Read L'avventuroso Simplicissimus by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen Ugo Dèttore Ugo, Bianca Emilio Bonfanti Online


Dal 1669 a oggi, L'avventuroso Simplicissimus è stato oggetto, oltre che di letture appassionate, di innumerevoli studi filosofici e letterari. Vi si narrano le bizzarre peripezie di Simplicius, sorta di teutonico picaro in balia di un destino maligno nell'Europa feroce della guerra dei Trent'anni. Ben lontana dalla tradizionale immagine del "libro popolare" scritto da unDal 1669 a oggi, L'avventuroso Simplicissimus è stato oggetto, oltre che di letture appassionate, di innumerevoli studi filosofici e letterari. Vi si narrano le bizzarre peripezie di Simplicius, sorta di teutonico picaro in balia di un destino maligno nell'Europa feroce della guerra dei Trent'anni. Ben lontana dalla tradizionale immagine del "libro popolare" scritto da un ingenuo poeta contadino, la moderna analisi critica ci restituisce la figura di un Grimmelshausen colto, acuto osservatore della società sulla quale esercita la sua formidabile arma satirica. Quadri allegorici, visioni e utopie si intrecciano a facezie, superstizioni, contemptus mundi in un affresco grottesco di straordinario vigore e attualità, che fa del Simplicissimus un'opera capitale del Barocco tedesco....

Title : L'avventuroso Simplicissimus
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788804360377
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 575 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

L'avventuroso Simplicissimus Reviews

  • BillKerwin
    2018-11-12 16:58

    This 17th century picaresque novel is the first person account of the adventures of Simplicius, a young man growing up amid the violent disruptions of the Thirty Years War. He begins as a country bumpkin, but in the course of his journey takes up many professions, roles, and disguises: apprentice hermit, stable boy, court fool, common soldier (on both sides of the conflict) guerrilla commander, freebooter, sneak thief, lover, husband, masquer, adulterer, female prostitute, merchant, world traveler, wealthy noble, and...back to hermit again.The author doesn't seem to be much concerned with character development. Although our hero tells us at the end of the narrative that he has become disillusioned with the world, we would have never inferred this from his actions or his tone, for he seems much the same as before, his disillusionment little more than another mask. The novel, however, makes up for its lack of character development through its precise, inventive narrative, crowded with incident and teeming with life.Perhaps the most impressive thing about this book is the way it can move abruptly from homespun humor to bloody battle raid, from fart jokes (of which there are many) to the torture of civilians, from rogues' tales of trickery to a mock scholastic lecture and then on to a genuine encounter with the occult. Some of this is just part of the picaresque design (or lack of it), but it also seems to me that the author wishes to communicate something about the arbitrary violence of war, that it not only encourages randomness but also deprives the person who is immersed in it of the ability to be either surprised or shocked. This book is uneven, and I never wished it longer. Many scenes, however (the war atrocities, the "school" for professional fools, the witches sabbath, and Simplicius' encounter with the mermen who live beneath a local lake) were vivid, memorable and amusing.If someone asked me where they could learn what it was like in war-torn Germany during 17th century, I would without hesitation send them to this book. And I don't even like fart jokes.

  • K.D. Absolutely
    2018-11-09 19:58

    This is one of the ancient books in the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die that I really liked. Originally written in German and published in 1668 by German author Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen (1671-1676), the autobiographical book is considered as the first adventure novel in the German language and greatest German novel of the 17th century. Its backdrop is the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) that was said to be the longest and the most destructive conflict in European history. It was also one of the longest continuous wars in modern history. The original issue in this war was the conflict between Protestants and Roman Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire. However, it spread throughout Europe with other issues involved and with Germany being the most devastated in the end.The story is about a boy baptized by a hermit this name Simplicius Simplicissimus because the hermit thinks that he is simple-minded. Simplicius is 11-y/o at the start of the story, an orphan and a witness of the murder of his loved ones in the hands of bandits. The narration is episodic, does not have a big cohesive theme and similar to the language used by John Bunyan in 1678 religious work, The Pilgrim's Progress (3 stars). However, this one is a picaresque novel, i.e., it is realistic yet funny most of the time and Simplicius is a roguish poor hero who lives by his wits in a corrupt society. Picaresque genre originated in sixteenth century Spain and flourished throughout Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Spanish novel that started this genre was La vida del Lazarillo de Tormes (3 stars). Picaresque novels or those with picaresque elements are still being written even up to now. Recent examples of these are Iris Murdoch's Under the Net (1 star) and Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger (1 star). Well, this is my first time to have given a 4-star rating to a picaresque novel. Maybe I am truly maturing when it comes to appreciating different literary genres. I think my main issue with picaresque before was its being episodic.I have many favorite scenes here but the one that really left a mark on me is that scene when the Thirty Years' War is being described. I think this is a good book if you want to read something very descriptive on how was it to be in that war. The weapons were crude and primitive but you'd be amazed how much you can visualize it with the vivid description written by the author. As you can see in the dates mentioned in the first paragraph of this review, Grimmelshausen did not really experience that war. For me, the ability to describe the war vividly was proof enough for his great capability as a writer.

