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The Devil's Elixir (1815/16) - E. T. A. Hoffmann

First published: 1815 - 1816

Related: E. T. A. Hoffmann - 1800s literature - German literature

The Devil's Elixir (1815/16) - E. T. A. Hoffmann [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


On the motif of the doppelgänger in the era of the ghost stories and Gothic novels. E.T.A. Hoffmann wrote two famous novellas with the motif of the doppelgänger, The Devil's Elixir (1814) and Princess Brambilla (1820). Edgar Allen Poe, too, tells his version of the doppelgänger story in William Wilson (1839).

(The Devil's Elixir, 2 volumes, 1815/16)

German romanticism seems to have interacted with the Gothic craze in England by fairly direct translation. Hoffmann's first literary work, and only completed novel Die Elixiere des Teufels (The Devil's Elixir) was written in 1816, and translated into English in 1824, thence to a stage production (by Fitzball) with the alactricity characterising the period (as far as decadent young monks were concerned, anyhow). Hoffmann can, even in his short stories, be described as gothic; but if you take the term 'gothic' in it's literal sense this is hardly surprising. --http://www.tabula-rasa.info/DarkAges/Hoffmann.html [Apr 2006]

See also: 1810s

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