Chamisso: Peter Schlemihls Wundersame Geschichte (Lesen Leicht Gemacht - Level 2) (German Edition)

by Adelbert von Chamisso

Paperback, 2000




Klett (Ernst) Verlag,Stuttgart (2000), Paperback, 80 pages


Unsuccessful in his endeavours, the young and naive Peter Schlemihl seals a pact with the Devil in which he exchanges his shadow for the purse of Fortunatus, thereby gaining everlasting riches. But when he is ridiculed, persecuted and hated for being different from other men, he realizes that poverty is easier to bear than the loss of his peace of mind.Originally written as a cautionary tale for the children of Chamisso's patron, Peter Schlemihl was hailed by contemporaries as a masterpiece with a wide adult appeal, and continues to capture imaginations today.



Original publication date


User reviews

LibraryThing member hbergander
Have a look to our tomcat, who watches over our collection of favourite books: The shadow of Sir Schnurrli is still intact. I could ask him, if he would agree to exchange his shadow against a never empty feeding bowl with daily changing dishes and delicious mountain water besides. I am sure, his
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answer would be: « Who bothers about shadows? »
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LibraryThing member MSarki
I have no idea why Italo Calvino liked this book so much. Perhaps there was not too much to read at the time and he was desperate for anything. I am not a fan of Peter Wortsman either any longer as I feel he takes too many liberties in his translations. These writers would not speak as Wortsman has
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them speak. Plus, they would not as well be creeps and sexual deviants such as he has a tendency to become in his own writings composed around the urinal.
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LibraryThing member passion4reading
While seeking patronage with a local squire after a long journey, Peter Schlemihl encounters a mysterious man in grey who appears to be able to fulfil everyone's wishes. About to leave the squire's party, Peter is approached by the stranger and offered the purse of Fortunatus with its inexhaustible
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supply of gold in exchange for his shadow. In his folly Peter agrees, but he soon finds cause to regret his impetuous decision.

A classic of 19th-century German Romanticism, this morality tale was written for the children of the author's patron, and it shows – the tone is very much that of a fairy tale intended for the moral instruction of children, very popular at the time it was written. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but the story's characters remain one dimensional and there is virtually no character progression, though it is interesting to note that the narrator of the story, Peter Schlemihl himself, addresses himself directly to the author, as if in corroboration of the veracity of the events. Towards the end the plot takes a rather unexpected direction when I was hoping for some sort of resolution to Peter's dilemma, and although the ending feels unsatisfactory to me, there is a message to be found.
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LibraryThing member starbox
Our hero, Peter Schlemihl, is a poor young man, in town to get an introduction to a local aristocrat. But at their meeting, he encounters a strange man in grey - a man with capacious pockets, bringing forth everything the nobles want, while they seem to barely notice him...
In a twist on Faust, the
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grey man offers Peter limitless exchange for his shadow.
It all seemed a bit silly after this. Having thought "big deal! he won't miss a shadow!" it turns out to be a vital possession. Without it, he is cut off from society; his girlfriend's parents- initially so thrilled at a wealthy match- make her break their engagement, and he only darews venture out under dark. And then the Devil returns to offer to return the exchange for his soul.
All a bit silly; the ending, where Peter (like the author) embarks on a life of travel and botanizing, seems somewhat unconnected.
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LibraryThing member kslade
Short fantasy-adventure German novella. Not bad.


½ (102 ratings; 3.6)
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