  • Jan-Maat
    2018-11-08 19:56

    A lad is given a set of bagpipes, and the way he plays them would kill a wolf (if it had musical taste), and is sent out to mind the sheep. In hindsight, the narrator thinks, wasn't this the best upbringing parents could give a child, seeing as King David also started out in life as a shepherd?So begin the adventures of Simplicissimus, an early novel written in the seventeenth-century, set during the thirty years war which soon sweeps up the narrator and carries him into the conflict. Catholic or Protestant seem to be much the same, occasionally organised banditry rather than grand strategy or big battles is what we see as Simplicissimus grows up.It has a certain type of humour, as in the men who realise that their hangovers prove how far the German nation has degenerated since clearly their grandsires could drink all night and have a clear head the next morning, but also a certain degree of darkness as when the same men realise it might be fun to trick the young Simplicissimus that he has died and been reborn as a cow by getting the boy blind drunk and then stitching him up inside the skin of a calf.As a boy-calf playing the part of a Fool the narrator becomes a truth-teller. A figure on the margin who can point out the absurdities of life to those who have power and authority, though he does go on to escape and take a more active part in the ongoing war.I read a different, older translation to the one here on Goodreads. Grimmelshausen wasn't immune to the lure of writing sequels and the version I found had abbreviated versions of some of the continuations of the story including Simplicissimus', as far I remember, not very good adventures in Russia. It's the earliest part of the story which is the strongest and most interesting.

  • Yiannis
    2018-11-08 16:02

    Εξαιρετικό βιβλίο σε εξαιρετική μετάφραση. Αναγνωστική απόλαυση.

  • Οδυσσέας Μουζίλης
    2018-10-28 22:05

    Τόσα αστέρια όσες και οι φορές που άλλαξε η τύχη του Σιμπλίκιου μέσα στο βιβλίο! :p

  • Miriam
    2018-11-03 14:56

    In this 17th century picaresque novel Von Grimmelshausen presents the horrors of war through the eyes of a rural simpleton, who witnesses all the cruelties and evils that humans can inflict on one another without understanding them. I don't remember whose translation I read, but it was certainly pre-1995. Mine had a pretty good vernacular style, which I think is important to the effect of the book, which is at once satirical, sad, humorous, and depressing.

  • Sherwood Smith
    2018-10-20 22:03

    Rereading this after many years is like encountering a massive rewrite. When I first struggled through it in German class, I knew the general facts of the Thirty Years War, but as usual, from the top--the various Kings, Battles, Generals, Princes and Prelates involved.Grimmelshausen gives us a peasant's eye view of the war. One can see how German culture was being shaped by this disastrous war stretching out over a couple of generations. Simplicius's story begins with his ignorant childhood in the forest, when soldiers come and rape his mother, sister, and the milkmaid, and kill his father, slaughter all their animals, and burn down their house. The milkmaid staggers out of the barn, all disheveled, and tells the boy to run. The story is bawdy, gross, funny, harrowing, inspiring, instructive, ruminative, and gross by turns. Always sharply insightful, it demonstrates human habits and views that we share today--and then it steps sideways and gives us a glimpse into manners and views that seem quite alien.We also get plenty of advice, like on how best to get lice out of your clothes (bake them) and the etiquette of male servants picking fleas off their boss's wife. We get a closer look at banquets of the so-called great, and life at all levels. Also, how armies were organized, trained, and run.Think of this book as a mini series running for a season--it was enormously popular for many, many years. If you don't read German, get a good translation and unabridged so you get the breezy style and the details.

  • Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
    2018-11-14 16:53

    I told myself I am not reading, at the moment, any modern novel with its difficult style, convoluted plots and abstruse language which make my eyes redder than they already are. It has to be an old book written during those less sophisticated times when writers just write to tell stories and entertain. So I got this, written sometime the middle of the 17th century, originally in German, by a guy with a long name, Hans Jacob Christoph Von Grimmelshausen, a writer whose biography was said to be as shadowy and as elusive as that of Shakespeare, the work carrying an equally-long subtitle "Being the Description of the Life of a Strange Vagabond Named Melchior Sternfels Von Fuchshaim."Divided into short chapters I was into the third, amused by its antiquated tone (in English, but it must have been like that, too, in German), when I blinked. Then I blinked again. And again. I realized, that in a consistent monotone the narrator, then a boy of ten, is actually telling the story of how some bandit-like "troopers" had descended upon their household, ransacked the place, held captive his Dad, Mammy and sister Ursula, tortured their male hand, raped their maid, and took everything they can get.Some who reviewed this here at GR say the family members were massacred. But, spoiler alert, in the end you'll find out they were not. You'll find out too, spoiler alert, that the Dad and the Mammy were not really the boy's parents.The setting is supposed to be during the so-called Thirty Years War of which I know nothing about and too lazy to google what went on during these troubled part of history. But I am sure that it was about killings, with crude weapons like bows and arrows, catapults, spears and lances, axes and those stuffs you see in movies with knights and princesses on them. Anyway, reading this novel would give you the impression that the narrator lived in a world where pillaging towns, villages and kingdoms, soldiering or banditry are honorable professions and the best ways for young lads to advance in life.In any case, to get on with the story, the boy escaped and went deep into the forest. There he met a holy hermit who, spoiler alert, may have been his true father, but I am not telling. Not now, at least. Of course, the hermit later dies. For a while the boy lived there like a hermit himself, alone, contemplating in the wild the wise words and ways of the dearly departed saint.Now, at this point, the reader tries to predict how the story will go. Most readers would think: the boy will grow up handsome and strong, virtuous, a champion of the poor and the oppressed, and avenge, in the end, the wrong done to his family. Wrong! This boy, spoiler alert, will do all sorts of things and one of them would be to engage in banditry himself, killing for sport and money, waylaying innocent travelers and killing many of them. He'll become famous/notorious as the "Huntsman of Soest."(So recently I was watching a movie starring this stupid girl from Twilight now playing the role of Cinderella and paired with another handsome dude, not a vampire anymore, but a "Huntsman." I was telling myself, not original, you guys took this from Grimmelshausen, 17th century. )But back to the story, spoiler alert. Some reviewers say this novel portray the horrors of war. Hardly, in my opinion. The language of the narrator, insofar as violence is concerned, is much too sterilized and subdued to evoke any sense of horror upon the reader. The outstanding quality here, IMHO, is not in its portrayal of wars or conflicts, but the HUMOR in the principal protagonist's exploits. There are humor in how the boy came to be called Simplicissimus; on how he became rich, then poor, then rich again; how he was forced into marrying a maiden under the most ridiculous circumstances; how he--a brave warrior and a feared bandit--was cuckolded; how he became a widower, a treasure-finder, a vagabond; the lies and inventive strategems he resorted to to survive dangerous situations.Ah, even those which were not written, or had been omitted (in the edition that I read), can probably make you smile. Here, for instance, is Simplicissimus, during one of the stages in his life where he was at the top of the 17th century food chain, confessing in the third chapter:"...Nor will I deny that I gave myself up to the temptations of the Frenchwomen, that entertained me secretly and rewarded me with many gifts for my services, till in the end I was wearied of so vile and shameful a trade, and determined so to play the fool no longer."Thereupon follows this "NOTE"--"NOTE.--The fourth and fifth chapters of the original edition are devoted to a prolix and tedious account of an adventure--if adventure it may be called--of the kind hinted at in the last sentence of the third chapter. It is absolutely without connection with Simplicissimus's career as an actor in the war; has no interest as a picture of manners; and finally, can be read much better in Bandello, from whose much livelier story (vol. iv., novel 25, of the complete editions) it is copied. It is therefore omitted here."And here is the down-and-out Simplicissimus, with very little money, staying in a boarding house with a very stingy landlord--"The fellow (the landlord) had, as I have said, all manner of trades by which he scraped together money: he fed with his guests and not his guests with him, and he could have plentifully fed all his household with the money they brought him in, if the skinflint had so used it: but he fed us Swabian fashion and kept a mighty deal back. At the first I ate not with his guests but with his children and household, because I had little money with me: there were but little morsels, that were like Spanish fasting-food for my stomach, so long accustomed to the hearty Westphalian diet. No single good joint of meat did we ever get but only what had been carried away a week before from the students' table, pretty well hacked by them, and now, by reason of age, as grey as Methuselah. Over this the hostess (his wife), who must do the cooking herself (for he would pay for no maid to help her), poured a black, sour kind of gravy and bedevilled it with pepper. Yet though the bones were sucked so dry that one could have made chessmen of them, yet were they not yet done with, but were put into a vessel kept for the purpose, and when our miser had a sufficient quantity, they must be chopped up fine and all the fat that remained boiled out of them. I know not whether this was used for seasoning soup or greasing shoes. But on fast-days, of which there happened more than enough, and which were all religiously observed (for therein our host full of scruples), we had the run of our teeth on stinking herrings, salt cod, rotten stockfish, and other decayed marine creatures: for he bought all with regard to cheapness only, and grudged not the trouble to go himself to the fish-market and to pick up what the fishmongers themselves were about to throw away. Our bread was commonly black and stale, our drink a thin, sour beer which well nigh burst my belly, and yet must pass as fine old October. Besides all this, I learned from his German servant that in summer-time 'twas yet worse: for then the bread was mouldy, the meal full of maggots, and the best dishes were then a couple of radishes at dinner and a handful of salad at supper. So I asked him why did he stay with the old miser. He answered he was mostly travelling, and therefore must count more on the drink-money of travellers than on that mouldy old Jew, who he said would not even trust his wife and children with the cellar-key, for he grudge them even a drop of wine, and, in a word, was such a curmudgeon that his like would be hard to find; what I had seen up till now, said he, was nothing: if I did but stay there for a while I should perceive that he was not ashamed to skin a flea for its fat. Once, said he, the old fellow had brought home six pounds of tripe or chitterlings and put it in his larder: but to the great delight of his children the grating chanced to be open: so they tied a tablespoon to a stick and fished all the chitterlings out, which they then ate up half-cooked, in great haste, and gave out 'twas the cat had done it. That the old coal-counter would not believe, but caught the cat and weighed her, and found that, skin, hair and all, she weighed not so much as his chitterlings."Now as the fellow was so shameless a cheat, I desired no longer to eat at his private table but at that of the before-mentioned students, however much it might cost: and there 'twas certainly more royal fare; yet it availed me little, for all the dishes that were set before us were but half-cooked, which profited our host in two ways--first in fuel, which he thus saved, and secondly, because it spoiled our appetite: yea, methought he counted every mouthful we ate and scratched his head for vexation if ever we made a good meal. His wine, too, was well watered and not of a kind to aid digestion: and the cheese which was served at the end of every meal was hard as stone, and the Dutch butter so salty that none could eat more than half an ounce of it at breakfast; as for the fruit, it had to be carried to and fro till it was ripe and fit to eat; and if any of us grumbled thereat, he would begin a terrible abusing of his wife loud enough for us to hear: but secretly gave her orders to go on in the same old way."

