Little Ernest, Great Ernst: The Trials and Tribulations of E.T.A. Hoffmann in English, with especial reference to his Klein Zaches, genannt Zinnober*


*This is a slightly revised version of my Masterfs dissertation (1998).  There is still more work to be done, notably a passage on Odoevsky in the eRussiaf section.





Introduction                                                                                                  1


The Critical Heritage:                                                                                   4

            Germany                                                                                           4

            Russia                                                                                                6

            France                                                                                               9

            The U.S.A.                                                                                       12

            Britain                                                                                             14


Hoffmann In English Translation                                                               24


Klein Zaches genannt Zinnober                                                                  32


Conclusion                                                                                                  42


Notes                                                                                                           48


Bibliography                                                                                                51



Poor Hoffmann.  When his first literary text, Ritter Gluck, was published in the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung on 15 February 1809, the editor, Friedrich Rochlitz, made some alterations that the unhappy author had to accept.  His greatest work, the Lebensansichten des Katers Murr, which consists of two intertwining narratives, was published as two separate strands in 1946, thereby nullifying the whole point of the novel; Murr is the philistine counter to the artist Kreisler, and the experiences of the one find their revealing reflection in the experiences of the other.  And this is how he has suffered at the hands of his fellow countrymen – to say nothing of how he has fared in other countries, above all in England!  Before 1948, there was no comprehensive account of his life and works in English[1].  Although he was gone of the most remarkable musical artists to have left his imprint on the Western traditionh and his review of Beethovenfs Fifth Symphony has become gthe critical benchmark to which all others must relate,h[2] being gprobably the first real classic of music criticismh[3] and in continuous circulation since the time of its publication, no complete English translation of his musical writings appeared until 1989.  Despite being the last nineteenth century German author of world-wide significance and influence, he is seldom included in world literature courses in schools and universities in England and America; he was not on the German Literature 1797-1848 course I studied at St. Andrews University in 1992, a course which inflicted the likes of Herodes und Mariamne and Heinrich von Ofterdingen on the groaning student; and his stature today is gperhaps greatest of all among students of Comparative Literature.h[4]  When his name is associated with literature by the British public, they have a childrenfs fairy-tale in mind – by a man who could not write for children.


Few writers have provoked such a striking divergence of critical opinions.  In this respect, Prinzessin Brambilla may be considered his most representative work; opinions expressed about it rate it as gone of the most baffling, most subtly intriguing, products of the creative imaginationh[5] and consider it to be gthe poetic expression for the betterment of mankind through the influence of the arts,h[6] whereas if I were to express my opinion, the terms used would be rather less complimentary and decidedly more Anglo-Saxon.  And this is just one of many diverse texts.  But this divergence at least represents an improved understanding from that of the last century, when there was a greater unity among those critics who passed comment; many of his writings were dismissed as the hallucinogenic visions of a lunatic or a drunkard.  As a echaracterf in Longfellowfs Hyperion remarks in the chapter that discusses Hoffmann: ghe who drinks wine thinks wine.h[7]  And as one critic memorably, if inaccurately, remarked: gThe dreams of dyspeptic lunacy can go no further....h[8]  In this century, he has been subjected to some interpretations that, if they had been written in his time and he had read them, would have made him fling away his pen in disgust at the poverty of his imagination and seek some new mode of artistic expression.


Yet this is the author who wrote arguably the greatest German novel of the 19th century; who was one of the finest exponents of the eKunstmärchenf; who wrote a ghost story of the first rank; who wrote one of the earliest detective stories; who introduced much that was new to fiction, including the automaton/robot; who was one of the first gurban mastersh[9]; who was, arguably, the single most important factor in the popularisation of the short story and the development of this genre as an art-form: in short, one of the most talented, imaginative writers the world has seen.


Moreover, he was a talented composer, an able caricaturist, and a superb music critic.  Yet multi-talented as he was – and there is occasionally a prejudice against those who possess talent in more than one field, a reluctance to recognise this ability, hence descriptions such as gthe greatest dilettante of them allh[10] – it was in the realm of literature that he found his true means of expression.  To suggest that it is fitting that his name should nowadays be associated primarily with opera (through the medium of Offenbach) because music was the major love of his life, or because opera is an art-form gperfectly suited to explore the recesses of the subconscious mindh[11] and more comfortable with the supernatural than literature, is to miss the point and misinterpret his writings.  However, this area of his talent is not separate from the others; on the contrary, his texts evoke the theatre, the studio and the concert-hall.


The man has suffered from defamation of character, especially as a result of the biography written by his friend Hitzig in 1823, for so long the only source for his life in Britain, whether directly or via the media of Scott and Carlyle – but does that really explain the misunderstanding and the lack of appreciation that have been the lot of Hoffmannfs literary output in the English-speaking world?  There were many unpleasant traits to the characters of Dickens and Goethe, yet their status as artists was not affected; with Byron, the myth did not only not harm the man, it was actually beneficial to his standing and reputation.  It is the artist, not the personality, which forms the primary consideration: Hoffmannfs biographers tended to look for the fantastic in the man because they had seen it in his texts.


This dissertation will concentrate on the injustice that has been done to the author E.T.A. Hoffmann in the English-speaking world.  Considering the humour that abounds in his work; bearing in mind that he wrote an excellent ghost story – a largely English genre – and a Gothic tale on the theme of the double, a theme that proved popular in these shores, finding its most popular expression through Robert Louis Stevenson and its greatest expression through James Hogg; taking account of the eccentric characters he occasionally creates (Kreisler and Krespel being the most memorable); and, above all, taking into consideration his irony, one would have thought that he had much to recommend him to an English audience.  Reference will be made to a wider sphere to illustrate the contention that Hoffmannfs popularity or lack of popularity in a given land can often be explained by a misunderstanding of what he actually wrote, and to serve as a necessary basis for comparison; but English critics, and English translators, form the core of this work.


The first half contains three major sections: how Hoffmann has been translated by academics and writers; how he has been translated for the public; and a theoretical section describing the methodology behind the rendering of one of his best works given by this translator – a rendering that forms what we may, with a slightly ironic smile, call the greater half of this dissertation.

The Critical Heritage


Mention is often made of the enormous influence Hoffmann had on European literature.  Names such as Heine, Hauff, Storm, Kafka, Mann, Balzac, Merimée, Musset, Nerval, Baudelaire, Flaubert, Dostoevski, Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Gorki, Dickens, Poe and Stevenson are reeled off, without any evidence being given to support the claim.  This question of influence on writers and critics is the first to be considered; we will begin with his native land.



In a sense, this is the most important country as regards the reception of Hoffmann for this particular survey; it being the one where public and critics alike could have access to the original texts, and thus serving as a base for comparison with Russia, France and England, who were largely dependent on translations.


In his homeland, the omens were not good.  Although the literary critic was the mouth-piece of the educated reading public in Hoffmannfs age, so that when the former praise a writer, gwe may be sure that he is popular at least with a large section of the publich (and Hoffmann himself expressed his readiness in the capacity of critic to voice the public opinion[12]), yet his texts met with public enthusiasm and critical silence.  So although, gIn seiner Periode wurde er viel gelesen,h as Heine informs us[13], we may question the degree to which he was understood.  Most of the leading literary contemporaries who survived him, and who believed in the moral and edifying purpose of literature, rejected him; and foremost among these figures was Goethe.  When he does actually condescend to name Hoffmann, he groups him with authors such as Franz Horn and Clauren[14].  His recommendation of Scottfs essay – which will be dealt with later – did much to sully Hoffmannfs reputation in Germany throughout the rest of the century.  Hegel was another prominent figure to launch an attack; considering that his doctrines emphasised the rational nature of reality and the progression of the human mind to knowledge of reality, it is understandable that the sheer uncertainty in Hoffmannfs texts met with disapproval from this philosopher.  Like Kleist and Hölderlin before him, Hoffmann would have to wait a long time to be appreciated by the critics of his country.


His serious-minded colleagues were not in a position to appreciate his talent for satire and burlesque; this is reflected in the comments of Varnhagen von Ense, who claims that Hoffmannfs lack of gGefühls-Innigkeith soon lead to the novelty wearing off: gAuch der geistreichste Witz...verflüchtigt sich allzu bald.h[15]  This lack of feeling, which amounted to a perceived inability to sufficiently love his fellow man, was a common criticism of Hoffmann[16]; yet this was the man who turned against Napoleon not from political considerations or nationalist zeal, but because of the enormous human misery he caused. 


Moreover, their perception of literature was too limited to be able to appreciate him as a literary artist.  Throughout most of the nineteenth century, Hoffmann was regarded in Germany as ga mere literary entertainerh[17].  The historian Heinrich von Treitschke, voicing a common opinion, recognises a gmasterly story-tellerh but considers that he suffers from an gover-wrought imaginationh[18].  The fact that he, on the contrary, never loses sight of reality, and that this serves as an anchor in his works, is recognised by Heine, who uses the analogy of Antaeus.  Indeed, Heine was one of the few critics with sufficient perception to appreciate what this author – a kindred spirit in certain respects – was doing; he may have criticised Meister Floh quite severely, but only gweil ich Hoffmannfs frühere Werke so sehr schätze und liebe.h[19]


There was a revival of interest in the 1870s, yet this was far from flattering; the reasons lay in a growing interest in the occult, in the romantic view of the artistic genius produced by sickness now being taken seriously, and in the pessimism inherent in the works of Wagner, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.  There is a hoffmannesque influence vaguely discernible in these three artists – the sixteen-year-old Wagner, for example, was gon fireh with reading this authorfs musical works, at a time when he was ignored in his homeland; the atheist Schopenhauer, who stood in such opposition to Hegel, would naturally be more of a kindred spirit; and Nietzsche, like Wagner, was attracted to Hoffmannfs works in his youth[20].  Yet, with a typical irony, by the time we reach the greatest German writer of the 20th Century, who names these three artists as belonging to the first rank of those whose work has had a bearing on his, Hoffmann merely gspielt eine Rolleh along with the likes of Tieck, Schlegel and Novalis[21].



The first land to be visited is that in which Hoffmann enjoyed the greatest popularity.  At first, Fate seemed to be frowning on him once again.  Madame de Staëlfs De lfAllemagne, which had first aroused French interest in Germany and German literature, had appeared in 1813, before Hoffmann had begun his literary career in earnest, and so he was not in a position to benefit from it.  His first text to appear in France was – not surprisingly – Das Fräulein von Scuderi, albeit in a plagiarised form by Henri Delatouche.  Then Die Elixiere des Teufels was printed – but it was attributed to Spindler, a popular German author at the time in France, in the hope of increasing sales.  It was not until 1828, when a eulogistic article appeared in eLe Globef, that France began to notice Hoffmann; from 1829 the eRevue de Parisf began to publish his stories, and then, between 1830 and 1833, there appeared the translations by Loève-Veimars, which were the major factor behind his success on the Continent.  The intended complete translation did not appear; but there were still 20 volumes of Hoffmannfs works available in French.


Here we see the importance of translation; yet there is occasionally a tremendous difference between Hoffmannfs text and the one that was presented to the French public.  French translators sometimes concentrated on the actual story and then told it in their own way.  For example, one (greatly abridged) translation of Klein Zaches begins in the following manner: gAu bord dfun champ de genêts fleuris, que baigne, en fuyant vers le nord, lfeau rêveuse du Rhin, près dfun village dont les toits épars sfenfoncent, comme des nids dfalouettes, sous des massifs de verdure embaumée....h[22]  A most charming picture.  Unfortunately, the translator has taken a wrong turning and ended up in the realm of rewriting.  The short story generally known as Rat Krespel (it appears without a title in Die Serapionsbrüder) provides another interesting example of differing perceptions; it has also been called The Cremona Violin in England, Kreminskaya skripka when it appeared in Russia in 1830, and Antoine in France: so attention is diverted from the eccentric to his tragic daughter.


