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Der Schimmelreiter
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Der Schimmelreiter

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  2,255 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Der Schimmelreiter ist viel mehr als ein klassisches Stück deutscher Literatur - auf knappsten Raum nutzt er eine Gespenstergeschichte, um vom Kampf des Menschen gegen die Natur und gegen den Menschen zu erzählen. Hauke Haiens Versuch, dem Meer neue Grenzen zu ziehen, führt in einen Abgrund, dessen Ausdeutung den Leser verschlingt wie die Sturmflut das neugewonnene Land.
Paperback, 159 pages
Published 2001 by Reclam (first published 1888)
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37th out of 553 books — 503 voters
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Community Reviews

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Jan-Maat
The Rider on the White Horse was Theodor Storm's last completed work before his death. At the centre is a man trying to do his job in a new way, that will bring him fame, renown and satisfaction and the price that he will have to pay for what ever he may achieve. We might remember that white horses are often sacred and there's a cost to mortals in getting too involved in the with the divine.

We are held at arm's length away from this story by a series of framing devices: the author remembering r
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Greg
I can imagine reading these stories in a high school setting and having the teacher strangle all of the life out of them. They seem like those kind of stories. Luckily I'm not a high school student and I read them on my own and didn't have any of the life taken from them. Many of these stories reminded me of Thomas Hardy in that bleak and doomed way that Hardy's novels have.
Viktoria
Das war jetzt natürlich nicht dsa erste Mal, dass ich den "Schimmelreiter" gelesen habe. Es war Schullektüre... Beim erneuten Lesen ist mir das tolle an der Novelle bewusst geworden. Storm schafft durch die Bilder, die er schafft, und durch die Sprache eine einzigartige stimmung zwischen unheimlliche, gruselig und rauh. Die Nordsee und die Küste werden wunderbar von ihm eingefangen. Gerade auch der Aspekt der Grusel- bzw. Geistergeschichte ist hier wirklich spannend und sehr gut gemacht! Und man ...more
Jos
Somehow I never had to read this book in school which probably was a good thing as I wouldn't have appreciated it at that time and simply would have done away with it as an old-fashioned and irrelevant ghost story.

Der Schimmelreiter tells us the story of Hauke Haien who was selected as dykemaster ("Deichgraf") in the 1750's in Northern Frisia. It tells of the attritional efforts of Haien to innovate respectively simply do what is necessary to improve things for the future at the cost of today's
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Heather
Until the last story, which is the title story and the last that Storm wrote, I wasn't enraptured by this book. Each story had its satisfying bits, but mostly they were too self-consciously stories, too concerned with doomed love, too nostalgic.

That said, I liked this passage from "Aquis Submersus" a lot, the solid everyday detail of it:
And yet, how friendly I found the rooms of that old house! In winter I liked the small chamber to the right of the vestibule, and in summer the large room on t
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Chuck LoPresti
Not every story here is great - but all are good. This is probably too dated for most modern readers but those that appreciate Turgenev, Hamsun or Stifter will find something to enjoy here. The title story is the highlight, a real page-turner that build to a fierce crescendo. At times this reminded me of Bely's Silver Dove, with its strange mysticism that lurks throughout. Doomed love and ill-fated children populate the otherwise naturalistic focus of Storm's capable writing. He's a painter with ...more
Angelin
It's interesting how a novella, written in 1880s, has so much to do with the present. The main storyline is as old as time - the constant fight between new ideas and old habits. And no matter what wins, the price is usually high.

Hauke Haien strove to leave someone after himself, to built a new dyke and be remembered (and honoured). His hard work and devotion can be admired, his vanity might be overlooked - in the end he succeeded in what he saw was the meaning of his life.

Even though, it's Hauk
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Weaverannie
Jaloezie, achterdocht, tegenwerking van mensen, die het hoofd boven het maaiveld durfden te steken, conservatisme, bijgeloof, standsverschil: het komt allemaal voor in dit verhaal. Het lijkt in eerste instantie een spookverhaal: de man, die op donkere avonden, met storm en regen, gezien wordt op zijn schimmel en plotseling verdwijnt in de diepte.
De verteller, die het verhaal van zijn grootmoeder hoorde - en de verteller vervolgens in het verhaal, krijgt de geschiedenis te horen via de dorpsschoo
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Annika
The Dykemaster.

Well, well. It was a nice little story. However, I do feel that it might have had more potential. Especially the ending came a little bit too abrupt for my liking. *shrugs* I suppose that's a question of taste, though.