  • Eric
    2018-11-18 20:01

    While the Empire was bleeding to death, the chancelleries of half Europe were intent on the detaching from one side or the other of a venal general, or the patching up of some partial armistice that might afford breathing-time to organise further mischief. It does not matter much to any one whether Wallenstein was knave or fool, but it did matter that the war crippled for two hundred years the finances, the agriculture, and the enterprise of the German people, and dealt a blow to their patriotism from the like of which few nations could have recovered.The Thirty Years’ War is a period in which I have recently gained interest, it being a war instigated by religious persecution and that quickly descended into political posturing and power struggle, ultimately tearing the continent of Europe apart. It resulted in the death of millions driving the already fragmented German regions into dissipation. Some areas showed as much as a 40% loss in their population. What began as a conflict between Protestants and Catholics resulted in the requisition of military force, then the justification and use of force for gain, whether territorial, political, or personal. The patchwork quilt of the Holy Roman Empire began to war with itself, using mercenary armies whose allegiance lay not in any ideal, but rather in profit, allowing the rulers and powers to air old grievances, posture for political strength, and to seize power through strength of arms. What interests me isn’t so much the actual war, but the complicated web of motivational factors that ultimately destroyed generations of Europeans and that carried on long after the initial dispute for religious rights. I began reading The Adventurous Simplicissimus because I wanted a personal viewpoint of the Thirty Years’ War before diving into the broader history of the period. The author, a German-born man named Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen, was a child when the war broke out, and was eventually kidnapped by Hessian forces while they pillaged his home. He was then caught up in the war itself, and grew to be a man during this rather hostile period. The Adventurous Simplicissimus, while occasionally containing obvious myths and fantasies such as witches and mermen, is inspired by his experiences in the war. The book, itself, is very episodic in nature, with its protagonist, Melchior Sternfels von Fuchshaim (later nick-named Simplicius Simplicissimus due to his simple nature) starting as a poverty-stricken lad separated from his family (in much the same way as the author), being then adopted by a hermit who teaches him language and religion (where he earns his Simplicius moniker), is eventually swept up into the war, learns a variety of fighting and survival skills, is servant to a number of lords and rulers, engages in combat for many factions (including a stint on both of the opposing Catholic and Protestant forces, along with a number of mercenaries), and undergoes a tremendous variety of fantastical experiences.But as to knowledge of things divine, none shall ever persuade me that any lad of my age in all Christendom could there beat me, for I knew nought of God or man, of Heaven or Hell, of angel or devil, nor could I discern between good and evil. […] Yea, I was perfect in ignorance that I knew not that I knew nothing.Because of this, the book is hard to summarize with any particular genre according to modern standards, though it falls into the category of picaresque novel wherein it, according to the Wikipedia definition, 'depicts the adventures of a roguish hero/heroine of low social class who lives by his or her wits in a corrupt society', which precisely describes Simplicissimus. It's an amalgamation of satire, philosophy, history, fantasy, drama, comedy, and tragedy; a mixed bag of somewhat random life experiences, told through the lens of a simple fool as he rises above his upbringing, is educated, becomes a warrior, is brought low and high, and earns a host of other descriptors, both good and bad. In a word; many did count me for a witless madman, while I held all for fools in their wits. And to my thinking this is still the way of the world: for each one is content with his own wits and esteemeth that he is of all men the cleverest.Having been written in the late 17th century, it is devoid of modern writing conventions, which will most certainly turn away a number of readers. Sentences run for great length, there’s no single narrative arc, and no established rhythm. The story goes, and is told, as the life of Simplicius is lived. One day he stumbles upon a hidden bandit fortune which makes him rich, the next he loses it in a matter of civil circumstance and misfortune; one day he’s fighting for a band of mercenaries, then is imprisoned and threatened unless he fights for a different mercenary outfit, which he does, then a similar occurrence results in him fighting for the Empire, then for the Swedes, then imprisoned, then released, then he’s leading his own band of mercenaries. It’s a see-saw of adventures and misadventures that is probably best read in small bits. That’s how I read it, and that’s why it took six months to complete. I knew one man who for some years could never sleep by reason of his trade in tobacco; for to this he had given up his heart, mind and soul, which should be dedicate to God alone: and to this idol he sent up night and day a thousand sighs, for ‘twas by that he made his way in life. Yet what did happen? The fool died and vanished like his own tobacco-smoke. Then thought I, O thou miserable man! Had but thy soul’s happiness and the honour of the true God been so dear to thee as thine idol, which stands upon they shop-sign in the shape of a Brazilian, with a roll of tobacco under his arm and a pipe in his mouth, then am I sure and certain that thou hadst won a noble crown of honour to wear in the next world.It's a book that is best served by falling into the flow of the language rather than that of the story. It does not reward hasty reading, but rather the gradual revelation of experiences that expose Simplicius' human frailties as he traipses through Germany in the 1600's. It's an almost primary source to a period of history defined by conflict, and that has a great deal to teach a modern audience. Simplicus' adventures are filled with moral observations and teachings, ones as applicable today as they were four-hundred years ago. The author uses many of his protagonist's vignettes to address the nature of man, the dangers of wealth, pride, lust, and greed, how desperation and fear may lead men to choose terrible outcomes for themselves, and the difficulty of navigating the great number of religious leanings of the day. With the popularity of political series such as Game of Thrones, or House of Cards, a story like this, where a simple man attempts to navigate vast lands of varying allegiance, religious ideals, and constant danger, it would be easy for a historically-centered retelling of this story to find its place.Nothing is presented as a finger-wagging necessity, but always as a cause and effect with moral observations sprinkled in for commentary. Despite Simplicius’ growing in intelligence and piety, he isn’t always the one doing the teaching, and is often the one who makes the poor decision resulting in difficulties. He serves as both hero and anti-hero, a flawed character who learns moral teachings, embodies them, relinquishes them when temptation presents itself, becomes his own enemy, and attempts to atone for his mistakes, making even more in the process. Yet this honour, which I had gained over the heads of old soldiers, though 'twas but a small thing, yet this and thee praise which daily I received were to me spurs to urge me on to better things. And day and night I dreamed only of fresh plans to make myself greater: nay, I could not sleep by reason of such foolish phantasies. And because I saw that I wanted an opportunity to shew the courage which I felt in me, it vexed me that I could not every day have the chance to meet the adversary in arms and try the result. So then I wished the Trojan war back again, or such a siege as was at Ostende, and fool as I was, I never thought that a pitcher goes to the well till it breaks: and that also is true of a young soldier and a foolish, when he hath but money and luck and courage: thereupon follow haughtiness and pride:[...]The Adventurous Simplicius was an interesting read, and I’m pleased to have done so, but I was also glad to see its completion. The language, while excellently translated, can be somewhat exhausting at times. Mixed with the episodic nature of the story, as mentioned earlier, it was best for me to read sections, take notes, and move on to something else so as to keep me engaged throughout the entirety of the narrative. It's still intriguing enough that I may return to it eventually and may give one of the more modern translations an opportunity. It's important because it’s something that will provide its readers with a first-person, though fictionalized, account of the Thirty Years’ War, and will do so with plenty of humor, satire, and some apt and thoughtful commentary on human nature. It’s most certainly not for everyone, and I’d only recommend it to those interested in the period, or in early German literature. My faithful and fatherly advice would be, ye should employ your youth and your means, which ye now do waste in such purposeless wise, to study, that some day he may be helpful to God and man and yourself; let war alone, in which, as I do hear, ye have so great a delight; and before ye get a shrewd knock and find the truth of that saying, ‘Young soldiers make old beggars.”

