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Die Schwarze Spinne is a religious allegory about morals and religious living in the mid-nineteenth century, written by Jeremias Gotthelf. This work is an. Die schwarze Spinne [Jeremias Gotthelf] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Slight signs of wear!. Jeremias Gotthelf. Die schwarze Spinne. Erzählung. Über die Berge hob sich die Sonne, leuchtete in klarer Majestät in ein freundliches, aber enges Tal und.

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Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Die schwarze Spinne by Jeremias Gotthelf. Die schwarze Spinne by Jeremias Gotthelf. Versinnlicht wird die didaktische Absicht des Autors durch die genrehafte Schilderung der Dorfwelt und eine Sprachkraft, die die groteske Handlung in ihrer ganzen Phantastik entfaltet.

Paperbackpages. Published January 28th by Philipp Reclam jun. Verlag GmbH first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Die schwarze Spinneplease sign up.

Lists with This Book. This short Swiss novel from 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: The novella’s structure, consisting of a frame story and two i This short Swiss novel from a novella really–has much to recommend it. The novella’s structure, consisting of a frame story and two internal narratives, is not only pleasing in itself, but also an ideal conveyor of the narratives’ central themes.

The frame story is set on the day of a christening celebrated by prosperous peasants at a farm, and the homely customs of this rural community are presented in such loving detail, and their world itself seems so idyllic, so noble in its simplicity, that we feel evil could never enter there.

Soon, however, the grandfather begins to tell us his first story, and by the end of it we realize that centuries ago, great evil once triumphed on this very spot. As Grandfather concludes his first tale, his listeners–and we readers–grow increasingly uneasy, and he begins to tell us another spnine about how this same evil, although contained, was unleashed a second time in a period of time closer to the present. The entire narrative ends in thanksgiving and celebration, but the reader is now conscious of living in a schwsrze where, though God may be merciful, evil can be contained but never dispelled.

This is a classic tale of supernatural horror, and should be read by every one who appreciates such tales. View all 11 comments. Published for spooooky month! 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 days. View all 58 comments.

I thought this was incredibly charming and atmospheric, despite the fact that it’s essentially the sort schaarze simple religious allegory that normally makes me run a mile. The Christian symbolism is indeed the whole point: 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 t 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 bucolic early scenes of life in a tiny Swiss village are clearly written from experience, and I was just fascinated by the insight into daily life that’s on gotthrlf here.

The way the maids tie their hair into bunches, how the old men light their pipes, how thickly the bread should be cut — lovely rich sense-pictures of all the kitchen activity: Inside in the big, clean kitchen a huge fire of pine wood was crackling; in a big pan could be heard the popping of coffee beans which a stately-looking woman was stirring around with a wooden ladle, while nearby the coffee mill was grinding between the knees of a freshly washed maid….


These are part of the preparations for a meal to celebrate a christening. The first course, incidentally, is a crazy local speciality that sounds like some sort of sweet-savoury mulled wine, yum: So if you ever have to celebrate a christening in Bern, now you know what to serve. Anyway, I’m making this sound like a culinary textbook. It’s actually an effectively creepy tale of Satanic possession — one that draws on that whole folkloric tradition of simple villagers making pacts with the Devil.

There is much thunder and lightning and several dramatic set-pieces involving new-born babies, green huntsmen, evil knights, heroic priests, hideous deaths, and of course the anticipated variety of arachnean antics.


Having just read A Concise History of Switzerlandit was interesting to me that the story-within-a-story comprising the main part of this tale takes place in the sixteenth century, before this little patch of the Emmental had become fully part of the Swiss confederacy. One theme that emerges from Swiss history is the idea of different communities banding together to form self-governing political units, without the feudal overlordship that was the norm everywhere else in Europe. It’s striking then that when this nineteenth-century villager is telling a story about the bad old days, he looks all the way back to when this little area was still a commandery of the Teutonic Knights, when the villagers had to bow their heads to the lord of Sumiswald Castle.

Clearly this is secondary to the religious allegory on show here, but it adds a fascinating extra layer to the story. Actually the translation as a whole, from HM Waidon back in reprinted in the OneWorld Classics editionis wonderfully supple and readable.

