Die schwarze Spinne

Die schwarze Spinne An NYRB Classics OriginalIt is a sunny summer Sunday in a remote Swiss village and a christening is being celebrated at a lovely old farmhouse One of the guests notes an anomaly in the fabric of the
  • Title: Die schwarze Spinne
  • Author: Jeremias Gotthelf
  • ISBN: 9783872910509
  • Page: 350
  • Format: None
  • Die schwarze Spinne
    An NYRB Classics OriginalIt is a sunny summer Sunday in a remote Swiss village, and a christening is being celebrated at a lovely old farmhouse One of the guests notes an anomaly in the fabric of the venerable edifice a blackened post that has been carefully built into a trim new window frame Thereby hangs a tale, one that, as the wise old grandfather who has lived allAn NYRB Classics OriginalIt is a sunny summer Sunday in a remote Swiss village, and a christening is being celebrated at a lovely old farmhouse One of the guests notes an anomaly in the fabric of the venerable edifice a blackened post that has been carefully built into a trim new window frame Thereby hangs a tale, one that, as the wise old grandfather who has lived all his life in the house proceeds to tell it, takes one chilling turn after another, while his audience listens in appalled silence Featuring a cruelly overbearing lord of the manor and the oppressed villagers who must render him service, an irreverent young woman who will stop at nothing, a mysterious stranger with a red beard and a green hat, and, last but not least, the black spider, the tale is as riveting and appalling today as when Jeremias Gotthelf set it down than a hundred years ago The Black Spider can be seen as a parable of evil in the heart or of evil at large in society Thomas Mann saw it as foretelling the advent of Nazism , or as a vision, anticipating H P Lovecraft, of cosmic horror There s no question, in any case, that it is unforgettably creepy.
    Die schwarze Spinne By Jeremias Gotthelf,
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    About " Jeremias Gotthelf "

  • Jeremias Gotthelf

    He was born at Murten, where his father was pastor In 1804 the home was moved to Utzenstorf, a village in the Bernese Emmental Here young Bitzius grew up, receiving his early education and consorting with the boys of the village, as well as helping his father to cultivate his glebe In 1812 he went to complete his education at Bern He was a founding member of the Student Society Zofingia, the second oldest fraternity in Switzerland founded in 1819.In 1820 he was received as a pastor In 1821 he visited the University of G ttingen, but returned home in 1822 to act as his father s assistant On his father s death 1824 he went in the same capacity to Herzogenbuchsee, and later to Bern 1829 Early in 1831 he went as assistant to the aged pastor of the village of L tzelfl h, in the Lower Emmental between Langnau and Burgdorf , being soon elected his successor 1832 and marrying one of his granddaughters 1833.He spent the rest of his life in L tzelfl h, where he died, leaving three children the son was a pastor, the two daughters married pastors During the 1840s, he steadfastly opposed radicalism and secularism and placed a conservative emphasis on piety and ecclesiastical authority There are lives of Bitzius by C Manuel, in the Berlin edition of Bitzius s works Berlin, 1861 , and by J Ammann in vol i Bern, 1884 of the Sammlung Bernischer Biographien.He started writing late in life His first work, the Der Bauernspiegel, oder die Lebensgeschichte des Jeremias Gotthelf, appeared in 1837 It purported to be the life of Jeremias Gotthelf, narrated by himself, and this name was later adopted by the author as his pen name It sketches the development of a poor country orphan boy, but is not an autobiography It is a living picture of Bernese or, strictly speaking, Emmental village life, true to nature, and not attempting to gloss over its defects and failings It is written like the rest of his works in German, but contains expressions from the Bernese dialect of the Emmental, though Bitzius was not like Auerbach a peasant by birth, but belonged to the educated classes, so that he reproduces what he had seen and learnt, and not what he had himself personally experienced The book was a great success, as it was a picture of real life, and not of fancifully beribboned eighteenth century villagers Henceforth Bitzius was a prolific writer, and in the last 18 years of his life became one of the important novelists not only of Switzerland but of the German language in general.Commemorative plaque at his birth house in Murten MoratHis best known work is without doubt the short novel The Black Spider Die schwarze Spinne , a semi allegorical tale of the plague in form of the titular monster that devastates a Swiss valley community first as a result of a pact with the devil born out of need and a second time due to the moral decay that releases the monster from its prison again.Among his later tales are the Leiden und Freuden eines Schulmeisters 1838 1839 , Uli der Knecht The story of a poor peasant laborer who develops into the owner of a prosperous farm 1841 , with its continuation, Uli der P chter 1849 , Anne B bi Jow ger 1843 1844 , K thi, die Gro mutter 1846 , Die K serei in der Vehfreude 1850 , and the Erlebnisse eines Schuldenbauers 1853 He also published several volumes of shorter tales.His works were issued in 24 vols at Berlin, 1856 1861, while 10 vols giving the original text of each story, were issued at Bern, 1898 1900.