  • Heidi Nemo
    2018-11-09 17:21

    Needs some early modern German/30 Years' War historical context to be fun, but proof nevertheless that Candide is derivative, the road novel is an old genre, and that fart jokes hvae been funny for hundreds of years. The Dr. Strangelove of its day.There's an online version (of an old translation) here:

  • Sandra
    2018-11-10 16:12

    Still a wildly fascinating read. On the reread however, I found I got a lot more from this book than just the horror of war. I had already figured out different sides to the story after overthinking what happened in the story, but the reread helps you to confirm these thoughts. When you think about this book, you start recognizing the different voices that can be found in the book and you will have to reconsider the character of our Simpleton and the role of the narrative. The book is also surprisingly funny, if you're open for it. I also want to say that this cover for the English version (which isn't my edition), is especially wonderful. They may have removed a very big part of the introduction to the text *, but all the clues can still be found here. Remarkable.Original review can be found here.* The original German cover shows a chimera, as you will see on the cover of the edition I first reviewed. This figure, which is also surrounded by masks, gives you vital clues as to the character of our Simpleton. To some extent the English version does this too, I'm especially amused by the fact that the Alchemist is shown twice, as it were of course the alchemists who supposedly created chimeras. When this book was released, the original cover of the chimera came in place of an introduction: an introduction to this type of novel was the common practice, this book only gets this picture. The picture of the chimera is therefore vitally important, because it gives you important clues as to how you should read and understand the book. Which is why this particular replacement of the cover is actually interesting, because you still get facets of the Simpleton character, if you pick up on the fact that the cover is a very important hint to understanding the book. You can find a better picture of the cover here.

  • Panagiotis
    2018-11-01 23:10

    Χαίρομαι που η χρονιά ξεκίνησε με ένα ολοκάθαρο πεντάρι.

  • Calina Benassa
    2018-11-10 17:22

    There is a lot to think about when writing a review for this type of book. First of all, the story is more focused on Simplicius' character development rather than any sort of plot, making it extremely difficult to follow at times, especially through all of his captures by various armies. That being said, the character development in the book is quite lacking, in my opinion, until the end, because Simplicius remains fickle and easily swayed to any school of thought throughout the story. Overall, some interesting things did happen, leading to its 3-star rating, and it's more humorous than most works of fiction from that time period, so if you're planning on looking into classical German literature, this book would at least be somewhat entertaining.

  • Noé Ajo caamaño
    2018-10-23 18:01

    Una obra de espíritu barroco, completamente atravesada por contrastes y claroscuros. Partiendo de un humor sarcástico, recorre todo el registro desde las más serias reflexiones sobre la humana existencia, hasta las más tonta farsa, pasando por el cuento, la aventura y la fantasía. Del mismo modo, nuestro Simplicius será arrastrado desde la más absoluta simpleza, propia de aquel mito del buen salvaje, por todos los estados de la fortuna y la moralidad: desde la santidad a la depravación, el arrepentimiento y la renuncia al mundo; desde la pobreza ruda hasta el encumbramiento, la riqueza y el honor... y desde allí a la ruina; desde la belleza y la juventud hasta una fea vejez, arrepentida y desencantada, que renuncia al mundo y a todos sus dones. Se trata, además de una obra preciosa, de un documento que contiene un pedazo del espíritu de aquel tiempo en que el ser humano da a luz a la modernidad.

