Nosferatu: A Novel

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9780803293465: Nosferatu: A Novel

From this prodigiously talented writer comes a stunningly original fictional life of the German director F. W. Murnau (1888–1931). Murnau ranks as a founding father of the cinema, not least for his legendary horror film, Nosferatu. Here he is revealed as a hermetic genius who turns against himself, becoming in a sense his own vampire. What shadows Jim Shepard’s Murnau—through the airfields of the Great War to Berlin in the twenties and to the virtual invention of filmmaking—is the conflict between his impossibly high ideals and his heartbreaking memories of love betrayed and love lost. From provincial Germany through Hollywood in its early days to the South Seas, Nosferatu charts a life at once artistic, intellectual, and deeply human. Ron Hansen provides an introduction to this Bison Books edition.

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Review:

"Friedrich Wilhelm Plumpe had been raised in silence and routine in a cool blue nursery at the beginning of a comfortable era in his family's fortunes." From that cool blue nursery, the young man who started out his life in quiet, rural anonymity ended it decades later in a highway accident just south of Santa Barbara, California. In between, F. W. Plumpe metamorphosed into F. W. Murnau, one of the greatest film directors in history. Perhaps the most famous of Murnau's movies was Nosferatu, a silent-film treatment of the Dracula story, made in 1921. Vampirism is a strangely apt metaphor for Murnau's life--it was not until his lover, Hans Ehrenbaum-Degele, died in the trenches of World War I that Murnau's artistic genius achieved its highest levels--and so Nosferatu is also the title of Jim Shepard's novel based on the filmmaker's life.

Shepard takes his readers on a journey through a tortured soul. We first meet the young, awkward Friedrich on his way to school in Berlin, where he meets Hans on a railway platform and falls in love. Through his association with Hans, Murnau has the chance to give free rein to his love of theater, and this early section of the novel is a veritable who's who of the German literary and artistic world in the early 1900s. Soon, however, personal betrayal and the Great War put an end to Murnau's idyll. Guilt-ridden over Hans's death, Murnau turns back to art after the war and begins work on his masterpiece, Nosferatu. The chapter devoted to the making of this film is perhaps the strongest part of the novel. From here until the novel's end, Shepard deftly limns the contours of artistic obsession and creation as Murnau continues to make films, first in Germany and then in Hollywood. If the book's latter chapters never again approach the peculiar passion of the first half, they are nevertheless a fascinating glimpse into the heart and mind of a troubled genius.

From the Inside Flap:

From this prodigiously talented writer, a stunningly original "life" of F. W. Murnau, the German director.
In the history of cinema, this novel's protagonist and subject ranks as a founding father, not least for his legendary horror film, Nosferatu. But here he is revealed as a hermetic genius who turns, tragically, against himself, becoming in a sense his own vampire. What shadows Shepard's Murnau--through the airfields of the Great War to cafes and clubs in Berlin in the twenties, and to the virtual invention of filmmaking--is the conflict between his impossibly high ideals and the heartbreaking memories of love betrayed and the lover who died in the trenches.
From provincial Germany, briefly through Hollywood in its early days, to the South Seas, Nosferatu charts a life at once artistic, intellectual, and deeply human.

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Book Description University of Nebraska Press, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.From this prodigiously talented writer comes a stunningly original fictional life of the German director F. W. Murnau (1888-1931). Murnau ranks as a founding father of the cinema, not least for his legendary horror film, Nosferatu. Here he is revealed as a hermetic genius who turns against himself, becoming in a sense his own vampire. What shadows Jim Shepard s Murnau-through the airfields of the Great War to Berlin in the twenties and to the virtual invention of filmmaking-is the conflict between his impossibly high ideals and his heartbreaking memories of love betrayed and love lost. From provincial Germany through Hollywood in its early days to the South Seas, Nosferatu charts a life at once artistic, intellectual, and deeply human. Ron Hansen provides an introduction to this Bison Books edition. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780803293465

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Book Description University of Nebraska Press, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. From this prodigiously talented writer comes a stunningly original fictional life of the German director F. W. Murnau (1888-1931). Murnau ranks as a founding father of the cinema, not least for his legendary horror film, Nosferatu. Here he is revealed as a hermetic genius who turns against himself, becoming in a sense his own vampire. What shadows Jim Shepard s Murnau-through the airfields of the Great War to Berlin in the twenties and to the virtual invention of filmmaking-is the conflict between his impossibly high ideals and his heartbreaking memories of love betrayed and love lost. From provincial Germany through Hollywood in its early days to the South Seas, Nosferatu charts a life at once artistic, intellectual, and deeply human. Ron Hansen provides an introduction to this Bison Books edition. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780803293465

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Book Description Bison Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 216 pages. Dimensions: 7.9in. x 5.3in. x 0.5in.From this prodigiously talented writer comes a stunningly original fictional life of the German director F. W. Murnau (18881931). Murnau ranks as a founding father of the cinema, not least for his legendary horror film, Nosferatu. Here he is revealed as a hermetic genius who turns against himself, becoming in a sense his own vampire. What shadows Jim Shepards Murnauthrough the airfields of the Great War to Berlin in the twenties and to the virtual invention of filmmakingis the conflict between his impossibly high ideals and his heartbreaking memories of love betrayed and love lost. From provincial Germany through Hollywood in its early days to the South Seas, Nosferatu charts a life at once artistic, intellectual, and deeply human. Ron Hansen provides an introduction to this Bison Books edition. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780803293465

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