  • This short Swiss novel from 1842 a novella really has much to recommend it It tells a simple compelling story of how the devil, in the form of a large lethal spider, was allowed to prey upon a peaceful community, twice first through an actual pact with a proud woman, and much later after the initial evil had been contained though not eliminated through a community s complacency and the lack of a healthy respect for evil itself The novella s structure, consisting of a frame story and two internal [...]

  • Published for spooooky month well, that was creepyis is a tiny little novella about great big evil starts off all lovely, describing the natural beauty of a remote swiss village you know the type Above the mountains rose the sun, shining in limpid majesty down into a welcome but narrow valley, where it woke to joyous life creatures that had been created to take pleasure in the sunshine of their daysc, etc.but of course, like any good horror novel, this bucolic paradise masks ancient horrors.but [...]

  • I thought this was incredibly charming and atmospheric, despite the fact that it s essentially the sort of simple religious allegory that normally makes me run a mile The Christian symbolism is indeed the whole point the author was a nineteenth century village pastor who regarded his fiction as a kind of extended sermon And yet his sense of pacing and the detail of his descriptions just make it such a pleasure to read for all kinds of unexpected reasons.The bucolic early scenes of life in a tiny [...]

  • Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*

    My final buddy read for Spooktober, with none other than the lovely Heather Commencing October 28 Oh look, a gif to give EVERYONE nightmares except Synsthesia who loves spiders shudders 3.5 StarsBlack Spider and I got off to a shaky start, there were a few word choices early on that made me seriously question the translator s comprehension of writing style However, once I got into the story this fell away and became much better with the one notable exception of an EXTREME overuse of the word vai [...]

  • The Black Spider is my second choice for German Literature Month germanlitmonth It was first published in German in 1842, and was written by a Swiss pastor The edition I read was translated in 1958 by H.M.Waidson There is a newer translation available, which is reputed to be much better, though I haven t read it for comparison.In many ways, The Black Spider is quite a simple religious allegorical tale, but it does have some genuinely terrifying and horrific moments The novella starts off with a [...]

  • A cautionary morality tale which will be appreciated by the religious minded It s surprising that this 1842 novella feels so modern,maybe cause the elemental struggle between the forces of good evil has an evergreen,eternal aspect to it.The quaint,charming village of Emmental,reminded me of the atmosphere in Haneke s The White Ribbon in that how the diabolical is always bubbling below the surface calm.If you ve enjoyed Hawthorne s Young Goodman Brown Stephen King has called it his favourite horr [...]

  • The spider is an allegory for the decay of morality or maybe the Black Plague , and Swiss food sounds delicious.I d always considered spiders overrated as a symbol of evil, although this might be because I m from a place so cold that the poisonous ones don t survive Mosquitoes, on the other hand, are the spawn of Satan.

  • The Devil seals the promise with a kiss And when the promise is broken, the cheek where he placed his lips starts to burn A black mound forms Legs crack out of the skin And the black spider is loose An allegory, perhaps and a crackling good read.

