Thursday, March 06, 2014

Book: Peter Schlemihl by Aldebert Von Chamisso


I thought I'd give Peter Schlemihl a re-read before letting it go to charity. The novella tells a wonderful tale about a man who trades his shadow for untold riches, only to be forever haunted by the regretful decision. The story stormed Europe when it was published back in 1812 and is one that deserves to be known more widely today.

**** 1/2 (the same score I gave it the first time round)

A few nice lines captured for posterity:

- "I came to my sense after the first unthinking transports of rapture."
- "But my own powers are failing though I have used them to my utmost and not without fruit."
-  "He (Schlemihl's dog Figaro) sprang backwards towards me in transports of innocent and extravagant joy."
 
Schlemihl is being offered a trade: give me your soul and your shadow is returned...choices, choices

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