  • Monty Milne
    2018-11-08 18:23

    Fart jokes, hermits, cuckoldry, banditry, battle scenes, love scenes, Anabaptists and papists, and a journey to the centre of the earth in the company of water sprites...all wrapped up in immensely lengthy 17th century prose. Not to everyone's taste - but I loved it. Except that it was a bit tedious in parts, even for me. I read Books I and II in George Schulz-Behrend's translation, which is in vivid 1960's American English, not entirely inappropriate when much of the narrative feels a bit like an acid trip (or so I imagine). For Books III to V I used Osborne's translation, also American, but less intrusively so, and a bit more antiquated in style (though I think it is the more recent). I preferred Osborne, not least because he doesn't abridge anything. You have to be a bit odd to like this kind of thing at all, so why not immerse yourself in the full experience?

  • Wanda
    2018-11-04 20:06

    28 FEB 2016 - recommendation through GRAmazon because I am reading Michael Kohlhaas. Also spied on Karen's TBR. Sometimes GRAmazon gets recommendations correct. Now, if only GRAmazon would stop those annoying Sponsored Books in my update feed.Project Gutenberg download -

  • Deanne
    2018-11-18 19:11

    Lots of life packed into one book. Simplicissimus spends his life in central europe being dragged into wars. He loses and finds parents, friends, children, wives etc. He gains and loses money so often it makes your head spin, and yet the narration is often stoical.

  • Hendrik
    2018-11-16 17:23

    Großartiger Abenteuerroman über die Zeit des Dreißigjährigen Kriegs in "Teutschland". Authentischer und lustiger jedenfalls als die Unmenge an drögen Historienschinken unserer Zeit.

  • Michael Haase
    2018-10-28 19:04

    Simplicius Simplicissimus is the remarkable tale of a meandering youth in Germany during the time of the Thirty Years War. It's a monumental book, both for its depiction of life in that epoch as well as for being one of the earliest novels in German literary canon and supposedly the first bildungsroman. It's a novel that is rich in humor and surprises and written in a style that is clever and insighted; a novel that is admirable not only for its artistic merit but also for its preservation of history and philosophical commentary.The narrative itself modulates between farcical incidents, tedious and prolix accounts of achievements and exploits, and penetrating discourses on the folly of man. Both the former and the latter are fascinating to read and were it not for those lengthy and uninteresting descriptions of the protagonist's exploits I would have given the novel all five stars. Unfortunately, these exploits and achievements make up about three fifths of the whole novel. Moreover, because Simplicius keeps jumping between occupations and because his patrons are so numerous, you forget them in an instant and anything relating to them loses its interest.There were also a number of rather boring passages: a dream Simplicius has which takes the form of a allegorical discussion on class hierarchy, a detailed wedding ceremony, any account of Simplicius' military service, Simplicius' life in Paris as a singer and male prostitute (something which is even excluded from the book in certain editions), etc. I must also add that though the novel is mostly comical and facetious, there are moments of solemnity where the horrible suffering of life appears, shocking and unadulterated. This is especially the case in the beginning of the book. These parts of the story are all together ghastly and disturbing to read but nevertheless fill the reader with a sense of awe at mankind's grandiose insanity.Despite its flaws, this novel is without a doubt a work of genius and it astounds me that such a book is virtually never discussed or even mentioned, neither in the schools where I live nor on the forums that I frequent.

  • Kobe Bryant
    2018-11-02 23:03

    Has the best chapter titles I’ve seen

  • Jos
    2018-11-06 21:07

    Der Abenteuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch written in 1668 is considered to be the first German novel of importance. It's inspired by the then popular Spanish picaresque novels and sets out to provide an all-encompassing view of life in Teutschland during the thirty-years war in short humorous episodes seen through the eyes of a seemingly simple mind called Simplicius Simplicissimus. This is what I expected.What I wasn't expecting and surprised me as I didn't read about this before, is it's nature as a moral play on virtues and sins, creed and condemnation. Grimmelshausen specifically condemns the omnipresent foolery of mankind in their short-sighted quests for money, fame, lust and makes the case for a solemn life agreeable to god. The thirty-years war only serves as plot, not as content. More on that later.The initial five books cover the years from 1632 until the end of the thirty-years war in 1648. It starts with 11 year old Simplicius' humble beginnings as an - adopted as we learn later - son of peasants that flees from soldiers to the woods when the farm of his elders is burned down. He spends two years with a hermit in these woods who teaches him the values of a religious life. As Simplicius discovers many years later, the hermit actually was his real father. After the hermit's death he's introduced to society as a jester at the Swedish governor's court in Hanau. From there on, stints in various armies and positions follow. Simplicius is making a career as the famous Jäger von Soest, discovers women and experiences many adventures. Phases of richness and poverty, arrogance and humbleness - he sums them up as "Baldanders" (ever changing) in the final chapter of the fifth book - are interchanging seeing our hero at his highs and lows. The higher he gets the more vain he becomes the deeper he falls again and again. Each ascend carries the seed for another demise.On the success of the publication Grimmelshausen added a sixth book a year later which differs widely from the others. Moral guidelines formerly addressed indirectly in the story now are the main content. Allegorical scenes alternate with absurd scenes, he even talks with toilet paper (!). I guess most modern readers haven't read up to this point. Grimmelshausen already left real world locations for the first time in the fifth book by introducing the phantasmagorial location of an underwater realm in the center of the earth peopled by an intermediate species between man and animal which noticeably can't ascend to god when it perishes but in any other concern reassembles humans; one of the entrances to the realm is the Mummelsee in the Black Forest but other entrances are located all around the world and connected through this realm. That way Simplicissimus pays a visit to our antipodes. The author follows up on this fantastic travel within the sixth book when the hero finally ends up on a fertile secluded island in the Indian Ocean like Robinson Crusoe. There he finally finds to god. The last book reminds me of Faust II in its almost complete departure from reality although it's much more readable. While there are parallels between Grimmelshausen's and Simplicissimus' life, it's not an autobiography. The author and his protagonist are both born in 1622 and Grimmelshausen lived in many locations of the book but he wasn't known as a soldier. Grimmelshausen uses the narrative method of introducing truths through the eyes, the mouth and the hands of a fool. For the son of a baker he has an astonishing broad education which is demonstrated throughout when he puts everything he knows into the book, be it science, literature or religion. The book is a treasure to discover classical and renaissance motifs. It helps that copyright wasn't an issue in 17th century as he copied long passages from older books, mostly without mentioning.The language is slightly adapted to modern readers for readability, e.g. 'für' and 'vor' were used the opposite way at the time and are interchanged. Viewn from a 21st century perspective, a modern lector would have reduced the book to half its length. The sparse reading public in the 17th century had more time and less diversion. Still, it's a worthy read after almost 350 years. Man hasn't changed much since, the only real change is the diminished importance of religion as a guide to daily life.