With many writers and critics, there is no thorough knowledge of Hoffmann to be discerned – merely a vague connection.  Hence Baudelaire could describe an undeserving tale such as Chenevièresf Le Diable aux îles as worthy of Hoffmann, purely because the latterfs name was ga commonplace in discussions concerning the fantastic.h[23]  Likewise, French critics could call Poe – a writer who has always, for some inexplicable reason, been hugely overrated – a gHoffmann américainh and wheel out the trite old image: gles visions dfHoffmann ne lui appartiennent pas, cfest lui qui leur appartient.h[24]


Yet it is more than possible that Baudelaire recognised the connection between colours, scents and sounds – his Fleurs du Mal contains some of the most fragrant poems ever written – from Hoffmann.  While he does resort to the unwelcome metaphor of the Germanfs supernatural comic conceptions often resembling gà des visions de lfivresse,h[25] he at least shows some understanding of the essential Hoffmann by discussing him in his essay De lfessence du rire.  The attention he directs on Prinzessin Brambilla reflects one of the major reasons for Hoffmannfs popularity in France: his freedom of artistic expression, which was championed by the elfart pour lfartf movement, who wished to escape the constraints of middle-class piety and morality.  The other major reason was his gexceptional psychological insight.h[26]


Hoffmann obviously exerted some influence on Nerval – himself a largely neglected writer – because the latter translated his Abenteuer der Sylvesternacht in 1831.  There are few greater compliments that can be given an author than a translation of one of his texts; Carlylefs introduction to his German Romance may be somewhat grudging in its praise (to say the least) but he nevertheless took the trouble to translate one of Hoffmannfs tales – and he possessed the judgement to select his finest story.  A study of Nerval and his German heritage considers Hoffmann to be gthe ultimate source of the fantastic element in Nervalfs stories,h but suggests that the differences between the two are just as important as the similarities.[27]


If we turn our attention to Balzac: gLes balzaciens ne sfaccordent pas tout à fait sur lfimportance dfHoffmann pour Balzach[28].  The French author certainly did not lend any encouragement to the suggestion that he was influenced by this author; and in his summary of Hoffmannfs reception in France, McGlathery has to fall back on the rather vague contention that an affinity between the two writers was suggested by their shared understanding and appreciation of Molièrefs satirical genius.  Yet although he criticises Hoffmann often, the mere fact that he does not ignore him must be taken into account; and although he stated, gJe ne me suis vraiment pas inspiré dfHoffmann,h[29] he also claimed to have read all his works by November 1833.  There is a grudging claim that Hoffmann capitalised on the taste for the fantastic that Nodier had created, even though the latter, with his classical tastes and insistence on purity of language, had little more in common with Hoffmann than a romantic temperament.  In this case, professional jealousy is a real possibility.


The likes of Stendhal, Delacroix, de Musset and Merimée were the members of a society including Dr Koreff, a friend of Hoffmann who played a large part in publishing his works in France.  Merimée was not alone when he expressed the opinion that when recounting the supernatural, one cannot have too many details of material reality – gThatfs the great art of Hoffmannfs stories.h[30]  And it is this gobservation méticuleuseh that Theophile Gautier gadmirait si vivement chez Hoffmann.h[31]


Gautier is the first author those studying Hoffmannfs reception in France should turn to.  His article on the German authorfs works, though little mentioned, is one of the most informative and sensible evaluations of Hoffmann, as well as being a lesson in concision: an ideal introduction.  This article merits examination; the more salient points are as follows: asking why this author should be so popular in France of all nations, Gautier concludes that an erroneous image is responsible.  This image is of Hoffmann the drunkard, Hoffmann the smoker, Hoffmann the diseased genius.  So that which leads to his being ignored in England earns him popularity in France.  (It is worthy of remark that, despite being so different from what literary France was used to, Hoffmann was nevertheless accepted; an example of a flexibility and a tolerance of innovation not to be found across La Manche).  But the true cause for his success – that which earns him the title of artist – is his feeling for nature, his ability gto impart the appearance of reality to the most unlikely creations.h[32]  This gift for observation finds its truest expression when describing physical peculiarities.  The interplay of sounds, colours and feelings is an important factor in this creative power.  Gautier, in direct contrast to Balzac, is reluctant to use the term fantastic, for Hoffmann gives the reader gthe positive and plausible side of the fantastich[33]; tales of fancy would be a more appropriate denomination.  Finally, and unfortunately, the master has created a school of imitators who reproduce his fancies without his control, his art.


Yet Gautierfs was only one voice.  Whereas an interest in Hoffmannfs texts was sufficiently widespread in France to justify the term ecrazef, and there was a real demand for translations, a proper understanding of them was limited to a minority.  A hundred years later, in 1931, Hoffmannfs name appeared on the eList of Forbidden Authorsf of the Paris bookseller José Corti – a centre of surrealism.  So after having been condemned by Scott, Goethe and Hegel for his morbid, pathological, chaotic disorder, he was now rejected by the surrealists.  No doubt he would have found the irony of the situation amusing.



It has been claimed that: gOf all German writers he was the most thoroughly known in Russia and exerted the most extensive influence there.h[34]  Interest in Hoffmann began slowly in Russia, around the year 1822 – and so earlier than in any other foreign land, although some translations of his works had appeared in Scandinavian countries during his life.[35]  The first translation to appear in Russia was of Das Fräulein von Scuderi; its classical French setting was no doubt considered likely to appeal to the reading public.  There was a sharp increase in interest after 1829, around the time that the Loève-Veimars translations were making Hoffmann gthe rage of Europeh[36]; this interest found expression in translations between 1829 and 1833, and then in imitations until around 1836, when it began to decline.  Then, after 1840, and the equation of literature with political or polemical ends, Hoffmann, along with Romanticism, fell into disfavour.


Charles Passage has stated that the Hoffmann craze was created by the public at large, and not by the critics or the philosophers.  Yet the German circle in Moscow – and it was Moscow from which the translations, on which the public relied, appeared – was, above all, a philosophical circle, in which Schelling and Hegel exerted a major influence.  So it is not surprising that they admired Hoffmann for his gthought contenth rather than his gmerely literary value.h[37]  However, judgements such as ga wonderful mighty geniush[38] – made by Belinsky as late as 1840 – attest to a more than philosophical warmth.  The selective nature of their knowledge must also be taken into consideration; a complete translation of his works into Russian did not appear until the end of the nineteenth century.  Of course, the variable quality of his writing means that, on the one hand, a complete collection could be more damaging to his reputation than a selection; on the other hand, it is necessary to illustrate his range, for although certain themes recur throughout his work, the treatment of these themes differs greatly.  Moreover, the nature of the selection must be considered.  In general, his egloomierf works aroused more interest than his humorous ones – for example, Die Elixiere des Teufels, Der Magnetiseur and Der Sandmann.  The humorous longer Märchen had very little impact, and texts of the quality of gDon Juanh and gRitter Glückh were ignored.  Because of this eclectic judgement, there was ga very broad misconception of the man and his worksh which missed ghis essential joy.h[39]


Of the Russian authors named in the previous list we may discount Turgenev, for want of evidence (Hoffmann is an author he simply does not mention, nor do his works lead us to suppose that he would; there are certain vague analogies, but they remind one of Greek art sooner than German Romanticism), and Gorki.  The latter had read Hoffmann[40], but does not mention him among the numerous influential authors in his How I Learnt to Write.  His letters contain only a disparaging reference to Gogolfs imitations of Hoffmann[41].


As concerns Pushkin, who was unfamiliar with German literature in general, one critic has detected ga typological affinityh between Don Juan and the Russian Masterfs late stories[42]; the case is, however, not proven.  While Hoffmann sits back and listens to one of the most glorious of all operas, the reader sits back and listens to the grating sound of a barrel being scraped.  Pushkin almost certainly did read some of Hoffmannfs work – for example, his library contained the French translation of Die Elixiere des Teufels attributed to Spindler – but the tenuous connection between the two is generally based on a perceived link between Spielerglück and The Queen of Spades.  This may be so; we learn that, gAccording to a contemporary, Pushkin was very much interested in Hoffmann around the time he worked on ePikovaia dama.fh[43]  But there is nothing in Pushkinfs later work, or letters, or writings on literature, to suggest that this interest lasted; and this particular tale has always been considered the eodd one outf of his stories.  It has even been claimed that it was a parody of Hoffmannfs ediabolicf tales.[44]  He began to write The Lonely Cottage on Vasilevski Island, which has been linked to Hoffmannfs posthumous Datura fastuosa – but then abandoned it for another writer to complete.


Passage draws a clear distinction between Dostoevski and the so-called other Russian Hoffmannists:  gHis method of procedure...was a multiplication, not a division.... They imitated, he createdh.[45]  This charge of imitation was aimed at, among others, Gogol, whose first story about an artist (The Portrait) was criticised by the leading critic Belinsky for gbeing too derivative of E.T.A. Hoffmannh[46], and who later wrote The Nose, which is closer to being a parody of Hoffmann.  There is a sense that this was a passing influence for Gogol; he writes that reading this author gave him a gnotion of a wondrous and fantastic Germany,h which gvanished when I saw Germany in fact.h[47]  But attempts to link him with Hoffmann are, in general, so tentative – there seems to be a much stronger case for citing the influence of Tieck – that there is no point in pursuing the question of whether his knowledge of German was really as imperfect as was formerly claimed.  His greatness lies in his uniqueness and originality; in his being himself.


With Dostoevski there is a strong case for Hoffmannfs influence.  In 1838, he claimed to have read all of the German authorfs works; in his preface to Three Tales of Edgar Poe in eTimef Magazine, January 1861, he not only praised the American, but also wrote that, as an artist, gHoffmann is immeasurably greater than Poe.h[48]  This influence is evident in Dostoevskifs work; there are so many parallels to be drawn that they cannot be ascribed to mere coincidence.  Moreover, it was no passing phase, as had been the case with other Russian writers, but lasted, in varying form, for most of his life.  He possessed the insight to recognise Kater Murr as Hoffmannfs best production; for once, we have an artistic genius, whose judgement can be relied on, giving him the credit he deserves.  Yet his knowledge, we may safely assume, derived largely from translations; his remark in a letter to his brother Mikhail that he had read all of Hoffmann in Russian and German – that is, Kater Murr, which had not yet been translated[49] – apart from indicating his (impatient) enthusiam for this author, suggests that he would prefer to read the latterfs works in translation, if at all possible.  And it is worth making the point that greatness can be recognised even in a bad translation; for example, the translation of Mickiewiczfs Forefathers by Count Potocki of Montalk[50] may have caused the occasional cringe and squirm, but the quality of the original was still somehow evident (in places).  Likewise, with Hoffmann, not even Kent and Knight – who produced the worst translations of his work into English I have encountered – are able to totally extinguish the spark of greatness.  This is extremely difficult to do.


The U.S.A.

The name of Poe has been especially associated with Hoffmann.  The American has been given the credit and paid the critical attention that are due to the German, even though it does not take a trained eye to observe that Hoffmannfs gstructural intricacy and moderated horror are seldom to be seen in Poefs work.h[51]  Yet there is no evidence for influence here, merely some affinities, and just as many differences.  The fact that he never mentioned Hoffmannfs name is not overly important in this case, for Poe tended to treat those from whom he borrowed with silence or harsh criticism; but Poefs inability to either speak or read German is of greater import.  What may at first appear to provide a direct link must be considered against the available evidence; for example, his use of the eDoppelgängerf theme in William Wilson was a borrowing from Washington Irvingfs An Unwritten Drama of Lord Byron, not from Die Elixiere des Teufels.  He merely knew the plot summaries and biographical details provided by Scott, Carlyle and Longfellow, on which he appears to have based the character of Roderick Usher.[52]  Despite this, there are courses in Comparative Literature such as eUncanny Stories: Poe and Hoffmannf; of course, a writer does not have to have had a direct influence on another writer to make comparison between the two possible or profitable.  However, linking Hoffmannfs name with Poefs not only degrades the formerfs literary style, but also directs attention towards that aspect of his work that has already been accorded too much notice.  But those Germanists who attempted to establish the link at the beginning of the twentieth century probably meant well; they cannot be blamed for their eagerness to gain some belated recognition for Hoffmann by citing him as a major influence on a famous writer.  Their efforts, though inaccurate, at least brought attention to Hoffmannfs name.  Hoffmann lacks the status of a Goethe or a Pushkin, and his belonging to a non-Anglo-American culture means that he is most likely to be studied in the English-speaking World is in a Comparative Literature course.  If we are going to compare him with an American author, then why not select Nathaniel Hawthorne, for whom the case for an influence is even more negligible, but who is a similarly under-rated writer?


The earliest translations in the U.S.A. were The Lost Reflection (Die Geschichte vom verlornen Spiegelbilde), translated anonymously and published in 1826 in the [Boston] Athenaeum; Holcraft's translation of Das Fräulein von Scuderi, published in eTales of Humour and Romancef in New York and Baltimore in 1829, and Gluck (Ritter Gluck) in the [Boston] American Monthly Magazine in 1830.  After that, the occasional single translation would appear from time to time, such as that of Spielerglück in the Washington eDemocratic Reviewf (XVI) in 1845.[53]  A table of the most reviewed/translated German authors in the United States for the period 1810-64 places Hoffmann in joint 23rd place with Hauff and Lavater.  15 articles were written on him, as opposed to 80 on Körner, 101 on Jean Paul, and 379 on Goethe.  In this same period there were eight British and American translations of his texts; this rose to 22 between 1865 and 1899, giving a total of 30 as opposed to a total of 77 for Zschokke and 109 for Fouqué.  The rise is attributable to the growing interest in Nußknacher und Mausekönig as the modern Christmas began to take shape, and to the aforementioned arousal of interest in the occult.  But the number is still low; in the Age of the Sentimental Novel, one can easily imagine that Hoffmann was not likely to appeal to the American public.  Moreover, it has been claimed that Heinefs criticism played an important part in shaping the American view of German literary history; becoming popular through his lucid and concise style, he halted interest in Tieck, Novalis and Hoffmann[54].  This could refer to the perception of the criticism rather than the criticism itself; when Heine was critical, he was often so with a slight irony, and the famous image he has left of Hoffmannfs work being a cry of anguish in twenty volumes has perhaps been taken too seriously.  It should not be forgotten that he writes, in Die Harzreise (1826) of gDer selige Hoffmann.h[55]


The most popular tales in America, with the exception of the ubiquitous Nußknacker, include Meister Martin, Rat Krespel and Die Fermate.  There seems to be a definite inclination towards the musical, the historical, and the comical; the ironical, as one would expect, has met with little appreciation.