I can definitely say that it didn't bore me at any point, and that it gave some interesting insights into society at that place and time.
Bbrown
A potentially interesting book, but not that interesting in practice and not particularly enjoyable either. When reading his early stories it's clear that Storm had a very distinctive style, as the transitions between scenes and times have a dreamlike quality where you just barely manage to hold on to how one passage flows into the next. While this quality is interesting in the abstract, Storm doesn't pair it with engaging stories so it's largely wasted. In general his style wasn't one I enjoyed ...more
Michael
Dec 19, 2012 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: German Students, German Teachers, Frisians
Recommended to Michael by: Steven Fuller
This is probably the most difficult book I have yet read in German. I’m going to be honest: my German is rusty enough that I had to make use of various online tools (and an online synopsis) to figure out what was going on at a couple of points. Once I had started to get into it, it was possible for me to follow, but this is definitely not a book for a beginner, or anyone whose German is only middling.

Part of the problem (for me, at least) is the narrative structure. There’s a meta-story, about
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Wendy
The schoolmaster of a northern German coastal town narrates the tale of Hauke Heien, the highly driven dykemaster who haunts the road along the dyke that bears his name.

As the story begins, it is earthly and normal: young Hauke Heien becomes the apprentice to the former dykemaster, secretly woos his daughter, and eventually inherits the prestigious position himself (raising a few eyebrows in the process). Hauke's latent sinister side is foreshadowed as a boy by the killing of a cat, and later ma
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Vishy
I loved Theodor Storm’s ‘Immensee’ when I read it last week. So, this week I thought I will read Storm’s ‘The Rider on the White Horse'. I got Storm’s book and read it today. I finished it sometime back. Here is what I think.

What I think

‘The Rider on the White Horse’ is a story set in a small North German village. It is told by a narrator, who seems to be the author, but we are not sure. The narrator says that he read this story half a century ago, in his great-grandmother’s place, in a newspape
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Aisling
The title is actually the last story (novella) in this little book of eight by the German author Theodor Storm who died in 1888.
I actually liked the title story the least of the eight, much preferred the other stories especially Aquis Submersus which I thought brilliant. There is a thread connecting all the stories and the writing style is beautiful, lyrical & gothic. The descriptions of nature and natural phenomenon is brilliant ... "along the edge of heaven flowed the luminous sea, which o
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Adam
This is a wonderful collection of short stories (and two novellas) originally written in German by 19th century Danish author Theordor Storm. “The Rider on the White Horse”--the title novella and, at 100 pages, the longest piece in the collection--is a beautifully written ghost story in which the supernatural element remains almost entirely in the background. Also known as “The Dykemaster,” this novella tells of a young Frisian man’s ambitious rise to the position of dykemaster in his town, of h ...more
Rick
Theodor Storm’s RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE is a tightly woven novella about the conflict of man with nature and of man with man in the face of nature.

Hauke Haien the dikegrave (or supervisor of dikes for a section of the coast of Frisia) proves himself capable of tremendous feats of planning and engineering. This is all the more so when he acquires the white horse of the title, whom many believe to be a phantom, resurrected from a pile of bones dimly seen on the horizon.

One might suspect him of ha
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Felix
German Edition - German review:

