Franz Kafka

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Adventurous Simplicissimus: Simplicius Simplicissimus (Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch), by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen, Full Text in English

 (Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch), by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen, published in 1669

Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch, also known as Simplicissimus, is a Baroque picaresque novel by  Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen, also known as Grimmelshausen, written in 1668, which arguably represents the first adventure novel in German language literature. This work is regarded as pivotal in the establishment of Schelmenromane (or villains novels), successful satirical tales on the footsteps of the Spanish picaresque masterpieces. 

Inspired by the harrowing historic events of the Thirty Years' War which devastated Germany in the first half of the XVII century, it portrays the fantastic stories and predicaments of a vagrant by name of Melchior Sternfels von Fuchshaim ("where and how he came into this world, what he has seen, learned, experienced, and endured therein; also why he again left it of his own free will.")

Here is the first nearly complete English-language version freely available on-line, thanks to a collaborative work from The College of William and Mary's students, presenting a well-known A. T. S. Goodrick's translation (1912) of Grimmelshausen's seventeenth-century German classic, known in English as The Adventurous Simplicissimus (a few chapters that Goodrick himself deemed obscene or lacking relevance were omitted.)

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