There has always been a general ignorance towards German literature in England.  This is partly owing to its content, which like the noun-heavy language can seem overly abstract to the dull English mind – gThe parent vice of German literature is want of distinct purpose,h and its subject matter is dismissed as gidle speculationh[56] – and partly owing to a prejudice against the German language.  Around Hoffmannfs time, German literature gwas generally regarded by English crude and vulgar.h[57]  Common opinion sees it as a harsh, unlovely language; those who have read the poetry of Eichendorff and Mörike would beg to differ.  Many people do not seem to realise that English produces much of its greatest poetry when it is pithy, forceful and direct; in other words, when it approaches the Germanic languages rather than the prolix languages of the Romance world.  Hoffmann paid the price of his nationality – gSober, practical England, where visionaries have no chance of toleration, regarded him as an author who heaped extravagance upon extravagance, without a thought of aim or purporth[58] – but without being a particularly German author.  Indeed, as Gautier said in his previously discussed article, the cloudier and dreamier Germans preferred Novalis.


The first of Hoffmannfs texts to be translated into English was, unsurprisingly, Die Elixiere des Teufels. [59]  Just as Das Fräulein von Scuderi suited the tastes of the Russian and French public, so this novel was considered to be of interest to a public with a taste for Gothic horror.  The year of the translation – 1824 – saw the publication of James Hoggfs Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, which also treated the eDoppelgängerf theme.  There may be, at first sight, a link with Robert Louis Stevenson; but Hoffmann is an author he neither analyses nor mentions, whereas this text of Hoggfs had always ghaunted and puzzledh[60] him.


With a confidence unwarranted by available evidence, Una Pope-Hennessy claims that Dickens ghad certainly read Hoffmannfs eTalesfh, and in support of this contention she mentions his friend Carlyle always talking about German literature and the common theme, shared by Der Goldne Topf and A Christmas Carol, of a door-knocker transforming into a face[61].  It is true that Dickensf Christmas Books remind one of Nußknacker und Mausekönig and Meister Floh; but it is still gnot easy to establish any direct connections between Dickens and German Romanticism.h[62]  All we can say is that Hoffmann anticipated Dickens in this respect, as he anticipated so many authors in so many fields, and that, ironically, it was Dickensf popularisation of Christmas that gave Hoffmann his greatest success in England.


If we attempt to present a cogent argument for influence on any British writers during this period, the name most likely to be forwarded is that of George Meredith; likewise, the name of William Gilmore Simms would represent the U.S.A.  The mere fact that such minor names are mentioned is instructive; there were numerous minor authors in France and Russia who undoubtedly borrowed extensively from Hoffmann, but there has been no need to discuss them in this paper because of the number of major writers who had been mentioned in connection with the German author.  But in the Anglo-American world, one really has to look hard.


Before moving on to the British critics and public, we must pause to elucidate a certain fact.  It is not the existence of Hoffmannfs influence that has been called into question; it is rather the nature of this influence, and the reason why his name was invoked.  The fact that he was mentioned and his influence stated whenever an author wrote a text that contained a esupernaturalf element is, in a way, a compliment; it suggests that he was the master of a particular genre.  However, this is a genre that has seldom been taken seriously – despite the fact that the likes of M.R. James and Sheridan Le Fanu write in an excellent style, which can seldom be claimed for those who indulge in other epatronisedf genres such as fantasy and science fiction – and it only forms one aspect of Hoffmannfs literary output.  His use of the supernatural was, indeed, considered to be detrimental to his serious intentions.


In England, as in Germany during the nineteenth century, he fell victim to the prudery of critics and public.  This tendency was also evident in the first translations of Hoffman into English, by Gillies in 1824 and then in 1826 (when he chose the eedifyingf Das Fräulein von Scuderi and Das Majorat).  He wrote that German authors needed to be subjected to a slight reworking to make them more acceptable to the British public.  Nor was this squeamishness unique to that age; a hundred years later, we find such a harmless phrase as gsei es ihm bald geworden, als sprängen alle Adern in seine Brust, und er müsse sich verbluten,h from Die Bergwerke zu Falun, being translated as ghe felt as though his heart must break.h[63]  But Gilliesf translations were, in general, warmly received; for example, George Borrow wrote that although Die Elixiere des Teufels was gundoubtedly revolting in parts,h it nevertheless contained as much gfanciful beauty and absorbing interesth[64] as any German text since Faust: prudery, but praise as well.  The balance between the two was about to shift dramatically.


Sir Walter Scott had the major influence on Hoffmannfs reception in England – and, through Goethefs warm recommendation of this essay, in Germany – in the nineteenth century.  His essay On the Supernatural in Fictitious Composition; and particularly on the Works of Ernest Theodore Amadeus Hoffmann, which appeared in the eForeign Quarterly Reviewf, I, 1 (July) 1827, is not as harsh a critique as has sometimes been claimed; he does mention gthe immoderate use of opium,h[65] wine, tobacco, and a state close to insanity, but he also recognises Hoffmannfs gturn for remark and powerful description.h[66]  Like Carlyle, he had read this author in his native language; like Carlyle, he recognised this authorfs literary ability: it is a perceived misapplication of talent that he, like Carlyle, is criticising.  For Scott, the efantasticf could only be justified by having a moral purpose – he cites Frankenstein and Gulliverfs Travels as examples – and if this morality is lacking then it merely exists to shock.  However, this is a false criterion to apply to the judgement of Hoffmannfs tales; they have no moral message, they lead to no edifying ending.  Indeed, the ending of his stories is of little importance; what matters is the telling of the tale.  The strife, the agitation, the irreconcilable conflict perceived to run throughout Hoffmannfs work was as repugnant to the British as it was attractive to the Russians.


It is amazing to consider just how influential Scottfs essay was, even though he discusses only one of Hoffmannfs texts – Das Majorat – in any real depth.[67]  He really was not sufficiently acquainted with this author to comment on his work.  His translation of passages from Das Majorat also differs from the original in certain respects, such as the description of the castle of R-sitten; like Gillies, we have the Victorian notion of the translator as editor of the text.


Scottfs was a general ignorance; it led Blackwoodfs Magazine to describe Hoffmannfs work as the most popular of the glight readingh[68] from Germany.  It is also evident in Carlyle, despite his enthusiasm for German literature: he mentions gthe wild anarchy, musical and moral, said to reignh[69] (my italics) in the first two volumes of Kater Murr.  And in a comment which brings home to us with sickening force the literary taste of those times, he finds Meister Martin der Küfner und seine Gesellen noted by the critics as being Hoffmannfs best work, for it is written in a style gwhich even reminds us of the Author of Waverley.h[70]  In Russia and France Hoffmannfs ephilosophyf and reality respectively had attracted attention and veneration.  In Britain, the supposed philosophy deterred readers and the reality was not perceived.  His popular image, which aroused interest in the first two nations, excited scornful contempt in the third.  And there was not even one leading British writer to champion – directly or indirectly – his cause.  His texts were seldom translated into English after 1826; there simply was not the demand.  After 1830, he was hardly ever mentioned in the leading English journals; he was considered to be an author of excess, who would appeal only to a minority.  It was – and irony seems to plague Hoffmann through life and death – an appalling example of literary analysis, Freudfs essay on Das Unheimliche, which instigated a revival of interest; the same story which led to Scottfs harshest criticism – Der Sandmann – now began the Hoffmann rehabilitation.  Three years later, a number of articles appeared in England to commemorate the centenary of his death; and the following year a first collection of his tales, many of which had never been translated before, was presented to the English-speaking world by J.T. Bealby.


The short story writer often finds himself prone to inaccurate evaluation; for example, one of the greatest of all, Guy de Maupassant, was held in low esteem in the United States because a number of stories of mediocre quality, for which he did not bear the responsibility of author, nevertheless crept into the first edition of his complete works in 1903 and the mistake was not noticed until 1949.  Hoffmannfs works generally appeared in anonymous translation in various periodical or anthologies – there was, and has been, no complete translation into English – sometimes with rather unappetising titles such as Strange Stories (1855) or Weird Tales (1885).  It is difficult to build up a reputation when onefs work appears in this way; if a collected edition of an authorfs works appears – even if the translations are pitifully poor, as was the case with Thomas Mannfs entry into the English-speaking world – then the author attracts attention.  Readers feel that they have all of him at their fingertips and that they know what to make of him.  With no knowledge of the original language, the reader tends to place his trust in the translator and assume that the latter knows what he is talking about; translating the complete works of a prolific author is a monumental task, and it is difficult to conceive that a translator who dedicates so much time and energy to one author may not be totally familiar with that writerfs oeuvre and style.


When Hoffmannfs style was eventually given serious consideration, it was in several instances found wanting: gHis literary technique was not always equal to the demands he made of it, nor was his vocabulary always adequate to the depiction of the so-called abnormal psychological states...he wanted to portray.h[71]  This is reminiscent of a judgement on his opera Undine: gHe lacked the raise the execution to the level of the conception.h[72]  The phrase has a nice ring, and may well apply to his musical efforts; but as far as literature is concerned, his technique is, in most instances, an ideal means of executing his ideas.  Exceptions are Meister Floh, where approaching death meant that some loose ends were left untied, and some themes were not developed as profitably as could have been the case; and Prinzessin Brambilla, which has its moments – which could have been one of his major achievements – but which simply does not work.


It has been claimed that Hoffmann did not probe these gabnormalh states with a sufficient depth; however, his depictions were based on knowledge available at that time: git was his habit to do careful research, especially on symptomology, before writing any of his stories about madmen.h[73]  Expecting him to not only introduce these themes into fiction but also to provide a detailed analysis is demanding too much; literature and medicine may both have their roots in observation, but there comes a time when specialisation demands the parting of the two.  In the field of psychology, Hoffmann was ga well informed laymanh[74]; the specialist very seldom makes a good artist.  It was Hoffmannfs task to portray the nature of society, not the so-called elogicf that lies behind it; if his work is confusing, this is because the subject-matter is by its very nature confusing.  He is dealing with complex themes that, having no answers, provoke discussion; and it is the treatment of these themes that is of the essence.  It is ironic that, as Heine tells us with a slight smile, the opinion should have been expressed that the judgement of his works was the business not of the critic but of the physician[75]; in hindsight, this may appear to be a pertinent suggestion.


Hoffmannfs status as a pioneer has been hinted at in this study.  He was the first person to introduce certain themes to fiction – such as the somnambulistic side to mesmerism – and he was aware of the novelty.  He wrote about the themes that preoccupied the society of his day, a society being swayed by the theories of Mesmer and Swedenborg; the influence of Gotthilf Heinrich Schubertfs Symbolik des Traumes (1814) and his Ansichten von der Nachtseite der Naturwissenschaft (1808-9), with its discussion of such topics as animal magnetism, somnambulism and hypnotism, cannot be exaggerated.  A critical appraisal of the author should also bear in mind the background to the early stage of Hoffmannfs writing career; namely, the Napoleonic Wars.  This was the age of gunpowder, an age when the operation performed most commonly by an army surgeon was the removal from a soldierfs flesh of pieces of broken bone and teeth that had belonged to those standing beside him.  After viewing the battlefield before Dresden Hoffmann wrote in his diary that: gWas ich so oft im Traume gesehn, ist mir erfüllt worden – auf furchtbare Weise – Verstümmelte zerrissene Menschen!!h[76] This was one of those examples of Europe suffering a convulsion that was unknown to settled, peaceful England; this may perhaps help to explain the greater receptiveness of the Continent to innovation in all areas, including art – the exception being reactionary Germany.  The Hoffmann vogue began in France around the same time as the July Revolution (1830); his work is the reflection of unsettled times, when onefs position in society – indeed, the nature of onefs very self – were open to question.  It does sometimes bring not only Callot, but also Goya to mind – an analogy likewise suggested by Gautier.


The edark sidef of Hoffmannfs writings – we may date this around 1815/16 – needs to be considered in this context.  His rediscovery in this century is largely attributable to the World Wars, and to the movement away from a supernatural world of external forces to an irrational world of the individual mind; some elements of his work that were considered to be mere novelty have taken on a deeper and darker resonance with the events of the twentieth century.  He was both trapped in his time and ahead of his time; and it was a long, long while before time could catch up.


Even in 1982, R.J. Hollingdale was writing that Hoffmann was ga 2-sided, schizophrenic kind of man.h[77]  It is time the tiresome cliché of the contrast between a professional career and an artistic life were laid to rest: gIn all three cases [Eichendorff, Novalis and Hoffmann] the writers derived a great deal of satisfaction from their professional activities, and the evidence suggests a fruitful interaction between their professional lives and their literary works.h[78]  Hoffmannfs literary work does not contrast with his legal career; it often reflects it.[79]  Artists do, after all, generally need to live in society to stimulate their imagination; with Hoffmann, imagination is dependent on received reality to create reality.  In Der Goldne Topf the reader almost has the feeling that reality is a crime he did not see being committed, and all he can do is rely on the conflicting – and sometimes self-contradictory – evidence of others.  There is no suspension of disbelief; the reader does not know what to believe.  He swims in a sea of uncertainty, but this sea has a solid bottom: art.


