(14) Adelbert von Chamisso's 1814 tale Peter Schlemihls
wundersame Geschichte (English titles include Peter Schlemihl
and The Shadowless Man) describes how a man sells his shadow and therefore his soul to the Devil.
In opting, after sick leave, and then exemption, from service with the artillery, to illustrate a classic of German Romanticism and its early twentieth-century Revival, Adelbert von Chamisso's tale of Peter Schlemihl
(who learns too late the error of selling his shadow for an inexhaustible fortune), Kirchner made a narrative principle out of the formal incoherence of his studied graphic 'misalignments'.
Fleissner reminds me that he once cited Peter Schlemihl
with oblique reference to Eliot's shadow imagery of a later period.
The Venetian plot is obscured by a melange of new and recycled numbers: Giulietta has a pointless aria, after which Dappertutto taunts Schlemihl
with the loss of his shadow -- a scene rendered silly on video because the shadow, while invisible to the theater audience, is clearly visible on camera.
One of the most gifted lyricists of the Berlin Romanticists and best remembered for the Faust-like fairy tale Peter Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte (1814; Peter Schlemihl's Remarkable Story).
In 1814 Chamisso published the peculiar tale of Peter Schlemihl. The story of a man who sold his shadow to the devil, it allegorized Chamisso's own political fate as a man without a country.
(Jean Paul is the guiding spirit in the pastiche on Holderlin's sojourn to Bordeaux; Peter Schlemihl
presides over a journey to Australia, where the protagonist wants to learn to jump over his shadow and arrive at "the other side"; Herr Preetz, living in the present, follows Wilhelm Lehmann's Bukolisches Tagebuch on his way into a gruesomely contemporary death.) When the direct references to the romantic forebears are missing, their bemused and humoresque spirit nevertheless pervades the narratives.
Er grusste fluchtig das Denkmal des Schlemihl oder des Schlemihls Vater.
The reference to 'Schlemihl, oder Schlemihls Vater' has at least two connotations for the text.
Chamisso's romantic narrative The Fantastic Tale of Peter Schlemihl
(1814), in which the protagonist, after making a pact with the devil, must live without a shadow, that is, must live with a characteristic of the demonic, or to Patrick Suskind's postmodern novel Perfume, in which the protagonist is born devoid of a personal odor and spends his whole life in an obsessive quest to cure this deficit.
Self-identified as "schlemihl," he distrusts words as protective counters.
Much later, objecting to his self-identification as a schlemihl while she uses it to manipulate him through sexual intercourse, Rachel concludes, "You have to grow up" before she tucks him in for the night (pp.