Never too Late to Read Classics discussion

Der Schimmelreiter
This topic is about Der Schimmelreiter
34 views
Archive In Translation > 2018 September: The Rider on the White Horse (German: Der Schimmelreiter)

Comments Showing 1-45 of 45 (45 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (last edited Sep 01, 2018 03:53AM) (new)

Lesle | 6303 comments Mod
Suggested Read:
Der Schimmelreiter or The Rider on the White Horse: Bilingual Edition

The Rider on the White Horse (German: Der Schimmelreiter) is a novella by German writer Theodor Storm. It is his last complete work, first published in 1888, the year of his death. The novella is Storm's best remembered and most widely read work, and considered by many to be his masterpiece. 159 pages


Anetq I'm looking forward to reading this - who's joing this read?


message 3: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
I will be joining you. I haven't read it for a long time.


message 4: by Inese (new)

Inese Okonova | 73 comments I am in. My copy is on the way.


message 5: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
I got the complete works of Storm for $1.99 as an ebook, in German.


message 6: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6303 comments Mod
Oh what a find Rosemarie!


Trisha | 996 comments I have just got a copy - but in English, sorry.


message 8: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
I am glad you got a copy, Trisha. Storm was a good representative of a popular established middle class author in the 19th century in German speaking countries.


message 9: by Claire (new)

Claire  | 241 comments you can also find it at project Gutenberg and here https://www.bartleby.com/ebook/adobe/.... I have no idea of the quality of the translation though...


message 10: by Trisha (last edited Sep 13, 2018 10:13AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Trisha | 996 comments I read this today - once I started, I couldn’t put it down! A fascinating story, beautifully written. I guess it may be even better in the original German, though the English translation was done so well that it didn’t feel like reading a translation.
The version I read was The Rider on the White Horse.


message 11: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
That is good to hear, Trisha. A good translation makes a big difference at times in enjoying a book.


message 12: by Inese (new)

Inese Okonova | 73 comments I also finished today. A beautiful and atmospheric work and a discovery of an interesting author for me. I read it translated to Latvian in 1960-s and I think it is decently done. Enjoyed a lot.


Anetq Great to hear you are enjoying it - looking forward to getting home to my copy (travelling)


message 14: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6303 comments Mod
I just ordered it! Waiting to hear what others thought.
Thank you for the positive comments Trisha and Inese!


Kathy | 1374 comments Reading the quarter of the book, the weather seems like a character in itself. Wind, rain, cold... I'm enjoying the atmosphere Storm creates.


message 16: by Eva (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eva | 33 comments I'd like to join as well - even if I'm a bit late - don't think I ever had to read any of Theodor Storm's works in school, so I'm looking forward to discovering this author.


Anetq Eva wrote: "I'd like to join as well - even if I'm a bit late - don't think I ever had to read any of Theodor Storm's works in school, so I'm looking forward to discovering this author."
There's no time like now, as they say :) I'm only just starting today myself, so welcome aboard!


message 18: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
We read the books for the entire month, Eva, and the threads do stay open even after we start new books.


message 19: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (last edited Sep 18, 2018 06:15AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
Storm was born in Husum, Germany, on the North Sea, in Schleswig-Holstein. His province was under Danish control for a while and he went into voluntary exile. He eventually returned, but his attitude to life became more pessimistic.
His first wife died and he did remarry, but this also caused a darker view of life.
The story Immensee was written at the beginning of his literary career in 1850.
Der Schimmelreiter, one of his last works, was published in 1888.
If you have read both, you will see the difference in moods.

One of my favourites, Viola Tricolor, is from mid- career.

If you like poetry, you will be glad to know that he wrote a number of poems as well.


message 20: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
I am now in the second half of the story and it is starting to get spooky- and we meet the mysterious horse again.


message 21: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6303 comments Mod
Rosemarie, Thank you for sharing the info on Storm!


message 22: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
You're welcome, Lesle.
Can you tell I studied German Literature in university? 😉🙂


message 23: by Trisha (last edited Sep 18, 2018 10:56AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Trisha | 996 comments Rosemarie wrote: "You're welcome, Lesle.
Can you tell I studied German Literature in university? 😉🙂"


I’m very glad you did - you are giving some good recommendations for books I’d not heard of! You can probably tell I didn’t study literature at all (I did maths, & then computing years later).


message 24: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6303 comments Mod
Trisha I agree she is full of knowledge about the Classics and Authors. If she recommends I usually add it to my Wish List!


Trisha | 996 comments Lesle wrote: "Trisha I agree she is full of knowledge about the Classics and Authors. If she recommends I usually add it to my Wish List!"

Very funny - I do the same, Lesle!


message 26: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
I really had issues with math and computers, Trisha. I had little trouble with Math until we started Analytic Geometry in my second last year of high school. I didn't
need to take in my final year, so I didn't, since I knew I was going to study languages anyway.


message 27: by Brian E (last edited Sep 19, 2018 08:42AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian E Reynolds | 4010 comments I considered trying to fit in this novella but, in looking for a copy, typed the wrong title into Google. I keep thinking the title is "Riders in the Storm" because, the author is Storm, and a big song of my youth was the rock song "Riders in the Storm" by the Doors.


message 28: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (last edited Sep 18, 2018 06:03PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
Mine, too. Brian.
I found out today that the version called The Dykemaster is the latest translation of the book.


message 29: by Eva (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eva | 33 comments I'm about half way through now and have to agree that the novella really is deeply atmospheric - the description of the weather, the landscape and the harsh life of the people is fantastic.
What about the incident with the cat? What did you think of it? Perhaps it is to foreshadow how ruthless he is pursuing his goals?
Even if he later redeems himself with the old woman and understands the consequences of his deed for her life, I didn't really get the impression that he felt guilty.


message 30: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
I see him as a combination of obsessive personality and tortured soul. He has a good goal, the safety of the dyke, but is lacking in people skills.


message 31: by Eva (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eva | 33 comments Lacking in People skills is definitely a good description of Hauke :-)
I finished the novella before and yes, I agree he's obsessive and a tortured soul, but I do not think that he wants the safety of the dyke, only because it's a good goal. I thought, he mainly wants to prove his superiority and why he -because of that- deservedly is the dykemaster. Nature here is depicted as wild and almost evil, but he thinks he can control it. Just like the horse that nobody else but him can ride.


message 32: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
That makes a lot of sense, Eva. He wants to be in control of every aspect and has no personal life as a result.