  • Markus
    2018-11-17 19:21

    SIMPLICISSIMUS von Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen. (ungef. 1625 - 1676)Die Bühne dieses Werkes ist der 30 Jährige Krieg, die Zeitspanne der Handlung von etwa 1635 bis 1648 .Von Grimmelshausen hat wahrscheinlich die Geschichte nach Ende des Krieges, and dem er selbst teilgenommen hatte, geschrieben. Wer WALLENSTEIN von F. von SCHILLER gelesen hat, ist gleich mit den politischen und kriegerischen Gegebenheiten bekannt.Sein Held, Simplicissimus, wie wahrscheinlich auch er selbst, war schon mit etwa zehn Jahren in die wilden Hergänge hineingerissen. Dank einer ausserordentlich witzigen und heiteren Schreibweise, sowie einem, der Zeit und Situation angemessenem Wortschatz, gelingt es dem Schriftsteller den Leser über viele ernste, grausame und grässliche Handlungen in den Kämpfen, sowie auch etliche heitere und auch erotische Abenteuer hinweg zu leiten.Wie viele andere Bücher aus dem Mittealter ist auch hier der Hintergrund getränkt mit Aberglauben, Hexentänzen, Religionszwistigkeiten zwischen Katholischen und Protestanten, wie auch die versprochene Sehligkeit im Himmel, oder das ewige Feuer der Hölle.Der Rahmen der Gegebenheiten des Buches ist sehr gut geordnet bis aus Seite 387 wo dann die Geschichte aus den Geleisen kommt. Nach seinem Aufenthalt in Moskau wird Simplicissimus wieder einmal gefangen genommen und von Tartaren entführt, was bisher üblichicherweise zu einem neuen Kapitel führte. Hier aber werden eine lange Reise nach Asien, über viele Meere und unzähligen neuen Abenteuer auf zwei Seiten zusammengerafft mit dem Hinweis dass damit allein noch ein grosses Buch zu schreiben wäre.Das Ende des Simplicissimus ist auf Seite 395 angezeigt.Es ist danach ein Sechste Buch geschrieben mit Philosphischen Abhandlungen mit dem Teufel, die dann aber recht langweilig wird.Abgesehen davon ist dieses Buch sehr empfehlenswert.

  • Juan
    2018-11-08 21:02

    Novela picaresca alemana que recoge cómo sale adelante el soldado (entre otras cosas) Simplicius durante la Guerra de los Treinta Años, en la que más que hacer eso (la guerra), se practicaba el pillaje y el mercenarismo para satisfacer el vientre propio.Contiene crítica social para todos los estratos de la época, unos por decidir mal y otros por pillos y egoístas (nótese el matiz que perdura en nuestros días); también algo de reflexión sobre reformistas, contrarreformistas, anabaptistas y otras confesiones cristianas que desataron originalmente el conflicto aunque luego nadie se acordara de ello, y la preocupación que había por la salvación del alma aunque se llevase una vida violenta y poco torcida.Es un documento interesante, me atrevería a decir que es la versión cómica original de Q. Adolece de altibajos en la trama, que vive sus mejores momentos en los arrebatos espirituales, místicos y fantásticos del protagonista al relacionarse con seres de otros planos, mientras que las continuas relaciones de lo que obtiene por sus pillajes (tanto tienes, tanto vales) se hacen más cuesta arriba. Por suerte, los capítulos son cortos (dos o tres páginas) y bastante directos, así que cuando topas con uno árido, enseguida da paso a otro más dinámico.El prólogo de esta edición en castellano confiesa que es una traducción a la que se ha recortado el barroquismo del original, pero desconozco si las posteriores son de diferente traductor o si respetan esa complejidad (aunque he leído que la de Cátedra ni siquiera es integral).