  • No question that this is a violent, terrible, yet entertaining, story Written in 1842, and despite reflecting attitudes common to the era about women and class, it is as scary and horrific and disgusting as any modern horror novel Baby sacrifices Large man eating venomous spiders Earthquakes Ominous lightening and thunder storms Evil, dissipated sadistic aristocrats Impoverished tortured serfs Vicious servants Pervasive smell of sulfur Priests in combat Quote from the book Christine tried to com [...]

  • I have a general rule that, once I have started to read a book, I must continue with it to the end before I can claim the right to comment on it In the case of The Black Spider , I was beginning to get depressed by page 20 of this classic early nineteenth century Swiss horror novella One fifth of the tale gone and I had been treated to a lengthy, rather dull and wholesome account of a christening feast for the child of a prosperous Swiss peasant circa 1842.But Jeremias Gotthelf knows what he is [...]

  • A classic in horror literature first published in 1842 , The Black Spider still manages to provoke dread in readers While rather bombastic, this review written in 2013 pretty much sums up some of my issues with religion, faith, and belief It s perhaps odd and ironic that horror fiction can elicit strong spiritual and faith responses in me, but I ve always found it to be true Then again, horror stories have always been some of the most moralistic and religiously pedantic stories Just look at the [...]

  • Very tough book to give a star rating to, but if I must, lets say a 3.75 rating not rounded up Not that there are spoilers here, because there aren t, but if you re settling in to read this book, you may want to be able to form your own ideas about what you re reading, so wait until you ve finished it yourself before reading what I ve written Actually, now that I think about it, I m going to mark the rest of this review as SPOILER ALERT so no one can be pissed if they think I ve ruined things be [...]

  • Jeremias Gotthelf s writing had profound influence on a young Friedrich D rrenmatt In a high school essay cited by his biographer, Peter R edi, D rrenmatt wrote, Dieser Mann war ein DICHTER Es war ein ber hmter Dichter, das hei t ein zwar noch nicht bekannter Poet, der aber die besten Aussichten hatte dass, gesetzt der Fall, wenn man sein Gesammelte Werke im Jahre 3399 in einem Kehrichtk bel finden w rde, er doch noch unter den Gelehrten jener fernen Zeiten Ansehen und Bedeutung finden w rde Thi [...]

  • Buddy read with the spookalicious KarlyA NEVER FEAR, THERE WILL BE NO SPIDER GIFS IN THIS REVIEW.Everyone knows you don t agree to anything with the devil The only time that worked out was in a Charlie Daniels song, and Bedazzled but Brendan Fraser had to go through a lot of crap first, so there The people in this story are God fearing enough to know that, but circumstances being what they were, shit happened It was the knights fault Those stupid asshole knights wanting their stupid asshole birc [...]

  • I m tempted to say that the best thing about The Black Spider is its cover in the new NYRB edition Originally published in 1842 by the Swiss pastor Jeremias Gotthelf and translated several times into English, this classic horror story was one of Thomas Mann s favorite tales and played a role in the composition of Doctor Faustus For me, it was a bit flat despite its bizarre arachno theology But however mechanistic its plot, the framing device of the fiction held my attention all the way through I [...]

  • A novella length piece written by a Swiss pastor in 1842 that initially seems to serve as a religious parable than anything else unlikely choice as a Top 100 Horror selection, one would think And yet, there it is, Jeremias Gotthelf s The Black Spider or, as it was titled in its original German, Die schwarze Spinne , holding pride of place in Jones Newman s excellent overview volume Horror 100 Best Books In his article in that volume, author Thomas Tessier refers to the novella as one of those r [...]

  • Tw spiders gifThe moral of this short story is don t make deals with the devil It will cost you your soul and your descendents souls, possibly.My personal interpretation If you are gonna make deals with the devil, don t think you can pull a fast one on him It will cost you your soul and your descendents souls, possibly.Sins of the father and all that.I enjoyed this gothic tale It was a short, well translated story If you are scared of spiders, you might want to skip this one.

