sorcerer's apprentice

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sorcerer's apprentice

a person who having instigated a process is unable to control it.
This is a translation of the French L'Apprenti sorcier, the title of an 1897 symphonic poem by Paul Dukas based on Der Zauberlehrling, a 1797 ballad by Goethe . In this ballad the apprentice's use of magic spells sets in motion a series of events which he cannot control.
See also: apprentice