German short stories began in the late 18th century as brief, beautifully written moral fables. In the following century, style evolved toward realism in parallel with that of other European literature. From the lofty idealism of Goethe to the searing verisimilitude of Mann, German writers of all styles have left us some of the most arresting profiles of the human condition ever conceived. Roiled by gigantic undercurrents of history and blessed with a multiplicity of great poets, thinkers and artists, the German speaking lands have provided extraordinarily rich soil for literature.
Selections in Volume I:
THE ATTORNEY by Goethe – While planning an affair, a beautiful young girl discovers an inner spiritual awareness during her husband's absence.
THE SPORT OF DESTINY by Friedrich Schiller – A young man comes into the possession of power and its insidious influence.
THE HUSSAR, KANNITVERSTAN, UNEXPECTED REUNION by Johann Peter Hebel – Three timeless fables that explore the spiritual dimension of mankind with gentle humor, wry drama, and poignant love.
AN EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF THE MARSHAL DE BASSOMPIERRE by Hugo von Hofmannsthal – In 16th century Paris a dashing French soldier pursues a romantic affair in a time of plague.
THE BACHELOR by Arthur Schnitzler – At the death bed of their comrade, three friends find a disconcerting letter that reveals intimate details about their wives.
LITTLE HERR FRIEDEMANN by Thomas Mann – This tale of unrequited love and cruel rejection ranks among the world's great masterpieces of psychological pathos.
THE ENCHANTED CABINET by Friedo Lampe – A whimsical romp through a German seaside resort complete with burglar, magician, detective, damsel in distress and hero.
Running Time: 4 hours 33 minutes
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NARRATOR CHARLTON GRIFFIN is one of the great readers of our time. His classical theatre training combined with his wonderful, incisive interpretations of great literature make him a unique talent. Mr.Griffin's vocal performance is vibrant, soothing, compelling, and hypnotic. He is the recipient of the Audie Award for Classic Fiction.From AudioFile:
These stories represent the cream of the crop. They are powerful, humorous, intelligent, and occasionally shocking, especially "Little Herr Friedemann" by Thomas Mann. Goethe, Arthur Schnitzler, and Friedrich Schiller are among the other contributors to this book. Charlton Griffin is an amazingly gifted reader, who can turn his soothing bass voice into an utterly convincing female in seconds. It's surprising to see his name listed as the only narrator. While this is a testament to his vocal range, at times he is a bit too soothing, making it difficult to follow the stories. His voice almost becomes background sounds due to his elongated and precise diction. Better pacing would make this book even more enjoyable. R.I.G. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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