I recommend turning the lights down and indulging in a copy for a literary, arachnophobic Halloween treat. View all 13 comments. My final buddy-read for Spooktober, with none other than the lovely Heather!! However, once I got into the story this fell away and became much better — with the one notable exception of an EXTREME overuse of t My final buddy-read for Spooktober, with none other than the lovely Heather!! Seriously, it was in every other sentence for two pages. However, overall I would say this translation is a win, especially for a story that is as old as this one.

I am curious to how the original would stack up, because this is a serious non-crunchy classic in its translated form.

Onto the story, I basically felt this entire story was one big: And while I can forgive that because of the timeframe that the story was written, I am still not much of a fan of stories designed to fill their readers with the righteous fear of God.

This is a story within a story type of book which I love. Once upon a time the villagers had an impossible situation because of one stubborn, jerkface Knight and the Devil appeared to them, offering them an easy way out of said horrible situation — all it would cost is an unbaptised soul.

That can be a lot easier said than done, though. Especially when all the men folk run away, leaving a lone sass-mouthed female to deal with him all by her lonesome. Having never been baptised myself I think a little of the menace of the story was lost on me. View all 30 comments. It was first published in German inand was written by a Swiss pastor. The edition I read was translated in by H. 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 charming scene of country life. A village child is being baptised and we read about the ins and outs of the ritual and superstition surrounding this. The tale is quite a dreadful one, involving a pact with the Devil that was reneged upon, thus dooming the villagers to be attacked by a fearsome spider, which could only be vanquished by a fine God-fearing villager.

This part of the story is wonderfully gothic and sinister, and I think the fact that it is framed within the initial charming pastoral scene makes it all the more effective.

The Black Spider reads like a cross between a fable and a book from the Old Testament. The God-fearing message is somewhat obvious and blunt, but nevertheless this book is well worth a read, and can definitely be appreciated by the modern jerenias. The spider is an allegory for the decay of morality or maybe the Black Plagueand 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.

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Mosquitoes, on the other hand, are the spawn of Satan. View all 5 comments. A cautionary morality tale which will be appreciated by the religious-minded. 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 favou A cautionary morality tale which will be appreciated by the religious-minded.

There is a lot of richness to the text- a sense of historical time,class struggle,feminism,though,to jeremizs fair,the frame tale tends to drag towards the end. Still,a short,enjoyable read esp. From the de by H. View all 12 comments. Very tough book to give hotthelf star-rating to, but if I must, lets say a 3. Not that there are spoilers here, because there aren’t, but if you’re settling in to read this book, you may ggotthelf 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.

Die schwarze Spinne

Read at your own peril. I’ve written up my thoughts here ; feel free to go take a look there at a longer version of what I’ll say here. This book opens with the characters in a yotthelf state of bucolic bliss jereias a christening day, so naturally, after a while I started to get curious about the book’s cover art and why a blurb on the back notes that “The Black Spider was a horror story of its day.

And oh, what a story it is.

Gotthelf: Die Schwarze Spinne (German Texts) Jeremias Gotthelf: Bristol Classical Press

A group of Teuton knights has returned from Poland and Prussia, having bent sent there to “fight the heathen. First, he took them away from their land for two years by ordering a huge castle on a hill. When that was finished, and just as the peasants were rejoicing that they could get back to feeding their starving families and tending their livestock, von Stoffeln makes another demand — they must now build a shaded walkway.

He wants particular trees from a location that is hours away, and he wants everything done within a month or disastrous consequences will follow for the peasants and their families. Thoroughly in despair, because this is an impossible task, the peasant men wonder how they’re going to tell their loved ones.

At that moment a huntsman, dressed in all in green hitherto referred to as the “green man” or the “green huntsman” appears, and offers them help — and for payment, all he wants is an unbaptized child. When the women are told what’s going on, they believe they can help their men, but it becomes obvious that this is not working out.

One of the wives, Christine of Lindau, takes up the green huntsman’s offer, thinking that when a new baby is born, the people will find a way to deceive him, and they do manage to stave off the devil for a while.

Gotthelf: Die Schwarze Spinne

However, they hadn’t reckoned on the black spider, a reminder that the huntsman “would not suffer himself to be duped without recompense. In Christian mythology, the spider is, of course, associated with the Devil, and you’ve got the Green Huntsman of the story in that role as the source of the gktthelf, so it should be easy to figure out. However, according to Terrence Rafferty of the New York Times, the spider also becomes a symbol of plague, and there are scenes gohthelf this book that support this idea as well.


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