She cannot bear the fact that Drosselmeier is laughing at her actions and gives voice to her thoughts:. When he responds with a rhyming account of the battle, Marie thinks he looks much uglier than usual and is waving his right arm about like a marionette. Fritz tells him he is too ridiculous and acting like his Hampelmann jumping jack , which he threw behind the stove a long time ago. One critic has suggestively interpreted the symbolism of left and right in Jungian terms with the left being associated with the unconscious and the right with the conscious and reason.
Hoffmann thus makes use of the fairytale parallel, but adapts it skilfully to his own ends. Hoffmann himself was fascinated by movable toys and automata, and the figure of Olimpia, the life-size mechanical doll with which Nathanael in Der Sandmann The Sand-man falls disastrously in love, is his most enduring creation in this respect. This range of mechanical toys, stretching from the very simple to the very complicated and ingenious, reflects the achievements of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, building on traditions of clock- and toy-making that go back to the late Middle Ages.
The more complex devices, involving perhaps years of skilled work, were made for kings and princes and were presented by them as gifts to other rulers.
It would have been comparable to, say, the performing circus engineered by the Tyrolean Christian Tschuggmall , who toured with it as far afield as Poland and Russia. Both Marie and Fritz have expectations related to their old toys. His wish is fully granted.
The two girls have new frocks. The fir-tree was a particularly German manifestation of Christmas and was only adopted in Britain after Prince Albert introduced it to the Royal Family.
The Serapion Brethren
Germany, of course, has far more forests than England, and conifers are much more familiar than is the case here. Among the Christmas goodies there are also gingerbread men and women from Thorn, now the Polish city of Torun, but then part of the Prussian dominions. Nonetheless, he entrusts the Nutcracker especially to Marie to look after and protect, and the remainder of the story focusses on their relationship. When Fritz is tired of playing with his soldiers, he wants to use the Nutcracker too to crack nuts, and because he gives the Nutcracker the biggest and hardest nuts, three of his teeth drop out and his lower jaw becomes loose.
However, Father comes to her aid and scolds Fritz for wanting to use the Nutcracker again after he has been broken, and reproaches him with transgressing proper military procedures. Although it is nowhere indicated who produced the Nutcracker as a Christmas gift, it is Drosselmeier who mends his jaw while Marie is ill in bed. He replaces the teeth and resets the jaw. That is some measure of their preciousness. Such books had been produced in Germany since the middle of the eighteenth century, the period in which children were first separately targeted as readers in a more concerted way.
Picture books, especially hand-coloured ones, would have been expensive, but certainly within the purchasing power of a medical councillor or lawyer. She has just completed the story of Prince Facardin. This story is one that Hoffmann frequently refers to. It was published posthumously in Full of the most bizarre adventures located as far apart as Mount Atlas, the Red Sea and Trebizond, it purports to tell the history of four heroes, each of whom bears the extraordinary name of Facardin.
By this time Hamilton has introduced his readers to only three of the Facardins and given little hint as to how the threads of the story might satisfactorily be tied together. One editor has suggested that the tale was intended as a satire on the absurdities of the French literary fairytale, much as Cervantes mocked the customs of chivalry in Don Quixote ; but it does not have the flair and humour of Cervantes.
Not only would its complicated plot be difficult for a child of that age to follow, but it also contains a number of primly erotic episodes that would baffle a child. Moreover, its exaggerations of traditional fairytale motifs and amazing long-windedness seem calculatedly artificial rather than organic.
Perhaps the first thing to note is the fact that both authors make play with characters bearing the same name. Hamilton has his four Facardins, Hoffmann his uncle and nephew Drosselmeier and the Nutcracker that is mysteriously aligned with each of them, but in different ways.
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. 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. 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.
Die Serapionsbrüder, I (Book, ) [amygybokihyd.tk]
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.
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. 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. 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.
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- E.T.A. Hoffmann | German writer, composer, and painter | amygybokihyd.tk.
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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. In reality, of course, all the narrators are Hoffmann himself, who, after all, was writing fiction Steinecke , Ellinger G. Hoffmanns Werke , Vol. Feldges B. Kaiser G. Hoffmann Sammlung Metzler, Vol. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Kremer D.
Pikulik L. Segebrecht W. In: Steinecke H. Steinecke H. Hoffmann , Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam jun. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Serapion Brothers. Authority control GND : Categories : German literature Literary societies Literary circles Organizations established in E.