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    Penguin Classics: Romantic Fairy Tales: Goethe, Tieck, Fouque, Brentano

    By: Various

    Date Released

    Out of Print

    Deeply affected by the turmoil of the French Revolution and Napoleonic era, many of the great German Romantics adopted the Kunstmarchen or 'literary fairy tale' to express their fascination with mystery, medievalism and the darker side of human nature. Although he was a committed Classicist, Goethe helped establish the genre in his richly imaginative Fairy Tale (1795). Ludwig Tieck's Eckbert the Fair (1797) depicts a pair of outsiders who have sought refuge from the world in the solitude of dark woods and in scandalous incestuous passion, while Friedrich de la Motte Fouque's Undine (1811) is a water nymph who falls in love, acquires a soul and so discovers the reality of human suffering. In Clemens Brentano's Tale of Honest Casper and Fair Annie (1817), a young couple is engulfed by tragedy due to a false sense of honour and pride, which has been passed down to them through the generations. These intriguing works vividly illustrate the development of German sensibility through the course of the whole Romantic period.

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