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Der Schimmelreiter
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Der Schimmelreiter

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  2,412 ratings  ·  52 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.
Hardcover, 143 pages
Published 2006 by Anaconda (first published 1888)
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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
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.
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
Der Schimmelreiter spielt in Friesland in einer Ortschaft an der Küste, in der man dem Meer mit Respekt und Furcht begegnet und der Deichgraf der wichtigste Mann am Ort ist. Da ich viele Sommer meiner Kindheit auf einer Nordseeinsel verbringen durfte, konnte ich mir die Landschaft, das Wetter und die örtlichen Zusammenhänge, die Storm beschreibt, bildhaft vorstellen. Der Deich, die Marschen, Priele, reetgedeckten Häuser, bis hin zu der umspukten Hallig, entstanden sehr lebendig vor meinem innere ...more
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
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
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
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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
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
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.
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
Dec 19, 2012 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Patrick Bättig
Deichbau im Norden Deutschlands. Junger Man revolutioniert Deichbau und verliert im Kampf gegen die Naturgewalten sein Leben.
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
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.
Eine kraftvolle Geschichte über einen außergewöhnlichen Menschen, Hauke Haien. Die Gewalt, aber auch die Schönheit der Natur werden eindrucksvoll beschrieben. Hauke Haien versucht mit allen Mitteln gegen die Naturgewalt zu kämpfen. Eine rauhe Liebeserklärung Theodor Storms an seine Heimat Nordfriesland. Wunderschön geschrieben.
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.
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 :)
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)
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.
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.
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.
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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
  • Der zerbrochne Krug
  • Kleider machen Leute
  • Wilhelm Tell
  • Dantons Tod
  • Irrungen, Wirrungen
  • Minna von Barnhelm
  • Die Schwarze Spinne
  • Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts
  • Der blonde Eckbert / Der Runenberg
  • Bahnwärter Thiel
  • Rock Crystal
  • Der goldne Topf
  • Götz von Berlichingen
  • Simplicissimus
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 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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