Much criticism may concern matters the author was not aware of or did not (at least consciously) intend; after all, the author does not complete a successful literary work, but rather gives it life.  In the case of Der Sandmann, the terminology of a 20th Century science (pseudo-science, call it what you will) has been applied to an early 19th Century story.  But the fact remains that anyone who reads this story today will be approaching it through the medium of a 20th century mind; being aware of the historical background is important in that it prevents us from making rash or unjustifiable assumptions, but this does not mean that we have to judge the work from the viewpoint of a world patently different from ours.  If the text suggests something new to us, the mere fact that it does so is important.  We cannot know the author, any more than we can know another human being; it is no coincidence that in Kater Murr, the autobiography forms a seamless whole whereas the biography is composed of fragments.  Moreover, texts such as Der Sandmann and Der Goldne Topf, with their multiple perspectives, seem startlingly modern, despite their period flavour.


The views on Hoffmann, like those on almost any other author, have reflected the time (and place) in which they were formulated; after nineteenth century prudery, a strong enthusiasm was expressed between the wars; after being praised by Communist Eastern Europe for his skill as a satirist, he is now lauded in the West for the reflection of the gcool, sceptical, ecentrelessf modern ageh[80] that is seen in his work.  But the conclusions we draw have to be based on, and justified by, the text; and much of the critical apparatus surrounding Hoffmann is not.  We have several critics interpreting stories in the way they have decided that they want to interpret them.  It is true that Hoffmannfs works are open to many kinds of interpretation because of their multivalence; but an idea that suggests itself in a criticfs mind and may perhaps find some substantiation in one of his texts is too often forced to apply to his general oeuvre – an application which is entirely inappropriate.  For example, McGlathery, who is good at summarising source material on Hoffmann but struggles somewhat with (applicable) original thought, uses the unwelcome terms gsubconscious sexual guilth and gsexual sublimation fantasiesh with disturbing readiness; and his analysis of Klein Zaches, genannt Zinnober is, quite simply, pathetic.  I was completely unable to recognise this text from this summary.  The critic must remember that, in a reversal of normal practice, he has to take as well as give.


This critical attention generally belongs to the last thirty years.  Das Fräulein von Scuderi tells us volumes about attitudes to Hoffmann; in 1969, a critic could write that this text had been gadmired very frequently, but seldom interpreted and examined in any systematic way.h[81]  In 1975, in the preface to her Optical Motifs in the Works of E.T.A. Hoffmann, J.K. Holbeche wrote: gIn the long history of Hoffmann scholarship, very little has been written on this subject.h[82]  Yet this is one of the first themes that springs to mind on reading such texts as Der Sandmann, Klein Zaches, Meister Floh and Der Goldne Topf!  How could the critics have been so blind?  Perhaps one could assert that they were unable to see the wood for the trees.  It cannot be denied that the first of these works is the one to have attracted the most – and the harshest – criticism; and the influence of Freud has been great and not altogether healthy.  Although his mistakes have been pointed out – his connecting Nathanaelfs obsession with eyes to fear of castration leaves one wondering just who is the gibbering maniac – he has nonetheless directed much Hoffmann criticism onto one of the authorfs least representative texts.  This writer does have a dark side; whereas he throws in a cliché to describe beauty, he takes pains over – and displays a real aptitude for – the portrayal of the ugly and the grotesque.  But even in this, the darkest of his tales, there is humour, albeit of a very black nature.


It seems that, after decades of not taking Hoffmann seriously, critics began to take him too seriously.  For example, it has become quite conventional to make comparisons between Hoffmann and Thomas Mann; the former was to a certain extent gthe originator of the Künstlernovelleh that Mann cultivated[83]; he gave the theme of the artist in society ga depth and intensity that we do not meet again until Thomas Mann.h[84]  Hoffmannfs style is excellent, as a means to an end; it serves his purpose as no other style would do.  But whereas Mann is a consummate artist, this title cannot be claimed for Ernst Theodor Amadeus.  He does not have Mannfs precision.  And there are no prizes for realising that the quote in the following paragraph could not possibly be more apt for one of these authors or more inappropriate to the other.


In Tristram Shandy, at the beginning of Chapter XI, we read: gWriting, when properly managed ... is but another name for conversation.h  Herein lies the central issue regarding Hoffmannfs reception: the relationship between the oral and the written.  One almost has the impression that Hoffmann has not been taken seriously because he does not indulge in lengthy descriptions of character; as with his drawings, so a few bold strokes suffice.  He is generally acclaimed for the influence he had on the development of the short story as a literary genre – the impression being that it later found perfection with the likes of Flaubert, Zola and Maupassant: on this point, I shall only say that Madame Bovary is the greatest short story I have never read.  Indeed, he may have suffered from the influence he exerted; it is often difficult to appreciate pioneers from distant times, for one usually discovers them after having familiarised oneself with the works of those who developed that which this originator pioneered.  It is just as easy to place limitations on what constitutes a egoodf short story as it is to restrict the range of language that produces egoodf English when one is writing a translation; it is vital that the critic keep an open mind and judge different authors by differing criteria.  His habitual usage of several different themes in one story has also caused consternation; it is very difficult to find a centre from which to begin critical analysis.  Moreover, this multivalence is a reflection on his own lifestyle, and it is very unlikely that a critic should be found who could approach Hoffmannfs works from the same angles as the author himself.


But, more than anything, it is the perception of Hoffmann the tale-teller, rather than Hoffmann the artist, that is responsible for the continued critical neglect in England; although the situation has improved in recent years, the literature on Hoffman still suffers greatly by comparison with that in Germany.  The belief that German literature consists of Goethe, perhaps Schiller, Nietzsche, Kafka, Mann, Brecht, Rilke and Grass is still too widespread.  The scandalous injustice that was done to Kleist and Hölderlin has been recognised; with Hoffmann, the process is very slow.


Consideration of the public perception of Hoffmann in the English-speaking world now leads us to examine the most important medium: the translator.



Hoffmann in English Translation


It is no secret that Hoffmann has suffered at the hands of English translators; even in a general reference work we find mention of gthe tales which have been translated, sometimes several times (often badly).h[85]  They have faithfully rendered his ignorance of the English language, often making a Zaches out of a Zinnober.


Dissatisfaction with earlier translations of Hoffmann led me to turn from my favoured field of poetry to prose.  Initially, I was uncertain which text I should translate; but as soon as I read Klein Zaches, genannt Zinnober, my dilemma was resolved.  It is one of Hoffmannfs greatest works – perhaps we may call it his eSilver Potf – and it had a special appeal for me, which can probably be explained by the predominantly humorous tone.  Its worth has, in general, been acknowledged: such dismissive judgements as gthe acme of the grotesqueh[86] are heavily outnumbered by plaudits – Klein Zaches is one of Hoffmannfs gmasterworksh[87]; if read in the correct spirit, gdas Märchen wird ebenbürtig dem vom eGoldnen Topffh;[88] gIt is generally accepted by critics that Klein Zaches is one of Hoffmannfs most successful comic works.h[89]  There is a Reclam edition of Hoffmannfs tales entitled: Klein Zaches und andere Erzählungen – one of these gandere Erzählungenh being Der Goldne Topf.  Hoffmann, who was a good judge of his literary work – as we see with his recognition of the quality of Der Goldne Topf and his frustrated cry in a letter to Hippel of August 1815: gIch schreibe keine Goldne Topf mehr!h – seems to have felt a certain affection for this text.  His reference to it as gdie lose, lockre Ausführung einer scherzhaften Ideeh[90] in the preface to Prinzessin Brambilla should be taken as no more than modesty; it is apparent from letters he wrote that he ghat sich...gegen seine Gewohnheit gründlich um das Echo auf sein Werk gekümmert und dieses echo herausgefordert.h[91]  For example, his exhortation to Hippel: gLies doch den Zinnober, das tolle Mährchen wird Dir gewiß...manches Lächeln abzwingen.h[92]  It is also worthy of note that the story the flower-girl is reading in Des Vetters Eckfenster, Hoffmannfs last work, is generally presumed to be Klein Zaches.  It is not too fanciful to see, in little Zaches, something of the author.[93]


Yet despite this recognition, it is very difficult to find Klein Zaches in English translation; Rat Krespel, Der Sandmann and Das Fräulein von Scuderi can be found in various short story or novella anthologies, and the Nußknacker has reared his oversized head on many occasions, especially in recent years; but poor little Zaches has – quite inexplicably – been overlooked.


There is a translation by Charles E. Passage, dating from 1971[94]; although I composed my first draft without consulting this work, I flicked through it during the process of revision.  I was interested in discovering how he had coped with certain issues that were as yet unresolved.  There was, for example, the question of titles; however, the Fräulein von Rosenschön/Rosengrünschön occasionally kept her German names, but on other occasions became gRosefairh or gRosegreenfair.h  And, of course, there was the title, given here as gLittle Zaches, surnamed Zinnober,h with a footnote explaining that the word Zinnober meant ecinnabar.f  There was no reference to the fact that Zinnober also means enonsense, rubbishf or the irony of characters saying that Zaches adopted this gnoble-sounding name.h  I delayed the explanation of Zinnober until its first appearance in the actual story; this seemed to be a more effective device than appending a footnote/an endnote to the title.


The comparison of a couple of sentences in Passagefs translations with my renditions encouraged me that I was on the right track.  If we take the very beginning of the tale:


gNot far from a pleasant village close by the roadside, there lay a poor tattered woman stretched out on the ground that was hot from the sunfs glow....h[95]


I do not like the gthat was...h at all; it reminds me of compositions by those who are still at a beginnerfs stage of written English, such as young children and our mobile-phone generation.  I could question the occasional choice of vocabulary – gsunfs glowh seems rather tepid – but it is above all the structure, the style, which I find to be at fault.  The pace is too fast.  In the following example, the tone of the original is not conveyed:


gThe lady with the weak nerves was sitting at the tea-table enjoying sundry zwiebacks which she was dipping in rum and was assuring people that spirits menaced by hostile powers were thereby restored, and that after panic followed yearning hope.h[96]


This is a rather watered-down version of what Hoffmann wrote; I feel that my rendition captures the energy and humour of the original by means of the structure and vocabulary (for example: gtucking intoh for ggenoßh, which means eto eat/drinkf and eto enjoyf – hence in this instance eto eat with relishf, although this can sound slightly misleading!).


I did, however, make a point of researching how Hoffmannfs other tales had been translated – again, after the first draft was complete – in the hope that I could thereby avoid falling into the same traps.  The general impression formed was that Hoffmann had suffered the fate of many German authors and been translated into an English that was perceived to be good, written English but did not actually bear any hallmarks of the authorfs individuality.


The major role in this section will be played by Ritchie Robertson, the translator of Tales of Hoffmann for the Worldfs Classics.[97]  He has produced the best modern English translations of Hoffmann.  His selection has been labelled gunexceptionableh and the same authority considers the translations gexcellent.h[98]  They have much to commend them, but I must take exception to his selection, for it includes two of the three longer Märchen (Meister Floh and Prinzessin Brambilla), omitting the best of all (poor little Zaches!).


There is another noticeable omission in Professor Robertsonfs translation of Des Vetters Eckfenster, although it would be unfair to blame this on the translator: a whole page is left out (gAber jeder der treu verbundenen Quatuours... sein ganzes Wesen recht gut dazu paßth, II:318-9).  This section completes a story – which Robertson begins but leaves unfinished, and the result is awkward and confusing.  There are other, shorter omissions (gmit dem seligen Lächeln des wonnerfüllten Autorsh [II:313] and ghochstehende, starke Augenbrauenh [II:316]) in this story; and two pages, and a paragraph, have been omitted from Meister Floh (II:158-60, 152).  Going to the other extreme, he occasionally commits the cardinal sin of adding an unnecessary explanation: gon other days beside market-daysh (387) for gan andern Tagenh (II:312).


The translation of Meister Floh contains two basic mistakes, presumably the result of a rapidly approaching deadline: gIch bin ja deine Aline, die dich lieben wirdh (II:223) becomes: gWhy, Ifm youfre Aline, and you will love meh (309).  And by confusing the characters Pepusch and Peregrinus, he has the latter taking part in a scuffle and then leaving gsince it was clear that his help was not needed on the battlefieldh (347): which does not make sense, unless of course it was his unconscious double who participated...  In fairness, I was guilty of the same error when composing my translation, so Professor Robertson is not the only creator of doppelgängers!