  • Jeremias Gotthelf was a Swiss pastor with an obvious Old Testament view of hellfire and damnation His vision of Satan is truly skin crawling I cheered for the spider as it decimated the village Go black spider, go It was a serious book, I m not a very serious reviewer

  • This review is based on NYRB edition translated by Susan Bernofsky.What a fantastic little Halloween read This story, written before 1842 when it was first translated into English, is a combination of The Devil and Daniel Webster and Arachnophobia It begins with a christening feast in which one of the guests notices an unusual post in the host s home and questions the grandfather about it The grandfather reluctantly assents and tells a tale that begins six centuries earlier when there were castl [...]

  • First time that I am the first person to rate this novella A story about cruel knights, their peasants and the devil There is also a headstrong female, one of the wives who thinks she can trick the devil Who do you think won Oh and if you hate spiders this book will probably give you nightmares.

  • To hell with being an arachnophobe Let me set everything aside and praise this simply fantastic read It s been too damn long since I have come across something that reads like a folk taleWait, a Folk tale With that hideous cover Who am I kidding Well, honestlyNO ONE It IS a folk tale.d it s wrapped up in one of the most inconspicuous yet delicious settinga baptismal feastDo not hazard a guess as to how a spider and baptism could be relatedyou might do a better job at picturing the dark side of t [...]

  • This novella took me four days to read, which makes no sense because it really is not that long In less busy days, it s the sort of thing I should have been able to polish off in one sitting, but life has not been that great to me lately, so it took a bit longer than necessary.And as a result, I think, I had trouble connecting with the story.Written in the mid 19th century, it s that typical sort of allegorical good vs eveeil thing that comes up a lot in literature of its time During a christeni [...]

  • A horror story grounded in an authentic belief in Christianity been a while since we ve seen one of those , the plot is simple but it works all the same small town in Switzerland makes a deal with the devil, the devil makes them pay for it Horror genre fiction generally tends not to age that well but this one still mostly worked for me, there are some disturbing little bits and the pre Freudian erotic satanic frisson is a lot of fun Keep.

  • Above the mountains rose the sun, shining in limpid majesty down into a welcoming but narrow valley where it woke to joyous life creatures that had been created to take pleasure in the sunshine of their days.Readers are right to feel they are being set up by this opening sentence Jeremias Gotthelf s The Black Spider is one of the great horror tales of the nineteenth century He maintains his bucolic tone for the third of his novella There is to be a baptism this day A feast must be prepared, neig [...]

  • This was a really quick and enjoyable read, with surprisingly horrific imagery for a novella published in 1842 Despite it s inventive gruesomeness, along with what is obviously a very good translation, I can t rate it higher than 3 stars, because it s much of a morality parable than a proper novella and a really heavy handed one at times This is not terribly surprising, given that the author was a pastor, as well as a member of the school of early German gothic that was inspired by the then rec [...]

  • First, this translation is excellent, especially the descriptions When I saw how old the work was, I wondered if I could scrounge up a free translation, but I m glad I held out for this new one Second this is creeeeepy It opens with a long description of the preparations for a christening and it all seems rather idyllic And then the internal narrative begins Time for grandpa to give you nightmares Gahh in fact, it did give me a nightmare last night, which makes me want to bump this up to five st [...]

  • A solid four stars for this book I loved the creepiness It is about good versus evil but no spoiler here for how it ends A great read for Halloween time Also, I m not a big fan of spiders and am even less so now The book is short so you can get through it fairly quickly It is also a very enjoyable read Just hope you aren t reading it late at night and happen to see a spider approaching.

  • Jaja, die Gem tlichkeit des Biedermeiers Das B se platzt einer B uerin in Form schwarzer Spinnen aus dem Gesicht, bis diese selbst zur Spinne wird, und der heuchlerischen, gottesl sterlichen Dorfbev lkerung stirbt das Vieh weg Zum Gl ck gibt es aber eine devote Mutter und einen Typen namens Christian klar , die es mit dem B sen aufnehmen Das Verr ckte ist, dass diese moralinsaure Horror Story sehr atmosph risch, stimmungsvoll und gruselig ausgestaltet ist und deshalb einfach unglaublich viel Spa [...]

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