  • Jan
    2018-10-27 20:57

    The world is fickle and capricious, that’s my one sentence summary and the motto of Von Grimmelshausen’s most well-known novel ‘Der abentheuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch’.May be only in the very beginning there is some truth in the main character’s name Simplicius, but further on, in my opinion, that name ‘acts’ as a sort of ‘keeping up appearances’ mask. Most of the time Simplicius comes forward as a well-learneth man with self esteem. Thereby, Simplicius practices the art of adapting to the current military and social circumstances when not in a strong position, and acting as a boasting leader in periods of his life when he can afford it, financially and otherwise.Many adventures were to my liking. All but one: I found the episode where he undergoes the influence of Sylfides in their realm, a strange intermezzo in the midst of the more realistic scenes.I found the narrative tone very interesting, all along the way, in so many different ways. By means of word choice in relation to the described facts and circumstances, the tone can be unusually laconically. And there are many examples of imagery and the use of figurative language, which are highly original (may be by being outdated). The point of view is mostly from within the turmoil or contemplating at ease. In many respects the setting, the tone, the expression, the relation to other characters, are most varied; all that makes this novel fitting perfectly in the era of the German Baroque. And Simplicius made me smile and laugh many times.All in all, this is a most wonderful work of art. JM

  • maven
    2018-10-31 19:23

    Where to begin?...In this book, we follow Simplicissimus, a rather simple man, as he travels throughout various parts of Europe (and other parts of the world), though not always by his own choice. Ongoing wars in Germany affect him in both good and bad ways throughout the book, as he alternates between fighting and avoiding fighting in various battles (and armies!). The book isn't entirely about war though, and you get a glimpse at what life in 1600s Europe was like for all sorts of people there. There's also a fair dose of religion in the book, as SImplicissimus struggles with others' sins as well as his own. Occasionally there are historical and biblical references, as well as a tiny sprinkling of fantasy mixed in.Simplcissimus reminded me of another simple character from a later Czech novel: The Good Soldier Svejk (which I really should read the rest of!). The only difference is that Simplicissimus seems to overcome his simpleness, though not necessarily for good reasons or with good consequences.Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book, and I would definitely recommend it. The only negatives for me -- besides the poorly edited edition I read -- were the heavy religious content, the frequent rambling lists of things, and the strange second half of the last book and ending (that excerpt is a bit of a downer!).

  • Sergio
    2018-11-15 18:59

    Many, denouncing the corrupt world, used to retreat to the wilderness in the end of their life. Simplicius does that right in the beginning, while he is still a boy and is ignorant of the deeds of people. He doesn’t know even his own name, poor simpleton! He is adopted by a hermit who introduces him to Christian faith.When the hermit dies Simplicius leaves the forest and tries hard to understand the world and people. He is conscripted into military service and goes through the trials of war time. Years of foraging and adventures follow, and Simplicius experiences military triumph and wealth, then poverty again, disease and bourgeois domestic life.He travels to Russia and France. He travels also to the centre of the earth and gets acquainted with mermen responsible for water supply of all the lakes and seas. That is an extraordinary excursion. However, what Simplicius values most is his attempt of exploring his own soul. The eternal questions torment him: What is man? What can we achieve in this world? “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36).As Simplicius ends his wild and amusing story, he tells of his decision to abandon the world and become a hermit again, but whether he will persevere in it, he cannot say.I find this novel perfectly balanced in its structure. I enjoyed Mike Mitchell's translation.

  • Miriam
    2018-11-15 20:23

    I'm marking this as read for the simple reason that I doubt I'll ever finish this book - and yet I think that having read three out of six parts of this qualifies as "read". (Seriously, try getting even that far ...)It's not that this is a bad book, honestly - it's very funny and entertaining at times, and it certainly surprised me with its wit on a number of occasions. Also with how daring it is - there's this one scene which borders on being explicit, and I just think it's fascinating that it was okay to write scenes with an obvious sexual content in the 17th century. The problem is that it's just too damn long for modern readers: There are whole chapters which serve no point in relation to the plot, and often there are sermons given by the characters on one moral point or other which run on for pages and pages. I understand that this was just how writing was done in the Baroque Period in Germany, so I know it's unfair to criticise this ... but I am a modern reader, and at least for me it's difficult to keep on reading a book which goes so much against what I consider suspenseful, exciting literature to be. So I have to give this three stars, just in terms of reading pleasure nowadays ... even though at the time, I think it would have been 10,000 stars.

  • Michel Boto
    2018-11-11 23:15

    If you want a big fat novel and an opportunity to brush up on your 17th-century German (the illiterate farmboy part of his life is well-depicted with very thick dialect; and I loved the Latin-declined German like "dem Eigentō" and "5. Julii" as well as the -o suffix on adverbs, e.g. "jetzo" and "bishero", that have since disappeared from the language), this book is otherwise great. The sometimes graphic depiction of violence, use of toilet humor, whispers of religious skepticism and pointed criticism of supposedly holy men doing terrible things to themselves and one another, and abundant antiwar sentiment all feel refreshingly modern for such an old book.

  • Brian
    2018-11-17 18:23

    A pretty good picaresque. My main problem was that about halfway through, the story began to drag. Simplicius was too good at everything on the first go, and his "downs" were never that bad. He got arrested, but because of his skill he is treated to wild banquets, or he's stuck in France, and he's fucking hellof ladies in secret chambers. His arrogance and complete lack of morals were also annoying. But all in all, a fun read from the period, with some great bathroom humor.

  • Jonfaith
    2018-10-31 21:53

    My friends and I read CV Wedgwood's history of the Thirty Year War a few years back I noted that Dame Cicily cited this meandering picaresque a number of times. I read it off and on through a cold spring and felt that it would've benefitted from editing. There a rasher of episodes that claw up in my subconscious from time to time.