’s lifetime of personal traumas shaped his writing. Frank’s richly rendered gouache and chalk pastels reveal Hoffmann’s worlds in full-page drawings and marginalia. Pivotal scenes of transformation, courage, love, desire, and betrayal are illustrated through a feminist lens, focusing on strong, self-aware female characters. A foreword by novelist Karen Russell delves into the influence the tales had on her own literary career and the ways in which she emulates Hoffmann today. The Wounded Storyteller will introduce Hoffmann’s timeless work to a new generation of readers.
Praise for The Wounded Storyteller: The Traumatic Tales of E. T. A. Hoffmann
“Sumptuous. . . . Enough eldritch ferocity to supply hallucinatory macro-doses to you and every adult you know. . . . [Natalie Frank’s] artwork . . . is gruesome perfection, for Hoffmann’s tales intend to shake us out of our torpor, to make us see the fantastical forces at work all around us.”—Meghan Cox Gurdon, Wall Street Journal
“This pioneering master of the uncanny is as relevant as ever. . . . Capture[s] the brilliance of E. T. A. Hoffmann, whose influence ranges from Freud to Poe to Blade Runner.”—Washington Post
“Frank and Zipes have met the challenge of taking on Hoffman with fierce energy, investing these timeless tales with a new relevance and contemporary sensibility.”—Claire Gilman, The Drawing Center
“Frank’s extraordinary artwork frames Zipes’s translations of Hoffmann’s stories on each page, offering readers an experience in which the visual images and verbal texts are in constant conversation, commenting on and enriching each other.”—Donald Haase, author of Folktales and Fairy Tales: Traditions and Texts from Around the World