My major complaint is this: the likes of Professor Robertson may have an excellent command of the German and English languages, and an expert knowledge of literature, and an admirable literary style, but they do not attempt to convey the particular style of the author they are translating.  This question of style is all-important; it colours the text.  Ignore it, and you produce a drawing instead of a painting.  Let us look at some examples, beginning with a sentence from Des Vetters Eckfenster.


gSo kam es, daß er mir allerlei anmutigen Geschichten erzählte, die er, des mannigfachen Wehs, das er duldete, unerachtet, ersonnen.h (II:301-2)


gThus it was that he would tell me all manner of charming stories, which he had invented in spite of the many and various pains he was enduring.h (p. 377)


Hoffmann did not have to write this sentence in such a clausal, slow, hesitating style; the German language does allow other possibilities.  He had a reason, and that reason is obvious: the style reflects the content of the sentence, the pain and the suffering of the uncle.  Robertsonfs version is rather bright and breezy; too easy, too fast.  It is merely a translation of the content; he is, to a large degree, a prisoner of the stiffness of English syntax.  Likewise, we can see in the following example how the relation between style and content – the expression of movement and a nervous agitation – has been lost: gIch war wie festgebannt an die Stelle – ich trippelte hin und her; was mag das Mädchen lesen?h / gI was unable to leave the spot, where I shifted nervously from one foot to the other, wondering what the girl was readingh (II:313 / 387).


There are certain passages written in the following style: g...aber sie schlägt die Augen verschämt nieder – jeder ihrer Schritte ist furchtsam – wankend – schüchtern hält sie sich an ihre Begleiterin – ich verfolge sie...h( II:309).  In this instance, this continues for half a page.  Robertson employs short sentences, which produces the impression of prepared speech, rather than current, broken yet continuous observation.  The translation is never really allowed to flow like the original: in constructions such as gdaß sie ihn liebe, ja, daß sie es gar nicht sagen könne, wie so sehr, wie so über...h( II:285 / 363) the semi-colon appears like a conscientious customs officer to slow down the journey.  Of course, it must be borne in mind that this punctuation mark is more frequently employed in English than in German, and you do occasionally have to use it when translating Hoffmann, even though it very seldom appears in his work; but it should be used sparingly.  The frequency of commas also occasions an eandf at times in English; but if a character cries out, gDieser Rock wird passen, wird allen Zauber lösen!h (I:230), then in such an instance the replacement of the comma is not necessary.  The exclamation mark must on occasion be replaced by a question mark; if it is omitted – as from, for example, gdie Knaben...konnten sich oft eines lauten Ausrufs der Freude und der Verwunderung nicht erwehren!h (II:156) – then the authorial voice is changed.  This voice is also altered by rearranging the order of adjectives: gDies freilich etwas rauhe, aber doch freundschaftliche Billetth (I:141) becomes gThis friendly, though rather crusty noteh – which suggests a different reaction.


The strong oral element in Hoffmannfs style has been lost.  Moreover, this element is particularly noticeable in Des Vetters Eckfenster because, like all of his last tales, it was dictated.  Is there any reason why a translation of gNimm mein Glas, nimm mein Glas, Vetter!h (II:309) or gSieh, sieh, Vetter!h (II:325) should not retain the repetition of the exhortation?  Why gund sucht und suchth (II:321) and gendlich, endlichh (II:322) should be translated as gbut cannot findh (394) and gat long lasth (395) respectively?  Why gwählt und wählt, feilscht und feilschth (II:311) becomes galways chooses and hagglesh (385)?  Repetition is one of the hallmarks of Hoffmannfs style – especially when his characters are speaking.  Its relevance is explained by its particularly vocal quality, by its being a perfect vehicle for stress and intonation: gHier, mein süßer Engel, hier steht der Autor des Buchsh (II:313).  Moreover, several phrases – such as mention of flashing, or electrical charges – have the same effect on each occasion on which they occur; they serve as a pointer that we are about to enter a magical realm.  And the language of certain phrases – gwie vom Blitze getroffen,h gzur Bildsäule erstarrt,h which are repeated to the point where they may be considered hackneyed – is relevant by being ginextricably bound up with contemporary psychological explanations for the consciousness of a character.h[99]


Hoffmann also often uses litotes; yet gnicht geringenh (II:313) and gkeine geringeh (II:322) are translated as gconsiderableh (395), and gund nicht ohne Grundh (II:171) becomes gwith good reasonh (264).  Yet these are cases in which the double negative construction is perfectly acceptable in English.  It is a question of tone – as, indeed, is the usage of indirect speech.  This indicates an authorial distance from the conversation, and this distance often results in ironic humour: a device quite common among English authors.  So I do not entirely understand why Professor Robertson has, on several occasions (292, 333), negated this device by using direct speech.  Those passages in Klein Zaches that use indirect speech – notably the early stage of the conversation between Prosper Alpanus and Fräulein von Rosenschön – find an accurate reflection in the translation to follow.  The omission of this technique would have made no more sense than the omission of the humorous summaries at the beginning of each chapter.


There is the question of vocabulary: gFratze,h (II:303) an informal word, becomes gphysiognomyh (379); gGaumenkitzlerh (II:318, epalate-ticklersf) develops into gculinary artistsh (392); and gbelachth (II:324) wakes up to find itself meaning grecall...mirthfullyh (397).  gNimm, geneigter Leser!h (19) dons a change of tone and becomes: gBe so good, dear reader, as to accept....h (98).  I have a fairly extensive vocabulary, but there is a time and a place for everything; and a text in which frequent use is made of the endings –lein and –chen is not the correct place for formality.  Yet it could be justified if Professor Robertson were consistent; however, he goes to the other extreme, translating gAriadnefadenh (II:241) as gclueh (324).


On several occasions the English is simply weaker than the German: gweak voiceh (256) is a colourless rendition of gersterbender Stimmeh (II:162).  gLifefs sunh (394) misses the poetry of gdie Abendröte des Lebensh (II:321).  When Frau Tyß gerfreuteh her husband with a son (II:146), this verb became gpresentedh (243).  The frequently employed –sten ending is omitted: gentsetzlichstenh (II:329) becomes frightful (401), gschneidendstenh (II:323) becomes gstrongh (396), and so on.  And although Robertson mentions gthe extraordinary incident of Coppelius unscrewing the childfs limbsh in his introduction, he translates this as gdislocated my hands and feeth (90-1).


There is also a passivity, a lack of animation: the image of a gfeine Batisttuch...sich mit dem Obst befreundenh (II:315) is rendered as gsurvive contact withh (389); gein beißiger Haushundh (302) is tamed to ga watch-dog that might well biteh (II:378); saying that the authorfs literary vanity gawokeh (387) does not convey the movement of gregte sichh (II:313); gimpassivelyh (383) is a rather lazy translation of gOhne sonderlich eine Miene zu verziehenh (II:308); gdas kleinste Fü dir glühth (II:304) loses its verb with gyou havenft the tiniest sparkh (380); and the passive is employed to dilute gden Weg...hatte der Böse Dämon der Krankheit versperrth (II:302) down to gthe path...had been blocked by the evil demon of illnessh (277).  I made a point of using verbs – especially transitive verbs – as often as was justifiable; Fenollosafs essay on the Chinese written language as a medium for poetry sprang to mind, for it drew my attention to Shakespearefs frequent use of transitive verbs.  The transitive use of words which are now intransitive verbs or nouns – for example, edisasterf – leads to very powerful language; and I wanted the language of my translation to contain the power and the vigour of the original.  Klein Zaches is Hoffmannfs most exuberant work.  Perhaps writing: git serves no other purpose than to be joyous and to make joyoush[100] is going a little far, for there is more to this Märchen than that, such as: an ironic reflection on the rewarding of merit; a satirical treatment of enlightened despotism; the recurring theme in Hoffmann of the importance of external appearance; the incongruence between inner visions and external reality, Schein and Sein; the critical juxtaposition of the human world and the animal world; and an approach to pathos when Rosabelverde makes a speech at the bedside of dead little Zaches.  But humour is, without doubt, the overriding feature; it is the tone in which these themes are treated, as for example when Zaches is mistaken for a howling monkey.  Whereas conflict and duality – Bürger/artist, man/animal, body/mind, thought/speech, knowledge of others/knowledge of self – permeate Hoffmannfs texts, and he resorts to the use of irony to accept, by the time of his later texts there is a perceptible shift.  The humour is more genial and more humane; and in Klein Zaches, seemingly more than in any other work, he is laughing at himself.



Klein Zaches Genannt Zinnober


The first decision made was that the whole story would be translated.  The initial unit of translation was the story itself; I believe that if a prose work is worth the effort and dedication that translation require, then it should be reproduced in its entirety.  I would make exceptions as concerns texts in general – the eWalpurgnisnachtstraumf sequence in Faust is the locus classicus of passages that blink nervously under the translatorfs hovering axe – but these are exceptions to the rule.  The one temptation was to omit the Ptolomäus Philadelphus episode; although it bears traces of typical Hoffmann – bringing a man who died in 246 B.C. into the contemporary world, placing a biblical quotation in the mouth of the Egyptian King who was famous for having had the Old Testament translated into Greek, and criticising the social customs of the authorfs environment by the established device of a letter from a travelling foreigner – it seems to me to be the weakest element in the story.  It is not fully integrated, but shows signs of that same looseness that disfigures Prinzessin Brambilla.  But I am as reluctant to edit as I am eager to translate.


In his introduction to the Tales of Hoffmann, R.J. Hollingdale claimed that, gfor a story to produce, in modern English, the effect intended by the author, some speeding up and tightening up was called for.h[101]  But his argument that the idiom of Hoffmannfs age is not the idiom of today is inadequate; the texts of some writers become dated in a way that the texts of other writers do not.  We may compare Goethe with Schiller, or Hoffmann with Sir Walter Scott.  The Scottish novelist makes very turgid reading nowadays; Hoffmann does not.  There is nothing slow about his work; there is no need to reduce the atmospheric second sentence of Das Majorat from 77 to 60 words.  Nor is it necessary, or indeed desirable, to translate: geWasf, fiel der Großonkel ihm in die Rede, den Pelz weit auseinanderschlagend und beide Arme in die Seiten stemmend, ewas, die Fenster...fh as: geWhat!f my great-uncle interposed, eWhat!  The windows....fh[102]  Hoffmann, like Dickens, gives his characters stage directions – the importance of his theatrical background must be recognised; the short story was still in an embryonic stage of development, and sometimes tended (as with Hoffmann) to be infused with a theatrical vigour, with soliloquies and dialogues rather than a silent novelistic reflection.  If these directions are omitted, some of the energy of the original is lost.  The author was adamant that his texts should be delivered exactly as he had written them – we read in his letters gNo changes in my manuscript!h, g[he assumes that] there will be no changes made aside from those I made myselfh[103] – and editing is not, in normal circumstances, the task of the translator.  The one exception is reserved for obvious mistakes – such as the occasion in Das Öde Haus when he has Franz, instead of Lelio, beginning to speak after Franz has stopped talking[104], which is really taking the doppelgänger theme too far...


The translation procedure began with a first draft; continued with research; and then concluded with a sentence-for-sentence comparison of the draft with the original and the subsequent revisions.  It must be emphasised that the draft was revised with the original at the translatorfs side; one sometimes has the impression that a translator has changed his first draft without reference to the original, which can lead to quite noticeable departures from the authorfs style.  These departures can creep in surreptitiously.  It is a mistake for the translator to place himself in the position of reader as regards his own text.  Of course, momentum was gathered during the act of translation, so that the later chapters required little change, whereas the beginning of the text occasioned heavy revision.


First of all, there was the question of the title.  This text is commonly referred to as gLittle Zaches, called Cinnabar.h  In fact, eZachesf is often retained while eZinnoberf is translated into the target language: hence Piccolo Zaches detto Cinabro; hence eKlein Zachf becomes eM. Cinabref in the Contes dfHoffmann.[105]  I do not see why eZinnoberf should be translated just because there is an equivalent word in English; I prefer to retain it and use an endnote.  Even if I had reverted to eCinnabarf, I would have had to use an endnote to explain the humour inherent in the ambiguity of the German word.  I did not consider it important to translate ggenannth literally; the names in this Märchen are of no over-riding importance – indeed, many were lifted straight from Johann Georg Zimmermannfs Über die Einsamkeit (1784) – but have been retained in the translation because of their sound:  gMosch Terpinh and gProsper Alpanush have an almost Dickensian joy.  gLittle Zaches, Great Zinnoberh seemed appropriate.


This was not one of the most difficult of translations.  Even at his most complex, Hoffmann is not an author to frighten the translator away – as is Jean Paul, for example – and Klein Zaches is one of his most stylistically simple tales.  Moreover, I had the advantage of translating into English; while other languages may demonstrate what the English language is incapable of (for example, the Swedish use of esinf and ehansf to avoid that ambiguity of ehisf which often makes the insertion of ethe latterf or ethe formerf necessary; the use of accents on Icelandic vowels, which greatly facilitates pronunciation; et cetera), they also serve to highlight the wealth of this language: the richness of vowel sounds; the extensive vocabulary; the flexibility of the syntax; and so on.  German is one of the easier languages for the native English speaker to translate from, as the likes of David Luke have shown.  The most contentious issue, as concerns the German language, is probably the sentence structure; a disregard for this sentence structure invariably leads to a bad translation: step forward, Helen Lowe-Porter.  I translate sentence for sentence as far as possible; I will let Hoffmann tell the story at his particular pace(s), because he is a better storyteller than I am.  When he writes in a slow, cramped style – as at the beginning of the final chapter, to reflect the melancholy that is constricting the authorfs breast – then I will write in such a style.  When he writes at a breathless pace – as when the lovers are reunited towards the end of Chapter Eight – then the translation shall reflect this.  My ultimate loyalty lies to the original; after all, I am writing a translation, and for a text to be judged as a translation it has to be compared with the original.  Loyalty does not, of course, entail writing a text that reads very badly, for I am writing for those who do not know German; but all that is required is the application of a little common sense.  Lowe-Porter may claim that she followed the spirit first, then the letter geso far as might befh[106]; however, it is through his use of the letter that the artist creates the spirit.  Dr Robertsonfs translations read very well – better than other English translations of Hoffmann – but it is possible to produce a version that is truer to the author, that manipulates language in the same way that he does whenever this manipulation has the same effect in the target language as it had in the source language, and yet still reads well.