Kathy | 1374 comments I finished The Rider on the White Horse. This novella felt so forboding to me. Hauke does seem like a tortured soul as Eva says. The first two thirds he was so angry and ready to take issue with people. The last third of the book redeemed his character for me.

I read on Wikipedia that Hauke was based on the mathematician and astronomer Hans Momsen, a North Frisian farmer with no university studies who was able to solve complex mathematical problems and construct astronomical devices.


message 34: by Eva (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eva | 33 comments Kathy wrote: "I finished The Rider on the White Horse. This novella felt so forboding to me. Hauke does seem like a tortured soul as Eva says. The first two thirds he was so angry and ready to tak..."

Yes, in the last part of the book Hauke "softens" up a bit - he's not as aggressive. But unfortunately that's kind of his downfall as well: had he insisted more on fixing the old levee as he suggested, the catastrophe at the end wouldn't have happened.

Interesting that there was a real-life model for Hauke!


Anetq I finally made it home to this great book - and a quick read it was too! I like the description of village life and superstition Vs the man with modern dyke-technology. And Storm seems rather symbolist in his descriptions of nature as wild and untamed - maybe symbolizing everything around us (and in us?) we can not control. Not a happy situation for a man who will sacrifice almost anything to control the beast...


message 36: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
I noticed the prevalence of superstitions too. I thought the connection between Hauke's horse and the ghostly horse was a good example of their superstitious beliefs.


message 37: by Manybooks (new) - added it

Manybooks | 520 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I got the complete works of Storm for $1.99 as an ebook, in German."

Delphi Classics? They have some great literature deals.


message 38: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
That's right, Manybooks. They have great deals.


Brian E Reynolds | 4010 comments Well that was a very nice read! I'm so glad that, after two 600+ page books last month, I opted out of a long Balzac and picked up this delightful novella. Some comments.

1. I agree with the comments on how Storm really created an atmospheric tale. I was enchanted early on. I initially found it interesting that Storm, as a realistic writer, includes 'ghostly' images. After some thought, though, the reality is that rustic village folks of that period did have such superstitions, as in the England of Thomas Hardy.

2. Having now read this and Effi Briest this year, I am getting a good dose of 18th and 19th century society in north Germany on both sides of the Jutland peninsula. I'm also learning more about the geography, as when the story mentioned Lubeck, I remembered it as being on about the mirror image side of Jutland in the armpit of the Baltic rather than North Sea.

3. However, while I envisioned Effi in a more of an urban village society, this story had me seeing a more rustic existence. My visual was more like the Danish village in the movie of Isak Dinesen's Babette's Feast.

4. I found the Frisia area of the story very interesting as there is a closeness with the Dutch on one side, and then North Frisia runs into Denmark.


message 40: by Anetq (last edited Oct 11, 2018 03:09AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anetq Brian wrote: "Well that was a very nice read! I'm so glad that, after two 600+ page books last month, I opted out of a long Balzac and picked up this delightful novella. Some comments.

1. I agree with the comme..."


Glad you liked it - I did too :)
Being Danish I had to investigate, as I had never heard of any Frisians in Denmark. And looking at the map - we haven't had any since the Danish-German border moved north in 1864 (nor when it moved a farther south in 1920). The border has since 1920 been just above Sylt (German Island, Frisian according to this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_F... ) and Rømø - Danish, no Frisian language or culture (white on the map above). So while it is geographically part of the chain of islands, it never seems to have been Frisian linguistically or culturally. So while some Frisians have been part of the fifedom of Schleswig, (and thereby Danish before 1864), there haven't been any since. Which probably explains what I knew :)
On another note the Danish version of Storms book has an introduction explaining how he hated the Danes, and left home, when the area became Danish. Don't know if that's just in the Danish versions?


Brian E Reynolds | 4010 comments Anetq, thanks for the explanations and maps. I enjoy learning about the people, culture and political dicisions of areas and Schleswig is interesting.
The forward I read by James Wright talked about the changing politics in Schleswig and how Storm lost his law license from the Danes and then later returned as a magistrate. but didn't mention any special hatred of the Danes


message 42: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
One of my friends is originally from Schleswig- Holstein. He says that currently one of their political representatives is Danish, so it seems that they get along fine now.


Anetq Brian wrote: "Anetq, thanks for the explanations and maps. I enjoy learning about the people, culture and political dicisions of areas and Schleswig is interesting.
The forward I read by James Wright talked abou..."


Just the usual self-flagellation on the Danish part then. I believe that he did - especially if he lost his license - just a bit strange to point it out.


Anetq Rosemarie wrote: "One of my friends is originally from Schleswig- Holstein. He says that currently one of their political representatives is Danish, so it seems that they get along fine now."

It is a rather peaceful question of a German minority on the Danish side, and a Danish minority on the German side - having schools etc. in their own language - and it's borderland (in a flat area) and has been forever. Also 1864 and 1920 is a very long time ago.
But Storm was from a different time - and when your home town suddenly moves to another country, people tend to get upset :)


message 45: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8965 comments Mod
I can understand that!


back to top