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Old 14th December 2011, 03:16 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Re: The E. T. A. Hoffmann Thread

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&p...2YTEzYWQ&pli=1

This appears to be a nice, readable text of "The Mines of Falun." Took a little hunting to find this, but it seemed like it had to be out there online somewhere!
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Old 19th December 2011, 03:28 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Re: The E. T. A. Hoffmann Thread

I've now reread "The Mines of Falun," but I'm not sure that there's much interest right now in discussing Hoffmann. This seemed more of a weird story rather than a strange story to me (cf. message #41 above)!
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Old 19th December 2011, 08:27 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Re: The E. T. A. Hoffmann Thread

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I'm not sure that there's much interest right now in discussing Hoffmann.
I don't know if there is much in terms of number of potential contributors but I'm still willing, personally. But true on the "right now" - I haven't read it yet and may not get to it until after the holidays. (I'm reading other things now and should probably even put those aside and get busy.) But I'll post back when I have read it.
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Old 17th January 2012, 08:08 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Re: The E. T. A. Hoffmann Thread

I propose that, in a week, people who are interested meet here to discuss Hoffmann's story "The Golden Pot." The text is available online (see below) for those who don't have other access to it.

http://www.horrormasters.com/Text/a0355.pdf
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Old 17th January 2012, 08:36 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Re: The E. T. A. Hoffmann Thread

Did we give up on "The Mines of Falun"? I haven't read it yet but could possibly try it tomorrow or the next day. "The Golden Pot" looks a little long to me (79 pp in my book, compared to Falun's 24) and I'm not actually in the Hoffmann zone, but just squoze "The Sandman" in to play along with the thread.
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Old 18th January 2012, 02:52 AM   #51 (permalink)
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Re: The E. T. A. Hoffmann Thread

As far as I could tell, "we" gave up on a discussion of "Mines"; and I know that I personally let go of the idea of a discussion of the story, though I did read it. If anyone wants to discuss it anytime here, but perhaps especially between now and time for "Golden Pot," that would be great.

I'm tempted to say, about "Mines," that there seems to have been a golden age of about a century and a half in which writers of science fiction and fantasy imagined strange subterranean realms, with this story being an early one. Here are some others that come to mind:

apparently the end of Poe's Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym

the goblin caves in George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin

the subterranean portions of Kor in Rider Haggard's She -- blazing mummies and all

Lovecraft's "The Mound" (this was nominally a ghost-written story, but my impression is that it is basically HPL)

O'Neill's Land Under England (a little-known classic -- if that is not an oxymoron -- well regarded by Tolkien)

The extended underground sequence in C. S. Lewis's beautiful Perelandra

I'll suggest that the end of the underground realm fantasy came with Tolkien and his Moria, in The Fellowship of the Ring (preceded by the portion of The Hobbit beneath the Misty Mountains, where Gollum lurked). But if a book for young readers may be admitted, there's Alan Garner's Wierdstone of Brisingamen, with that dreadful bit underground when the child is stuck in the tight underground tube -- brrrrrr!

Was Wyndham's ("Harris's") Secret People any good? I've never read it.
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Old 18th January 2012, 08:18 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Re: The E. T. A. Hoffmann Thread

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As far as I could tell, "we" gave up on a discussion of "Mines"; and I know that I personally let go of the idea of a discussion of the story, though I did read it. If anyone wants to discuss it anytime here, but perhaps especially between now and time for "Golden Pot," that would be great.
Okay - I probably won't get to "Golden Pot", but I'll try to give "Mines" a go before then.

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I'm tempted to say, about "Mines," that there seems to have been a golden age of about a century and a half in which writers of science fiction and fantasy imagined strange subterranean realms, with this story being an early one.
I'm not sure how big a deal it was in the pulps but I'm sure there are many more examples than I can think of. I know Hamilton had a couple of "spooky green phosphorescent underground cavern" weird tales and Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser spend some time underground. These are usually combined with underground rivers or lakes. And, of course, probably different in being so thoroughgoing but Burroughs' great Pellucidar was a subterranean realm. So much of a realm that it didn't feel quite so "underground" as most examples, though. Hm. And then, long after your target area, but I recently read Martin's "Dark, Dark Were the Tunnels" which puts me in mind of many apocalyptic stories such as Kessel's "A Clean Escape", even, though that latter also doesn't have the definitive "feel". ("Tunnels" certainly does.) But many Strangelove-like bunker stories would qualify as a more modern variant.
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Old 20th January 2012, 07:11 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Re: The E. T. A. Hoffmann Thread

Well, look, let's hold off on beginning a discussion of "The Golden Pot" -- if anyone's interested & able to join in -- till the first of Feb.
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Old 27th January 2012, 02:59 AM   #54 (permalink)
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Re: The E. T. A. Hoffmann Thread

I probably won't be ready by Feb. 1 after all...
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Old 2nd February 2012, 03:45 AM   #55 (permalink)
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Re: The E. T. A. Hoffmann Thread

Yeah, I definitely won't. This is how I have books sitting on my shelves for a decade - it takes me a month or two to even read a short story sometimes.