The language of the translation does not have to sound normal, or ordinary; it has to sound acceptable.  For this reason the degree of difference from the conventional should, in general, be slight; revolutionary measures, in all walks of life, tend to have a violent, and short-lived, effect.  The importation of new ideas should enrich the language that imports them; some will flourish, some will fade to death; what is important is the fact that they have been given the chance to live.  The whole point of the translation of literature is to approach a foreign culture as closely as onefs native language will allow; by the mere fact of translating – if one bases onefs efforts on a theoretical apparatus that stresses the importance of the original text – one is stretching these boundaries.  Moreover, by translating several authors, and attempting to reproduce each individualfs style, the translator is extending his own capabilities.  If all the authors he brings into his own language talk with the same voice, the correct term to apply to his work is not econsistencyf but elimitationsf.  He should not attempt to write a translation as if he were writing an original work in his native tongue; all he has to do is follow the author he is translating.  It is fatuous to talk of writing in the style in which that author would have spoken if he had been born in England if he had been alive in the present age; this is too vague, too hypothetical.  There is simply no way of knowing.  What the translator can do is to produce a version by a kindred spirit – assuming, of course, that his translation is a labour of love from an author who exerts a special fascination for him, rather than a ponderous task he find as pleasant as cleansing the Augean stables, the impression that Carlyle leaves one – which is the best way of approaching the original.


As concerns the sentence structure, I followed the original whenever this was possible and purposeful in English.  For example: with gUnd damit fing die Arme an zu weinen und zu schluchzen, bis sie endlich, vom Schmerz übermannt, ganz entkräftet einschliefh (I:146), it is possible to employ the hanging sentence so that the verb comes at the end (2).  The sentence: gHe decided to govern and immediately appointed his valet Andres, who had once, in an inn on the far side of the mountains, lent him six Ducats when he had left his purse behind, and so rescued him from grave danger, as First Minister of the Realmh (9) reflects the German form because the fact of Andres becoming First Minister achieves its comic effect through the information that precedes this disclosure.   Sometimes, an alternative has to be sought: when the Fairy Rosabelverde hears that she will not be deported, a decision gworin sie sich, wiewohl mit großen Widerwillen, fügteh (I:158) then her reluctance is expressed by the hesitating style.  In the English translation: gwith which she complied, albeit with great reluctance,h (12) the same effect is produced by the stress being placed on the last word.


The greatest difficulty, as concerns this particular author, is attempting to portray the scenes he evokes so vividly: I could quite easily picture in my mind many of the events of this Märchen, but attempting to find the words to recreate these images was somewhat more demanding.  Hoffmann is one of the most visual of writers; a quality which filmmakers have never seized upon.  Even during the Expressionist period, when the popular perception of eGespenster Hoffmannf made his works ideal for filmic adaptation, the only perceptible influence appears in Der Student von Prag (1913; remade 1926) which uses the doppelgänger theme and in particular that of the man who loses his mirror-reflection.


It has been remarked that: gPerhaps the worst sin a translator can commit is to incorporate in a translation material not in the original but which has been written by him/herself.h[107]  Once again, the sacredness of the text is evoked.  There were, however, one or two occasions when the addition of two or three words was necessary; when Balthasar is believed to have imitated a cat, the phrase gSich zur Erde bückendh (I:179) literally means estooping down to the groundf, but it also refers to the word eKatzenbückelf; because there is no such association in English, it was necessary to add gand arching your backh to help the reader to visualise the scene.  There are also some slight additions on one or two occasions when movement is described – especially when Fräulein von Rosenschön is stroking Zachesf head.  There is generally a greater flexibility in the use of prepositions involving direction in German, and this necessitates this slight expansion for the sake of the image.


The occasional pun may (unintentionally) creep in to the translation that is not in the original – for example grelationsh (17); but they are in the spirit of the work.  Hoffmann certainly does not shy away from inflicting bad puns on his readership – such as Fräulein von Rosenschön being in the gBlüte ihrer Jahreh (I:151) – and Zaches dying geinen humoristischen Todh (I:246).


My intention in translation is both to produce a text worthy of the original and to attempt to enrich the English language.  Therefore I am willing to try to coin new phrases, if they are appropriate.  Sometimes the idiom has been translated into the corresponding idiom, because both are clichés, and it would be false of me to give the impression that Hoffmann was an experimental writer with language; hence gder mir steht wie angegossen an den Leibh (I:228) has been rendered as gthat fits me to a Th (70).  On the other hand, gKein Hund...würde ein Stück Brot von Ihnen nehmenh (I:162), which translates as eEveryone would avoid you like the plaguef, has here been translated literally.  And why not?  The meaning is perfectly clear.  The idiom gkein gescheites Wort zu Markte bringth (I:170) was likewise translated in this manner, after due consideration; there was the initial concern that it might be slightly archaic, but although that criticism certainly applies to eI go before my horse to marketf, it does not seem relevant here.


It is instructive to discover how other cultures phrase idioms which have an equivalent in our language: why reduce the Hungarian eAz alma nem esik messze a fájátólf to eLike father, like sonf when a literal rendition gives eThe apple doesnft fall far from the treef?  If the German word eOrgelpfeifenf is used to describe a standing row of people of descending height, does it matter whether we use the conventional English image eRussian dollsf or translate literally?  If translating an idiom literally produces the same meaning as an idiomatic translation, then I will – in most cases – choose the former option.


A language does require a certain number of clichés to provide stability, a foundation; it also requires an influx of fresh blood.  And it needs to be given the chance to breathe.  A dictionary would translate gklaftertiefh as gvery deeph – what a weakening of language!  It would also explain that a gGeneraldirektorh (as in gGeneraldirektor sämtlicher natürlicher Angelegenheitenh) was a gChairmanh; but this word does not convey the sense of directing (Nature) so important in the context.  Lexical enrichment is not one of the translatorfs primary aims when he begins his work; but as the work progresses, and he comes to realise the deficiencies of his mother tongue, it assumes an ever-greater importance.  In the words of Dryden – themselves a translation from Quintillian – g...when I want at home, I must seek abroad.h[108]


Forming new words is a different matter from the formation of new phrases, and one that demands the utmost care and attention.  The word gconventabilityh (7), which I have never before encountered, is employed as an equivalent for gStiftsfähigkeith (I:152).  The facility with which compound words can be produced in languages such as German and Greek often presents a problem to the English translator, and a ponderous phrase is generally the unwelcome but unavoidable result (Carlylefs translations providing perhaps the classic example).  This particular instance seemed to be one of those happy few cases in which the word can be literally translated section for section, yet still make sense, yet still sound right.  And it was for reasons of sound that the archaic form of address gEr,h usually translated as eyouf, was given a literal rendering.  There was no danger of ambiguity, and it captured the formality and tone of the usage.


From the above it is to be expected that I retained some German words.  The most obvious example is probably gFürst,h for which there is no equivalent in English; it suggests sovereignty, actually having power, whereas gPrinzh suggests a Fairy-Tale Prince or the heir to the throne.  So the former is retained whereas the latter, when it makes a rare appearance (in the summary for Chapter 3) is translated as gPrince.h  The adjective has been rendered as garistocratich (gvon fürstlichem Geblüth [33/I:184]) or gprincelyh when describing the wine-cellar; and gFürsttumh was given as gPrincipalityh because this word contains those connotations that gPrinceh does not.  gKönigh was translated as gKingh – this being standard procedure – but gKaiserh was retained; the usage of German terms with which the average English reader will be familiar is one of those touches which emphasise the fact that this is an essentially German story.


Another of these touches is the usage of gHerr,h gFräulein,h etc.  The use of titles was one of the most problematic aspects of this translation.  Robertson had used eMrf and eMrsf, which led to the rather strange-sounding gMrs. von Carsnerh (304).  gSister von Rosenschönh may appear in my translation, but gSister,h when applied to a nun, has an international quality.  As a rule I decided to translate gmein Herrh as gsirh (emy Herrf was not an option!), but when gHerrh or gFrauh were followed by a name, the German forms were retained.  There was also the problem posited by such formations as gHerr Studiosush (gStudiosush being a humorous term for estudentf).  Research showed that Kent and Knight translated this as gsirh; Bealby as gdear student-friendh[109]; and James Kirkup retained the German form (which in the context – following on from gLaddie, laddie, laddie!h – was a rather curious choice![110]).  In the case of a similar term, Hollingdale retained gHerr Justitiarius.h  It was decided to leave gStudiosus,h gReferendariush and gMelancholikush as they were because there is no satisfactory English translation; moreover, they are close enough to English words to be recognisable, and the –us ending has comic overtones.  An exception was made for gHerr Pfarrer,h because gFatherh is so familiar to the English speaker.


gAlraunh was retained, while gWurzelmännleinh was translated as gmandrake.h  Two words were necessary in English in any case, and the former has the authority of Funk & Wagnall behind it.  Yet gAlraunwurzelh became gMister Mandrake,h for this seemed apt in the context.  gDäumling,h which equates to eTom Thumbf, was problematic because of its use after the direct or indirect article; ea Tom Thumbf and ethe Tom Thumbf sound clumsy.  The word eDäumlingenf appears in Der Sandmann, and has been translated as eTom Thumbsf (Bealby) or simply edwarfsf (Robertson, Kent and Knight).  Yet this is a reference, in a eMärchenf, to a eMärchenfigurf; I wished to remain close to the original, yet use a construction that would work as a noun and not merely a form of address: ghop-of-my-thumbh seemed the best solution.  It may sound slightly old-fashioned – as do gbetrothalh and gtaboreth – but bearing in mind that this text was written almost 180 years ago, this should come as no great surprise.  It is a question of attention to detail: a gTaburetth is a gtaboreth and a gJaboth is a gjabot.h An endnote was not added for the former term – in the context, it obviously refers to an item of furniture – but it was required for the latter term, for it was not obvious that this depicted an item of clothing.  To translate these as estoolf and eshirt-frillf respectively would suggest an impoverished vocabulary.  Nabokov referred to Gogolfs greatest short story as The Carrick, although it is usually translated as The Overcoat or The Cloak; the first term may be unfamiliar, but it is the most accurate.  It is a safe assumption that those who read literary translations are expecting – desiring – to encounter something new.  Of course, in Hoffmannfs case, care must be taken not to make the German world seem too strange, for otherwise the contrast provided by the intrusion of magic into everyday reality would not be so striking.


Words such as gTuschh and gWichtelzöpfeh have no equivalent in English.  The latter could be translated literally, but this would be inaccurate; for it refers to a superstition that existed in Germany but which, to the best of my knowledge, was not known in England.  gTuschh is an example of that terminology peculiar to that strange world where fencing and pipe-smoking are regular occupations.  It is a specific word with a specific sense; in contrast, gHetzpeitsche,h another example of student slang, is merely a term of abuse and so has been translated with an endnote to add meaning.


One feature of Hoffmannfs style is the coupling of rhyming words; this gives his language a proverbial, informal feel.  I have attempted to retain this whenever possible, making gschalten und waltenh (I:159) greign and ordainh (12) rather than ebustle aroundf; but if a rhyme would have been too strained or taken too much liberty with the meaning, another device, such as alliteration, was employed: gknurrte und murrteh (I:208) becomes ggroaned and grumbledh (53).


There is the question of how to translate a literary allusion.  When Andres cries: gSire! – führen Sie die Aufklärung ein!h (I:155), this is a parody of Posafs gGeben Sie Gedankenfreiheit!h in Act 3 Scene 10 of Schillerfs Don Carlos.  This was one instance where I felt a reference to a source culture would be best translated by reference to the translatorfs source culture: gLet there be Enlightenment!h playing on gLet there be light!h  The retention of a humorous reference to a well-known work was the important factor; and the humour achieves its effect through being based on what the reader knows.  With the reference from Friedrich Schlegelfs tragedy Alarcos – gSo ist er aus Furcht zu sterben gar gestorben!h (I:245) – I could not think of a relevant quotation in English literature; so I concentrated on rendering it in iambic pentameter form – that most conventional of English dramatic forms, and the one that most invites parody.  I considered adding an endnote for the allusion in Chapter 3 to Jean Paulfs Titan – in which a female character goes momentarily blind in moments of great sentimentality – but this appears in the middle of a passage that is obviously mocking certain contemporary authors, so it was not considered necessary.