Die titelgebende Novelle über den Deichgrafen Hauke Haien und seine Hybris hat mir ganz gut gefallen, auch wenn mir hier schon in Teilen die Beschaulichkeit etwas auf die Nerven gefallen ist, die aber wenigstens durch das Ende ein wenig abgemildert wird. Die restlichen Erzählungen des Bandes - "Immensee", "Posthuma", "Viola Tricolor", "Psyche", "Aquis Submersus" und "Zur Chronik von Grieshuus" - waren mir dann auf die Dauer doch zu repetitiv. Immer wieder das Ideal
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Booklovinglady
I read the Dutch translation of ‘Der Schimmelreiter’ (De schimmelruiter) and loved every minute of it. This ‘frame story’ shows the reader the contrasts between the old habits and superstitions during the 18th century on the one hand, and the far more rational ideas of the Age of Reason on the other. Being Dutch, maybe I was partly fascinated by this story because I live in the west of the Netherlands, near a polder, and this book made me realize (and respect) even more our never ending struggle ...more
j.
I had to give a talk on "Der Schimmelreiter" for my German class and therefore I really invested some time in analysing it.
I feel like that was a good thing to do! I feel like I understand the idea behind it and also the symbolism. Often when I read books for school, I only get a faint idea of the "purpose" of the book and feel like I am only scratching the surface. But here I think I really understood what it is about and that makes this book good for me! Thouroughly working with a book might
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Katri
An odd little story; I loved it in a way, yet don't quite know what to think of it. It's a strange combination of a ghost story and a rather realistic-seeming story from a small village and a guy with very concrete dreams that are bigger than can be managed. It has a strong atmosphere and a chilling storyline, and I read it almost in one go. There's something about Storm's style and his characters that I absolutely adored, so hopefully this will not be the only story of his that I read.
Cornelius Browne
Recent storms forced me to read parts of this exquisite little book by candlelight as the wind howled in the belly of the night, adding greatly to author Storm's conjuring of atmosphere, particularly during the opening pages of the title story, The Rider on the White Horse, which is an outright masterpiece. The other seven stories are slighter, though each is a melancholy gem, enjoyable even in electric light.
Xsarahx14
This was one of the books we had to read for German:p
I didn't really like it at first, I didn't even get it since my German is not that good. But after a while when we discussed everything in class the book got better. The story is actually really good but the way it was written doesn't really appeal to me therefore I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. But for a book we had to read in class it was doable :)
xx
Katja
Leg "Riders ob the storm" von den "Doors" ein und lies die Eingangsszene des Schimmelreiters! Ich mag die unheimliche Atmosphäre des Buchs, die Beschreibungen der Nordsee, Storms einfache und gerade darin fesselnde Sprache. Oben auf einem Deich zu laufen und von Wind und Wetter fast umgehauen zu werden ist wunderbar - die Geschichte von Hauke Heien wird beinahe lebendig. (Erstmals gelesen 2002)
Tanja
My mother sent a bunch of my old books from home. 'Der Schimmelreiter' among them. So I thought, why not, I reread it. It has been a long time after all. Still full of atmosphere, the anticipation of doom -- so evident even when Hauke seems to have it all. And so very very much 'Norddeutsch'. I think it would make a great companion to 'The Legend of Sleepy Hallow' for Halloween.
John
beautiful old world literature. the translator's intro explains that each story is written in the nouvelle format. basically they're really good TALES in the best old world sense. they're a bit maudlin in a thomas hardy kind of way. if you're a fan of the icelandic writer haldor laxness or the danish writer isak dinesen, more than likely you'll appreciate this collection.
Milan
Nov 22, 2010 Milan marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No-one
Recommended to Milan by: Uwe Neumann
Shelves: deutsch, borrowed
Reason for abandonment:
It was terribly boring and I really saw no point to it. Yes, maybe it is a literary classic, even though I'd never even heard of it before our teacher presented this work of utter folly to us. I only got to page 25 and just couldn't go on. Apparently it gets better later. I really couldn't care less. I hate horses.
Cooper Renner
Though the shorter works in this volume are mostly just fine, the longer "novellen" are really first-rate, and the title novella is absolutely superb. A kind of ghost story which is also a tale of life on the North Sea shore a few hundred years ago: lean, propulsive, involving, tense. A masterpiece.
Sternchen
ich habe mir das extra in dieser tollen ausgabe geholt, damals, fürs examen, auch wenn ich es dann doch nicht als thema genommen hab...
ja, man kann hier ruhig vergleiche zu wuthering heights ziehen, wenn es um die grausam-schöne gewalt der rauhen natur geht.
Dennis
Ein sehr wunderbares und sehr trauriges Buch. Von Anfang bis Ende werden schöne Naturbilder erzeugt, die gegen Ende zum großen Finale gipfeln. Auch der geheimnisvolle Unterton, welcher das Pferd umgibt, gefällt mir.
Anica
Normally, this would have been my cup of tea because of the sea and everything. But I really didn't like it. It was boring and stupid and very blah.
On the other hand, the movie was even worse!
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NYRB Classics: The Rider on the White Horse, by Theodor Storm 3 5 Oct 30, 2013 05:47PM  
der Schimmelreiter by Storm 2 30 Sep 11, 2012 10:51AM  
  • Die Judenbuche
  • Deutschland, ein Wintermärchen
  • Kleider machen Leute
  • Der zerbrochne Krug
  • Wilhelm Tell
  • Bahnwärter Thiel
  • Minna von Barnhelm
  • Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts
  • Irrungen, Wirrungen
  • Dantons Tod
  • Die Schwarze Spinne
  • Der blonde Eckbert / Der Runenberg
  • Rock Crystal
  • Lieutenant Gustl
  • Götz von Berlichingen
  • Der goldne Topf
  • Jugend ohne Gott
  • Draußen vor der Tür
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Hans Theodor Woldsen Storm (14 September 1817 – 4 July 1888) was a German writer.

He was born in Husum (die graue Stadt am grauen Meer, "the grey town by the grey sea") on the west coast of Schleswig of well-to-do parents. While still a student of law, he published a first volume of verse together with the brothers Tycho and Theodor Mommsen.

He worked as a lawyer in Schleswig-Holstein, but emigrated
...more
More about Theodor Storm...
Immensee Pole Poppenspäler Immensee und andere Novellen Der Schimmelreiter / Immensee Little Hobbin

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“Euere Schuld, Deichgraf!" schrie eine Stimme aus dem Haufen.” 1 likes
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