I finally read "The Mines of Falun". I have to say (SPOILERS, of course) that some of the writing, such as when Torbern is first ensorcelling Elis Frobom (should have been spelled Elisfrobom, the way he's called that so often) is quite good in terms of metamorphosis - the stars of the sky into the glitter of ores in the roof of the earth - really fantastic. And yet the underground realm didn't come alive beyond that - it generally seemed like a hole in the ground, pretty much. And while I felt some sympathy for and complexity in the "Sandman" guy, this character did seem like a bit of a drip. I also couldn't get the worlds - sea and earth; above and below; true "comfortable" upstairs vs. combo nightmare/bliss downstairs - to really line up in meaningful orbits. It seems to cover some of the same turf as "Sandman", but maybe less well - same weirdos popping up into a drip's life and the same pointless awkward romance that ends in destruction. Actually, there's a bit of the "weirdo pops into the story and swerves our rudderless protagonist" in all three stories I've read, though "Ritter Gluck" was fun in that regard. "Gluck" and this and really all three have these moments of Dickian "reality melts and are we going deeper into weirdness or ascending back to a semblance of normalcy" but never quite go fully Palmer Eldritch (or generally get back to truly solid ground). Just kind of hovering.

The more I read and think, the more I think what j.d. said Lovecraft said was on target.

Also becoming less sure of my translation. I felt this had a little bit too much of a monosyllabic, metronomic rhythm to the prose with a bit of sing-song fairy-tale voice - maybe something like it is intentional but this felt like a bit much. But I glanced at the Gutenberg translation and, while it seems more fluid, it seems all kinds of messed up otherwise. (That's a problem with foreign-language works - it's like listening to music with construction work going on or watching an old TV that's never had its screen cleaned - always a sense of something in the way - even if the translation is perfect, I can't know it is, so I always wonder.)

Anyway - still interesting and still with a great element or two, but less interesting to me than "Sandman".
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Old 3rd November 2012, 02:59 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Re: The E. T. A. Hoffmann Thread

I'll be reviving this thread with comments on some further Hoffmann stories. It would be nice to have some company. I look to read and comment on "Doge and Dogaressa" soon. I don't know yet if it is fantastic or not.
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Old 12th November 2012, 07:57 PM   #57 (permalink)
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Re: The E. T. A. Hoffmann Thread

I managed to finish Hoffmann's "Doge and Dogaressa," but this proved to be a tedious short novel of Italian intrigue that I won't read again, I'm sure. It has a slight suggestion of supernaturalism at the end, the idea that the Venetian sea avenges itself for the death of the old man who was "wedded" to it by pitching a ring into the water. I trust the next story will be better -- "The Golden Pot."
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Old 13th November 2012, 06:05 AM   #58 (permalink)
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Re: The E. T. A. Hoffmann Thread

"The Golden Pot", though having much of Hoffmann's quirkiness, is definitely an interesting little read.....
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Old 21st December 2012, 02:39 PM   #59 (permalink)
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Re: The E. T. A. Hoffmann Thread

I finished "The Golden Thread." The editor's introduction (Oxford World's Classics paperback) helped me to see that the bizarre transformations and so on were more than improvisations. It seems a bit "Hermetic"!
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Old 22nd December 2012, 04:29 AM   #60 (permalink)
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Re: The E. T. A. Hoffmann Thread

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I finished "The Golden Thread." The editor's introduction (Oxford World's Classics paperback) helped me to see that the bizarre transformations and so on were more than improvisations. It seems a bit "Hermetic"!
You mean the Golden Pot? Anyway I better get my skates on and read my Hoffman collection so that I can contribute something to this thread in the New Tear...which the Mayans I'm happy to report managed not to derail....

Aside from the classic Tales of Hoffman, I also have Golden Pot and other stories so this should be enough to keep me going...as well as a couple of other stories as I recall.
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