There was a certain amount of freedom when translating various oaths: phrases such as gTausend Sapperment!h are very dated nowadays, and the effect is (and was, in this context) comic.  And it was in deference to humour that I translated gTausend Teufel!h as gLegion of Lucifers!h; for this is not some demonic, tortured baroque soul gnashing his teeth and fulminating against all of creation: this is Herr Vincenzo Sbiocca, an amusingly irate Italian violinist.  He is not so obviously Italian as Coppola in Der Sandmann – gBrill – Brill auf der Nas su setze, das sein meine Oke - sköne Oke!h (translated by Bealby as gSpectfcles!  Spectfcles to put fn nose!  Themfs my oyes – foine oyesh which conjures up images of gums and fingerless gloves, but not of Italians) – but his nationality is still evident, through his sentences, rather than through his words.  It is difficult to go into specific details; this is the way the whole passage reads.  The effect was carried into English by using the same punctuation (gIt is my pride, my joyh) and by translating gich verlasseh and gich spieleh as gI leaveh and gI play,h instead of using the present continuous tense.


This character presented one of those challenges that make translation so interesting when he used the image of g in die ganze Applikatur greifendh (I:187) to describe the manner in which he wished to pounce on Zinnober.  This actually means egrabbing all of himf, but gApplikaturh is a specialist term relating to the violin.  The aim of the translator was to convey the notion of grabbing the whole person while retaining a reference to the violin; hence the solution of ggrabbing him by both sound-holesh (36).


Changes in register always present a difficulty; the speech of Zinnoberfs valet in his official capacity, containing such constructions as gSe. Exzellenz besitzen...h was represented by a pompous vocabulary.  Hence gis recumbenth for gliegen,h gdid arriveh for gsind...eingetroffen,h and so on.  The mixed register of ghalten Sie das Maulh was represented by gplease [for gSieh] keep your trap shuth (78).  It is not difficult to find some way of representing the difference between gSieh and gduh; but when Minister von Mondschein is portrayed as never confusing his gIhnen und Sieh, the only manner of capturing this distinction is by reversion to the old forms gThou and Theeh (40).


One of the most noticeable features of the charactersf speech is the retention of Hoffmannfs gpeculiarity of repeating the first word of a direct quotation after the interruption.h[111]  This is not really so peculiar, although previous translators seem to have found it so; it is another example of Hoffmannfs constructive repetition.  It is one of those gentle pointers towards the oral rather than the written element; the image is evoked of a storyteller stepping out of his world for one moment, then stepping back in.  It is simply his way of telling; and this way made the text enjoyable to read, and just as enjoyable to translate.





Hoffmann does not really belong in the list of eclassicf authors; he rather has one foot in the classic world, and one foot in the epopularf world.  He writes in the style of an oral storyteller, yet the end product is much more than a mere estoryf: it is a conscious and skilled work of art.  It may be claimed that it is this polarity, this duality, which is responsible for the manner in which his popularity has often alternated between the reading public and the critics – a far from ideal situation.  An author requires the approval of both in order to establish a lasting reputation; and Hoffmann has something to offer both worlds.  It is not surprising that his literary work should have gcalled forth not only great admiration but also deep aversionh[112]; for it provokes a reaction.  It often has the quality of being eon the edgef; it avoids sentimentality, proselytising and triteness, choosing instead to celebrate the power of the imagination.  Its portrayal of the irrational, the supernatural, in a realistic setting can be so convincing as to be unsettling.  And it runs the gauntlet of incomprehension that is the lot of all ironical works of art.


There is so much that is musical and theatrical in his texts that they are difficult to judge without an appreciation of these other art-forms.  Hence comments such as ghis prose is devoid of rhythmh[113]; but at its best, it has a musical rhythm, and when not at its best, it yet has the rhythm of speech.  It is no coincidence that most of his musical compositions were composed for voices; speech, social intercourse, and not music, was Hoffmannfs greatest love.  It has been remarked that Hoffmann has a painterfs approach to writing[114]; but this is no ordinary brush, for it sometimes appears as a wand, and sometimes as a baton.  Of all the German Romantics, Hoffmann was the least poetical – witness his attempts at writing verse if you dare – but the most musical.  The inspiration his work gave Tchaikovsky, Offenbach, Schumann, Delibes and Wagner[115] – and the influence of authors on musicians is, mercifully, easily traceable! – is in itself proof of the musicality of his literary creations.


He is unique in being a German Romantic with a relevance for the modern age; he was the member of this egroupf who gperhaps most successfully translated the theoretical pronouncements of his colleagues into literary practice.h[116]  An example of this is Der Goldne Topf; although gstriking similaritiesh[117] can be found between this text and Novalisfs Heinrich von Ofterdingen, the former is highly enjoyable whereas the latter is barely readable.  Indeed, Hoffmann, like Heine, was so much more than a German Romantic; there is something essentially dissatisfying about this movement – it does not seem to have produced anything of lasting value in any of its branches.  It is as insubstantial as a dream; its greatest use was to serve as an embryonic phase for the best writer of fiction and the best poet in the movement – the only two German authors of the 19th century, after Goethe and Schiller, to have an international effect – to transcend.  When Fabian cries, gei, das ist nun wieder das alte ewige Lied von Wehmut und Wonne und sprechenden Bäumen und Waldbächenh (I:166) in response to Balthasarfs raptures, then for once, the joke is not on he himself.


There is, as John Reddick emphasised in 1969[118] – and it is surprising that an English critic should not have made this point clear at an earlier stage – much irony in Hoffmannfs texts; there is also much outright humour.  His work is uneven; there are some texts, such as Prinzessin Brambilla and Die Doppeltgänger, which I really do not rate very highly at all.  This variation in quality is to be expected from an author was who so prolific in such a short space of time.  Moreover, one sometimes has the sense that he felt he had to live up to a certain image and give the public what they wanted: hence his comment on Meister Martin, quoted in Baudelairefs Salon de 1846: gCfest le plus médiocre de mes ouvrages; il nfy a ni terrible ni grotesque, qui sont les deux choses par où je vaux le plus!h[119]  There were also texts that mattered to him, and texts that he wrote for material gain alone.  But at his best, Hoffmann is one of the greatest German authors.  Klein Zaches genannt Zinnober is one of those works, like Mozart auf der Reise nach Prag, Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts, and The Vicar of Wakefield, that express sheer joy via the medium of literature.  And while I was translating it, I felt that I could see the immortal little Hoffmann standing before me, waving and whispering encouragement.


I wished to paint him, while he was telling this Märchen, as he painted himself.  It does not matter how wonderful the painting you produce may be; if you paint some object other than the one that is sitting for you, you have wasted your time.  In his eSelbstporträt mit physiognomischen Erklärungenf he described the laughing-muscle as gDer ironische Zug oder die Märchenmuskelh[120]; and in Klein Zaches, right up until the final sentence, it is this feature that catches the light.  These paintings are very difficult to execute, for they have to be judged on two levels; by those who have seen the actual person, and by those who have no knowledge, but rather vague expectations, of his appearance.  All the painter can do is learn various techniques, expand his knowledge, and then rely on his developed artistic instinct.  If there exists a certain sympathy between artist and model – the latter term is entirely appropriate – then, by practice, the former may ascend to those heights where he can capture the modelfs expression.  A sense of the correct balance between proportion and decoration will provide the outline; to fill this in, to make the picture live, the crucial element is a sense of timing.


I would not wish in any way to blame the earlier Anglo-American translators of Hoffmann; they at least recognised that his work merited translation.  Their hearts were in the right place; it is merely unfortunate that their brains were on sabbatical at the time.  Much of the criticism that has been devoted to him has been dull – almost to the point of German literary criticism, where the critic may hit the nail on the head but just does not know when to stop hammering – dire, narcissistic, and has failed in its purpose.  Hoffmann has his flaws, but he is never boring.  gIn tandem, translation and criticism enhance the understanding and appreciation of literatureh[121]; Hoffmann has been ill-served in both these fields.  Both critics and translators have not, in general, paid enough attention to the author; the former have largely misappropriated his content, and the latter have mislaid his style – although each is also guilty of the other crime.  It is to be wished that some of the critical energy had been bestowed on evaluating these translations; a translation begins and ends with criticism.  Like innumerable other authors, he has suffered because of the late – too, too late – arrival of translation studies into the critical world.


An Italian critic, writing specifically about Hoffmann in Russia, makes a statement with wider implications: gchfegli fosse conosciuto direttamente o attraverso le traduzioni, è cosa di poco conto.h[122]  Hoffmann could be said to be a perfect example of the overwhelming importance of translation; whether the French and Russians fully understood his work or not, they at least appreciated it; and a true appreciation was something his fellow-countrymen never accorded this artist.  Translations may be works of art reproduced in a different language – and no aspect of human life emphasises difference to a greater degree than language – but the slightly imperfect picture provided by a good translation is still greatly preferable to the image that an imperfect understanding conjures up from the original.  The translations of Shakespeare by Schlegel are not as brilliant as is sometimes claimed – to name one example from many, gHört mich anh is a weak substitute for gLend me your earsh – but they are still excellent; and they created the vogue for Shakespeare in Germany which gave so much impetus to the development of German literature.  The translations of Hoffmann, especially those of Loève-Veimars, created the Hoffmann vogue; this was not entirely beneficial, for a stream of second-rate imitators appeared, not knowing that Hoffmann was too unique to be imitated.  It was those who saw the potential for development in what he had written – above all, Dostoevski and Gautier – who paid him the greatest compliment.  For Hoffmann was an innovator; he is to be continued.  It is not fair to subject him to death by imitation or parody.


This theme of development seems to be relating the text to other authors rather than to the readers.  What it actually relates to is translation in the broadest sense – by reader, writer and critic.  There is so much to be kept alive in Hoffmannfs work.  And the strongest criticism that must be levelled at the English-speaking world is not that he has been translated badly, haphazardly, with no respect for his style – true though this undoubtedly is – but that he simply has not been translated enough.  Misunderstanding an artist is forgivable, but this misunderstanding must be based on knowledge, and not on imagination.


To sum up Hoffmannfs contribution to the world of the arts in a single sentence: gEr hat ein großes Werk hinterlassen.h[123]  But a reader who did not know German would not understand this.  What chance would he have, when many Germans would question the application, if not the meaning of the words?  We end with reference to a passage in Des Vetters Eckfenster.  Hoffmann took pains to establish a relationship between author/speaker and reader/listener; yet when he approaches a flower-girl who is reading, and enjoying, one of his books, he discovers her ignorance as to the existence of authors.  The pleasure he feels at his works being read has been nullified by the manner of this reading; the public only cares about the story, not the author; the content, not the art.  As far as criticism of his texts is concerned, there has been an improvement over the last thirty or so years, even if much is still being written that could quite profitably feed a blazing fire; the crucial recognition was that he was not only gthe great storyteller of the Romanticsh but that ghis meanings are as much in how he tells as in what is told.h[124]  The appreciation of his style is the vital factor, for the careful reader, for the critic, and for the translator.  This style charted the difficult quest to achieve the correct balance between being an automaton and being a madman; a balance which was attained by the use of humour and irony, by narrative perspective, and by sheer artistic ability.


Hoffmann is, at least in his native land, beginning to receive the recognition that the quality of his art deserves.  There is no guarantee that a translation of his work into English that, unlike those earlier attempts, aims at reproducing his style and spirit, will actually serve to enhance his reputation in these shores; but in the final assessment, people will form their own subjective judgements.  All the translator can do is strive to present reliable evidence.  Trapped in the sometimes conflicting, sometimes overlapping demands of self, reader and original author, the prose translator discovers that his ultimate loyalty lies with his fellow artist, who wrote to be read.  As did numerous other authors, in numerous other ways: and it is the way that is all-important.


There are two realities in the world of E.T.A. Hoffmann, and so there are two realities in this dissertation: that of criticism, and that of translation.  Like Hoffmannfs worlds, they exist in the same time and space, and there is no clear dividing line.  And this essay itself is one of two worlds; the higher realm – the theoretically higher realm, although it (ironically enough) is a practical world – is to follow.



To the Translation


Unless otherwise stated, all page references for Hoffmann – including those relating to my translation – are taken from the Aufbau-Verlag: Berlin und Weimar 1979 edition in three volumes.

From Der Sandmann / Das Öde Haus  (Reclam: Stuttgart 1986).

[1] H.W. Hewett-Thayer, Hoffmann: Author of the Tales  (New York, 1948), p.vii.

[2] David Charlton, E.T.A. Hoffmannfs Musical Writings  (Cambridge University Press, 1989), p.ix; p.235.

[3] Thomas S. Grey, Wagnerfs Musical Prose (Cambridge University Press, 1995), p.92.

[4] James McGlathery, Mysticism and Sexuality: E.T.A. Hoffmann, Vol.I: Hoffmann and his Sources

   (Frankfurt, 1981), p.15.

[5] Hewett-Thayer, op. cit., p.233.

[6] Helga Slessarev, eE.T.A. Hoffmannfs Prinzessin Brambilla: A Romanticistfs Contribution to the

   Aesthetic Education of Manf in Studies in Romanticism, 9 (1970), 147-160, at 160.

[7] H.W. Longfellow, Hyperion in The Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Vol. VIII (Cambridge:

   Massachussetts, 1886), p.234.

