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An anecdote is a simple story which may amuse or provide a lesson. Heinrich von Kleist, a German dramatist and journalist during the Franco-Prussian wars in the early 1800’s, was noted for the acerbic and wry wit enlivening the anecdotes and short fiction that filled his short-lived newspaper.

In this appealing slim volume of about one hundred pages, a sample of about forty short narratives and anecdotes that appeared two centuries earlier are translated for the current reading audience. The translation stays true to the meter of the original German, with its long, convoluted, descriptive sentences reading as if the story itself is speaking to the reader. Some of the sketches describe the tragedies so common in war time where death is the usual expectation, others playfully scan over the ironies that are part of life.

The short tales dealing with the class system read almost like fairy tales, but don’t expect happy endings. Indeed, these short pieces provide a cynical and irreverent view of the human condition affected by war, social status, religious rulings, and human foibles. This edition provides unusual and absorbing samples from a master writer.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 128 pages
Publisher Sublunary Editions
Publish Date 25-Oct-2021
ISBN 9781955190077 Buy this Book
Issue November 2021
Category Poetry & Short Stories