Author-Christoffel Hans Jacob Grimmelshausen Von
Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen (1621-1676) was born in the Wetterau town of Gelnhausen, an area devastated by the Thirty Years' War. Late in life, Grimmelshausen wrote Simplicius Simplicissimus, which became an immediate and overwhelming success, initiating the German novel tradition. It was widely imitated and existed in many versions and languages. Very little is known of Grimmelhausen's life and it is hard to know how much of his novel is based on his own experiences and how much on tales he had heard of the war.
J.A. Underwood is a distinguished translator of German. For Penguin Classics he has also translated Walter Benjamin's One-Way Street and Other Writings and Sigmund Freud's Interpreting Dreams.
Kevin Cramer is the author of The Thirty Years' War and German Memory in the Nineteenth Century. He is associate professor of history at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis.
Description-The first great German novel - an extraordinary recreation of the horrors of the Thirty Years War, written by a veteran of the conflict
First published in 1668, Simplicissimus tells the picaresque, brilliantly described adventures of a boy swept up in the Thirty Years War and the terrible things that he experiences. Some of it is realistic, some fantastical but the overall effect is an unmatched picture of Europe torn apart by an endless, sadistic, futile war from which nobody can escape. The Adventures of Simplicius Simplicissimus was rediscovered in twentieth-century Germany where the book's grim message as a story of war in all of its horror and absurdity resonated and the book is now established as one of the essential works of German literature.
- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (9 October 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780241309865
- ISBN-13: 978-0241309865