[8] From  Blackwoodfs Magazine, Vol. XX, pp. 844ff.  Quoted in Erwin G. Gudde, eE.T.A. Hoffmannfs

   Reception in Englandf in Publications of the Modern Language Association in America, XLI (1926),

    1005-10, at 1006.

[9] Mark Spilka, Dickens and Kafka: A Mutual Interpretation (London, 1963), p.76.

[10] The New Oxford History of Music: Vol. VIII, The Age of Beethoven 1790-1830  (Oxford University Press,

   1982), p.11.

[11] Ibid, p.475.

[12] Albert Ward, Book Production, Fiction and the German Reading Public 1740-1800  (Oxford, 1974),


[13] Heinrich Heine: Sämtliche Werke, Band 8/1  (Düsseldorfer Ausgabe: Hamburg, 1979), p.193.

[14] In his conversation with Eckermann of 3 December 1824.

[15] Karl August Varnhagen von Ense: Werke, Band 4  (Deutscher Klassiker Verlag: Frankfurt, 1990), p.660.

[16] For example, by Jean Paul in the preface he wrote to Hoffmannfs Fantasiestücke in Callots Manier.

[17] Kenneth Negus, E.T.A. Hoffmannfs Other World  (Philadelphia, 1965), p.13.

[18] Heinrich von Treitschke, Deutsche Geschichte  (1st Ed. 1879) Trans. By Eden & Cedar Paul as History of

   Germany in the 19th Century  (New York, 1915-19 Reissued 1968), p.261.

[19] Heines Werke, Band 4  (Säkularausgabe, Akademie-Verlag: Berlin, 1981), p.158.

[20] As is clear from his letters to his mother of 3 December 1858 through to early February 1859 requesting

    that she send him Hoffmannfs Novellen – which she seemed strangely reluctant to do.

[21] Thomas Mann, Briefe 1937-47  (Kempten/Allgau, 1963), p. 23.

[22] M Anchelot (intro.), Contes DfHoffmann  (Abridged; Lagny-sur-Marne – undated).

[23] Rosemary Lloyd, Baudelairefs Literary Criticism  (Cambridge University Press, 1981), p.11.

[24] Ibid, p.49; p.50.

[25] Charles Baudelaire, Curiosités Esthétiques in Oeuvres Complètes (Notice de Jacques Crépet; Paris,

    1923), p.394.

[26] McGlathery, op. cit., p.19.

[27] Alfred Dubruck, Gérard de Nerval and the German Heritage  (The Hague, 1965).

[28] Geneviève Delattre, Les Opinions Littéraires de Balzac  (Paris, 1961), p.379.

[29] Ibid, p. 379.

[30] A.W. Raitt, Prosper Mérimée  (London, 1970), p.126.

[31] René Jasinski, Les Années Romantiques de Théophile Gautier  (Paris, 1929), p.138.

[32] Théophile Gautier, eHoffmannfs Talesf in The Complete Works of Théophile Gautier, Trans. F.C. De

    Sumichrast, Vol. XII  (Boston/New York, 1903), p.239.

[33] Ibid, p. 243.

[34] Charles E. Passage, The Russian Hoffmannists  (The Hague, 1963), p.238.

[35] Where, it is interesting to note, his work influenced the young Hans Christian Andersen, as is clear from

    the latterfs literary debut eA  Walk from Holmenfs Canal to the East Point of the Island of Amager in the

    Years 1828 and 1829f (P.M. Mitchell, A History of Danish Literature  [Copenhagen, 1957] p.151).

[36] Passage, op. cit., p.38.

[37] Charles E. Passage, Dostoevski the Adapter  (University of North Carolina Press, 1954), p.6.

[38] Marina Ledkovsky, the other turgenev: from romanticism to symbolism  (Würzburg, 1973), p.29.

[39] Passage, Dostoevski the Adapter, p.7.

[40] As is evident from a letter to Stefan Zweig dated May 16 1928.

[41] Maxim Gorky, On Literature  (Progress: Moscow – undated), pp.27-68.

[42] Monika Greenleaf, Pushkin and Romantic Fashion  (Stanford University Press, 1994), p.324.

[43] Paul Debreczeny, The Other Pushkin  (Stanford University Press, 1983), p.326.

[44] John Bayley, Pushkin: A Comparative Commentary  (Cambridge, 1971), p.319.

[45] Passage, Dostoevski the Adapter, p.177.

[46] Richard Peace, The Enigma of Gogol  (Cambridge University Press, 1981), p.106.  The affinity is far

    from striking.

[47] Donald Fanger, The Creation of Nikolai Gogol  (Harvard University Press, 1979), p.148.

[48] Passage, Dostoevski the Adapter, p.131.

[49] The letter of 9 August 1838.

[50] First circulated among friends, then inflicted on a wider audience (London, 1968).

[51] George B. Von der Lippe, eThe Figure of E.T.A. Hoffmann as Doppelgänger to Poefs Roderick Usherf in

    Modern Language Notes, 92 (1977), 525-34, at 534.

[52] Ibid; and Thomas S. Hansen/ Burton R. Pollin, The German Face of Edgar Allan Poe  (Columbia, 1995),


[53] P.A. Shelley, A.O. Lewis Jr., W.W. Betts Jr. (ed.), Anglo-German and Anglo-American Crosscurrents,

    Vol. I.  (University of North Carolina Press 1957, Reprinted 1969), p.135.

[54] Henry A. Pochmann, German Culture in America  (University of Wisconsin Press, 1961), p.338.  This

    study supplies all the statistics in this section.

[55] Heines Werke, Band 5 (Akademie Verlag: Berlin, 1970), p.15.

[56] From the Edinburgh Review, Vol. 82, 1845, pp.451ff. (quoted in Gudde, op. cit.).

[57] C.T. Carr, eCarlylefs Translations from Germanf in Modern Language Review, Vol. XLII (1947), 223-

    232, at 223.

[58] From the Athenaeum, No. 1031, 1847, pp.811ff. (quoted in Gudde, op. cit.).

[59] Although Gudde was somehow surprised, because of the wild and confusing nature of the narrative.

[60] The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, Vol. 7  (Yale University Press), p.125.

[61] Una Pope-Hennessy, Charles Dickens  (2nd ed. Harmondsworth, 1970), p.337.

[62] Michael Hollington, Dickens and the Grotesque  (London, 1984), p.19.

[63] E.N. Bennett (Trans.), German Short Stories  (Oxford University Press, 1934), p.8.

[64] P.A. Shelley, A.O. Lewis Jr. (ed.), op. cit., Vol. II  (University of North Carolina Press, 1962), p.246.

[65] Ioan Williams (ed.), Sir Walter Scott On Novelists and Fiction  (London, 1968), p.352.

[66] Ibid, p.330.

[67] Scott does devote some three pages to Der Sandmann, which is roughly equivalent to three lines by the

   average critic.

[68] Quoted in Stanley T. Williams, The Life of Washington Irving, Vol. I  (New York, 1935), p.223.

[69] Thomas Carlyle, Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, Vol. I  (London, 1887), p.599.

[70] Ibid, p.602.

[71] R.J. Hollingdale (trans. & intro.), Tales of Hoffmann  (Penguin: 1982), p.8.

[72] The New Oxford History of Music, Vol. VIII, p.479.

[73] Theodore Ziolkowski, German Romanticism and its Institutions  (Princeton University Press, 1990),


[74] Alan  Menhennet, The Romantic Movement  (London, 1981), p.242.

[75] Heinrich Heine: Sämtliche Werke, Band 8/1, p.193.

[76] Hoffmanns Werke, Band 1  (Aufbau-Verlag: Berlin und Weimar, 1979), p.263.

[77] Hollingdale, op. cit., p.7.

[78] Ziolkowski, op. cit., p.5.

[79] The trials in Die Elixiere des Teufels, Das Fräulein von Scuderi, and Meister Floh; the question of the

    nature of evidence (Ignaz Denner); the characters in the legal profession (Krespel, Coppellius, and Little

   Zaches); and so on.

[80] John Reddick, eE.T.A. Hoffmannfs Der Goldne Topf and its gDurchgehaltene Ironiehf in Modern

    Language Review, 71 (1976), 577-94, at 578.

[81] J.M. Ellis, eE.T.A. Hoffmannfs Das Fräulein von Scuderif in Modern Language Review, 64 (1969), 340-

   50, at 340.

[82] Göppingen, 1975.

[83] E.K. Bennett, A History of the German Novelle  (2nd ed. Cambridge, 1961), p.67.

[84] Harry Steinhauer (Trans. & Ed.), Twelve German Novellas  (University of California, 1977), p.115.

[85] John Clute/ Peter Nicholls, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy  (Exeter, 1997), p.472.

[86] I.A. Willoughby, The Romantic Movement in Germany  (1930; Reissued New York, 1966), p.120.

[87] Passage, The Russian Hoffmannists, p.223.

[88] Franz Fühmann, eKlein Zaches genannt Zinnoberf in Literaturwissenschaft-Gesellschaftswissenschaft

   Interpretationen 54, zu E.T.A. Hoffmann, hrsg. S.P. Scher (Stuttgart 1981), p.127.

[89] Holbeche, op. cit., p.153.

[90] E.T.A. Hoffmann, Poetische Werke, Band 10  (Berlin, 1961), p.7.

[91] E.T.A. Hoffmann, Späte Werke  (Darmstadt, 1979), p.854.

[92] Dichter über ihre Dichtungen, Band 13: E.T.A. Hoffmann  (Heimeran Verlag: München, 1974), p.198.

[93] A theme discussed in Fühmannfs article cited in note 85.

[94] Charles E. Passage (Trans. & Intro.), Three Märchen of E.T.A. Hoffmann  (Columbia, 1971).

[95] Ibid, p.3.

[96] Ibid, p.36.

[97] Ritchie Robertson, Tales of Hoffmann  (Oxford University Press, 1992).

[98] Nicholas Saul in This Yearfs Work in Modern Language Studies, Vol. 54 (1992), p.804.

[99] Maria M. Tatar, eMesmerism, Madness and Death in E.T.A. Hoffmannfs Der Goldne Topff in Studies in

    Romanticism, 14 (1975), 365-89, at 371.

[100] Passage, Three Märchen, p.xvi.

[101] Hollingdale, op. cit., p.14.

[102] Ibid, p.44.

[103] The letters of 26 and 20 July 1813 respectively in Johanna C. Sahlin, Selected Letters of E.T.A.

      Hoffmann  (University of Chicago Press, 1977), p.200; p.198.

[104] Der Sandmann / Das Öde Haus  (Reclam: Stuttgart 1986), p.43.

[105] M. Anchelot, op. cit., passim..

[106] Quoted from Timothy Buck, eThomas Mannfs Fiction in English Translationf, Modern Language

     Review  91 (1996), 898-921, at 902.

[107] Ibid, p.905.

[108] Quoted from Frederick M. Rener, Interpretation: Language and Translation from Cicero to Tytler

     (Amsterdam, 1989), p.103.

[109] Tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann, Transl. by Leonard J. Kent and Elizabeth C. Knight (Chicago, 1969).

      For Bealby: internet site:

[110] James Kirkup, eKrespel the Lawyerf in F.J. Lamport (ed.), The Penguin Book of German Stories

     (London, 1974).

[111] Shelley, Lewis, Betts op.cit. p.119.

[112] H. S. Daemmrich, The Shattered Self: E.T.A. Hoffmannfs Tragic Vision  (Detroit, 1973), p.17.

[113] Calvin Thomas, A History of German Literature  (Heinemann: London 1919), p.343.

[114] W.F. Mainland in his Introduction to E.T.A. Hoffmann: Der Goldene Topf  (Oxford University Press,

      1967), p.x.

[115] For, respectively: eThe Nutcracker Suitef; eTales of Hoffmannf; eKreislerianaf; eCoppélia ou la fille aux

      yeux dfémailf; and eDer Meistersinger von Nürnbergf and eTannhäuserf.

[116] Maria M. Tatar, eE.T.A. Hoffmannfs gDer Sandmannh: Reflection and Romantic Ironyf in Modern

      Language Notes 95 (1980), 585-608, at 585.

[117] Sheila Dickson, eE.T.A. Hoffmann: Mind, Mythology and Meaningf in Forum for Modern Language

     Studies Vol. XXXII No.3 (1996), 251-63, at 256.

[118] John Reddick, eE.T.A. Hoffmannf in German Men of Letters, Vol V. (London, 1969).

[119] Baudelaire, op.cit, p.152.

[120] Ingrid Strohschneider-Kohrs, Die romantische Ironie in Theorie und Gestaltung  (Tübingen, 1977),


[121] Marilyn Gaddis Rose, Translation and Literary Criticism: Translation as Analysis  (Manchester, 1997),


[122] Vincenzo Gibelli, E.T.A. Hoffmann: Fortuna di un Poeta Tedesco in Terra di Russia  (Milan, 1964),


[123] Hans Meyer, Von Lessing bis Thomas Mann  (Metzingen/Württemberg, 1959), p.246.

[124] Glyn Tegai Hughes, Romantic German Literature  (London, 1979), p.113.