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Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 23 November, 2012 11:16AM
I know what you mean. One thing I would suggest, though, is avoiding the Penguin Science Fiction of Poe and Arthur Gordon Pym volumes. Though there is some quite good material in the notes there, the approach simply strikes me as one who has an axe to grind concerning Poe, rather than one who is wishing to provide context and insights, so a fair amount of what is there becomes very irritating. Taking a writer to task about certain views is one thing; but when such an approach, or an overly Freudian approach for that matter (common with Poe criticism), overwhelms the main purpose of annotating a work... then that person has gone overboard to the point of being nigh useless....

Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 23 November, 2012 01:08PM
Thanks, JDW. I think I'll go for the Peithman edition. I don't think it is truly 'complete' (61 tales?) but I think it'll fill the gaps in my Poe knowledge nicely. It seems that it makes liberal use of the annotations from the editions you mentioned, according to this review [www.eapoe.org] which probably means it plagiarises massively, but as I'll be buying second hand that doesn't really concern me. My only reservation is it sounds like there's a lot of typos! I'm hoping that they're mainly found in the notes rather than the texts, but I'm probably just fooling myself... Anyway, I'll sleep on it for a bit as it doesn't seem like a particularly rare or sort out edition.

I'm not really sure how they can justify the prices for the Mabbott editions tbh. Sure, I'm all for academic research being rewarded, but I doubt anyone but the publishers will be making a living from this pricing policy. Better to get the good research out of the uni libraries and into the hands of the readers, I say.

Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 23 November, 2012 03:59PM
I'm not sure why the high prices there, myself, unless it is because it is a university press, and sometimes those tend to go for outrageous prices, especially if they are still used as textbooks for courses... in which case, the price is often astronomical.....

(I am sure there is a great deal more to it than that, but I have seen a number of shoddily-produced and meagre books come out through university presses through the years at prices that one would tend to expect on rare gems rather than relatively mass-produced books.)

Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 24 November, 2012 04:19PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Ewers. . . incredible power
> of observation.

I should probably state that differently, because "incredible power of observation" doesn't quite seem an adequate description of his talent. Rather, it is a reflective and imaginative power. He dives into the subject matter and explores it in a fascinating and exhaustive way.

I am not all convinced, however, of the truthfulness in his observations. The decadence I saw in the first chapter of Alraune, just seemed a little too wild and imaginative, to be convincing. As if his prime purpose is to shock. A baby that enjoys a cigar in its mouth, for example, is to me merely tasteless, and not believable. It only made me feel sick. I am not sure I like this author. Where is his heart? He paints an ugly unaesthetic world. When Poe is decadent, there is at least a beauty of truth underneath the surface.

Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 24 November, 2012 04:33PM
Still, he brings up other interesting points of perspective.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 24 Nov 12 | 04:34PM by Knygatin.

Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 25 November, 2012 12:32AM
HHE's "heart" is something which one gathers over time, as he nowhere (at least, as far as I know it) states it, but rather lets it be revealed bit by bit through the dramatic action and consequences of his works. He had an unusual sense of ethics (I think), but nonetheless one which was very much there.

Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 25 November, 2012 09:13AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> I should probably state that differently, because
> "incredible power of observation" doesn't quite
> seem an adequate description of his talent.
> Rather, it is a reflective and imaginative power.
> He dives into the subject matter and explores it
> in a fascinating and exhaustive way.
>
> I am not all convinced, however, of the
> truthfulness in his observations. The decadence I
> saw in the first chapter of Alraune, just seemed a
> little too wild and imaginative, to be convincing.
> As if his prime purpose is to shock. A baby that
> enjoys a cigar in its mouth, for example, is to me
> merely tasteless, and not believable. It only made
> me feel sick. I am not sure I like this author.
> Where is his heart? He paints an ugly unaesthetic
> world. When Poe is decadent, there is at least a
> beauty of truth underneath the surface.

I think you make some interesting observations there. From my limited readings of HHE I have to agree, he delights in the ugly and shocking grotesque and relishes depicting it with the glee of a director of video nasties. I have a feeling one of the reasons his work has faded from view, apart from the Nazi associations, is that it reeks a little too strongly of seeking attention through novelty, shocks and gimmicks, whereas Poe and others are maybe more nuanced... Still, I think there's room for both. Indeed, more than room, there's need for both - as neither the outer world nor the inner world are places of unchecked beauty. And certainly HHE is an author who can really get his hooks into me.

Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 25 November, 2012 12:14PM
The English Assassin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think you make some interesting observations
> there. From my limited readings of HHE I have to
> agree, he delights in the ugly and shocking
> grotesque and relishes depicting it with the glee
> of a director of video nasties. I have a feeling
> one of the reasons his work has faded from view,
> apart from the Nazi associations, is that it reeks
> a little too strongly of seeking attention through
> novelty, shocks and gimmicks, whereas Poe and
> others are maybe more nuanced... Still, I think
> there's room for both. Indeed, more than room,
> there's need for both - as neither the outer world
> nor the inner world are places of unchecked
> beauty. And certainly HHE is an author who can
> really get his hooks into me.

I think a very good example of the complexity of what is going on with HHE in terms of the grotesque and ugly is his short story "Fairyland" (in Strange Tales), one of the pieces he translated into English himself. It contrasts the "normal" view of the maimed beggars and lepers of Haiti with that of a child, who is fascinated and finds them exotic, beautiful, and magical. While the adults are repulsed and perceive such surroundings as a kind of hell, the child sees them as being a part of fairyland; and HHE does this in such a way that each view is valid within its context; yet there is moer than a hint of irony in the contrast between these views itself which questions our own perceptions and reactions to the world around us, an irony made all the greater by the very careful use of language (word choice, cadence, etc.), lying somewhere between the fantastic and horrific and an almost repertorial relating of the tale.

Re: Hanns Heinz Ewers
Posted by: Siderealpress (IP Logged)
Date: 4 December, 2012 06:15PM
Dear all,

you may be interested to know that I have just announced that my latest book, Hanns Heinz Ewers, 'Brevier' (originally published in 1922 and newly translated by Joe E. Bandel) is now available for pre-order with shipping due to begin 10th December.

Futher details are available on the Side Real website HERE.

It will be in a smaller than usual edition of 200 copies, though there will also be an unlimited edition e-book and POD available via Joe.

This is a very interesting book as it doubles up as both a sampler of his works and a tour of his mind. For anyone who wants to get a sense of 'what he is all about' it might be a good place to start.

REGARDS!

J

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